C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Relief to industrialists in conversion policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
In a major development, the Chandigarh Administration has extended the payment period for conversion in the industrial area from five years to 10 years. Earlier, they were paying an interest of 7 per cent for five years which will work out to 8.25 per cent for 10 years.

At present those applicants who choose to make deferred payments within a period upto five years pay an interest of 7 per cent. This interest is the opportunity cost of the capital for CHB (the nodal agency for implementation of conversion policy). For those paying within 10 years, the administration is following the principle of a higher rate of interest of 8.25 per cent on specific request cases.

The Chandigarh Industrial Association and other entrepreneurs have been since a long time seeking changes in the industrial policy, which was notified in September, 2005.

The major issues where the changes were demanded included increase in annual equated installments from five to 10; showroom-cum-factory outlet be permitted in industrial plots; formation of a committee for implementation of conversion policy; the automobiles/car dealers be treated as industry; allowing increase in ground, coverage from 40% to 50%; and permitting basement beyond building line for parking purposes.

The Administration is of the view that if the permission from the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Civil Aviation was needed, the entrepreneurs should approach the ministry concerned for the requisite permission.

The Administration has already allowed twin level basement for parking below the building line for commercial plots measuring one acre and above. The request to allow basement beyond building line for parking purposes only is being allowed subject to the condition that the twin basement and the parking area allowed on the surface are insufficient to accommodate parking requirements generated by the commercial area granted in the relevant commercial plot.

The basements beyond the building line will be subject to compulsory setbacks all around required under the Fire Act, building byelaws and National Building Code.

A provision for setting up an empowered committee for implementing the conversion policy is already included in the policy. The issue of treating automobiles/car dealers as industry is being examined separately and a decision thereon will be taken shortly. However, the request regarding allowing partial commercial activity in the form of showroom in the industrial plots was not found acceptable.

Mr M.P.S. Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association and Mr Pankaj Khanna, industrialist, have welcomed the concessions. With these concessions the industrialists of Chandigarh will come forward to avail this now viable conversion policy. However, Mr Chawla feels that the administration should withdraw resumption notices issued to pressurise the SSI units and give them a fair chance to now opt for the policy till the validity of the scheme.



Guidelines on public dealing seats flouted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Contrary to guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on not posting officials on public dealing seats for more than three years, officials in the building branch of the UT Estate Office continue to hold the lucrative public dealing seats.

The state of affairs is continuing despite a visit by the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) to the Estate Office in November 2005, followed by an inspection by the Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, and the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer, Mr R.K. Rao.

Those transferred have come back despite instructions of the Chandigarh Administration.

An Assistant Engineer, Mr Brij Mohan, and a draughtsman, Mr Pradeep Kumar, have come back despite departmental action pending against them.

They have been given more responsibility and supervisory roles, say sources in the Administration.

The Junior Engineers and draughtsmen come on deputation from the Engineering Department and are supposed to go back to their parent department, especially those working on public dealing seats.

A senior officer says such officials use connections to hold the lucrative posts and do not allow new faces to work on such posts.

At least eight officials in the building branch have either been staying on their post for a long period or come back after between five months and three years.

Two Junior Engineers, Mr Bipin Kumar and Mr Vinod Kumar, have been in the building branch for the last five years.

Another Junior Engineer, Mr Ram Kumar, transferred in 2000, has come back after four years.

All files of the building branch are being routed through Mr Brij Mohan, transferred in 2002 following a complaint of false reporting regarding violations of building bylaws in SCO 142-144, Sector 17-E.

On the Assured Career Scheme, Mr Brij Mohan has come back, but action against him for the serious irregularity on his part has not been made public.

Another draughtsman, Mr Sandeep Sharma, back in the Estate Office in 2006, has an inquiry pending against him.

A building assistant, Mr Ashok Verma, has come back after four months and another official, Mr Pradeep Kumar, has come back after five months.

A Deputy Commissioner had merged the cadre in the building branch with the engineering wing in 2000 to ensure that new faces join after the stipulated period.



Major relief for one-kanal houses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Allowing a major change in the architecture of houses in the city, the Chandigarh Administration today allowed owners of houses with less than 1 kanal area to have a balcony of 3 feet width on the first and second floors of the house. This will help thousands people who have constructed balconies but are facing objections from the Estate Office. The existing balconies would be regularised.

Also an amendment has been introduced to earlier permission for additional covered area of 150 square feet in the rear court yard of all types of houses in Chandigarh. As per today’s decision, this additional construction can be located anywhere in the rear courtyard and need not be as per the earlier requirement of locating this room at a pre-fixed location in the courtyard. This has been done as house owners who had already constructed additional rooms adjoining common walls with the neighbours or at locations, which are not as per standard design, were facing problems.

