C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

4 city students among top 10 in CBSE PMT
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 4
It was celebration time once again after the CBSE PMT (main) results were declared late last night. Four city students have bagged a place in the top 10. Interestingly, parents of all the four students are doctors. More than 30 students have cleared the entrance test from the city.

Ankita Chakravarty has bagged the fourth all India rank and is ranked first in the city. Rohan Khera has been placed fifth at the all India level, while Dinkar Bhasin has been ranked seventh at the all India level and has been placed third in the city. Manvi Singh has been ranked ninth at the all-India level and fourth in the city.

Ankita Chakravarty, who has been ranked fouth at the all-India level, is a student of SGGS Collegiate Public School, Sector 26, and is currently away to Mumbai to attend the Biology Olympiad. She is the daughter of Dr Satish Chakravarty and Dr Renu Chakravarty, both running a nursing home in Panchkula. Talking to TNS, her elated mother stated that “we are very happy with her result.” Ankita has also cleared her Manipal entrance and is ranked first at the all India level. She has also cleared the entrance of GIPMER, Pondicherry, where she has been ranked second at the all India level. According to her mother, she plans to join Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi.

Rohan Khera, ranked fifth at the all-India level is also currently away to Mumbai for the Biology Olympiad. Son of Dr Prajesh Khera, running his own hospital in Pinjore, Rohan has also cleared the Manipal entrance test and has been ranked third at the all India level.

Talking to TNS from Mumbai, he stated that he would like to thank God and his teachers for showing him the direction. “I always wanted to be a doctor and planned for the same since Class 9. I was focused and did what was essential. I did consistent study in Class XI and XII.” A student of Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27, he too plans to join the Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi.

Dinkar Bhasin, a student of DAV College, Sector 10, has bagged the seventh position at the all-India level and has been placed third in the city. Son of Dr Deepak Bhasin, professor of Gastroenterology, PGI, and Dr Gyan Vidhu, Head of the Gynaecology Department, General Hospital-16, Dinkar has also cleared his AFMC entrance test and his Manipal entrance test, where he bagged the 50th rank at the all India level. Consistent study in Class XI and XII is what Dinkar attributes his success too. “I worked hard throughout and have done a lot better than I expected,” he informs. Still undecided where to pursue his higher studies, Dinkar loves photography and cricket and is waiting to appear in his next entrance exam on June 12.

Manvi Singh, ranked ninth at the all-India level and fourth in the city was not expecting such a high rank. Daughter of a doctor couple, Dr Rajinder Singh a general surgeon, and Dr Meenu Singh, a paediatrician with PGI, she is however, not complaining now. A student of DAV-15, Manvi has also cleared the AFMC entrance test and the Manipal entrance and has been ranked sixth at the all India level. Consistent studying is what she attributes her success too. “I always wanted to be a doctor. I however, haven’t yet decided where to join. I think consistent work and target of concentration is the key. You can sometimes work hard in the wrong direction also.”

It may be mentioned here that the screening test for CBSE PMT was conducted on April 2. Around 20,000 students cleared the preliminary exam. The main exam was conducted on May 14, of which around 3000 students are expected to get through to various medical and dental colleges in the country.



Govt liquidator held for cheating; Rs 1.78 crore seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
The official liquidator of the Ministry of Company Affairs, Mr Ashish Vajpai, was produced before the CBI special judge, Mr Jugdeep Jain, here this morning. The CBI arrested him last evening. The CBI had booked Mr Vajpai for criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He would be produced in the CBI court again on June 7 as the CBI stated today that no more recovery was to be made.

The CBI stated before the special judge that a total of Rs 1.78 crore was seized during the search of his Sector 27 residence and of his lockers in Chandigarh, Nagpur and Chhattisgarh.

Of the total amount, about Rs 38 lakh was seized from different places in Chandigarh and the remaining amount was recovered from different places across the country.

The CBI disclosed in the court that Rs. 30.50 lakh was seized from his locker in Central Bank, Sector 17, and about Rs 7 lakh was seized from his residence in Sector 27.

The CBI also seized several incriminating documents relating to the misuse of his official position.

In the FIR registered by the CBI, it had named at least three more persons of a private firm. The official liquidator had been favouring private firms while auctioning the property under liquidation.



Now, NOC not mandatory
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
The Estate Office (EO) has decided to do away with the condition of obtaining no-objection certificate (NOC) for house building in the city.

Under the decision, NOCs will be issued despite building violations so that property owners are not harassed.

