C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Staff crunch dents UT’s excise revenue
Liquor contractors thrive under lone excise inspector
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Excise Policy ’07 fluid

Excise Department officials said that the final decision on reducing assessment fee on beer and wine at bar and pubs had not been taken yet. The move to slash the assessment fee from Rs 15 to Rs 5 per proof litre on wine and beer in pubs and clubs was recommended to encourage city residents to switch over from spirits to wine.

A senior official confirmed that it would take few more days before the final policy was approved by the UT Administrator. Suggestions of the general pubic and liquor contractors were being analysed, he said.

Chandigarh, January 30
The UT Administration may be raking in more money than neighbouring Mohali from the liquor trade every year but the revenue could be many times more. The hitch: Chandigarh has just one excise inspector. And, the inspector doubles as the Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO)!

There are around 180 liquor vends, shops, bar, pubs, clubs and bottling plants under the UT Excise Department inspector. It is humanly not possible for him to keep tabs on malpractices adopted by liquor contractors, particularly the practice of selling liquor below the minimum retail price (MRP).

The problem began with the UT re-designating its ETO as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC). No additional posts were created to look after enforcement work, it is learnt.

On the other hand, Mohali has four inspectors and two ETOs apart from the top brass to look after different aspects of the liquor trade.

“On the surface, it looks like the customer is benefiting from the price war between liquor contractors but in the long run customers could end up buying adulterated liquor,” said a contractor.

Recently, excise officials challaned a liquor shop in Colony No.4 for selling liquor below the MRP. Undeterred, contractors continue to offer popular brands of whisky at prices less than the MRP to boost sales. The practice could become more prevalent post Haryana’s new excise policy under which alcohol prices are slated to fall further.

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Rain chills soaring temperature
Nights to remain warm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Chandigarh's weather is in no mood to get predictable. Continuing with its surprising change overs, it donned yet another unexpected mantle today as the maximum temperature fell for the first time over the past week. Also, the city witnessed its first winter and of course first drizzle of 2007.

However, if you thought the minimum temperature followed the maximum temperature in its downward spree, then you surely are mistaken. It remained relentless, registering 1.2° C increase over the minimum temperature recorded yesterday. While the night temperature recorded here yesterday was 12° C, it rose to 13.2° C today, making nights pretty uncomfortable.

Now about the day which became pleasantly cooler, beating the high temperature recorded during the past 14 days.

The temperature drop today was very significant by Met department standards. It fell by 4.6° C, ensuring that the record which the winter heat had set on January 29 remained in its place.

On January 29, Chandigarh recorded an unusually high day temperature of 29.8° C — the highest ever recorded in the past 25 years. Records maintained by the Met department indicate that Chandigarh had never earlier recorded such high temperature in winters. Going by this measurement, Met department had even stated it would not be surprised if the temperature in February rose to 35°C. It is still ready for surprises, keeping in mind the fluctuating weather conditions.

The entire alteration in the weather systems is being blamed on the western disturbances which are living by their name this time around. Not only has this disturbance made Chandigarh the hottest location in the entire meteorological zone, it has also engineered a rise in night temperatures. In the bargain, several viral infections are striking with a vengeance. People obviously don’t know where the sudden fevers are coming from.

As regards the day temperature, except for today, it had been on the rise for the past one week. The measurements recorded by Met department are as follows — January 30 (25.2° C), January 29 (29.8° C), January 28 (26.8° C), January 25 (27° C), January 24 (22° C), January 23 (21.2° C). Night temperatures have been consistently rising as it clear from the records — January 30 (13.2° C), January 29 (12° C), January 27 (10.6° C), January 25 (6.4° C), January 24 (5° C) and January 23 (4° C).

Other areas in the met zone were colder than Chandigarh, with Amritsar recording day temperature of 21.6° C, Bhuntar recording 19.6° C, Ludhiana 20.4° C, Shimla 23° C, Patiala 23° C, Karnal 23.5°C and Ambala 21.9° C. The lowest night temperature was at Bhuntar 2° C, followed by Amritsar 7.4° C, Ludhiana 10.9° C, Ambala 12°C and Patiala 13.8° C.

