C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


40 city students make it to IIMs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
At least 40 students of various colleges in the city have made it to various Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Many of the students selected have received phone calls from more than one IIM. Results of the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2005 for IIMs at Indore, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow and Kozikode were declared here this evening.

Kenny Hseih, a PEC student, who topped in the region with 99.98 percentile in CAT and had received interview calls from all six IIMs, made it to five IIMs.

“I have decided to join IIM, Bangalore. Regularity and sincerity towards studies have paid off.

“It is better to work hard throughout the year rather than slog it out in the last months before the exam.

“One should learn to remain calm and poised during the exam as it puts one above 50 per cent students”, he said.

Anterpreet Singh was also selected to five IIMs and Akhilesh Negi to four IIMs.

Shipra Chadda, an engineering student of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), who was selected to IIMs at Kolkata and Kozikode, said she would join at Kolkata.

“Students appearing for CAT should work on their strengths and not just read all and everything”, she advised.

Kunal Jindal, another engineering student of PEC, was selected to IIM, Kolkata.

“The key to the exam is that one should not get nervous. Practise through mock CATs”, he said.

Kiranjyot Kaur of the UIET stated that she started serious preparation in September 2005.

“You have to be aware of what is happening around you and there is no substitute to reading a lot”, she said.

Gurjodhpal Singh, pursuing engineering from NIT, Hamirpur, gave the credit of his success to his parents.

He said they had guided him throughout and had given him freedom to make career choices at every stage.

Prerna Pandarwani, a city girl, who check the result on the Internet, was visibly excited.

She could not contain her happiness, saying it was a dream come true for her.

Others selected included Ankur Bhatia, Anshuman Harjai, Anuttera Pandit, Arunjit Singh, Deepak Garg, Jaspreet Kaur, Mandeep Singh, Prakriti Ghosh, Satbir Singh, Subodh Diwan, Yagneshwar, Kunal Jain, Akash Singla, Abhishek Bali, Gaurav Sehgal, Namit Goel, Shikhar Aggarwal and Subodh.



No fee for trade change in Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
In an important development, the Chandigarh Administration today liberalised its economic policy by permitting entrepreneurs to shift from one kind of manufacturing to another in the Industrial Area, Phases I and II, subject to environmental controls.

According to a press note, no fees or charges would be levied in case of shifting from one trade to another.

This measure opened a window for entrepreneurs to move into areas of higher productivity with ease and to comply with land-use regulations.

This decision followed representations of the Chandigarh Industries Association and the Industries Association of Chandigarh to the Adviser.

Some procedural changes in the conversion policy were also made.

Submission of building plans along with conversion application was no longer mandatory.

It was also decided that building plans could be submitted after conversion from industrial use to commercial use had been permitted.

Industrial plots of upto two kanal seeking conversion to commercial use would be exempt from architectural controls, subject to provisions of the policy on ground coverage and the FAR.

The Administration clarified that entrepreneurs were at liberty to avail themselves of any provision to bring their land use into conformity with rules, but unauthorised land use would result in resumption proceedings.

It was clarified that entrepreneurs availing themselves of the facility of conversion were free to engage in any commercial activity, subject to environmental restrictions.

Other provisions of conversion policy were unchanged.



No headway in golf range case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Chandigarh Police is still clueless as to who were involved in the ruckus created at the golf range run by the Chandigarh Golf Association (GCA) on Sunday night. Even though, the numbers of all four vehicles parked outside the golf range have been traced to influential people, the police has refused to name anyone, despite a Mohali-based industrialists admitting to his involvement in the case.

In the past 72 hours, since the incident took place, the Chandigarh Police has been avoiding naming anyone involved in the brawl that reportedly involved “high-profile” people. Today, police personnel in plainclothes remained deployed in the Chandigarh District court waiting to see if anyone turned to seek anticipatory bail in this case. An FIR was registered at Sector 26 Police Station on Monday.

Mr S.S. Mann, a resident of Phase VII, Mohali, had told The Tribune yesterday that he along with his nephew Karan Singh and his friend Magan Singh (son of former Akali minister Baldev Singh Mann) were involved in the incident. However, mystery shrouds the identity of two other persons who were said to be present at the golf range along with Mr Mann and his guests. Sources say these two could be close relatives of a senior police officer posted at Sangrur. The CGA staff repeatedly maintains that there were five persons, each of whom consumed 16 pegs (480 ml-three quarters of a bottle). They say they are unaware about the identity of all five, three of whom have since been identified. However, they add that they overheard names of ‘Mamma, Gulzar, Goldy and Pathan’ being mentioned in their conversation.

The fourth vehicle, a Toyota Innova, PB11-AB-9459, has been traced to be that of J.S Agro Profit Private Limited at Delon in Patiala district. The vehicle has been hypothecated to a bank. One of the Mercedes cars belonging to Mr Mann has been brought back to the city by the crime branch.

