C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Doctors call off stir
Repose full faith in judiciary 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Resident doctors in city hospitals will finally get back to doing what they are best at — attending to patients.

In a late evening development, doctors warring against reservation today decided to call off their strike in view of the Supreme Court orders asking them to join work from tomorrow, here today.

GMCH-32 students to decide strike status today

While resident doctors of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, decided to call off the strike, students of the college are still undecided over discontinuing the strike. A final decision on the matter will be taken at a meeting of the students slated for tomorrow morning.

While this came as a good news for patients awaiting the return of doctors, junior and senior doctors, too, are happy to be able to get back to work.

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of the PGI, at its general body meeting, decided to discontinue the 16-day protest and return to work from tomorrow.

Reposing “full faith in the judiciary”, the medicos said they would try to keep the anti-reservation struggle alive till merit was given its due recognition.

“The House was particularly appreciative of the general public, students of Panjab University and Punjab Engineering College who stood by us during the agitation and extended support in more ways than one,” Dr Subhmohan, a spokesman of the ARD, said.

A handful of doctors were of the view that the strike should continue till reservation on caste basis was withdrawn by the government but a majority favoured discontinuing the strike in the light of the Supreme Court orders, especially since it would invite the contempt of court and other complications.

The doctors of General Hospital, Sector 16, too followed suit. But those of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 will resume work on June 2. In their respective general body meets, they decided to call off the anti-reservation agitation and resume duties from tomorrow.

“The members were of the opinion that continuing the agitation made no sense especially since doctors of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, in the forefront of the fight, had decided to join work,” said Dr Gurprinder of GH-16.

Earlier in the day, doctors sat glued to television sets, watching developments in Delhi. In touch with their own representatives in Delhi through phone, the better part of the day was spent debating over the direction of the agitation.

Doctors of GH-16 organised a protest rally. They distributed pamphlets to passers-by to keep up the pace of agitation while awaiting a final decision.

This brings to end a fortnight long first-of-its-kind agitation spearheaded and sustained by medicos. The two weeks of agitation saw the suspension of OPDs and spreading boycot to the wards and emergencies in the three hospitals.

The doctors contacted various organisations to muster support through their outreach programmes and organised a near total bandh in the city besides organising candle light marches, forming human chains and expressing resentment by blocking roads and burning copies of their degrees and effigies of reservation and the Union HRD Minister, Mr Arjun Singh.



City students bag top positions
60 clear IIT examination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The result of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance examination was declared today. Four of the top 10 positions were bagged by city students.

While Raghu Mahajan, a student of SD Public School, Sector 32, who stood first in the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), got the first position in IIT, Kashish Mittal ranked fourth, Prateek Mittal sixth and Rushil Goyal seventh. Nearly 60 students from the city cleared the examination.

Kashish Mittal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, is keen to pursue his computer engineering at IIT, New Delhi or Mumbai.

Son of Mr Jagdish Mittal, DIG, Punjab Police, Kashish is a scholarship holder in the NTSE of the NCERT. He has also secured ninth rank in the AIEEE.

Prateek Mittal got sixth rank in the IIT. He was fifth in the AIEEE. He is currently in Mumbai for participating in the Chemistry and Maths Olympiads.

Speaking to The Tribune, his parents — Sushma Mittal and Binder Pal Mittal — said: “He is keen to pursue electronic engineering and we are absolutely thrilled with his result.” Prateek is also a national-level badminton player.

Rushil Goyal of S.D. Public School got seventh rank in the IIT. He recently topped the city in Class XII CBSE (non-medical), securing 95.2 per cent marks. He also bagged the 16 rank in the AIEEE. He is also currently in Mumbai for the Maths and Chemistry Olympiads.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone from Mumbai, he said: “The result was quite unexpected as I was expecting my rank to be in the top 50 but by no means thought it would be in top 10.”

“Scoring an impressive percentage of 95.2 per cent in Class XII, my future plans have yet not been decided as I am equally interested in doing some business but at the same time I have plans to join IIT too. Nothing is finalised so can’t comment,” says this elated city lad.

