C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Solar energy project fails to take off
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Intended beneficiaries

The project will supplement electricity supply to the control centre of the union territory.

The offices likely to benefit include the UT Secretariat, the Police Headquarters, head offices of schools and colleges, the Information Technology Centre and the Chandigarh Housing Board Headquarters.

Chandigarh, April 16
More than an year after the sanctioning of a project on solar lighting in the UT Secretariat to the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) by the Chandigarh Administration, there has been no progress.

The Administration had decided to set up a power plant with 25 KW capacity.

The plant was seen as a potential centre for generating an energy source to supplement existing electricity supply.

The entire groundwork was complete and the Administration had selected the offer from the BHEL among several other offers for the project.

A senior official said, “The project should have been functional by now, but the BHEL has been raising different issues with regard to project implementation and related costs right from the beginning.

“We have communicated with the BHEL authorities several times, but no cognitive development has taken place with regard to project implementation.

“The BHEL has communicated to us that the costs have gone up considerably and so, the Administration should release more money for the project.

“There have also been pointers with regard to certain changes needed in the implementation of technology.

“We have expressed our inability to bear the cost additions because the project is under Central funding.”

Another senior official said, “During discussions with the BHEL, we have found that costs may have to be revised because of changing needs for project implementation.

“It is often fruitless to implement a technology which now needs to be updated and the delays in government clearance need to be minimised for better results.

“In this case, the BHEL and the Administration should collectively approach the Centre at the earliest and explain the changed requirements, both financial and technical.”

The Administration was approaching the BHEL again.

“This time, we will approach them through the Centre, which will be explained reasons for the delay in project implementation”, the official said.

It was felt that the Administration needed to further explore the use of solar energy in the city.

The city did not have any source of electricity generation and had to purchase it from outside.

Press notes had been issued frequently, reminding residents to use electricity judiciously.

There was no power generation option and so, harvesting the vast untapped solar energy could be a viable option.



Irate residents pull down liquor vend
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 16
The structure of a liquor vend illegally opened on land belonging to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 18 on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road here was pulled down by irate residents this morning.

Protesting against opening of the liquor vend in the thickly populated area, the residents had been demanding its removal for a long time.

They had approached senior officials of the district administration, the Excise and Taxation Department and HUDA for the purpose.

The residents, including women, assembled on the spot today and pulled down the structure.

By the time the Subdivisional Magistrate and officials from HUDA and the Excise and Taxation Department reached the spot, the residents had pulled down tin sheets and damaged other infrastructure in the vend.



69-yr-old accused of raping minor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 16
A 69-year-old man allegedly raped a minor domestic help migrant girl in the absence of her parents in Sector 16. The case came to light two days ago after the girl complained of stomachache and was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16 in Chandigarh.

The father of the victim, who is a dhobi by profession, complained to the police that Verinder Singh Chauhan, a retired Excise and Taxation Officer, Chandigarh, had committed the crime when his daughter was alone in their hut. He alleged that Chauhan called his daughter on the pretext of getting his clothes ironed and committed the crime a month ago.

Hailing from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, the father of the victim claimed that he along with his wife, were not at home after the death of his son when the incident occurred. He said the matter came to light when his wife took their daughter to a doctor after she complained of stomachache. The doctor revealed that the girl was pregnant. On this the girl broke down and narrated the whole incident.

Mr Chauhan has, however, denied the allegations and said he was being implicated in a false case. He also demanded a medical check up of the girl and a DNA test should be conducted to prove him guilty.

The police has recorded the statements of the victim and her father. The medical examination of the girl was also conducted.



BA (III) philosophy paper rescheduled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
In a last-minute change that affects students of philosophy in BA (III), city colleges have received a notice that the date of the philosophy paper-I has been advanced from April 28 to April 17.

While staff members in city colleges are busy calling up the candidates and informing them about the change, there are many students who could not be contacted, sources said.

The Controller of Examinations, Panjab University (PU), Mr Sodhi Ram, stated that there had been a change in the datesheet and the philosophy paper-I was rescheduled for April 17.

College Principals asserted that they received a notice from the university less than a week back, informing them about the change.

There was a notice and students were informed accordingly, said Dr Shashi Jain, Principal of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45.

Students stated that the original datesheet put up on the college notice board earlier had the date as April 28 and another notice was put up a week back, stating that the date had been changed.

