C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

MC Poll
CVM walks out of pact with SAD, BJP
Firefighting on
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Cracks developed in the CVM-SAD-BJP alliance today with Mr Harmohan Dhawan, president of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM), announcing an end to their month-long alliance formed for the upcoming Municipal Corporation elections.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Dhawan announced that the CVM would no longer be contesting the elections as a part of the alliance, saying “We will contest from all 26 wards”.

Mr Dhawan informed that the alliance had been called off in light of the fact that they were not being given a fair share of seats.

“We had asked for 12 seats initially, however we were offered only four. We would have settled on six also. However, as the BJP was not ready to compromise, we have decided to back out. We were even ready to fight on their symbol. However, it was not enough for them,” added Mr Dhawan.

According to sources, efforts are still on to reach a compromise. Sources informed that the BJP high command in Delhi too was keen that the matter should be resolved.

Some even went to the extent of stating that the announcement of the ‘break-up’ was just pressure tactics being adopted by the CVM to get their desired number of seats.

Meanwhile, talking to TNS, Mr Satya Pal Jain, ex-MP, stated that one could not beat the Congress without the BJP.

“A few days back, Mr Dhawan met our leaders and expressed his desire to join us in our struggle against the Congress. We met him several times and gave him some options. We were to meet today again, however, unfortunately he unilaterally announced certain decisions. Our doors are still open to all those who are keen to join.”

According to sources in the BJP, the Akalis are most probably going to get four of the 26 seats. Talking to TNS, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said, “Our alliance is strong. Breaking away from the alliance is the CVM’s prerogative. They should reconsider it.”

The seat-sharing between the CVM-SAD is expected to be finalised tomorrow. The final announcement is expected to be made not before Thursday 30 evening.

Meanwhile, six nominations were filed today taking the tally to 9. The last date of filling nominations is December 1 (Friday). The nominations filed today are: Ward-6 Jaswinder Kaur (MCP), Ward 13-Mohammad Ussman (SP), Ward 19-Subeda Khaton (Independent), Ward 21-Kanwar Naunihal Singh (Independent), Ward 24-Mehamod (SP), Ward 24-Shezad Ali (Independent).



News Analysis
Triangular contest in MC poll
Dhawan’s flip-flop to divide anti-Cong votes
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
It is again going to be a three-cornered contest among the Congress, the BJP-SAD alliance and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch(CVM) in the December 20 elections to the municipal corporation.

With short honeymoon of the CVM chief, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, with the BJP-SAD combine over today, the battlelines are drawn for an interesting triangular contest among the parties. In fact, new equations and permutations are likely to emerge in the next couple of days, with smaller parties and influential leaders set to play a crucial role.

Even a senior BJP leader, Mr Satya Pal Jain, underlined the role of the non-Congress parties in the scheme of things. Mr Jain said BJP’s doors were still open to all parties, which wanted to defeat the Congress. It was Mr Dhawan, who approached the BJP to “oust” the Congress from the civic body and it was his “unilateral” decision to leave the alliance though he was given “certain options” on seat-sharing, Mr Jain claimed.

However, a sure fallout of the breaking up of the alliance is the division of the non-Congress votes among various political parties. Even the BJP general secretary, Mr Arun Jaitley, sounded upbeat during the a combined BJP-SAD-CVM rally here on November 26, claiming that for the first since 1977 the opposition parties had united. And needless to say, it is a big setback for the alliance ahead of the crucial poll.

In fact, the break-up of the alliance, which was “dubbed” as the marriage of convenience by the Congress, has not surprised political observers. While the leaders had joined hands, there was apparently no meeting of the hearts of the party workers. The differences were apparent during the November 26 rally, when the CVM supporters virtually formed separate blocks.

“It was doomed from the very start as there was no meeting ground between the two parties. The ego clash between the leadership of both parties ultimately proved to a hot potato for them to handle,” Mr Pradeep Chhabra, representative of Mr Pawan Bansal, Minister of State for Finance, for MPLAD scheme, said.

This, coupled with the ticklish question of seat-sharing, was virtually the flashpoint. With scores of aspirants for ticket in both parties, making everybody happy proved to be beyond the capacity of both parties, leading to the collapse of the alliance. The exhortations of Mr Jaitley to the alliance partners to abide by the “coalition dharma” and make “sacrifices” fell on deaf ears.