Now it is as per the discretion of the owner to build the room as per his requirement as long as it does not adversely affect the light and ventilation to the existing house. Accordingly, it has been decided that additional covered area in the rear courtyard is to be regularised if the owner has provision of 9 square meters of open courtyard. Also, a clear height of 9 feet has been allowed for this additional construction.

On cantilevers — that is the official word for balconies — in Marla houses, there would be no standard design as most of cantilevers have already been constructed.

The technical committee examining the issue has said that cantilevers on the first and second floors of marla houses should not exceed 3 feet from the building line in the front courtyard and be at least 3 feet away from the common walls. No cantilever has been allowed at the terrace-level.

It may be mentioned that the Administration had earlier not acceded to this demand due to certain apprehensions. However, the issue was again examined by the sub-group on building byelaws in 2005 hence the amendments.

It has also been decided to allow coffers upto 9 inches below the roof slab in all houses. These coffers have been provided mostly for aesthetic and ornamental reasons by some house owners, which were being objected to by the Estate Office.



Multi-level parking planned for Sector 34
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to construct a multi-level parking in Sector 34 in order to ease out the heavy rush of vehicles in the commercial area of Sector 35 located opposite the parking area.

An official press note issued here today mentioned that a plot measuring approximately 2.85 acres in Sector 34 sub city centre, opposite the commercial belt of Sector 35-B, has been selected for the construction of multi-level parking. This tract is located along the Himalaya Marg. This plot will be connected to the commercial belt of Sector 35 through a subway.

The press note also mentioned that the commercial belt along Himalaya Marg in Sector 35-B and C has become the hub of electronic and other commercial goods. Apart from this most of the showrooms have been converted into hotels, restaurants, lodging-cum-restaurants and professional training centres.

With the passage of time the number of vehicles in the city has increased manifold and the parking space available in front of these SCOs is inadequate and causes inconvenience to the visitors.

The decision comes in the wake of a visit by Gen S.F.Rodrigues (retd), the Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, to the venue.



Fungal infections assume alarming proportions
50 pc cases still not diagnosed
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Some fungal infections reported by PGI

  • 11-fold increase in the incidence of candidemia (a fungal infection of oral cavity) in the second half of 1980s. A further 18-fold increase in 1995 as against 1991.
  • Recently the PGI reported the outbreak due to unusual yeast—Pichia anomala—which infected the blood and skin of 379 neonates and children.
  • 95 patients developed asthmatic infection— aspergillosis—due to fungal reaction between 1980 and 1993. There was a sudden spurt of respiratory problems among some patients found to have contracted a fungal infection due to infusion of dextrose bottles in 1997-1998. 

Chandigarh, June 16
Some time ago, experts at PGI's Nephrology Department were baffled by the profile of 50 healthy persons who reported a sudden outbreak of fever, pain in the back and stoppage of urine. During examination, two patients died.

Their medical autopsies revealed that they had contracted a fungal reaction that infected their kidneys and caused death. The infection —renal zygomycosis — diagnosed by the microbial division of PGI's Medical Microbiology Department, underscored the need to create awareness about fungal infections that are assuming alarming proportions in India.

Studies show that up to 7 per cent of patients dying in tertiary care hospitals acquire invasive fungal infections in the terminal stage. These infections are important causes of mortality among such patients. Speaking to The Tribune today, Dr A. Chakrabarty, Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology, PGI, admitted the gravity of challenges being posed by this new area of medical diagnosis.

He said despite the development of science across the world, 50 per cent cases of fungal reactions were still difficult to diagnose. The PGI, however, was consistently involved in diagnosing clinical samples for fungal reactions which could especially prove hazardous to patients suffering from chronic ailments like cancer and HIV/AIDS.

A pioneer in the field of fungal reactions (mycology), Dr Chakrabarty along with his Head of Department, Prof Meera Sharma, is busy these days imparting expertise to participants of a national workshop on the subject being organised at the PGI. For its untiring efforts in the area, the PGI was recently recognised as the Centre for Advanced Research in Medical Mycology by the government of India and the Indian Council for Medical Research.