Apart from a source of harassment, it is a formality and no charges are required to be paid to the EO.

Allottees have to repeatedly visit the building branch of the EO to get regular NOC, a mandatory requirement for transfer of property, which is required for transfer of property, mortgage and conversion of property from leasehold to freehold.

The EO has also proposed that regular occupation certificate will not be required for old property.

Under the decision, all the owner of built-up property will have to do is prove dates on which he has got regular water, electricity or sewerage connection.

The proof will enable EO officials to ascertain whether the owner has raised the construction within the stipulated period of three years (for freehold) and five years (for leasehold) property.

The decision will not apply to property against which the EO has initiated resumption proceedings for failing to raise construction by the extended deadline of March 2006.

A senior official says if the owner of property is found to have gone beyond the stipulated period of extension, extension fee prevalent at that time will be charged.

As far as building violations are concerned, existing relaxations in building bylaws will be applied to such beneficiaries, which means more covered area will be regularised.

The Administration has been probing serious violations of building bylaws while issuing conditional occupation certificates to hundreds of plot holders.

The involvement of certain officials of the building branch is under the scanner in this regard.

Sources do not rule out the possibility of the new policy providing an escape route to erring officials.



Sporadic rain no sign of advancing monsoon
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Although the region has been receiving sporadic rainfall over the past three weeks (excepting the last two days), the trend has nothing to do with the advancing monsoon in other parts of the country.

Clarifying that monsoons are nowhere near Northern India, a senior Met Department official from New Delhi today said the current rains could at best be explained as pre-monsoon showers that had lasted a little longer than usual.

Heavy and recurring rains are, however, abnormal, if not unusual, weather experts told Chandigarh Tribune. Between March and May this year, Chandigarh alone has recorded 164.2 mm of rainfall – a substantial amount by all standards. The corresponding figures for last year’s pre-monsoon season are 78.9 mm. The heaviest rainfall Chandigarh has ever received in this part of the year was way back in 1982 and 1983 when the rainfall recorded was about 296 mm and 268 mm, respectively.

This year’s rainfall is very heavy when compared to the data recorded in early 2000 and late 1990s. The closest to this year’s figure is 111.1 mm of rain recorded in 2002. Explaining the weather conditions, the Director, Met, Chandigarh, Mr Chatar Singh Malik, said, “This development is certainly abnormal and has been caused by the predominance of easterly winds. Normally this is the time for the westerly winds, but due to changes in weather systems more easterly winds have been blowing, causing storm, rain and humid conditions”.

Another striking weather development of the season has been a virtual absence of the heat wave (called loo in normal jargon), considered good for crops and fruits as it leads to the killing of germs. The maximum temperature recorded this year was 42 degree Celsius in early May. The temperature did not go high enough to induce the kind of heat wave which agriculturists normally expect at this time of the season. The grape crop might be particularly affected due to the prevalence of easterly winds this time.

Easterly winds are known for high humidity levels that lead to heat conditions even while causing sporadic rains. These rains, however, cannot be considered as indicators of an advancing monsoon. As Mr Malik said, “Early arrival of monsoon in Kerala and Mumbai does not point towards its early arrival to other parts. Last year, the monsoon hit the region on June 27. What route it takes this year cannot be predicted”.



Card which can help in fatal emergencies
Bearing vital medical information, it can save lives
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

A more sophisticated design

A more sophisticated design to save lives of people hit by an emergency was developed and rewarded in the State of Wisconsin, USA, way back in May, 2000. The award went to a young US scientist who designed a micro chip containing information on medical parameters of the person. The chip was designed to be inserted inside the body of an individual. In times of crisis, it would serve as a complete data base on the person under examination. The then Governor of Wisconsin Mr Tommy Thompson, personally rewarded the scientist.

Chandigarh, June 4
It takes a precious little while to bridge the gap between life and death - just about 90 to 100 minutes in an emergency. And if this precious while is not wasted in determining the medical status of the individual in question, a life can well be saved.

An effort towards this end was made last year by Chandigarh-based cardiologist Dr N.K. Bhatia. He designed what was called an "Orange rescue card" loaded with vital medical and personal history information about the man trapped in difficulty. The card, hence designed, was a humble beginning towards a mighty purpose. Since its birth in March last year, it has been modified manifold to incorporate other significant details that can solve the "crisis of identity" and blunt the impact of tragedy.

