C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

UT amends rules to remove SEZ bottlenecks
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The Chandigarh Administration has amended the rules relating to allotment of sites at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP).

This amendment has been made in conformity with the SEZ Act/Rules according to which the allotment in any SEZ should be made only on leasehold basis.

Since the administration had allotted land to companies on freehold basis and SEZ Rules were enacted after the allotment, there was an anomaly.

With this latest amendment, the administration has removed the anomaly and as per Rule 12 of the new Chandigarh Technology Park Rules-2006, previous allottees will be able to convert their freehold allotments to leasehold allotments which will entitle them to SEZ benefits.

It was because of this reason that the allottees were not starting the construction of their units. Now, as this anomaly has been removed, the process of grant of letters of approval by the SEZ Board will be facilitated and the units will soon get the SEZ status.

The allottees were interested in the change of the said rules as it was estimated that their capital costs would be reduced to the extent of 30 to 35 per cent through exemption from various taxes, duties etc as applicable to SEZs.

The notification reads: "The existing allottee, who has been allotted land on freehold basis in the park under CTP Rules, shall have an option to get his allotment site converted from freehold basis into leasehold basis, which shall be co- terminus with a period of approval of the SEZ.

"The allottee will be charged a ground rent of Rs 1,000 per acre per year. After the letter of expiry of the SEZ status, the allottee, who has earlier exercised the option of converting from freehold to leasehold, can reconvert into freehold after paying the conversion fees, within six months of the expiry of the status."

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr M.S.Brar, Director IT, said: "With the recent amendment, a huge number of projects are set to take off in the very near future and the results will be visible within six months."

Infosys Technologies, IBM Daksh, Net Solutions, Outerbay, Virsa Systems were already operational in RGCTP and recently several new IT companies had started their operations from the IT Park, he added.

The recent additions to the DLF campus were Onicra, Taurus Agile, Winshuttle and ICICI Prudential. Tech Mahindra and eSys, which had been allotted land in the Phase II, would also start their operations on the DLF campus. Their sites in DLF campus were under construction, he said.

Mr Brar said the project implementation involved two 'Letter of Approvals', one of which was for the project developer (Chandigarh Administration) and the other one was for the unit.

The 'Letter of Approval' for the Phase I was issued early next year and for Phase II, the same would be issued by the Ministry of Commerce within a week as the Board of Approval had already given the approval for SEZ status to the Phase II of the RGCTP, he informed.

Strenuous efforts are being made by the Department of IT in minimising the procedural wrangling by actively coordinating with the SEZ authorities in Noida. This will help the projects to roll out early.

More than 60 per cent of the DLF campus has already been occupied and according to sources, a very big IT MNC is negotiating with the DLF for more than 70,000 sq feet space on the DLF campus.

The outcome of these negotiations is expected next month which can change the face of the IT park.



Bonanza time for UT slum-dwellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
In a bid to shift 800 families of slum dwellers of Madrasi Colony, Sector 26, to newly constructed one-room tenements in Sector 56, a special three-day camp is being organised by the Chandigarh Administration.

Beginning from November 16 at Aganwadi Centre, Sector 26, all the issuse related to verification of allottees, issuing of water and electricity connection and issuing of bank loans would be addressed under one roof.

To facilitate the speedy disposal of cases, officials of the Estate Office, the Chandigarh Housing Board, the Engineering Department and bank officials would be sitting at one place.

The decision was taken at meeting of senior officials held yesterday. Those people would be eligible for allotment whose name figures in the bio-matrix survey and the voter list of January 2006.

“The one-room tenements in Sector 56 are ready for possession. The allottee would have to pay Rs 800 as monthly rent and those who fail to pay the rent for two consecutive months will have to vacate the premises”, said a senior official.

To ensure that the dwelling units are not sold further, a smart card would be issued to the allottee. The dwelling unit would be transferred in the name of the allottee after a gap of 21 years, subject to verification that the units had not been sold.

The administration was also shifting slums dwellers from Sector 25 and Industrial Area to a temporary site in Sector 51.



UT rehabilitation plan may run into rough weather
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The Chandigarh Administration's grandiose plans to resettle inhabitants of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, and Colony Number 4 by providing them one-room tenements at soon-to-be constructed complexes at Dhanas and Maloya could run into a legal wall. The land owners in Dhanas, whose lands are being acquired for the purpose of construction of the resettlement colonies, have challenged the UT move in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Hearing of the mater is fixed for November 20. The UT Administration plans to acquire over 160 acres of land in village Dhanas for the purpose of constructing one-room tenements to house the inhabitants of 18 illegal slum colonies in the city.

