C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hospitals mess up record, lives
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Incomplete data entry at various hospitals, including the PGI, is causing inconvenience to the public in getting correct birth certificates from the e-Sampark Centres all over the city.

Archna Bansal (not her real name) delivered a baby at the PGI. A few months earlier, when she started going to the PGI for check-up during pregnancy, she was issued an OPD card with incomplete name, Archna.

When she requested the official at the counter to specify her full name, she was told that it did not matter. Her husband’s name was also spelled incorrectly and without surname.

The wrong name was communicated to the e-Sampark Centre that now asks the couple to go to the office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths for the correction as a correction can be made by only that office.

The attendant at the e-Sampark Centre in Sector 18 asked them to take a form for the purpose but directed them to submit it to the Sector 17 office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths.

That office pointed out errors in the application on more than a couple of occasions. “If I have to run from one office to the other, what is the utility of these e-Sampark Centres,” said Archna’s husband.

Mr M.S. Brar, Director, Information Technology, said, “The issue is unique and will be sorted out at the earliest.”

He said, “I think the process should begin right from the source of information. Many persons do not bother to get the information corrected right at the time of discharge from the hospital. This will automatically mean transfer of correct data to the e-Sampark Centres. The hospitals and other institutes that send data to these centres should ensure that the information submitted by them was correct and complete.”

However, this is not the only such case as a number of hospitals are sending incomplete data to the e-Sampark Centres. In the process, the names mentioned in the record are generally incomplete. Such discrepancies pose problems at the time of admission in educational institutions and matters related with banks, insurance companies, passports etc.

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VIP number fetches RLA Rs 3.6 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Auspiciousness of the season seems to have played its part in the auction of vehicle registration numbers conducted by the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) here today.

Against the auction price of Rs 2 lakh for the ‘‘prestigious’’ number 1 of the last series CH-03-X-0001, held in July 2006, the RLA officials was successful in auctioning the VIP number CH-03-Y-0001 for Rs 3.60 lakh.

In previous series, the VIP number was auctioned for Rs 3.05 lakh (CH-03V-0001) and Rs 5.05 lakh (CH-03U-0001).

Sources in the department said Rs 3.60 lakh was quoted as the highest bid for the coveted number CH-03-Y-0001 by representatives of Modern Steels Ltd, Sector 34, Chandigarh. There were six bidders for the number and reserved price was Rs 25,000.

Since the applicant is yet to get the vehicle registered, the make of the model of the vehicle to be registered could not be known, said an officer in the authority.

For the number CH-03 Y-0007, a sum of Rs 1,92,000 was quoted against the reserve price of Rs 15,000. The number CH-03Y-0003 fetched Rs 60,000 against the reserve price of Rs 10,000. Other preferred numbers CH-01 Y-0786 fetched Rs 12,000.

During the auction, it was pointed out that customers had the option of paying to take a number of their choice above 10. In case of more than one bidder, the number is auctioned. A senior official said, ‘‘There has been demand for the first 10 numbers and double digit numbers. Another major reason for the heavy bidding is the superstition that people associate with the numbers on the basis of numerology.’’ 

Yuvraj too bids

Today’s auction of vehicle registration numbers at the Sector 17 RLA office had a special applicant, Yuvraj Singh. The cricketer was allotted numbers CH-O3-Y-0012 (Rs 10,700) and CH-03-Y-1212 (Rs 5000). Incidentally, December 12 is said to be the date of birth of the cricketer. 

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Thug nets teenager’s innocence, jewellery
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
A teenager had to pay for his innocence when a thug coaxed him into bringing his mother’s jewellery for saving his family from evil forces. The thug subsequently escaped with the jewellery worth Rs 45,000. Taking cognisance of the matter, the police on Thursday released a sketch of the thug.

Sources in the Sector 36 police station said a case of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code had been registered on Wednesday on a complaint lodged by the victim, Bhupinder Kumar of Sector 44-A.

Narrating the incident, the 13-year-old victim, in his complaint alleged that on Wednesday he was going on his bicycle to attend his tuition classes in Sector 24. On the way, near Bajwara Market, he was stopped by an unidentified man, who appeared to be in his early twenties. The man asked him about the location of an institute, about which he expressed his ignorance. Thereafter, he wanted to proceed, but the man again stopped him and told him that he had come from Vrindavan and was going to attend a religious congregation.

