C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robbers strike at Sector 44 oil station
Chandigarh police tightens security
Our Correspondent

The UT Police’s crime branch today arrested a 27-year-old youth from a picket near the Sector 43 Scooter Market who was allegedly carrying a countrymade revolver and two cartridges. Sources said Anshu Sahay, alias Anshul, of Dadu Majra Colony was riding a motorcycle (CH-01-X-9365) when he was stopped by cops on suspicion. He was booked under the Arms Act. On the basis of preliminary investigation, the police said he was not linked with the robbery.

Chandigarh, February 6
Three unidentified persons armed with a countrymade pistol and sword assaulted and robbed three salesmen of the Sector 44-D-based Shiv Filling Station (Indian Oil) of over Rs 4000 late last night.

The salesmen fought back. Two of them were injured when attacked by a sword. The robbers fled when some bus drivers came to the petrol station after the employees raised an alarm.

The incident has put a question mark on police functioning as the employees allegedly rang up the police, but did not get a response in time. The employees at the petrol station alleged that the police was immediately informed about the incident, but it took at least 20 minutes to reach there. The police claims it reached the spot within minutes.

The employees said they had to make three phone calls to the police. Denying the allegation, the DSP (South), Mr K.I.P. Singh, maintained that the police reached the spot within four minutes of receiving the information. The police was informed about the incident at 2.35 am and it immediately launched a search operation in the area.

The injured are Uttam Singh, Pardeep Kumar and Surinder. Uttam Singh sustained head injuries while Pardeep was injured on his hand. Uttam Singh received at least eight stitches on the head. The two were rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital from where they were discharged after first-aid.

Giving details of the incident, one of the salesmen, Mr Pardeep Kumar, said three persons armed with a pistol and a sword gained entry after scaling the rear boundary wall of the petrol station at 2.15 am.

The robbers attacked one of the employees sitting outside and forcibly took him inside where the other employees were working. They demanded keys of the safe. When the employees resisted, they were attacked with a sword. In the process, Uttam Singh sustained head injuries and Pardeep suffered injuries on his hand.

In his complaint to the police, Uttam Singh alleged that the robbers took away Rs 4,905 from Pardeep. The employees at the petrol station said when the robbers demanded keys of the safe, Uttam Singh attacked one of them with a chair. The others too mustered courage and the robbers fled.

The salesmen raised the alarm when they saw drivers of buses parked near the petrol station. The robbers escaped. A case of robbery has been registered.

On the basis of the description provided by the complainants, sources in the Sector 34 police station said the accused seemed migrant labourers and were aged between 25-30. The police was making sketches of the accused, said a senior police officer.

A senior police officer said night patrolling had been intensified in the city following the incident and special nakas set up at the various important points in the city.



Bypass to Pinjore, Kalka, Parwanoo soon
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
The Ministry for Road Transport and Highways proposes to delink the four-laning of the most congested stretch of the Zirakpur-Shimla National Highway between Zirakpur-Parwanoo from the National Highway Development Programme-Phase III.

With this delinking, work on four-laning of this stretch on the NH 22 and creating a bypass to the towns of Pinjore, Kalka and Parwanoo, would be taken up soon. The four-laning of highway between Parwanoo and Shimla will be taken up later.

Officials in the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) informed TNS that the delinking of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch of this highway had been discussed at various meetings with senior officials of Haryana.

“We propose to begin construction for a bypass to these towns at the earliest. The four-lane 14.34 km-long bypass will be constructed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis,” informed a senior official.

A feasibility study for the highway was done more than three years ago. The project to construct an alternative bypass to Pinjore-Parwanoo has been in the pipeline for long in order to decongest this stretch till Parwanoo.

This proposed bypass has its take off point at Mallah, just before Yadvindra Gardens in Pinjore, and after passing through Ghatiwala, Kahanguwala and Tipra, it will meet the NH-22 beyond Parwanoo.

The bypass had hit a roadblock after the Western Command authorities at Chandimandir pleaded that the alignment of the NH 22 be shifted and the highway be constructed along the Ghaggar river behind the Chandimandir cantonment.