As per the UT plan, each family that is allotted a tenement will have to pay Rs 1,000 per month as rent. After a period of 20 years, the family would be given the option of buying the house for a lumpsum payment, which could depend upon the market value of the property at that time. However, the present residents of village Dhanas, in their petition, have pointed out that a majority of the previously constructed one-room tenements at village Palsora, which were also meant for the same purpose, are still unoccupied. The petitioners have stated that in the early 90s the UT Administration acquired 16.68 acres in Mani Majra, 66.56 in Palsora and some land in Mauli Jagran. Saying that despite passage of almost 15 years, the entire land has not been utilised, the petitioners have prayed that directions be issued to the Administration to not acquire further land without making full use of the lands that were acquired earlier. An important issue raised by the petitioners is the failure of the UT Administration to seek the consent of the panchayat of village Dhanas before deciding to begin the acquisition process.

Citing the various provisions of the Constitution, they have asserted that rural housing is a function of the panchayat and the Administration has no power to destroy the normal life of the village by dumping thousands of encroachers there. They have also stated that by taking the decision to acquire their land and settle encroachers of public land there, the Administration has violated their civil rights without bothering to seek their opinion. Meanwhile, reacting to today's report in The Tribune headlined 'UT rehabilitation policy draws flak', a top functionary of the UT Administration said the policy to resettle the encroachers by allotting them still-to-be constructed one-room tenements has been taken after due diligence.

"We have arrived at this decision after a lot of thought. We couldn't have simply uprooted these people by force,” he said.



“Molestation”: Principal, DPI in denial mode
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Controversy shrouding the alleged "molestation" of a girl student of the Sector-16 Government Model Senior Secondary School got a new turn with some key factors raising strong doubts over the versions given by both the Education Department and the school Principal. Senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Education Department neither denied nor confirmed the reports. They maintained throughout that it was a case of a “mentally upset and non-performing child” being reported to the Psychiatry Department of the PGI.

While Mr Ram Kumar, Principal of the school, showed total ignorance about the incident, saying that “nothing of the sort happened on our school premises”, investigations indicated otherwise.

The controversial Physical Education teacher, who was shifted to the junior wing on the complaint of a girl three years ago, was again temporarily posted in the senior wing. This posting in senior wing was from July to November 2 this year. "The reports are frivolous and based on false assumptions. I am responsible for everything that happens on school premises. Had such a thing happened, I would not have spared the teacher concerned," maintains Mr Ram Kumar.

"The child is mentally upset and is under treatment at Psychiatric Department of the PGI. She is an introvert by nature. I cannot say why she has to become so violent all of a sudden," said the Principal.

Principal Ram Kumar maintained that the girl along with a woman came to his office just 15 days ago, and she was very violent then.

“On seeing her condition, I called her class teacher and parents and we immediately shifted her to the PGI. She is under treatment since then,” he said. Her class teacher, Ms Sukhneer, seconded the Principal's statement and said: “The girl was average at studies and underperformed in the September tests and she was very upset about it. This must be one of the reasons that she lost the mental balance, I suppose.” Investigations by The Tribune team revealed that it all started about three years back.

The “controversial” teacher had allegedly tried to make advances towards the girl. When she informed her parents and the Principal of the school, the teacher was immediately transferred to the junior wing. This behaviour of her Physical Education teacher, sources reveal, was probably the cause of her "illness".

The reason for her fresh bout of "unprovoked violent conduct" was the retransfer of the accused teacher to coach the girls for volleyball in the senior wing of the school and the girl got provoked on seeing him again on the premises.

A close associate of the girl, who supposedly accompanied the girl to the Principal's office, prior to her being taken to the PGI said: “When the Principal asked her what happened to her, she got agitated and shouted at him saying that he knew everything and that she had told him earlier also.”

The teacher, who is under cloud, reacted sharply to media reports. “I am shocked to see the news reports in the morning. I fail to understand who raised these allegations and why?” he asked.

He, however, maintained that he had been working with the junior wing of GMSSS-16 for the past three years and had not met any student of the senior wing since then. He also denied the reports that he was transferred to junior wing because of any incident of similar nature. The DPI (Schools) also denied knowledge of any such event. He maintained that even the Principal of the school had denied occurrence of any such untoward incident.

Attempts by the Chandigarh Tribune to reach the girl or her parents were unsuccessful.



Kingpin in PMET leak case held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The special crime investigation cell of the Chandigarh police today arrested Ram Bhadur, the kingpin of the inter-state gang that was allegedly involved in leaking question papers of the Punjab pre-medical entrance test (PMET), from the Sector 17 ISBT, here.

