C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

7 more dengue cases in PGI
Tribune News Service

27 suspected cases admitted

The UT Health Department claimed that 27 suspected cases had been admitted to the PGI, the GMCH and the GMSH from neighbouring areas. Only three dengue cases had been found positive from Chandigarh while the rest were from adjoining states.

The patients positive were Jaspreet Singh of Sector 16, Parwati of Sector 9 and Krishna Kumari of Dhanas.

These cases were being further investigated for confirming their history of movement. UT Health Secretary Krishna Mohan called upon residents to take special care to not to allow water to stagnate.

The Administration needed the active support of residents to eliminate aedes aegypti mosquito breeding, he added.

Panchkula/Chandigarh, October 4
There are seven new confirmed dengue cases at the PGI and one new case from Panchkula, with the tally up to 16. Two patients developed minor episodes of bleeding today and were administered platelet transfusion at the PGI.

Dengue danger was spreading in the tricity, evident from the growing number of patients reporting at hospitals.

The PGI had 25 cases, the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, eight cases, and the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, five cases in the past five days and Panchkula’s General Hospital, Sector 6, had 22 cases so far, with one coming in from Pinjore.

Caught napping, health departments had now begun educating the public about the do’s and don’ts of the disease, undertaking fogging and fuming in the areas affected and creating awareness through the distribution of pamphlets.

The PGI authorities said five patients found negative for dengue had been discharged while 12 new suspected cases had been added to the dengue list.

Of those, three were from Mohali, one each from Ludhiana, Amritsar and Ropar, three from Chandigarh and one each from Yamunanagar and Panchkula.

The reports of all cases were awaited.

The PGI’s Virology Department was flooded with patients apprehending dengue and making a dash for the blood testing centre at the institute.

Hands full with confirmed and suspected cases, doctors today urged patients to get the initial examination and investigations carried out by any competent qualified physician or laboratory.

They said patients should report to hospitals only in case of overt bleeding or a significantly low platelet count (less than 50,000).

In Panchkula, the Health Department went all out to target mosquitoes in areas from where maximum cases were coming in.

“Most cases have been reported from Maheshpur village in Sectors 20 and 21, Raily village and Sectors 11, 4 and 16. We have activated a mobile team for an exhaustive fogging exercise in the area. We are focusing on breeding grounds and will gradually move out to the rest of the town”, said Dr G.P. Saluja, Chief Medical Officer.

With the Pinjore Heritage Festival at the Mughal Gardens from tomorrow, fogging was carried out in Pinjore.

“Since there is a water body running through the length of the gardens, we wanted to make it safe”, he added.

Authorities of the Health Department would meet residents’ welfare association tomorrow to spread awareness.

“The municipal council has approached us for fuming of the town. We are in touch with council president Manvir Gill, who has agreed to fund the oil for fuming”, he said.

Ms Gill said fuming would begin tomorrow or the day after, with the focus on slums.

While 10 cases had been confirmed by the district health authorities, four were admitted to the hospital, test results of two patients were awaited and others were undergoing treatment at the PGI or private hospitals. Three dengue helplines had been set up.

Members of the public could dial 2573907, 9876027126 or 9815609035 for information.

Mohali (OC): Civil Surgeon M.S. Toor said the municipal council had been asked to carry out fogging regularly.

He said 22 teams, each headed by a sanitary inspector, had been trying to create awareness about dengue.



Dengue-conducive conditions to attract fine
Tribune News Service

 Chandigarh, October 4
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to issue notices and challans to the defaulters for creating or not removing conditions that help in the breeding of the Aedes mosquito, causative of dengue disease, at their houses. The house owners will be challaned and fined for continuously allowing the mosquitoes to breed inside their houses.

The UT Administration has also decided to provide free admission, treatment and testing in General Hospital, Sector 16, for the suspected cases of dengue. The decision was taken at a meeting held at the UT Secretariat here today under the chairmanship of Home-cum-Health Secretary Krishna Mohan.

