C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Charges framed against Gaganjit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In the high-profile rape case involving SAD MLA from Dhuri Gaganjit Singh Barnala, the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Ravi Kumar Sondhi, today framed charges against the accused.

As per the challan presented by the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police in the court of the Area Magistrate a few days ago, the victim—a resident of Naya Goan who worked in Mr Barnala’s house— was allegedly raped by him at his Sector 3 MLA flat on August 12.

The trial would begin from December 15. During the proceedings of the case today, the counsel for the MLA pleaded for the holding of the trial. “Since the MLA is already on bail since September 18, the cross-examination of the prosecution witness would be our priority,” he said.

In the challan, the prosecution has maintained that the woman was raped. After the DNA test report turned out to be inconclusive, the police had sought certain clarifications on the medico-legal report from the Sector 16 General Hospital.

The police had sought opinion on the approximate time of the bleeding, time elapsed, extent of blood loss and whether the injury could be due to forced sex or a sharp-edged weapon.

The victim in her statement had reiterated that she was raped. She maintained that she was not aware of his name but he was called Kaka by the family. She alleged that earlier also he had made advances but she kept quiet for fear of implication in a case.

However, the MLA had termed it as a political conspiracy.



Defence gets time to verify witnesses
J&K sex scandal hearing on Nov 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
On an application of the defence, seeking decoded charge sheet from the CBI, the investigating agency in the Jammu and Kashmir sex racket, the District and Sessions Judge today declined their plea till the time the examination-in-chief of the prosecution witnesses was not held.

Opposing the decoding, the prosecution held that the identity of the witnesses had to be protected and, if at any stage, the witnesses came and depose before the court, the matter could be decided then.

Pronouncing the orders on the defence plea, the court said the statement of the witnesses along with their credentials would be supplied to the respective accused and reasonable time would be given to the defence to verify the antecedents of the prosecution witnesses before their cross-examination. All the documents like police record and case diaries would be supplied then.

Few minutes after the case proceedings started, the District and Sessions Judge B. S. Mehndiratta, directed mediapersons to leave the court.

The hearing on three separate pleas of lodging of at least seven of the accused in Srinagar Central Jail, hearing of the trial of the five accused in the case-- sitting MLAs Raman Mattoo and G. A. Mir, IAS officer Iqbal Khanday and Mohammed Yusuf Mir and Mohammed Riyaz Kawa- booked under Section 5 of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act and allowing two of the accused to visit a temple in Hoshiarpur, was today adjourned till November 20.

Continuing with his arguments on the charges against two of the accused - businessman Mehrajuddin Malik and a cop Mohammed Ashraf Mir, their counsel, Mr Moulvi Ajaz Ahmed, alleged that the witness in case of Mehrajuddin Malik was giving contradictory statements on three different occasions.

The court directed Mr Ajaz to supply his arguments in writing with regard to Mehrajuddin and give an advance copy of this to the CBI by November 15.



Pandemonium mars MC meeting
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
Tempers ran high and pandemonium reigned at the meeting of the Municipal Council held after four months here today. The entire agenda was passed despite opposition from dissident councillors of the Congress led by Mr R.K. Kakkar as also the BJP.

While councillors expressed resentment over the failure of the authorities to call a meeting in the past four months, they were also very critical of the allotment of contracts worth Rs 8 crore for recarpeting of city roads, awarded without sanction of the House at the level of the president, Ms Manvir Gill.

Councillor Kakkar said against the decision of the House to carry out recarpeting of roads itself and allotting the works to the HUDA, the MC had gone ahead with awarding contracts to defaulters against whom a vigilance inquiry was on.

Former council president Tarun Bhandari joined issue and asked Ms Gill to produce minutes of the last meeting where the House had approved allotment of tenders for recarpeting of roads. Mr V.K. Sood also condemned the move even as the dissident group within the Congress today came out openely against the president in the presence of the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan.

Sector 7 councillor C.B. Goel demanded an answer as to why development works were being carried out in one particular sector only. Stating that the council was meant for carrying development works all over the city, he added that the council was meant for the entire city.

They criticised the misuse of Article 35, which had been used by the president to approve development works without holding any meeting for the same under which recarpeting tenders had also been allotted.

