C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Blast at Sector 17 bus terminus, 7 hurt
Tribune News Service

Some of the injured at the Sector 16 General Hospital in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Some of the injured at the Sector 16 General Hospital in Chandigarh on Thursday.
— Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 8
Seven persons, including a woman, were injured in an explosion at the Sector 17 inter-state bus terminus late this evening. Though the top rung of the Chandigarh Police kept on insisting that the explosion was caused due to the busting of a gas cylinder used by roadside vendors, sources did not rule out the possibility of an improvised explosive device shattering the peace of the city. A alert has been sounded in the city

Visibly shaken even an hour after the explosion, the eyewitnesses — mostly shopkeepers — asserted that around 8.30 pm deafening din filled the air. It was followed by a wild shower of shattered glass pieces as the window panes of a waiting room blew.

The eyewitnesses added that the passersby, caught unawares, scurried towards safely with arms and hands covering their faces. But all were not fortunate as splinters from broken window panes caused deep gashes on their arms and forehead.

The sources in the local police added that the injured were rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital where they were treated for cuts and bruises. Four of them received stitches, while three were bandaged, said doctors on duty.

The injured have been identified as Kishori Lal, Sukha, Yadvinder, Rajvir and Geeta Devi. Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, the victims said the incident lasted less than 30 seconds. “Ït was all over even before we could comprehend”, victim Kishori Lal said.

Soon after the incident, a spokesman of the Chandigarh Administration called up the newspaper offices to say that proper care had been taken of the injured and the bus services was “absolutely normal”.

The spokesman added that a massive combing operation had been launched in the vicinity of the bus stand to rule out the possibility of any miscreant being present in the city.

He added that a team from Central Forensic Science Laboratory had already reached the spot and was trying to ascertain whether the explosion had been caused due to the busting of a gas cylinder or an aluminum device. In all probability, it was a gas cylinder because the explosion had taken place at a comparatively secluded place, he said.

Back at the bus stand, shattered glass was strewn all around the waiting room right next to the stairs leading to the railway reservation counter. As forensic experts gathered around the spot to look at the two-feet wide gaping hole in the waiting room wall and the shattered concrete slab on the where the “bomb” was kept, the cops cordoned off the area with the help of ropes.

They also took into possession a piece of twisted metal and shreds of a polythene bag even as a distinct smell of explosive material entered the nostrils. For most of the passengers and other visitors to the bus stand, it was an awesome sight as three sniffer dogs patrolling the area.

Senior police officers claimed that the explosion could not have been caused by a bomb as there was neither fire nor smoke at the site. Moreover, the bomb would have caused a crater in the floor and would have blown apart the entire building. Besides, explosive detectors had failed to find the traces of explosives.

They added that the explosion had taken place near the Delhi and Jammu counter. Äs such, they were looking into the possibility of a militant carrying the bomb from Jammu and Kashmir to some other place. 



Security beefed up at railway stations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Following a blast at the Sector 17 Inter State Bus Terminus, security has been beefed up at all railways stations in the northern region. The personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) have been put on high alert to avoid any untoward incident.

The Railway police control room at Ambala has intimated all the railway stations to be on high alert.

Intelligence sources said the forces had been put on high alert in the region in wake of the proposed visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to the city.

Besides, the security at other public places like other bus stands, religious places, and important establishments in the city, Panchkula and Mohali, has been beefed up. Since investigations were still on till the filing of the news, the sources could not confirm whether any militant outfit was behind the blast.



42 Army men fear dead
Anxious moments in ‘K’ Area
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The news of the tragedy seems to have filtered the air at ‘K’ Area, the Army Cantonment at Zirakpur near Chandigarh. With the collapse of the bridge at Kharo, (between Rekong Peo and Puh in Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh), one of four bridges being built by the Army Engineers, the catastrophe has come very close to home, causing dread, fright and alarm. The worst fears are those, where information is scanty and the wait seems interminable.

For the families of the two officers and 28 engineer soldiers who fell into the Satluj river and have not been traced as yet, life has come to stand still, filled with waiting, restless anxiety and fear.

Family members huddled together, children oblivious to the misfortune gamboling around at being let out so late, a disquieting calm pervading the air. Men gathered separately while the mothers, wives and daughters looked apprehensively in their direction. Women with little children clinging to them, stood around in little clusters on the edge of their homes, hoping someone will come soon and give them the relief they seek-some good news.

