C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ryan students to take exam as govt school candidates
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 19
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to allow 80 students of class X of Ryan International School, Sector 49, to take the forthcoming examination as students of a government school of Chandigarh.

The order was passed after the CBSE counsel informed the Bench that the proposal was mooted by the UT Administration to allow the students to appear in the examination, scheduled to begin from March 2. However, the counsel clarified that the arrangement was acceptable only as a one-time exception and it would have no bearing on the right, or the lack of it, of the school management to get affiliation from the CBSE.

Immediately after the order, the DPI (Schools), Chandigarh, asked Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, to admit these students.

At the last hearing, the UT counsel and the counsel for the parents of the students had suggested that in view of the stand-off over the grant of affiliation, the students could be allowed to appear in the examination as sponsored students of any government school.

While the parents of the students have accused the school management of fraud, the CBSE has opposed the plea for grant of affiliation to the school on more than one ground. The main objection being that the application for affiliation was received on October 9, 2006, while it should have been submitted on or before June 30, 2004.

The CBSE had reiterated that there was no question for grant of affiliation for the current session.

In its order, the Division Bench of Mr Justices Jasbir Singh and Vinod Kumar Sharma ordered that the CBSE would ensure the participation of these students in the examination. The Administration has been asked to ensure to undertake the task of internal assessment of these students as also their practicals and submit the same to the CBSE.

The Bench also directed the Ryan management to hand over all records pertaining to these students to the Administration within two days for onward submission to the CBSE.

With this order, the petitions filed by the students and their parents were disposed of by the court. It, however, adjourned the petition of the school for grant of affiliation to next month.

Although intervention by the high court means that the future of class X students of the school will not be marred, there remains a question mark over the future of class IX students. While the CBSE norms state that registration of prospective class X candidates be done while they are in class IX, this has not been done in case of Ryan school.

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Identical faces, identical goal
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Manan
Manan

Mohit
Mohit

Chandigarh, February 19
After walking down the ramp of popularity during the Mr Chandigarh contest held last year, city-based twins, having identical faces and aim, are all set to compete with 300-odd contestants at the national level for the Gladrags Manhunt 2007 competition.

So far, Mohit and Manan Bhardwaj have excelled in the first round of the manhunt after contending with over 1 lakh contestants from different parts of the country. “It wasn't easy, but we have made it to the second round with God’s grace and best wishes of our family and friends,” says Manan.

The second round is scheduled to be held on Tuesday in New Delhi. The two will undergo a rigorous month-long training in Goa along with other contestants, if they make it to the finals in the round.

Though the twins are also vying against each other for the same goal, they insist there is no sense of rivalry among them. “After all, we are first brothers and then contestants.... One of us should win, who it doesn’t matter,” the two assert in unison.

Reposing on a comfortable sofa in their Sector 23 house, the two - pursuing degrees in humanities from Sector 10 DAV College - feel the first-round victory has made mini-celebrities out of them on the college and varsity campuses.

“Though I was crowed Mr Chandigarh 2006 and Manan was declared second runner’s up in the contest, we were just like any other student on the campus. But now, we have so many youngsters seeking tips from us,” says Mohit. “Needless to say, it feels good,” he adds.

Agreeing, Manan says the first round victory has not only boosted their confidence level but has also given them something more than just “good exposure”. It has brought them “name, fame and also a new identity.

Ask them and the two say they have no plans of going in for the movies, television serials or even ramp shows. For, they want to concentrate on their studies and leave “things to time”. 

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Traffic Blues
Traffic chaos outside new PGI OPD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Unregulated vehicular traffic outside the main entrance of the new OPD block of the PGI has not only been putting scores of patients to a great hardship but also resulting in traffic jams for long hours here for the last many years. The PGI management authorities have hardly noticed the problem.

A parking lot, just next to the main exit of the block, is also a major bottleneck. The problem aggravates in the morning when vehicles carrying patients reach the OPD, thus resulting in a complete traffic chaos leaving hardly any space to move around.

The contractor of the parking lot has been using single point for the entry as well as the exit for vehicles, thus compounding the traffic problem. Interestingly, the PGI has deployed only one security personnel for regulating the vehicular traffic. Motorists could often be seen indulging in arguments with the contractor staff and among themselves at this spot while the security staffers prove mute spectators.

