C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

CSIO, BEL ink pact on technology transfer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) today signed an agreement with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Panchkula unit, for transfer of technology to manufacture the Head-up Display (HUD) for the indigenously developed HJT-36 trainer aircraft.

The agreement was signed by the CSIO Administrative Officer, Mr A.K. Mukherjee, and Deputy General Manager, BEL, Mr Nand Kumar.

Technology developed by the CSIO laboratories will be transferred to the BEL to enable it to take up limited production of the HUD. Presently, imported HUD is being used in the aircraft.

The HUD is an opto-electronic device installed above the cockpit’s instrument with its screen at the pilot’s level.

It provides information on the aircraft’s flight parameters like speed, direction, altitude, weapon-status etc, thus reducing the need for a pilot to look down into the cockpit repeatedly.

Earlier, the CSIO has developed HUD units for the indigenous Tejas light-combat aircraft (LCA), which have been installed in prototype versions undergoing flight trials. The BEL has also taken up limited production for the Tejas HUD.

The HUD for the HJT, a follow-up project of the Tejas HUD, is more compact and lighter, with some more features incorporated into it. The CSIO is now contemplating development of the HUD systems for SU-30 MKI, Jaguar and MiG series aircraft.

In another development, the CSIO today transferred technology for producing atomic-absorption spectrophotometer to the Environmental and Scientific Instruments Company, a Panchkula-based firm.

The equipment is used for detecting traces of elements which are harmful for human consumption and has a wide application in agriculture, health and industrial sector. At present, about 75 per cent of the demand for these instruments is met through imports.



30 structures demolished in Khudda Lahora
Villagers question land acquisition criteria
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Physically challenged Santokh Singh, whose house was partly demolished at Khudda Lahora.
Physically challenged Santokh Singh, whose house was partly demolished at Khudda Lahora.

Chandigarh, July 18
A demolition drive was carried out by staff of the Estate Office in Khudda Lahora village today in which nearly 30 structures were demolished.
Villagers of Khudda Lahora questioned the criteria adopted by the Chandigarh Administration on land acquisition.

While acquiring about 230 acres of land in Khudda Lahora village, the Administration “left out” a piece of land in the village last year. This land is adjoining the Chandigarh-Mullanpur road, which is set to provide a shorter link to Baddi in Himachal Pradesh.

At least six residential structures stood on the land ( khasra no 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30) when it was exempted from acquisition under Section 5 (A) of the Land Acquisition Act, said sources in the Administration.

Interestingly, another piece of land on which some houses had come up outside the village “phirni” on the other side of the road was also acquired. Both pieces of land is said to be agricultural in nature.

However, it is being alleged that some vacant plots owned by certain influential persons of the village have been left out during the acquisition.

Sources said the plea taken by the revenue officials for the exemption was that it was a thickly populated area.

The fact came to light during a day-long demolition drive carried out by the staff of the Estate office and the Land Acquisition Office (LAO) in the village today.

Alleging dual policy, residents whose houses were demolished questioned the “double set of rules” in acquiring the land of the village.

“If there can be some compassionate grounds or some other valid reason for exempting the land from acquisition, I also fulfil the criteria”, said Mr Santokh Singh, who had lost both his arms in an accident. He runs a diary business.

Similarly, Mr Suresh Kumar, who suffers from a congenital deformity, lost his house in the demolition. He is dependent on his brother as he is unable to earn a livelihood. Residents whose houses along the village “phirni” were demolished today lamented that the Administration used its “discretion” in a biased manner while acquiring the land.

A visit to the spot revealed the “left out” piece of land was adjoining a botanical garden. The total land was about two acres and part of it had not been acquired.

The owners of the unauthorised structures on the acquired land had lost their legal right of possession of the structures following a Supreme Court order, said a press note issued by the Administration.