His mother, Anita Goel, a lecturer and Head of the Department of Hindi, Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26, said: “Rushil was the only child from the North to be selected for KVPY’s National Science Fellowship for budding scientists in 2005.



Hawara case takes new turn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The case of alleged torture of Kamaljeet Singh, who had been booked by the Chandigarh police for harbouring Jagtar Singh Hawara, at hands of officials of Burail Jail today took a new turn with the undertrial stating before the Judicial Magistrate ( First Class), Mr M.D.S. Dhillon, stating that he had been tortured and forced to give a wrong statement.

Kamaljeet had stated that he was tortured by the Jail Superintendent, Mr Subash Chander, and some other jail officials.

In a written statement, Kamaljeet said he was forced to write a false letter to Jagtar Singh Hawara, who is also lodged in Burail Jail. He further stated that false cases were being registered against his counsels.

But with the recording of the statement of Kamaljeet before the JMIC today, the controversy has again cropped up.



Sodhi Ram to be chargesheeted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Panjab University Controller of Examinations, Mr Sodhi Ram, and the Assistant Registrar (Conduct), Mr S.K. Sharma, would be chargesheeted following allegations of negligence of duty that led to the last minute cancellation of the common entrance test conducted by the university.

Sources informed The Tribune today that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, had decided to chargesheet the two officers and hold a full fledged inquiry into the role of the two officers. Sources added that punitive measures were being initiated against the printer and other than a monetary penalty the printer would be blacklisted by the university.

On May 27, the PU Syndicate members had authorised the Vice-Chancellor to take disciplinary action against Mr Sodhi Ram and Mr Sharma for negligence of duty. The question papers for the test had arrived late and in the absence of a contingency plan the test had to be cancelled.

The syndics had discussed the findings of the report submitted by Prof K.K. Bajaj that had established the need of a full fledged inquiry into the role Mr Sodhi Ram. The report also established the responsibility of the Mr Sharma along with the question paper printer for the “debacle”.

Sources added that the Vice-Chancellor had already made up his mind regarding charge sheeting the two officers and was waiting for the Syndicate meeting proceedings to be received.

The Bajaj report had concluded that there had been a complete lack of responsible monitoring of the task of receipt of printed question papers from the printer. It added that the entire incident resting on the premise of timely dispatch but delayed receipt did not stand the critical scrutiny of logical thinking.

The report stated that the entire debacle not only made the university suffer an irreparable damage to its reputation and credibility, but also caused undue hardship to about 8,500 students who had come from far off places for the test.



UT seeks ‘exemption’ for filling top posts
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In an important development, the Chandigarh Administration is seeking exemption from the Union Public Service Commission for filling Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ posts on deputation in the Administration and also relaxation in recruitment rules in special cases.

The demands come in the wake of procedural delays in the case of appointments on deputation. Under the existing norms, the procedure takes a long time leading to inordinate delays in official matters.

The development gains weightage in the light of an earlier communication sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking a revision in the financial powers of at least the senior officers. The Administration is facing difficulty in the implementation of major high-cost projects because of financial limits imposed on the administrative officers by the MHA.

The UT Administrator can sanction only Rs 10 crore for any project which means the UT has to look towards the Centre for any major project. A number of major projects, including the desilting at Sukhna Lake and certain other projects, are lying at the “mercy” of the Centre.

The recruitment rules for the Group “A’ posts are drafted by the Administration and sent to the Government of India. The rules are notified after the concurrence of the UPSC. The ‘B’ group rules also require concurrence of the UPSC.

The Administration is learnt to have officially communicated to the Centre seeking permission to take officers on deputation in Group ‘B’ posts without consultation with the UPSC “keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the Administration”.

The Administration has pointed out that it “has very small cadres and the provisions of the rules are required to be relaxed on specific demands of each department”.

The Administration has also pointed out that “as per the notification dated November 1, 1966, of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the President directs that the Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh shall exercise the powers to make rules with regard to the method of recruitment to the Central civil services and posts (Group ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’) under his administrative control. Accordingly, powers to relax provisions of the rules with respect to any class or category, is also exercised by the Administrator when he is of the opinion that it is necessary”.

