C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SC relief for city plot owners
Says Admin bound to give necessary facilities to allottees
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 5
In partial relief to hundreds of plot owners in Chandigarh, the Supreme Court has held that it was obligatory on the part of the government to provide necessary facilities to them for the full enjoyment of their property. However, it could not be a pre-condition for allotments.

Setting aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s February, 2002, judgement in the Shanti Kunj investment case holding that providing requisite amenities to the plot owners was a “condition precedent” to the allotment, the apex court remitted all disputes relating to the issue back to the high court with a direction that it should decide each case on merit on the question of amenities and imposition of interest ranging between 10 to 24 per cent as penalty for non-payment of instalments by the allottees.

“We make it clear that though it (facilities) was not a condition precedent but there is obligation on the part of the Administration to provide necessary facilities for full enjoyment of the same (property) by the allottees,” a Bench of Mr Justice B.N. Agrawal and Mr Justice A.K. Mathur said.

Since the verdict in the Shanti Kunj case was cited as precedent for deciding various identical cases coming before it by the high court, its verdicts in those cases were also overruled by the apex court, while allowing a bunch of petitions by affected plot owners.

The high court was asked to look into the report of a commission appointed by the apex court to examine the issue of lack of amenities while deciding the question of providing basic facilities to the plot owners afresh.

The dispute between allottees and the Chandigarh Administration arose when the Municipal Corporation started charging interest ranging between 10 per cent and 24 per cent as penalty form them for non-payment. The allottees had stopped making payments on the ground that the government had failed to provide basic facilities like roads, water, drainage and streetlights to them for proper use of the plots.

The high court in its judgement dated February 2, 2002, held that “providing amenities is a condition precedent to the payment of interest and penalty”. However, in the DLG builders case, it had given contrary findings holding that providing amenities was not “a condition precedent” to allotment.

Assailing such contradictory views taken by the high court in almost identical matters, the bench said, “This apparent contrary view has given rise to all the litigations before this court.”

The court said since in many cases full payment had been made by the allottees and in some others only two instalments were paid, the disputed facts, therefore, had to be dealt separately in each case. On the question of charging interest as penalty for non-payment, the apex court said that “shall depend on facts of each case to be examined by the high court”.

It, however, clarified that the matter was being remitted to the high court for limited purpose to see that in cases where facilities like roads, drainage, drinking water, sewerage and streetlights had not been provided, it might grant allottees some proportionate relief.

“We repeat again that in case the above facilities had not been granted, consider the grant of proportionate relief and, if the facilities have been provided then it will be open on the part of the allottees to deny payment of interest and penalty,” the court said. “So far as payment of instalments is concerned, this is a part of the contract and therefore, they are under obligation to pay the same,” the court added.



Screens to put brake on speed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, March 5
Rash drivers think twice before arguing with the police after being stopped for violating speed limits in the city. The traffic police has purchased two big display screens to show you the speed at which you were driving the vehicle. The effort aims at putting an end to arguments and disputes as regards speed of vehicles.

Sources said the device was being used for the past two days and over 100 challans had been issued for violating speed limits. Last night, 75 such offenders were challaned.

The device, fitted on a police interceptor vehicle, would let the offender know from a distance the speed at which he was driving.

The screens have been purchased at a price of Rs 2.15 lakh.

The SSP (Traffic), Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, said the devices could be used both for educational and challaning purposes. Besides bringing transparency in the police functioning, these would also caution the speedsters in advance.

The police would also do video recording for the purpose of evidence. A policeman would film the vehicle along with the display screen showing its speed.

As per the Motor Vehicle Act, the police has to provide proof to the erring driver that he was over speeding before issuing a challan to him.

A senior police official said, “The device will prove handy while dealing with VIP brats in the city. In case of a dispute, the films can be produced in the court of law. It becomes essential in a city like Chandigarh where almost every violator claims close association with bureaucrats, politicians or top brass of the Chandigarh or the Punjab Police.”



Stolen cars: two more cops arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 5
The Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police today arrested two more constables of the Punjab Police for their alleged involvement in selling stolen cars by forging documents. The cell had unearthed the racket by arresting a Punjab Police constable on yesterday.

Sources in the cell said a team of police officials arrested Palwinder Singh, a personnel security officer (PSO) of Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, an MLA from the Anandpur Sahib Constituency, and Kulwinder Singh posted at the police canteen in Sector 39. The police seized two Indigo cars from their possession.

During preliminary interrogation the accused revealed that they would make forged registration and insurance certificates of stolen vehicles. Other people were also involved. The police said it had got some vital clues about the kingpin of the gang.

The accused used to sell the cars in the Sector 7 car bazaar in Chandigarh and at other places.

Meanwhile, Constable Harwinder Singh, who was arrested yesterday, was today produced before a local court which remanded him in police custody till March 8.



PU contemplating 15 pc fee hike
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The Panjab University Syndicate would consider hiking the fee of certain professional courses being offered by the university. An across the board 15 per cent hike in fee has been suggested for chemical engineering and technology, food technology, MBA, B. Pharmacy, M. Pharmacy etc.

The syndicate members would consider recommendations of a committee constituted by the Vice- Chancellor that a 15 per cent increase should be made in fees and charges of all courses, except for those in the category of partially self-supporting programmes, in which case the fee structure is generally pre-set.

Committee members had felt that the fee structure for professional courses at the university was much lower as compared to the fee charges by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

Proposing a rationalisation of tuition fee, some members also held that education should not be subsidised so much that it lost its value. Giving an example of the vast difference between the fee structure of self-financing and other courses, a member pointed out that the university charged only Rs 5,000 per annum from a student of the three- year law course and charged Rs 70,000 per annum from a student of the five-year integrated law course, both offered by the university.

It was also brought to the notice of the members that while a 10 per cent hike in fee every year should be done, a final decision regarding this depended on the Syndicate and Senate members.

Some Syndicate members pointed out that the committee did not have enough representation of senators. The only senator of the committee, Dr Rabinder Nath Sharma, did not agree to the hike. He felt that new institutes which were partially self- financing were different from the earlier established departments. He added that the university should maintain a pro-student approach as many students did not belong to rich families and could not afford to take up these courses. He suggested that either there should be no increase in fee or only a 10 per cent hike should be made.

The syndicate would also consider the posting of male principals in women colleges across Punjab. The members felt that many of the women colleges were functioning without permanent principals since many women teachers did not have the adequate experience or qualification.

Syndicate members would meet on March 11 to consider passing the recommendations of the Academic Council.



SAD, BJP to contest poll jointly: Badal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 5
Former Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal today stated that the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party would jointly contest the next state elections.

Mr Badal was speaking to mediapersons after inaugurating a private school in Sector 69 here today. He alleged that the Congress government in the state had not fulfilled even one of the promises made in its election manifesto. Stating that he had questioned the Chief Minister on this in the Vidhan Sabha Mr Badal pointed out that the Chief Minister had no satisfactory answer to give.

Rebutting the government's claim regarding investment in the state, Mr Badal said there was nothing to show on the ground. "Show me the 10 lakh persons who have been given jobs by this government as they are claiming," he said adding that the government was misleading the state's populace.



Unique project for India, Pak children
Payal Pruthi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
This letter writing is certainly different. Dedicated to the cause of India-Pakistan amity, the `campaign is so simple it just might work'.
An inspiring project of `Friends Without Borders', (FWB) a group dedicated to allowing children to speak to each other, `heart-to-heart, across a sometimes troubled international boundary, thousands of school children across India are writing letters of friendship to children in Pakistan.

An initiative taken by John Silliphant and Mark Peters of FWB, the project is not about politics, but about people, small people. According to John Silliphant the project which is about friendship involves children who lack the biases that perpetuate conflict.

Started as an experiment to see what happens when this natural goodwill becomes a factor in international relations, as many as 10,000 letters written by school children were collected from Chandigarh alone during the trip made by John and Mark Jacobs in late 2005. To enthuse more and more children to participate and write to their counterparts in Pakistan, `Friends Without Borders' has begun airing a Public Service Announcement' on television which has been filmed in schools in and around Mumbai.

To enhance the campaign, the group also displayed the `World's Largest Love Letter' written in Urdu, Hindi and English as Camlin furnished the art materials used by the children. The group which has collected 30,000 letters so far now plans to hit the road with its `postal delivery service' headed for Pakistan in trucks donated by Mahindra and Mahindra. Several little girls being supported by Mahindra's Nanhi Kali project will also sign the letter to reach out to the little children in Pakistan.

The group plans state that the post will soon head north-west to Kutch, then north-ward to Amritsar following a route along India-Pakistan border. A small public event in Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh from where the Friends Without Borders team will leave for Lahore on foot carrying the `World's Largest Love Letter with them. Arrangements are also being made to present the letters to the Pak children at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. In addition to this the group will also donate tarpaulins to be used for constructing emergency shelters in the earthquake-ravaged areas.

Meanwhile, any child who wishes to write a letter can post it to Friends Without Borders, c/o Manav Sadhna, Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad 380027, Gujarat.



Renal failure patient  needs help
Tribune News Service

Jaswinder Singh
Jaswinder Singh

Chandigarh, March 5
It's been over a year since Jaswinder Singh's battle with poor finances  and poor health began. All of 18 years and a student of plus two, he suffered excruciating pain in his abdomen  last July.

"We are simple village people, uneducated and ignorant. We treated it like any other stomach ache but it showed no signs of improvement. After a couple of months somebody suggested we take him to the Government Medical College and Hospital. Here, the doctors listed out a number of tests," says Jaswinder's father, Sohan Singh.

Scared of the tests and worried at not having finances to stay put at the hospital for that long, the family brought him home and the story of self-medication to treat the stomach ache continued.

"Only a few months back we can to the PGI looking for a cure. The doctors here told us of his condition of chronic renal failure. We were not even aware that there was anything in the abdomen except a stomach. Shocked at the diagnosis, the next big question was to arrange Rs 2 lakh needed for the operation and for essential drugs post-surgery. So far, we haven't fared well," the father rues.

A vegetable vendor, he has been out of business for nearly a year owing to his son's illness. The family of five is making do with borrowing from neighbours, going to gurdwaras in search of donations to fund the dialysis of the boy and make both ends meet.

"Money is barely trickling in. We have knocked on all doors but we have no good news to share when we get together in the evening. We can only hope that magnanimous city residents will come to our rescue and help us out," the family says. Those willing to help can contact the family at 2041, Phase 2, Ram Darbar. 



Residents’ body flays CHB, HUDA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The commercial approach adopted by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and the Haryana Housing Development Authority (HUDA) came in for severe criticism at the executive committee meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) held here today.

The meeting, presided over by association chairman P.C. Sanghi, said both government organisations were earning huge profits by exploiting the current real estate boom, leaving the middle and lower income groups in the lurch.

The meeting decided to hold its general body meeting and elections at the Sector 47 Community Centre on April 16.

It also laid stress on the registration and regulation of rickshaws, rehris and autorickshaws and demanded restriction on the plying of the 52-seater buses on the inner roads of the sectors.

The members were also apprised about in-house discussions with the Mayor and the officials of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

They were also informed about the recommendations of the FOSWAC to the UT Administrator for the nominations of representatives of residents’ welfare associations to the wards committees and the setting up of terminal market for fruits and vegetables for the rehabilitation of the disadvantaged sections of society, a press note added.



Chandigarh residents not allowed to apply for posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Residents of Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, have been excluded from the eligibility criteria laid down by the Punjab Government while inviting applications for the posts of primary teacher in the state.