Rahul Sharma, a student of the Government College, Sector 46, said he was informed about the change over the telephone by the office clerk.

“He was asking telephone numbers of my classmates so that he could inform them. How can the college inform students whose telephone numbers it does not have”, he asked.



PU to get Rs 5 cr from Punjab after five years
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
After waiting for over five years Panjab University will be given at least Rs 5 crore by the Punjab Government as part of the payment of Rs 23 crore that the government owed to the university.

The Finance Minister of Punjab, Mr Surinder Singla, while confirming this said the part payment would be made to the university before the end of this month. He, however, added that the exact amount that the government could spare for the university at the moment had to be decided.

The university Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N Pathak, had earlier stated that the Punjab Government was preparing to release Rs 5 crore out of the total grant pending since 2001.

As stipulated under the Reorganization Act 1966, the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab Government now pay maintenance grant to the PU in the 60:40: ratio to cover the deficit each year.

The matter was discussed at length during PU budget Senate meeting on March 26.

Prof K.N. Pathak told that the Punjab Government had virtually frozen this annual grant at Rs 16 crore when actually the state should be sharing 40 per cent of whatever is the deficit burden of the university each year.

‘‘While the university has been managing its affairs with utmost caution, we have again requested the Punjab Government to release the grants as per the directive issued by the Government of India on the basis of the approved formula of the consultative committee and also the arrears of the previous years,’’ said the Vice-Chancellor.

The Finance Minister added that the government had released some of the grants pending from Punjab side to the PGI also. ‘‘We are committed towards the release of these grants,’’ said Mr Singla adding that the grant given to the PGI had accrued during the Akali regime in the state and yet that payment had been made.

During the discussion on the budget it was suggested that pressure should be built on the government to pay up its dues and a delegation of senior university professors should meet the Punjab Chief Minister in this regard. Agreeing to the proposal other Senators also suggested that in case such an approach failed then they should resort to agitation.



13 of marriage party hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, April 16
As many as 13 members of a marriage party were seriously injured when the Toyota Qualis (CH 03 A 2789) in which they were travelling overturned on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway today.

The accident took at about 12.30 p.m near Gholumajra village. The injured include four children and women. The condition of six of the 13 injured was stated to be critical. They have been admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

The marriage party was going from Manimajra to Baban village, near Shahbad (district Kurukshetra).

The driver of the vehicle apparently lost control when a rashly driven mini truck overtook it. The bridegroom’s father and aunt and some other close relatives were in the car.

Initially the injured were rushed to the Derabassi hospital, and later the critically injured were shifted to the GMCH, Sector 32.

The critically injured have been identified as: Jatinder Kaur, Sahab Singh Hardeep Kaur, Navdeep Kaur, Harsh and Gurbinder Kaur.

However, the police is yet to register a case in this regard.



Mohali to have computerised policing system
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 16
Mohali is set to be one of the few districts of Punjab to have a computerised policing system by the end of the month.

A proposal to this effect sent by the Police Department is under active consideration of the Home Department and a go-ahead is expected by the district chief next week.

“This is one of the first things on the agenda. A similar experiment had encouraging results at Khanna”, said Mohali SSP Naunihal Singh.

“Other than improving efficiency of the system and curtailing red tape, computerisation leads to transparency, accountability and reduction in adhocism”, he said.

“We had experimented with this system on a smaller scale at Khanna. The basic working had begun on computers and we were moving to the next stage, when all those computers would be networked.

“This means that the data on one computer is accessible on the other. The third stage will be to have a fully integrated system, running in coordination with other districts.

“We will have informal training for a week for the staff. The best way is to ask them to sit before the computer and start working. They will learn as they work. The idea is to make people comfortable with computers”, he added.

The SSP had met police officers of the district and asked SHOs to gear up for the installation of computers, which was expected to begin by the end of this month.



Serving armed forces personnel may vote at places of posting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Serving armed forces personnel will finally be able to vote at their place of posting. The Army has initiated the process to enroll service personnel as general electors in various military stations.

The Mathura cantonment has become the first station to issue orders for compiling nominal electoral rolls. An order issued by the Station commander, Mathura, a few days ago has directed all units and establishments to forward a nominal roll of all ranks and their family members, based upon which "Form-6" would be procured. These forms, which record the details of individuals, are to be forwarded to the Electoral Officer, Mathura cantonment, by April 30.