In its highly sophisticated form which has just been finalised by Dr Bhatia and his son Dr Sandeep Bhatia, the card will truly live up to its name. With 19 additional links to the person's medical, social, financial and personal history, and Geo Stationary Satellite Locators (GSSL), the new "National Identity Card" will address immediate concerns that arise in the wake of fatal emergencies like accidents and cardiac arrests among others. These cards have been issued in thousands, and demand is also coming in from Dubai.

The most effective addition to Orange rescue cards launched last year is the inclusion of GSSL which will, in an emergency, apprise the police of the location of the crisis. Dr Bhatia explains, "The card will have a button which, if pressed, will activate the GSSL and intimate to the local police control room the location of the person.

The idea is to alert life saving agencies, and rescue the individual. In normal cases, we don't even know the person's name, his medial history, drugs he is allergic to and the location of his residence etc. The card will have all that."

Furthermore, it will have extended information about the person's life - name of his wife (to avoid problems that arise from plurality of marriages these days), name of his children, his driving licence No. and detail of his account, debt and assets.

"A major focus, however, is on providing links that can reduce the time of reaction to the emergency. To address that, we have armed the card with information like the person's latest ECG report, existing ailments and history of medical treatment which he or she has been taking et al," Dr Bhatia says.

Another achievement for Dr Bhatia and the Aryan Institute of Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiology which is spearheading the campaign is the inclusion of details of 12 cards on one.

The National Identity Card will reduce the burden of people with its all purpose nature. It will provide in its body details of 12 cards, including medical card, insurance card, ration card, PAN number, driving licence, senior citizens card, decorated soldiers card, credit card and blood donors, voters card, pension pay card, disability card and railway pass or card.

Multipurpose though the cards are, they have not yet received government support despite their ability to save vital resources, both financial and human. Dr Bhatia is expecting to rope in police, medical, Fire Brigade and ambulance agencies to deliver the promise of saving lives.

At the same time he is hoping that NGOs like HelpAge, Rotary, Lions and corporate houses will come forward to help him realise an ambitious goal.



Passing thru

Elinor Raw, International Officer, University of Wales
Elinor Raw, International Officer, University of Wales

What brings you to the city?

We are here for the promotion of education in the UK. We are interviewing undergraduate and postgraduate students for entry to the Business School for September, 2006. The University of Wales prepares students to build a brilliant future by helping them hone their skills.

What are you looking for in students here?

Besides academic excellence, the student should have good spoken English skills and a minimum of 55 per cent in the relevant area of study. Pleasing disposition will be an advantage. Although we prefer candidates with a minimum work experience of two years, we also accept applicants with no substantial work experience at all.

Your experience with Indian students?

They are hard working, highly dedicated and punctilious. We are fairly impressed with their mannerism. They give a great deal of importance to family system and values.

Any scholarship or funds for students?

Scholarships of up to £ 1,000 per year are available for deserving applicants. Further details of the scholarships can be obtained from the British Council Office and the organisation responsible for administration of education in India. There is a provision for helping students find part-time work also.

— Pankhuri Sood



Garbage heaps near Rodrigues’ house; none concerned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Barely 100 yards away from the Punjab Raj Bhavan and near the house of the Adviser to the UT Administrator lie three huge heaps of rubbish. Residents of the area, mainly government employees, are reluctant to file a complaint against the department concerned, as it will amount to complaining against someone who has the potential of becoming their boss.

The small children living near House No. 255, Sector 7, that directly overlooks the huge heap of filth, are unwilling to remain mum. They are the biggest sufferers as it is their playground that has been converted into a dump for all refuge that is disposed of by VIPs living in the area, including that from the homes of the people that constitute the “city’s official machinery”.

The accompanying picture belies the claim of those who maintain that the north / south divide in the city is undisputable. There are those now who say that even in the northern sectors the attention paid to an area varies based on ‘who is who’ in the neighbourhood.

The children of the area are planning to seek an appointment with the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, and bring to his notice the conversion of their playground into a dumping yard.



Wetlands dying a slow death
Today is World Environment Day
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Wetlands are dying a slow death. On the face of it, it seems that the wetlands are rich in biodiversity, but human interference is eating into their flora and fauna. These are on the way to desertification. This year’s theme of World Environment Day is “Desert and desertification”.

Incidences of filling up of wetlands for development projects are common. The rate of loss of wetlands and the wetland species are greater than those of forest and grasslands. This is the result of lack of awareness about wetlands’ multifunctional role.