The advertisement inserted by the Director Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab yesterday, mentioned that “no appointments will be made from outside the district”. The candidates will be asked to provide proof of residence from the BDPO concerned in case of the rural areas and the executive officer concerned in case of the urban areas. It does not mention if residents of Chandigarh are allowed or not.

Unemployed teachers, who have done a two-year course in elementary teachers training (ETT) and reside in Chandigarh told TNS today that Punjab had granted recognition to the ETT course conducted by the Chandigarh Administration. However, the state had stopped the Chandigarh youth from applying for the said posts. They said Haryana also discriminated against them and did not allow the city youth to apply for posts in the state.



Welfare body celebrates annual day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 5
The annual day function of the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 12, was celebrated with much fanfare at the Community Centre, Sector 12, here today.
More than 200 children participated in fun games and athletic events. Mr V.A. Ghai, Assistant General Manager, State Bank of Patiala, was the chief guest while Wg. Cdr. H.L. Ratta, president of the association, presided over the function.

Games like banana race, three-leg race, 100-meter race, spoon and lemon race were organised for children. A musical-chair contest for women, and brisk-walk competition for senior citizens were also organised.

Other than sports, children enthralled the audiences with solo and group songs, a kal belia dance, Haryanavi and gidha dances. The winners in various categories are as follows.

Banana race: Jahanvi; 50-meter race: Sandeep; 100-meter race (boys): Amit; 100-meter race (girls): Radhika; three-leg race: Ojas and Deepak; lemon and spoon race: Ms Suman Jindal; and musical chair: Ms Sunita.

Senior citizens brisk walk: Mr V.K. Puri. 



Foundation day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
To celebrate the foundation day of the Computer Society of India, Chandigarh chapter organised a one-day workshop on "Multimedia and Applications".
While inaugurating the workshop at the Department of Computer Science and Applications, Panjab University, Chandigarh, the Chief Guest, Mr Vivek Atray, Joint Secretary and Director IT and Science and Technology, Chandigarh Administration, congratulated the society for conducting the workshop.

He highlighted the importance of Multimedia and the need for a Multimedia University. The four sessions included discussions on Multimedia applications, tools, educational video film production and 3D animation and entertainment.

The experts discussed the topics by giving relevant demonstrations and case studies. About 30 participants, including CSI members, and students attended the workshop.



ISKCON devotees take out procession
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
As part of the celebrations of the “appearance day” of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the local unit of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON) organised a nagar sankirtan here today. Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, copresident of the local unit, said a large number of devotees took part in the sankirtan.

The sankirtan procession started from Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36, here early in the morning and passed through various sectors. The devotees. chanting “Hare Krishna” danced to the tunes of kartal and mridanga.



Rights group to hold seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
With a view to spreading awareness about the human rights, the United Nations Human Rights Organisation will hold a national-level seminar in July. This was stated by Mr Ashok Bector, chairman of the organisation, here today. Mr Bector said the organisation would make concerted efforts to make every section of society aware of its basic human rights.

The organisation planned to bring out a monthly brochure highlighting various activities regarding the protection of the human rights. A committee comprising Mr T.R. Jain as patron-in-chief and Mr K.K. Thamen as the welfare officer had been constituted for this purpose, he added.



BKU plans march to Assembly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The Punjab unit of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) has planned a march to the Punjab Assembly when the budget is presented on March 7. Farmers of the state have been staging a dharna at the Matka Chowk here.

The BKU has also planned a protest demonstration in front of the office of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, here tomorrow. The general secretary of the BKU, Mr Balkar Singh Dakaunda, said the farmers would demand that none of the agriculturists be arrested by the Cooperation Department for outstanding dues of loans.



Kisan unions’ meeting on Tuesday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, which is supporting the agitation by the Bharti Kisan Union, today said that a meeting of all five kisan unions had been convened for Tuesday to take stock of the situation and intensify the agitation to seek an MSP of Rs 850 for wheat and to stop the import of wheat.
A sabha spokesman said it had already organised dharnas at the district head- quarters.



