C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali residents caught in water politics
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
It is water politics again. The Punjab Chief Minister’s announcement regarding not sharing Punjab’s water with Chandigarh through Phase IV of the Kajauli Water Works would mean Mohali residents who are to share this water, would also not get a single drop from the Phase IV pipeline.

The reason is simple. The division of water coming through the four phases from Kajauli takes place at the Water Works Pumping House in Sector 39 in Chandigarh. There is no arrangement by which Mohali’s share can be diverted before the line ends at Chandigarh.

Sources stated that this was also one reason that the Rs 35-crore pipeline, now ready for functioning was still not being commissioned. Engineers working on the project said the line was ready for use and could start pumping water into Chandigarh and Mohali tomorrow.

Trials of the pipeline have been successfully run. Why the pipeline had still not been commissioned is anyone’s guess.

The Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohajit Singh, when contacted, said the pipeline was not being made functional due to administrative reasons.

“We are awaiting a letter from the Bhakra Beas Management Board, after which the pipeline will be started,” he said.

According to the water division of the new pipeline, out of its full capacity of 20 million gallons of water per day (mgd), Mohali would get 2.5 mgd, 1.5mgd would go to Chandi Mandir, another 1.5 to Haryana and the rest would be Chandigarh’s share.

Few realise that while the Punjab Chief Minister might like to make this a bone of contention between Punjab and UT, the population of Mohali would also have to let go of its own share of 2.5 mgd of water from this pipeline.

“There is no way that water coming from Kajauli can be diverted before it reaches Chandigarh. We do not have the infrastructure or the money to create such a diversion. Moreover, even if we start now, where is the time? It would take years,” pointed out a senior engineer in Punjab.

Sources on Chandigarh side the demand that water not be shared was unfair since it was they who had paid for the construction of the entire Phase IV of the pipeline.

“We have paid Punjab over Rs 30 crore for the construction and will release the rest of the money shortly,” said a senior officer of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The Chandigarh MC also maintains the Phase III of the water works (from which Mohali gets a share of 2.5mgd at a cost of over Rs 1 crore per year. In addition to this, the MC also pays Rs 1.10 crore per month as electricity bill to the PSEB for pumping water from Kajauli to Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, incidentally, had paid for acquisition of the 60-feet strip of land from Chandigarh to Kajauli for the construction of the six phases of the Kajauli water works.

“The first two phases were executed by Punjab and is being maintained by them. Phase III was executed by us while Phase IV is now being executed by Punjab,” said MC officials.



Rs 1.80 lakh looted from bank
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 13
Burglars broke into an extension counter of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Phase VI, last night and decamped with about Rs 1.80 lakh.
It is learnt that Rs 1.83 lakh was lying in the bank safe located on the premises of Government College. The burglars left behind some currency notes which had got burnt. The burglars had used a gas cutter to cut open the safe.

the extension counter, which is located on the outskirts of the town, did not have any chowkidar.

The burglars did not break the locks on the metal grill and the door of the bank but cut a part of the grill to which the locks were attached to enter the building.

Mr Varinder Pal Singh, SP, said the way the safe was cut revealed that some professional persons were involved in the crime and it was an organised gang. He suspected that the crime was committed by three to four persons and it took them about three hours.

The theft came to the notice of the sweeper of the bank, Sohan Lal, when he came to clean the premises around 9.30 a.m. He saw that the metal grill in front of the door was open. When he entered the bank he suspected that something wrong had happened. He immediately informed the Manager of the bank, Mr Tejinder Singh, about the incident who in turn informed the police.

Mr Tejinder Singh said he had left the bank at 7 p.m. yesterday as a team from Delhi had come in connection with computerisation work which was being carried out in the bank. He said some documents such as cheque books, security papers, etc were found lying half burnt. The police has registered a case in this regard.



“Chandigarh Calling” to be screened at Wisconsin varsity
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
City film producer, Mr Sunil Babbar, has been invited for a special screening of his just completed documentary on Chandigarh titled “Chandigarh Calling” at a special screening at the University of Wisconsin in the United States.

Mr Babbar is the recipient of the “Best Foreign Film” in ‘Yellowstone International Film Festival-2002’ in Montana for his Indian English feature film “Ants”.

“Chandigarh Calling” is a first person account of the story of the making of Chandigarh, its world-famed architecture, basic plan, culture, tourism, industrial and economic growth.