Amid a lot of noise from BJP councillors and by a few councillors of the Congress, Mr Mohan urged the officials to get on with the agenda. Mr Sood also sought a clarification on whether the meeting of the House was valid even after a gap of four months to which secretary Rohtash Bishnoi replied in the affirmative.

After repeated threats of boycott, councillors finally approved the expenditure and income from June to October. Councillors Kakkar and Kapoor alleged that despite the fact that the item failed the vote test, it had been passed and nobody noted down the number of councillors supporting the item.

Also approved were items to construct cattle-catchers on B-roads of Sectors 4, 12 and 12-A while Sector 15 was later included at the suggestion of some members. Most members shot down the item pertaining to construction of residences for MC officials and employees, maintining that funds should be diverted to construction of the MC house. In the end the item stood passed, Ms Gill held.

While dustbins would be purchased for various sectors, the controversial decision to bar children from playing in the parks was put on hold after councillors rejected the proposal. “Where will the children go if they are barred from entering parks to play football and cricket. We do not support this move,” they stated. The item was deferred for a later meeting.

On the demand of councillor Kakkar a report of the expenditure and on-going works in various wards was also tabled. “In sectors which have more than one park, we have decided to set aside one for children while the rest of these would have walking trails and benches,” the president said.

Stating that of the total budget of Rs 12 crore available with the MC, half the amount had already been exhausted. She maintained, “The remaining budget has also been allocated for specific works.



Sabina booked for trying to snatch camera of newsman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
An alleged kingpin in the Jammu and Kashmir sex racket, Sabina, was today booked by the Chandigarh Police for allegedly trying to snatch a video-camera of a journalist and using abusive language against media persons outside the district court premises here.

The media persons were present outside the court to cover the proceedings of the sex racket being tried in the sessions court here.

Mr Jagbir Singh, Station House Officer, Sector 17, said a case for causing hurt and criminal intimidation was registered on the complaint lodged by a duty officer accompanying the accused from the Burail Jail to the courts.

The incidents took place when Sabina was brought to the district court for hearing in the case along with some other accused. She allegedly tried to pounce on a cameraman of an electronic media and used abusive language immediately after alighting from the jail bus. She had also reacted in a similar fashion yesterday and allegedly used abusive language against the camera crew waiting outside the court premises.

Soon after the Sabina incident outside the court premises, the media persons covering the case proceedings inside the court were asked to leave the court room by the District and Sessions Judge. Though there was no objection to the presence of the media by the defence, all the media persons were told to leave for an alleged misrepresentation of facts in a section of the media. The counsel of the CBI also made certain observations on the role of the media.

Earlier, some NCC cadets deputed in the court for training purposes did not allow media persons to go in the court to cover the proceedings of a case of defamation filed by Parkash Singh Badal against the Punjab Chief Minister in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate.



MC denies information with lame excuses
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The weak arguments of the Municipal Corporation in defending its denial of information to a resident of the city have been exposed in an appeal against not providing information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The MC has asked Mr Chandermukhi Sharma, president of the Forum for Public Affairs, to file a fresh application asking the department concerned to reply to queries on the death of a four-year-old child who fell in an uncovered water tank of a public toilet on September 1, earlier this year.

Mr H.S.Kandhola, Joint Commissioner of the MC and Appellate Authority, in his order, has asked that a copy of the order should be given to all departments of the MC “to ensure that they should not, unnecessarily, refuse to provide information” on baseless grounds.

Chandermukhi in an application on September 4 had sought a detailed information related to the death of the child in the manhole within 48-hours under Section 7, which was never provided. One of the reasons pointed out by the department in not giving the answers was that the questionnaire was not in the prescribed format. Sharma approached the Appellate Authority which passed the orders asking for replies.

The decision reads that, “It came out that there is no malafide intention on part of the MC department to withhold information. But, it is amply clear that the department has quoted various reasons for withholding the information which are not maintainable under the Act”.

It has been clarified that “There is no format under the RTI Act which a citizen was expected to follow while filing his questions. The department has unnecessarily tried to explain the meaning of the word ‘’citizen’’ in its reply. The meaning is irrelevant in context of the questions being asked. The department has wrongly contended that the application is asking for multiplicity of information through a single application. The argument is not maintainable”.