Bhupinder told the police that the man asked him about his religion and the deity he worshipped. He then told him that there was a dispute in his family and during last Divali his mother accidentally killed an insect, which was a goblin. Thus, a ghost had sneaked into their home to take revenge.

Afraid to hear this, Bhupinder was further told by the thug that his parents would die in a few days and he would follow them later.

“After hypnotising the boy, the thug asked him to bring gold jewellery and cash lying in his house to ward off the evil from their family. He directed the boy not to talk to anyone about it and even warned him against making eye contact while taking away the things. The boy did as he was told and came back with a bag containing Rs 800 and gold jewellery worth about Rs 45,000. The man was waiting for him near Hotel South End, Sector 35, said Bhupinder’s uncle Surinder Kumar. Mr Kumar said at that time another fellow came there and the man asked the boy and the other fellow to change their bags. However, before they could change their bags, the man began cursing the other fellow and asked him to get away saying that he would not accept anything from him. He then asked Bhupinder to walk some distance while chanting a mantra and come back to him. When the boy retuned, there was no one there.

Mr Kumar alleged that they had mentioned about the other fellow also, but the police did not pay heed to them and asked them to mention only one person in the complaint. 

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Watch out

Harbhajan Mann Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann has been invited to Jalandhar to cast a spell on the audiences of a special show scheduled to be held tomorrow. The show is part of the entertainment circuit of the ETC and this can be watched live on the television. The highlight of the function will be the performance by Harbhajan Mann, who started out essentially as a singer and went on to prove his skills at acting as well.

He is now a regular at both the pop concert as well as the film circuit with hits of the order of “Jee Aiyan Nu” to back him. Among the most famous of his songs is “Galan goriyan te vich toye”.

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In Town

Bharati Shivaji
Bharati Shivaji

The contribution of Bharati Shivaji to Mohiniyattam, the traditional dance form of Kerala, is immense. A rare combination of a performer, choreographer, author and guru, Bharati has launched Mohiniyattam in ever-new moulds, suffusing it with fresh charm and meaning. For her contributions, she was awarded the Padma shri.

Trained by Radha Marar of Kalamadalam style and later by Sri Kavalam Narayana Panikker, a theatre personality from Kerala, Bharati masters mohiniyattam, which literally means “dance of the enchantress”. She will perform today at Shanti Kunj, during the ongoing Festival of Classical Music and Dance.

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Passing Through

Thomas Mathew
Thomas Mathew, Director, Insignia Solutions, who conducts workshops on stress management

How should one cope with stress?

Stress is a part of your life. Obstacles will be there, one should know when these obstacles arise and how to deal with these stresses. A positive approach to life is important. Never ever break your communication channels. Have some friends/relatives with whom you can talk about stress. This will be helpful in dealing with stress.

Why are stress levels high in all segments of the population?

In the world of severe competitiveness, each one is under tremendous pressure to perform well. Students want to excel in examinations, businessman want to beat competition. An executive is under stress to meet his targets. Even housewives are under stress to enhance their skills and create a niche for themselves amidst her highly competitive family.

Do you think that holistic healing, yoga and laughter clubs et al help relieve stress levels?

These alternate healing methods certainly help in reducing stress levels, but what is more important is the emotional and physical well being of the person.

— Ruchika M. Khanna

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Does Admn care for its own rules?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
It seems that in the Chandigarh Administration the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Within five months of getting transferred a draughtsman in the Building Branch of the Estate Office, Mr Surinder Sethi, has been posted back. Prior to being transferred Mr Sethi had remained posted in the building branch for about 19 years. The transfer orders of Mr Sethi mention that he was being posted back in ‘‘public interest’’ with the approval of the Secretary Engineer-cum-Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu.

The orders, however, are in contradiction to a missive sent by the office of the Finance Secretary to the Estate Officer on September 21. It had been mentioned in the missive that since the Administration had been receiving various written complaints and there had been adverse reporting in media so it had been decided that no transferred employee should be posted back to the Estate Office.

The Administration had, after examining the report of employees with respect to their previous tenure of service in the building branch, including the existing period of posting, asked the Estate Office and Chief Engineer to make changes as per the policy.

Sources reveal that Junior Engineers and draughtsman come on deputation from the Engineering Department and are supposed to go back to their parent department. A senior officer revealed that such officials, especially those working on public dealing seats, use connections to hold the ‘‘lucrative’’ posts and do not allow new faces to work on such posts.