The defence authorities reasoned that a highway beyond the cantonment was necessary from the safety point of view of the defence establishment.

They also said that a highway running through the cantonment affected the smooth movement of Army vehicles. It was then proposed to have a four-laned highway with the takeoff point near Dera Bassi in Punjab to the Panchkula-Naraingarh National Highway and a straight alignment along the hills towards Parwanoo.

However, because of the prohibitive cost of constructing a new highway, it is now proposed to have a four-laned elevated highway between old Panchkula and Chandi Mandir after allowing at least two underpasses between the two sides of Chandi Mandir cantonment.



45 per cent UT voters without I-cards
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
At least 45 per cent voters in one of the most literate cities of the country are without identity cards. Official sources said till December 31, 2005, only 3,16,613 out of 5,63,610 voters had got their voter cards. The I-cards can be important documents for identity while seeking admissions in educational institutes, proving residency, telephone connections, passports and at several other official and even non official places.

The UT Administration has received a communication from the election office to ensure cent per cent coverage of the city population in issuing the I-cards. Owing to lack of response to repeated messages by the election office in seeking public cooperation, the UT Election Department has launched a door-to-door survey in the city.

Confirming the development, a senior official of the Chandigarh Adminis-tration said: “We have began the process of covering the entire population of the city by going right to their doorstep starting from Sector 20 onwards. We are hopeful of finishing the drive in the entire city by the middle of this year”.

Mr Krishna Kalia, a resident of Sector 20, “Said the list of the UT needs to be updated because several names of current inhabitants are missing”. Officials say that the lists will be soon updated.

The official said: “The public must be aware of the fact that every eligible citizen is expected to be in possession of his I-card. Although the process started in about 1998, a vast majority of the city population has not got their photo I-cards.”

The I-card now can be used for all government schemes as a tool for identity. The card is also a proof of residency which is put to use in several official documents and even in private jobs like admission in schools and for getting phone connections. The card can also be used for securing passport and licences for driving.”

Another election official of the UT said: “We have covered a majority of the population in Sector 20 under the drive. We have also started work on populations in Sectors 21, 22, 23 and 24. We visit the houses and a team later is sent to click photograph at the convenience of the inhabitants. The cards are delivered at their houses.”



PU plans scholarships for college students
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Panjab University is all set to introduce scholarships for students studying in its various affiliated colleges. A recommendation to this effect was made by the standing committee on college development and would be considered for approval by the College Development Council (CDC), which is to hold its annual meeting here tomorrow.

Sources said scholarships worth over a lakh rupees have been proposed to be disabursed annually among poor students with potential for excellence in academic or sports and for the disabled.

The committee had recommended that a central facility for campus placements, especially for rural colleges, be facilitated by the university. An amount of Rs 25,000 would be spent annually in organising an industry-colleges interface.

Members of the CDC will meet tomorrow to pass the annual budget too. Sources said various heads of expenditure, including expenditure on providing 50 per cent fee concession to wards of college employees for NRI/ industry sponsored seats during their admission to Panjab university, would come up for discussion at the meeting.

Interestingly, the said expenditure head became a matter of controversy when a university fellow objected to this facility being given to wards of college employees.

He is said to have noted his observations on this expenditure head during a meeting of the standing committee last month.

However, highly placed sources said the fellow did not record his dissent on the issue but merely “objected” to the concessions to wards of college employees using the money collected from students of PU affiliated colleges.

Sources pointed out that almost Rs 27 lakh had been spent under this head for the years 2003-2004 and 2004- 2005. Another Rs 14 lakh had been passed by the CDC during its last meeting to be spent under this head during the year 2005-2006.

“The PU fellow who is objecting to this expenditure head is a member of the Senate, which passed this proposal three years ago. He had attended the relevant meeting. Why were these objections not raised then,” questioned a member of the CDC.

The CDC’s annual income is over Rs 30 lakh gathered by collecting Rs 25 per student per college per annum. This is half of what GNDU, Amritsar, and Punjabi University, Patiala, charges from students of affiliated colleges.