But Dr Chakrabarty feels there is a long way to go. Foremost challenges include lack of awareness among people, dearth of diagnostic mycology labs as well as trained personnel. Explaining fungal infections that have risen over the past three decades and are spreading fast, Dr Chakrabarty said, ‘‘Patients of chronic ailments are living longer due to modern medicine. As they live in what we call ‘immunosuppressive conditions’ they acquire fungal infections that can be very deep seated. The infection mostly spreads from lungs (70 per cent cases), followed by iatrogenic route which means infection through fluids like dextrose bottles (20 per cent cases) and finally colonisation of fungi in the body (10 per cent).’’

In each such case there is a need for diagnosis, epidemiological study to locate the source of infection and pathogenesis—a detailed study important for the management of fungal infections. With its reputed status as the Centre for Advanced Research in Mycology, the PGI is now isolating several fungi and identifying the causes of reactions.

Another problem is the early diagnosis of fungal infections which, unlike bacterial infections, cannot be treated with routine antibiotics.

They can only be cured with anti-fungal drugs which are very expensive and toxic. For example, anti-fungal therapy for renal zygomycosis, which was diagnosed in 50 patients by the PGI some time ago, will require Rs 20 lakh per case.

As for the symptoms of fungal reactions—they can range from skin lesions, eruptions; nail smears to deep- seated infections that can affect lungs and even central nervous system, cardiac and renal areas.



Passing thru

Rama Kant Angle
Rama Kant Angle, president, Goa Baseball Association

What is the status of baseball in India?

The Amateur Baseball Federation of India is organising zonal, inter zonal, invitational and Federation Cup tournaments from time to time for the promotion and development of baseball. Foreign coaches from Japan, Korea, and the USA are being engaged to prepare the national team for international tournaments. I admit that on international level our position is quite stumpy.

What is the reason for this?

The main reason is that this game is placed under the ‘B’ grade category here and there is less recognition by government bodies for this sport. Consequently, the incentives are less and the parents do not encourage their wards to take this game seriously.

What are you doing to make it a popular sport?

We are approaching the Railways to get it recognised so that it could offer job opportunities to the National level players. Like, in the Services, job prospects are there. We are approaching Mr Sharad Pawar, BCCI chief, to help us.

How come you are associated with this game?

Basically, I am into mining business in Goa. I also served as an MP, Lok Sabha, from 1999-2004. Initially, I was just a sponsor. But in 1994, I went to Gujarat to see a state level- junior competition and I found it to be very interesting. — G. S. Paul



Visitors enjoy beach volleyball 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
Beach volleyball became all the more bouncy for visitors. With the rain adding charm to the game, there was hardly anything else they could have asked for at Surya Funcity Limited, located along the Panchkula-Naraingarh road. And then there were all those ‘‘funny boats’’ ready to take the ‘‘swimmers’’ into the ‘‘sea’’ of pleasure.

Though the games were organised for the visitors to wash away the heat, the incessant rains changed the entire mood, adding zing to the entire affair.

Adding another attraction to the Water Games, company this time has come up with a unique idea of beach volleyball at Funcity, about 10 km from here, today. Clad in shorts and swimming costumes, two teams of ramp-models, including girls, participated in beach volleyball, organised to mark the launching of the event, amid the rain that lashed the city.

There was no age bar for the players at the venue. Kids, couples and elderly persons had a gala time enjoying the water games. Scores of visitors —families from Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Ambala and adjoining towns— who thronged the venue to beat the heat also enjoyed water splash in natural light showers.

It was an amazing feeling to have a ride of the newly introduced ‘‘funny boats’’. Moving in a circle on the water waves, the motorised boats gave a bumpy ride besides rafting-like feeling to the visitors.

Parents had a tough time in controlling their children who made the most of their holiday.

Apart from honeymooners, girls and boys from surrounding areas also shook legs on various Punjab and Hindi pop songs.

Event manager Ramandeep Singh Kohli claimed that efforts had been made to provide the best possible facilities to the visitors.

He also hoped that more visitors would throng Funcity to enjoy the newly introduced glamorous features.



And now a 3-D feel of the Rock Garden
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 16
Visiting the Rock Garden will soon be just a mouse click away. The city's most famous international landmark is going to be captured in a three -dimensional (3-D) interactive ‘virtual’ walkthrough currently being prepared by the Centre for the Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) here.

Going through the walkthrough, which is still being processed in the CDAC's multimedia lab, feels like being in one of the hi-tech play station games.

But the environment is very different as is the objective. Minutest of details have been taken care of to make the ‘virtual’ visitor to the Rock Garden ‘feel’ his surroundings. Starting at the entry gate even the ‘virtual’ visitor has to bend down to save himself from hitting one of the low arches that one approaches just like a ‘real’ visitor does.