The land measuring 227.81 acres was acquired in Khuda Lahora village for the development of institutional projects. Out of the aforesaid area, about 15 acres was having structures. Some of the owners of these structures filed petitions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court granted a stay against the dispossession on January 3, 2005. On May 11, this year, the court dismissed their writ petitions with the direction to vacate the acquired land by May 31.

The petitioners filed an SLP in the Supreme Court against the orders of the high court. The apex court dismissed their appeal on May 29 with the observation that petitioners may approach the high court for the extension of time for dispossession.



Kidnap victim brought back to city, case registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The police today registered a case in the alleged kidnapping of Deepwant Pahwa, the 26-year-old son of a city-based industrialist, from near Jat Bhavan in Sector 27 on Monday morning by an unidentified man posing as a traffic policeman. The victim was brought to the city in the wee hours today.

The miscreant had allegedly left the victim somewhere near Murthal in Haryana before fleeing in his Scorpio SUV taking with him the victim’s wrist watch and a bag containing documents.

Late on Monday evening, the victim’s family received a telephone call from a dhaba near Murthal informing that their son was found in a semi-conscious condition there and his clothes were mud clad.

Later in the evening, the police received information from the Haryana police that the vehicle was also found abandoned near the jungle area in Murthal this afternoon. The one of the window panes of the vehicle was shattered.

According to the sources in the Sector 26 police station, a police team along with forensic experts has been dispatched to Murthal to bring the vehicle.

The police was working on several theories to solve the case. They added that the mobile call details of the victim show that he had made two calls from his phone and the tower location of these calls show his location in Panchkula.

His initial statement given to the police and his location in Panchkula did not match. He had talked to one of his employees in his factory and the police would verify the same with that employee, said a senior police officer.

Following the telephonic message on Monday evening, the Chandigarh police had informed the Haryana police about the incident and they took the victim in their care.

When he reached the city early this morning, Deepwant was not fit to record his statement at that time and the police waited for him to recuperate, said DSP (East) Mr Vijay Pal Singh. He added that the police would investigate all aspects of the case to reach to the bottom of the truth.

A case of kidnapping, theft and causing hurt under Sections 365, 379 and 328 of the Indian Penal Code was registered on a complaint filed by the victim’s brother, Mr Anuwant Pahwa, a resident of Sector 27, on Monday. The police has lodged a daily diary report (DDR) in this connection.

The police said Deepwant alleged in his statements to the police that on Monday he was going to his factory. At Jat Bhavan, a traffic policeman signalled him to stop and told him that he would be challaned for having dark film on the panes of his vehicle.

The policeman made Deepwant unconscious after putting his hand on his neck. When he regained consciousness, he found himself in Murthal.

According to the police, blood and urine samples of the victim have been taken and would be examined to ascertain which sedative was used make him unconscious. He said, however, no visible injury mark was found on the victim’s neck or on any other part of his body.

A doctor has confirmed the availability of a very fine quality syringe in the market which could have been used to inject the sedative. The doctor told the police that the syringe is so fine that it doesn’t leave a mark on the body and the shot is painless.

The DSP added that the according to the location of mobile phone, they remained in Panchkula for about two hours. Using the mobile phone details, the police would also plot a map of the route the miscreant had taken.

When asked about the case, DSP Vijay Pal Singh said, “Initially, it appeared to be a case of vehicle theft, as the miscreant did not approach the family to demand ransom. Had it been a case of kidnapping for ransom, the miscreant would have called the family demanding money as the victim was in his custody for quite a long time.” Adding to this, he said the police was investigating the matter and was looking into all aspects of the case. He said the victim’s statement would be corroborated with the sequence of events.

Describing the miscreant, Deepwant said he was 5 feet 9 inches tall having a sturdy built and was in his late twenties. He was clean-shaven. The police said as Deepwant himself is strongly built, two or more persons might have been involved in the incident. The police was making the sketch of the miscreants on the basis of the description provided by the victim, said a police officer.



