C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Thousands rally for a cause
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Thousands of people from all walks of life, many infected with HIV, took to the streets here today to spread awareness about the dreaded disease. Joined under the banner of most city-based NGOs working with AIDS patients and the Chandigarh Aids Control Society, the volunteers marched through various sectors, starting at City Centre in Sector 17 and terminating their awareness drive on the Panjab University campus.

“I am living with HIV, but I do not want anyone in the world to contract this deadly disease. Just a little awareness about the disease can prevent many more from contracting it,” said Ms Manju, a sex worker who does not know where and when she picked up the virus that was detected during a routine check-up two years ago.

Dr Avnish Jolly, coordinator, Chandigarh AIDS Helpline, said there was more enthusiasm among residents of colonies and villages on the peripheries of Chandigarh compared to others. “These people genuinely feel for the victims and feel that they can contribute in curbing this disease by participating in such awareness rallies.”

The helpline on AIDS has received over 8.5 lakh calls from people across the region seeking information on prevention as well as treatment of AIDS. Many callers are young students who want to dispel their doubts about the disease, Dr Jolly said.

With painted bodies and red ribbon, AIDS symbol in their hands, the volunteers lent a very colourful mood to the entire procession. Some had caps with “Launch a war against AIDS” written on them, others had painted their clothes and bodies with white colour with messages of “Make Chandigarh AIDS free” written on placards and their clothes.

The president of the Chandigarh HIV Awareness Group, Ms Pooja, told The Tribune that she was working with a group of four employees at an AIDS awareness centre. “We go from place to place telling people who are potential victims about the disease and modestly looking at our efforts, I can say we have made a difference to the lives of many, who are much more vigilant about the disease with our help.”

Infected through blood transfusion after an accident, Mr Ranbir (now 33) has a tragic tale to tell. He contracted HIV when he was given blood after an accident at the PGI in 1991. He discovered he was HIV positive six years ago and has been living with the trauma ever since. “I have a son who is perfectly normal. My wife, too, is ok. I am thankful to God for this and as a thanksgiving gesture I contribute my bit in educating people about the disease,” he said.

Many people belonging to educated families are suffering from HIV, shattering the myth that only the uneducated and poor contract this disease. Many of them have got the infection through blood transfusion after an accident or surgery. The NGOs that participated in today’s awareness campaign and are actively working with HIV patients and spreading awareness on the issue include the State AIDS Control Society , the Servants of People Society, the Family Planning Association and Sehat and Swach. Zulfi Khan staged a street play at Panjab University on the subject of HIV.



24 vends disposed of; Rs 6 crore earned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
In its second attempt to allot liquor vends, the Chandigarh Administration today attracted lukewarm response for the left out vends, both IMFL and countrymade.

Of the total 77 vends which could not be allotted in the first draw of lots on March 8, the UT Excise Department was able to dispose of only 24 of the vends and earned a revenue of Rs 6 crore.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr RK Rao, said today 18 vends of IMFL and six vends of country liquor were allotted. Compared to the IMFL, the country vends attracted very poor response.

In response to the second advertisement, around 63 applications had been received for 40 vends. Those allotted in the IMFL category A was in Sector 8 and in Category B were 19, 20, 25, 32, 39, 41, 43, 51, 52, Kajehri and Nehru Colony, Palsora, Ram Darbar, Shahpur, Raipur Khurd and Indira Colony.

Now the department would make a third attempt to allot the remaining vends on March 28.

In the first attempt the category 'A' vends located in the prime areas, including Sectors 17, 22 and 35, were allotted and had earned a revenue of Rs 40 crore. Around nine vends allotted in the first draw of lots, which have also been surrendered, would now be offered to prospective liquor traders on March 30.

It may be mentioned that by introducing the system of licensing, Chandigarh Administration "broke" the monopoly of the liquor cartel which has been "dictating" the prices of liquor in the current financial year. In the new system, the prices of different brands of liquor are expected to fall by 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

Despite the fair process of allotment, the syndicate backed by the liquor baron, Ponty Chandha, had managed to get at least 30 per cent of the liquor vends through the draw of lots.

UT's worry far from over: The failure of the UT in attracting poor response is being seen due to increase in the number of vends from 78 to 215. Another reason is the incentives offered by Punjab and Haryana in their respective new liquor policy. "Any incentive to be offered by the Administration would be after March 30 as their technical problem", said an official.