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Revised BPL rolls ready
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
The revised Below Poverty Line (BPL) rolls of the district are ready. While 30 per cent of the total population is covered under BPL in all blocks of the district, 25 per cent of the population of Barwala has been identified for BPL benefits.

However, unlike the previous years, while the district administration will publicise the names of the families, it would be mandatory for them to put up boards of BPL status outside their homes.

Under recent instructions received from the Government of India, the district administration has been directed to make the names of the BPL families of every block public. The process will get rolling by next week.

"While the lists of the BPL families will be pasted at the most frequented places in any block, the names will be read out at the meetings of the gram panchayat. The idea is to increase awareness about families falling in the BPL category. Though we have prepared the rolls after an exhaustive exercise, we want to rule out any discrepancies that may have crept in the final lists," the officer in-charge, Rajesh Gupta, said.

In the last survey, 20 to 25 per cent of the families in the district were on the BPL list. According to the latest instructions issued to the Administration, once these lists were adequately publicised, objections would be invited from public. This is to rule out the possibility of any "undeserving" names figuring in the list since such instances have been brought to the notice of the authorities in the past.

The instructions state that wherever the number of objections was 10 per cent or more, the lowest 30 per cent of the families would have to be worked out afresh. After all objections are settled, each of the BPL households will support an identification plate on the outside wall of the house. The aim is to make these families easily identifiable for grant of benefits under various schemes meant for BPL families.

For this purpose, the district administration has made different teams of officers who have been allotted 15 villages each. The process of publicising lists will begin simultaneously in all villages next week. 

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Cyclist killed near Hallo Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
A cyclist was killed after being hit by a bus this morning near Hallo Majra village.
The police, 35-year-old Dhani Ram of Rajiv Colony, Sector 17 Panchkula was hit by a speeding Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation bus. The bus dragged him along with the cycle to a distance of about 15 feet before coming to halt. He was seriously hurt in the mishap. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.

According to eyewitnesses the bus was coming from Chandigarh and the accident took place as the cyclist took a wrong turn.

The police has arrested the bus driver, Virverinder Singh of Barnala on the allegations of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. 

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Chandigarh Calling

Last couple of days saw the weather altering its shades in the most dramatic way. After touching an all time low, a minimum of zero degrees, that forced most of the city residents to ‘hide’ in heavy blankets and pullovers, the day (maximum) temperature rose coercing the residents to bid farewell to quilts and warmers at least for a day or two. And then came the spell of unexpected showers on a windy Tuesday afternoon renewing the chilly conditions. Well, lets see what’s more in store for all of us from the weather god.

It’s different

It was a Republic Day celebration with a difference. While various speakers repeated the clichéd patriotic messages, Mr Jai Ram Joshi, veteran BJP leader, called upon the Union Government to incorporate the right to food in the list of fundamental rights. "Since millions of stomachs in the nation are sleeping without even a square meal even years after Independence, it becomes absolutely pertinent for us to seek food for the empty stomachs of the nation, Mr Joshi asserted.

Indeed some food for thought for the Congress-led UPA Government!

Highway blues

City residents planning to board a train from Ambala railway station should be ready to start their ‘journey’ at least three to four hours before the scheduled arrival of the train if taking the Chandigarh-Ambala route. Otherwise they should go in for alternative routes. For the highway leading to Ambala via Zirakpur continues to be clogged.

Though over six months have passed since the work of constructing a flyover started, yet the authorities concerned have done little to ease traffic congestion on the route. If the distance to the destination has increased in the process, the authorities seem to be not bothered about it. The ordeal begins soon after entering Zirakpur from Chandigarh side. For traffic chaos is a regular phenomenon here. As a result the vehicles are forced to move at a snail’s pace.No wonder, the residents are now reaching Ambala by taking the Ramgarh or the Mohali-Banur route.

Awarded

Capt Navdeep Singh
Capt Navdeep Singh

Local High Court lawyer and Territorial Army volunteer Capt Navdeep Singh has been awarded the Army Commander’s Commendation on Republic Day for his contribution to the cause of ex-servicemen as well as the serving soldiers. This is his fifth decoration, which is the highest tally in the Territorial Army, which is an organisation of “citizens in uniform” which is called for active duty in times of national emergency. He is also the youngest person associated with the Armed Forces to have received five commendations. Navdeep has also authored a book on privileges available to serving and retired soldiers under law and was instrumental in resolving several contentious issues involving the services and other organisations, particularly exemption of toll tax and entertainment tax.