Senior officials fail to keep track of such persons. Inquiries revealed that officials in the building branch have either been working on the same post for a long period or have managed to come back after a short gap, ranging from five months to three years.

It may be mentioned that earlier a Deputy Commissioner had merged the cadre in the building branch with the engineering wing in 2000. This was done to ensure that new faces join after the stipulated period. But the move has been nullified by posting of same staff on same posts again and again.

Highlighting the issue, Mr Chander Mukhi, President of the Forum for Public Affairs, has demanded inquiry in the contradictory orders being passed by various offices of the Administration regarding posting of ‘‘certain’’ officials in the building branch. 

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Cops put fire brigade on a new job
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Sector 31 police station made an “SOS call” to the fire brigade, not to douse the flames but only to “use” fire engines to wash the high walls of the police station.

Sources in the police station said the cleaning drive was aimed at impressing the new UT Inspector-General of Police, Mr S.K. Jain, who would take charge on Monday.

Meanwhile, police circles are abuzz with the surprise visits of the IGP and are head over heels to clean up police stations.

A fire officer, accompanying the fire engine, confirmed that they came there for washing the police station as ahead of the IGP’s expected visit.

The SHO of the police station, Mr Har Sahai Sharma, said there was no fire in the police station and every thing was normal. About the fire engine, he said they wanted to carry out repairs of some windows, which were beyond their reach. They needed a long ladder, which the fire engine were equipped with, he added.

On the other hand, the in charge of the fire station, Sector 32, Mr S.K. Gosain, said there was a message about fire from the police station. When he was confronted with the fact that there was no fire there, he said it could be somewhere around the police station then. 

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Police, DEO visit school
Slapping of student over beard
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13District Education Officer Kamla Bains today visited Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, to inquire into the slapping of a Class XII hotel management student by a teacher.

The DEO prepared a report into the incident to be submitted to the DPI, Schools, Mr Ashwani Kumar. “I will submit the report to the to the DPI by tomorrow evening”, she said.

A teacher of the school allegedly slapped a student, Sahil, for attending the class without shaving his beard.

Ms Bains said, “Whatever could it be, slapping the student should have been avoided, but at the same time the student, too, was at fault”.

The DPI, Schools, said, “The corporal punishment is a big ‘no’, but I would certainly like to meet the parents of the student before giving any final verdict on the issue”.

Mr Ashwani Kumar said the department abided by certain rules and regulations in case such an incident occurred. The final decision in the matter would be taken in two or three days.

Meanwhile, Sahil, attended morning session at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, where he is undertaking training with his batch mates.

A team of the police, led by Mr Subhash Chander, additional SHO, Sector 3 police station, took Sahil to the Sector-16 hospital for a medical examination. However, no internal or external injury was mentioned in the report, sources added.

The team questioned the batch mates of the victim, who were present when the incident occurred.

However, the parents of Sahil did not join the inquiry, police sources said. 

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Narcotics Anonymous — hope for drug addicts
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Coming out of drug addiction need not be a torture as practised on the inmates of a drug de-addiction centre in Mohali recently. There is hope for the drug addicts as the Narcotics Anonymous (NA), a worldwide fellowship of drug addicts, offers a drug-free lifestyle to those addicts who desire to live sober lives.

In fact, the NA is a non-profit fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts, who meet regularly to help each other stay clean, says a member of the NA, adding that it was a programme of complete abstinence from all drugs ‘‘one day at a time’’ and there is no fees to be paid to become NA members.

The only requirement for becoming NA member is the desire to stop using drugs and attend meetings that are held in Chandigarh daily. The NA is not affiliated to any organisation and anyone can join regardless of sex, religion, race or creed. ‘‘Our programme is a set of principles which we work in our daily lives’’, he added.

Besides ‘‘anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities’’, the member said. Terming drug addiction to be a ‘‘progressive illness’’ for which there is no known cure, he highlighted that it could be arrested at some point and recovery is then possible.

‘‘We feel that our approach to the disease of addiction is completely realistic for the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is unparalleled. We feel that our way is practical, for one addict can best understand and help another addict,’’ another member, who had been sober for seven years.

For recovery the addict had to fully concede to his innermost self that the ‘‘only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first drug’’. 