Now all eyes are focussed on the distribution of ticket by the parties. The denial of ticket to the ‘deserving” candidates may lead to emergence of rebel candidates. And in a multi-cornered contest, the importance small parties and the rebel candidates cannot be overemphasised. Meanwhile, hectic lobbying will be witnessed in the run-up to the filing of nominations till December 1and thereafter, during the campaign period.



Bombshell creates panic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Panic gripped the area around Sector 28 and Industrial Area when someone noticed a bomb-like object lying in the mango belt in Sector 28 here this morning.

The police was informed about the strange object, which reached the spot with the Bomb Disposal Squad.

The experts picked up the object and cautiously shifted it to the Sector 26 Police station. The SHO of the Sector 26 police Station, Inspector Sukhpal Singh Rana, confirmed that it was a bombshell.

He, however, stated that it was not confirmed whether it was live or not.

He added that they had dug up a ditch and placed the bomb shell in it before covering it with sand bags in the open yard of the police station.

Meanwhile, the authorities at the Chandimandir Cantonment had been informed.



Education Dept fails to monitor fee structure of pvt schools
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Educating your child in any reputed private school in the city is no child’s play. Ask any middle-class family and the statement would be the same. This is the plight of a majority of residents of Chandigarh, which is generally known as a city inhabited by service-class people.

After overcoming the first hurdle of getting the child admitted in a “school of repute”, a majority of parents are faced with the problem of paying the exorbitant and arbitrary fee (admission, tuition and other charges) levied by these schools.

Investigation by a team of The Tribune found that there is no policy devised by the Education Department to monitor the fee structure and admission rules of private institutions in the city. Every school has its own age limit for nursery admissions, with annual admission fee starting from as high as Rs 20,000 to 30,000, monthly tuition fee ranging from Rs 2,750 to Rs 4,000 per month etc. Some schools are even demanding Rs 5,000 as “caution money”, which is stated as refundable in their brochure. But to know all this, shell out another Rs 500 for getting a copy of the prospectus only.

To top it all, private schools do not adopt uniform policy regarding the age limit at the time of admission. For example, St Anne’s School-32 is admitting only children born between August 1, 2003, and January 31, 2004, for the nursery class. St Kabir demands children born after March 31, 2004, for the pre-nursery class. Kundan International-46 is seeking two-year plus age kids, as on September 30, 2006, for admitting in the pre-primary class.

For the nursery class, some schools like St Peter’s and Strawberry Fields are demanding three-year-old children, while others are asking for three-and-a-half-year-old kid. There are some private schools like St John’s and Carmel Convent who prefer four-and-a-half-year-old children.

“These schools really make lives of parents miserable. My elder son studies in St Kabir. Now, I want my younger son to go to the same school, but he is being denied admission because his age is two months less than their cut-off admission date. What should I do? rued a parent. On the other hand, the school officials argue that this has been done to maintain the uniform age level in classrooms.

There are schools that offer admission forms for a single day to be submitted on the same date only. Else these should be submitted with a hefty donation cost!

Officials of these schools which are being run on their own terms and conditions, state that the amount they receive is further ploughed back for the welfare of children studying there only, claiming that they provide facilities like AC rooms, best sports infrastructure, gym etc, which no government school can match them.

Many parents opine that although there are some good government schools in the city which are affordable with uniform fee structure, but getting admission in these schools requires some “connection”. In this competitive era, it is a must for parents to get their child admitted to a good private school, they say.

Ravinder (not her real name), whose two children study in St Kabir has to shell out around Rs 4,000 as monthly fee of the kids. “How can we question the fee structure of the school when every school has devised its own rules. There should at least be some policy made by the Education Department.”

Manavjit Chadha, a banker, seconds her statement and feels that a uniform fee structure policy should be framed across the country, which will definitely give a relief to parents.

Kuldeep (not real name) had to run from pillar to post to get his child admitted to Strawberry Fields, but regrets the 2,750 monthly tuition fee, which is making a big hole in his pocket.