Wetlands perform a number of important functions such as groundwater recharging, nutrient recycling, wastewater treatment and providing life support to flora and fauna and livelihood to millions of people.

Wetlands occupy about 6 per cent of the total landmass of the globe. In India, they cover roughly 1.5 per cent of the area, but in Punjab it is a dismal 0.5 per cent and in Himachal Pradesh it is only 1 per cent.

The Switzerland-based Ramsar Bureau aims at arresting worldwide loss and degradation of wetlands and promoting conservation of the existing ones. India is one of the signatories to the treaty.

At present, India has 25 wetlands of international importance. Punjab and Himachal Pradesh has three wetlands each of international status. These are Harike, Ropar and Kanjli in Punjab and Pong, Renuka and Chandertal in Himachal.

The Harike wetlands, which came into being with the construction of a barrage in 1952 on the Sutlej, support rare, vulnerable and endangered fauna species, including the testudine turtle and the smooth Indian otter. The wetlands attract a large population of avifauna, particularly diving ducks.

The Ropar wetlands are an important habitat for some threatened species like the scaly anteater and python in the Shivalik foothills. These are also an important breeding place for the smooth Indian otter, the hog deer, the sambhar and the pangolin. The Kanjli wetlands are spread over 183 hectares. On the other hand, the Pong Dam wetlands are spread over an area of 307 sq km. The Renuka wetlands are situated at an altitude of 660 metres near Nahan, while the Chandertal wetlands are located at a height of 4,420 metres in the tribal Lahaul-Spiti district.

Sadly, most of these wetlands are facing the problems of excessive growth of hyacinth, increasing pollution levels, deforestation in catchment areas, excessive grazing and soil erosion.



Government plans NAC for Lalru
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Lalru, June 4
Lalru, a strategic sleepy village-turned-township on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, seems to be headed for planned development. In a significant step, the Department of Local Bodies of the Punjab Government has planned a notified area committee (NAC) for Lalru and its adjoining about a dozen villages in a bid to give a boost to the regulated urban growth.

The government’s proposal seems to be a part of its strategy to plan regulated growth in Chandigarh’s periphery. After Zirakpur, Lalru, which currently has a panchayat, would be the second township to have a civic body. However, a civic body in Nayagaon had been hanging fire for quite some time now.

Official sources said the Principal Secretary and the Deputy Director of the Local Bodies Department had already written to the Dera Bassi SDM to send details of the proposed areas, including population, to the concerned departments. Meanwhile, it is learnt that maps of several villages, including Lalru, Lalru Mandi, Samalhedi, Magra, Bassi, Dappar, Jalalpur, Hasanpur, Lehli,Dehar, Alamgir and Chauhndedi, had already reached the subdivision office and would be forwarded to the department concerned soon, the sources added.

Under the plan, an area of over 6,200 acres is slated to be included in the municipal limits in the first phase and out of this Lalru would have a lion’s share with about 3,700 acres of its area coming under the NAC. The inclusion of more contiguous areas would be considered later on.

Commenting on the commercial viability of the civic body, the sources claimed that the Lalru-Dera Bassi industrial belt had a huge potential to raise resources for planned development. With major industrial units setting up plants here, the constitution of the NAC was the need of the hour as factory workers, executives and residents would prefer to live in planned colonies.

Big real estate players are already eyeing land in and around the township along the highway for housing projects. Delhi-based Omaxe had already launched its mega multi-storeyed project near Lalru. This, coupled with the ongoing four-laning of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, will only enhance the importance of the township besides improving its connectivity with major towns of the region.

Moreover, the inclusion of the Dera Bassi subdivision in the newly-created Mohali district had only spurred the administration to go in for planned urban growth.

Besides being an industrial hub, the area is emerging as a major educational centre with educational institutions, including engineering colleges, schools and dental colleges mushrooming in a big way. All these factors strengthen the claims of the area for having a civic body, said a top government functionary, adding that its strategic location would be another added advantage.



Rs 3.20 cr for beautification
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 4
The district administration will develop a nullah passing through Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) Sector 4, on the pattern of Leisure Valley Chandigarh. A sum of Rs 3.20 crore will be spent on the beautification of the area, said Mr Virender Dahiya, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, while presiding over a khula darbar, here today.

Mr Dahiya said an estimate had been prepared and sent for approval to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). He hinted on the possibilities of setting up a sports complex. A meeting of HUDA and the Town and Country Planning Department would be arranged shortly to discuss the issue, he said. Mr Dahiya claimed that a bill collection centre for electricity and water bills would be set up in the HUDA booths soon.

