C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Why sell liquor cheap, asks Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The UT Excise and Taxation Department Customer today directed liquor contractors not to sell liquor below the minimum retail price (MRP).

There have been complaints that certain liquor contractors have lowered the prices of different brands of whisky to woo customers, says an official in the Excise Department.

The retailers have been categorically told not to offer popular brands of whisky at prices below the MRP, as fixed by the UT Excise and Taxation Department.

The message to the retailers was conveyed at a review meeting chaired by the Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr I.S. Sandhu, today.

Sources in the liquor trade say with the introduction of the new system of licensing, the licencee are ready to lower their profit margins.

The price war is more evident in areas where more than one liquor shop is located in the vicinity.

If a customer opted to buy a case of 12 bottles, the discount offered at times is up to 30 per cent.

“Even the department does not object to the trend of retailers of charging for 10 bottles for a case of 12 bottles,” says a contractor.

The sources reveal that the Excise Department has allowed a margin of around 40 per cent to the retailers. But due to a number of new entrants, the profit margin is being lowered to boost sales.

It can also result in liquor contractors lifting stocks from another and still make profit, says a contractor.



Disability, depression led him to crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
This is one criminal no one wants to punish. A deaf-and-dumb resident of Burail village who turned ‘snatcher’ to procure liquor is now in police custody. Not even the policemen have much to say against him.

The alleged snatcher, Rajinder Singh, who was born deaf and dumb to a government employee, was happily living with his deaf-and-dumb wife, when one day, his wife died and his life changed for the worse. He took to drinking after going into depression over his wife’s death.

“My wife left behind a five-year-old daughter Juliee. But I was too depressed to look after her as I was left alone in my silent world,” said Rajinder (36), an electrician by profession.

On witnessing his drinking habit, he was literally isolated by his parents and they started taking care of his daughter.

Inspector Jagbir Singh, Station House Officer, Sector 17, said it was a challenge to question a deaf-and-dumb snatcher. “We had to call an expert to converse with him. We found that he was not a professional criminal,” said the SHO.

This correspondent, with great difficulty, conversed with him through sign language. He kept on indicating that he had landed in trouble because of a deaf- and-dumb friend whose scooter he had used in the snatching incident.

Investigations by the police reveal that a group of deaf-and-dumb youths often gathered in Sector 23 to converse with each other. It was there that Rajinder got in touch with other boys and developed a taste for liquor. “Since he did not have a major source of income, he snatched the purse,” said a police official.



An oasis beside a desert
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Just a kilometer apart from each other on the Patiala ki Rao choe, the two artificial lakes, part of an ambitious project undertaken by the Chandigarh Administration in the Union Territory in April, tell two different stories.

Though the rain god has been unkind this season, the lakes are in stark contrast to one another.

While the lake in the forest behind Panjab University is brimful of water accentuated by lush-green landscape, the other under construction near the Botanical Garden, just a kilometer away, continues to be a dry bed and with barren surroundings.

Interestingly, work on both the projects had commenced almost simultaneously — in April.

Although rainfall — a prerequisite for sustaining water level in water bodies — has been abysmally low this season, the lake in the forest area has been able to retain an average of five feet of water.

Deputy Conservator Forests Ishwar Singh says: “The heavy forest cover in the area leads to better water retention. Earlier, the water flowed into the Ghaggar. But now it has come up well as a lake.”

The lake in the forest area behind Panjab University is spread around 12 acres and may grow up to 15 acres, making it the second biggest lake in the city after Sukhna (around 360 acres).

The lake adjoining the Botanical Garden is spread across eight acres. As the Botanical Garden is still coming up, the green cover support to the lake there is lesser as compared to the one in the forest.

The biggest common benefit from both the lakes will be conserving clean water, away from the adjoining dirty waters of Patiala ki Rao.

The natural charge of groundwater level is another benefit of the project.

Mr Singh says the benefits of natural conservation of water are far greater than those emerging from the promotion of eco-tourism in the area.

The lake in the forest area was a water hole before, a drinking water ground for wild animals in the forest.

The catchment area of the new water body is around 250 acres with a dense plantation of “khair”, “keekar” and “peepal”, besides other local varieties.

Local resident Resham Singh said: “We have seen hares, neelgai, sambar, wild boar and pangolin in the area, besides a wide range of avian population.”