The Administration says that despite the existing provisions “the UPSC has directed the Administration that the power to relax provisions of the rules (in case of Group ‘B’ posts) is available to the ministry in consultation with the UPSC.

A senior officer said the Centre should make certain relaxations in the existing rules for a quicker functioning of the Administration. More financial powers to UT officers was equally important, he added.



Microsoft to identify illegal Windows operating system
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
If you are using a pirated copy of Microsoft Windows operating system, be careful, Microsoft has taken a decision to come looking for all those who are causing the American software giant huge financial losses. Microsoft Corporation India Private Limited today announced its Genuine Software Initiative that aims at identifying and warning pirated software users across the country.

According to Microsoft officials, starting June 1, customers running non-genuine copy of Windows will receive notifications in secure nooks and corners of their homes, directly on their desktop - informing them that the copy of Windows they are running is not genuine.

Sources said though it might not be possible to identify pirated operating system being used on standalone systems, but once a computer is connected to the Internet, Microsoft will be able to identify computers on which illegal or pirated software is being used. A pop up message will flash on the computer screen informing the user about the status of his software.

Mr Doug Hauger, Head Business and Marketing Operations for the company in India, said, "Our research indicated that almost 50 per cent of Indian consumers who use counterfeit software today, do so unknowingly. The research also made it clear that lack of ready access to and availability of genuine software is an issue that compounds the problem in India."

The company hopes that several people who do not know that they are using pirated software will automatically switch to licenced software. Piracy and counterfeit products are an important issue across the entire technology industry. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) estimates that 35 per cent of all software used worldwide is counterfeit or otherwise illegal, and in 2005 economic losses due to software piracy amounted to $34 billion.

According to a Nasscom study, an estimated 10-point decrease in the piracy level (from the existing 72 per cent) in India can result in a 13.4 per cent increase in GDP. This faster growth could help India generate 364,000 more jobs and add $30 billion a year.

"It's important for everyone concerned to realise that piracy impacts the health of IT industry and the economy as a whole, and the industry needs to work in tandem to address the issue. Through our Genuine Software Initiative, over the next year we will be making significant investments in the areas of Education, Engineering and Enforcement to ensure that we create an environment of respect for IPR and help bring down the level of piracy in the country", Mr Hauger said.



passing thru

Binixa Mistry
Binixa Mistry Design Teacher at a school in Bath, UK

What are your impressions about India?

I love travelling to this part of Asia. This place is so much closer to its roots. I feel a strange affinity to India perhaps because I am a British Hindu. I have been taught the traditional way of life that my parents have adopted since they left India in the 1960s.

What brings you to Chandigarh?

We are here to learn from the Indian experience in teaching and supervising students. Back home in Bath, which is a historic Roman city located close to London, I teach design at Norton High School, which is a comprehensive school for boys and girls between ages of 11 and 18 years. We lay tremendous stress on building partnerships with parents to maximise students’ potential. But we are in Chandigarh to enhance our skills in this direction.

What do you hope to gain from the trip?

I hope this visit will allow me to understand the different learning styles that are addressed within a variety of subjects to help engage students, especially boys to achieve their potential. To look at the various school activities those have an emphasis on parental involvement and pupil participation and see how this has changed the ethos within the school. Finally, to develop a strategy that would enable students to work independently with confidence, by looking at how they can be motivated within the school environment.

How will you sustain links with India?

I want to forge links with a school in India so that the students can exchange emails and learn from one another’s culture.

— Aditi Tandon



Gypsum dumping near rly station causes air pollution
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Gypsum particles in air have been affecting the health of hundreds of residents of Dariya, Mauli Jagran and surrounding villages, adjacent to the Chandigarh railway station for the past over one year.

The Railways authorities have not been giving any attention to the health of villagers and allowing multinational companies to unload wagons full of the gypsum clay, which are causing air pollution on a large scale.

The problem was earlier being faced by residents of Kiratpur Sahib and surrounding areas in Ropar district a couple of months ago. The Railways authorities had to shift the site for the unloading of the wagons full of gypsum following massive protests by the residents.