A change in transfer policy of DRDO scientists in offing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
A change in the transfer and posting policy for scientists in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in the offing. They will now be rotated among different DRDO laboratories and establishments more frequently.

Stating this here today, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, Mr M. Natarajan, said this was being done to give more exposure to scientists so they develop a broader perspective on various research and development activities as they moved up the hierarchy.

This, he said, would be beneficial in controlling and guiding DRDO activities. At present, DRDO scientists stay with a particular laboratory and remain within the sphere of a particular stream for long periods, and at times, for the entire duration of their career.

Mr Natarajan was on a visit to the Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) and the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), both DRDO establishments here.

Referring to the ongoing project to construct a tunnel at the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh along the strategic Manali-Leh road, he said that about 12 more tunnels were needed on the vital link to Ladakh to make it an all-weather road. The project, he added, has been sanctioned by the central government. SASE, he said, is being increasingly involved in geo-technical surveys and construction activities along this stretch.

The Scientific Adviser, who also holds the portfolio of Director- General, Research and Development, in the Defence Ministry, said the indigenously developed Arjun main battle tanks would be heading to the deserts for fresh trials this summer.

On reports that the Army was unhappy with the Arjun's performance, he said due to high temperatures, a couple of electronic components tripped. Stating that tripping was an inbuilt safety measure, he said problems had been rectified and production of Arjun tanks would go as per schedule.

Earlier, Mr Natarajan inaugurated an auditorium named after noted nuclear physicist and former DRDO chief, Dr Raja Ramanna, at the SASE complex. He also released two interactive multi-media training films developed to help the movement of Army personnel in difficult avalanche prone terrain.

SASE Director, Dr R N Sarwade said, to facilitate the movement of the troops in snow-bound avalanche prone areas, SASE has developed various models to forecast avalanches. Structures have also been constructed at strategic locations to avoid formation of avalanches, he added.

A cultural programme was also presented by children of SASE personnel.



DAV College withholds 90 roll Nos.
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Roll numbers of at least 90 first-year students of DAV College, Sector 10, here have been withheld following shortage of lectures. Some of these students have not attended even a single lecture in the college since August last year.

These students will protest against the college authorities outside the Principal’s office tomorrow.

The Principal, Mr S. Marriya, said the exercise of monitoring the students had begun in August last year and the parents were informed about the status of their wards’ attendance. “While some students improved, many others did not and now the academic council of the college had decided to withhold their roll numbers,” he said, adding that the academic environment in the college needs to be improved.

Thakur Pranay Pratap Singh, general secretary of the DAV College Students Union, alleged that these students were being victimised by the college.

“As many as 95 per cent students of the college are short of lectures. Why have the college authorities not withheld their roll numbers ? Why were the students whose lectures were short in the previous batches allowed to sit for examinations ? The college should cancel their degrees,” he said, adding that there had been instances when every student of the hostel was short of lectures and no action was taken against them.

The college has withheld roll numbers of students of BA, BSc and BCom first year.



Youths attack family, injure 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
At least five persons, including four of a family, were seriously injured when at least six youths attacked the occupants of a house in Old Rajpura with lathis and swords. One of the assailants, Jasbir Singh, who was also injured during resistance by the victims, was overpowered by the victims.

According to the police, the condition of one of the victims, Mehar Singh, is serious. The other injured — Samsher Singh, Paramjeet, Vimal and Jaspal — have been admitted to a hospital.

The reason behind the attack was that the father of a girl, whose family members were attacked, had protested against certain indecent remarks passed on his daughter. Initially, the miscreants had apologised for passing the remarks, but today they retaliated by attacking the members of the girl’s family. The police is investigating the matter.



Readers Write

Chandigarh Capital Region

The idea of constituting ‘Chandigarh Capital Region’ on the pattern of the National Capital Region, Delhi, mooted by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, Chandigarh, and Union Finance Minister for State in his speech at Panchkula is really commendable. This proposal is in the best interest of the overall development of the region.

Though Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali have their district territorial and political entities, they have so many common links and have the same culture (read soul). The neighbouring areas of tricity can also be included in the proposed Chandigarh Capital Region to make it a compact unit.

With the coming of the IT in the tricity, the present day infrastructure is falling apart and there is need to have world class infrastructure facilities. The most immediate requirement of the region is to have ‘Rapid Transport System’ to connect the three cities.