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Barely month-old, yet on duty
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Clinging to the breast of her mother, she is hardly a month-old but is on surveillance along with her parents.
Being exposed to deadly viruses on the premises of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) since her birth, she does not waver from her routine.

Baby of a pair of langoors, deployed by the PGIMER authorities to shoo-away monkeys from the premises, she has been performing a hard job spanning 12 hours (from 7 am to 7 pm daily).

Though her keepers have not named her as yet, her parents, tied to a tree flanking the way leading to the PGIMER Emergency, have been teaching her hunting skills.

Her mother, Basanti, breastfeeds her apart from teaching her the ways of peeling off bananas and handovers eatables to her that onlookers generally offer the simians family.

Her protective father, Chandaal, do not hesitate from pouncing upon the curious onlookers when they come too close to the baby to watch her alluring activities.

Under the protection of guarding and aggressive parents, she jumps and leaps over an iron railing, daringly, and then hides herself in the lap of her mother.

“She feels happy when ever we take them along for shooing away monkeys from the PGIMER premises after receiving calls from the security officers. Even though she is hardly a month-old yet, she stares at the monkeys while clinging to her mother,” claimed Ali Ahmad, the contractor. “Basanti had given birth to two babies. After attaining the age of three years, the baby langoors were shifted to Delhi for training,” claimed Billa, younger brother of Ali Ahmad.

The PGIMER authorities have been paying Rs 12,500 a month to the keeper for shooing away monkeys from the institute’s premises for the past three years.

The keepers claimed that they had been spending about Rs 3000 per month for feeding the simian family with bread, fruits and milk. Mr Ali Ahmad, a resident of Rohini in Delhi, who had been allotted a tender for the purpose, said the langoor-pair gave birth to the baby in the PGIMER only.

Ali had procured the langoors from his guru (teacher) Nabab Ali from Delhi, who had been training the animals and owns many of them, he revealed.

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Man locked in tubewell room, alleges theft
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Sixty-year-old Shamshida was waiting for her husband to return from night duty. A neighbour came to her early in the morning and informed her that her husband was locked up in the room of a government tubewell near Colony No. 4.

Shocked, Shamshida rushed to the tubewell along with some neighbours. There they found her husband Allah Rakha peeping through a window and asking for help. At around 6 a.m. they got him released and informed his employer and the police about the incident.

Allah Rakha narrated his woeful tale. He said just past midnight a group of unidentified men came there and allegedly decamped with the electricity cable and other equipment after locking him inside.

Quoting Allah Rakha, his wife said he was sleeping in his room, which he had bolted from inside. He heard some people talking and a little later some persons entered the compound after scaling the wall and locked Allah Rakha from outside.

Shamshida alleged that despite repeated requests the contractor did not provide any watchman at the tubewell. Even after the matter was reported to them, they reached there after over three hours. The police reached at the spot at around 10.30 a.m. The SDO of the department also reached the spot. The police later took Allah Rakha along with them to the Industrial Area police station for questioning.

The SHO of the Industrial Area police station, Inspector Baljit Singh Chaddha, said no case had been registered in this regard as the SDO did not lodge any complaint, saying that nothing was amiss there. About Allah Rakha, the SHO said he was released after questioning.

However, the senior officials of the department told the police that Allah Rakha was allowing suspicious people to enter the tubewell premises. 

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Sector 17 subway, a picture of neglect
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The subway connecting ISBT in sector 17 and the market in Sector 22 is in a sad state of affairs. Garbage is strewn all over the subway and there is no proper lighting also. Further more only five of the 14 shops there are occupied.

The fact that no official seems to bother about checking the subway is obvious from the encroachments by the shopkeepers, covering half the available space for crossing the subway. Shopkeepers present there allege that the authorities concerned are least bothered and they have to spend from their own pocket to keep the area clean. “We pay a sweeper to come to daily and clean the area, however the MCC only cleans the area once a month,” alleges a shopkeeper on the condition of anonymity.

The shopkeepers also allege that the MCC is not bothered about the upkeep of the subway. The rent of the shops is very high; also the officials have taken to interest in auctioning the shops again.

The subway was constructed in 1996 as Sector 22 was an accident-prone area with the passengers crossing the main road. However, what was constructed to help aid the local traveler can now be easily missed as juice stalls and car parking cover the entrance side of Sector 22, while a dhabha covers the entrance side on Sector 17. Beggars and unscrupulous elements seem to frequent the subway more than the common traveler.