The Punjab DGP, Mr S.S Virk, when contacted in Delhi, said he was not aware about the involvement of the kin of any police official as he was away from Chandigarh for the past two days. Mr Baldev Singh Mann, father of Magan Singh, who is said to be one of those present at the golf range, said his son was present at the golf range and the “fourth” and “fifth” person were the gunmen of his son. The CGA staff contradicted this by saying that there were two or three gunmen accompanying these five persons, but they remained outside the CGA boundary.

Sources say senior officers have been receiving phone calls throughout the day from politicians and Punjab Police officers. The DSP (East), Mr Vijay Pal Singh, is expected to submit the departmental inquiry report tomorrow.



Selling liquor on wheels
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 12
Probably taking the new liberalised excise policy of Haryana in its ‘true spirit’, a liquor seller has taken to the ‘streets’ to sell liquor. Casting aside all social norms and laws, this man has hired a mini-truck and parked it on the busy Panchkula - Naraingarh highway. The owner, Mr Harsh Kumar, is selling liquor on wheels.

The truck is parked just 3 kilometres from Ramgarh. The words ‘theka desi sharaab’ (country liquor vend) are brazenly written on the truck.

The person using this unique technique says he had been selling liquor from the truck as he could not find a location to start his vend. The owner has hired the vehicle from a transport company for Rs 500 on a daily basis. He has been serving tipplers for over a week.

“Being a beginner, I am facing losses. Selling liquor from a vehicle is my compulsion. A temporary structure would be erected nearby by tomorrow,” he said. “The government has given a chance to middle class people and broken the monopoly of liquor barons,” he adds.

Many others who have jumped into the trade have started their businesses from temporary shacks in absence of adequate space provided by the government.

Moreover, the ongoing tug-of-war between the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Haryana Excise Department has forced the newcomers to use such methods. The HUDA has decided not to allow any liquor vend owner to operate on its land. The authorities had launched a demolition drive against liquor vends on HUDA land but it was stopped due to objections raised by the Excise department.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijinder Singh, however, claimed that there was a marginal increase in the number of liquor vends in the district after implementation of the new excise policy.



Youth’s death due to police torture alleged
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 12
A teenager migrant labour, who along with an accomplice was arrested by the Panchkula police in a theft case and lodged in Ambala jail, allegedly died after being tortured by the police. While there is confusion over the place of his death, his body is lying in the PGI mortuary in Chandigarh. The family of the deceased claimed that the boy Irfan (16) died in police custody. It demanded the constitution of a special panel of doctors to conduct post-mortem.

According Mr Ateek Mohammad, a relative of the deceased, Irfan and Usman were putting up in Burail village in Chandigarh and were learning steel-grafting. On April 8, they were picked up by the Panchkula police from Sector 5 and were allegedly booked in a case of theft. They were later sent to the Ambala jail by a court.

He added that Usman, who was also lodged in the Ambala jail, had complained about police torture. He also alleged that the police tortured them so badly in the Ambala jail that it led to the death of Irfan. The youth’s family was informed that the health of Irfan had deteriorated and the police had admitted him to the PGI.

The family reached the PGI and stopped doctors from performing post-mortem. The family demanded a probe into the matter and action against the guilty policemen. 



Overuse of pesticides increases mortality rate of peacocks
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 12
Mortality rate of peacocks has witnessed a drastic increase due to overuse of pesticides by farmers of Haryana in the past over five years. To save the seed from pests and have a good yield of their produce, farmers have been using over three to four times the quantity of the required amount of the pesticide, thus putting an adverse affect on the human being, animals and birds.

High mortality rate of peacock has also been proving a boon for smugglers of peacock feathers in this part of the region, claimed Mr R. D. Jakati, Chief Conservator of Forest and Wildlife (CCFW), Haryana.

While responding to a news item published in The Tribune on Wednesday, Mr Jakati claimed that no complaint had been received from any part of the region about poaching of peacocks for feathers. The tail-feathers of a peacock could be well identified from their tips to know whether the birds were killed for feathers or the feathers were naturally shed, said Mr Jakati.

He, however, claimed that the 'traders' of peacock feathers had been collecting naturally shed feather by the birds from different parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other states for sale. Sale of naturally shed peacock tail feathers is exempted as per the Wildlife Protection Act, he informed.

The CCFW also claimed that treating crop seed with excess of pesticide (chlorpyriphose) than the required amount have been proving toxic for the peacocks, sparrows and other fauna found in Haryana. The Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, has already conducted an indepth study over the issue and proved the facts true.