In an important note, the decision added that “the reply of the department is bereft of any merits”.

Interestingly, the decision also reads that ‘’the incident in which a child died due to drowning after falling into a manhole does not in any way affects the life or liberty of Chandermukhi. He can seek information Under Section 6 of the RTI and not under Section 7 (1). He is directed to file a fresh application.’’



Administrative machinery unable to deliver goods, says I.K. Gujral
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Administrative machinery in India has become dysfunctional and is ultimately unable to deliver the goods, said the paper of Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, a former Prime Minister, in the inaugural address of the International Conference on 'Peace and Development' in memory of late P.N. Haksar at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

The paper was read by Salman Haider, a former Foreign Secretary and Principal Programme Adviser of the CRRID, as Mr Gujral could not make to the conference. He is expected to join later in the weeklong conference.

The paper read that "everyone from the minister down is focused on his perks, his privileges and his survival, rather that public good". "Very often, politics and policy makers get caught up in day-to-day compulsions. But, policy making is done best when it is focused on doing right instead of doing what is expedient. We must ask, whether the present day electoral system, with its bias for quick fixes, would allow another Jawaharlal to emerge,"he said, highlighting the contributions of the first Prime Minister in drafting the country's road to progress.

Highlighting the country's paradoxes, Mr Gujral's papers read that "we have one of the highest growth rates in the world together with one of the higher incidences of poverty and child malnutrition." Pointing out to a recent shift in the employment trends in the country, he said "in cities like Bangalore, for example, it is common place to see young Punjabis speaking in a Yorkshire accent".

The paper said that "there is an increasing tendency in the world to view security issues entirely in military terms and seek answers in the same language." He said, "at the same time the most bitter division in human history was decided without a shot being fired. The cold war which saw the mightiest armies arrayed against each other ended 'not with a bang but with a whimper'". The Berlin Wall was not brought down by tanks but by invisible pull of culture and commerce.

Another important point in Mr Gujral's paper said that "no great society has ever been constrained by a scarcity of material resources. Some of the richest countries in the world today -Japan, Switzerland and Sweden - are bereft of natural resources but enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world.

The goal of banishing poverty and hunger from the world is not beyond reach as been given by Dr Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. Certain big international concerns needing attention at the moment are global warming and over reliance on fossil fields, he added.

Prof R.P.Bambah, Vice-Chairman of the governing body of CRRID and a Trustee of The Tribune Trust, released the 'Haksar Memorial-Volume III'. Dr Subrata Banerjee gave an introduction to the publication. Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director-General, CRRID, introduced the subject while Dr S.K.Mangal, Adviser to CRRID, proposed the vote of thanks.



Watch out

The Minister of State for Finance and the Chandigarh MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, will be the guest of honour at the valedictory function of the platinum-jubilee celebrations of the Vijaya Bank at the auditorium of the Bishop Cotton Boys School, Residency Road, Bangalore, on November 5.

While the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, will be the chief guest at the function, Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy, Karnataka Chief Minister, will preside over the function.

Besides, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, Karnataka Lokayukta, will deliver the ‘Mulki Sundar Ram Shetty Memorial Lecture’ at the function.



In Town

The former Indian Foreign Secretary is in town to participate in the International Conference on Peace and Development.

The conference is being organised in the memory of late P.N.Haksar at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID).

Mr Haider read the inaugural address in absence of the former Prime Minister, Mr I.K.Gujral. He chaired the sessions on the inaugural day and will also chair a session on Sunday.

Mr Haider, also a former ambassador to China and Britain, was on a five-person list for the job of the top UN envoy to Iraq which had been suggested by the UNO Secretariat.



Passing Through

What do you think is the key to understanding peace and development?

The Islamic radical component is the most vital question we need to answer. The issue is important because no one seems to have a remedy and terrorism is multiplying all over the world. It will be interesting if the issue is taken up at the international conference being hosted by CRRID.

Andrey Arkhipov
Andrey Arkhipov, Director, International Public Foundation Experimental Creative Centre, Moscow. 