The shopkeepers allege that not many use the subway, as they are not even aware that it exists. “Not many people go via the sub way, its only those who have to catch a local city bus to PGI who use it. Moreover, people are not even aware that it exists and still chose to cross the road.” Traffic chaos is very common at the road dividing the bus stand and the subway as the passengers try to cross the road. However, authorities seem not too keen to increase awareness about the subway. When contacted area councillor, Mr Pradeep Chabbra, stated that he would take up the matter up soon, “We have never received any complaint in this regard before. We did get the subway re-painted and cleaned last year. I will, however, look into the matter personally.” 

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Developed nations consume 78 pc energy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Developed countries having a population share of 30 per cent consume more than 78 per cent of the energy generated the world over. In contrast developing nations with a population share of about 70 per cent consume merely one-fifth of the total energy.

These facts were part of the presentation made by Mr J.K.Gupta, Chairman of the Chandigarh and Punjab chapter of the Indian Institute of Architect, during the 12th Asian Congress of Architects organised by the Architectural Society of China recently. The topic was “Search for sustainable cities in Asia — Suggestive Approach for Evolving Energy Efficient Designs of Urban Settlements.”

Architects from more than 20 countries, including India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Italy, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, participated in the congress.

Mr Gupta, who is a former senior Town Planner (STP) with PUDA, said technical session was held at the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsighua University, Beijing, and three other places.

Mr Gupta told The Tribune that a presentation was based on the experience gained in the functioning of the new cities in the world, including Chandigarh and the philosophy enunciated by Le-Corbusier in his book, “The Radiant City” written in 1933 and revised in 1964 after the planning of Chandigarh.

It has also highlighted that major consumers of energy in cities are the transportation sector and buildings, including their construction and operation. For creating healthy cities with lower consumption of energy, sustainable planning and designing of human settlement was advocated.

The delegates were also shown the buildings connected with the Olympics scheduled to be held at Beijing. The planning of Olympic village was highly appreciated by delegates.

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Honesty is still mobile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
A city resident was in for a pleasant surprise when he received a phone call from an unexpected corner informing him to collect his mobile phone, which he had misplaced in a bus.

The caller, Mr Ram Pal, a constable in the Haryana Police, not only made efforts to trace the owner of the phone from the phone call details but was kind enough to return the phone to its owner at his place.

Mr R.C. Saini of Sector 35-D told Chandigarh Tribune that he had lost his mobile in a bus while travelling from Chandigarh to Pipli on September 22.

His repeated attempts to trace his mobile by calling on it turned futile as it was switched off. When he had lost all hope of getting back his mobile, he received a call from Mr Ram Pal informing him that he had found it. The good Samaritan is posted in the office of Superintendent of Police in Panipat. 

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CM lays stone for vaccine plant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said there was a need to have disease-free and healthy animals to give a boost to milk production in the state and to exploit the optimum export potential of the livestock and livestock products.

He was addressing a public gathering after laying the foundation stone of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine production plant at Rauni in Patiala district. The plant has been set up by M/s Hind Bio-Pharmaceuticals at a cost of Rs 140 crore. 

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Child census from today

Chandigarh, October 13
The Sarv Siksha Abhiyan of Education Department of the Chandigarh Administration is undertaking a comprehensive child census operation on October 14 and 15.
“The idea is to achieve universalisation of elementary education by ensuring cent per cent enrolment, completion of elementary level of education by identifying out of school children, children with special needs and working children in the age group of 0 to 14. The staff of the government schools will be visiting every household during this period for collecting data in this regard,” said Mr Ashwini Kumar, DPI, Schools, Chandigarh Administration. TNS

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Low pressure of water supply

Chandigarh, October 13
There is a possibility of low pressure of water supply in Sector 18 during the forthcoming weekdays, an official press statement said here yesterday.
The main water supply pipeline near the roundabout of Sectors 7-8-18-9 on the Madhya Marg has been damaged during drilling operations. TNS

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Tigress dies at Chhat Bir
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 13
A nine-year-old tigress died at the Mahindra Chaudhary Zoological Park at Chhat Bir, near here, this evening.
According to sources, the field staff found the jugular vein of the tigress punctured. The vein takes the blood to the heart of the members of the cat family. The tigress probably died after a fight with a male tiger, the zoo Field Director, Mr Dharminder Sharma, said. However, the exact cause of the death would only be known after the post-mortem examination tomorrow, he added.