According to information, certain cement-manufacturing factories, located in Himachal Pradesh and neighbouring states, have been ferrying gypsum clay from Rajasthan on a large scale. The clay is being transported by goods trains from Rajasthan to the Chandigarh railway station and then to their respective destinations by road.

In the unloading process, thick clouds of gypsum dust virtually fill the place, posing a serious threat to the heath of residents of the surrounding villages as well as to the labourers without masks at the site. The air containing gypsum particles has even started affecting the health of children and vegetation adversely in the surrounding areas.

The Gram Panchayat of Dariya village, Chandigarh, has given a representation to the Advisor to the UT Administrator, listing its grievances. Seeking the stoppage of loading and unloading of the gypsum, the panchayat members have also threatened to resort an agitation against the Railways authorities.

The panchayat has also written to Union State Minister of Finance Pawan Bansal, Divisional Railway Manager, Northern Railway, Ambala Cantonment, Inspector-General of Northern Railway, Panchkula, Station Superintendent of Northern Railway, Chandigarh, and other authorities concerned in this regard.

A senior official of the UT Pollution Control Committee made it clear that air pollution by unloading gypsum clay at the railway station was a consequence of the mismanagement by the Railways authorities.

The Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala, was not available for comments. Mr R.P. Dutta, Station Superintendent, Chandigarh Railway Station, said certain Himachal Pradesh-based cement manufacturing factories have been unloading tonnes of gypsum clay at the railway station almost everyday as per the rules.



‘No Tobacco Day’ focuses on workers
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, May 31
“World No Tobacco Day” was celebrated by the Tobacco Cessation Clinic (TCC), Department of Psychiatry with joint collaboration of the Regional Cancer Center and Department of Radiotherapy, Department of Pulmonary Medicine of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, and the Servant of People Society, here today.

The theme for this year is “Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise”. Several programmes aimed to spread awareness regarding harmful effects of tobacco use were organised. These included screening of tobacco film, display of posters, distribution of education material and a talk on tobacco. Multicolour banners designed by the TCC staff on the “World No Tobacco Day -2006” were displayed at various places in the city of Chandigarh.

The TCC focussed on industrial workers , daily wages laborers , students and General people. Sensitisation and awareness programmes were also held. Prof Anil Malhotra, Prof S.C. Sharma and Dr Dheeraj Gupta and Dr.Rakesh Kapoor gave comprehensive account of the harmful effects of Tobacco.

Prof Anil Malhotra talked on various aspects of tobacco use and its growing menace. He also explained the wrong notions about tobacco’s positive effects. Dr Dheeraj Gupta in his talk emphasised that majority of lung diseases as malignancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, asthma etc were caused by tobacco related products.

Prof S.C Sharma and Dr.Rakesh Kapoor of the Regional Cancer Center and the Radio Therapy Department gave an account of how tobacco use can cause cancer and why it’s advisable to stop using it.

A short video film regarding the anti-tobacco message was shown covering health hazards of tobacco use and message from film personalities. “No Tobacco” message was put across to children of various selected schools in tricity Chandigarh. The IEC material (posters, stickers and pamphlets giving information on health hazards of tobacco and tips to leave tobacco) was also distributed. Other important target area for the delivery of message for TCC team was Panjab University comprising of various hostels, library, student Centre and health centre. 



Panchkula MC chief’s election: notice to govt

Chandigarh, May 31
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the Haryana Government, the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, the President, Municipal Council, Panchkula, Ms Manveer Kaur Gill, and others on a petition challenging her election as council president on May 19.

In their petition, Mr Mohinder Singh and three other members of the council have stated that the election was highly irregular as no member had proposed or seconded her name for the post. They claimed that her name, written on a chit kept inside a sealed envelope, was actually handed over to the presiding officer by the Deputy Chief Minister, who is also the local MLA.

Stating that when her name was announced by the presiding officer, almost all members opposed it, after which the name of Mr C.B. Goel was duly proposed by Ms Jagdamba Gupta and seconded by Mr V.K. Sood.