Mr Naresh Kumar, attendant of a Hoshiarpur-based patient, complained: ''Unregulated vehicular traffic outside the New OPD block clearly reflects the sheer negligence of the PGI authorities”. The PGI authorities should have made provision for the entry and the exit points separately to avoid traffic chaos, he opined.

The official spokesperson of the PGI, however, said that areas had been converted into a parking lot on temporary basis till a multi-level parking comes up by March.

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Blast: Delayed trains, harried relatives
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
All trains arriving in the city were delayed due to the bomb blast on Samjhauta Express around midnight yesterday. The arrival of the morning Shatabdi was delayed by over an hour while the Himalayan Queen arrived more than five hours late. The Kalka-Howarah Mail was delayed by over nine hours.

Trains departing from the city left on time, according to officials, but got delayed as these were held up on the track.

At the railway station worried relatives could be seen waiting for their near and dear ones in the absence of any information on the delayed trains.

“I have been waiting here since 3 a.m. to pick up my wife and children and don’t know when the train will finally arrive,” stated a harried Army jawan, who was waiting for the Kalka-Howrah Mail to arrive. The rest of the trains in the day were on time. The Himalyan Queen, however, departed more than an hour late in the evening.

Meanwhile, harried passengers who arrived in the city, stated that they were held up before Delhi for hours and their train was allowed to move only after the track was cleared. “We were scared initially as we had very little information of what had happened,” stated Jaipal Singh, who arrived from Howrah.

The GRPF and the RPF was busy conducting regular checks since morning on all trains. Officials of both stated that regular checks were on ever since information had been received of the blast.

However, a round of the station left one wondering if the city’s station was prepared for such a calamity. It was found that though all officials and staff had mobile phones, landline phones at the railway security staff offices and railway staff office were only internally connected. In case of an emergency it would not be possible for anyone to make a call outside. Also the station was not being manned from any side and it will be very easy for anyone to enter and leave the station unchecked.

Cop loses nephew

Sub-Inspector Sukhdev Raj of the RPF posted in Chandigarh lost his nephew in the train blast. SI Sukhdev’s nephew Rajinder Pal was an RPF guard. Sukhdev, who was at the spot, said his nephew and his colleague Swaran Singh seemed to have tried to save the passengers till the last moment. “When I reached the spot and saw his body I found burnt clothes in their hands. They had reportedly tried to open the locks of the doors because of the fire after the blast with cloth wrapped around their hands and died in the process,” he added. Rajinder was 35 years old and married.

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Torture: SHO sent to Police Lines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Mohali police today sent the Phase VIII Station House Officer (SHO), to the police lines in a case of alleged torture of a Balongi based boy by certain police personnels.

The SHO, Baldev Singh, was sent to the police lines following an enquiry by the SP (Headquarters), Varinder Pal Singh, while three other police personnels have been booked in the case.

Earlier, parents of the boy in a complaint to the SSP had alleged that their son Kamal, was beaten up and tortured inside the police station.

It may be recalled that Kamal was allegedly abducted by the cops on Thursday for having an affair with a police personnel’s daughter. He was later abandoned in Daun village in Kharar after allegedly being tortured in the police station.

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Formation of arts panel snowballs into political battle
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Satya Pal Jain
Satya Pal Jain

Harmohan Dhawan
Harmohan Dhawan

Chandigarh, February 19
The proposed Urban Arts Commission has snowballed into a major political battle between the Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal and his arch rivals and former MPs, Mr Harmohan Dhawan (CVM) and Mr Satya Pal Jain (BJP).

A day after Mr Bansal supported the idea of having the commission, his political rivals rubbished the proposal terming it as "unconstitutional" and a clever ploy to muzzle the voice of the elected representatives of the people by the Central Government at the instance of Mr Bansal.

"The extra-constitutional body is totally undemocratic and unwarranted which the Congress-led UPA government was trying to impose on the city residents to "remote control" city administration and weaken the democratic institutions ", Mr Dhawan said.