The Panjab University College Development Council will consider establishment of a “College House” at the university which would have a seminar hall and rest house facilities.



Chandigarh Calling

Does anyone care for ban on polybags

THE local administration seems to be fighting a losing battle against the hydra of non- bio degradable waste, especially polybags. The use of polythene bags has been banned in the city but it seems that the ban is just on paper because poly bags are still being handed over to shoppers all over the city without any hesitation. Whether it is upmarket shopping areas or less glamorous ‘apni mandis’ the ban is being flouted with equal impunity. The garbage bins and apni mandi sites are invariably clogged with these carry bags making the clean green status for the city a distant dream. In the absence of raids by the officials concerned to check the use of poly bags the shopkeepers seem to be in no hurry to exhaust their stock and replace it with eco friendly paper bags. There is also very little awareness about this ban among the vendors as most of them express ignorance when asked about it. If this ban has to become successful then every resident has to make a conscious effort and refuse to accept such carry bags while shopping and make the shopkeepers aware of official directions in this regard.

Dedicated to forests

Ajay Sehgal
Ajay Sehgal

The essence of Chandigarh runs in the blood of Ajay Sehgal and he has dedicated his life to forests. A UP cadre Indian Forest Services (IFS) officer, Ajay Sehgal was conferred upon with a PhD in the faculty of engineering and technology by Panjab University this week.

His study has already been globally appreciated and is on “Impact of Engineering Interventions on the Soil Management taking Vegetational Analysis as the Basic Indicator”. His main thrust is that while planning any project give ecology, instead of economic consideration, its due.

Sehgal’s research on the blend engineering interventions for environmental sustainability through ecological approach has been appreciated international organisations such as the World Conservation Union, Worldwide Fund for Nature and Natural Resources, United States — Asia Environmental Partnership Programme, Canadian International Development Agency and also the Global Biodiversity Forum.

His research is that rising population and shrinking of natural resources is the first challenge of the new millennium before the world, which needs to be addressed on priority. Besides, the degradation of top fertile soil and erosion on account of water has been a major worry in India. The work of Sehgal has brought into focus that ecological evaluation is the only parameter for sustainable development. His study also demonstrates how “ecological backlash or ecological boomerang” could be avoided if at the time of conceptualising the programme, ecology, instead of economic consideration, is given its due.

Sehgal has a brilliant academic record behind him. He has been a scholarship holder throughout his studies apart from being a national scholarship holder.

He aspires to bring into practice in his profession, the academic knowledge that he acquired during his research tenure so that mankind could be benefitted in general and India in particular.

‘Magnetic’ powers

Power acts like a magnet and transcends all barriers. This was more than evident at the felicitation ceremony of the new Minister of State for Finance and the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, at the Rock Garden the other day.

The ceremony-cum-cocktail party organised by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal(CBM) saw the “prominent traders” throng the venue by dozens cutting across party lines.Not only that, a substantial number of “shrewd” traders could be spotted introducing their near and dear ones to the new minister, who happens to hold the important portfolio of finance.

The traders’ leaders competed with each other to shower adjectives on the new minister. However, both on and off the record,the leaders conceded that the minister would come to their rescue and solve pressing problems of the trading community, which they claimed, played a major role in Mr Bansal’s victory.

Being traders we have to be at the right side of the political leaders in the era of globalisation and liberalisation to face the challenges thrown by multinational companies (MNCs), quipped a trader.

Well, how much the straight-forward and no-nonsense minister obliges the powerful trading community only time will tell.

Wooing customers

With the winter season on its last leg, city residents, it seems, are on a shopping spree. The inviting discounts are wooing customers of all ages and items are selling like hot cakes. The marriage season, too, is in full swing, further prompting people to shop till they drop. Be it shoe shops or readymade garments shops, branded or unbranded items, purses or showpieces—-everything is on “sale” in the city.

While these “seasonal” sales are drawing big crowds, there’s a flip side to the sale story of the city. Posters pasted on show windows proclaiming “60 per cent off” are not offering that much discount. While that discount is available on very limited stock, the others really have only upto 25 per cent to 30 per cent discount.