The meeting was called in the wake of the increasing dengue cases in Delhi and adjoining areas. The Health Secretary took stock of the situation and reviewed various steps undertaken by the Health Department for the prevention of dengue in Chandigarh.

The Director Health Services, Dr Manjit Singh Bains, representatives of the Health Department, Municipal Engineering Department, Municipal Corporation, PGI and Government Medical College, Sector 32, also attended the meeting. Dr Bains explained in detail the steps undertaken by the Health Department.

Health officials informed that the UT had been divided into four zones and each zonal officer had been instructed to step up various activities to curb dengue. The Health Department is conducting a survey of the fever cases and mosquito-genic situations.

The department shall ensure the treatment of water collections with larvicides and chemicals. Arrangements for testing dengue have also already been made in Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, by procuring the dengue kits. Special isolation ward has also been set up.

It was decided at the meeting that the situation warranted that fogging operations should be carried out in the affected and dengue-prone areas.

Fogging has been started from today.



Unsolved hit-and-run cases worry cops
34 lives lost in accidents this year
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

 Chandigarh, October 4
The Chandigarh and Mohali police have added three more cases to their list of hit-and-run cases during the past one week. Five persons, including three members of a family in Mohali, were the victims of these accidents.

The Chandigarh Police has been trying to make the roads more secure but sharp increase in the number of fatalities in hit-and-run cases this year is still worrying it. As many as 34 victims of road accidents have lost their lives till date after being hit by unidentified vehicles, as against 33 in 2005.

According to sources in the Accident Cell the though the exact number of cases in which the vehicles and the accused involved in such accidents are eventually traced was not known, yet they admitted that a substantial number of hit-and-run cases remained untraced.

Giving reasons for this they said in most of the cases the accidents took place during late night hours and a majority of the victims were pedestrians, cyclists or rickshaw pullers. The drivers of vehicles involved in such accidents usually escaped under the cover of darkness. In cases where the victims were alone, they generally failed to note down even the vehicle number.

In two consecutive days in the past week, two persons, a cyclist and a rickshaw puller had lost their lives after being hit by unidentified vehicles. In both the cases, the local police is yet to trace the vehicles involved in the accidents.

In the first case, 60-year-old rickshaw puller Pyara Singh was killed after being hit by an unidentified Esteem car. While in the other, a 25-year-old cyclist Ramu, of Makhan Majra village, fell prey to a rashly driven unidentified truck in the dead of the night near CRPF camp on Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

Sources in the police admitted that in these cases the victims not only lost their lives but their families were also deprived of any compensation due to the failure of the police in tracing the guilty.

The situation was worse in cases where the victims like poor labourers and pedestrians were not covered under any insurance policy. They did not get any money for the repair of their damaged vehicles in the absence of a suitable insurance policy. Over and above, they did not get any compensation or even reimbursement of the medical bill.

Not only this, the victims who could have been saved following timely first-aid lost their lives as they are left injured on the road in these hit-and-run cases increasing the number of fatalities, said another police officer.

Not only common man, but several hit-and-run cases in which policemen had been killed too were yet to be solved. Recalling two such cases in which two UT police officers had been killed the sources maintained Assistant Sub-Inspector Thoru Ram was killed after being hit by an unidentified vehicle near Colony Number 5 in November, 2004. In another fatal accident, Head Constable Kamal Singh, posted in the CID Wing of the UT Police was killed on December 7, 2004.

Quoting another incident in which five labourers hailing from Rajasthan had died a gory death, sources said, on July 4, this year, a rashly driven truck rammed into an auto-rickshaw on a road dividing Sector 45 and 46. The truck driver sped away from the spot leaving the seriously injured victims behind. Three of the accident victims died on the spot while the other two died in the hospital. The truck, which was loaded with iron, remains untraced till date.

After the accident the police had said it had dispatched teams to Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana, believing that the truck might have been going to one of these cities as they have a lot of industrial units which use iron. But nothing has come out of the investigations as yet. 