According to Sub-Inspector Harinder Singh Sekhon, Ram Bhadur was arrested from the bus stand following secret information. Ram Bhadur’s brother Veer Balak was arrested by the local police on Monday. Earlier the police had arrested Jay Jeet, the machine man of the Maxwell printing press at Lucknow.

SI Sekhon said Ram Bhadur was a student at the Career Dental College in Lucknow and his brother Veer Balak was working as a technician in the same college. They came into contact with Jay Jeet while playing volleyball with him in Lucknow.

After striking a rapport with Jay Jeet, they lured him to steel question papers from the printing press, where he was working. Balak had treated Jay Jeet’s daughter for a dental problem and did not charge anything from him, and by doing this, he won his trust.



Rape accused in police net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The local police today managed to arrest a man accused of raping an 18-year-old maid on the pretext of marrying her last week.

Narrating the sequence of events that led to the arrest of the accused, Inspector Sukhdev Singh Bhullar, SHO of the Sector-19 police station, said the accused, Sham, had gone to Nabha in Punjab and began working there.

The police gathered information from his associates and found his telephone number. Then, the police asked the victim to contact him and ask him to come to meet her. Sham today agreed to meet her in Sector 19 and was caught.



Watch out

Paintings of Madan Lal, an eminent local artist, are featuring in the ongoing exhibition at Daisevu Art Gallery, Colaba, Mumbai.

Madan Lal is the Assistant Director at the Design Institute of Punjab. He is a passout from the Chandigarh College of Art. His last group exhibition was in September at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi. His work also featured in the Art Folio in October earlier this year.



In Town

Neeta Lulla is one of the Hindi film industry’s most respected fashion designers whose clientele ranges from Aishwarya Rai to even a stalwart like Zohra Sehgal. A graduate in Dressmaking Apparel Construction from PV Polytechnic SNDT University in Mumbai in 1985, she actually started her career assisting Jeanne Nowroji, who was India’s leading choreographer in the 1980s. A choreograper she may have wanted to be but ended up designing costumes for ‘Tamacha’, starring Kumi Katkar and there was no looking back. Since then she has designed for over 300 films, including the much-applauded ‘Devdas’ recently and even a Hollywood production. She is also the face of the Fashion Technology Park (FTP) in Mumbai and is scouting for new talent to build the FTP’s talent pool.



Passing Through

This is your first visit to India. What are you hoping to see, emerge from the fashion forum you are attending in the city?

I am very interested in any new thinking that will spring up. Fashion has been around forever but the difference is that in the last ten years new talent is emerging and that is throwing up a whole new set of questions on how we are to manage this growth within the fashion industry if we have to sustain it.

Can you tell us a little about your role in the industry in Canada?

Our role is to create a higher profile for the fashion designers market. For that we started the Fashion Week in Canada 12 seasons ago which has now become the calling card for our country in terms of a style statement globally. Every country needs to market itself properly if it has to compete.

Why is fashion not taken seriously?

It may be because fashion designers are like artists so no-one really understands them. But there is a need to honour individual taste as an enterprise otherwise we will become like one big t-shirt. I don’t know anyone who does not get up in the morning and does not need to get dressed.

Gayatri Rajwade



ESIC plans revamp, to go online
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Keeping pace with information technology, the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), the social security arm of the Union Ministry of Labour covering about 3.54 crore employees, is planning to make its operations online besides setting up four multi-speciality hospitals in the country to provide better medicare services to the employees.

In fact, the ESIC has initiated an ambitious computerisation pilot project in Delhi and Haryana to make all its operations online where the employers would even have the options of paying their share online. Besides, the computerisation of the operations of the Punjab region at a cost of Rs 75 lakh and the inauguration of the website of the regional office--www.esicpunjab.org-- here today were the first steps towards the online operations, ESIC Director-General, Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, told The Tribune here today.

With the advanced medicare cost going beyond the reach of the common man, the ESIC plans to set up multi-speciality hospitals in the country--one in each four zones--for the benefit of the insured persons. Similarly, a 50-bedded hospital in the steel hub of Punjab--Mandi Gobindgarh--is ready for commissioning, the Director-General added.

Warning that the employers could be prosecuted under the Employees State Insurance Act and the Indian Penal Code for non-compliance, Mr Ramesh Inder Singh said the corporation was planning major revamping of its operations. Under the restructuring process, the areas having large beneficiary work force, particularly emerging industrial hubs, were being identified and provided the requisite infrastructure, including the hospitals, he added.

Meanwhile, the Director-General visited the ESI Hospital at Ram Darbar and it has been decided to upgrade the hospital to a 100-bedded hospital.