Dogs’ company

Roads and neighbourhood parks are passé, as stray dogs have found better havens now. They are as much regulars at bigger and better gardens as the loyal walkers are. No surprise then that commuters to Garden of Fragrance, Sector 36, Shanti Kunj and Rose Gardens, Sector 16 and Bougainvillea Garden, Sector 3, now find themselves in dogs’ company, literally. While the mornings are still peaceful as most stray dogs are resting, evenings can get quite distressing, with stray dogs taking over the parks and jogging tracks, forcing the walkers to find their own path. The latter have little option than to fall in line. As for the enterprising ones, they should enterprise at their own risk - on many an occasion dogs have been spotted chasing the walkers away or even chasing them out of the gardens. It doesn't get any worse, does it?

Contributed by Pradeep Sharma, Smriti Sharma, Rajiv Bhatia, Vijay Mohan and Aditi Tandon

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Poll: DC’s permission must for using vehicles 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 30
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, said here today that no vehicle without the required permission would be allowed to ply for election-related activities.
Mr Tejveer Singh, who held a meeting here this evening with the Election Observers appointed for the Kharar, Morinda and Banur constituencies, Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers and police officers, said the permit issued by the Returning Officer concerned should be pasted on the windscreen. All vehicles plying without the required permission would be impounded by the police. He said not more than three vehicles were allowed in a convoy.

He said the use of loudspeakers would not be allowed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and written permission was needed by every candidate to hold rallies or conferences and furnish details of the expenses incurred in this regard.

If need be the Returning Officer could get the rallies videographed. He directed officials to take steps to ensure free and fair elections.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, said adequate police personnel would be deployed at each polling booth. Extra force would be stationed at booths which had been listed as very sensitive and sensitive.

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Army Aviation in for major reorganisation
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Amidst a massive acquisition and expansion programme, the Army Aviation Corps (AAC), one of the Army’s youngest arms, is in for a major re-organisation and re-structuring.

According to a proposal under consideration by the Ministry of Defence, the ACC is to be headed by a full-fledged director-general (DG) holding the rank of a lieutenant-general. At present, the ACC head is an additional DG in the rank of major-general.

“With new inductions, the strength of the ACC would go up significantly, warranting that the arm be headed by a lieutenant-general as is in the case of other arms and services,” an officer said. “By the end of the 12th Army Plan in 2017, the ACC would have almost doubled its aerial assets,” he added. The proposals, when cleared, would be implemented over a period of time and re-organisation would be effected as and when newer inductions are made.

It is also proposed that the ACC has a permanent cadre, with officers being posted to it on completion of pre-commission training at the IMA or OTA. Presently it draws officers from all other arms and services who have already served a few years in the Army.

Sources said the Army planned to establish aviation brigades at the corps and command level. All corps would have integral tactical and attack helicopter squadrons, each comprising two light attack flights and a reconnaissance and observation (R&O) flight. Further down the echelon, each infantry and mountain division will have an R&O flight on its establishment.

As far as the three strike corps, the Army’s offensive punch are concerned, it is proposed to have two squadrons each of attack helicopters, two R&O squadrons and a utility helicopter squadron. Divisions under strike corps would have two R&O flights, sources add.

The Army has 13 Corps, including three strike corps which comprise three armoured divisions, two artillery divisions, 10 mountain divisions and 18 infantry divisions and four RAPIDs.

Noticeably, it is also proposed to have an R&O squadron, each for counter-insurgency force headquarters. These are expected to have four flights, three of which would be for R&O while the fourth would be a light attack flight.

The ACC is proposing to induct a few squadrons of the Mi-17 medium lift helicopter. It is also in the process of buying 197 helicopters in the 10-tonne class to replace the ageing Chetak and Cheetah fleet, for which it has evaluated the Bell 407 and Eurocopter AS-550. Also on line are 125 HAL-made Dhruv advance light helicopters. Some reports say that the AAC also wants six Dornier Do-228 fixed-wing aircraft in the communication role.