Moreover, “sale” posters now don’t ever seem to come off with shopkeepers always on the lookout for an occasion to offer discounts and offer some kind of incentive to shoppers round the year to ensure their sales don’t dip during lean periods.

Contributors: Geetu Vaid, Ajay Banerjee, Pradeep Sharma, Geetanjali Gayatri.



Stalemate over new bus routes persists
CTU, Roadways meeting on Feb 9
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
The stalemate between Haryana Roadways and the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) over plying of 16 new buses to the township under the latter’s Grid System is likely to continue. The meeting between the two to sort out the issue scheduled for today was postponed.

The 16 new buses introduced on city routes between Chandigarh and Panchkula as part of the Grid System introduced by the CTU was discontinued last week.

Haryana Roadways had protested that the Chandigarh Administration had not decided on a joint timetable with Haryana before introducing the new bus routes on January 23.

After the Haryana Roadways, too, introduced a new bus route from Sector 21 here to the PGI, Chandigarh, their bus was impounded by the Chandigarh authorities for plying on an illegal route. Following this, the Haryana Roadways refused to allow any of these 16 new buses to ply in Panchkula.

The meeting with the CTU authorities was scheduled to be held today, but was postponed till February 9. However, during an inter-departmental meeting, officials of the Haryana Roadways demanded that as in the case of Chandigarh, where the Haryana Roadways buses were allowed to ply only till the ISBT at Sectors 17 and 43, the CTU buses, too, should be allowed to ply till the Panchkula bus stand alone.

“We have 32 buses for the city routes, which can ferry passengers to different destinations from the Panchkula bus stand,” they said.

The officials asked senior officers in the Transport Department, Haryana, to ensure that a joint timetable was worked out between the two transporters.

They also demanded that at any bus stand there should be just one counter for buses going to a particular destination.

“At ISBT in Sector 17, the CTU has set up its own counter for bus service to Panchkula near the unloading counter for passengers, while the Haryana Roadways has been given a counter far away. Thus, most of the passengers take the CTU buses,” they rued.



“Deathtraps” at people’s doorstep
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Residents of the Modern Housing Complex (MHC), Mani Majra, and adjoining areas are virtually living on the edge of “deathtraps”.

For the past over one week, the alleged careless digging by a private telecom provider to lay telephone cables has put the residents to inconvenience, besides endangering lives.

In fact, the residents’ problem is compounded with the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) apparently not having any system to monitor the filling up of trenches.

What has irked the residents is the fact that they are forced with this problem despite Mayor Surinder Singh representing the township.

Scores of pits and trenches over 4 or 5 ft deep dug by the companies are proving a nightmare for the residents.

The MCC and the Telecom department has turned a blind eye to the “deathtraps” at their doorstep.

“The past one week has been a virtual nightmare for the residents, particularly children, as venturing out has become a risky affair,” said Mr Rajan Khetarpal, an advocate.

Mr Rajesh Sharma, a resident of nearby Rajiv Vihar, alleged that even walks during the morning and evening had become impossible. The pits and trenches pose a danger to two-wheelers too. With the functioning of streetlights leaving much to be desired, the area has become accident-prone.

Residents argued that there was no point in giving permission for digging up the whole complex. The company and the civic body should have ensured the filling up of a particular stretch before digging up the next stretch.

It may be recalled that the civic body granted permission to telecom providers for road cuts and digging pits for laying telephone cables.

However, there seems to be no system to monitor the filling up these pits and trenches.

MCC sources conceded that the civic body had received complaints about the dug up pits not being filled up by the private and public sector telecom companies. “Since the MCC did not have a system in place to ensure “timely” filling up of the pits, it responded to individual complaints only, corporation sources added.



Poonam’s husband refutes charges
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, February 6
The husband of Poonam, who died in a city hospital under mysterious circumstances on Saturday, refuted the allegations levelled by her family and said here today that the post-mortem reports would reveal the truth. The woman’s family held her husband responsible for her death and alleged that the victim was subjected to sexual abuse, which led to her death.

Denying the allegations levelled by the family of Poonam, her husband, Mr Manjit Singh, maintained that she was suffering from an ailment, which claimed her life.

The Delhi police failed to turn up even today despite being informed about the incident earlier by thee Chandigarh police. The Chandigarh police today handed over the body to the victim’s family after the post-mortem examination. The Chandigarh police had got a medico-legal case prepared in this regard.

Back in the hospital during the day, both families had unpleasant debates over the possession of the body. The victim’s family took her body to Patiala and cremated her there later in the day.

Mr Manjit Singh had come to the city along with her mother Neelam and other family members. His mother, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, said Poonam had been suffering from a disease and they had also got her treated.

She added that they lived in a joint family and one of the family members used to attend on Poonam and she was never left alone for a single moment.

She also said her son could never indulge in such things and the post-mortem reports would reveal the truth.

Nineteen-year-old Poonam had been admitted in the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) about three weeks ago.



Records of property dealers examined
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 6
The premises of at least two property dealers were checked by Income Tax officials here today.

The surprise checking led to tension among other property dealers in the town. A few offices of property dealers were found locked.

The officials, who carried out the checking most of the day, examined the records of the two property dealers. Some relevant documents were also reportedly taken away by the tax teams. The offices of these property dealers declined to entertain customers.

It is learnt that two teams of tax officials reached the premises located in HM houses in Phase VII around midday and continued their work till the evening. The teams were accompanied by police commandos.

The officials declined to comment on the raids. The assessees were also not available for comments.

Sources said that the Tax Department is carrying out a survey of property dealers who were said to be instrumental in getting land for various companies and big colonisers in the town.



Gandhi’s last words were ‘Ram Ram’: IPS officer
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Haryana IPS officer Rajbir Deswal, who worked at the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Government of India, has said Mahatma Gandhi died saying “Ram-Ram” and not “Hey-Ram” as is generally believed. He has based this on the FIR of the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case, registered with the Tughlak Road police station in Delhi.

Mr Deswal said, “Having worked with the Bureau of Police Research, I had an occasion to see the FIR. According to the statement of Nand Lal Mehta, the person who got the FIR lodged and is taken at its face value. It reads “…. Mahatmaji Ram-Ram kartey huye peechhey gir gaye….”

He further said the world knows Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi uttered “Hey Ram”, and these words were also inscribed at Raj Ghat, where the Mahatma was cremated, but actually what he uttered was ‘Ram-Ram”.

He further said while “Hey-Ram” might be a human explanation of ‘Oh God, what has happened!’, yet “Ram-Ram” was the submission of a saint to the will of the Almighty (Oh God, in Thy will is my peace: Thy will be done!), he explained.

This he said not only brought out the logic behind the real utterances, but in a way confirmed the sagacity, sereneness of temperament and spirituality, the elements the Mahatma was made up of, said Mr Deswal.

A controversy of sorts had erupted on Mahatma Gandhi’s 58th death anniversary on January 30 this year when a former personal assistant, Venkita Kalyanam, now 83, said the Mahatma died without uttering a single word after Nathu Ram Godse shot him. Various people had since come up with different explanations, but the most plausible was the one based upon the FIR mentioned above.

A city based lawyer, Mr Guneet Chaudhary, had told some media persons on the basis a copy of the FIR with him that the FIR mentioned the names of Gandhi’s associates, sisters and a couple of employees who were present at the time of the incident, but there was no mention of Kalyanam.

The said FIR is dated January 30, 1948, and bears 9.45 p.m as the time. Lodged at New Delhi’s Tughlak Road police station, it is written by assistant sub-inspector Dhalu Ram and is based on the statement of Gandhi’s close associate Nand Lal Mehta.

The FIR reads, “...suddenly a man, who was later identified as Nathu Ram Godse, took steps out of the crowd and fired three shots at Mahatmaji. Bullets hit him on the stomach and chest. The Mahatma fell down saying Ram-Ram...”

Kalyanam’s presence at the scene was now being doubted and he was not even made a prosecution witness.



