C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

UGC-NET starts 45 minutes late
Trunks carrying papers land at wrong centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
In yet another entrance test goof-up, the UGC-NET started almost 45 minutes late when the trunks carrying the question papers got mixed up and landed at the wrong centres this morning.

UGC-CSIR coordinators conducting the all-India UGC science test were in a shock when they tried to open the question paper trunks an hour before the test was scheduled to begin only to find that the keys they had did not fit into the locks on these trunks.

The panic-stricken invigilators ,however, soon found out that the trunks had got mixed up during transportation and had been delivered at the wrong centres. Teams were sent to the various centres in the city and the trunks were brought to the correct centres.

As a result, the test which was scheduled to begin at 10am started at 10.45 am in all centres which included the Lajpat Rai Bhawan Sector 15, DAV College, Sector 10, Government College, Sector 11, SD College, Sector 32.

Thousands of aspirants taking the test waited anxiously outside the examination centres for over half an hour before they were asked to sit and the question paper distributed.

Sources pointed out that since the test had already begun across the country at 10 am and the candidates could leave the centre after 45 minutes, the possibility of leakage of the question papers could not be ruled out. However, the CSIO Chandigarh officials, who were conducting the test for CSIR, stated that the situation had been brought under control as soon as the lapse was detected.

Candidates appearing for the test expressed dismay over the faux pas and said the incident had cast a shadow over the arrangements made by the UGC for the conduct of the test.

The candidates also pointed out that because of this delay, the two-hour break that they were to get following the end of the first test at 12.30pm was reduced to an hour. "Many candidates want to brush up for the next test after having lunch but we have barely managed to find lunch time and it is already time for the next test," said a candidate at Lajpat Rai Bhawan during the break.



160 more passports recovered
Police remand for employees of Mumbai-based company
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The local police today claimed to have recovered 160 more passports from the two employees of a Mumbai-based company, Dubai Tour and Travels operating from a branch of the company in Sector 17, who were arrested on Saturday. Meanwhile, a local court has sent the accused to three days of police remand.

Sources in Sector 17 police station said police teams were also being sent to various places in the country and Punjab to unearth the scam, in which more than 1000 youths were suspected to have been duped by the said company.

Sources added that the police had identified several sub-agents of the travel company spread in various parts of the Punjab, who were luring the youths by making false promises to send them abroad. More arrests are likely in the coming days as the investigating officials have gathered strong documental evidence linking the sub-agents to this scam.

Police sources said during the interrogation of the two employees, Shelly Sharma and Ravi Kumar, who were arrested on Saturday, it was revealed that the company had branches in other parts of the country. They told the investigating officials about one such branch in Dehra Dun. The Chandigarh police has sent a fax massage in this regard to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Dehra Dun, apprising him of the illegal operation being carried out through its branch office there.

The local police has dispatched a police team to Dehra Dun to gather details about the activities of the travel company, said the SHO of the Sector 17 police station. Adding to this, the police sources while falsifying the earlier disclosures made by the accused before the police, said they were operating from the city itself and Ravi Kumar was the man behind the entire episode of duping the unemployed youth of this part of the region by selling them foreign dreams.

It is pertinent to mention here that to lure the youths, the company had inserted advertisements in newspapers announcing guaranteed jobs in Cuba and Dubai and an amount of Rs 30,000 was sought through the advertisements. Ever since the company opened its Chandigarh office about a month ago, it had collected about Rs 35 lakh from over 200 youths. The police recovered 40 passports on Saturday and the remaining 160 passports of aspirants for greener pastures were recovered today, said one of the police officers investigating the case.



Woman found murdered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
The body of an identified woman was found in the forest area near Nada village along the Panchkula-Naraingarh road this morning.
The semi-naked body of the woman (aged around 28 years) was found in thickets around 6 am. Some passers-by noticed the body and informed the police. The girl was reportedly hacked to death by some unidentified persons and was later dumped in there. Eyewitnesses claimed that the body had injury marks on the head and other body parts. Blood oozed out profusely from the head. The victim wore a mustered-green T-shirt while there were no clothes below her waist. She was also wearing earrings and a black band on her right wrist.