The petitioners alleged that the presiding officer, acting under the influence of Mr Chander Mohan, refused to accept the nomination of Mr Goel and declared Ms Gill as new President. — TNS



Patent experts meet today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Patent Information Centre, Punjab, is organising an all-India patent information centre interaction meeting here tomorrow.

Forty experts from 20 patent information centres throughout the country are expected to participate.

The Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council of the Department of Science and Technology has set up 20 patent centres in the country.

The aims of the patent centre include to create awareness on intellectual property rights, to facilitate patent filing and to take patent search to the doorstep of researchers.

The Punjab centre is one of the oldest centre in India. Dr Neelima Jerath, Joint Director (Environment), Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, is in charge of the centre. So far the centre has filed 15 patients and 84 patent searches.

The experts will also attend a seminar on international depository authority at IMTECH, Sector 39, on June 2.



Director PR given farewell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Director Public Relations and Cultural Affairs R.C. Sharma retired today after putting in 34 years of government service.

The Department of Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Hospitality and Panchayat Bhavan bade farewell to Mr Sharma at a function organised at the UT State Guest House.

Office-bearers of the HCS Association were also present. Prominent among them were HCS Association president Lajveer Singh, Vinay Singh, Bhupinder Singh, W.S. Goyat, S.K. Setia, Sarita Malik, Satpal Sharma and Jagdeep Singh, besides others.

Mementos were given to Mr Sharma by the UT Department of Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, the Department of Hospitality and the HCS Association.

Family members and friends of Mr Sharma were also present.

Speakers appreciated the role of Mr Sharma in performing duties in various capacities.

During his outstanding service, he served the Haryana and UT Administration.



Rural areas to get top priority in job scheme: Selja
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will be implemented on a priority basis in the rural areas of the country to generate more employment opportunities for the unemployed and unskilled youth. After its implementation in Sirsa and Mahenderagarh districts, certain more districts of the state would be coved under the scheme.

This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Ms Selja, after inaugurating Kendriya Vihar-II, a housing project in Sector 25, here yesterday.

She added that the state government and the Union Government had been taking important decisions and chalking out various social welfare schemes for providing better future to all sections of the society.

The Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan stressed upon sanctioning of special package for the HMT, Pinjore, by the Union Government. He claimed that the Central Government had completed all formalities for sanctioning of the package. The package would soon be released to benefit of the area residents.

Due to their topography certain areas of the district that include Morni, Raytan, Doon and Barwala have been lagging behind in development area and hence the people of the areas were very weaker economically. He also sought Ms Selja’s help in implementing the employment guarantee scheme in these areas.



New milk colony at Maloya likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Experts from the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary University, Ludhiana(GADVU), had a dialogue with officials of Chandigarh Administration here today about the integrated milk village in the Union Territory, an official press release said here yesterday.

Experts from GADVU also met the UT Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan at the UT Secretariat regarding this. The team also visited Maloya village.

The team comprised of Mr Makarandi, senior General Manager, NDDB, Mr N.A. Sheikh, GM, NDDB, D.S.S. Nagra, Head, Department Life-stock Production and Management, GADVU and Dr R.S.Sahote, Head, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, GADVU.

They are likely to submit their report within a week for developing an integrated milk colony at Maloya village.

The need for the integrated milk village was felt by the Administration because a large number of people are keeping dairies in various villages of the UT. These animals are creating insanitary conditions.

The UT Administration is deliberating on a proposal to develop Maloya village as an integrated milk colony.



Insurance staff protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A large number of members of the General Insurance Employees’ Association, Northern Zone, Chandigarh unit, sat on a day-long dharna here today in protest against the transfer and mobility policy of the management and the delay in promotion for Class III and IV employees.

The president and secretary of the association said the need of the hour was to strengthen the public sector insurance companies due to the cut-throat competition from the private sector.

They said a demonstration of employees from four insurance companies was addressed by many speakers, including Mr Harimal Thakur and Mr Kanchan Kumar, president and secretary, respectively, of the association.