Restaurant kitchen gutted
Tribune News Service

Mohali March 5
A fire gutted the kitchen of a restaurant in Phase V here this morning. The alacrity of restaurant workers and the prompt arrival of fire engines prevented the fire from spreading to nearby shops. 



55-year-old beaten to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 5
Yaseen (55) was reportedly beaten to death by a group of persons at Sultanpur village, near Raipur Rani, in the district late last night.
According to reports, Yaseen, along with his brother Dinu and his son Teludin were having dinner when an armed group of at least 30 persons attacked them. While Yaseen died on the spot, Dinu and Teludin have been admitted to a Raipur Rani hospital.

Rivalry is stated to be the cause of the crime. The victim had reportedly supported Nizamuddin, who defeated Ghulam Din, in the recent Haryana panchayat elections. Since then, both groups had had fights several times but a "compromise" had recently been reached between them. A case has been registered.



Man held with 70 cartons of liquor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 5
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh police today arrested a Panchkula resident on the road dividing Sector 52 and 53 with 70 cartons of liquor. His accomplices escaped.

Sources in the police signalled a vehicle (CH-03-R-2150) to stop but on seeing the police one of the persons boarding the vehicle ran away while the other was arrested. He was identified as Rajnish Mittal, alias Kala, of Sector 18, Panchkula. The search of the vehicle led to the recovery of 30 cartons of King Club whisky, 20 cartons of King Club XXX Rum and 20 cartons of the Officer’s Choice whisky.

His accomplice has been identified as Mahinder of Karnal.

The police said the accused used to smuggle liquor from Punjab and sell it in slums of Chandigarh.

Woman remanded: The police caught a vagabond woman, along with two children, while they were stealing a purse from a car in Sector 35 here on Sunday.

Police sources said Baby, the vagabond woman hailing from Orissa, was caught redhanded along with two children by Ms Baljinder S. D. Singh of Sector 9, Chandigarh, while they were stealing a purse from her car on Saturday. She said the woman tried to steal her purse while the children distracted her attention.

The purse contained a gold chain, a pair of gold earrings and Rs150. The car was parked outside a house in Sector 35.

The accused were today produced before a local court, which remanded the woman in judicial custody till March 19. The police had arrested her minor son last week on the similar charges.

Vehicle stolen: Mr Kanwaljit Singh of Sector 38 lodged a complaint to the police alleging that his motor cycle (CH-01-D-4629) was stolen from Shashtri Market in Sector 22 on Saturday. In another incident, Mr Yash Pal of Sector 38 filed a complaint to the police alleging that his scooter (CH-03-H-4584) was stolen from Sector 41 on Saturday.

Two separate cases have been registered.

Burglary: Mr Rajiv Jindal of Sector 29 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that two CPUs of computer and a server had been stolen from his industrial unit in Phase II, Industrial Area, on the Friday night. He told the police that thieves gained entry into the factory by breaking the locks.

A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in this regard.



Retd Army officer killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 5
Lt Col R. S. Shergill(retd), a resident of Sector 44-A, and a one-and-a-half-year-old boy were killed in separate accidents in the city in the past 24 hours.
The retired Army officer was killed this afternoon after the scooter he was riding on hit an electricity pole near Attawa village while the child succumbed to his injuries in the PGI last night after he was crushed by an autorickshaw on Saturday.

Colonel Shergill is survived by his wife Harinder Kaur, a son and two daughters. He was rushed to the PGI, where doctors declared him brought dead. He had suffered serious head injuries. The police, quoting eyewitnesses, said the scooter was being driven at high speed due to which he lost control over it and it rammed into the pole.

In the second case, the police has arrested the autorickshaw driver, Nirmal Singh of Panchkula, for rash driving.