Mr Jakati also claimed that wildlife inspectors had been deployed at village level to educate the farmers of the consequences of intensive use of the pesticides over humans and the wildlife. The inspectors have been holding meetings with farmers of three to four villages every month since 2001, he claimed.

"To save the humans and wildlife from the side affects of pesticides, I have also written to the Director, Agriculture, for motivating farmers to use bio-pesticides as an alternate. In the list of states that lead in pesticide consumption, Haryana stands eighth in the country. As much as 85 per cent of the total area of the state has witnessed a sharp decline in wild animals and birds," added Mr Jakati.



New system causes heavy rush at passport office
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Chandigarh Passport Office has introduced a new multi-window system to accept passports. However, the new system, aimed at being helpful and more organised, seems to have ended up causing chaos and harassment to the applicants.

According to the new system introduced recently, an applicant will now have to spend time at two counters to submit his application for a passport.

He would have to first stand in line to get his file and complete documents checked by a gazetted officer. If found to be correct and in order, the applicant will then have to stand in another line to submit his application along with the processing fee.

In the earlier system, the applicants had to stand in one counter only and if the documents were found to be in order, the application was accepted immediately. The new system has doubled the time for submitting applications, thus increasing the rush.

People coming from far off places argue that first they have to pay an agent to correctly compile the application and documents so why waste time in two lines to get it checked again for which they have to stand in queue for hours.

Harmeet Kaur from Moga said that it was harassment to stand in two lines. “An agent put together my complete file and I paid him Rs 500 to do that. I am sure it is in order, but now I have been standing here for the past two hours, to get my file checked.”

The passport office has also changed its policy of accepting the applications. The applicant will now have to be present in person to submit his application for a passport. Earlier, the office would accept applications from any individual on the basis of an authority letter.

Applicants are not too happy with the passport office’s “double standard” as at the DC Office and various e-sampark centres across the city are still accepting the applications on authority letters.



‘Real power is in mind’
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
He sure is living up to his macho Punjabi image, flexing his muscles at every given opportunity and showing off iron will power, much to the consternation of more feeble beings around him.

It is a feat for Manoj Chopra — one of the strongest men in the country — to be now ranked as the 14th strongest man in the world. Ripping apart a telephone directory; blowing into a hot water bottle till it bursts; rolling an iron tawa as if it were a roti; or wrenching an iron bar; his exhilarating acts are indeed awe-inspiring, as the burly man (he weighs 140 kg!) from Bangalore accomplishes these with great ease.

In town to do a road show for Spice Telecom, to launch the Spice Bumper Pack (which gives free talk time of 600 minutes), he said he was now aiming to improve his position, as he gets ready for the next “World’s Strongest Man” competition. “I am presently training with the WWF, and was here for a vacation, when the road shows were offered to me,” he said.

A former arm wrestler, he dabbled in a travel agency business for a few years. “But I was always keen on sports. I had been representing the state of Madhya Pradesh in national level wrestling championships as a student, but had to quit sports for a “profession that allowed me to earn a livelihood”.

Then one day, while watching WWF show on television, it dawned on me that not even a single Indian had reached that level. I took a prompt decision, sold off my business and again started rehearsing. Since then, there has been no looking back, as I have set a target to represent my country on the international wrestling scene,” he said.

Chopra, however, lamented that there is little scope for wrestlers like him. “There are no financers and sponsors available and it is difficult for a person to pursue this sport. Even the diet expenses are huge. It is thus that I plan to start my own academy for training young talent, and also arrange for sponsors,” he said.

“The real power is not in flexing muscles, but in your mind. My power shows are possible because I think I can achieve the targets I set for myself,” he said, before he went off for his performance of dare-devil acts in Sector 15 here.



IAF lady doctor may face court martial
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
In an unusual case, a lady doctor in the Indian Air Force is facing a possible trial by court martial for her acts which allegedly led to one of her subordinates committing suicide at Chandigarh a few months ago, it is learnt.

According to sources, the summary of evidence (SoE) in the case of Sqn Ldr Priya is in the process of being recorded. She has been attached to an air force establishment in Suratgarh for the purpose.

The SoE is a prelude to a trial by court martial and is ordered if preliminary investigations hold a person blameworthy for an offence. The final decision to convene a court martial, however, depends on the review of the SoE by higher authorities.

It may be recalled that a 32-year-old Air Force sergeant, Srinivasan had committed suicide in September last, by hanging himself from a tree near the Air Force Station. According to reports, the police had recovered a suicide note from him, in which he had blamed his superior officer, Priya, of harassment. Both were then posted at the medical section of 12 Wing here.

The Chandigarh Police had registered a case and booked the officer on charges of abetment to suicide. The IAF had initiated its own investigations into the incident and a court of inquiry was ordered by the Western Air Command.

