C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


More power for commercial sector
Sanctioned load limit goes up to 200 KW
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
In a major relief to thousands of commercial establishments in the city, the Administration has decided to increase the limit of the sanctioned load from 100 KW to 200 KW.

The policy decision will benefit all commercial establishment. Sources revealed that the decision had been taken at the level of the Adviser to the UT Administrator.

Highlights

Power will be available at competitive rates, which is likely to be Rs 2.6 per unit
Transmission losses will be minimum
Power supply from the proposed plant will start by 2009-2010.

"The Administration should first strengthen the transmission and distribution network. Only then should the applications be invited", believe shopkeepers of the city.

The increase in the limit of the sanctioned load means that there will be an end to the heavy penalty imposed on commercial establishments for overdrawing power. Surprise raids are regularly carried to check the overdrawl. This will also check the practice among the shopkeepers to give sub-connections without the permission of the authorities.

Power officials disclosed that in case of shops where there were several small rented compartments, practice of overdrawl of power were quite rampant.

To enable the applicants to get the additional load, the Electricity Department has been directed to strengthen the transmission and distribution system feeding the commercial areas.

"It will require immediate replacing of power lines so that the applicants after paying the charges for the extended load genuinely benefit from the new policy", said Mr Subash Sethi, president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.

The Secretary, Engineering, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said the extension of load was a long-pending demand. The decision would encourage economic activity in the commercial centres. "The limit of 100 KW was decided in early nineties. Since then the scenario has changed", he added.

Prior to the fresh decision, the 100 KW load was for each commercial unit whether it was an SCO, SCF, Bay Shop and booth. A scheme of Simplified Load Regulation Scheme (SLR) 2006, launched by the UT Engineering Department for regulation of unauthorised extension in load, failed to elicit any response due to the cap of 100 KW on commercial units.

Mr J.S. Kalra, general secretary of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said when the consumers applied for extension of load, they were told that load could not be extended beyond 100 KW. The increase in the sanctioned load was a big breather for the traders, he said.

Additional power for city, too

Chandigarh: The residents of Chandigarh will get additional 100 mega watt power from 2009-10. The Administration signed an MoU with the Power Trading Corporation

This was for the first time when 100 MW power from a single power plant had been promised. Normally, the city has been getting only 3-4 MW from Central generating plants by the Ministry of Power.

The MoU was signed by the Finance-cum-Engineering- Secretary, Mr S.K.Sandhu, on behalf of the Administration and the Assistant Senior Vice-President, Mr S.S Sharma, on behalf of the PTC.

Chandigarh has no power generation of its own and to meet the requirement of power, it is being purchased from the BBMB, the NTPC, the NHPC, and the NPCIL.

At the time of creation of Chandigarh, the peak demand was only 13 MW and the power requirement was of the order of 1.38 LU per day. The power requirement in the city on account of development of city and population growth has risen to the extent that power requirement of Chandigarh has touched 52 LU per day and the peak demand has been recorded 272 MW against the total allocation of power to the tune of 248/200 MW.

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2 Subhiksha outlets inspected; Drug Controller orders inquiry
Bipin Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
In less than 24 hours of publishing a news item “Risky convenience: Drug’s doorstep delivery” in Chandigarh Tribune, the UT Health Department inspected two outlets of Subhiksha Trading Services Limited, a Chennai-based company and found them operating in violation of the Drug Act.

A team of the Health Department officials led by drug inspector Gurdeep Singh visited the company outlets in Sectors 16 and 23 and found that medicines were actually sold without prescription of doctors. The drug inspector also found that salesmen had issued retail invoices / cash memos having only the names of the customers and the columns like name of doctor, his designation and institute were not filled in.

Mr Gurdeep Singh told the TNS that the company had even closed the Sector 16 outlet. The employees of the particular outlet were asked to open the counter for inspection, he said.

Taking a serious note of the news item, Mr M.S. Bains, UT Drug Controller, ordered an enquiry into the case and directed the drug inspectors for conducting a search of the company outlets to verify if drugs were being sold to customers without seeking doctor’s prescription. The director had also sought a comprehensive report if the drugs were sold in violation of the Drug Act.

Mr Gurdeep Singh today submitted his report to the Drug Controller. Mr Jasbir Singh, another drug inspector, was not available for comments till late this night.