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HelpAge gives Rs 2 lakh to ashram
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The HelpAge India today gave a cheque for Rs 2,000, 47 to the local Chandi Kusht Ashram under its sponsor-a grandparent programme.
According to Mr Bhavneshwar Sharma, state manager of the local unit of the HelpAge India, the organisation had adopted 114 persons through the ashram . Out of them 58 lived in the ashram while the rest were elderly persons from Bapu Dham Colony, Ramdarbar and Jagatpur.

On behalf of the HelpAge India, Col B S Sandhu, chief managing director, WWICS, Chandigarh, gave the cheque to an ashram official at a function. Colonel Sandhu lauded the organisation for supporting elderly people of society.

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Crime Branch to handle probe in maid murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Investigation in the Sector 30-based maidservant murder case was transferred to the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police today.
The local police has so far failed to establish the motive behind the murder. Sources in the Crime Branch said the case was transferred this afternoon. Officials have been scrutinising the phone-call details of Archana Bharadwaj, the employer of Urmila.

Archana had been arrested on the charge of murder in the case. The police has identified several persons with whom Archana frequently talked over phone. The police said the name of a Panchkula resident, who is a contractor, was among the names identified by it so far. The cops were making efforts to contact these persons for questioning.

Inspector Satbir Singh admitted, ‘‘We are yet to establish the motive behind the murder. As the murder came to light so late, it has become difficult to work on it. We are making all out efforts and are trying to reconstruct the sequence of events and then will match it with the statement given by the persons short listed by us’’.

According to sources the police has also taken opinion from experts about the nature of three pet dogs kept by Archana. Chief Sanitary Inspector of Municipal Corporation, Babu Ram, told the police about the breeds and nature of the dogs. He said all three breeds bark at strangers. The police said it would help them in ascertaining whether any stranger had come to the house on that night.

Archana has been arrested in connection with the case on the basis of circumstantial evidence, which they claimed pointed towards her involvement in the case.

The 21-year-old maidservant, Urmila, was found dead at the second floor residence of her employer, Archana on September 30. The police initially thought it to be a case of natural death, but the post mortem reports revealed on Tuesday that it was a murder and the victim had been smothered to death.

Archana’s counsel seeks court’s direction to interrogate her  

The counsel for the accused, Archana today moved an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) seeking direction to the police to interrogate the accused during the day and to lodge her in a lock up guarded by lady police personnel.

Apprehending a threat to the safety of the accused, the counsel in his application stated that no woman police officer was present at the time of interrogation.

Yesterday, the counsel, in another application, had claimed that she was tortured by the police and had been asked to keep her mouth shut.

The police had, however, claimed that she had given in writing her denial in this matter.

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Girl succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
An 18-year-old girl, who set herself afire after pouring kerosene on Thursday at her Shahpur Colony residence, succumbed to her injuries at PGI here this morning. In another incident, a minor girl sustained 100 per cent burn injuries in an accidental fire at her Colony Number 4 residence this morning.

In the first incident, though no suicide note was recovered on the body, the police, while quoting the victim’s family, said she failed to cope with the death of her father who died last year. She was reportedly suffering from depression.

According to sources in the Sector 39 police station, the victim has been identified as Pammi. She was taking coaching at a sewing centre.

The incident came to light on Thursday afternoon when the victim’s neighbours saw her engulfed in flames and she was crying for help. There was no one at home when she set herself afire. She was rushed to the PGI in a critical condition. She remained unconscious and was not fit to record her statement.

The police said she took the extreme step as she could not live without her father and “wanted to join him”. The police has initially booked her in a case of attempt to suicide under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. Following her death this morning the police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard.

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Shopkeeper falls off bus, hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
A city resident was seriously injured after falling from the rooftop of a private bus on a road separating sectors 22 and 23 near the traffic lights point here this morning.
According to eyewitnesses, the accident took place at around 9 am when the victim was off-loading luggage from the rooftop of the bus (PB-12-J-2909), owned by the Ambala Bus Syndicate, and the bus driver moved the vehicle. The victim lost control and fell on the road banging his head.

He sustained serious head injuries and fell unconscious. He was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital. He was not fit to record his statement till late in the evening.