Do you think poverty and illiteracy are the main reasons behind terrorism?

People were poor even in the 50s and 60s but there was no radical terrorism. This indicates that the reasons are far deeper than economic factors. I think there is a growing consensus on the fact that we need to be looking at the issue in a wider perspective. Our priority should be to identify who is interested in playing the radical Islamic card and for what purpose.

What are the possible solutions?

I don’t see any quick-fix solution to the problem. We need to understand that the problems related to ideologies are difficult to handle. The problem is rather complex and needs to be understood at different levels to look for possible solutions.

What are your impressions about India?

I have been to India on several occasions as I worked for an NGO earlier. The country has changed with the times. In the present day context, it is very encouraging to interact with organisations like CRRID.

—Sanjeev Bariana



Poultry owners take to streets
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Accusing the Punjab and Haryana Governments of bartering away their interests to big companies in the guise of contract farming, poultry farmers today organised a massive protest here and vowed to "fight to the finish." against the mega projects for poultry industry in the region.

Carnival time

With a male and female singer-cum-dancer in attendance at the rally, it seemed to be a carnival time for the poultry farmers. Even as the poultry farmer leaders exhorted the participants to gear up for the sustained agitation, the singers enthralled a motley crowd with hit Punjabi numbers.

Organised under the aegis of the North Zone Broiler Breeders Association at the new rally site in Sector 25 here, thousands of the poultry farmers came down heavily on the mega projects in the poultry industry which, they alleged, would deal a death blow to the poultry industry.

Mr D.V. Dhanda, general secretary of the association, alleged that under the guise of the giving employment to poor people these companies were actually changing the system bonded labour. With money power at their command they were 
bent upon controlling the poultry industry to dictate terms to the poultry farmers,who would be forced abandon their business.

The association chairman,Mr Surjeet Sagri, said Punjab was a major area for the consumption of chicken and thousands of families were involved directly or indirectly in poultry and allied business like hatchery, broiler farming, feed supplying, medicine retailing and as the commission agents. These businesses were being targeted by the big companies, including Saguna, Godrej and Japha, to make a fast buck, Mr Sagri alleged.

Since contract farming laws are not defined in the country, it should be made mandatory that all produce of the contract faming should be raw material for some industry and not compete with produce of the poultry farmers, demanded, Mr Rajinder Mittal, general secretary of the Northern India Poultry Farmers Association.

The speakers alleged that the companies virtually forced the poultry farmers to come under their control when they incurred losses.

Then these companies controlled the market by eliminating competition and charged exorbitant prices from the consumers, they alleged. Meanwhile,a delegation of the association, accompanied by the representatives of Punjab Poultry Farmers Association and the Haryana Poultry Farmers Association, submitted memorandums to the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers.



Ward reservation: battle for ticket hots up
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The future of many sitting councillors has become uncertain after the draws of lots for reservation of wards held yesterday.

While for many it offered relief with the realisation that they were secure in their old wards, for others the draws have come as a huge disappointment. With many new faces also demanding tickets, frenzied activity has begun within party circles.

The Congress today held a meeting at its Sector 35 offices to plan its future course of action and also asked for applications from interested ticket-seekers.

According to sources, ticket-seekers are required to pay Rs 100 and fill up a form if they are interested in contesting for the upcoming elections.

The sources add that Mr B.B. Bahl has been given the final authority to decide as to who would be given the tickets. The decision can be taken within the coming week.

On the other hand, it is learnt that Mr Prakash Singh Badal, SAD chief, today held a meeting with the councillors, Ms Harjinder Kaur and Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, to resolve their alleged discord.

The sources say that Mr Badal has apparently requested them to forget their differences and work together for the upcoming elections.

It is believed that Capt Kanwaljeet Singh has been given the full charge to oversee the distribution of tickets for the MCC elections. Ms Harjinder Kaur had earlier opposed the BJP-SAD alliance as the presidentship issue was not clear.

After yesterday’s draw of reservations, her ticket is now seen as safe as she had earlier won the elections from ward number 9 (Sectors 34, 35 and Sector 44), which now is ward number 15 — a reserved ward for the women (general).