The shooting for “Chandigarh Calling” started on December 29 and was completed today. The editing of the 50-minute film will be done in Mumbai. The film has been invited for a special screening in the University of Wisconsin, USA, in March 2006. Prof Carol Emmons from the University of Wisconsin, USA, who was recently here in Chandigarh on a visit to the Rock Garden, invited Mr Babbar to screen the movie at the university.

The world-famous Art Conservator Mr Tony Rager (USA), Prof Carol Emmons (USA), Mr Nek Chand Saini, creator of the Rock Garden, Mr Aditya Prakash, associate architect of Le Corbusier, Mrs Kiran Joshi, architect, Mrs Sarita Manuja, Principal, DAV Public School and others from different walks of life feature in this film.

The film has been mainly shot at the Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Capitol Complex, City Museum, the Art Gallery, IT Park, Sector 17 Plaza, Architecture College, Art College, Rose Garden, Shanti Kunj, Fragrance Garden, Leisure Valley, Punjab University, Kala Gram, Tagore Theatre, Industrial Area, Sectors 22, 8, 9, 10 and 33.

The film is being sent for presentation at international film circuits in Europe and the USA. It will soon be telecast on different satellite TV channels in India and Asia, according to Mr Babbar.



Admn, LPG distributors reach pact
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
LPG consumers in the city can heave a sigh of relief. The standoff between the Chandigarh Administration and the All-India LPG Distributors Federation over allotment of sites is over.

Now the LPG dealers would have to pay a nominal rent of around Rs 3,500 per month against the earlier rent of around Rs 13,000 per month. The decision was today conveyed to the LPG distributors by the Deputy Commissioner. The sites would be allotted through draw of lots.

The decision on reducing the rent was taken after the distributors submitted details of cost and profit to the Administration for considering their demand. The dealers have on several occasions gone on strike against the demolition of their illegal godowns by the Administration.

The contentious issue of exorbitant rental being charged on sites allotted by the Chandigarh Administration for godowns on a permanent basis had been hanging fire for long.

Talking to the Tribune, a member of the federation said they had been pressing upon the Administration to be realistic in deciding on the issue of allotting sites on nominal rent as on the pattern of Delhi. 



Derabassi set to witness real estate boom
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Derabassi, January 13
After Zirakpur it is the turn of Derabassi, the strategic subdivisional town on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, to witness the real estate boom.
With two major real estate players — the Silver City Group of Companies and the Omaxe Construction Limited — launching their mega multi-storeyed projects,the stage is set for the battle of wits among the real estate giants, who are ready to fight it out for a share in the ever-expanding booming business.

In fact prominent real estate giants, who have reportedly purchased large chunks of land in the subdivision are the Motiaz, the Parshavnath, the Ansals and the Gulmohar. If the industry sources are to be believed, several other real estate companies are in the process of launching their projects aimed at the middle class.

Taking a lead in this direction are the Silver City, the promoters of the Silver City, and the Silver City Extension, two of the largest townships in Punjab on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway.The Silver City has come out with the Silver City Themes on the Derabassi-Ramgarh road.

The land around the road, which is set to emerge as the bypass to Shimla from the Ambala side, taken already caught the fancy of the land developers, who had purchased huge chunks of land.

“Derabassi is going to be the next destination as Zirakpur is already bursting at the seams and going out of the reach of the common man.With the proposed flyover over Zirakpur, the connectivity of Derabassi is going to faster,” Mr Sunil Bandha, General Manager of the Silver City, said today.

The connectivity, coupled with the cost factor, works out in favour of Derabassi, which has all other infrastructural facilities to emerge as a major satellite town of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, Mr Bandha added.

On the other hand, the Omaxe has launched its project —Omaxe Greens — on the Punjab-Haryana border on the extreme end of the sub-division. This would mean that the whole stretch of land in Derabassi sub-division would tend to benefit after the completion of the project, the sources added.

Another factor that is going in favour of town is the availability of large chunks of land at affordable prices. In the wake of the paucity of large chunks of land at Zirakpur, the town is the best bet for the land developers, a property consultant informed.

Since Derabassi has a “rich” municipal council, the provision of the basic amenities will also not pose much problem. The large open areas also help in the planning of the area in a better way making the provision of basic amenities possible, he added.