The present strength of AAC, which was raised in 1987, is 38 flights controlled by 12 squadrons. These operate a total of 60 Chetak and 120 Cheetah helicopters. So far it does not possess any attack capability. This, however, is set to change with fresh inductions having state-of-the-art weapon and surveillance systems.

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Sambhar poaching: Fight over flesh nails 4
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
A fight over the distribution of their “pound of flesh” led Ropar district forest officials to nab four poachers who had allegedly hunted and killed a sambar in the Sunana forest near here yesterday.

The team led by Mr Praveen Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Ropar, had raided the houses of Tarlochan Singh and Harchand Singh, both residents of Sunana village and of Avtar Singh and Sharanjit, both of Akbarpur village on January 27.

The sambar was allegedly hunted and killed by Tarlochan Singh along with his uncle, Harchand Singh and others in the Sunana forest on January 26. The four had a fight when they got down to distributing the flesh. “The sambar is a huge animal and over a quintal meat is recovered from a single sambar. Avtar Singh runs a meat shop in the village and he could have been selling this meat since it fetches a good price,” added Mr Praveen. After the fight, one of them spilled the beans. Some persons in the village later informed forest officials.

It was found that sambar meat was being cooked at Tarlochan’s household and uncooked meat was also recovered. As many as seven snare traps were also recovered from his house. “This is big number and only a regular hunter keeps these traps,” said Mr Praveen adding that a double barrel gun was also recovered from the house of Avtar Singh.

The four managed to escape during the raid but were arrested by the team today. Nets for catching partridges and wild boars were also recovered from the houses of other accused.

“We suspect that these four acted like a gang and other persons could also be involved. The department will press for their detention under the forest Acts at the Ropar court tomorrow. Also we have not recovered the antlers of the sambar. These sell at very high price in the market, ” said Mr Praveen.

The four have been charged under Sections 9, 39, 49 and 51 of the Wildlife protection Act, 1972. The uncooked meat recovered from the house of the accused is being sent for examination. Tarlochan is said to have admitted to having killed the sambar. “The admission of a crime before a forest official above the rank of an assistant conservator of forests is admissible as evidence in law,” pointed out the DFO.

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Reservation granted to physically challenged
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
The National Handicapped Welfare Council, Haryana, has welcomed the courts orders of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Government of India as well as Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Government of Haryana ordering Haryana Urban Development Authority for granting reservation to physically challenged persons for allotment of plots for Group Housing Societies.

The Council has further appreciated the decision regarding allotment of plots to Societies formed by Members having disability for construction of plots/houses with retrospective effect from February 7, 1996 (the day when PWD Act 1995 was implemented) and the day Group Housing Scheme was started.

A spokesman of the Council said that since these are the orders of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Government of India, these should be implemented throughout the country preferably adjoining States of Haryana such as Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh.

The Council urged that the basic infrastructure facilities such as Electricity, Sewerage, Roads should also be provided to physically challenged people on subsidised and concessional rates in order to enable this community to live an honourable life in limited means. 

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Roundabouts add to road blues
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
City roundabouts, created beautifully by Le Corbusier, are turning into accident-prone areas.
In fact, the recent recarpeting of certain roads seems to have made some of the roundabouts virtual "death traps".With the authorities concerned following no proper procedure in recarpeting the area around the roundabouts, driving for thousands of motorists and two-wheeler drivers has become a risky affair.

Sources admit that while roads had been recarpeted, the areas around the roundabouts seemed to be nobody's baby. While the adjoining areas become elevated after recarpeting, the roundabout areas had depression, exposing drivers to risk.

A random survey of the roundabouts revealed that the surface around them has become bumpy. The roundabout on the Sectors 29-30-27-28 road, the roundabout towards the ISBT in Sector 17 are examples of the administration neglect.

This, coupled with the digging of the area around the roundabout for various maintenance jobs such as cleaning of the sewerage line, have further compounded motorists' problems. After the maintenance work, the area is not levelled, causing accidents, alleged Mr Hem Sharma, a government employee and resident of Sector 20.