Ballot papers, not EVMs for Mohali MC poll
18 more file nomination papers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 18
Ballot papers and not electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the municipal elections scheduled to be held here on July 30 even as 18 prospective candidates filed their nominations papers on the second day here today.

The EVMs were the property of the Election Commission of India and here the elections were being conducted under the guidance of the State Election Commission, said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh. As such voting would be done by using ballot paper and ballot boxes.

Regarding the polling of bogus votes, the Deputy Commissioner said polling agents of the candidates would be present outside polling booths. If they find some person indulging in impersonation they can immediately complain to the presiding officer who will inquire into the case and decide whether the vote was a challenged one or not. If someone is found impersonating, action will be taken against him according to law.

Regarding the law and order situation during the civic body poll, Mr Tejveer Singh said the issue would be discussed at a meeting to be held with the SSP tomorrow.

Out of the 18 contestants only one former municipal councillor, Mr N.K. Marwaha, who had twice won the municipal elections earlier from ward number 8, had filed the nomination papers. All others are fresh faces who are stepping into the fray with great enthusiasm.

Others who filed the nomination papers are Ms Ishwar Kaur from ward number 12, Mr Amit Marwaha from ward number 8 , Mr Swaran Singh from ward number 2, Ms Pritam Devi from ward number 25, Mr Suresh Kumar from ward number 29, Ms Ginder Kaur from ward number 10, Ms Seema also from ward number 10, Mr Harmeet Singh from ward number 30, Mr Karnail Singh from ward number 9, Mr Paramdeep Singh and Mr Sikandar Kumar from ward number 26, Mr Amrik Singh from ward number 30, Ms Indu Bhanot from ward number 25, Mr Gurdeep Singh from ward number 9, Mr Ashok Kumar from ward number 29, Mr Sukhpal Singh from ward number 18 and Mr Attar Singh from ward number 9.



Parking lots unsafe, overcrowded
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, July 18
The Municipal Corporation’s decision of having parking lots within parking lots in most of the markets with paid parking system has set another problem in motion. Though it has solved the parking problem up to some extent, the new system of having lots within lots has left most of the areas unsafe from firefighting point of view.

Though senior officers in the Fire Department are unwilling to be quoted on the issue, the sources admit that it is practically impossible for the fire tenders to move about in the parking lots in front of the buildings because of the congestion and bottlenecks caused due to the introduction of the new system of parallel parking.

Elaborating, the sources assert that in an attempt to accommodate more and more vehicles within the existing space, and to earn additional revenue out of the entire affair, the contractors with the local police and corporation’s approval have established the system of parking vehicles in different rows parallel to each other.

“Each row is demarcated with the help of chains, poles or markings painted on the roads within the lots,” the sources assert. “As such, instead of parking the vehicles on either sides of the lot as done earlier, the motorists are now leaving behind the vehicles in three to four parallel rows within the existing space, leaving little room for even cars to pass, leave alone fire tenders”.

Besides this, at several places new medians have been set up within the lots in an attempt to segregate scooter and car parking lots, again resulting in restricted access and unnecessary jamming of traffic due to paucity of space.

A visit to the parking lots in Sector 35, 22 17 and 9, especially in the evenings, is enough to substantiate the apprehensions of the fire department officials. As the semi-limousines and other cars try to find their way in and out of the parking lots cramped with vehicles parked parallel, it becomes impossible even for the scooters to pass.

In fact in front of hotels and restaurants in Sector 35 you will find even cyclists trying to find their way out of the maze especially on weekends. The situation is hardly any different in the lots situated in the other three sectors with paid parking system.

“These sectors have virtually become ticking fire bombs due to the new parking arrangements which leave hardly any space for tenders to move about,” says an officer. “In case of a mishap, the tenders will not be able to get near the spot. Needless to say, they will have to fight the blaze from a distance which will make the entire operation less effective due to loss of water pressure”.