Army’s rank and file to undergo major overhaul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The Army’s rank and file is in for a major restructure following a proposal to rationalise time-based promotions for personnel below officer rank. Shimla-based Army Training Command (ARTRAC) is carrying out an in-depth study on the subject.

Rationalising promotions would mean personnel below officer rank (PBOR) moving up the ranks in a shorter time spans. This would have a direct impact on the rank structure in units and other establishments as the number of personnel in each bracket would increase.

“ARTRAC is analysing how the implementation of such a policy would effect the management and functioning of units and establishments,” an officer said. “This would also require changes in the Army’s War Establishment (WE) and Peace Establishment (PE), which is now being worked out,” he added.

Consequent to the implementation of the A.V. Singh Committee report, service conditions for officers have improved, with officers up to the rank of lieutenant-colonel getting time-scale promotions in a shorter span of service. This resulted in the Army receiving a number of representations from PBOR, seeking similar benefits, sources said.

According to a letter written recently by Army Headquarters to ARTRAC on the subject, a long time interval for promotion causes disappointment among PBOR, which has adverse affect on their performance.

The Army introduced a system of assured career progression (ACP) to mitigate the problem, but it has not had the desired effect. According to Army Headquarters’ official spokesperson, ACP upgradation does not give promotion or enhanced status to PBOR.

According to the policy being worked out by the Additional Director-General, Personnel Services, posted in the Adjutant General’s Branch at Army Headquarters, the promotion time for PBOR is proposed to be standardised across all arms and services.

Under the proposed policy, a sepoy would be eligible for his first promotion after three years of service and could make it to havildar on completion of 10 years service.

Meanwhile, the Air Force is also working out a similar proposal for airmen and non-commissioned officers.



Fauji Beat
Pay Commission’s raw deal to soldiers

The 6th Pay Commission for the Central Government employees is likely to be constituted in the near future. This will cover both the civilian employees and the soldiers, despite there being wide disparities between their terms and conditions of service. To quote only one of these, a civilian employee retires at 60 while a jawan retires in his 30s. Yet, both have to complete 33 years of service to earn 50 per cent of their pay as pension, which a jawan cannot complete because of his early retirement. The result is that a jawan gets less pension than that of a peon of the Central Government.

Ex-servicemen have been pleading for a separate pay commission for the armed forces for more than decades now. If their feeble voice has not been heard, it is for the reason that they do not have any political clout.

In most other countries there is a separate pay commission for the defence forces. And in no other country, the soldiers’ pensions are the same as that of the civilian employees. Incidentally, at the time of partition, the armed forces personnel in India were getting over 75 per cent of their pay as pension as a compensation for their early retirement.

Since today’s serviceman is tomorrow’s ex-serviceman, it is the duty of the top brass to convince the government to grant him a higher pension.

Skewed promotions

When the Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal (then General) K.M. Cariappa was informed by his ADC that he (the ADC) was going for an interview, the late Field Marshal told him: “If you are informing me with the idea that you will get a special consideration, then you are mistaken”.

The Army has undergone a sea change since the Field Marshal’s days. Favouritism in promotions, especially at the higher levels, is making its presence felt by every passing year. The latest case reported is that of Maj-Gen Lakhwinder Singh who has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the denial of promotion to him to the rank of Lieut-Gen. He has quoted the cases of three Maj-Gens who have been promoted to Lieut-Gens by holding special review boards just before their retirement Lieut-Gen Raj Kadyan (retd) in his recent book has dwelt at length on the questionable part being played by the top brass, bureaucrats and politicians in the Army promotions.

This trend is causing disgruntlement among the senior ranks. No army, which corrupts its promotion system, can remain a cohesive and efficient fighting army. Nor it maintain high morale of its rank and file. Besides, if we continue to ignore merit in promotions and do not put an end to this pernicious practice, the Army will no longer remain apolitical.

The stables of equine breeding stud at Babugarh
The stables of equine breeding stud at Babugarh.