The BJP-CVM alliance also seems to have run into rough weather. It is learnt that it couldn’t reach any consensus on the seat-sharing today. Senior party leaders of both parties are expected to meet on this issue.

According to sources, it was decided between the CVM-BJP and SAD that more than the party, the wining candidates would be given preference.

Making this the base, the CVM has already asked for the three seats they had won last time and all those seats where in last elections their candidates had come second. Meanwhile, the BJP too has asked interested ticket-seekers to send in their applications to the party office.

However, despite alliances and compromises between factions fighting within the political parties, infighting is still on for the tickets for the MCC elections.

With the wards having been increased to 26, more new faces will be asking for tickets and with many sitting councillors having lost their wards to reservations, there will be many wanting tickets as was the case witnessed today at a Youth Congress programme in Mauli Jagran, Sector 25.

Here party supporters were seen with the banners of their favourite ticket-seekers. It is learnt that the colony cell of the Congress has asked for tickets for its candidates from ward no 22, 23 and 26.



Greenpeace campaign to save oceans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Greenpeace activists kicked off a campaign on ocean defenders in Sector 17 today. The objective was to spread awareness about oceans and make defenders to protect them.

Volunteers signed up people for its E-activism programme. “By joining the e-forum, people can join ocean defenders of Greenpeace from around the world and contribute their bit in saving the oceans’ fragile ecology,” said Snehil Kumar, the NGO’s Chandigarh territory in charge.

The organisation has already embarked on a year-long expedition on its ship—MV Espranza—to create awareness about the crisis facing the oceans.

Greenpeace has been campaigning to protect the oceans against destructive fishing techniques, pollution and unsustainable and ecologically disastrous development.

Greenpeace is garnering support so that it can exert pressures on governments to adopt a sensitive approach towards the problem. Greenpeace uses creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems.



3 grievance redressal units inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Three Subdivisional grievances redressal units of the local police were inaugurated by the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, at a function held in Sector 36 police station here today.

With an aim to give a comprehensive single-window mechanism for the redressal of grievances of the public, the units have been set up.

Coinciding with the international effort of the Police Station Visitors Week organised by the Atlas Global Alliance in various countries, the project was to ensure community participation and active involvement of citizens.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, General Rodrigues called for immediate steps for changing outdated laws enacted during the British regime and bring necessary modifications in the Acts to meet the changing needs of our democratic and social system.

He said the provisions in the Police Act and other laws reflected the Britishers mindset and new laws should be framed without any further delay, keeping in view the democratic traditions enshrined in our Constitution.

Emphasising the need for reinventing and revalidation of our traditional systems, General Rodrigues said there was an effort for establishing better rapport and ensuring cordiality with the public must be made.Underlining the need for enlarging our concern and compassion to serve the needy and disadvantaged, General Rodrigues said the Chandigarh Administration had started the process of implementation of various policies and programmes for upgrading lives of these people.

Elaborating the plans for rehabilitation of slum dwellers, rickshaw pullers and rag pickers, the administrator said they provide useful services to the society. He said administration had undertaken the implementation of 21 big projects including an education city, film city, milk colony, modern terminal market for vegetables and fruits.

Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, ICD, while speaking on the occasion, emphasised the need for institutionalising the system of providing quality service to the people in the police stations and our mission should be to reform the police by giving valuable suggestions and proper feedback.

Inspector-General of Police, Chandigarh, Mr S.K. Jain, while welcoming the chief guest said the Chandigarh Police had started these subdivisional grievances redressal units in each of the three police subdivision to speed up redressal of grievances, provide round-the-clock telephone help line, respond to distress calls from needy victims and for take pro-active role in community policing.

The grievances redressal units will have active involvement of citizen volunteers, lawyers, psychologists, social workers, imminent citizens and voluntary organisations will be associated with resolution of grievances, spot visits by DSPs. Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, proposed the vote of thanks.