The officer adds that even before the introduction of the new system of parallel parking, the Fire Department had written several letters to the road wing of the Municipal Corporation and the traffic police to ensure free access to fire tenders in Sectors 17 and 22. But so far the department has not received any reply from both the government agencies. 



Encroachers send HUDA team back
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
There was drama when a team of the enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority reached the Sector 7 market here this evening and started winding up establishments of shopkeepers that had virtually encroached upon the corridor.

The shopkeepers initially argued with the enforcement wing team and later had a scuffle with Tehsildar Bachan Singh and Junior Engineer Karam Singh.

The enforcement wing team had to return empty handed after the shopkeepers assembled there and protested against the drive.

According to Mr B.B. Kochhar, president of the Sector 7 Market Welfare Association, the problem started when members of the enforcement wing team seized goods of shopkeepers from the verandah and refused to issue slips of the items impounded.

Irate shopkeepers alleged that members of the enforcement wing often demanded money from them for doing uninterrupted business.



Rainfall pattern deviating from normal
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The rainfall pattern in Chandigarh during the past few years has deviated from its normal course and so are other weather parameters.
Experts of the Chandigarh-based Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute blame the greenhouse effect and polluting environment for the change in weather.

In their latest book, “Weather trends at Chandigarh”, the researchers — Dr Yogendra Agnihotri, Mr P. Bhattacharyya, Mr V.N. Sharda and Dr A.K. Tiwari — record 26 drought years in the past 48 years. Out of these years, 15 severe drought years were recorded.

The book has a collection of data on rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind velocity, evaporation, sunshine and dew fall since 1958.

The book says the city and its nearby areas receive 1,121mm of average annual rainfall. During the kharif season (July to September), 779mm of rainfall has been recorded. The rabi season (November to March) generally receives 154mm rainfall.

The kharif rainfall has become more variable over the years.

The studies show that during 12 years (not in succession) the monsoon arrived late (the average date of monsoon arrival is June 29), 32 years witnessed continuous dry spells of eight days, during 10 years the monsoon withdrew early and during 12 years the city received less than 80 per cent of the average rainfall.

The experts say there is a need to develop drought-resistant crop varieties for taking assured production under rainfed farming during the kharif season.

The book also contains data regarding the arrival of monsoon. During eight different years, the monsoon arrived between June 16 and 22, seven years between June 23 and 29, 11 years between June 30 and July 6, six years between July 7 and 13 and seven years after July 13. While the arrival of monsoon between June 30 and July 6 is normal, the arrival after July 13 is delayed.

The last few decades were the warmest throughout the country. The mean maximum temperature increased by .6°C and the mean minimum temperature decreased by .1°C. Two decades — 1971 to 80 and 1981 to 90 — registered higher warming rates than earlier decades.



Nurturing Yogiji’s dreams
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Two years ago, the very thought of taking charge of the vast legacy left behind by her husband overwhelmed her.
Even though he had been preparing her to face the world since the day she put her foot on US soil, simply thinking of what this meant in practical terms gave her the jitters.

With the determination to carry forward and fulfil the vision of her husband Yogiji — as Harbhajan Yogi was lovingly called — Dr Inderjit Kaur Khalsa is today at equal ease while talking about issues pertaining to Akal Securities — a billion dollar company, manning the security of several American airports and vital installations, and discussing religion, yoga and meditation.

When she immigrated to the US in 1972, three years behind Harbhajan Yogi — a yoga teacher, who ventured to the ‘land of opportunities’ to establish yoga-teaching centres there — ‘Bhai Sahiba’ as she is known today, was merely a housewife. Not even a graduate, she took pride in cooking ‘langar’ for her husband’s disciples swelling at times to 500 after a yoga camp.

With sheer grit, she educated herself to the masters’ level in Guiding and Counselling and went on to do a doctorate in psychology and counselling.