The police said the victim had been identified as 32-year-old Rakesh Kumar of Sector 22. A shopkeeper, Rakesh Kumar was coming back from Ambala after making purchases. The police has booked bus driver Darshan Singh of Matwani village in Moga on a charge of rash and negligent driving.

Theft: In two separate incidents, thieves decamped with over 50 mobile phones after breaking into two shops in various parts of the city on Wednesday night.

Mr Puneet Chopra of Sector 37-C reported to the police that 32 mobile phones were stolen from his shop in Sector 46. In another incident, Mr Desh Raj of Sector 38-A lodged a complaint with the police alleging that 25 mobile phones had been stolen from his shop in Sector 37. Two separate cases of thefts have been registered in this regard.

Motorcycle stolen: Mr Amit Kumar of Panjab University filed a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (HP-15-A-0316) was stolen from the university campus during the intervening night of October 9 and 10.

Gambling: The local police arrested 10 persons from different parts of the city on Thursday on an allegation of indulging in gambling at public place.

The police said Bahadur of Hallo Majra, Ashwani of Sector 24, Pawan Kumar of Dadu Majra, Sonu of Sector 24, Kiran, Sonu, Raj Rani, all residents of Hallo Majra, and Renu of Sector 52 were arrested from a park in Sector 24 for gambling. The police recovered in all Rs 6,640 from their possession. In another case, the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested Lal Bahadur of Mani Majra from Indira Colony for allegedly indulging in gambling and recovered Rs 4,525 from his possession. Three separate cases of gambling have been registered in this connection.

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Rodrigues inaugurates CII Fair
Tribune News Service

Visitors to the CII Fair, Chandigarh, thronged the Thai pavilion, showcasing bright flowers, jewellery and candles, on Friday
Visitors to the CII Fair, Chandigarh, thronged the Thai pavilion, showcasing bright flowers, jewellery and candles, on Friday. The Tribune is the media sponsor for the four-day mega event. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik 

Chandigarh, October 13
The annual CII Fair opened to a spirited response in Chandigarh today. The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, General (retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, formally inaugurated the four - day mega fair at the Parade Ground here. The Tribune is the media sponsor for the event.

Accompanied by Mrs Jean Rodrigues, Gen Rodrigues went around the exhibition fair and took a keen interest in the exhibits. Appreciating the effort, he said that this fair had achieved tremendous success over the years and offers great opportunities for sharing knowledge and expertise by the industrial giants and to expand and explore markets for potential investors.

During interaction with the Punjab National Bank, General Manager, Mr B.P. Chopra on the occasion, General Rodrigues asked him to put a special focus for the uplift of disadvantaged sections of society by extending them the benefits of various banking schemes. He impressed the need to reach out to these vulnerable sections and empower them by giving financial assistance for setting up small business vocations.

The event has been sponsored by three concurrent sponsors - Nokia (Infocom), Godrej (Décor) and Samsung (Megabrands). Radio Buzz is the radio sponsor.

The annual CII Chandigarh Fair showcases the products of 250 companies in seven expositions this year, categorised product wise for customer convenience. The fair lives up to its promise of something for everyone. On show are computers, state of the art TVs, elegant furniture, cookware, all kinds of kitchen appliances, home and décor accessories, healthcare products, jewellery, utility products. Large multinational companies as well as small manufacturers of niche products share space at the sprawling fair, with many exhibitors offering special promotions, incentives and discounts.

Enthused by the response last year, the Thai pavilion is again in the International Arcade 2006, bringing to Chandigarh 30 companies from Thailand displaying a distinct collection of consumer products ranging from glassware, food kitchen modules, handicrafts, gift items, jewellery, garments to artificial .flowers, presenting a delightful experience of ethnic and modern, tradition and art. While all the seven expos featuring different categories of products and services registered very positive interest on the opening day itself, the Consumer Fair 2006, Décor 2006 and International Arcade 2006 expos attracted plenty of shoppers keen to pick up appliances and accessories in the festive season.

Going by the opening day’s response, it is quite likely that the fair would play host to a much larger number of shoppers and suiting to their convenience, the fair would be on from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. till October 16, 2006 . 

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BSNL Net service leaves subscribers unhappy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Internet services in the city have taken a dip for the worse, even as BSNL is trying hard to increase its subscriber base by offering schemes and lowering tariffs. Subscribers in many parts of the city, especially those with the Manimajra exchange have complained of extremely slow broadband connection for the past few months.