Environment day function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The `Sheebham' Eco Club of Government Model High School, Sector 36-D, celebrated the Environment Day with great zeal and fervour here yesterday under the guidance of Headmistress Mrs Rita Jauhar. Mrs Kamla Bains, DEO and Mrs Rajesh Minhas Dy DEO were the chief guests.

A small variety entertainment programme was presented by the students on the occasion. A debate competition on Environemnt was also held. The programme started with the welcome song, followed by speeches and fancy dress contest by the tiny tots. 



B.B. Behl to address mediapersons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Mr B.B. Behl, President, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Chandigarh, will address a “meet-the-press” programme being organised by the Chandigarh Press Club at 12.30 pm on Thursday.



Male otter in search of companion
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The smooth-coated otter, the most playful and vocal carnivore, seems to be desolate at the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chhat Bir.

A female companion has not been arranged for him in the past eight years due to decline in its population.

Once found in abundance, the otter is now rare in rivers, lakes, canals and swamps.

The inquisitive creature is also called the “ambassador” of the wetlands.

Unfortunately its future is threatened by rampant poaching for highly prized pelts.

Related to the weasel and the badger, the otter belongs to the family Mustelidae.

There are 13 species found worldwide, except Australia.

Three species of the otter are found in India — the Eurasian, the smooth-coated and the oriental small-clawed.

The smooth-coated otter is distributed throughout the country while the Eurasian and the small-clawed are restricted to the Himalayas, north of the Ganges and southern India.

In Punjab, the smooth-coated otter was common in the Harike and Ropar wetlands.

With the shrinkage of wetlands and pollution in the Sutlej and the Beas, it can be seen in isolated pockets.

Says the Director of the Chhat Bir zoo, Dr Kuldip Kumar, “Since the otter falls in Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, it cannot be captured from the wild. Even in captivity, it is not available in surplus. So his companion could not be arranged”.

The Chhat Bir zoo got the otter from the Amritsar mini-zoo in 1998, when it was closed.

Similarly, the Manipuri deer, the jaguar, the capped langur, the lion-tailed macaque and the pig-tailed macaque are also looking for mates.

Dr Kuldip Kumar says the lonely days of the endangered male Manipuri deer in the zoo will soon be over as the National Zoological Park, New Delhi, has agreed to give two females.

A Tripura zoo is also likely to provide a capped langur, a lion-tailed macaque, a pig-tailed macaque and a leopard cat in exchange of a pair of tigers.

He says the main objective of the zoos is to initiate the conservation breeding programme, especially of the endangered species.

The breeding programme is successful only when the zoo authorities succeed in establishing a pair of pure gene pool.

Exchange programmes among zoos are the only solution.

Meanwhile, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has moved the Supreme Court over the plight of zoo animals without mates. PETA says around 500 such animals in various zoo are forced to live in celibacy.



Aviation corps gets trophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Army Aviation Corps 16 Recce and Observation Flight has been adjudged best flying unit in Western Command for the year 2005-06 on the basis of operational proficiency and flight safety achievements.

The Flight Safety Trophy was received on the behalf of the unit by Lieut-Col I.P.S. Chahal from the Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Paramjit Singh, during the annual Army Aviation Conference in Chandimandir today.

Earlier, chairing the conference, General Paramjit Singh complimented the aviation corps for its excellent performance during the previous year and also congratulated its personnel for achieving an accident-free year in the command.



“City’s water woes to end soon”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The city's water woes may soon come to an end as water from phase IV of Kajauli water works was expected to be released soon. The water supply would thus, be increased to 16 hours in summers and 18 hours in winters as against 10 hours in summers and 12 hours in winter.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, Surinder Singh, Mayor, said Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, said the water would be released within a few days. Interestingly, there had been no written communication from the Chief Minister on this issue. However, the Mayor said, "No there is no written order. The chief minister has given his word and we have no reason to doubt it."

According to the Mayor, the water would be released in the month of June bringing respite to the city residents. Of the 20 MGD water that would be released, the city would get 14.5 , 1.5 MGD would go to Haryana, 2.5 MGD to Mohali and 1.5 MGD to Chandimandir cantonment area. 