Chandigarh emerging as hub of IT industry
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) will see more top rated IT companies coming to town soon. After the allotment of nine built-to-suit sites in the first phase and four in the second, the RGCTP can boast of the presence here of top names in the IT world. Two companies, Virsa Systems and Net Solutions would commence operations, from the DLF complex from tomorrow.

Besides this, three top software development companies namely Mahindra British Telecom (MBT), Patni Computers and Singapore- based eSys have been allotted land, quickly taking up the number of top ranking IT companies setting up operations here. IBM Daksh and Outerbay are already functioning here, while Wipro and Bharti Telecom have already taken land and propose to start their operations from this Special Economic Zone (SEZ) soon.

Opera Software, a Norwegian company headquartered out of Oslo, too has shown keen interest in setting up shop at the RGCITP.

Opera has planned to set up an office in Chandigarh irrespective of its ability to get space in the IT Park to start quality-assurance testing work that supports Opera's full range of product offerings that include one of the world's fastest web browsers known by the same name.

Opera Software C.E.O Jon S. von Tetzchner, who was in India recently sees the tremendous growth in India, both in terms of internet users and mobile subscribers.

This coupled with the IT talent available in the country, he sees no reason why his company should miss an opportiunity to set base here.

In the ongoing first phase of development at the RGCTP, the U.T Administration is expecting an investment flow of Rs 500 crore of which Rs 200 crore has already been made. In the second phase of expansion, U.T Director I.T Vivek Atray expects an investment from private companies of another Rs 500 crore.

About four months ago, the U.T Administrator had express his displeasure with DLF for going slow in its marketing initiative as the builder could bring in only two companies IBM Daksh and Outerbay. However, efforts on part of the company have yielded some results and another company Virsa System would set its base in Chandigarh soon.

The U.T Administrator will inaugurate the setup of Virsa Systems and Net Solutions on March 6. One thousand persons are working at the DLF Building currently.

Wipro and Bharati are expected to start their operations in the second phase of the Park, which is under development. Some top names in IT that are associated with the IT Park other than those already mentioned include Infosys and Pacific Internet. Infosys is likely to start operation from 31st March at RGCTP with 1000 professionals to start with.

eSys Distribution, head-quartered in Singapore and a global leader in desktop storage has already been allotted 6 acres in the park for its offices. eSys will make an investment of Rs 100-crore. A $2-billion strong multinational company set up by a Panjab University alumnus, eSys has a presence in 31 countries and runs automated manufacturing facilities in the USA, Singapore and Dubai.

Part of the Phase II expansion, all these companies will be involved in the development of 125 acres of land of which only 70 acres will be allotted to various companies, with the rest reserved for landscaping. In the third phase of CTP, it is proposed to add another 250 acres to the park.

Once fully functional, the Chandigarh IT job market is expected to create another 25,000 new jobs.

The U.T Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues(retd) will also perform the 'ground-breaking' ceremony for the 9 built-to-suit sites in the first phase.

The work for the four built-to-suit sites allotted to RT Outsourcing from New Delhi, Netsmartz from the USA, Net Solutions and Karin Infotech Limited will be undertaken subsequently.



Jet Airways set to expand operations in city
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Jet Airways is all set to expand its operations in the city. It has been learnt from reliable sources that the airlines will be increasing its operations from the city soon. This move, it is learnt, comes due to the recent takeover of Sahara Airlines by Jet Airways.

According to sources, Jet plans to start direct flights to Jammu and Mumbai. A 72-seater ATR is being proposed for Jammu, while a Boeing is expected for Bombay. It may be mentioned here that Jet Airways already has a 62-seater ATR, which flies daily to and from Delhi.

However, when the flights are to begin is not yet finalised. According to sources operations should start soon, however, a final clearance is still awaited by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, Delhi

Meanwhile, Kingfisher Airlines too is expected to start operations soon. A team was here last week to visit the city airport.