The nominal rolls will also form part of the quarterly reports and returns to be submitted by units to station headquarters. This entails that these would be updated four times annually.

Army authorities at Jalandhar also wrote to officials at Mathura last week, seeking details for compiling the nominal electoral rolls. General Officer Commanding, Bengal Area, is also learnt to have written to Army Headquarters, seeking details on the subject.

Former Director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, Brig H S Ghuman (retd), who has taken up the issue for compiling electoral rolls with the Election Commission of India as well as the Ministry of Defence, said information in this regard had also been forwarded to authorities at Chandimandir.

Earlier, service personnel could cast their vote through postal ballots or through proxy voting. These options could be exercised only for elections concerning their home town and not their current place of posting. As has been seen in the past, a large number of service personnel could not participate in the electoral process.

Under Election Commission directives, service personnel and their family members can get themselves registered at their place of posting.

Brigadier Ghuman said though provisions for compiling electoral rolls of service personnel at their place of posting existed, these were never implemented before. While a door-to-door survey is conducted by electoral authorities to compile nominal rolls, military areas were invariably left out by them. One reason for this, he observed, was lack of pertinent information with the military as well as civilian authorities concerned.

Last year an attempt was made to give service personnel the chance to exercise their franchise during elections in Ambala, but it could not be accomplished.

Though nominal rolls were complied, Form--6 could not be procured by the military authorities. Consequently, about 60,000 otherwise eligible voters could not cast their ballot.



Discussion on invasive species that damage forests
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Invasive species, that cause damage and impose enormous costs on the forests of Asia-Pacific region in terms of ecological destruction, economic losses and detrimental social effects, would be one of the major subjects of discussion at the 21st Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission meeting to be held at Dehra Dun from April 17 to 21.

According to Mr H.S. Sohal, Assistant Director-General (EIA) of the Indian Council of Forest Research and Education (ICFRE) , forestry experts from 30 nations besides those from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO), the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre (RECOFTC) and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) will put their brains together to discuss issues like sustainable forestry, its financing, payment for environmental services and role of global, local and regional mechanisms in promoting sustainable forest management.

The Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission has been facilitating policy discussions and negotiations at the regional level besides translating the outcome of these discussions into practical, field-based activities. It also accelerates progress in closing the gap between the present situation and long-term vision. It holds its meet every two years.

Experts would dwell upon, among other things, as to how new strategies be developed to minimise the adverse effect of invasive species like parthenium and lantana . Their recommendations would go a long way in guiding the Asia-Pacific Forestry Invasive Species network.

Besides invasive species, other important issues to be deliberated upon at the meet would include the need to improve partnership for poverty alleviation programmes.

Poverty alleviation, by integrating it with sustainable forest management programme , would be a key area for discussion.

Another subject of considerable interest to the general public living on forest wealth would be newer practices for forest harvesting for sustainable management that contributes to the benefit of the community as a whole and reducing environmental and social impact.

The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) will hold a special session on forest genetic resources as forests are the single most important repository of terrestrial biological diversity. These provide a wide range of raw material and services to people throughout the world and have a complex mechanism to maintain high levels of genetic diversity.



Play bigger role in nation-building, Dogras told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A colourful function marked the get-together of the J&K Dogra Sabha, Chandigarh, here today. The sabha, which is an association of residents of Jammu province who have shifted to Chandigarh to follow their economic, educational and other pursuits, is a social organisation.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr P.C. Dogra, former Director-General of Police, Punjab, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the Dogras had their own unique culture and ethos and the same needed to be preserved. He asked Dogra youth to play a more prominent role in nation building.

In his address, Dr B.K. Sharma, former Director, PGI, Chandigarh, said despite having settled out of Jammu over three decades ago, he continued to have fond memories of his native place. Pointing out that many Dogras were now holding important positions in various fields, Dr Sharma urged them to work towards strengthening the ties between the Dogra community members.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, president, J&K Dogra Sabha, in his address, said the main purpose behind reviving the sabha was to propagate the unique cultural and distinct identity of the Jammu region through the people settled outside Jammu. He disclosed that the sabha intended to bring out a directory of members soon.