25 mm rainfall in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
No, this was not a monsoon shower by any standard. But it was welcome indeed. As the weather system changed tack this morning, it was time for heat to retreat and rain to move in.

Between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm today, the Meteorological Department recorded as much as 25 mm rainfall - the highest in the region, which finally had a heart-full of raindrops today. The air turned cooler for obvious reasons although strangely the maximum temperature remained the same as yesterday — a whopping 39°C.

In regards the cause of today’s rainfall, the duty officer at Met informed it was very much a result of combined factors. “The heat was building up and the weather system was changing fast enough to ensure today’s developments.

The rain was caused primarily by a western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining Himachal Pradesh. Also, we had an induced upper air cyclonic circulation over western Uttar Pradesh and adjoining eastern Rajasthan and Haryana extending up to 1.5 km above sea level.”



Tribune employee bereaved

Chandigarh, May 31
The wife of Senior Operator of Punjabi Tribune Satyender Singh Bedi, Ms Harjeet Kaur Bedi (45), died at a private hospital here today.

She was not keeping well for past several days. TNS



Raids on premises of official liquidator
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 31
The CBI today carried out simultaneous raids at residence and official premises of an official liquidator in Chandigarh, here and in Nagpur and Chattisgarh in connection with the alleged misuse of his official position.

Sources in the CBI said more than Rs 38 lakh were recovered during the raids conducted in three separate places in the city. The CBI reportedly recovered Rs 30.5 lakh from a locker in Central Bank, Sector 17 belonging to Mr Ashish Vajpayee, the official liquidator of the Ministry of Company Affairs, in Chandigarh and more than Rs 7 lakh were recovered from his residence in Sector 27, here.

Besides this, it is learnt that more than Rs 70 lakh were reportedly recovered from his lockers in other parts of the country and documents pertaining to property.

The raiding team in Chandigarh was supervised by Mr Sumit Sharan, Superintendent of Police, Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI, Chandigarh.

The sources said the raids were also conducted in the office of a company which allegedly enjoyed undue favours from Vajpayee.

There are reports that the CBI sleuths seized documents of two flats and a plot belonging to Vajpayee from Raipur and several other incriminating documents were found from Nagpur also.

The sources added that the raids were conducted after registration of a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the provision of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act on Monday against Vajpayee. 



Flesh trade racket: SHO suspended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May31
Taking a serious note of the flesh trade racket being operated from a housing society, Jal Wayu Vihar, in Sector 20, adjacent to the police station, the Director-General of Police, Haryana, Mr Nirmal Singh, has placed Station House Officer Balwant Rai Vermani under suspension.

Sources in the police disclosed that the DGP had suspended the SHO for his negligence and “alleged ignorance” about the operating of the flesh trade racket from a residential area.

The DGPs flying squad led by the DSP, Mr Rajesh Duggal, had arrested eight persons, including three of a family along with three girls and two men, from a flat on the fifth floor of the society.

The police had also arrested a daughter of the kingpins of the flesh trade, Ramesh Watts and his wife Sanjana along with three girls from Mumbai, Goa and Delhi. A Chandigarh-based property dealer and a resident of Abohar were also arrested by a flying squad.



10-year-old beaten up
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 31
A 10-year-old boy of Nayagoan village was allegedly beaten by an employee of a fish farm owner at Perch village last evening.

According to information, Jeetu had gone to the Perch area to collect firewood. As he fell thirsty he went to drink water from a pond in the area. The owner of the pond suspected that Jeetu was trying to steal fish from there . His employee allegedly caught hold of Jeetu and beat him up.

The boy was brought to the local Civil Hospital for treatment by his father, Hari Chand, who works as a mason. He said that a complaint in this regard was lodged at the Mullanpur police station.



Bank staff launch stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The All-India Allahabad Bank Employees Coordination Committee (AIABECC) has launched an agitation programme in all branches of the bank all over the region, according to a press statement released here today.

The employees will hold demonstrations/dharnas at head/zonal offices of the bank during the protest which would culminate in a one day token strike on June 26.

The agitation followed the non-acceptance of the demands of the employees which included: filling vacant vacancies, appointments on compassionate ground, etc.


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