World’s largest stud

The Equine Breeding Stud (EBS) at Babugarh in UP, which was raised as Hapur Remount Depot in 1811, is the oldest unit of the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC). Spread over 2000 acres, it is self sufficient in its fodder requirements.

Being the largest in the world, it has created a name for itself by supplying horses and mules to the Army during both the World Wars. It had also provided a large number of mules to the Army during the 1962 and 1965 wars as also in the Kargil conflict.

The EBS has also been producing and raring sports horses like Hanoverians, show jumping horses, trooper horses and polo ponies. Its horses have been performing very well in the national and international equestrian events. Besides, the EBS supplies quality horses to the mounted units of the BSF, CRPs and state police forces.

Managed by more than a work force of 600, the unit is well equipped with a laboratory along with the facilities of X-Ray, ultra sound, physiotherapy and ICU.

— Pritam Bhullar



Shopkeepers protest against corpn drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Shopkeepers of the Dadu Majra market today protested against the working of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. They asked the corporation to clear the mud in the market that was affecting their business.

The shopkeepers said in December, the corporation had dug up the market area to put tiles. While the tiles had been put, the dug up mud was yet to be lifted, thus creating a problem for them. A few shopkeepers have even removed the mud to make way for their shops.

The shopkeepers said a delegation met the Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh, on January 30, and brought forward their problem to him. However, no action had been taken.

“We spoke to Senior Deputy Mayor Shyama Negi also, however, the corporation has not taken any action,” said Narinder Chaudhary, ex-district president, Yuva Morcha, BJP.



Meeting on taxi service today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The Chandigarh Administration is likely to finalise tomorrow the details of the local taxi service to be introduced in the city shortly. A meeting of four applicants for the intended contractual service is scheduled with the senior officials of the Administration tomorrow.

Reliable sources said in case the details of the service were finalised, the Administration might also sign up the eligible taxi service. Recently the Chandigarh Administration had decided to allow a special local taxi service in the city.

A special logo painted on a particular colour would be specified by the Administration to give a distinctive look to the service. The cabs were also expected to be fit with telephones for easier public availability on a call.

Initially the cabs would be operated from the specified stands only where the rent would be paid before hiring the service.

The railway station, the airport and the ISBT were some of the potential sites, the official said.

Another site with potential for the cab users had been identified as the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park.



Flights to city delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Flights to the city were today delayed by about half an hour each. Officials at the city airport attributed the delay to “no particular reason.”

The Jet Airways flight was late by about 20 minutes from its scheduled time of arrival of 1.40 pm, while the Air Deccan flight was half an hour late.

According to sources, the Indian Airlines flight was delayed by about 45 minutes from its arrival time of 1.50 pm.



Scare in Matour village over dog bite cases
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 6
A scare spread in Matour village here today after several children were reported to have been bitten by a dog suspected to be suffering from rabies.

It is reported that the female dog had earlier bitten its pups and other dogs. The children, most of whom were from poor families, were taken to the dispensary in the village from where they were referred to the Civil Hospital here.

Mr Harpal Chana, president of the Ramlila Committee of the village, has demanded proper treatment of the affected children apart from preventive measures.



PSEB staff hold rally
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 6
Employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board held a rally outside the main office here today against the policies of the management.

The rally was part of preparations for the two-day strike called by the state-level committee from February 15. The rally was held under the leadership of Mr Lakha Singh, president of the Mohali circle of the Technical Services Union (TSU) of the board.

Mr Vijay Kumar, president of the Mohali unit of the TSU, said the demands included scrapping of the Electricity Bill, 2003, and an end to moves to privatise the board.



Bank strike on March 9

Chandigarh, February 6
All banks in the country will observe a one-day token strike on March 9 to pressurise the government and the Indian Banks Association to restore appointments on compassionate grounds. This was stated by Mr Amar Singh, Secretary Officers Association, State Bank of Patiala. TNS



Urchin makes away with purse
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
A minor boy made away with a purse containing Rs 40,000 from a car parked in Sector 26 by distracting the attention of a woman sitting inside the car.