For, Manreet Rana, wife of Col. A. Rana, one of the officers at the bridge that collapsed, it is the power of prayer that she is banking on. “Everyone, each Army personnel that was at the bridge, need everyone to pray for them.” Anxious and tense, the families wait the long time lag out.

According to sources, the families in ‘K’ Area have not received any clear news as yet although an officer’s wife came around to dispel fears saying that there was no need to panic. She told the families that in case of a problem they would be informed.

Sources also confirmed that officers were going around the housing blocks of 18 Engineers, the regiment posted at the site of these bridges, persuading families to stay calm.

What is needed at this hour is prayers and faith that the Army, with its usual efficiency will bring its people back to safety. Until then the families sit, waiting to hear that all is well with their husbands, fathers and brothers.



Aujla case: 1 held, gets bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
An accused in the Karanvir Aujla assault case was arrested and bailed out by the local police today. Son of UT Municipal Commissioner P.S. Aujla, Karanvir, was allegedly waylaid by nearly 10 persons in Sector 8 here on Wednesday night.

Besides this, the stabbing of a Mauli Jagran resident was reported to the police during the past 24 hours, along with a robbery and an attempt-to-outrage-modesty case.

The theft of a three-wheeler, a scooter and a mobile phone was also reported to the local police. In all the cases, first information reports have been registered by the police under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Chandigarh’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Dinesh Bhatt, in charge of the headquarters was also ordered to be posted as SP (Operations). Terming the orders as routine, sources said the orders were aimed at streamlining the functioning of the police force Giving details, the sources in the local police said Sohan Lal of Mauli Jagran accused one Suresh of stabbing him near his house. A senior police officer said they were looking into the matter.

Deepak and Sandeep — addresses unknown to the police — were booked under Section 354 of the IPC on the allegations of outraging a girl’s modesty. She was putting up in Mauli Jagran, the cops asserted.

They added that Rakesh Kumar of Sector 43 claimed that he was robbed by several persons on a scooter and a motorcycle near Sector 7 Madhya Marg. They escaped with a mobile phone and Rs 600 in cash. Another complainant, Rajiv Kumar added that his mobile phone was stolen from his house in Sector 41.

In his complaint to the police, Gurwinder Singh of Mohali claimed that his three-wheeler, parked in Sector 19, was taken away by thieves. Another Mohali resident, Ms Shanti Sharma, said her scooter parked in a free parking not in Sector 17 was stolen.



Electric cars yet to catch fancy of city residents
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
One question that gains pertinence in the wake of the sky-rocketting prices is why petrol-free electric cars are not catching the fancy of the general public in the city. Launched with much fanfare more than a year ago, the city and surrounding areas do not have more than a couple of electric cars.

The fully charged car can run approximately 80 km following which the battery needs a recharge. The car can be charged to its 80 per cent capacity within three hours and be fully charged within six hours. The car can be charged in a 220 volt (15 Ampere) socket at homes or even at work place. The car can normally carry two adults and two children.

An official of the Central Pollution Control Board in possession of a car said: “The biggest hitch that a buyer has in case of the car under question is that it needs a recharge after every 80 km. It will be the best buy for the local transport. However, it does not match with the general psyche of the population. What if a person was to travel out of the city?”

The official said the such a car suits pockets of those who can afford two cars which was not a possibility in a majority of the middle class families. A normal car costs Rs 3.19 lakh while a classic model costs Rs 3.99 lakh. He said slight alteration in the model with better kilometre coverage average could have a major impact on the arrival of the car on city roads.

Mr Bhaskar Roy, marketing manager of the company in Bangalore, said. “The company is currently concentrating only on the markets of Bangalore and United Kingdom. We have a waiting list of four months in Bangalore. Bangalore has more than 350 vehicles on road and the demand in catching up fast”.

Avinash Rao KR, a salesperson from the car outlet in Bangalore, while talking to The Tribune said: “The car will very soon catch the fancy of the Indian market. The customer needs to understand that he will recover the cost of the car in little over an year. So it is a good buy in the long perspective”.

It is relevant to mention that the petrol prices were hiked by Rs 3 per litre and diesel prices by Rs 2 per litre on Tuesday. This is little compared to the 103 per cent increase in petrol price internationally between April, 2004, and August, 2005. The diesel prices during the same time duration witnessed a hike of 107 per cent. There seems no rollback in the near future so it has become important that people start exploring alternate means of travelling.



Passing Thru

What is the purpose of your visit to the city?

S.K. Sharma
S.K. Sharma,
secretary-general of the
International Carrom Federation and general secretary of the All-India Carrom Federation

I am here in connection with the Sub-Junior National and Inter State Carrom Championship being organised by the All-India Carrom Federation. It is a regular event to promote the game at the grassroots level.

What is your body’s role at the international level?

As many as 20 countries are affiliated to the International Carrom Federation. Besides, it organises many international events.

What are the major achievements of our country in the game at international level?

We have retained the title of ‘World Champion’ four times consecutively. We have won one World Cup, eight SAARC championships, two U S Opens, two French Opens, two Malaysian Opens and one Dubai Open.

— Akash Ghai



International Literacy Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
International Literacy Day was celebrated at various local colleges today. The NSS units of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women (GGSCW), Sector 26, here celebrated International Literacy Day on the college premises today. The function was inaugurated by Dr Harinderjit Kaur, Principal of the college.

Dr Avinash Jolly, Co-coordinator, AIDS Awareness Hotline, Lala Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, Chandigarh, was the chief guest at the function. He talked about AIDS, its origin, threat and cause. He discussed details of the disease and precautions with the students. He also talked of attitude-building towards AIDS patients. Towards the end, he also raised questions regarding the legalisation of commercial sex workers. About 200 students attended the function. The students felt curious and enlightened. They wholeheartedly appreciated such an attempt. A paper-reading contest was also held in which Sudha of B.A. II stood 1st.

The Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, PU, celebrated International Literacy Day in Dhanas village. About 70 women from the village and colonies of Dhanas participated. Dr Sween, Director, CACEE, addressed the women on the importance of literacy. A women’s rally, too, was held which went around the village carrying posters and the participants raised slogans.

The NSS unit of Government College, Sector 46, celebrated International Literacy Day here today. As part of the celebrations, as many as 20 participants took part in a poetry-recitation contest. Poonam (BA III) won the first prize. Bableen Kaur (BA III got the second prize while the third prize went to Vinod Singh (BA 1).



Vita ‘prasad’ at Mansa Devi soon
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
With an aim to provide good quality prasad to devotees at the Sri Mata Mansa Devi shrine here, Vita — a milk products venture of the Haryana Dairy Development Board has been assigned to provide prasad items from the coming Navratras.

An MoU was signed between the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board and Vita recently. It was decided that Vita would provide two categories of prasad at the shrine. While prasad containing cereals would be available through out the year, except for Navratras. During the two Navratra fairs prasada without any cereals/pulses would be sold by Vita.

Mr Rajesh Jogpal, Chief Administrative Officer of the Haryana Dairy Development Board, informed TNS that a designer, Mr Praveen Behal, had been hired for designing and erecting a prasad ghar and a joota ghar in the shrine complex. “The twin booths, housing the prasad ghar and joota ghar, will be ready by the third week of September, and will be functional from October 3, when the Navratra fair begins. We have undertaken this project as part of our social obligation, and the Ambala District Cooperative Milk Producers Union will be the funding agency and will also maintain the booths,” he said.

The booths have been designed in a way that the architectural design is in consonance with that of the Shrine. “The two booths will be built on an area of over 2000 square feet. The hexagonal shaped booths will have saffron and maroon canopies, and a neutral base on its walls. Saffron coloured kota stone will be used for the flooring. Three sides of the prasad ghar will have service windows. The joota ghar, which will house 850 pairs of shoes at a time, will also have service windows on three sides,” informs Mr Praveen Behal.



Anonymous help for PGI patient
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Compassion comes in a simple lined register paper and integrity in the figure of a PGI nurse.

For Agnees Parvez, stationed at the new OPD, Day Care Centre at the PGI, a startling day unfolded today. As she left her Sector 34 house for work, she found some money wrapped up in a lined paper lying in the basket of her three-wheeler scooter. Thinking that the money belonged to her daughter, she called her and discovered to her amazement that the lined paper unfolding into a letter and containing Rs 51,000 in all!

“When I counted the money I could not believe it — 51 notes of Rs 1000 were lying wrapped up in this letter,” says Agnees. The note, written by an anonymous donor, said he wanted the money to be handed over to the PGI, Department of Neurology. He had made this gesture after reading an article about a boy battling against a cyst in the brain and needing money for treatment. The letter also said his wife had died of the same disease and he wanted that the boy to get the necessary medication and care so that he could live.

The letter written in pencil has evoked a deep poignant feeling in Agnees. “The very fact that he trusts me that the money will go to the right place is a reason for me to ensure that it does.” Agnees says she does not know who could have done this. “We moved to Sector 34 in January. We do not know too many people in the neighbourhood. Obviously, the donor knows that I work in the PGI and, therefore, he left the money in my scooter.”

In present times when faith go astray for money Agnees’s determination to ensure that the money reaches the right place is laudatory. A friend of her insists that Agnees is worthy of the love and respect she generates. “She is a fine nurse with a tremendous empathy and concern for people. Even if you call her up at 2 am she is always ready to help.”

For Agnees it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction that she is in a position to fulfil the wishes of a person who is desperate to lend a helping hand to the young patient. “I do not know this person. I have not deposited the money but I intend to give it to the department concerned tomorrow.”



AIR Chandigarh best station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
All India Radio, Chandigarh, has been adjudged the best station in India from the revenue generation point of view for the year 2003-2004 and has been awarded the first prize in the 31st Annual Akashvani Awards function held at Thiruvananthapuram recently.

Dr K.C. Dubey, Station Director, All India Radio, Chandigarh, received the award in the function which was attended by Information and broadcasting Minister, Mr S. Jaipal Reddy, CEO, Prasar Bharati, Mr K.S. Sarma, Director General, AIR, Mr Brajeshwar Singh, and other diginatries.

All India Radio, Chandigarh, has become popular amongst during the last 2-3 years and the listenership as well as revenue of the station has increased manifold. The station had bagged the first prize for programme and technical excellence in the Akashvani Annual Awards in year 2003 also.

The station has also been upgraded from ‘C’ category to ‘B’ category and its ranking has been placed equivalent to the metropolitan stations like Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Pune.



Iron grills hamper traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A number of houses in Sector 46 have erected iron grills outside their houses encroaching on the public land. Besides being eye-sores, these constructions also hamper the traffic flow.

Constructed right along the roads, the iron gates pedestrians to walk on the roads. Heavy traffic during rush hours increases accident chances.

A number of residents have erected strong iron grills around green patches or turned it into their parking lots. A housewife said “traffic moves freely in front of our house. We are not disturbing any passer-by. We spend our own money in erecting iron grills. Why should anybody have a problem?”

Mrs Sneha Kumari, another resident, said “it looks the administration has got used to encroachments because these are there for the past several years. Strict action should be taken against the defaulters.”



Hawara moves NHRC 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
More than three months after his arrest, Jagtar Singh Hawara, alleged BKI chief and the main accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, today took on the Delhi police and moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) alleging torture and hurting of his religious sentiments in police custody.

Hawara alleged that the Delhi police tortured him by giving him electric shocks at the instance of certain leaders in Delhi. Not only that, he was not allowed to cover his head by ‘patka’.



New presidents of Rotaract clubs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Mr Misha Pratap, Mrs Amia Mehta and Mrs Avneet Kaur were inducted as presidents of the Rotaract Club, Chandigarh, Rotaract Club MCM DAV College and Rotaract Club of DAV College, respectively, by Mr. Dhian Chand, District Governor Elect. These clubs are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chandigarh.

While introducing the Rotaract presidents, Mr Baldev Aggarwal, Chairman Rotaracts and the past president of Rotary Club of Chandigarh, appreciated their involvement in community projects. As Chairman, Mr Aggarwal announced support to the Rotary Heartline Project to undertake three congenital heart surgeries on the assurance of all three Rotaract presidents to him.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dhian Chand applauded the projects undertaken by the three Rotaract Clubs, especially the projects on awareness about literacy on colonies and villages in and around Chandigarh.



Sector 31, 32 accident-round
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, can earn revenue from motor companies by leasing some of the roads for use as “shocker testing tracks”!

One such track lies around the roundabout of Sectors 31 and 32 (near fire station). It is virtually impossible for vehicles to move on this road as it is full of potholes and uneven moulds. Some of the pits are more than three-foot long and deep enough to cause a serious accident.

The situation deteriorated significantly during the monsoon. The road is often inundated with water and it gets difficult to judge the pits. The downpour this monsoon, eroded parts of the road and what is now visible are pebbles and uneven bumpy stretches.

Sunaina, a college student, who has no option but to use this road while going to college, complained, “My Kinetic scooter often get punctured while passing through this stretch. I am always apprehensive of missing my morning class”.

“My new car had its axle broken yesterday because of the wrecked condition of this stretch. I have no option but to use this road to go to work,” rued Mr K. K. Sharma, a bank executive.

Another death trap is located just near the roundabout of Sectors 46-47-48-49. There are four-foot ditches enough to endanger the lives of commuters, especially during rainy days. The accidents are a common sight on this road.

After the rains, sand gets accumulated on the sides of the road making it more slippery. It gets dicey for the motorists, especially for those riding two-wheelers.

“I got my arm broken when my Kinetic scooter skidded on this track. I am unable to appear for my engineering exams scheduled to start from September 11, rued Ravinder.

Bad roads continue to threaten commuters while the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation continue to remain indifferent.



6-lane road to IT park by Sept 20
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, during his proposed visit to the city will travel by the state-of-the-art road to reach the IT park in Kishangarh.

The work on laying the 5-km-long stretch of the six-lane road between the railway light point and the IT park is likely to be completed by September 20, said officials in the Engineering Department.

Sources in the administration revealed that planning of the road has been done on the pattern of express highways. The specifications of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for national highways are being followed while laying the road.

After every 100 metres, special ducts have been laid diagonally beneath the road for laying of services like telecommunication cables, electricity wires and other essential services. As per the standard practice, the road is cut diagonally for laying of the services, said the Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj.

Another added feature was ducts have been provided on both sides of the road for laying of telecommunication cables. To give dedicated corridor to fast moving traffic, slow carriageway has been provided on both sides of the six lane road which would have a 10 metre-wide central verge.

Special care has been taken in providing ornamental street lights all along the 5-kilometre road stretch. Landscaping is being done all along the road to welcome the visitors to the IT park.

Hailing the administration for laying the ultra modern road, the residents of Mani Majra have sought that the road from the railway light point to the Housing Board Colony and Mani Majra town, with level crossing passing through it should also be widened. 



Delimitation board re-constituted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 8
Putting an end to a six-month-old controversy, the Department of Local Bodies, Punjab, has re-constituted the delimitation board set up in February this year for the extension of municipal limits of the Mohali Municipal Council.

The reconstitution ordered on September 5 has proved to be a major setback to MC chief Kulwant Singh with two of his close confidants removed from the board. Sources added that the reconstitution has been “managed” by the Kharar MLA, Bir Devinder Singh, who was not satisfied with the earlier of the board as it did not have enough of “his men.”

The reconstituted board now has the MLA, the MC President, the executive officer of the MC, the SUM, Mohali, and the Deputy Director, Urban and Local Bodies, Ludhiana. The nominated member in the board is now Harinder Pal Singh Billa, a close confidant of the MLA and has replaced Uttam Singh who is considered to be with the MC President.

Other than the above members of the board who have voting rights, a set of five councilors have been taken in as associate members. These include N.K. Marwaha, Tirlochan Singh, Indu Sehgal, Manmohan Kaur and Surjit Singh Grewal. Grewal is also close to the MLA and has replaced Phool Raj Singh who is the MC chief’s man.

When contacted the SDM, Mohali, Mr M.L. Sharma, who is the convener of the board, said the board would meet on September 19 in his office. The meeting of the delimitation Board had been postponed at least three times before the board was re-constituted. The delimitation board is supposed to increase the number of ward from the present 27 to 31, keeping in view increase in population and geographical spread of the township.



Warehousing corpn gets awards for developing state
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Institute of Economic Studies has conferred a gold medal and the Bharatiya Shiromani Puraskar on Punjab State Warehousing Corporation at a seminar held recently at Bangalore. The awards have been conferred in recognition of the efforts made by the warehousing corporation for the development of the state.

Other eminent personalities of the country who were given the Bharatiya Shiromani Puraskar are Dr Arvind Pandalai, CMD, State Trading Corporation of India Ltd, and Mr P.K. Ruia, Chairman, Jessop and Co. Ltd.

The seminar was inaugurated by Mr M.V. Raja Shekharan, Planning Minister of India.



Centenary of ‘Vande Matram’ organised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee observed the centenary function of “Vande Matram”, national song, at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35, here today.

Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit, spoke on the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters for attaining Independence. A special mention was made about the role played by Mahatma Gandhi and Pt Jawaharlal Nehru during the freedom struggle. Prominent leaders who participated in the function included Mr Surinder Bhatia, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Jagat Singh, Mrs Lalit Joshi and Mr Sohan Lal Vaid.