Trees, stoned pathways, sculptors, huts, wells, waterfall— it’s all there and after the first few minutes that it takes to shift from the ‘real’ to the ‘virtual’ world it’s like actually visiting the Rock Garden.

‘‘Virtual Heritage technology has developed rapidly in the past decade. The 3-D interactive walkthrough project of the Rock Garden attempts to create a large-scale 3-D environment in which the user is free to explore and interact, without feeling restricted,’’ said Mr Chetan Manchanda the in charge of the lab.

‘‘The project encompasses various development phases like 3-D content creation, designing interaction metaphors, dynamics and physics simulations, texturing, virtual camera traversing and real time rendering. The 3-D Rock Garden environment will be rendered and presented at run-time on computer systems,’’ said Mr Pushpjeet Singh Sidhu, who is working on the project.

This walkthrough will be capable of change, usually as a result of the actions of an event in the environment, bringing interactivity as well. ‘‘A ‘virtual’ visitor can, for example, ask for more details on a particular area he wishes to reach and even ask for more information during the walkthrough,’’ said Mr Manchanda.

Dr J.S. Bhatia, CDAC Director, said the design and development of the Rock Garden was being done in phases keeping in view the huge area of the Rock Garden. ‘‘The architecture pipeline for the activities required to create a deployable 3-D walkthrough environment of the Rock Garden has been devised at our institute.

The architecture will allow the creation of ‘virtual’ 3-D environment keeping hardware capabilities of the user into consideration.

The same architecture can be applied to tourism, aid to heritage documentation and preservation, virtual museum, city visualisation etc,’’ he said.

Mr Bhatia added that the field of ‘virtual’ reality, specifically in the case of heritage documentation is gaining importance all over the world. ‘‘There is a need to have digital content to add another dimension to the preservation of heritage sites.

In the case of India, creating digital monuments of such sites is formidable given the architectural details and intricacies of the sites.

Hence, we require innovative tools to quickly capture and render such heritage structures.

The 3-D interactive environment of the Rock Garden will be a step towards this direction,’’ he said adding that the CDAC would be developing a similar walkthrough for the Golden Temple.

The Rock Garden walkthrough is an in-house project of the CDAC, Mohali, but a presentation to the Chandigarh Administration will mean it being hosted at the UT’s official website for visitors to have a ‘feel’ of a visit to the Rock Garden.

If given the nod by the Administration, the CDAC will be compiling the walkthrough into CDs and making these available at the garden itself to be bought as memorabilia of the visit for tourists. 



Adult literacy programme participants honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
A valedictory function to honour the slum women who enrolled themselves for a play-learn and grow adult literacy programme launched by Yuvsatta in association with Kim and Marga Buhrmann Singh of Creative Learning (P) Ltd, Germany was held at colony No 5 here yesterday.

The objective of the programme was to make illiterate women capable of three Rs and be independent in life. More then 800 illiterate women have benefited from this programme in colony No 5.

Today 75 women and 25 men, earlier illiterate, now capable of reading Hindi got their certificates from Dr C.L. Narang, Director, Advance Micropower, IT, Government of Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion the chief guest said 189 million female and 106 million male (year 2001) Indians living in rural, suburban, urban slums are not able to read and write in their own mother tongue. He also said in India girls often face discrimination, and their low status is reflected in the denial of fundamental rights and needs specially the ‘right to education’.

Dr Narang further said there was no substitute to self- help and after six decades of independence for the removal of poverty, for empowering the downtrodden and elimination of vices like female foeticide and dowry deaths, the target of 100 per cent literacy was the only key towards a developed India.

Explaining the initiative, Mr Pramod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, said existing efforts of promoting adult literacy have gone in vain trying to entice illiterate females and males to attend a school, get taught by a teacher who uses books and exercise books obsolete in content and form.

Prominent amongst those who were present on the occasion were Ms Pooja Sharma, member, Chandigarh Social Welfare Board, Ms Madhu P. Singh, Advocate and Ms Rajneet Gill from HelpAge India.



Temperature drops by 8°C after drizzle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
It was a welcome shower today as the temperature dropped by a whopping 8 degrees in comparison to yesterday, cool conditions prevailed in Chandigarh and adjoining areas that came under the impact of a changing weather system.

Although not closer to monsoon or pre monsoon showers in any way, today’s ‘‘slight’’ drizzle in Chandigarh was categorised as normal sprinkle caused primarily by a western disturbance. Another weather system that interrupted the long cycle of heat was a cyclonic circulation over central Pakistan adjoining northwest Rajasthan and Punjab.