Watch out

Dr V.D. Singh, a city-based plastic surgeon, has gone to New York to attend a cutting-edge symposium on advances in Aesthetic Plastic surgery from Saturday. The symposium is considered to be the most advanced and comprehensive aesthetic plastic surgery symposium that covers all aspects of advances in cosmetic plastic surgery. Dr V.D. Singh is the only plastic surgeon from North India to participate in this prestigious symposium.



In Town

Ustad Arshad Khan, New Delhi-based ghazal maestro, is in the city for a ghazal concert at the Pracheen Kala Kendra. The concert is being organised as a part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the kendra.

Born in a family of musicians, Arshad Khan is the son and disciple of maestro Ustad Allauddin Khan of the Delhi gharana. Arshad has shared the stage with the leading exponents of music both in India and abroad like Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Reshma and Robert Miller.



Commuters harassed as buses discontinued
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, November 10
Hundreds of commuters in the Dera Bassi subdivision are a harassed lot. With the Punjab Roadways allegedly discontinuing buses on certain link routes in the subdivision, the commuters are facing great hardship in reaching their destinations.

The closure of the Ghaggar bridge has only added to the woes of the commuters, including students and government employees,as certain buses running between Ambala and Chandigarh have allegedly been suspended temporarily. They are unlikely to be restored till the strategic bridge is either repaired or a parallel bridge comes up as part of the four-laning project on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

Villagers allege that among the bus routes which have been discontinued are the Chandigarh-Handesra (via Lalru-Dera Bassi), Chandigarh-Chandiala (via Dera Bassi), Chandigarh-Sundra (via Dera Bassi-Mubarikpur), and Chandigarh-Samgoli (via Dera Bassi). Only the buses on one route from Patiala to Lalru is running.

“Earlier commuting between Dera Bassi and Chandigarh was economical as the monthly pass did not cost much. Now besides inconvenience, we have to shell out more for travelling between the two cities,” alleges Sachin Sharma, a student.

Besides students, the other daily commuters such as government employees are at the receiving end of the government decision. With government buses off the road, mini-bus operators and three-wheeler owners fleece the commuters, complains Mr Baljit Singh, a government employee.

In fact, reaching any village around Dera Bassi has become a Herculean task. Earlier Handesra could be reached direct from Chandigarh. However, now one has to first alight at Zirakpur and reach Dera Bassi either through a three-wheeler. One can reach Handesra either by a three-wheeler or a mini-bus, wasting money and time.

Buses on these routes, which are the major means of transport for the common man, were started during the tenure of the then Finance Ministers, Mr Hans Raj Sharma and Capt Kanwaljit Singh, on the demands of the people for their convenience.

Official sources claim that certain routes have been discontinued in the wake of the government policy as they are not economically viable. The Chandigarh-Ambala buses, which have been suspended temporarily, will be restored once heavy vehicular traffic is restored on the Ghaggar bridge, say sources.



Conference at CRRID
‘Despite hi-tech media, social issues ignored’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Prominent media personalities today discussed the role of information and communication technology in the process of peace and development during the ongoing International Conference on Peace and Development in the memory of P.N. Haksar at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here.

Stating that modern information and communication technologies (ITC) have a strong impact on competitiveness and all social aspects of life in advanced economies, Dr Teimuraz Kancheli, Head of the Resource Centre of Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, added that policymakers and business leaders increasingly recognize the need to leverage the potential of ITC to accelerate development, productivity and growth across all sectors.

He said that the use of ITC for development is fast becoming an important component of overall national development and competitive strategies. In today’s digital era, transformation of developing countries’ economies into globally competitive and connected economies is a key, he added.

In her talk, Dr Christina Sargsyan from the international Center for Human Development, Armenia, said that ITC, which is a double-edged innovation, can be a powerful tool to address a number of issues, or it can become yet another lost potential.During the session, chaired by Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Age, Mr M.J. Akbar, noted TV critic Ms Amita Malik raised several issues concerning the media in India. She spoke on the “declining” role of the editor, “tyranny” of the advertisers, trial by media and the growing page-3 phenomenon.

Stressing that Indian media is still vibrant and conscious of its freedom, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, however, regretted that social issues are not being adequately covered.