Three ISBT shops challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Weights and Measures Department of the Chandigarh Administration today challaned at least three shopkeepers at the Inter-State Bus Terminuses (ISBTs), Sectors 17 and 43, for selling commodities at a price higher than the maximum retail price (MRP) and selling commodities not showing any MRP.

The shop owned by Mr Devi Chand Sharma was challaned for selling cold drinks at a price higher than the MRP in Sector 43. The bottles priced at a MRP of Rs 20 were being sold for Rs 22.

Mr P.S. Shergill, Controller of the Weights, and Measures Department, said, “We have just one official on duty to carry out the raids in the city. There are allegations of the department overlooking the discrepancies. I have tied up with certain NGOs, which accompany our team on the raids to ensure fair play”.

The department challaned Mr Wajid Ali, working at the shop owned by Mr Mubarak, at the Sector 17 ISBT for selling imported chocolates without MRP. It had been pointed out that no commodities could be sold in the open market without listing the MRP of the commodities.

The shop owned by Mr Sher Singh at the ISBT, Sector 17, was challaned for selling fruit cakes without listing the MRP. Mr Shergill said, “The current move was a reminder to all shopkeepers to ensure they gave a fair deal. Raids will continue”.

As a part of the drive, the department challaned at least three outlets at the Fun Republic and one at Nirman Theatre.

A shopkeeper at the Fun Republic was challaned for selling a packet of popcorn for Rs 40, which read the weight as 90 gm. It was said that it was unfair to mention the weight when there was no weighing machine at the venue.

A confectionery shop was challaned for selling commodities without listing MRP. The only weighing machine was found in the kitchen and had no stamp of recognition. The popcorn outlet at Nirman Theatre wads challaned for selling commodity without weighing.



Watch out

City-based golf coach Jesse Grewal is acting as one of the observers at the 2nd PUNJAB Cup underway at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Club, Pakistan.

Jesse, himself an accomplished golfer and class 'A' teaching professional, has been conducting talent hunt programmes at the Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA) from time to time. He has also been committed to the CGA's mission of producing professional golfers from amongst the caddies and has been providing free coaching for the caddy golfers at the CGA range.



In Town

Najeeb-Ur-Rehman, a leading hairstylist of the country, will be the centre of attraction at the formal launch of the Schwarzkopf Professional Salon in Sector 44 on November 29.

The salon will be a part of the Femina Plus. Mr Rehman, National Technical Manager of the salon, is coming for the launch of the world-famous German chain of hairstylists.



Passing Through

Dennis Chamanlal
Dennis Chamanlal 
Natheniel, Electrical Engineer, Liverpool, UK

What brings you to the city?

Like every Punjabi settled in alien lands, I too admire the City Beautiful as a confluence of tradition and modernity. The cultural scene is the added attraction, which I really miss there.

Do you find any change in the attitude of British nationals towards Indians since 1948 when you migrated to Liverpool?

Yes, there were certain problems on ethnic issues during the fifties, but a substantial change occured after 1970 as India built a status in the comity of nations.

What are your observations on the progress in educational, cultural and industrial areas you are associated with?

There is a massive influx of foreign students, a majority of them from India and China. Believe me, in Liverpool itself, there are more foreign students than Cambridge University. By the end of 2008, Liverpool city will be crowned as the “European Capital city of culture” and huge money is being pooled from Europe for creating buildings and infrastructure.

Do you anticipate any problem of water scarcity?

Yes, it exists even today as we depend mainly on water reservoirs for water.

But, sometimes inadequate rains create a problem and certain rivers are tapped to replenish the scarcity.

Back home how do you see the development in India?

Marvellous, in all spheres of life, but the poor are getting poorer, that hurts me.

— SD Sharma



‘Manpower planning, education must go hand in hand’
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Dr Khalid Aftab, the first Vice-Chancellor of Government College University, Lahore, says there is a need to combine manpower planning and planning for education in Pakistan. A leading economist of the country, he was talking to The Tribune here today.

“Right now these departments are separate and I believe that unemployment can be reduced if planning for education is done keeping in view the manpower requirements of the country,” he said.

Stating that the government in Pakistan had increased the budget for higher education, Dr Aftab said more finances were required to give a push to social sciences, arts and languages.“The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is giving due importance to science and technology, but at the same time I believe that higher education overall should be promoted,” he said.