For Met Department personnel, today’s drizzle was significant only in one way —it caused the maximum temperature to drop eight degrees below normal. Where the maximum temperature recorded yesterday was 39.4 C, the corresponding figure for today was 31 C.

A slight downpour can be expected tomorrow as well as the weather systems mentioned above are likely to stay in their respective places. As regards the impact of today’s drizzle — it adversely affected the ‘‘chhabeels’’ put up across the city in connection with the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev. Eager to whiz past, vehicle drivers had to be persuaded hard to stop to savour a drink by the roadside. The task was managed mostly by children.



Tribune readers give poor labourer gift of life
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Twenty-five-year old Akshat Kumar was admitted to the PGI on the day his second child was born. Low on energy and spirit, he undertook a strenuous journey from a Ferozepur village to Chandigarh, not knowing whether he would return ever .

But today, when this Chandigarh correspondent visited him in the cardio-thoracic ward of the PGI, he was looking forward to his journey back. Thanks to readers of The Tribune, he would not have to go back home in the vegetative state that he came in. Their generous contribution to the cause of this poor labourer from South Punjab bore fruit, as Akshat was successfully operated upon for a faulty hart valve.

It was on April 6 this year when Akshat Kumar's tragic tale was told in these columns. Rendered almost lifeless by the faulty valve, he would lie in his bed, waiting for the tide of misfortune to turn. He had the company of his mother Paro in his despair.

For Aksat and Paro, the surgery has been no less than a miracle. The good news came, with the PGI Public Relations Officer Ms Manju Wadwalkar informing Akshat some days ago, that the report carried in Chandigarh Tribune had inspired generous contributions— enough to buy him a heart valve and even replace it in a surgery. The surgery was conducted last week by Dr R.S. Dhaliwal.

Cured of his ailment, Akshat can't stop thanking The Tribune and the PGI for partnering in a noble cause.

Ask him what he would like to do when he goes back to his village and he says: I will hold my son in my arms. My ailment had drawn me away from him. But now that I have been given another chance to live, I will fill the empty spaces in my heart with his whimpers.

He is equally eager to meet his two and a half year old daughter who has never attended school due to the family's penury. "Now I can work and send my daughter to school," says an elated Akshat. 



Dogra sabha panel formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Mr Kuldeep Singh, president, J and K Dogra Sabha, Chandigarh, yesterday constituted various committees, including the executive committee, to manage the affairs of the sabha.

According to a press note Mr P.C. Dogra, former Director General of Police, Punjab, Dr B.K. Sharma, former Director, PGI, Chandigarh, Dr K.C. Dubey, Director, Radio Station, Chandigarh, Prof K.L. Gupta, Department of Urology, PGI, Dr Sansar Chand, former Head, Department of Hindi, Jammu University, Prof Ishwar Dutt Sharma and Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Monica Chhibber Sharma have been appointed members of the advisory committee.

The members of the executive committee include Prof Shashi Sharma of the Department of Laws, Panjab University, Dr Ajit Awasthi of Department of Psychiatry, PGI, Mr Kamal Dogra, Mr Amrit Lal Mahajan, Mr Jagan Nath, Manager, JK House, Chandigarh, Dr H.K. Bali, Department of Cardiology, PGI, Dr B.R. Thapa, Mr N.S. Manhas, Mr Ashok Sharma, Mr Mulkh Raj, Mr Balwan Singh, Ms Santosh Salathia and Mr Sukhdev Singh Sumbria.

The other office-bearers appointed by Mr Kuldeep Singh include Mr Vinod Sharma as assistant secretary, Dr Vipin Kaushal as Chairperson, Resources Committee and Rahul Dev Singh as convener, Legal Committee. Mr Kuldeep Singh also informed that the calendar of activities of the sabha was being finalised and would be circulated soon.



80 women get certificates in tailoring
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 16
More than 80 rural women along with students of tailoring and dress making course from Desu Majra and Fatehullapur villages participated in a certificate distribution function organised by Jan Shikshan Sansthan here at its field office at Desu Majra village, yesterday.

Speaking at the function, Mr Dildar Khan, director of the sansthan highlighted issues related to women’s rights and empowerment. He said though Indian society realised the need for women empowerment and various state governments had also started many schemes for their uplift, yet, women were marginalised. In fact, empowerment of women was possible only when women, rural women in particular, themselves realised the need for, and relevance of education, particularly vocational education and harness their skill and entrepreneurship.