Mr Rohtash Bishnoi, Executive Officer of Panchkula Municipal Council, said flood lights would be installed at every T-junction of the sector and all garbage collection bins would be replaced by covered ones. He also added that patchwork on all roads in the sector would be done within a month.

Complaints regarding stray cattle, cleanliness and streetlights were also highlighted for the residents on the occasion. Brigd. (Retd.) M.S. Sohal, Adviser to the Residents Welfare Association (RWA), Sector 4 MDC, gave a demand charter informed Mr Deepak Dhiman, president of the association.

Besides residents of the sector, Ms Renuka Rai Walia, local Municipal Councilor, Mr A.N. Mathur, a former Chief Secretary, Mr Davinder Mahajan, chairman of the development committee of the association, and some other prominent persons of the area were also present on the spot.



Clash over potable water
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 4
Clash over potable water between two groups of Azad Colony, Sector 21, residents put five persons behind bars, late last night.

Women of two groups indulged in a scuffle over availability of potable water, at a public tap, on Saturday afternoon. About half a dozen women sustained injuries in the scuffle.

Male members armed which resulted in a clash at night. A group of male members allegedly entered the house of Mr Sanjay Bhagat Chaurasia, a resident of the colony, and attacked him with iron rods.

On a complaint by the victim, the police arrested five persons including Manohar Yadav, Chandra Kishore, Ram Chander, Ram Saran and Vijay. A case under Sections 148, 149, 452, 427, 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the five. The women - Joginder Mahan to, Reeta, Nisha, Anu and Shalu — who had sustained injuries in the scuffle, were also medically examined, today.

In support of the suspects, scores of residents today assembled outside the police station and charged the police with favouritism. Later they also met Mr Chander Mohan, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, at his residence, who assured them of justice.



Goods, jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 4
Suspected thieves struck at a house in Phase IX here and decamped with goods and jewellery worth over Rs 1 lakh.

In his complaint to the police, the house owner, Mr Deep Singh Chhabra, has stated that he along with his family had gone out of station and today when they came back the house had been broken into and ransacked.

Among the items that were reportedly found missing are jewellery, a laptop, some clothes etc. The police has registered a case and started investigations. No arrest had been made till the filing of the report.



PDA may push laptop out of market
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Laptop, a handy mobile computer for the tech-savvy people, seems to be on its way out with the pocket-size personal digital assistant (PDA) phone all set to give the laptop the run for its money.

Launched by the i-mate, a Dubai-headquartered leading PDA phone company, the PDA phone is designed to offer single-point total communication and entertainment solutions to the mobile users’ diverse needs.

“A perfect blend of technology, performance and great looks, the PDA phone helps the users doing business while on the run besides having fun,” according to Mr Pankaj Mahindroo, i-mate India chairman. And with a view to revolutionise the PDA market in India, the company had set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to look after its Indian operations.

In fact with the recent launch of i-mate JAMin, the firm has taken a lead in introducing the pocket PCs and smart phones. The PDA phone offers an array of advanced features, including 64 MB ROM, 64 MB RAM, SDIO card memory expansion, 64k colour transflective LCD, bluetooth compatibility, built-in Wi-Fi, 2.0 megapixel built-in camera with macro mod and the built-in antivirus software, which allow the user to enjoy powerful internet browsing and dynamic multi-media features.

Commenting on the potential for PDA phones in this market, Mr Mohindroo said the mobile phone market was finally evolving in India. Price is no longer the driving factor for the hi-end tech savvy mobile phone users.

“Overall thrust now is on new technology, advanced applications, hi-tech features and innovative design. Customers are now looking for a high-speed versatile mobile device which gives them an edge over other technologies available in the market. According to an estimate, the total market size for such devices will be approximately 2,00,000 units by the end of 2006-07,” Mr Mohindroo said.

“To serve the Indian market more effectively, the new subsidiary will bring in required skills and competencies on board in all work streams with strong linkages in Dubai head office. The subsidiary will also ensure a strong and ethical India presence for the i-mate,” he added.

“The i-mate offers the widest range of PDA mobile devices in India. Our aim is to establish the leadership position for i-mate in the PDA phone category and garner atleast 20% market share in the next two years. We are already present in 12 cities across the country, including major metros and mini metros”, Mr Mohindroo added.



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