Dr Manjit Singh Bains, Director UT Health and Drug Controller UT, however, said show cause notices would be slapped on the company. Action would also be taken against the company for violating the Drug Act, he added.

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Students lock Principal for saying no
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Students of DAV College Sector 10 here today locked the principal along with his staff this morning protesting against a decision of the principal disallowing them to call a pop singer to perform at their festival.

Some of the students were also protesting against the college authorities for not providing adequate security in the hostels. The students alleged that at least nine laptops, mobiles and even clothes of the students had been stolen in the past three months.

According to Amandeep Multani one of the student leaders, the principal was not approving their inviting a Punjabi pop singer to perform during their annual fest Lakshya 2007 which was due this month. “The principal says no pop singers can be called to perform as it leads to indiscipline. He wants us to call Jagjit Singh who will sing ghazals. Can we dance on ghazals? He is himself a fan of Jagjit Singh and so wants his performance,” said Sparsh one of the students.

The Principal Dr S Marriya however stated that he was only following a directive of the Panjab University. “A committee set up by the university had recommended early this year that professional singers be not called during cultural festivals organised by the students. We are following that rule. The students can organise Lakhshya and perform themselves,” he said. He added that professional performances required a lot of security arrangements and the students also get drunk and out of control.

The students led by the Student’s Council Vice-President Gauravdeep Saharan and General Secretary Subhash Thakur locked the gate of the administration block while the principal and college staff was hosting a small function for some guests. The police was called in who broke open the lock and representatives of the students were called for a meeting.

The principal said he would not be flouting PU rules and the students added that they would be meeting on Monday.

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When cops got pat on the back
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The Chandigarh Police received a pat on the back by Mr A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI), for their professionalism today . The cops issued a challan for overspeeding to a car in which the national leader was travelling. Later, Rs 400 was paid on the spot as penalty for the offence.

The Chandigarh Traffic Police, which has been at the receiving end of the media bashing for challaning general public was quick to claim the compliment given by the national leader.

Elated over the behaviour of the seasoned leader, the police in a press note issued said the incident boosted the morale of the men-in-white as Mr Bardhan did not allow his security staff to interfere in the matter. On the other hand, he immediately offered to pay the fine on being told about the offence.

The police said a special naka for overspeeding was set up near the CRPF camp on the Chandigarh-Ambala road from 9 am to 1 pm. The cops intercepted a vehicle (AP-9-AM-9225) for overspeeding. Mr Bardhan was on his way to Amritsar and proceeded on his journey after paying the fine.

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Bomb hoax in PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Panic triggered in the PGI this morning following an anonymous phone call informing that a bomb was planted in the department of neurosurgery here today.

It all started when Dr Tarun of the department received a call at around 8:30 am on his intercom phone informing that a bomb was planted in the department. He immediately informed the police and the police reached the spot along with bomb disposal squad, dog squad and fire brigade to tackle any eventuality. The police cordon off the area.

The entire operation lasted for about two hours and after thoroughly checking the entire department, the police said it was a hoax call as no explosive was found during the search.

The PGI telephone exchange did not have the caller identification equipment with them.

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COMMUNITY
 

Kalpana Chawla remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
It was a day to remember one of the brightest students of Punjab Engineering College, Kalpana Chawla, on the occasion of her fourth death anniversary.

In a touching ceremony, held today in the college auditorium, the students and the faculty members of the college paid homage to the astronaut. The function was attended by Dr K.K. Garg, Dean, students welfare, Dr V.S Malhotra, former head, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, and the students of the college. On the occasion, a short documentary film depicting the highlights of her life was shown to the audience.

Recollecting the days when Kalpana was his student, Dr Malhotra, remembered her as an extremely talented and a committed student. “In fact after she joined NASA, we were in touch through e-mails. A native of Karnal, Haryana, Kalpana Chawla did her engineering from PEC during 1978 to 1982 in the aeronautical engineering discipline and later went on to become the first Indian lady astronaut in NASA until the ill-fated Columbia space shuttle explosion took her life along with six other American astronauts in 2003.

Remembering her on this day, her close friends Prof Rabinder Kaur and Prof Sovina Sood were reminiscent of her tomboyish looks and all those luncheon meetings on the college campus and outside during their days as students. Recalling her noble gesture even at that age, Rabinder explained that how she would pay the college dues of one of her batch mates without ever letting her know.