Mr Anand Mohan Sharma, Deputy Director of the sansthan said the present era of globalisation had generated a lot of employment opportunities for women in various fields like beauty and health care, dress designing, food preservation and nutrition. They can take benefit of these opportunities by developing their skills through vocational training programmes which would improve their chances of employment/self-employment.

Mr Anand also explained about the various vocational training programmes run by the sansthan, particularly for women like home management, beauty culture and health care, cutting, tailoring and dress making and certificate in computer applications.

Jaswant Kaur, Pradhan Mahila Mandal, while distributing the certificates said JSS in district Mohali was the only institute which was promoting and harnessing the vocational skills of illiterates, neo-literates and dropouts. 



Rotarians serve for a cause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Noted Rotarians from the region were at their generous best last evening. Coming together for social good, scores of renowned businessmen, lawyers, doctors, bankers, and hoteliers waited upon the guests at Hot Millions -2; their gesture fired by a purpose. The money collected from yesterday’s proceeds will be used for conducting heart surgeries on several poor children who have been suffering from severe illness.

That the effort will bear fruit was clear from the spirited involvement of members of Rotary Club, who put their stature in the shelf to come out as commoners.

The high point of the evening was the presence of Punjab’s first lady Ms Jean Rodrigues, who became the attendant for children from Ashiana, an orphanage based at Panchkula and those from a creche in Industrial Area. The visit of children was sponsored by Jaspal Kandhari of Coca Cola and Rajiv Bali of Mt Shivalik Breweries. Both are Rotary Club members.

While the other Rotarians engaged in the task of balancing soft drink tumblers and food items on trays, guests wondered what had inspired their effort. The answer was simple, as Manmohan Singh, a hotelier, explained: "It is better to serve than be served. I have always been part of this enriching experience which makes it possible for us to impact lives of other people." Rotary Club started the experiment six years ago in 2000.

Since then, it has become a tradition in Chandigarh, with the guests of Hot Millions - 2 enjoying the exclusive privilege of this experience. The vision goes back to Col A.B. Singh of Hot Millions group, whose legacy has lived on even after him. Now it is being nurtured by his wife Mohini A.B. Singh.

While the Singhs have given the project a home, member Rotarians have given it a soul. Baldev Aggarwal, a restaurant owner, has been a part of the mission for long, and he looks forward to the day when he can wait upon people. "It is a gratifying feeling," he says. His views find a resonance in those voiced by other members of the Rotary Club including cardiologist Dr. G.P. Malik, former chairman, CII Himachal Pradesh Ashok Tandon, industrialist Arvind Mehan and architect S.P.S. Matharoo, teachers Suchita Luthra and Pushp Handa.

Even earlier Rotary Club has conducted similar fund-raisers at Hot Millions-2 for its various projects including supply of mobile dental van to the Chandigarh Administration, literacy project among others. At the moment Heartline project is the greatest priority for Rotary since there are many poor children who need immediate heart surgery for survival. 



Dalit forum threatens protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 16
The Dalit Rights Protection Forum has demanded that the police issue identity cards to vendors so that they could operate in residential areas.
If this was not done within a month, the forum would be compelled to stage a dharna outside the office of the SSP on July 17, the forum said.

Ms Pushpa Salaria, all- India president of the forum, alleged here today that the police was illegally detaining those plying rehris in residential areas. She said last year the then SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, had passed orders restricting the plying of rehris in residential areas. Such an order violated the fundamental right of life and liberty provided to every citizen by our Constitution, she added .

She said about 250 verification forms were submitted at the office of the SP last year but the police failed to take any action. She said she had met the DGP in this regard.



Gear Bulk ships’ staff reunion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
An annual dinner for personnel serving on board Gear Bulk ships and their families from the northern region, Chandigarh, Mohali, and Panchkula, was organised at the Chandigarh Golf Club here, yesterday.

Gear Bulk, a Norwegian shipping company, had a long history in ship owning and maritime operations, both in dry and  liquid shipping  business.

In its expansion plan, Elite Mariners, Mumbai, the Indian set-up of the Gear Bulk Company, held an interview session at Hotel Mountview to select captains, chief engineers, chief officers and engineers.



Draft electoral rolls published
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 15
The draft electoral rolls for municipal elections was published here today. The rolls were displayed at the office of the SDM in Phase I and at the office of the Municipal Council in Sector 68.

The SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans, said here that voters could file their claims and objections at the office of the SDM -cum- Electoral Registration Officer in person till June 23 during office hours.They would have to deposit a fee of Re 1 in this regard.

It is learnt that the objections and claims would be dealt by the SDM’s office till June 30 after which the final draft would be published on July 10.