Admn chalks out details for Education City
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Chandigarh Administration has finally chalked out details of the ambitious project of “Education City” at Sarangpur with a Plan outlay specifying the courses, project areas and financial requirements.

Reliable sources said that 'expressions of interest' will be sought next week most likely for the Chandigarh Education City "for world-class educational institutions running high-end courses". The scheme will include only existing Indian or foreign universities running various courses, including those on management, knowledge management and financial management.

The courses which will be provided at the Education City have been specified as Retail Management, Knowledge Management, Supply Chain Management, Financial Services and Hospital Administration. It has been pointed out that the sites for the postgraduate courses will vary between 10 and 15 acres. These will be given on a lease basis.

Special preference will be given to organisations\universities which have tied up with industry. It has been specified that the educational institutes interested in investment here should have a turnover of at least Rs 100 crore per annum in order to ensure adequate investment within a specified time- frame.

In the second category, sites varying five to 10 acres have been earmarked separately for postgraduate-cum-graduate programmes. The list of eligible organisations include institutions/universities running successful graduate programmes in Management, Information Sciences, Financial services and Media and Multimedia. Institutions which have a turnover of at least Rs 75 crore per annum qualify for this category.

The move of the Administration to invite big players, both academically and financially, has been largely appreciated. However, certain official quarters have expressed apprehension,saying “there is already talk of the tricity getting an IIM. It will be interesting to know if this has a place on the map of the Education City. Otherwise, I am not sure how the venue will shape up".

It was also pointed out that the Administration had carried out parleys at different levels with reputed educational institutes and received a positive feedback, even from certain foreign quarters.

"In the changed world scenario where economy runs the show, courses in marketing and management, particularly from foreign universities, are likely to get a good clientele", the sources added. 



Childhood’s paradise lost
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, October 4
As you close in on the five-year-old Ramji, he stares at you with hopeful eyes. Heavy with pain though, they implore untiringly, as if weary of the vagaries of time. His feet are bare as his heart; his hands empty and stretched out. Impatient of waiting, the child finally pours his heart out and musters the courage to ask: “Why have you come here? Have you something for me?”

He asks for money to buy food - something he regards as a right, being a freshly-christened beggar boy. “I beg, so does Pooja, my younger sister,” Ramji admits with a certain sense of indignation, as if conscious of the stigma attached to the trade. But he can’t escape his destiny, which is not likely to change any time soon, or so he believes.

About Ramji and Pooja, there are as many versions as there are mouths. Jaspal and Rahul, posted at the parking lot of Fun Republic at Mani Majra, have been watching the children for months. “They loiter around all day. Their mother abandoned them and ran away with another man. Their father is an alcoholic. He comes here once in every while to rob them of the meager earnings they make from begging.”

But Ramji rushes to clarify: “My mother did not run away with another man. My father throttled her under the influence of alcohol. He used to beat her up every day and she was very weak. She could not handle it any more. He beats us also. That’s why we keep running away from him.”

The child almost breaks down as he tells his story. Not too long before, he and his sister had a home. But now they only have roads in the name of home. They sleep in the back plaza of Fun Republic where other beggar kids have befriended them. They eat whatever they get; sometimes desperate enough to search garbage dumps for leftovers. And in doing so, they have no idea of the dangers of dengue lurking around. For them, survival is the only challenge.

Immune to suffering by now, Ramji recalls the happier times he had with his mother: “Her name was Laxmi and she used to work day and night to feed us. But my father used to take away all her money and blow it in liquor. He is ruthless. He used to beat us up mercilessly,” says the boy, baring his arms, which bear biting marks. “My father used to bite me here. He is cruel. I have not seen him for a month, but he might come back to take my money. I don’t want to go with him,” he says. Security guards at Fun Republic confirm the children’s father has not been seen since two months.