The court of inquiry, evidently held the lady doctor blameworthy for certain acts on her part which had allegedly led the airman to commit suicide. The court of inquiry was conducted by a wing commander from the IAF’s medical branch. Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cmde T.K. Venugopal, when contacted, said local authorities were not aware of the exact nature of charges against her because the station was not directly involved in the matter.



Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial
Our Correspondent

Mohali , April 12
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial will be constructed at Chappar Chiri village by the Punjab Heritage and Education Foundation. Mr Gurbax Singh Shergill, president of the foundation, said that the memorial would be built in the shape of a 51-feet high victory pillar (Fateh Bunga) in the centre of a 30 ft wide circular water point on a raised ground which would be beautifully landscaped.

The entire project would be undertaken by the village panchayat through kar seva.

He said that Mr Thakur Singh Basati from Chicago would be the project in charge and would raise the required funds with the help of Sikhs and Punjabis in the USA and other NRIs from this area. The project would be managed and executed under the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial Trust comprising representatives of Chappar Chiri panchayat and eminent social workers of the adjoining area, including Mohali and Chandigarh.



Sops for senior citizens announced
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 12
Ms Kartar Devi, Health Minister, Haryana, announced a bonanza for senior citizens on the 17th annual day celebrations of the Senior Citizens’ Council at Day Care Centre, Sector 15, here today.

The minister, besides announcing a sum of Rs 2 lakh for an automatic analyzer and a computer, also assured that a gym will be set up so that elderly persons could keep fit. She also assured the gathering that various social welfare schemes were on the priority list of the government.

She also sought suggestions from senior citizens so that social welfare schemes could be implemented more affectively. She also released a souvenir of the council.

Earlier, Financial Commissioner, Mr Dalip Singh, said that over 10 lakh elderly persons were benefitting from old age pensions of Rs 300 per month. He also claimed that the government has been spending 20 per cent of the budget on various social welfare schemes.

Mr S.P. Sharma, president of the council, highlighted the achievements and thanked the minister and other dignitaries.



Hindi workshop organised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
A one-day Hindi workshop was organised for officials of the BBMB on “Implementation of the Official Language in Government Office” here today.

The Member (Power) of the BBMB, Mr Sharat.C. Mahajan, said the implementation of Hindi has to start from the top and said simple words of Hindi language should be used.

The Member (Irrigation) BBMB, Mr Anil Arora, assured the gathering that he would accelerate the implementation of Hindi in offices of the BBMB. The chief guest, Mr Harihar Lal Shrivastav, said a target of implementing Hindi could not be achieved till regional languages did get their due. The Joint Director, Public Relations, BBMB, highlighted the progress of implementing Hindi language in the organisation.



PUDA blamed for inaction
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 12
The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 67, has complained that PUDA has failed to solve the problems of the area that have been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned.

Mr R.K. Garg, press secretary of the association, said several meetings were held with the PUDA authorities to apprise them of the conditions prevailing in the area but the request had fallen on “deaf ears”.

He said on March 20 a charter of demands was presented to the Chief Administrator, PUDA, but no action had been taken in this regard. He said that on March 26 it was brought to the notice of PUDA that many huts had come up along the boundary wall of the Jal Vayu Vihar.



Fire safety details a must for exhibitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Municipal Corporation changed norms of putting up exhibitions in the city at a meeting today.

Exhibitors would now have to submit a full layout plan of their exhibition and the safety measures undertaken.

A check of the premises would be done by the authorities to ensure that everything was in place before exhibitors would be given permission to go ahead with the exhibition.

Exhibitors would have to take a no-objection certificate from the electricity department and give details of the plan of action in case of a short circuit or any other calamity.

Exhibitors would have to instal miniature circuit breakers to ensure that there was no sparking.



CHB’s draw of lots on April 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Chandigarh Housing Board will hold the draw of lots for the allotment of dwelling units under the sub-scheme ‘A’ general category and scheme ‘B’ for oustees of one\two bed-room flats under the self-financing scheme on April 17, an official press release said here today.



Girl dies in mishap; woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 12
A girl died in an accident while a woman committed suicide in the district in the past 24 hours. According to the police, a teenaged migrant girl was mowed under a JCB machine in Sector 17 this afternoon.

Ten-year-old Krishana Devi was grazing cattle at a spot where the HUDA had been levelling land.

She accidentally fell down and was crushed to death under the machine.

She was rushed to a hospital, where she breathed her last.

A case was been registered against the JCB machine driver at the Sector 16 police station.

Meanwhile, Urmila, a Nepalese woman, died after consuming some poisonous substance.

According to the police, she took the step after a quarrel with her husband Kishor Bahadur late last night.

She was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, after her condition deteriorated and she breathed her last early this morning.

The couple had been staying at the Sagar Poultry Farm near Raipur Rani.

The Raipur Rani police was investigating the case.


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