BSNL had specially brought engineers from China last month to ‘service’ the network to remove congestion and eradicate bottlenecks that were choking the network. Most BSNL subscribers are offered a 256 kbps bandwidth, which in actual terms was relating to a speed of over 200 kbps initially. But with the BSNL adding more subscribers on the existing bandwidth, the available bandwidth is being shared virtually halting the system.

Though, the problem is universal, but subscribers in the Modern Housing Complex complain that the Internet broadband connection drops to snails pace during the afternoon making sending and receiving mail a tedious job. Internet browsing is almost impossible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to BSNL sources, the department has introduced several measures like allowing a single login, restricting login of subscribers registered in other cities and towns, but this has not eased the problem of congestion. Sources, also say that the department has hired private consultants, who are overworked, to run the services as its own men are not trained to handle the intricate networking procedures required in handling problems relating to the Internet service.

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Combining business with social responsibility
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Big corporate houses in the tricity are not here to make huge profits alone. Lending a humane touch to the less fortunate, these companies are undertaking a large number of social projects.

These projects don’t just mean issuing cheques to an NGO or a school for differently abled children. The human resource cells in most companies are actually guiding employees to take time out and indulge in social activities.

Today, Spice Telecom along with the Rotary Club organised a fund-raising rock concert at Leisure Valley for poor children suffering from cardiac disorders. The proceeds will go to the Chandigarh Rotary Club Service Trust for the Rotary Heartline Project.

Mr Sidharth Mehra, Assistant General Manager, Marketing, Spice Telecom, said: “Spice has endeavoured to promote art and culture in this region. But this concert is for a noble cause and by organising such fundraisers, we give back to society.”

He said employees often interacted with children of a destitute home in Panchkula and major festivals are celebrated with these children.

Britannia Industries, too, celebrated Divali with students of the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, today and distributed goodies.

Even IT majors like Dell International Services have been undertaking social projects. September was celebrated as a global community involvement month in Mohali. A cultural show was organised by the employees for the children of Theatre Age, an NGO that uses performing arts to assist children to display their talent.

Many employees adopted a child for a day and spent time with them. The initiative was a tie-up with the Youth Technical Training Society, an NGO for underprivileged children.

Mr Ramesh S. Kumar, Director, Human Resources, Dell International Services, said: “As part of Dell’s commitment to build value not only for our customers and businesses, but also for the communities that our company and our employees call home, we encourage our employees to undertake such activities.”

Amway has launched Amway Opportunity Foundation and distributes free textbooks in Braille for visually impaired schoolchildren. 

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Market hires guards to ensure peace
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Market Association of Sector 36 has shown a new and interesting way of managing its issues and problems. Hassled with the ever growing and seemingly formidable problems posed by haphazard parking and resultant unruliness, the Association has taken matters in its own hands and raised a nursery of private security guards.

The guards — around eight in number — reported on duty this morning and are upbeat about their new job, which poses a significant challenge. They will be paid from the general pool to which all the shop owners in the Sector 36 market will contribute. The decision to employ private security was taken following a series of problems posed by wrong parking.

The president of the association, who runs a chemist and a cosmetic shop in the market, said, "The guards will remain here from 8 am to 9 pm, will manage the traffic all day and maintain the basic discipline of the market. We have taken in eight guards to man the entire area which has establishments of all kinds, including tutorials, eateries, cyber cafes, and a post office, among other things."

Sector 36 is highly vulnerable to disorderliness, home as it is to a network of tutorials where hundreds of students are enrolled. Also, it is right next to the MCM DAV College, which is part of the famous Sector 36 geri route circuit.

According to rough estimates, the area is visited by at least 1000 vehicles in a day and the parking space is limited. Says a girl student enrolled with a tutorial here, "We have witnessed several brawls among boys on the issue of parking. Also, because of the proximity to MCM DAV College, this area is frequented by many boys. Very often you see them standing in large groups, ogling away at girls. It is not a very safe place. But things might change with private security standing guard."

The sector has also witnessed some vehicle thefts in the recent past. There was thus a need to secure the surroundings, which are prone to influences of all sorts. Besides being the tutorial hub of Chandigarh and home to MCM DAV College, Sector 36 is also a favoured spot for those seeking paying guest accommodations. Naturally, the market of the area is heavily taxed from all fronts.

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