Ms Geeta Sudha of Sector 35 lodged a complaint that an urchin, aged about 13, decamped with her purse containing Rs 40,000 and other articles.

Vehicle stolen

Mr Daya Ram of Colony Number 5 reported to the police that his motorcycle (CH-03-M-7828) was stolen from his residence between January 27 and February 4. In another incident, Mr Gurwinder Singh of Phase IX, Mohali, filed a complaint with the police that his LML Vespa Scooter (CH-03-5642) was stolen from the Sector 22 Shastri Market on Sunday.



Woman duped of mangalsutra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
Two youngsters today duped a woman of her mangalsutra at her residence in Khudda Lahora village here on the pretext of solving her domestic problems with ‘divine powers’.

Sources at the Sector 11 police station said, Ms Sonia of Khudda Lahora reported to the police that two youngsters in their early twenties came to her residence.

They were carrying idols and asked the woman to make some offerings. She handed over to them Re 1. The conmen told her that her domestic life was in turbulence and asked her to pay them Rs 20 for a solution.

Thereafter, they chanted some hymns and asked her to put her mangal sutra on the platter before the idols. They told her that they would worship for her at Guga Mari and return but did not return.

Ms Sonia rang up her husband and informed him about the incident. The couple brought the matter to the notice of the police. A case has been registered.



Indian stock market has come of age: experts
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
As the sensex touched the five-digit mark today, the investment bankers, finacial analysts and investors in the tri-cities rejoiced the new high achieved in the history of the Indian economy.

The Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today created history by crossing the 10,000 mark, though briefly, with a massive gain of 262 points. It touched an all-time high of 10,002.83 at 3.15 pm, and then came down to close at 9,980.42, with a gain of 237.84 points. It took 15 years for the BSE Sensex in its journey from 1,000 to the 10,000 mark today.

City investors and financial analysts feel that the Indian stock market has now been put on the global map, and is comparable to the Dow Jones index, which had touched the five- digit Sensex a few years ago. It is an important psychological landmark, said Mr Rajesh Handa, a Panchkula-based financial planner. “The new high in the market is driven by liquidity because of a large inflow of domestic and global funds in the Indian market. If the corporate India continues with the present growth trajectory, we may see higher levels of growth,” he said. He, however, added that asset allocation was not just about the market growth, it was more about the investor. “Market levels cannot decide where you should put your money,” he cautioned.

Added Mr Krishan Goyal, chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, “The sensex has touched a historic level. It is a straight reaction of the growing Indian economy, and a real manifestation of the people’s confidence in the corporate sector”.

Investment advisers in the region feel that though there could be some correction under way, but the market had the potential to grow further. They feel that even if foreign institutional investors (FIIs ) were to pull out of the market (which was a vague possibility), domestic mutual funds would keep sustaining this growth. “The Indian success story will keep growing higher. Till February 3, foreign institutional investors had pumped in $ 3 billion in the Indian economy. Even the domestic mutual funds have raised Rs 9,000 crore in the past month and half. All this money has to come back in the market, which means that the sensex will rise further,” said Mr Chetan Gill, Investment Advisor with Standard Chartered Bank.

Financial planners, however, cautioned against risk taking by novice investors. Mr Balwinder Singh of Master Capital Services, Mohali, said that investors sold out their shares when the Sensex touched the 6,000 mark, and later when it touched the 7,000 mark. I would suggest that they be focussed on their financial goals and stick to safer investment in mutual funds.



Sahara to launch film channel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Sahara One, Media and Entertainment Limited will launch its new channel ‘Filmy’ on February 12.

‘Filmy’ will telecast three movies per day and film-based programmes will be telecast for the rest of the telecast hours.

The channel will indulge viewers in a mix of narrative and humorous programming, which, the channel claims as its key USP.

The channel has created three anchors to drive the programming formats.

‘‘We are upbeat about the way 'Filmy' looks and feels, and about its innovative content and style of presenting Hindi movies on television.

We are confident that the channel will help our network of entertainment business deliver even better on its promise of 'Entertaining India," says Sahara One Media and Entertainment Limited CEO Shantonu Aditya.


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