C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CM’s visit throws life out of gear
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

* Dera Bassi converted into a fortress
* People at the mercy of men in khakhi
* General public at the receiving end
* Congested rally venue adds to public woes

Dera Bassi, February 2
The visit of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to the township today spelt hardship for the common man.

Though it may have brought a temporary truce among various factions of the Congress in the run-up to the February 13 Punjab elections, the common men were at the mercy of the men in khakhi with unprecedented security arrangements throwing life out of gear in the townships.

The area around Government High School, where Chief Minister's helicopter was to land, was converted into a fortress with the deployment of scores of security personnel. The township came to a standstill for the better part of day.

In fact, security arrangements for the rally organised in support of the Congress candidate from Banur assembly segment, Mr Rakesh Sharma, and alleged misuse of the official machinery might put the Congress at the wrong side of the model code of conduct.

The area adjoining the rally venue was out of bounds for the general public. Heated exchanges between the party workers and cops was a common occurrence with the latter preferring to tow away the vehicles parked outside even the school boundary wall. Since the venue of the rally — Ramlila Ground — was a central part of the town, residents were put to a lot of inconvenienced.

The harassment could have been avoided if the rally was organised at a spacious venue, Mr VK Sharma, a motorist, said.

Tempers ran high as even the office-bearers of the Congress and mediapersons found it difficult to enter the pandal in view of the security ring thrown around the venue. In fact, the president of the local municipal council, Mr Amritpal Singh, other leaders of had a difficult time in making it to the dais.

Though Capt Amarinder Singh talked out welfare measures for the general public, the common man outside the pandal continued to be at the mercy of men in khakhi.

This was not all. When the Chief Minister disembarked from the helicopter at the school campus and his cavalcade travelled towards the rally venue, the road leading from bus stand to the tehsil complex was closed to traffic further compounding the woes of the motorists on the busy road.

Meanwhile, official sources claimed that mandatory security arrangements had to be made keeping in view the VVIP status of the Chief Minister. The public inconvenience could not avoided as venue was "congested and located in the central part of the township.

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Amarinder plays development card
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, February 2
Playing the development card to the hilt, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today accused the Badal family of taking the Punjab electorate for a ride for its narrow political gains.

Addressing an election rally here in support of the Congress candidate from Banur, Mr Rakesh Sharma, Capt Amarinder Singh claimed that the mega projects had brought prosperity to the state making it a favourite investment destination of the international firms. The land prices in Chandigarh's periphery alone brought windfall for the farming community, he added.

Scoffing at the tardy development work during the three stints of Mr Parkash Singh Badal as the Chief Minister, he claimed that the electorate was vigilant and the Congress was set to retain power in the state. The crusade against corruption will continue if the party was voted to power.

Calling upon the electorate to repeat the performance of 1980 Lok Sabha elections when he led by a margin of over 22,000 votes from the Banur segment, Capt Amarinder Singh claimed that the main focus of the Congress manifesto was overall development of the state.

While Capt Amarinder Singh blasted Mr Badal for his various acts of omission and commission, he was guarded in his criticism of the sitting SAD-BJP MLA from Banur, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, despite provocation from those present on the dais.

The Chief Minister said the father of the Congress candidate, late Hans Raj Sharma, had guided him during his first Lok Sahba elections in 1980. “It is now my turn to guide Mr Sharma now”, he said seeking votes for the Congress candidate.

Disputing charges of disunity among the Congressmen in the assembly segment, Mr Sharma claimed that all sections of society had benefited from the policies of Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Congressmen today seemingly put up a united show at the rally. Mr Deepinder Dhillon and Ms Seelam Sohi, who were considered to a main contenders for ticket from Banur, were also present on the dais. A former Haryana Minister, Mr Venod Sharma, who was reportedly instrumental in getting ticket for Mr Sharma, was also there.

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Rs 20 lakh penalty imposed on Deep Nursing Home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on Deep Nursing Home, Sector 21, for medical negligence leading to death of a 32-year-old patient, Charanpreet Kaur, in December, 2005.

The commission held that the woman had died due to lack of caution and negligence by the attending doctors, Dr Kanwaljit Kochhar and Dr Gurdeep Singh Kochhar. The child had also died soon after birth.