The MPs from Panchkula and Mohali parliamentary constituencies should join hands with the MP, Chandigarh, in formulating a master integrated development plan for the Chandigarh Capital Region for the overall planned development of the region.

D.P. Piplani, Panchkula

Fauji Beat for main paper

It is generous of your paper to have given a slot to the “Fauji Beat” by Pritam Bhullar. You may like to consider shifting this feature to the main paper since it conveys information which ought to be put into national circulation.

The defence services are gradually assuming overwhelming importance. It is imperative that the media plays a positive role in their support. On February 20 retired officers were called for an interview at the Chandimandir station. It was disturbing to observe that no administrative arrangements were visible. Retired soldiers should not to be treated as a burden.

Col Kulbir Singh (retd), Manimajra

Rehabilitating migrants

“Chandigarh was established after independence as capital city of Punjab by uprooting villages that existed here earlier. Then started the period of misery for the natives of these villages. Construction work started and labour started coming from eastern states like UP and Bihar. Politicians, playing vote bank politics, started encouraging these migrant labourers and they started flourishing in around slum colonies that now exist, reducing the villagers (Punjabis) to a minority. Now the Chandigarh Administration is planning to rehabilitate these slum dwellers by giving them flats, whereas it has failed to rehabilitate the villagers uprooted earlier in the last five decades.

Harinder Pal Singh Palne, Mohali



CD shows Tara at Sukhi’s marriage
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 22
The police today released pictures establishing a link between Jagtar Singh Tara, one of the prime accused in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi and Dilbag Singh. Sukhi and Dilbag Singh were arrested by the local police on March 20, along with two others, with arms and ammunition.

The in charge of the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police, Inspector Satbir Singh, said a team of the crime branch had seized a CD of the marriage ceremony of Sukhi, a journalist with a Hindi newspaper at Kurali, which Jagtar Singh Tara had attended on November 6.

Dilbag Singh, member of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), was also seen. He is a senior vice-president of the SAD (Amritsar) in Ropar district.

Inspector Satbir Singh added: "The CD has provided sufficient evidence linking the accused with Jagtar Singh Tara. He had gone to Chamkaur Sahib to attend the marriage of Sukhi. The accused revealed during interrogation that Tara remained there for more than two hours and was moving freely. Tara reached the marriage venue directly and was accompanied by one more person."

Sources in the crime branch said a police team had also recovered a motorcycle which was provided to Sukhi by Tara. The police is yet to confirm its registration number. The motorcycle was reportedly stolen by a Delhi-based associate of Tara.

The police said it had arrested four members of the BKI along with 1 kg of RDX, an AK 47 with 15 cartridges, a .38 bore revolver with five cartridges and a gun from near Sector 12 on March 20.

The sources said Tara had prepared an "action group" of these persons and was planning to strike. Sukhi told the police that he was introduced to Tara by Dilbag Singh, but Dilbag claimed that Sukhi met Tara on his own.

Dilbag Singh, who was in his 50s, was unmarried and was living with his brothers. He used to meet Tara and others in Burail Jail when they were facing trial in the Beant Singh case. He had gone to Burail Jail several times accompanied by Tara's father. The police has procured the records from the jail register.

Dilbag Singh had undergone imprisonment in Nabha Jail for harbouring a terrorist named Sangat Singh. He had also worked as press secretary of the SAD (Amritsar).

Sukhi and Dilbag Singh told Chandigarh Tribune that they were remorseful. Sukhi said: "I met Tara without knowing him properly. When I realised the truth, it was too late to come back. He threatened me of dire consequences if I stopped following him and also threatened to eliminate my family." He added that his wife, who was pregnant now, did not know about his links with Hawara. "I have ruined my family," he said.



PUDA demolishes illegal structures
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 22
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today demolished illegal structures constructed in violation of the periphery control norms in Nayagaon, Kansal villages and other areas.

Residents of the areas gathered in protest against the drive and raised slogans against the PUDA authorities. They even tried to gherao the vehicles of PUDA officials who failed to yield to their pressure tactics. Some residents even tried to get the demolition drive stopped by approaching political leaders.

The enforcement staff of the regulatory wing demolished four fresh structures constructed in the C block allegedly by the Working Women Welfare Society at Kansal village.

The enforcement team, which was headed by Ms Isher Roop Kaur, Estate Officer, Regulatory, later demolished four illegal structures constructed in Shivalik Vihar in Nayagaon village. These constructions fell outside the limits of the village.