Today, the state of New Mexico has officially implemented a de-stressing programme called ‘First Responders’ like Fire Fighters and Paramedics who sing hymns like “Satnam Waheguru” as part of the programme.

On her way to France to participate in an annual yoga festival of the ‘Sikh Dharma International’ a community founded by Harbhajan Yogi for the propagation of Sikh religion in the West, Dr Inderjit Kaur decided to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple enroute — her second visit to India after the demise of Harbhajan Yogi.

In the city on way to Amritsar, she spoke to The Tribune about various issues ranging from the billion dollar companies like ‘Akal Securities’ and ‘Golden Temple Cereals’, her efforts to spread Sikh religion and the role of the ‘Sikh Dharma Community’ in American politics. The ‘Akal Securities’ with 15,000 employees is the third largest security company in the US and the biggest privately owned security company whose entire management is in the hands of devout Sikhs operating under the banner of ‘Khalsa Council’.

Twelve out of the 13 federal courts in America, outer security of the army bases, several federal government establishments that include the Regan Building, where the US Senators sit, are guarded by the ‘Akal Securities’.

Originally started to provide jobs to unemployed Sikhs, ‘Akal Securities’ today has established the credentials of the Sikh community in the USA, Dr Inderjit Kaur disclosed. Co-Founder of the Psychology of Vitality Institute of New Mexico, an organisation dedicated to bringing together therapeutic systems from various countries and cultures in order to develop the most effective treatment programs for the counselling community, she has over a dozen distinctions anyone would be proud to have. She finds her name on the New Mexico Hall of Fame. A programme for ‘Creating Inner Peace and Resilience, Yoga and Meditation Technology for Critical Incident Stress’, designed for ‘First Responders’ has been officially adopted by the state of New Mexico where she lives. Senator Shannon Robinson and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico have named her “New Mexico Ambassador of Peace”.

During her short visit to Punjab along with her younger son, Mr Kulbir Singh, Dr Inderjit Kaur will meet with senior officials of the Punjab Government and prevail upon them to start a 'Yogi Harbhajan Singh Chair' at the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar.



Now, eco-friendly cars for UT police
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Environmental issues are really weighing heavily on the minds of men in khaki. Overlooking ravishing new petrol or diesel vehicles, the UT police is all poised to make a gradual switch-over to battery-run ‘Reva’ cars, touted as absolutely smoke-and-noise-free.

The Inspector-General, Chandigarh Police, Mr Satish Chandra, has already endorsed a proposal to buy at least three such cars to be used primarily for patrolling.

Presently, the matter is being considered by the Department of Science and Technology, informs a senior police officer.

The Science and Technology Department will scrutinise the proposal and decide on the quantum of subsidy to be given to the UT police.

The car, manufactured by a Bangalore-based company, costs about Rs 3.25 lakh.The police has sought a subsidy of Rs 1.25 lakh covering all three cars it plans to buy.

Incidentally, the city has already seen Reva cars in action. Two of them are owned privately, while at least three others are being used by the UT Science and Technology Department.

“The car, with seating for two adults, runs at the top speed of 60 km per hour. It can travel for 80 km or for six hours on a single-charge,” said the DSP, Crime, Mr Om Parkash. The car is easy to manoeuvre on the inner roads of the city and would save huge expenditure on fuel as it runs at a cost of 40 paisa per km only.

“The police will seek more such pollution-free cars if the initial lot of three cars runs smoothly and efficiently,” the DSP stressed.

The move comes in the wake of the UT Administration’s decision to give an environment-friendly look to the police and other departments.



Home Secy to preside over panels on conversion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Housing, will preside over the two committees constituted with respect to the conversion policy — Chandigarh conversion of land of industrial sites into commercial activity/services in Industrial Area, Phases I and II, Chandigarh, and amenities/infrastructure advisory committee for the purpose of developing the infrastructure in Industrial Area, Phases I and II, Chandigarh.