CVM gen secy Sandeep Singh dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The BJP-SAD-CVM alliance today suffered a major jolt in the death of general secretary of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch Sandeep Singh, who died of brain haemorrage at the young age 38 at Mohali.

Sandeep was one of the main architects of the alliance between the arch rivals, the BJP and the CVM. He was a strong contender for the alliance ticket from Ward No 21 in the next month’s elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

The spokesman of the CVM, Sandeep, was a close friend of CVM leader Harmohan Dhawan, who was inconsolable today.

Losing his father at the young age of eight years, Sandeep rose to his present stature through sheer grit and hardwork. He remained one-time president of the youth wing of the Congress (Tiwari) also. CVM councillor Jatinder Bhatia condoled the death of the young leader, saying the CVM would take a long time to find a replacement for Sandeep.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, senior BJP leader, said it is not only the CVM which has suffered an irreparable loss but the cruel hands of death have snatched an emerging political leader of Chandigarh.

Sandeep is survived by his mother, wife and two sons. The cremation is slated for November 16 when his sister arrives from the USA.



2 held for making fake driving licenses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The local police claimed to have busted a city based two-member gang allegedly involved in preparing forged driving licenses and voter identity cards.

The police claimed that the accused had forged seals of various transport authorities in Punjab and Haryana and used to charge anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 to prepare the documents.

Giving details, the SHO of the Sector-31 police station, Inspector Har Sahai Sharma, said the police stepped up the vigil after receiving information that a gang involved in preparing forged driving licenses and voter identity cards was active in the city.

On the basis of secret information, the police laid a trap and arrested Devinder Kumar (35) of Sector 30-B and Ajay Kumar (26) of Burail from near Poultry Farm Chowk in Ram Darbar on Monday.

They were produced before a local court today which remanded them in police custody till November 17.

The police allegedly recovered seven driving licenses, three voter identity cards, nine forged seals and stamps, 260 blank driving license cards, a computer, a scanner and a high-quality printer from their possession.

They had been active in the city for the past about three months, said the SHO.

Meanwhile, Mr Gulab Thakur of Sector 46-A had also approached the police with a similar complaint alleging that the accused had offered him to prepare a driving license for him for Rs 500. He had paid Rs 200 in advance along with a photograph.

The police has registered a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy on a complaint filed by Gulab Thakur.

About the modus operandi, the police revealed that the accused used to scan original documents and then used seals and signatures to forge documents by getting the same printed on blank cards.

For the voter identity cards, they used to take away the holograms from the original cards and paste them on the forged cards.

Giving the profile of the accused, the police said Ajay Kumar was a computer hardware expert and used to run his own office before coming into contact of Devinder, who was an expert in off-set printing.

Both the accused were married and had children. When asked why he took to the crime, Ajay said he incurred losses in his business and in order to make quick bucks he took to forging documents.



Flesh trade racket busted; 3 held

Chandigarh, November 14
The local police today busted a flesh trade racket with the arrest of three women, including a pimp. The trio was caught red-handed near the Nirman theatre in Sector 32 with the help of a decoy customer, said the police.

Giving details of the arrest, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (South), Mr KIP Singh, said acting on information that a flesh trade racket was being run in the area, the police constituted a team to nab the culprits. A decoy customer was sent to one 52-year-old Pammy of Sector 51, who struck a deal of Rs 8000 to provide two call girls. Pammy and the two call girls of Sectors 27 and 51 took Rs 500 each in advance and told the decoy customer to wait for them near Nirman Theatre.

A police team, consisting of the DSP, the SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Jagir Singh and Sub-Inspector Madhu Bala laid a trap at the appointed place and also took along with them advocate Anuradha Gupta, member of the Social Welfare Advisory Board, Chandigarh. The trio reached the spot in a Maruti car (CH-09-1360-T). The police team swooped down on the women after getting signal from the decoy customer. The police recovered the marked currency notes of Rs 500 each from their possession. They were booked in a case under the Immoral Trafficking Act.

The police said both call girls were married and have children. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, one of the call girls said she was pushed in the trade by her husband, who is a drunkard and does not work. She asserted that it was her husband who first compelled her to sleep with other persons at their own house and took money.

Delhi shopkeeper in police net

The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested a Delhi-based shopkeeper and claimed to have recovered two stolen mobile phones from him. The police claimed that the shopkeeper was in contact with a local notorious burglar, who was involved in several incidents of breaking into mobile phone-selling shops and was declared a proclaimed offender in three cases by local court.

Giving details of the arrest of shopkeeper, the in charge of the Crime Branch, Inspector Satbir Singh, said Himanshu Deng of Tilak Nagar, Delhi, son of Satya Pal Deng, a BJP leader in Delhi, was arrested on Monday evening.