Mr Surinder Singh, Sub-Divisional Engineer, said his team later visited Nada, Parol, Seonk, Shingariwal, Mullanpur Garibdass, Ferozpur, Siswan, Sultanpur Taprian, Majra, Abhipur, Pallanpur and Hoshiarpur villages and stopped all fresh constructions that were being carried out illegally. A warning was also issued to the residents of the area in this regard.

The drive was carried out with the help of 10 members of the security staff, the Assistant Engineer, Mr Devinder Kumar, and a Junior Engineer, Mr Harminder Singh.



Illegal structures removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Resentment prevailed at the Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, here today when the enforcement wing of the Chandigarh Housing Board demolished illegal structures on government land. The structures included gardens and railings on top of garages.

More than 100 personnel carried out the anti-encroachment drive and sources said the drive was likely to continue for another two-three days.

More than 500 structures were removed and department officials took away the railings. A senior citizen said: "The department was right in removing the illegal structures, however, it would have been nice if the green patches were not touched. I don't understand what will they do with the space occupied by hedges and plants"

A woman resident said: "the officials should first remove tents pitched by security personnel in the name of security. Areas of certain influential persons were left out."

Officials said: "Certain residents had laid gardens at places meant for parking. People faced problems parking vehicles where gardens had been developed."



Move to hike collectors rate decried
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 22
The revised collectors rate announced by the district administration recently is being opposed by all sections of the society. Realtors, investors, genuine buyers and property consultants are all decrying the move to hike the collectors rate, which has been hiked by 175 times to 250 times.

The district administration had revised the collectors rate recently, which incidentally are the highest in Haryana. The sale deed registration of a 10-marla plot in Panchkula, which could be earlier done for Rs 14 lakh, will now be done for Rs 37 lakh. Similarly, a one kanal plot in Sectors 6, 7, 8 or 9, which could be registered for Rs 29. 40 lakh earlier, will now be registered for Rs 75. 60 lakh.

The collectors rate for residential Sectors 6-9 has been fixed at Rs 18,000 per sq m, for Sectors 2, 4, 10 and 11 has been fixed at Rs 16, 000 per sq m. A price of Rs 15,000 per sq m has been fixed for Sectors 15-18 and MDC, while a rate of Rs 14,000 per sq m has been fixed for Sectors 12, 12-A, 14 and 21. For commercial property, the rates have been revised from Rs 45,000 per sq m to Rs 1. 10 lakh per sq m, while rates of industrial property have been hiked from Rs 2000 per sq m to Rs 4000 per sq m.

Today a delegation of property consultants met the Additional Deputy Commissioner and demanded a rolll back on the revised rates. Mr Hemant Kinger, a Congress leader, too decries the move to increase the collectors rate, saying that the rates had been revised and doubled last year as well. "The government should try and bring own the artificially created real estate boom, so that housing can be provided for all. By increasing the rates, the government is aiding in the price escalation," he said.

District administration officials, however, say that the rates have been revised after a thorough market survey, and the aim was to stabilise the shooting property prices.



HUDA admits to goof-up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has admitted that applications for allotment of plots in Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, were accepted without the mandatory supporting documents. This led to unauthorised persons applying for and being allotted plots in certain reserved categories, thereby reducing the probability of eligible applicants.

A letter written by the Estate Officer, HUDA, Panchkula, to a senior Army officer in response to a query states that a number of applicants in the defence category had neither mentioned their rank in the application nor had they submitted the requisite documents alongside.

Acceptance of applications without documents is in direct contravention of the HUDA policy. Instructions clearly state that incomplete applications or those without the requisite documents will not be accepted.

The letter states that due to the postings in remote areas, a long time is required by defence personnel for completion of documents and other papers. In this view, documents are demanded by successful applicants only, the letter adds.

Officers have questioned this statement, saying that if applicants can get the time to get bank drafts and affidavits made there ought to be no difficulty in getting a simple certificate from their own establishments. Also, those posted in peace stations and ex-servicemen should have no difficulty in getting a certificate. Moreover, defence applicants were given an additional month to submit their applications..

A perusal of the list of 331 applicants in the defence category revealed that about 60 per cent had not mentioned their ranks. Of the 20 successful applicants in this category, 11 had not mentioned their ranks.