A PhD in economics from the UK, Dr Aftab taught in the Economics Department at the college and became its Principal in 1993. When the college was given the status of university in 2002, he took over as its first VC.

“The university will be retaining its old campus which houses the college but we are likely to get 500 acres of campus on the GT road. I am not in favour of affiliating colleges but intend to have constituent colleges. We plan to have an engineering college, a law college, and a medical college,” he said.

“Affiliating colleges is nothing but a means for the university to earn money by holding examinations. A university with colleges at far-flung places cannot monitor the quality of education being imparted and this leads to dilution of the system,” he said.

Asked to comment on Pakistan’s economy, Dr Aftab said the country was witnessing an unprecedented growth. “We are expecting to hit 8 per cent growth rate in the coming years. While we are on the right path, we have to prepare our country for competition from India and China in the long run.”

In the city on the invitation of the Old Ravians, an association of Chandigarh-based former students of Government College, Lahore, Dr Aftab will be in Panjab University tomorrow and will deliver a lecture at the Centre for the Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) on December 1.

Himself an alumnus of Government College, Dr Aftab believes that old students of the college (a university since 2002) can play a major role in the development of their alma mater, “not just in terms of goodwill that old students spread, which is very important in itself, but also in terms of help.

“We have created the GCU endowment fund which is looked after by a trust to streamline donations which the university gets from its well-wishers,” he added.



AFS-Ambala is the 'Pride of the Western Air Command'
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Air Force Station (AFS), Ambala, has been adjudged as the overall best station in the Western Air Command (WAC).

The Pride of the Western Air Command Trophy was received by the Air Officer Commanding, 7 Wing, Ambala, Air Cmde H.H. Patel from the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, during the ongoing WAC Station Commanders' conference in New Delhi today.

During the conference, which will conclude on December 1, all the operations, maintenance and administrative aspects of the IAF bases under the WAC would be reviewed by Air Marshal A.K. Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, WAC.

The conference was addressed by the Air chief today, according to a statement issued by the IAF.

The conference, held annually, gives an opportunity to the field commanders to interact with all senior officers of the command.

This forum is also used by AOC-in-C to familiarise all commanders with future plans and strategies of the Air Force.

Besides discussing operational and professional matters, welfare activities also feature on the agenda.

Three fighter squadrons based at Ambala also bagged top honours in various events organised as part of the Eklavya 2006 Team Championships.

The top prize in dive bombing was bagged by No 3 Squadron, which was also declared as the best fighter squadron.

In addition to bagging the Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee Trophy for being the overall champions of Eklavya 2006 No.14 Squadron bagged the top position in LDA bombing as well as in night dive bombing.

No.5 Squadron won the MLAR bombing event, while Ambala airbase also stood first in gunnery (staff), besides bagging the Maintenance Trophy.

The Air Force Station, Leh, was the runners-up for the best overall station and the 23 Wing based there was declared as the best helicopter operational base, while the 34 Wing at Bathinda was declared as the best operational fighter base.

The trophies for the overall best transport squadron and helicopter unit went to No 41 Squadron and 131 FAC, respectively. The Command Sports Trophy was lifted by the 28 Wing based at Hindon.



CITCO gets charge of UT Guest House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has been formally handed over the charge of the UT Guest House, near the Sukhna Lake.

The charge was earlier with the Chandigarh Administration. The CITCO was also given the charge to handle the ‘protocol’ of visiting dignitaries.



UT directive on paying guests
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Chandigarh Administration has directed landlords/owners and managers of paying guest accommodation to inform their respective Station House Officer regarding the paying guests staying in their accommodations.

The order issued under Section 144 of the Cr PC made it clear that the offenders, who will not follow this order, will be liable to be prosecuted under Section 188 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate has asked the residents of the UT not to employee any domestic servant, helper without furnishing their particulars to the Station House Officer concerned.

The order said that antecedents of domestic servant should be verified in the pubic interest. This order will be applicable to all landlord, tenants and those running commercial establishments.



Haryana Roadways union holds rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Haryana Roadways Workers Union today held a rally in the Industrial Area protesting against the alleged dictatorial attitude of the General Manager (GM).