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the Zila Parishad and the Panchayat Samiti are the democratic institutions in the city. Since the commission will have the power to accept, amend and reject any proposal, it will inflict a serious blow to the rights of the elected representatives. The elected representatives are well aware of the needs requirements and aspirations of the people than those sitting in Delhi, the former union minister reasoned.

The MCC came into existence by extending the Punjab Municipal Act to Chandigarh. While doing so the Act was amended in such a manner as to render the corporation toothless and powerless. The need of the hour is to vest more powers in the elected representatives.

Having been defeated in the Mayoral poll, the Congress seemed to have hit upon the idea of having a commission to "remote control" the functioning of the MCC through select outsiders having no knowledge of city's ground realities. Already redtapism had been ruling the roost in the city, Mr Dhawan asserted.

Besides these democratic institutions, there is an advisory counsel and the nominated members in the corporation. We have educationists, doctors, engineers, architects and retired defence officials on these bodies, who give valuable advice to the administration and the MCC. The CVM has decided to bring a resolution in the next meeting of the MCC to oppose the commission at the civic body, Mr Dhawan concluded.

"It is an insult to democracy by the Central Government, of which Mr Bansal is a minister hinting at minister's role behind the move," Mr Jain said. "Under 74th Amendment of the Constitution, the Central Government was under obligation to transfer more powers to the elected bodies. However, the Central Government seemed to have turned the clock back by proposing the commission aimed at taking away whatever limited powers the elected bodies enjoyed, he alleged.

When the UT was already under the direct control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the constitution of another commission defies logic. It will give a fillip to corruption and redtapism and big colonisers and industrialists will manipulate the major projects for their vested interests from Delhi, he feared.

In fact, the cat was out of the bag with Mr Bansal reportedly supporting the commission. Even if Mr Bansal was not behind the move, he owed an explanation to the city residents as the proposal had come from the Central Government, of which he was a minister.

If at all some coordinating body was required, an inter-state regional council of the states surrounding Chandigarh could be worked out to settle common disputes, he added.

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Gross violations at city’s only mall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Deputy Town Planner of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today submitted a report to the Additional Commissioner, MC, on the violations found in the multiplex Fun Republic in Mani Majra.

An estimated fine of Rs 5.75 crore has been calculated to be imposed on the owners of the multiplex, according to sources. Out of this, Rs 1.50 crore has been calculated as conversion charges.

Acting on a number of complaints, MC officials conducted a check on the parking of the FR last week. According to sources, to check the problem on ground the Deputy Town Planner of the MC today undertook a visit to the FR. It was during this check that he came across gross violations of the building plan of the FR.

According to the building plan cleared by the Chief Architect of UT, the basement can have a 52 per cent covered area to be used for parking while only 30 per cent was being used for the same. The report mentions a fine of Rs 34 lakh for the violation from May 26, 2003.

The report also mentions that the height of the building is much more than that shown in the original plan. The reports further states that the false ceiling in each floor is also not as per the building plan submitted. The stairs on each floor have also been found to be in violation of the original plan.

The report also states that the fire exit on the third floor has been blocked and commercial activity is going on there.

The corridor on the ground floor of the building, where the exit has been made, is also in violation of the building plan as it cannot be used for commercial activity as per the report. Further, the various kiosks put up on different floors are on an area which should be for the public and are thus in violation of the plan. Action on the report is expected to be taken soon.

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Soldier goes missing mysteriously
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A Maharashtra-based soldier heading for Kargil has gone missing under mysterious circumstances from Chandigarh. He was to board a flight from a transit camp in N-Area here in November last year.

While his wife, Mrs Anita, today lodged a report in this connection with the Chandigarh Police, the Army authorities have categorically stated “Absent from unit with effect from November 9”.

In her complaint, the copy of which is with The Tribune, Mrs Anita said 38-year-old Anil Thorat was posted in Gref Unit as a “pioneer” and had been posted in Kargil for the past two years.

He left home for Kargil on November 7 last year after spending two-month vacations at his native place. He came to the transit camp in Chandigarh for boarding the flight for Kargil, but went missing.

Talking to The Tribune, Mrs Anita said she realised all was not well after she did not receive any message or phone call from her husband even after 15 days of his departure. She then wrote a letter to his unit in Kargil, but was shocked to get a reply from the authorities concerned, stating that her husband had not reported for duty after the vacations. She was further asked to report the matter to the nearest police station.