According to the HUDA policy, personnel below the officer rank are eligible only for allotment of six and eight marla plots. Officers up to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel can apply for 10 marla and 14 marla plots, while those of the rank of Colonel and above can apply for one kanal plot. The Mansa Devi allotment had no category where a PBOR could apply.

One of the allottees in the defence category includes a peon in a government high school, who has been allotted a 14 marla plot. Another allottee is a master in a government school.

The list also reveals that many applicants have given incomplete cryptic names and addresses. One applicant is mentioned as R. Singh, son of D. Singh. Addresses are also given in names of some officer and obscure colonies.

The draw of lots for allotment of plots in sectors 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex were held in January. Instances had emerged where plots were allotted to persons who, as per the HUDA policy, were not eligible to apply for the particular size of plots. A written complaint in this regard was also sent to the Chief Administrator, HUDA, and the matter was said to be under examination.



Procession in memory of martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Members of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front, Chandigarh, today organised a procession in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on the eve of their martyrdom day. The procession under the leadership of Mr Rajesh Sharma, president of the local unit of the front, started from the Students' Centre, Panjab University, and concluded at the Piazza, Sector 17, Chandigarh, after passing through Sectors 15, 16 and 22.

The activists were wearing saffron turbans symbolising sacrifice for a cause and national traditions. The activists holding National Flags raised slogans like "Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev amar rahein", "Inqalab Zindabad", "Bharat mata ki jai" and patriotic songs were played like "Pagri Sambhal jatta", "Sarfaroshi ki tamanna", " Jo shaheed huyein hain unki " etc.

Mr Rajesh Sharma said: We should remember and respect the martyrs of Indian freedom movement and must strive to build the nation of the dreams of the freedom fighters. We must respect our Indian traditions and culture.''

The activists also took the oath against communalism, corruption and drug abuse. The nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Abhay Singh Sandhu (s/o the late S Kulbir Singh) attended the procession and paid tributes to the martyrs.

Mr Kulbir Singh, working president, INTUC, Mr Sushil Gupta of the Nationalist Congress, Mr Rajesh Gupta, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Chindi, Mr Ravinder Singh Ravi and Dr Vikramjit Singh of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club, Mr Rajwant Singh Shergill and Mr Baljit Singh of the AIATF, Punjab, also attended the procession.



Forest Dept prepares city greening action plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Forest Department of the Chandigarh Administration has expressed its concern over more than 150 undeveloped parks in the city which are under the control of the Municipal Corporation. Out of the total 1900 small and big parks, a sizeable number are partially developed which are also on top of the agenda for development in the Greening Chandigarh Action Plan 2006-2007 prepared by the department.

The report released by Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary of Forests ,yesterday, has underlined the need to "cover some part of these parks and undeveloped green belts with wood lots, besides making them water percolation centres to improve the water table in the city by marginally modifying the slopes of these parks".

Compiled under the guidance of Mr Ishwar Singh, Deputy Conservator, Forests, the report makes a special mention of the plan for plantation along roadside and central verges, in schools, colleges, offices and residential quarters and denser plantation in the Leisure Valley, reserve forests and Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, during the forthcoming financial year. The report says that the geographical area of Chandigarh is 114 square kilometres and another 25.42 kilometres of hilly area has been declared as ‘Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary’. Out of the total 41.42 square kilometres is the forest cover and it has another 8 km of area under tree cover. The data shows an increase of 13.42 square kiolometres in the green cover to the cover of 36 sq km in 2001.

The data reveals that against the target of 1,02,205 saplings to be planted during the year 2005-2006, as many as 1,61,355 saplings were planted in the city by different branches.



Rodrigues for recreational centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
With a view to making Chandigarh a truly beautiful city, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, today asked the Home Secretary and the Finance Secretary to identify open spaces in different sectors and develop these as recreational centres by creating a variety of facilities.

In a bid to give a new push to water-harvesting strategies and promote the recharging process of ground water, the Chandigarh Administration has already planned a series of lakes in the Union Territory. As part of this plan, General Rodrigues today visited the proposed site of a new water body in Sector 23 and asked officers to plan it by creating check dams to ensure the optimum utilisation of rainwater.

He said the area for this water body should be earmarked in such a way that there was minimum effect on the existing trees and at the same time a massive plantation of decorative and flowering trees should be done in available pockets. The harmonious development of the area around this water feature must provide enjoyable and recreational facilities for visitors.