Cut GHG emission to check mercury rise: conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
"If we do not bring about a 50 per cent reduction in the planet's emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases there will be at least 2-3 degrees rise in global temperatures by 2050." This was said by Prof Ashok Parthasarathi, a former secretary to the Government of India, while addressing the international conference on "Peace and Development" in memory of late P.N.Haksar at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

The change in temperatures will mean "Europe, Asia, Canada, Central America and Amazonia will lose 30 per cent of its green cover. Forest fires, floods and the sea level rise will take major dimensions and will be uncontrollable", he said.

The only way to prevent these disastrous environmental changes is for highly industrialised countries of North America, Europe and Japan (who generate 75 per cent of the world's greenhouse emissions) to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce their greenhouse emissions.

"The global warming and climate change have become major threats to peace and development world-wide", he added

Prof Dewi Fortuna Khaidir Anwar, Deputy Chairman of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jakarta, in the paper on "India-Japan-China- ASEAN relations and Peace and Development in Asia", said India has never been seen as a threat to peace and India is emerging as a new centre of economic growth.

Lt-Gen Talat Masood (retd) from Pakistan said, "With collapse of the USSR, the USA has emerged as the superpower which has charged the world scenario. The US spends more on research and development than the sum total of defence budget of three leading countries of Europe. "

Prof Suhash Chakravarty, formerly with the Department of History at Delhi University, gave a thought-provoking account of the growing concerns in the world scenario.



Possession of plots not given to allottees
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 4
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee , Sectors 76, 80, held a protest march here today against the failure of the government to give possession of plots which were allotted to them by PUDA more than five years ago. They carried an effigy of Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, during the protest march.

The protesters raised slogans against the government and the MLA and demanded that the possession of plots should be given to the allottees at the earliest.

Criticising the MLA , Mr Sucha Singh Kalour, president of the committee, said he had promised them help in this regard but now he was not even ready to spare time to meet them. He said the MLA had done nothing for the welfare of the allottees.

They said on November 11 they would gather in a park in Sector 40, Chandigarh, from where they would march to the house of Mr Bir Devinder Singh and later burn his effigy .

Mr Ranjit Singh, general secretary , said the allottees had deposited about Rs 88 crore with PUDA for the plots but even then nobody was bothered to hand over the possession. He said tenders for development work in Sectors 77 and 78 had been opened but no work has begun so far. He said officers were more interested in encouraging colonisers and not concerned about other people.



Seminar on management of property rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Lack of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection distorted the international trade, with the result that IPR protection was included in the trade related intellectual property rights(TRIPS) as an agreement on general agreement on tariffs and trade(GATT).

This was stated by Dr B.C. Gupta, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Home, Government of Punjab, at a seminar organised by the European Union (EU)-India Trade and Investment Development Programme (TIDP) in association with the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) on “Management of IPRs and Indian Industry ” held here today.

“Contrary to many predictions, the Doha meeting of the World Trade Organisation put together a declaration on TRIPS and public health. This is one of the areas where the point of view of the developing countries has been conceded” said Dr P.K. Vasudeva, expert panelist, IPR, with NISCAIR of the CSIR, Government of India, in his keynote address.

Dr Prikshit Bansal, Assistant Professor, IPR, NIPER, Mohali said following the TRIPS agreement and amendments in the Indian Patent Act, India was now part of a global treaty in which technological innovations were encouraged and protected.

Dr P.D. Kaushik, Associate Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi, Prof V.K. Bali of the National Informatics Centre, New Delhi, Dr Naresh Kumar, head, Research and Policy Development, CSIR, New Delhi, Mr T.C. James, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi, Dr Dharma Vir, Associate Director, Intellectual Property, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Prof Satish Kapoor, president, CMA, Prof S.K. Verma, team leader, EU-India TIDP, and Mr A. Sahasranaman, consultant and deputy programme coordinator, EU-India TIDP, also spoke on the occasion.



Bansal lays stones of 2 bridges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Union Minister of State for Finance Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal has laid the foundation stones of the bridge over the nullah at Gobindpura Road and another bridge over the nullah at Mansa Devi Road along with double-storeyed booths at Janta Rehri market, Manimajra, here today.

Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, Mr H.S.Khandola, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, councillors and officers of the MCC were also present on the occasion.

According to a spokesman of the MCC, the existing culvert at the Gobindpura road had been flooded due to excessive rainy water and water from other catchment areas. This flow over culvert created a lot of inconvenience to the traffic to cross the road.