After taking the body into possession, the police has sent it to the morgue of the General Hospital, Sector 6, for identification. A case of under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered.

The police has been working on various theories to establish if the girl was raped and then hacked to death. 



UT dealers seek VAT parity with Punjab
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Approximately 300 industrial input dealers based in the city are seeking parity in rate of value added tax with the neighbouring states. They are seeking parity for items listed on the state notifications of Punjab, Haryana and even Himachal Pradesh. The states of Punjab and Haryana are charging 4 per cent on these industrial input items while the Union Territory is charging 12.5 per cent.

There are a total of 89 items on the list of those with reduced VAT in Punjab and Haryana. These include drills, cutters, reamers, carbide tips, spanners, gasket, exposy resins, exposy hardener, cotter pins, power tools, measuring tools and hand tools.

The list also includes anti-rust spray, micrometers and calipers, valves, cocks, solenoid valves, grinding wheels and all abrasive products, magnetic blocks, oil seals, pulley tackle, industrial hoists and industrial safety items, besides others.

The Chandigarh Mill Stores Dealers Association is pursuing the matter at the senior levels over the past several months but to no avail. The office of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Minister of State for Finance, in a communication to Chandigarh Administration, has asked the Finance Secretary to look into the matter.

Mr M.P. Chawla, secretary of the Chandigarh Mill Stores Dealers Association, said: “We have met the Deputy Commissioner with regard to the issue. As we failed to get any satisfactory answer we were forced to approach the Minister of State for Finance who also happens to be the local Member of Parliament. He has assured us to get a satisfactory reply from the officials”.

Mr S.K.Sandhu, Finance Secretary, said he had very recently received the communication from the office of the minister from New Delhi. He said he would be looking into the matter before any final decision

The Chandigarh Mill Stores Dealers Association, in a communication to the minister had pointed out that “the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and also Delhi were charging only 4 per cent VAT on listed items”.

Traders of the city need a parity in taxes with the neighbouring states because even a minor change can bring a change in the market price of commodity. “Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana so the traders here at least deserve a competitive parity with them”, Mr Chawla added.



40-year-old ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The body of a 40-year-old resident of Buterla village was found hanging from a ceiling fan hook at his rented accommodation early this morning.
Although no suicide note has been found, the police believes it to be a case of suicide. The deceased’s family has also reportedly ruled out the possibility of any foul play behind the death.

Sources at the Sector 39 police station said the body of Vinod Chand, who hailed from Nepal, was found hanging from the ceiling fan hook by his landlord, Mr Jarnail Singh, who informed the police.



Passing thru

K.S. Paintal
K.S. Paintal, managing director, Elite Mariners Pvt Ltd, Mumbai

Tell us about your company.

Ours is a service-oriented company engaged in the business of shift management for Norwegian ships only. Apart from India, we have merchant navy officers from Norway, Poland, the UK, Croatia and the Philippines. I am here to interact with our camp officers and also to look for new officers for my company.

What qualification do you look for?

The person needs to be International Maritime Organisation (IMO) qualified. Then we take the aptitude test where we see the person's professional approach, his presence of mind. On ship, there is more of an individual responsibility. The dedication and seriousness in this sphere is always expected.

What are the qualities of a good mariner?

A good mariner should be prompt in taking right decisions at any crisis because the cargo is worth millions of dollars. Sometimes there's limited number of boarders so the maintenance and navigation part has to be played by individual only. The company's performance depends solely on how you deliver consignment.

How do you compare Indian officers with foreign officers?

Indians are second to none, be it mental or physical fitness. Rather, Indians have an edge over foreigner mariners as far as physical task is concerned as this job requires equal fraction of physical strength also.

Are there lady mariners in your company?

Certainly, no. As I said this job requires physical strength where women lack.