He suggested that the water channels in the Leisure Valley should be remodelled to ensure the constant flow of water and to enhance its beauty.

General Rodrigues also visited the under-construction building of Juvenile Home in Sector 25 and asked officers to complete it within the stipulated time. 



Safety Circle launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Emergencies come unexpected, anytime, anywhere. Our initial response can make a difference between life and death. This makes training in safety measures all the more important.

This was stated by the managing director of Safety Circle, Mr B.P.S. Bakshi, at the launch of the company here today. Safety Circle is a franchisee of the National Safety Council, USA.

Mr Bakshi said the training modules were designed for all categories of people, including school children, housewives and senior citizens. The course curriculum, which has been given by the National Safety Council, has been translated into Hindi for effective teaching here.

He said that they planned to start operations in 15 cities by the end of this year.



World Water Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Ministry of Water Resources, through its regional office of the Central Water Commission, the Indus basin Organisation, today celebrated the “World Water Day-2006” at Kendriya Sadan here today.

Mr V.P. Singh, Director, spoke on the availability of water and its present utilisation and the future needs.

He spoke at length on the challenges and the measures being adopted to mitigate the water-shortage situation.

Mr Yash Pal Bhagat, Director of the Planning Commission, said women had a major role to play in the utilisation and conservation of water.

Mr Harpal Singh, Chief Engineer (Planning), Punjab, Mr Vinay Malik, Director (WR), Haryana, and Mr Sucha Singh, Superintending Engineer (Planning), also spoke.



Dharna against wheat import
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh units of the Bharatiya Janata Party would stage dharna here on March 28 to protest the government’s decision to import wheat.

Former state minister and Haryana BJP leader Mr Ram Villas Sharma said it was totally unfair towards the farmers to import wheat at a time when local produce was about to hit the market.

The mean support price from local grain is Rs 650 per quintal where as imported grain would cost Rs 950 per quintal, he added.

He also flayed the central government for its policies which has resulted in a sharp increase in the prices of essential commodities.



Two arrested for hitting cop
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 22
The police has arrested two residents for thrashing a constable in Sector 39. In a separate incident, the police has arrested a Nepalese for allegedly snatching a purse from a woman in Sector 33.

Elsewhere, an Uttar Pradesh resident was caught while stealing a laptop from Sector 20. Besides this, a car and a motorcycle were stolen from the city in the past 24 hours.

Sources in the Sector 39 police station said Bachittar Singh of Silkhian village in Ropar district and Sukhwinder Singh of Togan village, near here, allegedly thrashed constable Surinder Singh when he asked them to move their motorcycle from the way. The accused were in an inebriated condition and hit him with a stone.

Snatcher held

The police nabbed a Nepalese within hours of his snatching a purse from a woman in Sector 33 last night.

The police said the woman reported to the police that a man who was on foot snatched her purse from near a petrol station in Sector 33. The police launched a search operation and the accused was caught hiding near some shrubs. The purse was recovered from his possession.

Held for stealing laptop

The police has arrested Vinay Jain of Uttar Pradesh for stealing a laptop from a shop in sector 20 yesterday. Mr Iqbal Singh of Sector 21 had lodged a complaint of the theft against the accused.

Car stolen

Mr Ranjit Kumar of Thakur Dwara, Manimajra, has reported to the police that his Santro car was stolen from his house on Monday night.

In another incident, Mr Gurpreet Singh of Zirakpur has reported to the police that his motorcycle was stolen from Leisure valley in Sector 10 yesterday.

Snatching incidents

Miscreants snatched purses from women in two incidents here today.

Kulwinder Kaur of Amritsar was coming along with her sister and niece when two miscreants, who came on a motor cycle, snatched her purse in Sector 18 in the afternoon. In another incident, Vetla Channa of Sector 34 lodged a complaint with the police that a scooterist snatched her purse.



Manoj’s death: one arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 22
The local police today arrested one of the two boys named by the family of Manoj, who succumbed to his injuries at the PGI yesterday, this evening. However, Anupa, the other boy is still at large.

The police has also arrested Jatin, a Sector 15 resident who had been booked in a cross case earlier following a group clash in which the police claimed that Manoj was also a party.

Sources at the Sector 11 police station said the police had arrested Binny, neighbour of Manoj, and Jatin. The latter had filed a complaint against the other party in which Manoj had also been named.