Developmental issues in Kashmir are not being covered, nor is the media giving requisite attention to matters like the caste system, criminalisation of politics and corruption, he said, while chairing a session. He also rued the fact that to fill time, TV channels resort to repetition of news or running items which are “non news”.

Resident Editor of the Indian Express, Mr Vipin Pubby, said that the north-eastern (NE) part of the country hardly finds representation in the mainstream media.

Pointing out that there were only 25 Members of Parliament representing all seven NE states as compared to 81 from just Uttar Pradesh alone, he said that whatever happens there does not get projected at a national level.



‘Palace on Wheels’ between Delhi and Amritsar
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Logged on to a programme of development, Secretary, Tourism, in the Union Ministry of Tourism, Mr A.K. Mishra, is working out the modalities for having a “Palace on Wheels” between Delhi and Amritsar that will pass through Kurukshetra.

In Chandigarh for attending a three-day annual convention organised by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), Mr Mishra says he has already held a discussion in this regard with Haryana’s Minister of State for Tourism Kiran Choudhary. The Tribune is the media sponsor of the convention.

The government, he asserts, has also come up with a viability funding plan. Organisations, under the scheme, can team up with the state agencies and submit proposals for projects like the setting up of theme parks, golf courses, or even for floating cruise liners. If viable, the government will provide funds for the projects.

The Secretary says setting up new projects in the field of tourism and hospitality is just not enough. The ones already established need to be maintained with private-public partnership. “The government is spending huge amounts to upgrade the infrastructure and set up projects of public conveniences, but there is hardly any system of preserving and maintaining the same,” he says.

A visit to some of the monuments and heritage sites across the country provides a testimony to this effect. The Centre leaves it on the state governments to 
maintain the sites.

They, in turn, depend upon the already cash-strapped municipal bodies for the maintenance. In the end, you see dirt, filth and unhygienic conditions all around the place. Even a place like Arga is not an exception. As such, the possibility of private-public participation needs to be explored for maintaining world class standards

Stressing upon the need for better and affordable accommodation for the local tourists, the Secretary says against four million international tourists, there are 3.60 million Indians travelling across the country. They too are entitled to decent places for staying.

Quoting figures the Secretary says tourism has increased by whopping 62 per cent during the last two or three years following competition of private airlines, besides the open sky policy of the government.

The setting up of “Special Tourist Zones” across the country will further give tourism a boost. Once the zones come into existence, the authorities concerned and the state governments will make the land available through single-window system.

Though he does not specify, the sources in the Ministry assert that the zones are being set up at six locations across the country, including the Goa area.

The Secretary, meanwhile, adds that the National Highway Authority and the state governments have also been asked to chip in by improving and upgrading the road network. 



Cops harmed image of admn: GMADA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 10
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has said the incident of stone throwing by residents of the Nehru Colony on November 7, in which GMADA officials and the police had to withdraw hastily, had harmed the image of the 

Souces said today that the GMADA authorities had written a letter to the Mohali SSP, that the police failed to make adequate security arrangements for the GMADA staff which went to block the illegal passage in the wall separating the Nehru Colony in the Chandigarh area and Phase IIIA of Mohali.

The GMADA authorities stated in the letter that no women police personnel were made available at the scene, with the result that mishievous elements in the colony gathered women residents to obstruct the work of closing the illegal breach in the boundary wall.

Residents of the colony then indulged in stone throwing at the GMADA staff in the presence of the inadequate police force, which failed to provide the necessary security.

The sources said directions for providing adequate security arrangements were issued by the Deputy Commissioner to the SSP 
on November 3.

Earlier, a request was also made in writing to the SSP regarding security by the Additional Chief Administrator of the GMADA on October 23.

Meanwhile, the police booked residents of the Nehru Colony on charges of attempt to murder, preventing a public servant from performing his duty and rioting. 



All is not well
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
It is a ward which has quiet a few posh sectors to its credit, apart from the most happening markets these days. However, ward 1, which comprises sectors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11 and Sukhna Lake (before delimitation), has its fair share of problems, too.

The ward approximately has 28,000 voters. The roads, which have recently been recarpeted, offer a smooth ride to the traveller. However, residents of a few sectors are upset with the neglect shown to theirs.

As in the case of sector 2, where in the residents complain of stepmotherly treatment as compared to other sectors.