The Press Secretary of the union, Mr S. Tarlochan Singh Manka, stated that the authorities had not paid any attention to their demand letter presented to the GM on June 14, which led to a series of agitations. However, the authorities were rigid on their stand.

The representatives of the union threatened that they would intensify the stir if the authorities did not change their attitude



BJP to launch drive against Cong

Panchkula, November 28
The district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will organise a public reception for the newly chosen state president, Mr Atam Prakash Manchanda, on December 3. This was stated by a senior leader of the BJP, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, at a press conference here today.

He said the district unit was particularly proud of the elevation of one of its members at state president of the party. “We will organise a workers’ programme in Sector 5 to honour him and extend a welcome as the party chief. We are expecting our top state leaders, including Ram Vilas Sharma, Kishan Singh Sanghwan, Rattan Lal Kataria, Kishan Pal Gujjar among others, on the occasion,” he said. The BJP would shortly launch an offensive against the Congress by taking up grievances of the common man and staging protests to redress these. “Our membership has more than doubled in the last two years. After this function is over, we will also reach out to the people and begin our enrolment drive,” he said. TNS



Left-out residents demand allotment

Chandigarh, November 28
Residents of Madrasi Colony, Bapu Dham, Sector 26, yesterday laid a siege to the office of the Deputy Commissioner and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), demanding allotment for left-out residents.

Questioning the process of allotting the dwelling units in the Sector 56, the slum-dwellers said despite living there for more than 10 years, their name had been left out in the rehabilitation drive.

Through out the day, the slum-dwellers camped outside the DC office.

Following the demand of the protesters, the Administration constituted a screening committee of its officials to look into the matter. TNS



Police biased, alleges Monalika
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Alleging that the police acted in a biased manner in the Sector 35 dispute between a woman and her in-laws, the woman and her neighbours today lodged a complaint with the UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP), asking him to look into the matter and transfer of the case to the CIA.

Ms Monalika, the woman, in her complaint, alleged that the police did not initiate action against the accused and was not ready to lodge a case. She further alleged that the police made it a case of property dispute while it was a dowry harassment case.

The neighbours, who also lodged a complaint with the IGP, alleged that the police acted as a mute spectator when Ms Monalika and her mother were being attacked. Raising questions over the police role, they alleged that the accused were let go by the cops.

Talking to mediapersons, Ms Monalika’s mother alleged that she was assaulted by the in-laws of her daughter, who put a pistol on her head, in an attempt to kill her. Municipal councillor Harjinder kaur, who was present, asserted that police action was biased as it ignored what the neighbours were saying. It did not arrest any one of the accused, who attacked the women.

Denying the allegations, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said the police took action as per the law. The local court has issued summons for Wednesday to both parties. Ms Monalika came to the police station today and said she suffered injuries on Monday. She was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital for medical examination.

He further stated that the medical report did not mention any external injury. However, she was admitted by the doctors.



One held for duping man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The local police today arrested a Kajheri resident on the allegation of duping a man of Rs 1.80 lakh in Sector 17 in October. The police said the accused member on a gang used to dupe people by distracting their attention by throwing notes near them.

According to the police, the accused, identified as 23-year-old Madan Mehto, was nabbed following information that he was on a prowl to dupe someone. The police, acting on information, arrested him in Sector 17. Mehto originally hailed from Bihar and was living in Kajheri.

The police said he was involved in an incident in which Rs 1.80 lakh was duped by the gang from a man in a similar fashion. He would be produced in a local court tomorrow.



Food retail sector going in for massive overhaul
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
With all big agri retail chains in the country making an entry in the tricity, buying your fruits and veggies will never be the same again.

Though ITC is the first one to set up shop in the city with Choupal Fresh, other agri retail majors like Reliance Fresh, Godrej Agrovet's Nature's Basket and Subiksha are all set to offer the choicest and high-quality fruits and vegetables in the air- conditioned and clean environs of a showroom, without causing a dent on your household budget. By the beginning of year 2007, the city will see a complete transformation in the food retail sector.