Mr Joginder, victim’s father, had alleged yesterday that the family had told the police that Binny and Anupa had taken away his son on March 17.

The same day the family received information late in the night that Manoj had been admitted to the PGI in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, the family today cremated Manoj. They added that the police is yet to record their statements.



India Travel Mart likely to generate 100 cr revenue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The three-day India Travel Mart which starts on March 24 at a hotel here is expected to generate a revenue of approximately Rs 100 crore and employment for nearly 40, 000 people, both in the country and overseas.

This was stated by Dr Gulshan Sharma, Executive Director, ITFT (Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends) and adviser to the India Travel Mart here today while interacting with the media persons.

He said the India Travel Mart would give a big boost to promoting travel and tourism in northern India besides affording an opportunity to various states to synergise their efforts and plans for projecting this region as single destination by offering joint package tours.

He said the current economic boom in the country and burgeoning middle class with disposable income would further fuel the growth of tourism in northern India, adding that even banks have started giving loans to the people for visiting places of interest.

Mr Sharma held the opinion that the mart would also help Chandigarh to shed the acronym of a transit station and to emerge as an all-the-year destination. He disclosed that a convention on potential and prospects of aviation development would be organised in August this year when different airlines and others associated with the industry would be on common platform to deliberate on measures for promoting it in northern India to give fillip to tourism, trade and agriculture.

India Travel Mart, which is sixth in the series of such events having started in 2001, would focus on outbound, inbound and domestic tourism and promises to showcase the best from travel tourism, hospitality, cruises and the Railways, which would offer online booking for the first time.

According to Director, ITM, Mr Ajay Gupta “ the mart is coming up with variety of holidays, destinations, packages and the main highlights would be pilgrimage tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, healthy tourism and wildlife destinations.” He said, “ The time at which the ITM is being held at Chandigarh is perfect for summer holidays.

Start cruises, the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa , Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Pondicherry are some of the leading exhibitors.

India Travel Mart will be inaugurated by UP Minister for Tourism, Mr Kwkab Hameed.



Biz Clips
Ind-Swift gets TGA approval
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Ind-Swift Laboratories has obtained the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) certification from the Australian Common wealth Department of Health and Ageing for its manufacturing facility for the 1.18 bn drug 'Clarithromycin'. Ind-Swift Laboratories is one of the largest manufacturers of Clarithromycin in the world and enjoys 30-33 per cent of the world capacities for this drug. The Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing has recommended that the company complies with the requirement of the Australian Code of Good Manufacturing Practice for medicinal products, for the range of products to be supplied to Australia.

Scorpio launch

Mahindra and Mahindra today unveiled the all new Scorpio at Swami Automobiles here today. The new avatar of Mahindra's flagship vehicle sports 43 new features, including a brand new suspension to give the customer a more enriching experience. "The new Scorpio has reinforced the vehicle's technology-driven growth as a world-class vehicle. The state-of-the-art external and internal features are chiselled on the template of changing customer needs, taking its car-plus positioning to the next level in terms of comfort and convenience," said Mr. Sunil Lohani, DGM, Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd.

SBI van

The Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Mr Hemant Contractor, today presented a special van for use by physically challenged children of Saket Hospital. The specially designed van will provide mobility to orthopaedically handicapped children . While the children can sit in the front cabin, the van has a special space at the back for keeping their wheel chairs and tricycles.

LG mobile sets

In a bid to strengthen its GSM customer base, LG Electronics today introduced two new models of GSM handsets to cater to the mid and high end market. "The P-7200 handset has unlimited video recording, 2 mega pixel camera with video download and playback support, MP3 player, blue tooth matched, and is priced at Rs 16, 990. The LG 5200 handset too is MP 3 enabled and has two hours of video recording, and is priced at Rs 10,990," said Mr H S Bhatia, Product Group Head (GSM).



Zicom eyes SMEs in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Electronic security systems provider, Zicom, is now venturing into consumer segment. Special standardised security products will now be launched by Zicom Consumer Services Group.

Mr Rathin Kumar Banerjee, Chief Executive Officer of Zicom, said that consumer services would be launched all over the country, and 24 towns have been identified all over the country for the launch in the coming fiscal, and the company will have its offices across 58 towns in 2007—08.

“Though the consumer service is at an infancy stage in the country, many SMEs and homes are now opting for electronic security. We now looking at malls and multiplexes, new integrated townships being developed by realtors, for growth,” he said. 


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