Residents also allege that the authorities have meted out a step-motherly treatment while maintaining the roundabouts in the southern sectors. Mr Anil Sharma, a resident of Sector 38, who travel for work to Sector 17 daily, alleged that the roundabouts leading to his sector are drivers' nightmare." With streetlights on major road non-functional, driving is hazardous in the night," he alleged.

As the roads in the city are recarpeted after every three to four years, the area adjoining majority of roundabouts is getting further depressed, slowing turning into "shortcuts to death".

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District panel members elected
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
Elections to choose the members of the District Planning Committee were held at the district secretariat under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neerja Shekhar, here today.

The election of 16 members of the committee was carried out by secret ballot. Seven members were chosen from among the representatives of the municipal council. Of the 10 members of the parishad, nine members filed their nomination papers for the nine seats available for them. All those who had filed their nominations were elected unanimously which included the Zila Parishad chairman, Mr Varinder Bhau.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the chairman of the 20-member committee would be named by the government or elected by the House.

Municipal Councillor S.S. Goel walked out of the meeting, maintaining that he did not agree with the method adopted to elect the members. He said that while he was initially keen on contesting the election to be a part of the committee, he held that the procedure adopted by the Deputy Commissioner was not right.

"I suggested that the method adopted should be changed. She did not agree. I asked for withdrawing my name which she did not allow. Under protest, I left the room where election was in progress," he stated. 

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How about a helping hand?
41-yr-old renal failure patient struggles to survive at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Life has been unkind to Janamjai Sahu to say the least. The 41-year-old was first diagnosed with renal failure and now that his wife is willing to donate her kidney, they don’t have money for dialysis, let alone the transplant.

The Sahus’ world came crashing down some eight months ago when Janamjai, the sole earning member of his family, was diagnosed with kidney failure. After wife Sano Devi decided to donate her kidney, he was brought to PGI from Ranchi. Upon admission, PGI doctors asked the family to arrange for Rs 3.5 lakh for his transplant, an unimaginable sum for the Sahus.

After spending whatever little they had, the family raised money from friends, well-wishers and even money lenders. The family is now under heavy debt. The father of three children, Sahu needs dialysis till the transplant but his family cannot afford to take him to private clinics.

Janamjai has been running pillar to post for financial help. His repeated requests to the Prime Minister and Bihar Chief Minister have brought nothing but disappointment. Donors could contact Janamjai Sahu at 9915369573 or the PGI PRO at 0172-2756003.

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Factors to stem the tide of globalisation discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Listing out factors which are pre-requisite to stem the tide of globalisation, Prof Andrey I. Fursov, Director of the Institute of Russian History, Moscow, said a country should be big territorially and demographically, strong militarily and have a robust industrial economy and strong civilisational potential.

He said four countries viz India, Russia, Brazil and China fit these prerequisites in general. He was delivering a lecture on “The Emerging Global Brave New World : Opportunity of Challenge for Russia, India and China?” at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here yesterday.

The global brave new world tends to be the world of the rich and the strong, of retreating nation-states, of transnational corporations and corporation-states fighting one another with different means, the world of social polarisation and the new poor, the quantity of which is growing due to the decline of middle classes, he said.

The problem with globalisation, with its motto of “Freedom without equality”, he said, was that it was good for rich countries but offered a tricky choice for giant countries like India, China, Brazil and Russia.

The main social consequences of globalisation are the weakening of nation-states and the worsening of the position of the working classes and large segments of the middle class. One of the main results of globalisation, he added, was the sharp economic and social polarisation and situations where nation-states could not control global financial pressure or resist pressure. The formation of structures like the European Union and the rise and role of transnational corporations were among the other factors which led to the weakening of the nation-state, he added.

A Research Fellow at the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow, Dr Kirill A. Fursov, spoke on the political and economic phenomenon of the English East India Company in the context of the world-system approach.

He said the most striking feature of the company was its dual political and economic nature, where on the one hand it was a commercial organisation and on the other hand a political alternative to European nation-state and oriental patrimony.