The proposed bridge length at Gobindpura road is 30 feet having discharge of 55 cubic/second. The proposed bridge is designed as per IRC class A/70 R loading with bridge having carriage way of 40feet with footpath of 5feet on both sides.

The estimated cost of this work is Rs 42 lakh. Likewise, the existing culvert at Mansa Devi road had been flooded due to excessive rainy water and water from other catchment areas. The estimated cost of this work is Rs 23 lakh.

While giving information about the double-storeyed booths, the spokesman said the existing Janta Rehri Market in Manimajra was fire prone. Many rehris were burnt to ashes after a fire broke out in April 2000 and September 2003.

Accordingly, the demand was raised and it was resolved in the General House of the MC that persons who worked in Janta Rehri market, Manimajra, would be provided built up booth. 



Governor’s Gurpurb greetings

Chandigarh, November 4
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has extended greetings to the people of Punjab and Chandigarh on the occasion of Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev and called for “rededicating ourselves to his legacy of humanism, compassion and social equality.”

He said Guru Nanak Dev was a great spiritual master and propagated the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. — TNS



Karamchari sangh men hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Members of the Bhartiya Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh today organised a rally outside the FCI office in Sector 31 here in support of their demands.

Addressing the rally, Mr S.P. Sood and Mr Brijinder Bawa, organising secretary and state secretary, respectively, of the sangh, alleged that the appointment of McKinsey & Co as the consultant was a deliberate attempt to harm the interests of the employees.

The major demands of the employees included framing norms for the storage and transit loss, framing of staff norms and recruitment at the entry level, time-bound promotions, wage revision, an end to the outsourcing work and withdrawal of chargesheets.



Tribune Impact
NRIs come to patient’s rescue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A group of 10 NRI engineers from New York has come to the rescue of Vandna (16), a poor patient who is in need of a renal transplant at the PGIMER for the past one year. They have decided to donate $ 1121.

Mr Anurag Goel, a New York-based NRI from Barnala, after reading the story “Your magnanimity can save a life” on the Internet editions of Chandigarh Tribune on October 15, decided to help Vandna, who has been residing along with her widow mother Sandhya Devi and elder brother Arvinder Sharma (19) in a hutment in Janta Colony, Naya Gaon.

Good samaritan, Anurag Goel discussed the case with his Indian friends who pooled in money and sent it to one of their relatives in Barnala for Vandna’s treatment.

The NRIs who donated money are: Mr Anurag Goel ($ 200), Mr Anurag’s Office ($ 120), Mr Dharminder ($ 151), Mr Anil ($ 100), Mr Mukesh Kanda ($ 100), Mr Avtar ($ 100), Mr Inderpal ($ 100), Mr Devinder ($ 100), Mr Kirpal and Mr Jasbinder ($ 100) and Mr Deepak Mishra ($ 50). The money would be handed over to the family in a day or two, claimed Anurag’s relative who has received the money.

Meanwhile, Mrs Sandhya Devi, said the doctors had asked the family to arrange Rs 2 lakh for a renal transplant, besides other expenditure.

She said presently Vandna had been undergoing dialysis (twice a week) at a private hospital in Sector 16, causing an expenditure of over Rs 2,000, including Rs 950 per dialysis.

The family is in a desperate need of financial assistance and donations could be made to Sandhya Devi, House No 1103, Janta Colony, Naya Gaon, Punjab. Donors could also contact her at phone number - 0172-2785946.



Kidney patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Mr Gurmail Singh, a resident of Faridkot, who is suffering from renal failure, has been struggling for life. Unable to stand, Gurmail is undergoing treatment at the PGIMER for the past over seven months.

Being financially unstable, Gurmail Singh and his parents have been putting up at the PGI gurdwara. Langars have been organised by various people for them.

Though his mother, Mrs Gurcharan Kaur, has decided to donate her kidney for her son, the family is unable to bear the renal transplant cost of over Rs 1.5 lakh. The family had borrowed money for getting Gurmail’s dialysis at a private clinic. The family has been bearing expenses of over Rs 3000 a week.