Talking to TNS Mr A.K. Verma, Senior Aerodrome Officer, said officials from the airlines had visited the airport and they were expecting operations to start by April.

“Officials were here last week to check for space and other things. A direct flight to Delhi is being planned, we have shown them the office space, etc and hopefully by April, operations should start.”

With more flights coming in, the city airport needs to undergo a massive revamp. However, with talks of the city airport becoming an international airport still underway, officials are hopeful for a new building and better facilities.

“We are happy with the increased operations. We are looking forward to a new building, however, for the time being we are planning to put up some coffee-vending machines,” stated Verma. 



Jet Airways launches baggage tracing system

Chandigarh, March 5
Making an effort to be more customer friendly, Jet Airways has launched a computerised baggage tracing system. Passengers would now be able to check the status of their missing or delayed baggage through the worldwide computerised baggage tracing system which can be accessed through their official website www.jetairways.com, under the product and services section.

Passengers need to report their missing baggage or delay in receipt of their baggage at the Jet Airways airport offices, which will be then given a file reference which can be used to obtain specific information. Passengers are required to keep copies of mishandled baggage report and receipt for any emergency expenses or the replacement items required in order to claim insurance or emergency expenses.

They should also retain the original flight ticket or electronic ticket reference, baggage receipts and excess baggage ticket. During the interim period while awaiting baggage, Jet Airways will keep them posted about it. TNS



International Conference for Widows to be held in London
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The focus on the plight of widows and for addressing issues pertaining to them, an International Conference for Widows is being organised at the Foreign Office in London in June.

About 200 delegates from 15 countries are expected to participate in the conference and invitations have been extended to the first ladies of the participating countries as well as their high commissioners. The list of invitees include Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi and Ms Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

According to chairman of the Loomba Trust, Mr Raj Loomba, the conference would be chaired by Ms Cheire Blair, wife of the British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair and president of the trust.

The objectives of the trust, established in 1997 in the United Kingdom and launched in India in 1999, are to promote the welfare and education of children of poor widows and orphaned children.

A concert by prominent personalities from Bollywood would also be organised at Trafalgar Square to mark the occasion.



Biz Clips

An exclusive store of steel home accessories — Magpie — opened in Sector 26 here on Sunday. The President of Magpie India, Mr Arun Garg, said this was the third exclusive store to be opened in India, the other two being in Ahmedabad and Bangalore. The Chandigarh showroom offered designer furniture and related books, making it a complete lifestyle showroom, he added. — TNS

Girls take part in Schwarzkopf Palette Sabsey Favourite Kaun 2006 contest in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Sunday
Girls take part in Schwarzkopf Palette Sabsey Favourite Kaun 2006 contest in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Favourite Kaun: The Election Express brought Schwarzkopf Palette Sabsey Favourite Kaun to the city on Sunday. The one-of-its-kind award show, election express, enable the city residents to decide who they would like to shortlist as their Sabsey Favourite of 2006. Besides exciting prizes given out, there was a chance for the winner of a lucky draw to meet Arshad Warsi himself. — TNS

Tie-up: In an attempt to provide greater exposure and better training to its candidates, Aviation Hospitality Management Institute (AHM) has entered into an initial tie-up with Air Deccan, said institute’s managing director Karan Arora here yesterday. In a press note, the MD said their initial offer had been accepted and Air Deccan had sent the acceptance for the “charter” for AHM cabin crew training purpose via mail. It had been signed by Chief Revenue Officer of the airlines John Kuruvilla. — TNS

Energy drink: Global Beverages Inc, Austrian company, on Saturday launched its energy drink "Phantom" in the North India in collaboration with P. V. Beverages. Mr Parveen Vats, Managing Director of P.V. Beverages, said since the national launch of ''Phantom'' in January, the response had been very good. Mr Udo Wagner, International Sales Head, Global Beverages, claimed that the energy category was all set to provide an alternative to soft drinks. — TNS


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