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Protest march against rising prices
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
The local unit of the Bhatariya Janta Party organised a protest march from the party office in Sector 2, to the District Sectretariat against the rising prices in the Congress regime. Led by the Vice President of the state unit, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, and former Member of the Parliament, R.L. kataria, the BJP activists raised slogans against the Congress Party and UPA chairman Sonia Gandhi for pursuing policies which had led to unprecedented hike in rates of essential commodities.

Marching down to the secretariat, the activists carrying placards and banners blamed the UPA-led government at the Centre for being anti-poor and held a meeting outside the secretariat. After waiting for any official of the district administration to receive their memorandum, they dispersed from the area raising slogans against the district administration. 

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Rodrigues to lay stone of judicial complex today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) will lay the foundation stone of the judicial complex tomorrow in the presence of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Vijender Jain. The complex which would come up in Sector 43 would have at least 30 courts.

The complex, housing court rooms, a bar room and chambers for 1,000 lawyers, would come up on nine acres of land adjoining the Judicial Academy, the foundation stone of which was laid last year by former Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal. The academy will train judges from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chandigarh. 

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Taps go dry at Jayanti Devi temple
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Devotees visiting the 550-year-old Jayanti Dev Temple, Kharar, are at the receiving end, thanks to the elections in Punjab.
As the politicians, including outgoing Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Jagmohan Kang, are busy in contesting the election from the Morinda assembly segment, taps are running dry for the last one week at the historic temple.

The reason- the machinery which pumps up the potable water to the temple, located on a hill, is out of order for the last one week. Public Health officials have expressed inability in changing the pump machinery and are making futile efforts to repair it, complained an employee of the temple.

The Punjab Government had recently announced to spend over Rs 13 crore on the preservation and constructing a new retaining wall for the 550-year-old temple here.

Officials managing temple complained that with the mela beginning from February 1, the things could go out of hand as hundreds of devotee throng the temple. At present, people are being forced to carry buckets of water, climbing several columns of stairs. 

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Workshop for city cops

Chandigarh, January 30
ICICI Bank is organising a special workshop for the Chandigarh Police involving white collar crimes on February 3. The bank said officers of all ranks of the police would take part.— TNS

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SI Paramjit suffers cardiac attack

Chandigarh, January 30
SI Paramjit Kaur Sekhon, allegedly molested by Inspector Jagir Singh was hospitalised with complaints of unusually high heart rate on Monday.
Family sources told TNS, that Paramjit was upset over the entire episode and has been tense for the past couple of days. She was taken to a private hospital in sector 19 after her condition worsened and she was still in the hospital. The doctors said she suffered Techi cardiac attack. TNS

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Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Meenu, a resident of the New Generation Apartments on the Zirakpur-Kalka road here, has allegedly committed suicide.
According to sources, Meenu's father,Mr Sajjan Singh Handa, a resident of Sector 2 of Panchkula, had spoken to his daughter on January 28 when she was reportedly "depressed". After that the mobile phone of the deceased was reportedly switched off.

Meenu's husband runs a showroom in Ludhiana. Her 13-year-old daughter, a student of Vivek High School in Sector 38 of Chandigarh, was living with Mr Handa for the past few days.

The police said when efforts to contact Meenu on the phone failed, Mr Handa, accompanied by his son, Mr Sajdeep Singh Handa, came to meet Meenu this morning. However, repeated knocks at the door failed to elicit any response from the deceased, who was in her early forties.

Later, the Police was informed and a Police party accompanied the family to the flat. The door was broken into in the presence of the Police. Sources said the body of the deceased was found hanging from a ceiling fan in one of the bedrooms of the flat. The police is investigating.

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Nabha man held for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The local police today arrested a Nabha resident on the allegations of obtaining licence from the Chandigarh Bar Council by furnishing fake documents.
Gurmail Singh of Nabha was arrested from his village. The Chandigarh Bar Council had earlier lodged a complaint with the police against those persons who obtained licences by submitting fake documents. A case of cheating and forgery has been registered against him.

Call girl ring busted: The police busted a call girl racket from a hotel on the Zirakpur-Patiala road here yesterday. The police raided a hotel and arrested seven people, including three call girls. Those arrested included Pritpal Singh, Swaran Singh, Surinder Singh, the kingpin and Sonu, an employee of the hotel. A case has been registered.