Residents of sector 7, though happy with the recent development of green belts, are hoping that backlanes of their markets will be developed and recarpeted. Members of the market association of sector 7 have also called for improvement in backlanes besides construction of public toilets in the market.

“People visiting the markets are inconvenienced. The Administration has notified land for the purpose, but no efforts are being made for the work to be completed.”

Residents of sector 8 and sector 9, though happy with the overall upkeep of the sectors, are not to happy with the traffic and parking situation in their sectors.



SDO found guilty of delaying information
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The Central Information Commissioner (CIC), Mr Wajahat Habibullah, has held the SDO (Building), Estate Office, responsible for delay in supplying information to Mr S.K. Bagga, who had sought information about a Sector house.

The application, who had sought information under the Right to Information Act, was not given complete information and that, too, after a delay.

Directing the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Estate Office, to provide full information to the applicant within 15 days from the date of issuing of the orders, the CIC has further directed the CPIO to show cause the SDO (Building) asking him as to why a penalty at a rate of Rs 250 per day with effect from July 25, 2006, imposed on him. The penalty will be from the date on which the matter was referred to the CPIO to the date on which the information was actually supplied to the appellant, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000.

Mr Bagga had applied to the Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO) on May 8, 2006, seeking detail copies of a letter issued to Metre the Instrument Cooperative House Building Society, letter of allotment, lease deed executed between the Estate Office and the cooperative society through its president, lease executed between the cooperative society and its members and date of submission plan and complete data.

After receiving no information, Mr Bagga first appealed before the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Appellate Authority. Following this, he was given incomplete information. But despite a reminder, complete information was not provided.



‘Samarthya’ concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The “Samarthya-2006”, a national-level exhibition on aids, appliances and services for elderly people and those with disabilities at Circus Grounds, concluded here yesterday. Minister of State for Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Subbulakshmi Jagdeeshan presided over the valedictory function.

Chief Commissioner of Disabilities Manoj Kumar, senior officials of the state and the CCI, including Principal Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment of Himachal Pradesh Bhim Sen, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ashish Kumar and Commissioner Disabilities (Haryana) Baldev Karora, were also present.

The visitors had access to mobile courts for redressing of grievance of persons with disabilities, free eye/ear and IQ testing, medical check-up, counselling for backaches, joint pains, learning difficulties of children and other rehabilitation issues, free fitting and distribution of aids and appliances to persons with disabilities and issuance of disability certificate.



Jagannath rath yatra today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The local chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) will take out the annual Lord Jagannath rath yatra in Chandigarh tomorrow and Panchkula on November 12. A large number of ISKCON devotees from India and abroad will participate in the rath yatra, according to H.G. Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, president of local unit of ISKCON.

The rath yatra will start at 1 pm tomorrow from President Hotel, Sector 26, and pass through Sectors 27-28, 27, 19, 18, 17-18, 21-22, 22 and 22-23. It will conclude at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, Chandigarh in the evening.

The yatra will start at 1 pm on November 12, from the NAC Market, Manimajra, and pass through Sectors 7, 7-8, 8-17, 9-16, 10-15, 15, 15-14, 10-11, and 10-5 and culminate at Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Sector 9, Panchkula.



Muslim bodies form joint front
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Various Muslim organisations of the city have decided to form a joint front to take up the major problems of the Muslim community in the city in particular and others in general.

The newly formed body has been named the Federation of Muslim Societies Chandigarh and elected Mr Khalil Ahmed, president of the Muslim Welfare Society, as president of the front. Whereas Mohammad Shakir, president of the Muslim Welfare Movement, has been appointed as spokesperson of the front. The other office bearers will be elected later.

The organisations who have joined the front include the Muslim Welfare Movement, Muslim Welfare Committee Burail, Muslim Welfare Society Maloya, Anjumane Falahul Awan, Anhjumant Islamai Imdad Society, UT Thekedar Welfare Association, Muslim Welfare Committee, Muslim Sherak Committee, Muslim Welfare Society, Mukarram Ahmed Lawyers Association.

Addressing a press conference today to announce the formation of this front, Mohammad Shakir stated that they would be requesting the governor to nominate two persons from their community in the upcoming MCC elections. Stating that their community had a sizeable population in the city, Shakir said their problems and grievances needed to be addressed and thus there was a need for their community to be represented in the MCC.