“The last we saw him, he looked weak. He was a patient of chronic TB and was admitted to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula,” said Govardhan, owner of a nearby dhaba, who feeds the children occasionally. Fearing for Pooja, he says, “She is in bad company. She must be rescued at the earliest. The beggar mafia has complete hold over her.”

For their part, the children are conscious of the odds they face. But they have no choice but to face them. They would, however, still love to live another place where food and water come without a price.



Bringing alive the world of Indian manuscripts
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Art historian B.N. Goswamy’s latest work offers precious insight into Indian manuscripts. An unusual show, it lifts the veil from an ancient tradition and presents it to the world as it is-mystic and inspired by the divine.

Being hosted by the Museum for Angewandte Kunst (Museum for Applied Arts) at Frankfurt these days, the show is Dr Goswamy’s offering to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where India is the guest of honour this year.

It brings the world of Indian manuscripts alive in the most spectacular way. Bit by bit, it reconstructs a fragmented system that has survived the vagaries of time and has grown richer with passing years.

At the heart of the show is the written word and its countless manifestations, each one sacred in its own right. The show’s title, “The Word is Sacred; Sacred is the Word”, justifies the immense value which Indians attach to the written word, no matter how uninspired it may be.

At home with the title of the show, executed on the behalf of National Mission for Manuscripts, Dr Goswamy says: “ The title came naturally to me. It stems from the quintessential Indian attitude of honouring the written word. From the most banal of subjects to the most elevating ones that the written word seeks to convey - this attitude persists. It is from this attitude that the title comes.”

No wonder an element of sanctity shines through the manuscripts that form part of the show. But weaving the show into the desired pattern was not easy, considering close to five million manuscripts are still extant.

“And these are only a fraction of the numbers that must have been written over the centuries. Those that survive have been written in a bewildering range of languages; they spring from a layered network of different knowledge systems and address a complex range of issues. All this makes the study of manuscripts challenging,” says Dr Goswamy, who has structured the show around six sections - each one well-etched out and comprehensively sourced.

But before you arrive at sections, two masterful epigraphs focus your attention on the source of the show. The first epigraph by Bhartrihari reads: “All knowledge of what is to be done in this world stems from the word ”. The second one sourced from Abul Fazl’s “On the Arts of writing and Painting”, says: "The letter, a magical power, is spiritual geometry emanating from the pen of the invention; a heavenly writ from the hand of fate.”

Dr Goswamy admits: “ Europe is full of illuminated, fascinating manuscripts. So when the National Book Trust, coordinator for India’s exhibition at the fair, desired a show around manuscripts, the challenge was to design it differently. That was when I thought of fashioning it around the element of sanctity which Indians attach to the written word. The epigraphs mirror the show’s purpose perfectly.”

As the show matures, it leads the visitor through the magical world of manuscripts, their origins, their purpose, their execution and their range. The first section "From Clay to Copper" showcases exhibits that establish the range of materials used to write manuscripts. The second is laced with images of objects used in the making of the manuscripts. Then comes a section that underlines the significance of veneration in the manuscript tradition. The final part of the show is about royal commands and calligraphy.

In totality, the show is intended at giving an overview of the Indian manuscript tradition with a certain sense of gravity.



Jagjit In Town
Jagjit to sing in Pinjore

The arresting beauty of the illuminated Pinjore Mughal Gardens against the backdrop of music and melody is all set to add a dash of excitement to evenings in the city. Haryana Tourism Department’s Pinjore Heritage Festival, a five-day extravaganza, gets under way tomorrow. On the cards is a riot of colours, artsy evenings set alight by big names in music and dance and a tempting Anarkali Bazaar selling traditional craftware.

Marking the beginning of celebrations for 500 years of this artistically crafted Garden of Nawab Fidai Khan, is ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh. He will perform at the open air theatre in the Gardens from 7 pm.



V.N. Singh
V.N. Singh 

Watch out

Director of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, Mr V.N. Singh has gone to the art galley of New South Wales, Australia, on deputation. He has been sent there to handle and instal the Government Museum’s collection for the exhibition titled “The Goddess: Divine Energy” which will open in Australia on October 13. The exhibition will remain open till January 28, 2007.



Residents resent gypsum unloading
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Residents of Daria and Mauli Jagran have complained about air pollution being caused by unloading of gypsum clay at the Chandigarh Railway Station. The show-cause notice issued by the Chandigarh Administration to the Railway authorities too has failed to bring any respite to the residents of the area.

Residents of the area have complained that the gypsum particles filled in the air were slowly piercing their lungs.

A few months back, the Sub Divisional Magistrate (East) had issued a show- cause notice to the Railway authorities on the basis of a complaint made by the villagers. The case is now being heard in the court of the SDM.

While the villagers, led by the complainant, Mr Dharimder Singh, a member of the Zila Parishad, Daria, lament that Railway authorities were hardly concerned about the health of innocent villagers and were allowing certain multinational companies to unload wagons full of gypsum clay, the Railways, in its reply before the SDM, stated that the unloading operations were being carried out by private parties and not by the Railways.

The Railways has further maintained that the railway siding where unloading is taking place had been constructed a decade ago when there was not much population in the area and the problem had become acute due to increase in the population of the area in the past few years. A report of the Chandigarh Pollution Board that has been quoted by the Railways in its reply too states that there was no violation of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Besides it would not be possible to shift the siding which had cost lakhs of rupees to the Railways.

On the other hand, the villagers point out that a protest of a similar nature had been made by residents of Kiratpur Sahib and the Railway authorities there had to shift the site for unloading gypsum.

Sources in the department disclosed that certain cement manufacturing factories located in Himachal Pradesh and neighboring states were ferrying gypsum clay from Rajasthan on a large scale. The clay is being transported by goods train from Rajasthan to the Chandigarh Railway Station and is then sent to different destinations by road network.

‘‘Winds often compound the problem of air pollution as gypsum particles from the piles stored in godowns located in Dariya, Mauli Jagran and Makhan Majra villages along a link road leading to the Chandigarh Airport from the railway station enter our houses and contaminate eatables,’’ lamented Mr Arvind, a resident of Dariya village.



Rodrigues inaugurates Police Housing Complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
With a view to meet the housing needs of the police personnel, the Punjab Governor and U.T. Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues (retd.), today inaugurated a Police Housing Complex with 156, Type-II houses, meant for constables and head constables in Sector 41, here, today.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 621.30 lakh, on a plot area of 4 acre, this complex has been completed in a period of two years.

Speaking on the occasion, General Rodrigues said the administration was making efforts to modernise the police force, through innovative strategies, with the focus on improving the service conditions. He emphasised that the police personnel, being a uniformed force, must constitute Self Help Groups (SHG) to look after the maintenance and beautification of the infrastructure in the housing complex. He asked the UT Home Secretary and Inspector General of Police to institute a running trophy for the best maintained colony and block in the city.

Impressing upon the police personnel to maintain the standard of the police force General Rodrigues said they must strictly adhered to the terms and conditions laid down at the time of their entry into service. He said the Police Administration was sincerely watching over their interests and comforts of its force and thus, the police personnel must set an example by limiting their demands.

He said the administration had already started the process of construction of 1,000 more police houses in Dhanas, which would raise the satisfaction level of police housing to the extent of 70 per cent which was the highest in the country.

General Rodrigues, accompanied by senior officers, went around the complex and inspected the quality of work in the houses. He asked the Police Department to create the infrastructure for recreational facilities and a gymnasium hall for the police personnel and their families.

The UT Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, said the police had to perform arduous nature of duties to protect the life and property of the people and it was, therefore, imperative to give them good and secure environment.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Satish Chandra, said with the completion these 156 houses, the total number of housing units available for the Chandigarh Police had increased from 1985 to 2141. The satisfaction level for other ranks had increased from 45.21 per cent to 49.53 per cent and effort were being made to increase it further.

Senior officers of the administration, including Finance Secretary S.K. Sandhu, Chief Engineer V.K. Bhardwaj, DIG Vivek Gogia, SSP Gaurav Yadav, and SSP (Traffic and Operations) Dinesh Bhatt were present on the occasion. 

Governor's pep talk

Coming down heavily on the police personnel’s demand of government accommodation after retirement, General Rodrigues asked them to act like members of a disciplined force and not to ‘beg for houses.’ Asking them to maintain their honour, he told them not to act like others and added that the administration could provide them with the best possible facilities. Besides other things, efforts would be made to modernise the force. For the purpose the administration had already issued instructions to the Finance Secretary. 



Clerk in Vigilance net for graft
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 4
A team of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau today arrested a clerk of the Municipal Council on a charge of accepting bribe.
Ved Parkash, working in the branch dealing with certificates of births and deaths, was caught red-handed while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000 from a resident of Sector 68. The raiding team was headed by Mr Gurmel Singh, DSP.

Mr Gurmel Singh said that Ms Tejinder Kaur wanted a certificate of birth for her daughter as she wanted to get her passport made. She applied for the certificate in the office of the council on September 20 but the clerk was allegedly reluctant to give the certificate. He then allegedly demanded Rs 5,000 from Mrs Tejinder Kaur for giving the required document. However, she asked him to reduce the bribe amount which was then settled at Rs 4,000.

The DSP further said that Ved Parkash asked Tejinder Kaur to hand over the bribe amount in the office but before office hours. As such she went to the office and handed over the amount to the clerk around 8.30 am. The raiding team recovered the bribe amount soon after it was given. The bribe amount was allegedly demanded and given in the presence Mr Avneet Singh, a resident of Sector 70.

The civic body clerk was caught red-handed while allegedly accepting the bribe in the presence of Mr Amar Singh Randhawa, sub divisional engineer, PUDA, and Mr Sukhwinder Singh, a JE with the council.

The police has registered a case under Section 7, 13 (2), 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Allottees not given plots hold protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 4
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Sectors 76-80, held a protest against the failure of the government to give possession of plots allotted years ago. The protesters demanded immediate possession of plots, failing which they would be compelled to organise an anti-government stir before the Assembly elections.  

The protesters first gathered at the Rose Garden in Phase III B 1 and later marched towards PUDA office where a rally was held.

When the officials concerned failed to turn up to take the memorandum, the protesters blocked a road and raised slogans against the government. They even tried to barge into the PUDA office to hand over the memorandum of demands.

Mr Sucha Singh Kalour, president of the committee, said at present 1162 acres of land were under the possession of PUDA and the court had granted a stay on 102 acres of land only. In spite of this, the PUDA authorities were not giving possession of plots and allegedly misleading them. He said that tenders for development works in Sectors 77 and 78 had been invited but no development activity was being carried out so far.

Mr Ranjit Singh, general secretary, said the work of giving possession of the plots was now with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority. He said if the authority concerned failed to give possession of plots at the earliest, they would be compelled to observe a black Divali. On October 20, they would gather in the Rose Garden and later march through the markets holding black flags and wearing black gowns.

PUDA had allotted 3950 plots in Sectors 76 to 80 about five years ago. The allottees had deposited about Rs 88 crore with PUDA but the possession of the plots had so far not been given to the allottees who were now holding protests. 



Rights body seeks report on cases against NRI couple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Taking cognizance of a complaint made by a German NRI couple, Mr Jaswant Brar and his wife, Mrs Jagshir Brar, about being implicated in false cases by the Moga Police, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has sought status report from the Punjab Government and the SSP, Moga. The reply has been sought by November 2, 2006.

The complainant had stated that he had been falsely implicated in cases under Sections 420 and 471 of the IPC. A patrolling party of the PCR has been permanently deployed outside his house.

The NRI alleged that he spent nine months in jail after being booked in a case of cheating and forgery, allegedly at the behest of politicians and bureaucrats. The NRI had started a finance company, in the name of JB Finance at Moga. The trouble started in 2001 when Mr Brar extended a loan of Rs 1.50 lakh to a person.

“We became victims of a well-connected gang of criminals, who forged documents of property pledged to us, in lieu of the loan. Instead, we were booked for pledging “forged documents” for the loan and an FIR was registered against my wife and me.

All this while those who had pledged forged documents went scot-free,” alleged the NRI while showing the documents during a press conference here yesterday.

In a complaint moved before the National Human Rights Commission and the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, he stated that his pleas to the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Moga, for a fair investigation, fell on deaf ears.



An exhibition with a cause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Celebrations Fiesta 2006 is unique, for this colourful exhibition to be held at Hotel Shivalik View, Sector 17 on October 6 and 7 will raise money for children with special needs. “There is no other way that we would have had it,” stressed Tahira Kashyap, who runs her own PR firm, and Rashmi Bindra, a city-based designer, who have spearheaded this idea.

Tahira said the exhibition, held in association with CITCO, would raise money for the IAS Wives Association which is running the Vatika High School for Deaf and Dumb children in Sector 19.

“What has been most heartening is that the children of the school have been very excited about this venture and made beautiful candles, linen and cards for the stall the school is setting up at the exhibition,” smiles Tahira.

With more than 50 stalls there is a veritable ‘fiesta’ on display. From handicrafts to jewellery, designer couture wear, chocolates, home furnishings, tarot card reader, ‘mehndi’ and ‘churiwalis’, the exhibition also represents wedding and trousseau planners.

Two exhibitors are coming in from Nepal. While Shanti Chadha brings with her handmade paper, jewellery and knick-knacks, Yasmin brings her exclusive blend of clothes. 



Tourism exhibition to begin tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Chandigarh Administration is organising N’Tour-2006, a three-day conference-cum-exhibition on tourism, in the city from October 6. The Chandigarh Heritage Festival will be organised on October 7.

This was announced by Mr Krishna Mohan, the Secretary Tourism-cum-Home, while addressing a press conference here yesterday.

Mr Krishna Mohan said, “We are working on the concept of developing the tricity as a major tourist centre in the country.”

Mr Vivek Atray, Director Tourism, said till date, this year alone, the city recorded a least 6.40 lakh Indian tourists and 25,000 foreign tourists. “We are keeping a tab on the situation and working on allied activities like helping in advance bookings through the Internet,” Mr Atray added.



N.P.S. Aulakh is BSF Special DGP

Chandigarh, October 4
Punjab-cadre IPS officer, Mr N.P.S. Aulakh, has been posted as Special DGP, Border Security Force. He will be stationed at Chandigarh and has been given the task of handling the BSF in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Mr Aulakh belongs to the 1972 batch of the IPS and has been on Central deputation for the past few years. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs conveyed the orders in this regard to the Punjab Government tonight. — TNS



City electorate 5,72,662

Chandigarh, October 4
The overall percentage of elector photo identity card (EPIC) holders in the Union Territory has increased from 52 to 67. The total electorate of the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency has increased from 5,63,610 to 5,72,662, Chief Electoral Officer-cum-Secretary Finance S.K. Sandhu said here yesterday.

Recently, the Election Department conducted a door-to-door campaign from September 6 to 15 in Mani Majra, Kishangarh, Indira Colony, Mauli Jagran and Vikas Nagar areas. The percentage of the EPIC holders in these areas has increased from 57.9 to 77.

During the door-to-door campaign launched in Sectors 42 to 47 and Labour Colony No V from August 19 to 31, as many as 7,929 EPICs were issued in the areas and the percentage of the EPIC holders in these areas has increased from 46 to 82.

Similarly, during the door-to-door campaign launched in Sectors 25, 38 to 41 and Buterala village from August 4 to 14, as many as 7,595 EPICs were issued and the percentage of the EPIC holders in these areas has increased from 54 to 81.5. TNS



Wage ceiling up for ESI coverage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued a notification amending Rule 50 and 54 of the ESI (Central) Rules, 1950, resulting in the enhancement of wage ceiling for coverage under the ESI Act, 1948, from Rs 7,500 per month to Rs 10,000 per month from October 1, 2006.

The standard benefit rates under Rule 54 of the ESI (Central) Rules, 1950, have also been revised accordingly, the Regional Director, ESI, Chandigarh, said in a statement here today.



Veterinary pharmacists stage dharna

Chandigarh, October 4
Members of the Veterinary Pharmacists’ Union, Punjab, yesterday staged a dharna in front of the office of the Department of Animal Husbandry in Sector 17.
Later, the protesters marched to the Matka Chowk after removing their shirts to press for their demands. The protesting pharmacists had come from Muktsar and had taken mass casual leave.

Hari Singh, president of the union, stated that they wanted their demands, including the re-designation of their posts, to be met. The protesters threatened to gherao the Chief Minister and other ministers if their demands were not met. TNS



Elders’ day out

Chandigarh, October 4
It was a fun-filled day for over 200 senior citizens from Chandigarh and Panchkula, who were special invitees to an exclusive screening of “Lage Raho Munnabhai” at the Fun Republic here today.

Organised by HelpAge India’s regional chapter at Chandigarh, the screening was part of the organisation’s week-long activities planned to mark the World Elders Day (October 1), declared by the United Nations. TNS



Inebriated ASI rams PCR Gypsy into car in PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
An inebriated Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of the Chandigarh Police allegedly banged a Police Control Room (PCR) Gypsy in a stationary car parked outside hostel number 5 in Panjab University late on Tuesday night.

The impact of the collision was so strong that the car was pushed off the road 10 feet from where it was parked. Both the vehicles were badly damaged in the collision. Taking cognizance of the matter a case of rash and negligent driving and causing damage to government property has been registered against the ASI Nafe Singh in this connection.

Sources in the police said taking a serious note of the incident senior UT police officers placed the accused ASI under suspension with immediate effects.

Giving details the SHO of the Sector 11 police station, Inspector Puran Chand, said the incident took place at around 11:35 pm last night. The PCR vehicle being driven at high speed was reportedly coming from hostel number 5 and was on its way towards the students Centre. ASI Nafe Singh was driving the Gypsy (CH-01-G1-6144) while two Home guard jawans Rajinder Singh (the driver of the vehicle) and Manjit Singh were sitting beside him. Nafe Singh failed to control the vehicle while negotiating small roundabout and banged the Gypsy into a stationary Maruti Zen car (CPB-08-W-8569). The car belonged to Mr Jasmeet Singh, a resident of room number 16 in hostel number 3 in Panjab University. He told the police that he had come to meet his friend in the hostel number 5.

The SHO said all the three occupants of the PCR vehicle sustained minor injuries and were rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital. A medical examination of ASI Nafe Singh confirmed that he was under the influence of liquor.

However, not agreeing with it, sources in the police said the Gypsy was driven by Rajinder Singh, who could lost control the vehicle after it collided with a scooter and subsequently banged into the car. Nafe Singh was made scapegoat by senior police officers as being in-charge he was responsible to enforce discipline and on the contrary he was found to be drunk.

Sources in the police said it was not the first time that the cops under the influence of liquor met with an accident on the campus. Last year also a PCR vehicle rammed into an electricity pole which resulted in power remaining suspended to hostel number 5 for good 24 hours. In that incident a Home Guard jawan, who was driving the vehicle was dismissed and the in-charge suspended for irresponsible behaviour. 



Haier showroom opened

Chandigarh, October 4
The Haier Group, plans to open 25 Planet Haier showrooms by the end of this year, the Director and Chief Operating Officer(COO), Mr Pranay Dhabhai, said here yesterday.

While inaugurating the 20th showroom of company in Sector 35 here, Mr Dhabhai, said for the ongoing festive season, the company has come out with “Haier lucky, luckier and luckiest offer”, TNS



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