Among the others who spoke included Prof Shashi Sharma of the Department of Laws, Panjab University, Dr Anil K. Gupta, Medical Superintendent, PGI, Dr Ajit Awasthi of Department of Psychiatry, PGI, Mr Kamal Dogra, Ms Monica Chhibber Sharma, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Amrit Lal Mahajan, Prof K.L. Gupta, Mr Vinay Kumar Bhandari and Mr Jai Ram Sharma.

Several prominent persons were also honoured for their achievements in various fields. They include Dr H.K. Bali, Dr B.R. Thapa, Dr B.D. Radotra, Dr Rajesh Gupta, Dr Vaishali Gupta, Mr N.S. Manhas and Manvir Singh.

Dr Ajit Awasthi presented the formal vote of thanks.



Villagers rue lack of civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 16
Residents of Abheypur village, located in the Industrial Area, Phase-I, have been alleging step-motherly treatment by the Panchkula Municipal Council authorities for the past over two years.

The residents alleged that the local civic authorities had been ignoring their demand for basic civic amenities. The authorities had not cemented their streets since December 2004 and had installed no streetlights.

In a complaint to the Executive Officer, Mr Jagbir Singh, a resident complained that though the authorities had metalled the streets in the area in 2004 but ignored a section of street (from house number 220 to 235). He complained that the streets were in a bad shape and had developed deep potholes at various places.

“Many manholes in the area are uncovered, trash and slush dots every nook and corner and the problem has become peculiar during the rains,” he complained.

The villagers said representations to the authorities concerned for metalling the streets and installing streetlights had yielded no results.



Bansal’s son ties the knot
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 16
The who’s who of the region attended the high-profile wedding of Manish Bansal, son of Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, tonight at a resort in Zirakpur. More than 2500 guests attended the wedding, which included prominent personalities from all walks of life. Manish Bansal, a lawyer at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, tied the knot with Shaina Goyal, daughter of Romesh Goyal, a businessman from Ludhiana.

The wedding was a star-studded affair with those present on the occasion including Ambika Soni, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, General SF Rodrigues, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Mr A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana, and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal.



Residents protest against allotment of park to school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Protesting against the allotment of a park site to a private school, residents of Sector 19-D sat on dharna here today.

Shouting slogans against the Chandigarh Administration, the protesters alleged that with the allotment of the park to the school, the residents would be left with no open space.

There were already five big schools functioning in the sector from the nursery to the secondary level.The residents alleged that the administration was itself violating various provisions of the master plan for the city.

A member of the action committee, Mr Gill, informed that a massive dharna would be organised against the decision on April 19.



Watering of lawns banned
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 16
The XEN Water Supply and Sanitation, Mohali, has banned watering of lawns and washing of vehicles due to shortage of drinking water.

A press note issued by the XEN said the consumption of water for watering of lawns had gone up substantially which was causing shortage of drinking water to residents living on the I and II floors.

The ban became active from April 15 and will continue till June 30. It will be effective from 5 am to 9 am. Use of booster pumps fitted directly to the water supply line have also been prohibited.

The water connection of anyone found violating the ban will be disconnected.



Fire at Hotel Trident

Chandigarh, April 16
A fire broke out at Hotel Trident, Sector 22, today. No loss of life was reported. Property worth Rs 1 lakh was reportedly destroyed. The fire broke out at about 6.30 pm. According to fire department officials, a short circuit might have caused the fire. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took about half an hour to bring the fire under control. The reception area on the first floor was destroyed. — TNS



Threat to gherao DC

Chandigarh, April 16
Members of the Joint Mazdoor Action Committee, Palsora, have threatened to gherao the Deputy Commissioner and launch a jail bharo andolan if their demands are not met soon. The committee members have been seeking rehabilitation for the past couple of days and staged a dharna. Their dharna today entered its 17th day. — TNS



Dhawan’s son, friends held; released on bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 16
Vikram Dhawan, son of former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, his friends Harpreet Singh and Nirpjit Singh were arrested on the charges of assaulting and obstructing a Chandigarh Police Constable from discharging his official duty.

The trio was,however, later released on bail.

Giving details of the incident, sources in the Sector 17 police station said the incident took place around 3.30 am on Saturday in the emergency ward of the General Hospital in Sector 16, where Vikram Dhawan had got himself admitted, after he reportedly fell off his motorbike in Sector 10 and sustained injuries. He had called his two friends, Harpreet, a British citizen and Nirpjit, a Sector 38 resident, to the hospital.