VAT notified, officers yet to be redesignated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
About a month ago the Chandigarh Administration had notified the value added tax (VAT). But to implement it the Administration has forgot to redesignate officers in the Excise and Taxation Department, a mandatory provision under the new tax regime

When VAT was implemented in Punjab, the Excise and Taxation Department, Punjab, notified them as designated VAT officers.

Due to delay in redesignating the officers, the legality of the officials in conducting checks at exhibition-cum-sales put up by certain traders is questionable. “If the department has not appointed designated officers, how it can conduct checks and ask the defaulters to pay the penalty under VAT,” questioned a trader.

It may be mentioned that under the new tax regime any trader who exhibits items has to pay a security amount of Rs 1 lakh and two securities of Rs 50,000 each.

The securities would have to be given by registered dealers, which means that there could not be any evasion of tax. But to implement the provision the department has to redesignate the officers.

Besides, the confusion over the implementation of VAT is still prevailing among the trading community. The Income Tax Bar Association has said the Act has been implemented without prior notice. The traders have not been able to file VAT-I form and stocks statement of tax-paid purchases in the 30-day period which lapses on January 16.

At least 75 per cent of the traders were still confused about the documents to be submitted to the Department by January 16, said Mr Hitesh Puri, general secretary of the Income Tax Bar Association.

There was confusion about the submitting of the registration certificate issued under the Punjab General Sale Tax Act, 1952. Many of the traders misplaced the certificate. The receipt books to be issued by the department have also come just a few days back.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal has sought the printed format of VAT forms.

The stationery required to submit the relevant forms should be easily available. It has been further pointed out that it was mandatory to submit the details of stock held on December 12, 2005, out of the purchase made between December 15, 2004, to December 14, 2005.

The details would enable the traders to avail of the input tax credit.

The mandal has also sought that the clause for submitting the existing registration certificate be waived for the dealers who have filed their fact sheet and be asked to submit an affidavit.



Traffic cops misbehave with NRI, inquiry on
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, January 13
Overzealous Chandigarh Traffic Police personnel went overboard allegedly in a drunken state late last night and misbehaved with a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) and his family near the Sector 40 and 41 intersection. After trying to find a fault on various counts, a constable and his superior, an ASI, finally issued a challan for apparently no fault. On the basis of a complaint at the police headquarters an enquiry has been initiated into the affair.

The NRI was stopped and reprimanded for having alloy wheels in his car. After the NRI refused to accept that there was anything wrong with having alloy wheels, the traffic policemen started questioning him about the antecedents of other occupants of the car. When they were told that the woman in the car was the NRI’s wife, the traffic policemen issued a challan for not wearing seat belt.

Today, Mr Yadwinder Singh, who lives in the USA and is currently on a visit to Chandigarh, lodged a formal complaint against Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Tilak Raj at the police headquarters in Sector 9 here. Mr Dinesh Bhatt, Superintendent of Police (SP) (Operations) after going through the complaint initiated an inquiry into the incident.

Mr Yadwinder Singh alleged in his complaint that he was coming from Sector 9 along with his wife and two female family friends. The policemen stopped their car and the constable on duty asked his wife, who was driving the car, to show her driving licence. When asked the reason, the constable told them to see his senior officer. Mr Yadwinder Singh went to the ASI along with his wife, but the officer talked to them in an abusive manner.

Mr Yadwinder Singh further alleged that the ASI told them that they had alloy wheels in their car, which was a violation. On which they told him that they were not aware about the violation and would change the wheels if they had been warned earlier about it. To which the ASI used abusive language and said it was not Canada or the USA where people were first warned and would teach them a lesson by sending them to jail and impound their car if they argue with him. The policemen went to the extent of humiliating him by asking him to stand properly.

“Following this some people gathered at the spot. They finally issued a challan for not for wearing a seat belt instead of the alloy wheels for which we were stopped initially”, said Mr Yadwinder.

The in-charge of the internal vigilance cell of the UT Traffic Police, Sub-Inspector Jaswinder Kaur, said the inquiry had been marked to her.



Space design contest gets under way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Second Annual Asian Regional Space Settlement Design Competition got of to a start here today, with eight teams including one from Malaysia, participating in the event. The winning team would be going to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration base in Florida in July to participate in the global finals.

The participants, students of classes X-XII, were required to give out their perception on design and launch of a space colony capable of accommodating 14,000 people.

The teams from Vivek High School, Chandigarh, Sekolah Sri Garden, Malaysia, Space Architects, Hyderabad, Calcutta International School, Kolkata, Arcane Quest Patiala, Apeejay School, Jalandhar, Amity International School, Delhi, and Aitchison College, Lahore, have qualified for the regional finals. The event is being organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India.

The team from Lahore had expressed its inability to come here so the next team in line, Odern School, Lucknow, was called in. As many as 55 teams from 28 Asian countries had sent in their project reports which were evaluated by a team of experts before the teams were shortlisted.

The judges for the regional finals here, the results of which will be declared on January 15, include Anita Gale, Dick Edwards (both engineers with Boeing in USA), Prof B.N. Raghunandan, Chairman, Department of Aerospace, Indian Institute of Bangalore, Dr Vijay Gupta, Director Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and Dr V. Rao Aiyagiri (Head, SERC, Department of Science and Technology).

Each team comprises 12 students and two advisers. Two teams have been clubbed to form a space company which will present a project each. Severals talks and presentations were given by experts today. The main competition will begin tomorrow.

The event was inaugurated by the Scientific Adviser to Chief of the Air Staff, Dr R.C. Sharda, who is an alumnius of PEC. He spoke on the future aspects of aviation. The chairman of the competition’s organising committee, Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal, discussed emerging challenges in space exploration.



General Nakai laid to rest with service honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Lieutenant General J.S. Nakai, one of the oldest officers settled in the city, passed away yesterday. He was 85 and had been ailing for some time. His mortal remains were cremated with full service honours.

A large number of relatives and well-wishers paid their last respects to the departed soul. A wreath was laid on behalf of officers and ranks of the Western Command by Brig H.S. Sandhu. A ceremonial guard reversed arms while buglers sounded the last post. He is survived by his wife Lakhinder and son Robin.

General Sandhu was commissioned into the British Indian Army in 1942 and saw action in Burma during World War-II. Though he was initially from 3 Sikh, he was later transferred to the artillery. He was posted as an instructor at the Indian Military Academy in 1947-48, when the first two courses were undergoing training there.

He commanded 12 Field Regiment at Ferozepore and later the 23 Artillery Brigade and then an infantry brigade. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, his brigade was deployed in the Lahore sector. He served as chief of Staff of 33 Corps in the east during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He also had a stint as the GOC of 15 corps in Srinagar. He retired in 1979 after a 4-year tenure as GOC-in-C of the Central Command. He was decorated with the Param Vishishth Seva Medal.

According to his son, he ventured into poultry farming after hanging up his uniform and set up a farm near Agra. He settled down in the city about 15 years ago.



IAF prepares 25-year technology roadmap
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

R.C. Sharda
Dr R.C. Sharda

Chandigarh, January 13
The Indian Air Force (IAF} has prepared a 25-year technology roadmap to identify its technological requirements to cater to the roles it is perceived to play in a fast changing and fluid geo-political environment in the coming years.

"The roadmap is ready and it will be submitted to the government within a week," Dr R.C. Sharda, Scientific Adviser to the Chief of the Air Staff, said. "It lists out the IAF's technological requirements in the present, near-future and long-term time-frames and ways to fulfil them," he added.

The roadmap is different from the IAF's 15-year perspective plan that was finalised recently. Dr Sharda was here to inaugurate the Asian Regional Space Settlement Design Competition, being organised for students.

Dr Sharda said the IAF was considering investing $ 2 billion for the development of a fifth generation fighter in collaboration with Russia. It would be in the category of the American F-35 stealth fighter aircraft. "The planning is at an advanced stage. A lot of design and development work will be done in India," he said.

"The IAF may go in for about 200 such aircraft, with Russia buying another 200 aircraft. A similar number may be sold to other countries to generate resources," he added.

According to the roadmap, development and induction of hypersonic aircraft and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) would be the IAF's priority over the next 5-10 years. "A lot of work has already been done in the field of hypersonic aircraft," Dr Sharda said. "Given the technological advancements in the battlefield, the IAF simply has to go in for hypersonic aircraft.

There is no other way out," he added. Hypersonic aircraft fly in speed envelope of Mach 5 - 10 and at altitudes greater than 1 lakh feet.

The IAF was also looking at inducting long endurance UCAVs, which could remain airborne for 2-3 days, fly at very high altitudes to remain out of sight but descend to carry out combat missions if required to do so.

Dr Sharda said that old variants of the MiG series would be phased out over the next few years."The MiGs would be replaced with the light combat aircraft,Tejas,of which 20 have been ordered by the IAF", he said. "If the development of the Kaveri engine and the multi-mode radar is successful, the IAF may go in for 200 LCAs", he added. He said although the Aeronautical Development Agency had gone in for foreign collaboration to develop the Kaveri engine, installing a foreign engine on the LCA was not an option.

During the 15-25 year phase of the roadmap, the IAF would be looking at miniature UAVs and developing an innovative aircraft- propulsion system to replace the present-day gas turbine engines as hydrocarbon fuel would be a major issue. Also on the agenda were manned as well as unmanned re-usable hyper-planes, nano-technology-based devices, futuristic missiles and development of certain specific technologies.



Israel helps Army aviators fly in the dark
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Army's helicopters are now set to fly in the dark. Its fleet of Cheetah light-utility helicopters is being equipped with Israeli night vision goggles (NVGs). This would enable the Army undertake heli-borne operations at night in the operational areas, particularly Jammu and Kashmir.

''We certified the night-vision goggles last year and the fleet modification has now been initiated," Mr R.C. Sharma, Director, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), here said. "At present, only a few Cheetahs with NVGs are operational and others are expected to be modified over the next few months," he added. Though the NVGs have been supplied by Israeli Aircraft Industries, these are of the American origin.

The helicopters are being modified at various Army Aviation Corps bases. The Indian Air Force is reported to have a separate programme to upgrade its fleet of Cheetahs while the chopper's upgraded version, the Cheetal, which recently entered service, already has integrated NVGs and surveillance equipment.

A large number of the Army's Cheetahs are also being upgraded to Cheetal configuration, which incorporates a more powerful engine and a greater payload.

Earlier, a four-member team comprising representatives of the RCMA, the Army Aviation Corps, the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers and the Directorate-General, Aeronautical Quality Assurance, had visited Israel to evaluate the performance of the equipment and airworthiness and work out the modifications.

Mr Sharma, who took over as the RCMA Director in August, said that certain modifications to the Cheetah's cockpit had to be carried out. The intensity of the light emitted in the cockpit as well as that emitted by external lights on the airframe had to be made compatible with the functioning parameters of the NVGs. Once the Cheetah fleet is modified, the Army is expected to incorporate similar capabilities on its fleet of Chetak helicopters.

Unlike Cheetahs, Chetak choppers have anti-tank missile capability. They are also bigger and have more payload capacity. The RCMA also recently certified incorporation of NVGs on the IAF's Mi-17 helicopter fleet.

Cheetahs form the bulk of the Army Aviation Corps' fleet, with about 120 machines being operated in the reconnaissance and observation role.



My uncle, the General
Harish Dhillon

Lieut-Gen J.S. Nakai

It was almost sixty-five years ago. My mother was suffering from an advanced condition of tuberculosis and lived permanently in the sanatorium at Jubar. She was also in an advanced state of pregnancy — she was expecting me.

Tuberculosis was considered highly infectious and medical opinion decreed that the baby should be carried away as soon as he was born. The person deputed for this task was my mothers’ younger brother, Jagdishwar Nakai, a handsome strapping, young man, waiting for his call to join the army.

In due course I was born and he carried me to a safe environment. He went on to join the army and over the years he rose by dint of his honest hard work to the rank of a Lieutenant General, and army commander and almost became the first Sikh chief of the Indian Army. But that is another story. Fifty years later, he invited me to revisit the place of my birth. The sanatorium had now become a watch factory and the erstwhile wards had been converted into staff accommodation. But his memory was clear and, after an initial hesitation, he found the place.

“How?” I asked.

“It was simple. I used to sit here every day waiting for you to be born and while I waited I would look up at that little hill where a pretty girl worked at her tomato fields.”

We teased him about holding on to this memory, but he didn’t really need to because he had married the most beautiful woman I have seen in my life.

And a week ago I went to see him in the critical care unit in Fortis. He did not recognise me. But I stood and smiled down at him.When it was time to leave, I kissed his forehead and as I turned I felt a tug at my hospital cloak. My heart gave a lurch but when I looked back, in true Hindi film style, it was only a hook which had caught my cloak.

I felt a deep chill go up my spine and I longed with ever fiber of my being for his strong arms to hold me against his broad chest again, to feel the comfort and warmth I must have felt as a baby all those long years ago when he had carried me from a world of sickness and death to a world of health and given me the hope of life. He is now gone now, but the memory of his numerous acts of kindness and love remains in the heart of all of us who knew him.



Bharti gets five acres 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Chandigarh Administration has approved the allotment of 5 acres to Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited in the second Phase of the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), making Bharti the second major company after Wipro to be part of the second Phase of the RGCTP.

The Administrator, Gen S.F.Rodrigues (Retd), has approved the allotment as per the Chandigarh Information Services Park Rules to Bharti, the company that owns Airtel.

The second Phase of the RGCTP consists of 125 acres for IT companies, comprising 70 acres for allotment, besides green spaces. The Technology Habitat being developed by the Administration through the Chandigarh Housing Board consists of another 125 acres with non-IT facilities.

This is in addition to the 123 acres already part of the RGCTP Phase I and which has been allotted to 10 IT companies, including Infosys and DLF Infocity Chandigarh Limited.

Phase III of the RGCTP is being planned over another 250 acres, following immense interest received by the Department of IT, Chandigarh Administration, from more Indian and foreign IT companies. Adequate planned infrastructure is being provided to cater to the requirements of the occupants of the RGCTP.

Bharti is expected to set up a state-of-the-art software development, Back Office-cum-Telecom Services campus, at the RGCTP Phase II, which would provide high-level employment to a large number of telecom experts, engineers and other professionals in the near future.

Bharti is expected to begin construction shortly after the formal allotment and sanction of building plans. This would give a big boost to the telecom infrastructure in the city and its back office operations will provide tremendous employment opportunities to the youth .

Ancillary-level employment in large numbers would also be available as a result of the advent of such companies to the RGCTP.

In Phase I, which has already been accorded Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status by the Government of India, the Department of IT, Chandigarh Administration, has recently sought applications for four more build-to-suit sites, following the successful allotment of nine such sites to eligible companies earlier.

A total of 25,000 professionals are expected to find employment at the RGCTP within the next three years. The Prime Minister had inaugurated the RGCTP in September 2005, following which 500 professionals have already started working there and another 2500 are expected to be added by June this year.



NRI tourism facilitation cell set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
To facilitate the visiting Non-Residents Indians and those who are planning to visit the city from different countries across the world, the Chandigarh Administration has set up an NRI tourism facilitation cell in the Department of Tourism.

The cell embarks upon promoting Chandigarh tourism among NRIs by highlighting the means of stay in the city and encourage them to visit nearby places. They will be provided with comprehensives packages to visit nearby places of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Uttaranchal.

Similarly, facilitation permissions and other clearances required for visits by NRIs and their families to the architectural monuments like Capital Complex which are otherwise open through special permissions will also be provided in the cell.

The objective of establishing this cell is also to highlight rural tourism among NRIs so that they along with their families can experience rural culture and promote medical tourism among them and can also avail of the abundant medical facilities available in Chandigarh. It will also provide help to facilitate their travel to and from Chandigarh. 



Voluntary disclosure plan
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
The Haryana Power Utilities (HPU) has decided to re-introduce the voluntary disclosure scheme for unauthorised load. The scheme will remain operational for a month from January 16 to February 15.

An official press note said the scheme was meant for domestic, non-domestic and tubewell consumers in the state for declaring unauthorised load to get it regularised without paying penalty.

The consumers of domestic and non- domestic categories would be required to deposit consumption security and the usual formalities.

The panel has also decided to provide quality power. A comprehensive plan has been formulated for construction of 33 new substations and augmentation of 84 existing substations during the current financial year with an investment of Rs 186 crore.



NSUI burns effigy of Amar Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The National Students of India today burned an effigy of Mr Amar Singh, general secretary Samajwadi Party, for using abusive language, against Ms Sonia Gandhi. Activists led by Mr Nitin Goyal, president of the NSUI, raised slogans against Mr Amar Singh and burnt his effigy.

Addressing the gathering Mr Goyal said the language used by Mr Amar Singh was unacceptable. Mr Sumit Chawla, general secretary of the Chandigarh Youth Congress, said Mr Amar Singh was a petty leader who was indulging in “ cheap” politics to gain publicity.



Autorickshaw drivers challaned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
The traffic police has launched a drive against autorickshaw drivers flouting traffic rules and issued challans to 283 such violators in the past two days. Sources in the traffic police said the police issued challan to 173 autorickshaw drivers for non-functional meter, overcharging, overloading and other violations during the four-hour drive on Thursday. Six autorickshaws were also impounded.



Celebrations at Press Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Chandigarh Press Club will celebrate Lohri on January 14. The highlight of the evening will be a bumper tambola and the screening of the comedy film, “Jeejaji”, directed by Jaspal Bhatti. 



‘Black’ Lohri for Sec 40 residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Even as the city celebrated Lohri with  enthusiasm, it was a “black” Lohri for residents of Sector 40-C and D here.
According to information, there was no power supply in the area since 3 pm, putting the residents to a lot of inconvenience. To compound the problem, power department officials failed to address their queries despite repeated phone calls.



Rikhy cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Surjit Singh Rikhy, President of the Income Tax Appellate Bar Association, who died last night, was cremated here this afternoon. He was suffering from cancer.
Earlier, the Tribunal headed by Mr M.A. Bakshi, Vice-Chairman, held a condolence meeting. All members of the Tribunal and the staff attended the funderal. Also present at the cremation ground were bureaucrats, doctors, technocrats, layers and political and social workers.



Una resident held for carrying poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
The police today arrested a resident of Una for allegedly carrying 10 kg of poppy husk.
According to sources, Harpal Singh of Una was nabbed at the Sector 17 ISBT this afternoon. A search led to the seizure of 10 kg of poppy husk. A case has been registered.

Motorcycle stolen: Mr Saurav Chauhan of Sector 22 has lodged a complaint with the police that his motorcycle was stolen from Nehru Park, Sector 22, yesterday.

In another incident, Mr Dalip Singh of Nayagaon reported to the police that his scooter was stolen from the Grain Market, Sector 26, on January 9.

Two cases of theft have been registered.

Six gamblers held: The police has arrested six persons from various parts of the city for allegedly indulging in gambling.

The police arrested Satinder Kumar, Jai Ram, Anil Kumar and Parmod Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony and recovered money from them.

Vijay Kumar of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, and Rajinder Kumar of Mauli Complex were also arrested for gambling.

Two cases have been registered under the Gambling Act.



Body of man found near Naya Gaon

Chandigarh, January 13
The body of an unidentified man in his mid-thirties was found near Rajindra Park this morning. The police has ruled out any foul play, saying the body bore no injury marks. According to the police, information was received this morning that a body was lying in the park near the Naya Gaon Khudda Ali Sher village road. The police believes that the man was an addict, who died in the cold. Later, the body was shifted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.— OC



Theft in Sector 2 residence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
Burglars broke into a house in Sector 2 here and decamped with cash and jewellery worth thousands of rupees.
Mr Anand Lawrance, an official with Verka, left for Roorkee along with his family on Wednesday. When he returned on Thursday morning, he found the locks broken and the house ransacked.



Allahabad Bank drive for NPA accounts
Our correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
Allahabad Bank has launched a special drive for settlement of tiny non-performing assets (NPA) accounts belonging to agriculture sector, various government-sponsored cases, artisan village and cottage industry and small ISB sectors. The NPA’s are being cleared up to Rs 25,000.

According to Mr V.K. Chawla, AGM, Allahabad Bank, Chandigarh Zone, the cluster settlements camps in all branches of the banks are being held till January 31 to wipe out NPA under the above mentioned categories. He added that the scheme was getting encouraging response from borrowers and during the last week more than 100 small NPA borrowers had been relieved of their debts.



Biz Clips

The Bank of Baroda, Chandigarh Region, is arranging for collection of coins and adjudication of soiled/mutilated notes on January 18 and 19. Mr M.L. Ohal, Assistant General Manager, said while one camp was being organised at Raipur Khurd and Dosarka (Ambala- Jagadhri road), the others would be organised at Amloh, Sri Bhaini Sahib and Ramidi branches on January 19. TNS

LOANS: The State Bank of Patiala’s main branch at Kalka will extend loans for earnest money against the scheme announced by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for residential plots for various towns in Haryana. Mr S.C. Dhall. TNS


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