Meanwhile, the front announced that they were not too keen to stand for the upcoming MCC elections, as their chances of winning were limited. "Our chances of winning are not many and we would not like to spoil the party seat," stated Mr Ahmed.



Two-day sammelan from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
In order to spread the message of national integrity, brotherhood and world peace, a two-day 16th Hari Nam Sammelan will be held at Sector 45-D here from November 11, followed by bhandara, according to Yogi Rup Nath Bachchan, the organiser.

Saints who will grace the occasion include Padmawati, Mahant Yogi Usha Nath, Mahant Suraj Nath, Dhyatma Nand Maharaj and Bhushan Lal. The main programmes include nagar sankirtan (5.30 a.m.); havan (8 a.m.); jyoti prachand: (9.30 p.m.); and discourse.



Nagar kirtan on Nov 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
A nagar kirtan will be taken out on November 22 to mark the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Nagar Kirtan Tal Mel Committee here yesterday.

The procession will start from the Sector 22 gurdwara and pass through Sectors 17, 8, 7, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, Batra chowk and Sector 37 market before culminating at the Sector 38 gurdwara (Shahpur) around 8 pm, Maj N.S. Rangi (retd), committee convener, said in a statement.



2 property dealers booked for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
A case of cheating, deceiving, forgery, tresspassing and criminal conspiracy has been registered against Sanjay Jain, a resident of Sector 8, Tarninder Singh, a resident of Sector 9-both property dealers. The case has been registered on a complaint by Mr Jitender Singh, a resident of Panchkula.

Though the first information report (FIR) has been registered under Sections 406, 420, 448, 468 and 120 B of the IPC at Sector 17 police station, no arrest has been made so far.

Suspect identified

The police Operation Cell has identified a Nigerian, who had booked a parcel containing 1 kg and 400 grams of cocaine for Holland. Inspector Vijay Kumar, in charge of the Operation Cell, said raids were being conducted to track down the suspects.

The police has found that some of the members of the gang, who had dispatched the parcel, were earlier also involved in cases of the NDPS.

PMET paper leak suspect arrested

The special cell of the Chandigarh Police has arrested Jaipreet Singh, the kingpin in the PMET question paper leak scam, from the city. The prime suspect, working as a machine man in Lucknow, had managed to get photostat copies of the question paper.

Two more suspects, Ram Bhadhur and Ashok, are still wanted by the police. So far 14 persons have been arrested by the police in the scam.

It may be recalled that the PMET question paper of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, was leaked in July. 



Three held on theft charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
With the arrest of three persons, the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police today busted a gang of thieves and robbers. At least two .315 pistols and seven cartridges were recovered from the suspects, said Inspector Satbir Singh, in charge of the Crime Branch.

The arrested robbers, Dharmender Singh, Sandeep and Ranjit, all residents of Colony No. 5, were arrested while moving under suspicious circumstances near the PSIEC Housing Society, Sector 49, here. However, two members of the gang escaped.



Harassment charge proved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
A magisterial inquiry conducted into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by a contractual woman employee of the Excise Department against an Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr S.P. Kansal, has reportedly proved the charges.

The inquiry was conducted by the SDM (East), Ms Swati Sharma, on the directions of the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Kansal claimed that no action had been taken by the department on his complaint on September 13, 2006, against the woman, made much before the magisterial inquiry was marked.



Cash stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 10
A sum of Rs 1.20 lakh was allegedly stolen from a car parked in front of the Municipal Bhavan in Sector 68 here today.

A junior engineer of the municipal council, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, complained to the police that the money hand been withdrawn by him from a bank in Phase VII.

He said he was going to his village and parked his car in front of the office building to hand over keys to a colleague.

He left the amount in the car and when he returned in a short while, he found that the lock of the vehicle had been broken and the money was missing.

Scooter stolen

A scooter was reported stolen from Phase IV.

Ms Sunita Sharma complained to the police that she had parked her Activa Honda scooter in front of her house around 8 p.m. after coming from the market.

Around 9.30 p.m. when she went out to park the vehicle inside the premises, she found the scooter missing.

The police registered a case in this regard.

Snatching case

An 84-year-old woman was deprived of her gold earring by two youths in Phase X on Friday.