Phone thief held: The police today arrested Ravinder Singh of Burmajra village in Morinda and Pradeep Kumar of Salapur in Ropar on allegation of snatching a mobile phone from a Panjab University student in December, last year.

The two were arrested from the city following a tip-off. The snatched mobile phone has been recovered from them. Vijay Katare, a PU student, had reported to the police alleging that four youths travelling in a car snatched his mobile phone.

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Drunk driver runs amok 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
People scurried for their lives in the Sector 44 booth market this evening when an inebriated car driver rammed into several vehicles while reversing his car.
According to eyewitnesses, at least 10 vehicles, including scooters, motorcycles and bicycles, were hit by the car before it came to a halt. No one was seriously hurt. Bystanders nabbed the driver, found him to be heavily drunk and informed the police.

Investigating officer Sukhdial Singh said the man was admitted to the hospital and doctors were treating him. Action against him could be taken only after getting his medical reports. The driver’s statement was yet to be recorded. Singh added that the owners of the damaged vehicles and the injured did not want to lodge a complaint against the driver.

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Call girl nabbed

Chandigarh, January 30
The Chandigarh police today arrested a call girl from Terrace Garden in Sector 33 here.
Following a tip-off, the police sent a decoy to strike a deal with the call girl, originally hailing from Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. The accused used to operate through the Internet and had left a contact number on the Net. The number was intercepted by the police following which a police party was sent to nab the girl. A case has been registered. — TNS

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BMW sets shop in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
BMW- the super luxury car, will now be available in Chandigarh. BMW India today announced the appointment of Krishna Automobiles as its exclusive dealership partner in Chandigarh.

Mr Peter Kronschnabl, President, BMW India, said "Our partnership with Krishna Automobiles in Chandigarh reflects BMW's ambitious plans to create a strong dealer network and set new benchmarks in service quality and customer care in India".

So far, two intermediary dealers with three outlets represent BMW in the Indian market. Owing to an exuberant growth potential, BMW is hopeful of multiplying its annual sales volume and has already chalked out an extensive dealer strategy to support its plans. Phase I of the dealer network expansion plan would include 12 dealers covering all metropolitan centers of the country by the end of 2009.

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the only automobile manufacturer worldwide to operate with all brands exclusively in the premium segments of the automotive market, from the small car segment to top-of-the-range luxury limousines. Along with its automotive business, the BMW group's activities comprise the development, production and marketing of motorcycles, as well as comprehensive financial services for private and business customers. 

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Seminar on Advantages of Virginia in CII
Tribune News Service

Ms Kimberly Weir
Ms Kimberly Weir

Chandigarh, January 30
Virginia is the best business destination for all type of businesses, which require fast, efficient and a trouble-free working environment.
This was the key message of the address by Ms Kimberly Weir, the International Investment Manager, Virginia Economic Development Partnership Division of International Trade and Investment, while addressing select industry representatives during a Session on Advantages of Virginia for Indian Companies, organised by CII Chandigarh Council here today.

Ms Weir said that state-of-the-art facilities, enabling business environment and sea and air connectivity make Virginia an ideal business hub. Highlighting the specific advantages that Virginia can provide for Indian Investors, she said, "Strategic location on East Coast, world class distribution infrastructure, direct access to Washington DC, skilled workforce, favourable tax treatment and incentives and excellent quality of life make Virginia a greener pasture for investors". She further shared that it is home to one of the country's busiest international airport, Washington Dulles International and the country's fifth busiest port, Hampton Roads.

Talking about Virginia's strongest sectors, she said that High Tech Industry including Information Technology and Defence Technology and distribution and manufacturing sectors like food processing, automotive, plastics and electronics are the potential sectors to explore business ties for the Indian business community. She called for tangible action by the Indian Industry as also to cash in on opportunities available for investment in Virginia.

Mr Partap K Aggarwal, Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council said that Virginia's pro-business environment provides a cost-effective, profitable platform for Indian companies to establish their US operations as it was the ideal gateway to the U.S. market for Indian companies. Mr Puneet Vatsayan, Convenor, was also present.

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