Award for city rower
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
City rower Saroj Bala has been honoured with a cash award of Rs 75,000 for her achievements. She has been honoured by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in recognition of her excellent performance during 11th Asian Championship, held at Hyderabad from October 18 to 23.

She won the bronze medal for India in the women’s coxless fours category by clicking a timing of 7:30.12. Saroj Bala would leave for Chennai tomorrow to attend a six-week certificate course in rowing, starting from June 19.



Chaudhary elected IT Bar assn head
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Mr R.K. Chaudhary was today elected president of the Income Tax and Sales Tax Bar Association, Chandigarh.
According to a press note, among the other office-bearers elected today were: senior vice-president— Mr Parveen Aneja; vice-presidents— Mr Jasjit Dhindsa, Mr Deepak Minhas; general secretary— Mr Prem Inder Rattan; secretary— Mr Vikas Puri; joint secretary— Mr Ashok Kumar; and treasurer— Mr Madan Gopal.



India sends bid for World Congress

The Society for India Human and Animal Mycology has sent the bid to the International Society of Human and Animal Mycology to hold the 17th World Congress on the subject in India, where tropical climate and malnutrition among backward sections are among factors conducive to the growth of mycotic (fungal) infections. The Congress is due in 2009.



Chawla on CITCO board

Chandigarh, June 15
The Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (citco) has appointed Mr M.P.S. Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, as a member of the Board of Directors.
This is the third time that Mr Chawla has been appointed as a member of the board. — TNS



Owner says police helped mechanic grab his shed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Owner of a shed in Industrial Area-based filed a complaint with the UT Inspector General of Police (IGP) alleging that his mechanic in connivance with certain police officers had grabbed his shed.

Khem Lal Bansal, an automobile engineer, and owner of the shed in Phase I, Industrial Area, in his complaint filed on Tuesday stated that he was working in the shed since 1978 and the firm was registered in his name. He added that for the past six years a motor mechanic had been working with him on commission basis. After receiving a complaint about his misconduct, Bansal sacked him, but he refused to move.

Bansal alleged that the mechanic not only refused to go, but also grabbed his shed and began functioning from there after installing his own signboard. On May 8, Bansal filed a complaint at public window in this regard. However, on the same day, the mechanic also lodged a complaint with the Industrial Area police station and the police arrested Bansal’s two sons. The police on the other hand asked Bansal to prove ownership.

Refuting the allegations, the SHO of the Industrial Area police station, Baljit Singh Chaddha, said Kulwinder, the mechanic, was running the workshop for the past six years and paying a rent of Rs 6000 per month. During the course of investigations, it was confirmed that he was in possession of that portion and Bansals in a planned manner forcibly tried to evict him from there, he said. Kulwinder had all the receipts of the water and electricity bills and the repair work done by him.



Cash, jewellery stolen from showroom
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Thieves decamped with Rs 24,000 in cash, gold ornaments and other articles from a showroom in Sector 22, here. In another incident, Rs 10,000 along with gold and silver jewellery were stolen from a house in Sector 33.

Ramesh Kumar of Sector 22 reported to the police alleging that Rs 24000, a gold chain, a mobile phone and a watch were stolen from his showroom during the intervening night of June 14. In another incident, Mr Deepak Kumar of Sector 33-B lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a gold nose ring, a gold ring, three watches, some silver ornaments and Rs 10000 were stolen from his residence on Wednesday night.

Vehicle stolen: Prem Kumar of Sector 18 filed a complaint with the police alleging that his Maruti car (CH-03-Q-8832) was stolen from his residence on Thursday. In another incident, Gurkanwal Singh of Sector 35-D reported to the police alleging that his Hero Honda CBZ motorcycle (PB-10-AX-4321) was stolen from the market place Sector 35. Two cases of thefts were registered in the Sector 19 and 36 police stations.

Smack seized: The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested Raju of Sector 38 from near Sector 24, 25, 37 and 38 roundabout and recovered 2 gm of smack from his possession on Thursday. A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered in the Sector 11 police station.



Pickpocket nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
A woman was nabbed today soon after she tried to pick the pocket of a man, who was having a drink at a ‘chabeel’ in Sector 27 here. The woman was given a chase by a crowd and was later handed over to the police.

Sources in the Sector 26 police station said Mr Vijay Pandey of Gopalganj in Bihar reported that while he was having a drink at the ‘chabeel’, he realised that an unidentified woman, who looked like a beggar, was picking his pocket.