According to the police, Ms Swaran Kaur was sitting on a charpoi in front of her house when two youths arrived on a motor cycle.

One of the youths stood at a distance with the motor cycle while the other snatched her earrings and both fled.

5 arrested

The police arrested five persons on the charge of indulging in satta in the garb of running a Punjab state lottery.

According to the police, Rs 30,000 was recovered from them.

They were booked under Section 420 of the IPC and gambling Act.



17-year-old looted

Dera Bassi, November 10
Taking a lift cost a 17-year-old boy dear yesterday.

Harjit Singh, a resident of nearby Pandwala village, who took a lift in an Alto car from Mubarikpur to Zirakpur, was first allegedly made unconscious by the three occupants of the car, looted of Rs 1,200 and subsequently abandoned near the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh.

After getting into the car, Harjit was allegedly served tea laced with drugs by the car’s occupants at a roadside shop near Zirakpur. After taking the tea, Harjit reportedly fell unconscious and when he regained consciousness he found himself abandoned near the lake. — TNS



Youth stabbed
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, November 10
A youth in his early twenties was stabbed by unidentified persons near the Chander Hospital on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway this evening.

Ravi was repeatedly stabbed with a knife by four or five persons when he was standing along the road.

He was first taken to the local civil hospital, but seeing his serious condition, he was shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.



2 held on theft charge

Panchkula, November 10
The police has arrested two chain snatchers and auto lifters. During interrogation, the suspects, Sandeep alias Sonu and Deepak Kumar alias Kalu, have confessed to stealing a Maruti car from the parking of the Wah Delhi Restaurant in Sector 5 here and a motor cycle.

They have also confessed their role in at least eight chain snatchings, purse snatchings and mobile thefts.

The police said they were also involved in looting, snatching and vehicle thefts in Ambala, Zirakpur and Chandigarh. — TNS



Fake currency seized

Chandigarh, November 10
The police nabbed an official of the Punjab National Bank and recovered 33 fake notes of Rs 1000 denomination.

The incident took place yesterday. TNS



Railways, BSNL tie-up on info service
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Chugging on the fast track of development, the Indian Railways has tied up with the BSNL for setting up a dial-up-information service that will cater to the data needs of over 20 lakh people on an average daily. Besides this, a luxury train between Himachal Pradesh and Jaipur via Amritsar and Wagah is likely to roll on the tracks in near future.

Attending a three-day annual convention organised by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), Director of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) R.K. Saxena said the railways have also worked out the modalities for setting up 100 budget hotels across the country, including one at Chandigarh. The sites have been identified and tenders floated. The accommodation would be available at an affordable price ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 a day.

It was also setting up fast food plazas in the country at prime locations. For the purpose of setting up the projects, the Railways have 3.4 lakh hectares all over the country. “Rather, half of Connaught Place is with us,” he asserted, adding that private-public partnership was the key to success.

Giving details of the dial-up service, Mr Saxena said by pressing 1-3-9 people across the country will not only manage to get details of the Railways, but also information about other tourism related issues like car rental and hotels not just in Indian, but also abroad.



Hoteliers get traditional welcome
Tribune News Service

Models sashay during a fashion show for the delegates of the Federation of Hotelier and Restaurant Association of India at the Himachal Bhavan, Sector 28, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Models sashay during a fashion show for the delegates of the Federation of Hotelier and Restaurant Association of India at the Himachal Bhavan, Sector 28, Chandigarh, on Friday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 10
Rhythmic notes flowing out of flute and thumping beats of drums filled the air as musicians performed live to accord a traditional welcome to at least 400 hoteliers in Chandigarh for attending a three-day convention, inaugurated at Hotel Mountview this morning.

Announcement by Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) regarding the initiation of process for setting up the film city in Chandigarh within a fortnight was the highlight of the day.

As the delegates arrived in limousines and semi-limousines to attend the convention, organised by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, young artistes clad in conventional bhangra and giddha dresses swayed enthusiastically to lend an air of festivity to the event. The Tribune is the media sponsor of the convention.

Though hectic, the day had its moments. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in a lighter vein, staked a claim on Chandigarh. Talking to General Rodrigues, he said Chandigarh belonged to Haryana. “If the Governor agrees, we will do everything to develop it,” he said.



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