— G. S. PAUL



Water leakage keeps MC staff busy 
Tribune News Service

Leakage from a water pipeline created a 100-foot-high fountain near railway station traffic lights in Chandigarh on Sunday
Leakage from a water pipeline created a 100-foot-high fountain near railway station traffic lights in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 18
Repair work and massive leakage in water pipes meant a busy Sunday for Municipal Corporation officials in the city today. The traffic on Madhya Marg faced disruption because of digging up of the land adjoining the roundabout of Sectors 7-26-19-27. The traffic came to a virtual halt at many times when it was heavy.

A labourer on job said:"We were looking for a leakage point on this stretch of the supply line from the part nearly a week. We will be able to fix it by this evening so that the traffic flow becomes normal by tomorrow morning".

An unusual scene of water shooting more than 100 feet in the air was witnessed by motorists crossing the overbridge near the Railway Station on road to Panchkula from the Transport Chowk lights. The water flow continued for nearly two hours at around 3 pm.

A senior official of the MC said the leakage in pipes was usually occurred because of tampering by the local residents. "We will look into the matter and plug the holes", he added.



Admn flouting its  own guidelines
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Despite issuing instructions to the Municipal Corporation that no development projects should be undertaken in encroached areas, the Administration itself is flouting the guidelines.

In the ward of a former Senior Deputy Mayor, Ms Pushpa Sharma, the Engineering Department of the Administration is carrying out the development work of widening and carpeting of the V-3 road that separates Sectors 29-A and 30-B.

The occupants of houses in Sector 30-B (as seen in the picture) have opened doors on the rear. The Administration or the Municipal Corporation has not bothered to clear the unauthorised structures raised by the residents on public land.

A large chunk of the land is under encroachment along the V-3 road.

“Due to the widening of the road, the road berms have come close to the unauthorised boundaries. This could lead to accident as the resident park their vehicles of the road. The authorised entry to the houses is from the front,” said an official of the Municipal Corporation.

It may be mentioned that the corporation has stalled development projects in several area like Bapu Dham, Maloya, Sector 15 and Sector 19 as encroachments on public land 
exist there.

In Ram Darbar, the corporation and the Estate Office carried out a massive demolition drive last month to clear encroachment on the public land.

“The same yardstick should be applied to Sector 30,” said a councillor.



Celestial treat for sky gazers
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Sky gazers were in for a celestial treat when Saturn and Mars, the two relatively brighter planets of the Milky Way, crossed each other at close quarters. With a physical distance of over 114 crore km still separating them, this is the closest that the two planets have got since 1978.

Scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences at Nainital have captured the event that would now recur in 2008. Releasing the photographs here this evening, Prof Ram Sagar, Director of the institute, said these had been clicked with 40-inch telescope using ST7 camera.

While astrologers had a field day forcing their believers to pray hard during what was considered to be a dark hour for humans on earth, for scientists it was a visual delight. The event was supposed to be visible to the naked eye it was, however, clearly visible through even a small telescope and even binoculars.

The team of the institute’s photographers - Dr Brijesh Kumar and Dr Amitesh Omar - waited for over 20 hours before the entire cross over had finished clicking hundreds of pictures of the event. The time for crossover lasted for a few hours. On the evening of June 17, Mars was to the west of Saturn while today evening Mars was to the east of Saturn.

“The entire day from yesterday evening has been spent at the observatory’s telescope room to see the rare event,” reported an excited Tejveer Singh, a researcher at the institute.

“These planets have been crossing each other at various intervals and we have been monitoring their movement since 2000. On April 15, 2000, they crossed each other at 2.3 degrees of separation. On May 3, 2002, they were at 2.2 degrees, on May 24, 2004 the degree of separation was 1.6 and on June 17, the degree of separation was the least at 0.56. Now onwards the distance between them would increase and on July 10, 2008, these would be separated by 0.63 degrees and on July 30, 2010, it would be 1.8 degrees,” Prof Sagar pointed out.