The college already has a hostel and a library dedicated to Kalpana Chawla. The library has around 300 books read by the astronaut during her lifetime, right from Ayn Rand to Munshi Premchand. Keeping in mind her concern for ‘mother nature’ and to commemorate the completion of 25 years of her batch, the college proposes to put up 50 nests on the trees on the college campus on February 25.

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CBI probe sought into Dimpy case
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 1
The father-in-law of slain criminal, Prabhjinder Singh, alias Dimpy, who was murdered near the Lake Club, here, in July last, has prayed for handing over investigation into the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Pointing out that the Chandigarh Police, which is investigating the case, has failed to nab anyone, the petitioner, Mr Hardeep Singh, has prayed the probe be handed over to the CBI.

He has stated that Dimpy was a popular political person in his area and had even contested the Punjab Assembly elections in 1992, the petitioner has alleged that the murder could be the handiwork of his political rivals.

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Rape victim seeks probe
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 1
Ms Neha Monga, a resident of New Delhi, who was found in an unconscious condition in Ambala on January 5, yesterday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking an independent probe and arrest of persons involved in her alleged kidnapping and throwing her in an unconscious condition at Ambala.

In her petition, Ms Monga has also accused her father, Mr Chaman Lal Monga, of raping her, getting her raped by his friends and later pushing her into the flesh trade by making her CDs, etc.

Mr Justice M.M.S. Bedi today issued notices to the Haryana Government and other respondents.

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Welfare association

Chandigarh, February 2
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 43-B, Chandigarh: president — Mr Hitesh Kumar Puri; vice-president — Mr Paramjit Singh Tuli; secretary — Mr K.K. Sharma; finance secretary — Mr K.K. Sehdev; and joint secretary — Ms Mamta Kohli. — TNS

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CRIME
 

2 suicides in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Prolonged illness claimed two lives in the city today. An elderly woman and a man allegedly ended their lives in two separate incidents in Sector 35. They held no one responsible for their deaths in their suicide notes, said the police.

The woman, 56-year-old Veerta Sharma, reportedly jumped to death from the fourth floor of her residence while 70-year-old Manmohan Singh hanged himself to death at his residence.

Giving details about the first incident, sources in the police said Veerta Sharma jumped from the fourth floor of her house this afternoon. She was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), where the doctors declared her brought dead. She was unmarried and was living along with her sister Lajja Sharma, who is working as assistant in the office of Finance Commissioner, Haryana.

Ruling out the possibility of any foul play behind the fatal fall of the Veerta, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said she had left a suicide note holding no one responsible for her death.

Her sister told the police that Veerta was mentally upset and was taking treatment from PGI. They had been living in the house for the past over four years and their parents had died in the past.

About the other suicide, the police said Manmohan Singh was found hanging from the ceiling fan hook by his daughter-in-law at his residence this afternoon. His family told the police that he was upset over his disease as he was suffering from arthritis for a long time.

Manmohan Singh retired from PWD, Punjab, in 1992 and was living with his son and wife. His wife had gone to gurdwara when the incident took place.

His body was handed over to the family without postmortem following their request, said the police.

The police have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this connection.

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2 caught red-handed picking pockets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Two city residents were caught red-handed while picking pockets at the Sector 17 on Wednesday.

The police said Mr Gurpinder Singh of Sector 55-A reported to the police that he had caught Rajan of Dhanas red-handed while picking his pocket. The accused laid his hands on his purse containing Rs 120. Similarly, Mr Ram Narain Verma of Sector 45 lodged a complaint alleging that Chetan of Mauli Jagran was nabbed while stealing his purse containing Rs 150. The police has registered two separate cases in this connection.

Pedestrian injured

A pedestrian, Mr Ram Millan, was hurt after being hit by a Haryana Roadways Bus near the inner gate of the sector 17 ISBT today. The victim was seriously injured and was admitted to the PGI. The police has arrested Ramesh Chand of Panipat district on the allegations of causing hurt due to rash and negligent driving.

Poppy husk seized

The Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police has arrested Pawan Kumar of Sarangpur village from a naka set up near the village on Wednesday on the allegations of carrying over 1 kg of poppy husk and 3.50 gm of opium. A case has been registered in this regard.

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Husband, four others booked for woman's death
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, February 1
The local police today booked five persons, including the husband, in connection with the death of a 28-year-old woman at Sundra village, near here, yesterday.

According to sources, Sonia died under mysterious circumstances at her home in Sundra village last night. However, when Sonia's family got a wind of her death, they rushed to her village from Ghereda Khurd village in Yamuna Nagar district in Haryana.

Mr Harnam Singh, Sonia's brother, on whose complaint the case has been registered, alleged that his sister was being harassed by her in-laws. “Today also, efforts were made to cremate her without informing our family”, he alleged.

However, Harnam Singh and other members of her family foiled the attempt to hurriedly cremate the body. The police was informed which registered a case and sent the body for a postmortem examination at the local civil hospital. Besides the husband Tarlochan Singh, the other booked are Jagar Singh, Babli, Kirpal Singh and Dhana Singh.

Sonia was married in 1998 and had a son aged 7 and a daughter 3 years.

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Migrant labourer murdered in Nayagaon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 1
A middle-aged migrant labourer has been allegedly murdered in Nayagaon village. The body which was recovered by the police today, has so far not been identified.

According to the police, the face and hands of the person were badly crushed. The body was found from near Adarsh Colony in the village.

Mr Swarn Singh, DSP (D), said that it appeared that the deceased hailed from UP or Bihar and was about 45-year-old. Police suspects that some clash must have taken place among migrant labourers after which he was allegedly murdered. Lots of efforts were made by the police to get the body identified but in vain.

The DSP said that statements of some people will be recorded tomorrow after which suspects would be rounded up. It was a case of blind murder.

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BUSINESS
 

Great potential for bilateral trade between India, Pak: Economist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
There is a great potential for bilateral trade between India and Pakistan. Given the complementarities and synergies between the two countries, the officially recorded bilateral trade of US $ 630 million is miniscule and is not reflective of the true potential which can cross US $ 5-6 billion, if basic trade relations are strengthened.

These views were expressed by Prof Anne O Krueger, former first Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), while interacting with Indian businessmen here today. She was presiding over a session on ‘India - Pakistan: The Economic Opportunity’, organised by CII Punjab State Council here today.

Sharing her perspective on bilateral trade, the senior economist said at present the intra-regional trade in the South Asian region was just 1 per cent of the total trade in the world. In 1948- 49, 63 per cent of all exports from India were to Pakistan, while 70 per cent of all exports from Pakistan were to India. “Now, the bilateral trade between these two South Asian super powers is miniscule. This is also affecting the foreign investments in the two countries, as investors look forward to trade with both countries, if they set base in India or Pakistan,” she added.

Deliberating the roadmap to give a major push to economic and trade issues, she underlined the need for an easy visa regime to promote trade and tourism, to encourage movement of goods across the border, harmonise custom procedures and standards, eliminate double taxation, open more consulates in the two countries as well as more transport routes and review the current list of positive items that could be imported from India to Pakistan.

She said there was enormous potential for joint ventures and tie-ups in the areas of energy, specifically hydroelectric energy, healthcare, infrastructure, tourism, university education and entertainment. At a more fundamental level, she recommended the need to enhance the people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan. This could be particularly feasible through organising exchange programmes relating to the areas of education, culture, business and tourism, she said.

Earlier, Dr Isher Judge Alhuwalia , Chairperson, Indian Council for Research and International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and Vice-Chairperson, Punjab State Planning Board, said, "We need to look at the 'little windows of hope' and develop economic stakes in both the countries and dividend would be peace on both sides of the border." She recommended for a sub-continental approach for sustainability of the economic boom instead of country-wise approach.

Mr Harpal Singh, Chairman, CII Punjab State Council, highlighted the positive features of Indo-Pak relations, by virtue of co-operation in economic, commercial and agriculture areas. He said, "Forging a strong economic relationship between India and Pakistan has become imperative in the emerging global economy and the new international economic order. Minds and hearts need to change. Forget the past and move on with the present to increase the political and economic space to deal with the differences".

Mr Gunbir Singh, Chairman, CII Amritsar Zonal Council, shared about the strong emotional bond between the people on both sides of the border and reiterated CII's commitment to explore the trade potential between the two countries.

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