Tribune employees bereaved 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Satwanti Devi, 73, mother of Mr Ravinder Kailey, Sectional Head, The Tribune and Mr Pawan Kumar, Bromide Paster, The Tribune, died following a brief illness here today. She is survived by three sons and a daughter. The funeral procession shall start from house number 3418, Sector 47-D, Chandigarh at 12 noon.



Steps to promote use of solar water heaters
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
For promoting widespread use of solar water-heating systems in domestic, industrial and commercial sectors, the Union Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources has announced a number of incentives to the users, besides soft loans.

The intention behind giving these financial and promotional incentives is to add another one million sq mt of social collector area through solar water heating systems in the next two years.

According to the new guidelines for implementation of `` Accelerated development and deployment of solar water heating systems in various sectors’’ , soft loans will be made available at 2 per cent to domestic users, at 3 per cent to institutional users not availing accelerated depreciation and at 5 per cent to industrial/commercial users availing depreciation. The loans can now be availed from the Indian renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), public/private sector banks, scheduled cooperative banks , RBI approved non-banking financing companies, intermediaries of IREDA (manufacturers/ suppliers), besides other public/private institutions.

The borrowers will be eligible for loan up to 85 per cent of the cost of the systems, repayable over period of five years.

The guidelines of the ministry also stipulate that use of solar energy for water heating should be made mandatory in government and other buildings of the city to save electricity.

In fact, a model regulation/building bye-laws for the installation of solarassisted water-heating systems in certain categories of buildings has already been circulated by the Ministry of Urban Development to all states and union territories. The Municipal Corporations have been asked to incorporate the same in their building bye-laws.

Giving details, Director, Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), Mr S.S. Sekhon, said “The model regulation, once incorporated by the local bodies in their existing building bye-laws, will make it mandatory for several categories of buildings, including residential flats of certain minimum plinth area, to have solar water heating systems.’’

The building plans of hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, lodges -cum-restaurants, guest houses and multi-storeyed buildings would be allowed only if they make a provision for solar water-heating system. The school and college hostels and training centres would also have solar heaters, he added.

The other support measures include a one-time grant of Rs 5 lakh that will be made available to municipalities and Rs 10 lakh to municipal corporations who adopt and notify the modification of their building bye-laws making installation of the solar systems mandatory in at least some categories of buildings in their respective areas.

The financial assistance provided by the ministry is required to be utilised by the grantee organisation for training, study tours, awareness creation, demonstration, preparation of brochures/manuals, creating infrastructures for implementing the mandatory provisions.



PNB disburses Rs 283 cr loans in Punjab zone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Punjab National Bank disbursed loans to the tune of Rs.283 crore in the Punjab Zone upto August during the current year against Rs.224.00 crore disbursed during the corresponding period last year, registering a growth of 26 per cent under the retail segment.

The bank plans to disburse retail loans to the tune of Rs 800 crore by March, 2006. This was stated by Mr U.S. Bhargava, general Manager, Punjab National Bank, Retail Banking Division, Head Office, New Delhi while disbursing loans to about 300 beneficiaries at a Retail Lending function organised by the bank here today.

Mr Bhargava claimed that PNB’s housing loan is superior amongst all the banks as any change in the rate of interest under this option is not only available to new borrowers but existing borrowers can also avail this facility. This offer also comes with the longest repayment period of 25 years and a person can own a house by just paying Rs 839 per lakh under the PNB Flexi Home Loan Scheme. Customers can have overdraft limit up to 20 per cent of the sanctioned amount for his personal needs.

Mr Bhargava said that the outstanding under retail credit for PNB as a whole amounted to Rs12,204 crore as on June, 2005, as compared to Rs.9369 crore as on June, 2004, registering an increase of 30.3 per cent. Under the retail loan schemes, the housing loan segment showed an appreciable growth of 26 per cent to reach a level of about Rs.5000 crore at the end of June, 2005.

Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager, Punjab Zone, said that bank was providing various Retail Lending schemes specially designed to suit the needs of all types of customers at attractive interest rates through all its branches and specialised cells popularly known as Tatkal Suvidha Kendras.



Tata Indicom launches ‘Walky’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Tata Indicom today announced the launch of their new, sleek, feature rich ‘Walky’ for its post-paid customers in the city.

The new ‘walky’ offers a variety of benefits and power-packed features like sleek, stylish and unique body design and large and clear back-lit display, advanced SMS features with eZi text, fast charging battery with more talk time, caller ID with distinctive polyphonic ringtones and in-built games.


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