Other than the high quality local fruits and vegetables, exotic vegetables like red cabbage, yellow and red capsicums and all imported fruits, too, will be available at most of these stores. These stores will source their supply from the farmers in the vicinity after the company officials have given them technical guidance for sowing and cultivation of the produce.

Officials in Reliance Retail informed TNS that they have already earmarked four sites in the tricity--- in Sectors 19 and 38 in Chandigarh and Sectors 14 and 20 in Panchkula---for setting up their exclusive fruit and vegetable stores."These stores will not just stock fruits and vegetables but also dairy, grocery and poultry products. These stores will be opened within the next two months," he said, while adding that each store will be spread over an area of 1500--5000 sq feet.

Subiksha, too, is all set to open 22 agri retail stores in this region. It is learnt that while 17 of these stores will be set up in Chandigarh, the Tamil Nadu- based company was planning to open five stores in Panchkula. Godrej Agrovet, too, is mulling the idea of expanding its Nature Basket stores and opening one in Chandigarh. Mr C K Vaidya, Managing Director of Godrej Agrovet, had recently announced that they were planning to open a Nature's Basket store in the city.

Other than Reliance Fresh, almost all other companies are testing the markets in North India by opening their flagship stores in the North in the city. The reason, say company officials, is that the city is perfect for testing waters in North India because of its cosmopolitan image and individuals with high disposable incomes. Reliance Fresh, however, is first planning to open its stores in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

Officials in Choupal Fresh, the only agri retail chain that has started its operations here, said that based on the success of Choupal Fresh store in the city, they would look at their expansion plans in the region. Started a month back, the retail footfalls to the store here have been increasing, with the average footfalls a day rising to 250 now."The concept is good as one is saved the botheration of going in the dust and grime in mandis, or face a lack of choice by buying from vegetable cart vendors," says Ms Neerja Singh, a resident of Sector 5, who was picking up her veggies from Choupal Fresh.



A hairy route to freebies
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
You would have dismissed it as just another scene pulled out of a Bollywood blockbuster. But if some of the hoteliers across the city are to be believed, so many residents are escaping the payment of bills by planting hair in the dishes even in five-star joints.

If the practice is resulting in hair-line fracture in the relationship among hoteliers and customers, these 'real-life thugs' are just not bothered about it.

The hoteliers claim that until recently the performance was limited to roadside dhabas. And the performers were, more often than not, students.

But now even the young couples are displaying their flair in dimly-lit dining rooms full of light music and sweet perfumes, making the hair of the hotelier stand on end.

Only this week, a couple dining at a five-star hotel in the city offered silky strands on a platter, instead of paying the bill.

The hotel staff says the couple, along with a child, first created commotion and confusion by spilling salt all over the table.

And then when the waiter arrived with the bill, they flatly refused to oblige him on the ground that there was a hair in the dish.

To top it all, they threatened to call the media. In fact, they had several numbers of media organisations stored in their cellphones.

“The only problem with their story was that the strand of hair was pulled out of paneer-tikka,” says a senior member of the hotel staff.

“The dish is prepared at very high temperatures in an oven and there is no way a strand can survive the heat. Had it fallen during the process of conveying the dish from the kitchen to the table, the piece of hair would have been on the surface, and not within,” he adds.

Hoteliers claim such incidents are not uncommon even in the joints enjoying three-to-five-star status. In fact, the problem has attained the proportions of a menace.

The President of the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Chandigarh, Mr Man Mohan Kohli, says: “As most operations are carried out manually in the hotel industry, the possibility of slip-ups cannot be ruled out, despite best preventive care.

“As such, some complaints received by the restaurant or hotel staff are indeed genuine in nature. But taking advantage of the situation, some miscreants use it as a tool to obtain freebies.”

The fact that the guests more often than not find problem with the last dish they have ordered, and prefer to negotiate the bill instead of rushing to the doctor for medical check-up and assistance provides a testimony to this effect, he asserts. 



BSNL plan for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The BSNL has announced a plan for its pre-paid customers, especially students, in the Punjab Telecom circle. The plan, Excel Student Power Plan, allows for unlimited local SMS to any network and special night calling charges of 30 paise per minute from 10 pm to 6 am, within the Punjab BSNL network.

This scheme is available till December 2, says an official press note.



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