The duties will be in addition to the existing work being handled by the Home Secretary.

The Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board will be a member of both committees.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, will also work as Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats.



650 kundis removed

Chandigarh, July 18
The UT Engineering Department carried out a drive with the help of the police to remove kundis in Dadu Majra village and colony, Sector 38 (West), EWS Colony, Sector 56, Kumhar Colony and Janta Colony here today.

A total of 650 premises were found stealing electricity by putting kundis.

The department requested residents to approach it for regular connections and not resort to illegal kundi connections.

It stated that strict action like lodging of FIRs and imposing of heavy penalties would be taken against residents found indulging in theft of power. TNS



6 pc rise in foreign tourists to city

Chandigarh, July 18
There has been an increase in the arrival of tourists during the last six months as compared to the same period during last year.
As many as 319233 domestic tourists arrived during January to June 2006 against 307046 for the corresponding period of 2005 resulting in a 4 per cent increase in domestic tourist arrival.

Similarly, 12020 foreign tourists arrived in between January to May 2006 as compared to 11367 for the same period in 2005, thereby registering an increase of 6 per cent.

In 2004, 606333 domestic tourists and 17133 foreign tourists arrived in the city. In 2005, the figures of the domestic and foreign tourists were 614176 and 23284 respectively. TNS



Youth collapses, dies

Panchkula, July 18
A Sector 15 resident Pradeep (25) collapsed and died while watching the shooting of a Punjabi album along the Panchkula-Morni road near Nadha village this afternoon.
According to the police, the deceased collapsed following a fit and breathed his last on the spot. Efforts of some persons who tried their best to save him failed. The doctors declared him dead in general hospital. The police claimed that Pradeep was suffering from fits for the past many years. TNS 



Bhagwat saptah

Chandigarh, July 18
The local Garhwal Sabha will hold a Srimad bhagwat saptah gyan yajna at Garhwal Bhavan in Sector 29 from July 19 to 26. A kalash yatra will be held tomorrow at 5 pm. The katha will be held from July 20 from 9 am to 12 noon and 5 pm to 9 pm.



Daddu Majra resident held for kidnapping girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The local police arrested a Daddu Majra Colony resident on the allegation of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl of the same locality. Giving details sources in the Sector 39 police station said the accused, Pinto Kumar, was arrested from Sector 17 on Monday.

The victim was recovered. A case was registered following a complaint filed by the victim’s family against the accused alleging that he had kidnapped the victim on July 15.

The police sent the girl to Nari Niketan, Sector 26 and was investigating the matter.

House burgled: Mr Ravi Kumar Sharma of Sector 16 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his house was burgled during the intervening night of July 16 and 17.

He told the police that the burglars gained entry after breaking open the locks.

The exact loss of articles stolen was yet to be ascertained, said the police.

A case was registered in this regard in Sector 17 police station.

Scooter stolen: Mr Hanish Sharma of Sector 22-D reported to the police alleging that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (HP-34-A-3202) was stolen from apni mandi, held at Sector 33 on Sunday.

A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Gambling: The local police arrested Raghubir Singh of Hallomajra village from near Singla turn on Monday for allegedly indulging in gambling at public place.

The police recovered Rs 1085 from his possession and registered a case under the gambling Act in Sector 31 police station.



Porn films seized, 1 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The operations cell of the Chandigarh police today arrested a shopkeeper in Sector 22 here on the allegation of possessing porn films.
Acting on the basis of secret information, a police team raided the shop of Jaswinder Singh in Sector 22.

The police seized 55 blue film CDs from his possession and registered a case under Section 292 of the IPC.

The police said Jaswinder Singh, the proprietor, had earlier been booked by the local police on similar charges.

Snatching case: Ms Asha Thakur, a paying guest in Sector 22 here, lodged a complaint that two motor cycle-borne miscreants snatched her purse, containing Rs 900 and other articles, from near her house on Tuesday evening. A case of snatching was registered in this regard.