Centre asked to accept findings of Mukherjee panel report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
A nation-wide movement has been launched by the Netaji Subhas Foundation to pressure Congress-led UPA government to accept the findings of the Justice Mukherji Commission of Inquiry on circumstances related to the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1945.

The findings of the commission that there was no satisfactory evidence that Netaji died in the plane crash at Taipei on August 18, 1945, was rejected by the UPA government.

To educate the country men about the findings of the Mukherji Commission report, the Netjai Subhas Foundation organised a Citizens' Convention here today. Mr V.P.Saini, chairman of the Netaji Subhas Foundation, said such conventions were being organised throughout the country before holding a march to Parliament on July 26.

Addressing the convention, Mr Subarta Bose, Member of Parliament and nephew of Netaji Subhas Chander Bose, sought explanation from the government for rejecting the report of the Commission. He pointed out that neither the UPA government nor the NDA government extended any cooperation to the Commission while it was probing the facts.

" The Government of India had been trying to suppress the facts related to the death of Netaji. Vital information was still lying in the archives of many foreign countries and also with the Union Government", said Mr Saini, adding that during his visit to Taiwan, Japan , Russia and England, he came across some facts which proved beyond doubt that Netaji did not die in the air crash.

Mr Saini while addressing the convention stated that there was a conspiracy by the imperialist and capitalist forces to keep Netaji away from Independent India as they feared that Netaji could make India a great power. He demanded action against all those persons who fabricated the facts and evidence before the earlier Commissions like the Saha Nawaj Inquiry Commission and the Khosla Commission.

Releasing a brief of the Commission's Inquiry report, Mr Saini said during the proceedings of the Commission, 131 witnesses were examined and 730 files and documents were exhibited. The Union Government claimed privilege under Sections 123 and 124 of the Evidence Act and Article 74 (2) of the Constitution of India in case of three files.

From the evidence which appeared before the Commission, it concluded that there was no satisfactory evidence of the plane crash, in the absence of any record at the hospital or the crematorium, oral accounts of the witnesses of Netaji's death and cremation cannot be relied upon, a secret plan was contrived to ensure Netaji's safe passage to which Japanese military authority and Habibur Rehman were parties and the ashes in the Japanese temple were not those of Netaji.

Mr Sham Singh, News Editor of Punjab Tribune , presided over the function. Others who also spoke on the occasion were Mr NS Sitta, Chairman of the reception Committee and Ms Ranbir Kaur Talib, daughter of late Niranjan Singh Talib, a close associate of Netaji. 



Car rally for new building bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (Foswac) today organised a car, scooter rally demanding a change in the building bye-laws. A number of bye-laws framed more than five decades back had gone obsolete, it was argued.

The rally led by P.C.Sanghi, chairman, M.R.Lakhanpal, general secretary, and G.S.Ahluwalia, vice- chairman, started from Sector 34 and concluded in Sector 7. It passed through Sectors 33, 20, 30, 27, 18 and 8.

Sanghi said many bye-laws had gone obsolete in the present context and needed a comprehensive review.

The rally consisted of 300 participants carrying banners on cars and scooters.



Draft rolls displayed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 18
The draft electoral rolls for the municipal elections have been 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 office till June 30 after which the final draft would be published on July 10.

The elections to the civic body are likely to be held in the last week of July. The term of the elected body had expired on November 23 last year.



Mattewal to be honoured in Canada 
Tribune News Service

H.S. Mattewal
H.S. Mattewal

Chandigarh, June 18
Toronto-based Asian Connections Radio and a host of NRI organisations have invited the former Advocate General, Punjab, Mr H.S. Mattewal, to Canada where he would be honoured for his legal services to the diaspora.

According to Mr Sandeep Sandhu, local coordinator for Asian Connections, Mr Mattewal would be honoured on June 30 by over 10 organisations of the NRIs in Toronto. A function in this regard is being held at Toronto, which would be attended by government and Indian High Commission officials, businessmen and other dignitaries. Members of Canadian Parliament, originally hailing from Punjab, would also participate in the ceremony.