The family is in desperate need of financial assistance. Donors can contact Mr Harsbans Singh, father of the patient at 09855676933.



2 youths in police net for Sarla's murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In the murder case of Sarla Rani Anand, 71-year-old woman in Sector 15, here, the police today arrested two more accused, Prakash and Mohammed Kadir, from near Sector 17 football stadium.

The police said the two youths, along with the arrested minor boy, had entered the house of the victim from the rear and strangulated her. Then they ransacked the entire house looking for valuables.

The police had claimed that the suspects were used to inhale the white fluid.

They, however, committed the mistake of leaving behind the vial of white fluid and a used condom. The police claimed that during investigations they found two more used condoms and several other bottles of white fluid on the terrace of the boy's house.


The police arrested Sukhnandan Singh, Jasbir Singh and Darshan Singh for allegedly assaulting Avtar Singh and Gurinder Singh in Burail here today. The victims, who were working in a gurdwara in Burail, were attacked with knives.

Body found

The body of a male child was found in the garden outside a house in Sector 34 here today. The body, wrapped in a cloth, was noticed by a gardener Buhre Lal, who informed the owner of the house. The police has registered a case under Section 318 of the IPC and is investigating the matter.


A 35-year-old woman resident of Palsora committed suicide by hanging herself in her house today. The deceased, who was married, had lost her girl child a few months ago.



Autorickshaw driver killed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
Rakesh Kumar, an autorickshaw driver, died in a head-on collision between his vehicle and a half-bodied truck on the Ramgarh-Barwala road, near Bhanu, here today.

The three-wheeler was on its way from Barwala to Panchkula. While the truck was on its way to Barwala. The driver fled from scene and investigations are on.



Super Cassettes claim to be on the top
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Super Cassettes Industries today claimed that it had been adjudged the country's number one music company in a survey recently conducted by the AC Nelsen Org-Marg.

Addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club here, the company's general manager, Mr Beni Kinha, said the company was the "largest producer of music" in the country.

He added that besides Hindi film music, the company was involved in the production of devotional, classical, folk and instrumental music.

Mr Kinha asserted that the company was offering licence at a nominal fee. He clarified that T-series was neither a member of the Phonographic Performance Limited nor that of Indian Performance Rights Society Limited. 



Cyber security: PEC team visits Bangalore, Mumbai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In order to achieve the goals and objectives being defined as part of setting up a regional cyber security research centre at PEC, Chandigarh, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary, IT, Chandigarh Administration, and a team of faculty members from Punjab Engineering College recently visited Mumbai and Bangalore.

Information regarding various dimensions of cyber security was gathered from the director, Cyber Security and Compliance (CSC), NASSCOM. Meetings were held with Dr Siva Kumar, Professor and head, CSC, IIT, Mumbai. The training of police officers in investigating cyber crimes at Thane was also seen by the team.

Mr Manjit Brar, Director, Information Technology, accompanied the PEC team which visited Bangalore and studied the criteria of the research labs being set up at IISC, Bangalore.

UNITECH gets park project

UNITECH Ltd gave the highest bid — Rs 5.50 crore as annual licence fee and 1.1 per cent of the gross annual revenue — and would execute the theme park project. The other two companies shortlisted were M/s DLF Limited and M/s Pantaloon Limited.

The project, envisaged to attract about 10 lakh tourists to Chandigarh every year, will be ready within two years.

It will come up on 73 acres near Sarangpur village. The Administration will continue to own the land and the developer will only be entitled to utilise the land on the payment of annual rent plus a percentage of the gross annual revenue from the project. The facilities will include world class entertainment facilities, food courts and restaurants, retail/shopping facility, green spaces, cycling tracks and facilities, small AC buses for tours within the park.

Better governance

The Administration has initiated an exercise to further improvise governance. It includes the re-engineering of the business processes of all departments of UT and thereafter making the same IT enabled.

Though all UT departments will be covered under this initiative yet some key departments have been identified to be taken up in phase I, where the interaction with residents is more. These are Estate Office, Municipal Corporation, Urban Planning, Engineering, Police, Finance and Transport.

The Department of Information Technology has initiated steps in this direction and a blueprint for the same has been prepared.



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