Held for sending obscene messages
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 18
The police has arrested a resident of Sector 69 here on the charge of sending obscene messages to a woman.
According to the police, Balpreet Kaur, a resident of Phase III B 1, had complained that she was getting obscene messages on her cell phone from Harpreet Singh.

Harpreet Singh had reportedly got the phone number of Balpreet Kaur from one of his friends. The police has registered a case under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC and 11 and 67 of the Information and Technology Act 12 of 2000, in this regard.

Scooter stolen: Mr Rajinder Singh, a resident of Balongi, has complained to the police that he had parked his scooter opposite the tehsil office in Phase I. When he came back from the office, the vehicle was found missing. The police has registered a case.

Ear ring snatched: A resident of Phase VI has complained to the police a miscreant has snatched her ear ring .

Ms Asha Rani said a scooter-borne person snatched her ear ring and fled away. The incident occurred near Nirankari Bhavan. The police has registered a case. 



International IT event begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18.
The three-day mega international IT event opens here tomorrow with the curtain raiser presentation on ‘state Level Roadmap and Business Opportunities under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in the Northern States’.

The interactive session will provide the background to the collective endeavours that the state governments of Punjab, Haryana, and the Chandigarh Administration and the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) are making to create the right kind of environment for the Chandigarh Capital Region (CCR) to grow.

The chief IT functionaries of all states will unravel the roadmap for their respective states under the recently launched ambitious NeGP of the Union Government, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary IT, UT, Chandigarh, said today.

The Haryana Government will be represented by Mr P.K. Chaudhery, Principal Secretary, IT, and Mr Anurag Rastogi, Special Secretary, IT, and Managing Director, Hartron, while the Punjab Government will have Mr B.R. Bajaj, Principal Secretary, IT, and Mr N.S. Kalsi, Secretary, IT and Managing Director, Punjab InfoTech. Mr Sandhu shall make the presentation on behalf of the Chandigarh Administration.

Dr Omkar Rai, Director, STPI Headquarters, will also be addressing this special session tomorrow. The curtain raiser shall be followed by the annual software export awards.

The e-Revolution 2006 will be formally inaugurated on July 20 by Planning Commission, Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, while Nasscom president Kiran Karnik shall deliver the keynote address. Over 300 delegates from all over the country are expected to participate in this event, which is being jointly organised by Punjab, Haryana, the UT Administration, and the STPI in association with Nasscom, Chandigarh IT Club, and the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC).



IT experts praise city infrastructure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Chandigarh offers the best infrastructure, support, and a good quality of life, and is very similar to Silicon Valley. This was the sentiment expressed by experts during the panel discussion on “Chandigarh: an IT destination” on the concluding day of the fourth International Conference on Information Science, Technology and Management (CISTM) here today.

Mr Pratap Aggarwal, chairman, CII Chandigarh Council and managing director, IDS Infotech, moderated the panel discussion. Talking about the strengths of Chandigarh, Mr Ajay Tiwari from SmartData said, “It is the right place for any start-up or existing enterprise, as it allows flexibility of choice in terms of three locations (Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali) to chose from, has very proactive STP and other supportive government agencies, besides having excellent infrastructure”.

Mr Sameer Jain of Netsolutions said the proactive approach of the Chandigarh Administration to build Chandigarh as a Brand enabled the city to arrive as an IT destination. Mr Atul Gupta of RedAlkemi acknowledged the responsive administration as one of the major factors that led “young entrepreneurs to think of Chandigarh as an alternative destination along with Bangalore, Gurgaon or Noida”. Ms Anupama Arya from Mobera Systems shared her vision for Chandigarh and said that the city had the best of everything but had a long way to go.

Weaving all thoughts together, Mr Pratap Aggarwal aptly summed up, “The challenges are there and still we have miles to go. But the spirit and the zeal will sail us through, and the city will move from strength to strength.”



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