Mr Sandhu informed that for the past two years, Mr Mattewal had been providing free legal consultancy to NRIs through a fortnightly one-hour live radio helpline programme, anchored by Asian Connections’ Associate Producer (India) R.S. Taggar.

Sometime back, Mr Mattewal was accorded the title of “Panth Rattan” by the SGPC for his selfless service to the religious body for the past 20 years.

Thanking the NRI community for deciding to honour him, Mr Mattewal said that he would continue to do his bit in helping the NRIs.



Rotary Club honours Vice-Chancellor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Rotary Club, Patiala Midtown, held a felicitation ceremony to honour the Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Dr Ravinder Singh on Friday.

In this address the V.C. highlighted the need for a trauma centre in Patiala. Oatuaka, The Punjab Government has already allotted an acre in the Medical College complex at Patiala for the purpose.

Dr Satwant Sachdeva, in this address said: “Management of trauma is a costly affair. Governmental funds are in-sufficient to run such centres. “It is duty of NGOs and active social workers to raise and develop such institutions,” he said.

Rotary Foundation executive Shubh Karan Gupta who was also present explained how the club took up such causes.



Journalist bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Major Hari Singh Sandhu, father of Kanwar Sandhu, Resident Editor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, died after a brief illness in New Delhi early this morning. He was 92. The body has been taken to his farmhouse in Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan for cremation.

Besides Mr Kanwar Sandhu, he is survived by his wife, Mrs Rajbans Sandhu, elder son, Major-Gen P.J.S. Sandhu (retd) and daughter, Mrs Kanwaljit Ghuman, who is a lecturer in a Chandigarh college.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today expressed grief at the death of Major Hari Singh and offered heartfelt sympathies.



Two cops booked for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
The Mohali police has booked two policemen, Gurmatpal Singh and Gurdial Singh, for taking bribe from a young couple after threatening them. According to the police, Madan Gopal, a Mohali resident, was standing with his girlfriend in the Phase VI Industrial Area here last evening when they were accosted by these policemen.

Using their mobile phone, they clicked pictures of the couple and started blackmailing the two. They demanded money from them saying if the same was not done they would inform their families. The two then allegedly took Rs 80 from them and told them to pay up Rs 2,000 the next day.

Sources added that one of the policemen also reportedly misbehaved with the girl.

House burgled: Thieves decamped with gold jewellery worth Rs 55,000 and Rs 8,000 in cash from a Sector 69 house on Saturday night.

The family members had gone to Manali since Thursday. They returned on Saturday around 8pm and found the house ransacked. The thieves had entered the house through the drawing room windows.

A case has been registered on the complaint of Mr Iqbal Singh Sandhu, owner of the house.

Vehicle stolen: Thieves took away a motor cycle (CH03Q 6038) of a Chandigarh resident while it was parked in Phase VIII industrial area here.



Electric bikes set to hit roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
As the petro prices are looking north, Indus Elec-trans has come out with an alternative for the common man. Fuelled by innovation, the company is set to launch Yo Bykes, which need electricity to run.

Fitted with easily rechargeable battery (60 km per charge), the bikes manage to carry a payload of 75 kg at a time. One has to shell out just 10-15 paisa per km and they are pollution free.

To create an awareness of the electric bikes among the people, the company had displayed the bikes for at Fun Republic on Saturday and Sunday.

Presently the company plans to launch vehicles having a speed limit of 25 km/hr as it saves the customers from the hassles of registrations and driving licence. Don’t worry, safety against theft is provided by identification numbers on the vehicles. 



Company to disburse loans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Magma Leasing Limited, a private financial company, will disburse loans worth Rs 125 crore from its local business centre in the current financial year, said Ms Bhupinderit Kaur, Regional Business Head, while addressing a press conference here yesterday.

She said the company had distributed Rs 71.33 crore in the last financial year. The company provides car and commercial vehicle loans, used commercial vehicle loans, construction equipment loans, etc.



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