The orders were passed by the commission after Mr Manmeet Singh Mattewal and Shiraz, father and six-year-old son of the deceased, moved the case against the nursing home.

Advocate Pavitt Mattewal, counsel for the complainants, said Charanpreet had visited the nursing home several times for a check-up when she was pregnant. On December 19, 20005, she came to the nursing home with a backache. She was admitted at the nursing home on December 22 as she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy.

Kaur gave birth to a girl child but the infant died almost instantly and the mother also expired around 4.30 am the next day. Manmeet accused the nursing home of negligence which led to her death. It was alleged that the nursing home was inadequately equipped to handle emergencies.

It was further alleged that Kaur went into mental trauma and started bleeding profusely after she was informed about the death of her child. Rather than taking immediate action to save the patient’s wife, the doctors kept on delaying the matter, alleged husband of the deceased.

The doctors took a long time to decide on blood transfusion and she was dead by the time she was shifted to the PGI. No doctor from the nursing home accompanied the patient to the PGI.

Defending their case, and refuting the allegation, the doctors contended that the woman had not disclosed that her earlier child was autistic, a genetic disorder of nervous system and they also denied informing the mother about the death of their child.

Both the doctors were held guilty for delaying the decision to shift the patient elsewhere.“ It appears that she had already died when she was taken to the PGI and the act was to dump the body in the PGI.

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UGC report eclipses PEC ‘Vision Statement’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Even as the Punjab Engineering College Board of Governors met today to discuss the “Vision Statement” of the Deemed university, the UGC report on the functioning of the PEC Director, Dr Vijay Gupta, cast a shadow over the proceedings.

Other than a UGC inquiry committee that recently pointed out glaring irregularities in the promotion of faculty members by the Director, the Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi, has also asked the Chandigarh Administration to look into the entire matter and take action.

The UGC team had conducted an inquiry against the PEC head in October 2006, following complaints by various faculty members of the college. The UGC submitted its report in this regard to the UT Home Secretary recently. Other than this, the Chief Vigilance Commission had, in August 2006, asked the Chandigarh Administration to look into another series of complaints filed by these faculty members.

According to one such complaint certain faculty members were promoted despite the fact that they were not eligible for the same. Some teachers, who had not even applied for promotions, were also promoted from the post of Assistant Professor to Professor, Those teachers against whom vigilance inquiry was pending and did not fulfill the requisite qualifications were issued postdated letters of promotions. The complaints state that one lecturer of Electronics Department was given 14 advance increments against rules.

Speaking to The Tribune the Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, said the report had been sent to for comments from the Chairperson, Board of Governors, Mr Chandra Mohan, who is likely to give his comments on the issue next week.

In a fresh complaint to the CVC, New Delhi, members of the SC/ST/OBC Officers Welfare Association, it was further alleged that a lecturer was given senior scale without her ACRs being brought on record. In another case the rule that five years of service is the minimum requirement for promotion from lecturer to senior scale was overlooked. In this case the lecturer would become eligible for the promotion only in 2010. The association further alleged that one candidate with only B.E qualification was selected for the post of lecturer even though essential qualification for the same was M.E.

When contacted, PEC Director, Prof Vijay Gupta, denied that any irregular promotions had been done. “All selections and promotions have been done according to rules”, he said. “The selections and promotions are done not by me alone but by an entire committee which comprises senior faculty from IITs and the UT Administration officials,” he said. 

The much-awaited ‘Vision Statement’ of PEC was adopted by the Board of Governors today. The vision statement has been finalised by a committee chaired by Mr R.K Saboo and included Mr Krishan Goyal, Mr Pawan Agarwal, Mr R.P Sehgal, Prof R.N Nauhria and the PEC, Director, as members. Other than the vision and mission statements the draft also suggests strategies and lists the focus areas in research activities support system, social inclusion, infrastructure, alumni affairs etc. The vision statement of the deemed university is the basic blueprint for the various future policies of the Administration. The vision statement says, “PEC is to strive to become a centre of excellence in technical; education and research and to occupy a place among the most eminent institutions of the nation.”

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Small savings plans lose sheen
Punjab, Haryana concerned over less collections
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Posing a serious threat to the economic condition of state governments, the small savings collections across the country have come down by 35.78 per cent.

With people preferring investment in term deposits and the bullish share market, the total collections have been adversely hit.

Figures available from the National Savings Institute, show that the net small savings collection in the country have come down from Rs 34, 980 crore in 2005 to 22, 461 crore in 2006. The worst hit has been Rajasthan where the net collections have come down by over 50 per cent in a year (from Rs 1,484 crore in 2005 to Rs 628 crore in 2006).

The small savings collections are vital to the economy of states, as the state governments get 100 per cent of these collections as long term loans from the Central Government. These loans are granted as soft loans, and account for the major source of revenue for the state governments. It is thus the state governments insist on increasing the small savings collections and offer several motivational schemes for the purpose, so that they get more money from the Central Government.

Even in the North, downfall in small savings collections is over 30 per cent. The net collections from Punjab till November, 2006, were down by Rs 486. 70 crore (30 per cent less) and from Haryana by Rs 269. 93 crore (39 per cent less) , as compared to 2005.

The net collections for Punjab till November, 2006, were Rs 1,175.21 crore and for Haryana were Rs 691.76 crore. In Himachal Pradesh, these collections have come down from Rs 521.27 crore in 2005 to Rs 427.59 crore (19.98 per cent less), and in Jammu and Kashmir, these small savings have come down from Rs 367.01 crore to Rs 276.28 crore (down by 24.7 per cent).

Official sources in the National Savings Institute informed TNS that the main reason for the decline in small savings collection was the high interest rates offered by banks on term deposits, ranging from 8.5-9 per cent. Since depositors get same returns on fixed deposit and liquidity factor here comes as a bonus, they are now opting for term deposits. As a result, share of short-term deposits in the total time deposits has increased from 43 per cent in March, 2000, to over 53 per cent now.

Officials in the National Savings Institute say that though investors are losing confidence in National Savings Certificates and Kisan Vikas Patras, schemes like Public Provident Fund and Senior Citizens Saving Schemes have not lost their sheen.

Worried over the falling small saving collections, many state governments have now started motivational schemes and offer high value lucky draw prizes like one kg gold, Rs 15 lakh etc., to woo investors.

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Mayor in soup over tea party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
It was literally a storm in a tea cup. The visit of the Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Ms Harjinder Kaur, to a tea party hosted by Mr Jagjit Singh Kang, brother of the Congress candidate from Morinda, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, was used by her detractors to score some political points.

While her detractors, particularly the Congress Councillor, tried to put her in a spot for attending a ‘rival political party’s Councillors tea party’, in view of the forthcoming Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections, where the Congress is pitted against the SAD-BJP alliance. It was alleged that Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang was also present at the meeting, to seek support of the Councillors, and the Mayor had “extended” her support to him.

When contacted, Ms Harjinder Kaur, while refuting all allegations of extending support to the Congress candidate, said she had merely gone to the party as a fellow Councillor. 

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Tributes paid to Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Floral tributes were paid to Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, founder of The Tribune Trust, on the 126th anniversary of the newspaper at The Tribune office here today.

Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune, and Mr Sanjay Hazari, General Manager, The Tribune Trust, along with others,paid rich tributes to the great visionary, who founded the newspaper 126 years ago in Lahore.

Mr G.S. Sidhu Damdami,Editor, Punjabi Tribune,Mr Naresh Kaushal, Editor, Dainik Tribune, and Mr O.P. Arora, Additional General Manager,The Tribune Trust, were prominent among those present.

The office-bearers of The Tribune Employees Union, including Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, president ,and Mr Anil Gupta,general secretary, also paid floral tributes.

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Terminal market: Governor reviews progress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The UT Administrator yesterday reviewed the progress of the modern terminal market in Sector 39 here. He discussed the broader framework and roadmap for creation of a physical and supportive infrastructure for the proposed project with senior officers.

In the project the Administration proposes to provide market services such as electronic auction facility, cold-storage facility, temperature-controlled warehouses, ripening chambers, sorting, grading, washing and packing lines, material handling equipments, banking services, etc. and non-market services related to agriculture such as business centre services, budget hotels and motels services, restaurants and other refreshment services and shopping complexes.

Chandigarh had been selected by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, to be one of the modern terminal markets being set up in different parts of the country.

General Rodrigues also visited the housing project coming up in Sector 48 for doctors and other para-medical staff of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. He asked the Engineering Department to create all facilities and complete the project in a time-bound manner.

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Hooda donates Rs 15 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
A function was organised by the Sri Guru Ram Dass Maha Sabha on the occasion of the celebrations of the 630th Sri Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti today at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Bhawan, Sector 20, here.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana, was the chief guest. He announced a grant of Rs 15 lakh for the renovation of the bhawan.

Highlighting the teachings of Shri Guru Ravi Dass ji, he said, “He was the embodiments of kindness, charity and love.

Citing the teachings of Guru Ravi Dass, Dr K.R. Punia, president of the sabha, explained that the status of the man was decided by his Karma. He said in the present times when the human values were fast eroding, his teachings were very significant.

Geeta Bhukkal, MLA from Kalayat, and Harjinder Kaur, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, also attend the function.

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BJP to oppose Art commission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The local unit of the BJP today decided to oppose the setting up Urban Art Commission. Mr Kehar Singh Koundel, spokesman of the local BJP unit, said during the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs led by Mrs Sushama Swaraj, the party had demanded formation of a Vidhan Sabha.

Already all the powers are vested with the Administrator and officers in the administration. The elected representatives have a lot of difficulty in getting their works done. The formation of the Arts Commission would further negate their position.

The BJP has accused the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal for getting the resolution of the Commission passed so that he could get control of the powers presently controlled by the Administrator. It has demanded that the MP should make his stand clear on the issue.

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Residents want active role in city affairs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
It is believed that there is some “negative personal equation” among certain officials between UT’s administrative hierarchy and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Things become even worse when one takes into account the relationship between the city’s administrative head and people’s representatives.

Be it the setting up of the Urban Arts Commission or any other body - controlled either by bureaucracy a constitutional head or by a politician - city residents want accountability in the spending of the public money and redressal of their long-pending issues like economical general housing, need-based changes in residential houses, end to mindless acquisition of land for rehabilitating slum dwellers, better parking facilities in commercial centres.

“Public participation in deciding the fate of the city is never allowed. The standing parliamentary committee had also expressed the need to have a new mechanism for redress of grievances and problems of the general public,” said Mr Ajay Jagga, income tax consultant.

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IMF representative visits Fortis
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 2
Professor Anne Krueger, Special Adviser to the Managing Director- International Monetary Fund, yesterday visited Fortis Hospital, Mohali. She toured the hospital along with Mr Ashish Bhatia, COO, Fortis Hospital, and other senior members of the hospital. She was in the city to address a session at CII’s 6th Punjab State Council Meeting.

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Farewell
Vijay Arora: A one-film wonder
Devinder Bir Kaur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
1970s maybe known as the decade of the angry young man Amitabh Bachchan before he eventually became the Big B. It was, however, also known for several other landmark films like, “Yaadon Ki Baraat”.

If “Yaadon Ki Baraat” was known as a vendetta saga with Dharmendra breathing fire to avenge the murder of his parents, it was also known for bringing to the fore two good-looking young actors, Vijay Arora and Tariq Shah. The two playing Dharmendra's younger brothers get separated in childhood itself following the murder melee. In a typical lost-and-found setup, the three brothers have one common childhood song as the combining factor and which alone can bring them together,of course, only in the last reel.

Of the three brothers, only Vijay Arora had the prominent role, that of the romantic hero. And what's more he had the privilege of having opposite him the top leading lady of the day,namely Zeenat Aman.

"Yaadon Ki Baraat", Vijay's main, perhaps only claim to fame, was also a blockbuster for its immensely popular songs. "Meri Soni, meri tamanaa, jhoot nahin hai mera pyar, I love you...", "Aapke kamre mein koi rehta hai...," "Leke hum, deewana dil, phirte hain mehfil mehfil...," "Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko..." and, of course, the title song, "Yaadon ki baraat nikli hai aaj dil ke dware"....

"Yaadon Ki Baraat" also became an inspiration point years later for the present-day successful director-producer Karan Johar. As he once revealed that he included a song "Koi mil gaya, mera dil gaya, kya bataoon yaaron, main to hil gaya..." along the lines of "Aapke kamre mein koi rehta hai..." in his debut directorial venture "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai," starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kaajol and Rani Mukherjee.

Vijay Arora was second time lucky when he acted with another top actress of the day,Jaya Bhaduri, today better known as Amitabh Bachchan's wife and Abhishek Bachchan's mother Jaya Bachchan. The film was Rajinder Singh Bedi's "Phaghun" also starring Dharmendra and Waheeda Rehman. Vijay playing a young doctor gets married to Jaya and has to bear the suffocating attention from her mother Waheeda who herself had to separate from her writer husband Dharmendra over a trifle like his ruining her expensive sari on Holi.

Vijay Arora was one of the talented newcomers who had passed out from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The others were Jaya Bahduri, Shatrughan Sinha, Anil Dhawan, Danny Dengazopa, Rehana Sultan Radha Saluja and the ilk.

But, somehow, Lady Luck did not favour Vijay for long. After such a big headstart, he sank into oblivion. He began to do minor roles, the major one being in Manmohan Desai's "Roti," starring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. Vijay played a man who becomes lame on account of the hero's blunder. To think it was Rajesh Khanna who had earlier predicted a bright future for him.

After a big gap, Vijay switched over to the TV medium. However, Vijay did barely two serials, "Lakeerein" and "Talaash." He also played Meghnath in Ramanand Sagar’s mega-serial,“Ramayan.”

Eventually, he shifted to yet another job,that of a cinematographer. His best known films as a cinematographer are Amitabh Bachchan-starrer "Viruddh," Sanjay Dutt-starrer "Vaastav" and Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed Khan- starrer "Dus."

Stars did not do justice to a talented actor who had a lot of potential in his chosen field. He remains, like some others, a one-film wonder. And that film, "Yaadon Ki Baraat", remains his only claim to fame.

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Laptops stolen from SCO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Mr Sanjay Makkar, a resident of Sector 37, filed a report at a police station that some laptops from his shop-cum-office (SCO) in Sector 20 were stolen last night. The details of the stolen goods were yet to be ascertained. A case has been registered in this regard.

In another incident, Mr Naresh Nagpal said his servant had stolen Rs 1,000 and mobile phone from his residence at Sector 39. The police has registered a case under section 381 IPC.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Surinder Singh of Manimajra lodged a complaint that his motorcycle bearing number CH03 R- 1756 was stolen on January 31 from his residence. The police has registered a case.

Gambling

The police has arrested six persons, including Gurinder Singh, Prem Narain, Inderjit Singh, Gurdip Singh, Paras Ram and Ram Avadh, from different places on the charge of gambling. A case under sections 13/3/67 has been registered.

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Mohali man booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 2
The police has booked a resident of Phase X on a charge of cheating.

According to the police, Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Phase IV, alleged that Jagmit Singh took Rs 80,000 from him for getting him a job. It is alleged that he neither got a job for Mr Jaswinder Singh, nor returned his money.

The police has registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC in this regard.

Cop booked

The police has registered a case against a cop on the charge of injuring a man.

Mr Prabhsimran Singh, a resident of Phase III-A , has complained to the police that a policeman had struck him with a stick when he was going on his motor cycle from Phase VII towards the petrol station in Phase III-A . The cop came out of a hedge and hit him with a stick on his nose. The police has registered a case under Section 325 of the IPC in this regard. 

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IT giant in Mohali to hire professionals
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Connecting to a programme of recruitment in this part of the region, US-based information technology giant Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), the company that keeps Paris metro on track ,is coming to Mohali for hiring professionals.

The company is expected to pick up professionals from students possessing BCA degree. Students from institutes across the state with B.Sc in Computer Sciences, Information Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics, Software Engineering and related fields will also be considered.

The students applying for jobs should possess a minimum of 60 per cent in Classes X, XII and graduation. The employment will be offered on full-time basis with “IT solution practices” and not with BPOs or call centres.

The selected candidates will be placed at the National Capital Region (NCP), Hyderabad and Chennai. To begin with, the candidates will be offered Rs 1.6-lakh per annum . The recruitment drive is scheduled to be held on February 12 at Chandigarh Engineering College in Landran. Chairman Satnam Singh Sandhu says it is being carried out through London and Navi Mumbai-based G4 Solutions. It has asked the institutes to forward a list of eligible students by February 7.

CSC has headquarters in El Segundo, California. In fact, the company serves “Fortune Global 1000 companies” in 15 industries. It employs about 90,000 people in 88 countries. In India, the company has software development centres in Noida, Hyderabad, Chennai and Indore.

 

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