The woman picked his purse containing Rs 1010 and some documents. He raised an alarm and soon the crowd nabbed the woman. She was handed over to the police.

She was identified as Shobha of Muzaffarnagar. The police recovered the stolen property from her and registered a case against her.



3 held with hashish
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
A flying squad of the Haryana police today arrested three persons for carrying 1 kg and 150 gm of hashish worth Rs 1.25 lakh. They were nabbed near the Sector 8 market early this morning.

Acting on a tip-off, the flying squad laid a trap and nabbed Raj Kumar, Ram Kumar, residents of Nada village, and Ganga Ram of Indira Colony, for carrying the drug.

The police claimed that Ram Kumar was carrying 750 gm of hashish while Raj Kumar and Ganga Ram had 200 gm each. The police claimed that the three had been indulging in the trade for the last some time and were selling the drug on a retail basis in the city and surrounding areas.

A case was registered against them under the NDPS Act. The three were produced before a court, which remanded them in judicial custody. 



Hotel stealing electricity

Chandigarh, June 16
The local police today booked an owner of a hotel in Attawa village on the allegations of stealing electricity.
Sources in the Sector 36 police station said Gurbir Singh of Sector 42, owner of Sagar Hotel in Attawa village, was booked for allegedly stealing electricity.

The police action was the result of a complaint filed by the Sub Divisional Officer of the Electricity Department, Sector 43, that the hotel was stealing electricity by tampering with electricity meter. The raiding team also found that a high powered magnet was being use to steal electricity.

A case under Section 379 of the IPC and Section 135 of the Electricity Act was registered. Meanwhile, sources in the Electricity Department informed that the electricity supply to the hotel had been disconnected. — TNS



STPI records software export worth 450 crore
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The IT boom in the region is set to hit a new high. Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Mohali has already recorded a whopping Rs 450 crore worth of software export from the region and is set to touch the Rs 500 crore mark in the coming few months.

From 133 units since its inception in 1999, the number of units involved in software export has gone up to 250. According to STPI, which monitors and regulates all software exports from the tri-city, while till last year, two new IT companies were joining the bandwagon each month, the number had shot up to five now.

Dr Sanjay Tyagi, Additional Director, STPI, today stated that though software export from the tri-city had been increasing steadily from 1999 when STPI set base here, the rate of increase had gone up substantially in the past one year. “This is the result of efforts being put in by the UT Administration, the Punjab and Haryana Government in giving an environment that is attracting big national and international IT players.

By end of 2005, software export from Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula had reached Rs 200 crore and was expected to go beyond Rs 500 crore by the end of this year. “However the biggest jump would be witnessed when larger companies like Wipro and TCS set up their plants here,” said Dr Tyagi.

The top five STPI units include Quark, Infosys Technologies, Dell Compu-ters Private Limited and IDS Infotech.

Besides large companies, at least thirty small companies have registered with STPI and are expected to start operations in the coming months. “We are expecting a big jump by the end of this year and the beginning of 2007. By March end next year, we would be touching Rs 650 crore exports. This also means that STPI Mohali would be one of the top performing STPIs in the country,” said Dr Tyagi.

Impressed with STPI Mohali’s performance, STPI Headquarters has brought Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh also under the purview of STPI, Mohali. This would be in addition to the control that STPI here has over Punjab, Chandigarh and the Panchkula.



SEDL inks pact with German company
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
A Panchkula-based company, Spray Engineering Devices Limited (SEDL), has inked a technical collaboration with German company, Industrieprojekt Gmbh (IPRO).
The agreement was signed by Dr Dieter Schroder, Managing Director, IPRO, and Mr Vivek Verma, Managing Director, SEDL, here.

Dr Schroder said, “The outstanding technology, available till now only in the European market, will be accessible in Asia now at most affordable prices as a result of this collaboration.”

The joint venture of SEDL and IPRO will work towards development of processing technologies for future plant designs and energy management in the Asian region.

Mr Vivek Verma of SEDL said that the modernisation and upgradation market of sugar industry in the country alone accounts for Rs 2000 crore, which the company shall be tapping.



HDFC insurance ties up with BoB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The HDFC Standard Life Insurance and the Bank of Baroda (BoB) today signed a corporate agency agreement to enter into a bank assurance tie-up. The partnership would enable BoB to tap its customer base and offer products from the HDFC Standard Life Insurance to generate an additional revenue stream.

A function was organised by the HDFC Standard Life Insurance and the BoB to celebrate their association. Ms Vaishali Goel, Regional Training Manager, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, made a presentation to BoB officials about industrial trends and role of bank assurance.



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