A police official investigating the case said while the doctors were attending to Vikram, he and his friends started using offensive and abusive language in the emergency, thus creating a ruckus.

When the repeated requests of the hospital staff fell on deaf ears, they called the police. Constable Subhash, who was on duty at that time at the hospital police post, reached there and intervened, but the three thrashed him badly. When the situation became out of control, the Constable called for police reinforcement, which took the accused in custody.

Subhash later told media persons that the accused were under the influence of liquor and refused to budge.

He sustained injuries on his arm and face. He was later discharged from the hospital. A case of causing hurt, to prevent a public servant and breach of peace under Sections 323, 332, 353 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in this regard.



Pedestrian killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 16
A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a tractor on the road separating Sectors 45 and 50 here yesterday.

The victim was identified as 35-year-old Anmol Kumar, a menial labourer, of Colony No. 5. He received multiple injuries and died on the spot.

The tractor driver fled from the spot. The police said he was identified as Nand Lal of Bihar.

Caught red-handed

Mr Nanvneet Arora of Mahashakti Communications, Sector 35, alleged that Harminder Singh of Phase I, Mohali, was caught red-handed while trying to steal a mobile phone from his shop on Saturday.

Purse snatched

Ms Rajni Kashyap of ITBP Colony, Sector 32, lodged a complaint that two unidentified scooterists snatched her purse containing Rs 1,000 and a mobile phone from near the road separating Sectors 18 and 21 here on Saturday.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Nakshat Ram of Colony No. 5 reported to the police that his motor cycle (CH-03-F-2321) was stolen from his house on Thursday.



Woman held with smack
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 16
The local police today recovered 80 gm of smack from a woman. Sources in the police said the Special Crime Investigation Cell of the Chandigarh Police nabbed the accused following secret information.

She has been identified as 24-year-old Anu of Sector 38. She belongs to the Sansi tribe and her husband Vicky is a vegetable vendor. The police said the accused contacted her customers on mobile phone and fixed the spot. The sources further added about two weeks ago Anu's mother-in-law was arrested on similar charges. A case under NDPS Act has been registered.



Mobiletek concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The Mobiletek at CII, which ended today, was a techie’s delight. Leading names in mobile technology — Compaq, Toshiba, Lenovo and Sony today launched their new gizmos here.

Toshiba presented the first of its kind laptop, which has features of a television with remote control. The two variants of the laptop are priced at Rs 1.35 lakh and Rs 1.79 lakh.

Beyond Computers launched its Compaq Presario, an Intel Pentium 4 2.93 GHz Hyper threading-based personal computer with 256 MB DDR RAM and 80 GB hard disk with HP TFT-LCD screen priced at Rs 29,990.

The expo, organised by Masterline Telebiz, saw about 20,000 footfalls, claimed Mr Naresh Nanda, Managing Director, Masterline. “This was the second year that we got the expo to Chandigarh. Several companies like Datawind, Lenovo, Compaq, IBM, JVC and Canon have showcased their products for the first time in our expo,” he said.

The final day of this expo also witnessed the launch of the Lenovo 3000 Q series computer. The PC consists Intel 524 @ P$ 3.06 GHz HT with extended memory and a 17 inch TFT LCD screen. The PC comes with a 8-in-1 card reader.

Sony presented new categories of LCD TVs and a cyber shot camera. This 5 mega pixel camera is priced at Rs 10,990. Sony also launched W550 Walkman phone with 3-D sound effects and 256 MB of in-built memory.



Nahar group to invest Rs 1050 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Textile major, Nahar group, will be investing Rs 1050 crore for the expansion of its facilities in their 550 acre textile park at Lalru, in the next two years.

Mr Kamal Oswal, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Nahar group, said that in the next phase of expansion, the company will set up new spinning units with a capacity of 1,25,000 spindles, 4320 rotors and 250 air jet looms. “We also propose to expand the process house to have a capacity of 1,00, 000 meters per day,” he added.

The company has already invested Rs 1500 crore to set up over 1,50,000 spindles, 1800 rotors, 426 air jet looms and a processing house with a capacity of 1,00,000 meters per day in the textile park.

Mr Oswal said the expansion would be complete by 2008 and as many as 4,500 people will get employment.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |