C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Ahluwalia-Manjit group wins PUTA poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The team led by Prof A.S. Ahluwalia and Prof Manjit Singh swept the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) elections held here today. Out of the top five posts, three posts were won by their group.

Professor Ahluwalia defeated outgoing president Prof N.K. Ojha by a margin of more than 100 votes and would be the new president of the Association. For the post of vice-president, Prof Rajan Gaur of the same team won by a margin of 97 votes, defeating Dr Ashwani Sharma.

Prof Manjit Singh was elected to the office of secretary, defeating Prof B.S.Bhoop by a margin of 16 votes. The post of joint secretary was won by Dr Preeti Mahajan of the Ojha group. She defeated Prof Sukhmani Bal Riar by a margin of 19 votes. Prof Harish Kumar was the common choice of both groups for the post of treasurer and was declared elected unopposed.

From Group I of the executive, Asha Maudgil, Pampa Mukherjee, Sukhdev Singh and Madhukar Arya were declared elected, who secured 388, 307, 298 and 302 votes, respectively. All four had been fielded by the Ahluwalia Manjit group.

From Group II of the executive, Amarjit Kaur, Navdeep Goyal, Sunita Shrivastava and M.C. Sidhu secured 352, 294, 283 and 260 votes, respectively and were declared elected. While Amarjit Kaur and M.C. Sidhu were fielded by the winning group, Navdeep Goyal and Sunita Srivastava had been fielded by the Ojha group.

From the Group III executive, Arvind Kumar, Anil Kumar, and Parvinder Arora were declared elected with 293, 247 and 242 votes, respectively. Arivind Kumar and Parvinder Arora were from the Ahluwalia-Manjit group while Anil Kumar was from the Ojha group. From Groups IV and V Chander Mohan and Sawarnjit Kaur had been elected unopposed.

Polling began at 8.30 am and continued till 1.30 pm. There was a lot of enthusiasm among the voters. Over 95 per cent of the total votes were polled.

The group had demanded Central university status for Panjab University and the enhancement of retirement age of teachers to 65 years. They had also demanded the inclusion of employees who joined after January 1,2004, with past pensionable service in the recently launched pension scheme of Panjab University, expediting CAS interviews and inviting applications three months in advance from the date of eligibility. Their manifesto had further demanded better working conditions for faculty.



Path to Nayagaon as NAC cleared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, has finally given approval for deletion of Nayagaon, Karoran and Nada villages in Chandigarh’s periphery from the provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) 1900.

The Punjab Government had recently written to the Centre twice to consider the case of these villages separately from their earlier requests pertaining to the entire state. The two communications had included land records of these two villages and details of the areas measuring 656 acres in Nada and another 1092 acres in Karoran which are notified under the PLPA.

While this decision should remove the only objection to the pending notification of Nayagaon as Notified Area Committee (NAC), the Union Ministry of Forests has added a rider to this decision, asking the state government to ensure that no commercial activity takes place and the land is used “only for bona fide use for agriculture and for sustaining the livelihood of the people.”

The Morinda Assembly MLA and Animal Husbandry Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, who has been instrumental in getting the letter from the Centre stated in a press note that as notification for formation of Notified Area Committee for these villages had already been issued by Punjab Local Government Department, now with the clearance from Forest Department, NAC would come into existence shortly to pave the way for methodical and planned development of the area with amenities of sewerage, concrete streets, streetlights and electricity supply etc.

He added that he had today met the Union Environment and Forests Ministry officials and got the letter issued for taking out these areas from the list of forest areas. The letter states, “After considering the proposal and on the basis of the recommendations of Forest Advisory Committee, the Central Government granted in principle approval for the project of exclusion of 65,670.26 hectare of cultivated and habitation areas closed under Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 from the list of forest areas in District Ropar, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur, Punjab. The part compliance in respect of Karoran and Nada villages was submitted by the State Government vide letters dated July 17, 2006 and July 31, 2006. After considering the proposal of the State Government and compliance of various conditions, the Central Government hereby approves delisting of 707.70 ha (265.59 ha in Nada village and 442.11 ha in Karoran village) of cultivated and habitation area closed under Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 as per the details of Khasra numbers/area and other information submitted by the State Government, from the list of forest areas in Nada and Karoran villages in Districts Ropar (now renamed as SAS Nagar / Mohali) in Punjab”. Large portions of over 470 villages in Punjab are “locked” under the provisions of the Preservation of Forest Act, 1900, and the Indian Forest Conservation Act, 1980. The Forest Department had early this year sought prior approval from the Centre to exclude over 65,670 hectares of cultivation and inhabited land falling in SAS Nagar (then in Ropar), Ropar, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts from the jurisdiction of these Acts on the grounds that these had been listed under PLPA ‘by mistake’. 



Flat allottees get relief for poor work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has held the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority responsible for poor workmanship and use of poor quality of construction material in MIG flats of Sector 70, Mohali. The MIG-Super flats were allotted eight years ago.

Over 50 allottees had moved the forum, stating poor quality of work resulting in leaking sewer and drainage pipes. Holding PUDA responsible for the negligence, each complainant has been awarded a compensation of Rs 15,000 and another Rs 1,100 as costs.

Disposing of the 51 complaints through single orders, the forum comprising Mr N.S.Ahlawat, president, Ms Siddeshwar Sharma and Ms Madhu Behl, both members of the forum, observed that the plea taken by PUDA did not have any convincing evidence. In 2004, a number of complaints had moved the forum, stating that the quality of fitting work and workmanship was not up to the mark. It was averred that due to persistent seepage, the paint on the walls of the flat had peeled off and the wood used in the flat was not as per the specifications prescribed by PUDA.

It was further stated that due to gap between the concrete beam and wooden panels of doors and windows, the doors could not be locked. Aluminium wiring was used in the fittings instead of copper wiring and that too was not to the BIS the forum appointed Mr Krishan Jit Singh, Superintending Engineer, Chandigarh, as Local Commissioner to inspect the flat and submit his report. The Commissioner in his report stated that the quality of workmanship and construction material was not up to the mark.

It was further pointed out that the issue of inquiry in to the poor quality flats was taken up in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and 74th working committee of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The complainants stated that the committee constituted by PUDA had stated that unskilled labour had been employed and action should be taken against the erring PUDA officials. But nothing happened.

After hearing the arguments of both the parties, PUDA has been directed to comply with the orders within one month from the receipt of the copy.



2 hospitalised as villagers attack PUDA team
Demolition drive at Nada village
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 11
Two persons were injured and four vehicles damaged after a mob attacked a team of PUDA officials, who were carrying out a demolition drive at Nada village this evening.

The injured — Mr Surinder Singh, an SDO, and Mr Rattan Singh, a driver — were admitted to Silver Oak Hospital here.

They got injured when a mob started pelting stones on the anti-encroachment team. Four vehicles were damaged. It is reported that some more persons were beaten up by the mob.

When the situation got out of control, the police was rushed to the village. The SSP, Mr Naunihal Singh, and the Kharar SDM, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, visited the spot.

Mr Jeet Bhumbla, a resident of the village, said tempers started running high when the enforcement team demolished the house of Dayal Fauji without giving a notice to him. He said villagers became annoyed as they found PUDA being “selective” while carrying out the demolitions.

Mr M.S. Narang, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said only two persons were injured. He said the Chief Administrator, Mr Som Parkash, visited the hospital to see the condition of the injured.

Mr Narang said members of the enforcement team did not know what had gone wrong suddenly and why they had been attacked by the villagers. He said demolitions had already been carried out in seven villages before reaching Nada village. The enforcement team was only demolishing fresh constructions after carrying out a survey about 15 days back.

He said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given directions not to allow any illegal fresh constructions.



City records hottest day of season
Max temperature rose to 4 degrees above normal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
With the rains remain elusive, the city continued to reel under heat.

Gradually building up over the past four days, the day temperature hit an all-time high of the season today. It touched 37.4°C – four degrees above normal, which is the highest temperature for this monsoon season.

This temperature (37.4°C) was earlier recorded by the Meteorological Department on July 5 and July 8 – the two days which, along with today, have been the hottest days of the season.

Confirming this to The Tribune today, Met Department officials attributed the high levels of heat to lack of rains in Haryana, under which the Chandigarh meteorological zone lies.

“Several parts of Haryana have received meager rainfall, causing the temperature to rise,” said an official, adding that the rains had been fairly active in Himachal Pradesh.

In Chandigarh, however, high humidity levels coupled with deficient rains have resulted in the current situation that is likely to take some time to change.

Admitting that the monsoon has weakened, the officials said a certain evolving weather system might bring some rain in days to come.

“We have a low-pressure area building up over western Uttar Pradesh, adjacent to southeast Rajasthan, northeast Gujarat and southeastern Uttar Pradesh. This system is expected to alter the weather equations by bringing some rain,” said the officials.

Meanwhile, hot conditions are likely to persist. As such, the temperature has been rising steadily for the past three days.

On August 9, it was 34.6°C, followed by 35.4°C on August 10 and a high 37.4°C today.

While the city experienced sultry conditions today, some of its adjoining areas received a good amount of rainfall. 



KMG Infotech-A bedroom to boardroom success story
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
An IT venture started in 1990 from a spare bedroom in the New York home of an Indian has over the years become a global technological business solutions provider, servicing many Fortune 500 companies.

Today, this US-based Indian who strongly believes in the 'mantra of trickle down effect' has committed himself to share his 35 years of global experience in delivering comprehensive business strategy and technology solutions with 'technological talent in India'.

In town to lay the foundation stone of KGM Infotech Limited projects at the Chandigarh Technology Park and at Mohali, Mr Subhash C. Bhatia, founder Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the group, said in about a year from now or perhaps even earlier, KMG Infotech's initiative of turning fresh graduates from regional engineering colleges into 'globally competent manpower' would be a reality. KMG in its novel approach would train the fresh recruits at its Mohali centre and after specialised training put them to work at the Chandigarh centre.

Mr Bhatia who arrived here from the US for the company's big event here, will hold a three-day conference at Shimla with his core team comprising 25 IT wizards, including Mr Rahul Gupta, President and Managing Director, Mr. Vijay Mendiratta and Mr. Ashok Gelhotra, Directors, Mr Gautam Vashist, Vice-President, Finance. The KMG team would over the three days devise a strategy for the company's Chandigarh operations and its diversification into the e-governance.

As its first e-governance project, KMG has already tied up with Kurukshetra University for assisting it in admissions and compilation of results.

KMG that started its India operations in 2000 has had a turnover of Rs 40 crore over the past five years.

But the next three years, according to the core team, will be the real exciting time for the company when we expect the company to grow at the rate of over 60 per cent into a $ 20 million company with many Fortune 500 companies as its customers in the insurance, banking, financial services and healthcare sectors.

Mr Bhatia disclosed that KMG would invest US $ 5 million (about Rs 25 crore) at the two centres over the next year.

The Chandigarh Technology Park will receive an investment of about Rs 13.5 crore and the Research and Training facility at Mohali about Rs 11.5 crore.

The Mohali centre will totally be for training facility and will train people on insurance back end operations. After Chandigarh, KMG is also planning a similar Software Development Centre in Kochi with a similar investment.

Mr Bhatia and Mr Gupta feel that all the money that goes into IT will be reflected in the lifestyle and earnings of the people.

About 5 lakh people, they say, will directly benefit from IT ventures in and around the city.

According to Mr Bhatia, KMG works on the principal that it is already aware about the ground realities of different segments of business and when they develop a software for a company, they do so with prior knowledge about the business, making the software much more useful compared to a software developed by a company unaware about the needs and realities of a particular business segment.

KMG started its recruitment drive from the region's engineering colleges last year. It already has 18 engineers from Punjab Engineering College (PEC) receiving training for placement at the Chandigarh Technology Park. KMG proposes to recruit more students for its 600 slot operations in the near future. "Logic behind recruiting local talent is that they will not only be more grounded in a local environment, but they will prove to be more stable employees reducing the attrition levels", Mr Bhatia said. 



Haryana’s role in freedom struggle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Haryana’s contribution to the freedom struggle of the country is often blurred in contrast to its neighbour Punjab. In a bid to highlight their contribution, the Archives Department has put up an exhibition of documents related to the contributions made by Haryana in the struggle for independence from the British Raj.

These documents, which validate the various uprisings against the British, are being showcased at Sinchai Bhavan in Panchkula to commemorate the anniversary of Quit India movement. The exhibition will be open till Auigust 15.

Beginning with documents on the mutiny by soldiers of the 5th and 60th Regiments on May 10, 1857, to the uprisings by government officials in Sonepat in 1930; and from the conviction of freedom fighters of Rohtak during the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 to censorship imposed on newspapers in Punjab in 1930 — the Archives Department has put together the chronology of freedom movement in this part of the country.

These documents chronicle how there was tension in Umballa (Ambala) cantonment right from March 1857, because of the beef-laced cartridges being given to jawans of East India Company. But after the news of the Revolt in Meerut reached Umballa, the soldiers in Umballa, too, revolted, which was followed by revolts in Karnal, Kaithal and Panipat.

A telegram sent by the then Deputy Commissioner, Umballa, to Sir John Lawrence, Chief Commissioner, Punjab, stating that the jawans had taken control of arms in Parade Grounds, Umballa, on May 10, 1857, is also on display.

Also on display is the list of leaders from this region who attended the Fifth Session of the Indian National Congress in 1889- Chaudhary Ganga Ram, Lala Gauri Shankar, Lala Dwarka Parshad, and Ms Jessie Royce Carleton, as are documents to prove how Nishat Talkies in Ambala continued to act as a ‘safe haven’ for the revolutionaries to prepare and distribute their propaganda material.



Inclusion of villages in MC: notification soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Chandigarh Administration is all set to announce the inclusion of five villages to the municipal limits before the forthcoming Municipal Corporation elections later this year. The villages to be included in the MC limits are Hallo Majra, Kajheri, Palsora, Dadu Majra and Maloya.

A notification in this regard is expected soon. The formal announcement of the inclusion of the five villages is expected to be made at the Independence Day function.

Inclusion of five villages in the list of MC wards will mean that a total of 13 villages will be left out which will be included in a phased manner. The remaining villages are Raipur Khurd, Raipur Kalan, Daria, Kishangarh, Mauli Jagran, Badheri, Behlana, Faidan, Khuda Ali Sher and Sarangpur, besides others.



Demonstration against merger
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Protesting against the decision taken by UT Administration regarding the merger of villages into the Municipal Corporation, residents of villages around the city, including sarpanches, panches and elected members of Zila Parishad, Panchayat Samiti held a demonstration at the Sector 7-8 roundabout here today.

Market committee led by Mr Satya Pal Jain, ex-MP, and Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president, BJP, Chandigarh, also joined the protests against the "anti poor" policies of the Congress-led government.

A delegation of the rural leaders led by Mr Satya Pal and Mr Yash Pal Mahajan called upon the governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator Gen (retd) S F Rodrigues at Punjab Raj Bhawan and presented a memorandum to him.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Jain said that the merger of the villages into MC was an insult of the Panchayati Raj and a violation of the Indian constitution. He further stated that they would oppose this decision.



Amarinder to unveil Le Corbusier’s portrait
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will unveil the portrait of Le-Corbusier, the French architect, who designed landmark buildings of Chandigarh. This will be unveiled on August 14 inside the members’ gate of the Punjab Assembly building located adjacent to the Civil Secretariat here.

The Chief Minister will also inaugurate the renovated reading room for members. This is part of the “Van mahautsav” celebrations. Saplings will also be planted on the premises of the Assembly building.

Secretary, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Nachhattar Singh Mavi said the “Van mahautsav” was being celebrated for the last six years. Women members of the Vidhan Sabha staff will also celebrate Teej on the occasion.



MC chief poll: scene hots up
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 11
With only five days in hand to get the figure right for capturing the post of the president of the municipal Ccouncil, efforts have intensified to get the support of the maximum number of councillors.

The election of the new president of the civic body is being held on August 17. The election for the post of the senior vice-president and the vice-president will also be held on the same day after the swearing- in ceremony.

The two main groups – one headed by Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali district unit of the Congress, and a joint front comprising councillors owing allegiance to the Congress and the SAD and Independents headed by Mr Kulwant Singh, former president of the council — are adopting various strategies to be victorious in the election by having “their man” as the council chief.

Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, is said to have sided with Mr Kulwant Singh.

While the Kulwant group is holding meetings with certain councillors to get the magic figure (17), the Sidhu group is out of town for the past many days with his supporters, who have been taken for an outing to the hills. It is to be seen that will the councillors of the Sidhu group be able to stay out of the town for so many days as the elections are still five days away.

Though the race for the post of the council chief has further intensified, the situation remains fluid as both the groups have not finalised their candidate for the post of the president. Among the names doing the rounds are those of Mr Rishiv Jain and Mr Rajinder Singh Rana from the Sidhu group and Mr Phoolraj Singh and Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi from the Kulwant group. Mr Bedi is said to be close to Ms Garcha.

Mr Sidhu has been claiming that at least 16 councillors owe allegiance to the party faction said to be headed by him. Mr Kulwant Singh has also been claiming that at least 15 councillors belong to his group.

Some councillors who owed allegiance to Mr Kulwant Singh during his tenure as president of the civic body are said to be out of town with the Sidhu group. A few councillors have neither gone out of station with the Sidhu group nor attended the meetings of the Kulwant group.



Woman inspector among 5 to get medals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A lady inspector and four other police officers of the Chandigarh Police will be conferred upon the Administrator’s Police Medal for meritorious services on Independence Day.

According to information released by the spokesman of the UT Police

among those selected are Inspector Parvesh Kumari, posted as law officer at the Recruitment Training Centre, Police Lines, Sector 26, Sub-Inspector (SI) Gurdev Singh, posted at Police Headquarters, Sector 9, Head Constable Des Raj, police Station, Sector 31, Constable Rakesh Rasila, posted at the Security Branch of the Police Headquarters, and Constable Ramesh Kumar, personal security officer of the DSP (South).

Inspector Pravesh Kumari was promoted as inspector in 2000. She joined the service as a constable in 1990. She has been awarded as many as 69 Commendation Certificates (CC) with cash reward of Rs 28,125 during her service.

SI Gurdev Singh joined the police in 1968 as constable and has been awarded 107 CC along with cash rewards of Rs 20,505.

HC Des Raj has apprehended 142 proclaimed offenders, so far. He has won 151 CC with a cash reward of Rs 12,000.

Similarly, Constable Rakesh Rasila has the distinction of donating blood 80 times in the PGI. He was known for his empathetic attitude towards needy people while he was posted at the PGI police post. He has also tendered a will to donate his body after his death. Constable Rasila has been awarded 33 CC with a cash reward of Rs 5,700.

Constable Ramesh Kumar joined service in 1987 and was instrumental in the arrest of a poppy husk dealer, who was caught along with 288 kg of poppy husk, while he was posted in the crime branch. He had also played a vital role in solving the sensational triple murder and another murder case. He has been awarded with CC 20 times and has won Rs 3,325 as a cash reward.



Commendation certificate winners announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh Administration today issued the list of commendation certificates including employees and public persons on the occasion of Independence Day function, a press release said here today.

The awards will be conferred on account of rendering outstanding services in their respective fields.

The list includes the names of Dr G. Dewan, Deputy Medical Superintendent, General Hospital, Sector 16; Mr Narinder Kapoor, a Junior Assistant in the Home Department; Ms Meenakshi Goyal, Additional Secretary, in the STA; Mr Ram, driver in the office of the office of the DPR; Cadet Mayur Jamwal, NCC Organisation; and Cadet Sonia.

The list also includes the names of Ms Chandni, outstanding achievements in the field of Art; Ms Arushi Seksena, Arts; Raghu Mahajan, Education; Sub-Inspectors Sanjeev Kumar and Harinder Singh; and Constable Hari Om.



Nine-year-old girl dies in wall collapse
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
A nine-year-old girl was buried alive when the wall of an abandoned factory collapsed in the Industrial Area here this morning.

Rita, along with his 10-year-old brother Ranjit, was on her way to Government High School in the Phase I of the Industrial Area when the accident occurred.The factory premises had been lying abandoned for several years and the boundary wall was in a dilapidated condition, Mr Jagir Singh, an eyewitness said.

Mr Jagir Singh informed that he raised an alarm following which workers of the nearby factories and school students rushed to the spot. Efforts were made to rescue the children. Rita died while being rescued, while his brother was seriously injured. He has been admitted to the local general hospital.



Fire breaks out in Sec 17 building
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A major tragedy was averted in Sector 17 today when the transformer lying in the ground floor of the 30 Bays building burst, leading to a minor fire at about 1.15 pm today.

The fire, though not very serious, could have caused extensive damage as the fire tenders which rushed to the spot faced difficulty in accessing the building due to trees and the car parking being full.

Three water tenders from Sector 17 and 11 fire stations were rushed to the spot. These approached the buildings from different directions as the area around the building was virtually inaccessible. The fire fighters finally approached the building from the bank square, while the others tried dousing the flames from the road.



Mobile phone theft case solved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Making use of the technology available with telecom companies, the local police cracked another case of mobile phone theft. The police has arrested Amritsar resident, who had allegedly stole a mobile phone from a car parked in Sector 30.

Giving details, the SHO of the Industrial Area Police Station, Inspector Baljit Singh Chaddha, said on June 29 one Mandeep Pal of Sector 20, Panchkula, lodged a complaint alleging that his Nokia mobile phone 3230 was stolen from his car by breaking open its windowpane. The car was parked in Sector 30. The police registered a case of theft and began investigating the matter.

Following the details given by the complainant, the police put the data on surveillance and traced the accused, who has been identified as Harjinder Singh of Kot Mangal Singh Nagar, Tarn Taran, Amritsar. He was today produced before a local court, which remanded him to judicial custody.



Man hit by bus, dies
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 11
One person was killed after he was hit by a bus near the Chawla Chowk in Phase VII here.

Mr Harnek Singh, a resident of Kaboolpur village, complained to the police that his brother-in-law was allegedly hit by a bus of a dental college when he was going on a motor cycle in Phase VII on August 8.

His brother-in-law got seriously injured and was taken to the PGI in Chandigarh, where he succumbed to his injuries.



Eco clearance for industry in less than 15 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) will process all applications of industry for environmental clearance even before the stipulated time of 15 days for green category and 30 days for large units.

This was stated by Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Chairman of the board at the seminar on ‘Environment Protection Law’ organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said it was high time that both board officials and the industry had a mind shift towards pollution control laws.

He appealed to the industry that they should voluntarily come forward keeping the environment and the surroundings clean.

Industry representatives from Ludhiana, Dera Bassi, Mohali, Ropar and Hoshiarpur urged for faster processing of applications; doing away with three-tier system of granting power connection and quasi-judicial power to be handled by the board instead of dual sharing by district administration.

They also pointed out that multiplexes and residential areas should not be set up adjacent to the chemical industry in particular.

Mr Amarjit Goyal, Chairman, Punjab Committee, PHDCCI, said over the years, the Central Government had passed more than 400 environmental legislations covering almost every activity material having adverse effect on environment.

He told industrialists that responsibility for protecting the environment could not be wished away and they must make all efforts to comply with the their statutory obligations. Mr R.S. Sachdeva, Co-Chairman, Punjab, PHDCCI, delivered the vote of thanks.



Kareena launches Flying Cats 35,000 feet above ground 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Kareena Kapoor was at her dodging best last evening. Restive as usual, the indigenised Desdemona of Vishal Bhardwaj gave away nothing, save what was predictable. All she did to perfection was revel in the glory of love -- her thought consciously focused on the cell phone, as a wave of messages came in and went by…

But attention is one thing and marriage quite another. For the while, nuptials are on the mind of the "Omkara" girl, who's a living Desdemona by her own admission. "I believe in the power of love. Desdemona too was consumed by love. When the role came my way, I was excited about it. To be playing the strongest woman character Shakespeare has ever scripted would be any actor's dream. Mine has come true," said Kareena, who halted in Chandigarh before accompanying us on the Delhi-bound Kingfisher charter flight, booked to facilitate the national launch of Flying Cats Aviation School.

The glam girl did the honours at the unusual ceremony, which also witnessed a fashion show mid-air, some 35,000 feet above ground.

The show went off only as smoothly as it could (mid-air as it was!), with the models just about managing to display Ashley Rebello's uniforms and the photographers just about managing a moment! Also in attendance were Priyanka Khosla, managing director, Flying Cats and Pervez Damania, advisory panel chairman.

But Kareena was elusive all the way. In the midst of frenetic acts, played out mainly in the rear of the aircraft, she rested in a privileged seat - number 1 in executive class. She was far beyond reach mid-air. But on ground, earlier, things were not as hard. Shrugs and squirms apart, the actor was in a sharing mood, though only for a while.

A better part of the conversation rested on "Omkara" and how it had changed the equations for Kareena. The performing actress made it clear that she had no plans to shed her glam doll image. "I can carry both the roles well and I am comfortable doing both," she said.

It is another matter that filmmakers see her fitting better into "intense patterns" these days. Even before she was done with "Omkara", an irresistible offer was at hand. "I am playing "Lajjo" in Maniratnam's next by the same name," says Kareena. Cast opposite Aamir Khan in this cinematic adaptation of Ismat Chugtai's love story, Kareena is saving her skills for the day. She'll need a generous dose of intensity for this one. It's different and demanding. Moreover it is in the league of period films -- Kareena's second after "Asoka".

But that does not spell a famine of glam roles for the actor, who swears by the space Kapoor family gave her all along.

"We have never felt inhibited by family traditions. We have lived our lives our way," said Kareena, giving away some detail about her sister who is not yet decided on the comeback.

So far her life goes, things are well etched out. She has a pact with Vishal, who has promised her a role in all his future projects; she is top priority for Maniratnam, who saw her sparkle in "Yuva"; she's featuring in "Don" ready for release and she has made peace with enemies. If that was any less, she has Shahid Kapoor to turn to and a promise of eternal spring to live on. Real life Desdemona will not die; she will have her Othello at every cost.



SBI packages for SME customers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
State Bank of India has designed value-added packages for SME customers. This has been done to counter the competition from private sector and Foreign Banks who have become very active in the SME sector.

Two current accounts differentiated on the basis of “Quarterly Average Balance” (QAB) — one with QAB of Rs 1,00,000 and the other with QAB of Rs 5,00,000 named as “SBI SME Power Gain” and “SBI SME Power Pack” respectively, have now been launched by the bank, an official press release said here today.




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