Two mobile phones, which were stolen from Chandigarh, were recovered from him.

Inspector Satbir Singh stated that 16 mobile phones were stolen from a shop in Sector 17 during the intervening night of September 2 and 3.

The Crime Branch put the mobile phone on surveillance and traced one of the stolen mobile phones in Chandigarh. This led the police to Himanshu as the phone was purchased from his shop.

Himanshu was presented before a local court today which remanded him to police custody till November 19. TNS



Suicide, not murder, says IMA
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, November 14
Preliminary investigation into the death of Cadet Devinder Kumar points towards suicide, the Indian Military Academy (IMA) has claimed. Reacting to a news-item “IMA cadet killed, alleges family” carried in these columns on October 3, an Assistant Public Relations Officer, Capt Sonia Khatri, has asserted that the Court of Inquiry is already in progress.

In a communication to The Tribune, Capt Khatri has further claimed that the report, quoting the cadet’s parents, is “baseless and totally false”. The late cadet’s parents are totally satisfied with the preliminary investigations and have no complains against the academy. In fact, a certificate to this effect has been rendered by the cadet’s father, Mr Prem Dutt Sharma.

Moreover, the parents have confirmed that they were given full assistance, including accommodation and transport, during their stay at the academy. Complete administrative support was also extended to them.

The Tribune Correspondent adds: The news-report was based on the statements of the cadet’s family.



Style, trends, growth — themes of fashion event
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Two days of intense deliberations on topics like the globalisation of fashion-designing business with delegates and experts from across the country sharing their views and experiences. Hectic sessions interspersed with a fashion show and a gala evening.

The city is set to witness all this and much more during the two-day "Second Fashion Knowledge Forum 2006" scheduled to be held at Hotel Mountview from November 15. The Tribune is the media partner in sponsoring the event.

Organised by the Fashion Technology Park, the Business School of Fashion and the Confederation of Indian Industry; the international conference on fashion and lifestyle is expected to set trends and identify opportunities in the "global fashion industry".

In fact, it will echo the wideness of opportunities available in the effervescent and ever-changing industry of textiles, apparels and other lifestyle products.

The effort will be to create synergy between fashion and textile designers, manufacturers, retailers and actual users of the high-end fashion products, besides bringing all the stake-holders on a common platform to do business for mutual benefit.

Prominent fashion designers, heads of retail houses, captains from textile and garment industry, along with experts from fashion and educational institutes from India and across the globe are scheduled to assemble at the forum.

They are expected to share their experiences on the emerging fashion industry scenario. The development is significant as India and China are two emerging economies of the world.

The textile and apparel sector constitutes a traditional pillar of these countries. Significantly, China is emerging as a global production hub and India as the most sought after outsourcing destination for design-led value-added services and products.

The technical sessions include discussions on policy framework, finance and infrastructure for the fashion industry, retail boom, branding strategies, building global Indian brand names and helping fashion designers as business enablers.

The first day of the forum will see prominent speakers like Vice-President of Ernst and Young Private Limited Vishal Goel air their views about growth strategies for the Indian fashion industry. President of the Fashion Design Council of Canada Robin kay will speak about fashion globalisation in Canada.

The keynote address will be delivered by Textile Commissioner, Union Ministry of Textile, Mr J.N. Singh.

On the second day, topics like excellence through emerging technologies and the country's emergence as the fashion hub of the world will also be discussed.



Mountview to go in for expansion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Twentyfive years after it came into existence, the sales of Hotel Mountview in Chandigarh have touched an all-time high figure of Rs 12.55 crore in just over seven months from April till November 14 this year, making it one of the leading government-run hotels in this part of the region.

While the Punjab Government was forced to sell nine of its hotels in just two years, including Amritsar International Hotel to a British group for Rs 51 crore, Hotel Mountview’s gross income just through room rent touched Rs 7 crore-mark between April and November this year. During the corresponding period last year, the hotel had managed to net Rs 5.23 crore.

The hotel General Manager, Mr R.P. Singla, says the overall sales this year are higher by 2 crore compared to 2004-05. Even though CITCO-run hotels enjoyed a monopoly then, the gross sale last year was Rs 10 crore.

The General Manager adds that food-sale too has registered an increase of Rs 50 lakh this year. Compared to Rs 3.45 crore last year, the sales have gone up to Rs 3.95 crore, making the hotel one of CITCO’s prime profit earning unit.

“In the first phase, we plan to give the hotel a new look by completely renovating the coffee shop and the lobby area,'' he asserts.

In the second phase, the efforts will be directed towards renovating the porch and the parking lot area.



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