A mother of two, Mrs Anita, accompanied by her brother Ravi Raj, came to Chandigarh on February 17 to enquire about the whereabouts of her husband. The officials at the transit camp told her that Anil had reported for duty at 9:05 am after reaching the camp on November 9. However, he was not present in the afternoon roll call. Since then, he has not joined his duty.

Holding back her tears, Mrs Anita said domestic problem did upset him, and he had gone away without intimation from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan earlier also, but had returned on his own after some time.

The Sector 31 police station has recorded a daily diary report in this regard and though it appears that the soldier had left on his own, they were looking at the case from all angles, including domestic trouble. 

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Drama at INSCOL over release of body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
High drama was witnessed at a Sector 34-based private hospital over the release of the body of a Yamunanagar-based resident, who allegedly died because of doctors’ negligence, this afternoon.

The case came to light when family members of the deceased, Madhu Bala, alleged overcharging by the INSCOL Hospital authorities for the release of the body.

Dr Hitesh Chauhan, a consultant at the hospital, however, said the family members of the deceased created a ruckus outside the hospital to avoid payment of dues.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Happy, husband of the deceased, said his wife was admitted to a hospital at Jagadhari after she complained of headache. She was brought to INSCOL on February 16.

“The hospital authorities diagnosed her for brain tumour and offered us a package of Rs 80,000 for a week and assured complete recovery after the surgery. Madhu was operated upon on February 17, but she did not regain consciousness,” he claimed.

He alleged that a doctor informed them that Madhu was struggling for life and there was a need to conduct some more tests. “The hospital authorities declared her dead today and demanded Rs 84,000 for three days of treatment and that too with the patient dead,” alleged Mr Kamal, a brother of the deceased.

The hospital authorities refused to hand over the body until they made the full payment. Besides Rs 30,000 as advance money, the family was charged Rs 20,000 for the dead body, a relative of the deceased added.

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Call for nationwide bank strike on Feb 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The United Forum of Bank Unions has given a call for a nationwide bank strike on February 23 for supporting “continuous strike” to be undertaken by the Central Bank of India employees from the preceding day.

Over 10 lakh employees and officers of banks are expected to proceed on strike during the all-India protest against the reported issuance of charge sheet to over 8,000 employees across the country.

As many as 101 officers and employees of the Central Bank of India also staged a dharna in Sector 17 Bank Square today. The protesters asserted that around 40,000 employees in 3,300 branches and controlling offices across the country would proceed on “continuous strike” with effect from February 22.

Raising slogans, the protesting staff said the officers and other employees were charge-sheeted by the management for participating in the nationwide strike on January 22.

They added the employees were proceeded against even though the strike was “total” in nature and a valid notice for the same was handed over to the management.

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Baby gets new family
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
The one-year-old unidentified girl, who was hit yesterday by a speeding vehicle at the Mansa Devi light point, has found a new family.

The girl had sustained injuries on her arms and head and was admitted by passers by to a hospital

The hospital staff has especially called in a couple of helpers from a home for the destitute to help them manage the baby.

While the nurses on duty take special care of the baby since no family has come forward to identify the baby, they are hopeful somebody will show up before the baby is ready for discharge from hospital.

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Traffic cops book Dullo’s son
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Bunny Dullo, Son of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, was today booked by the Chandigarh Traffic Police for violating traffic rules.

Sources in the traffic police said the luxary Hyundai Elantra car (PB-26-D-0005), driven by Bunny Dullo was stopped at a naka near the Housing Board Chowk as it had black film on its window panes. During inspection of documents, Bunny Dullo failed to produce a driving license. At this, the traffic police booked him for both violations. Bunny Dullo was also accompanied by gunmen, said a senior police officer.

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Need to build bridges of communications between industry, institutes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
In a fast-changing world where technologies become obsolete overnight, the two-day National Workshop on Industry Institute Interaction (NWIII-2007), today, focussed on the need to build bridges of communication between the industry and technical institutes churning out skilled work force.

Academics and industrialists were unanimous about the fact that the present curriculum being followed in ITIs needs to be changed in consonance with the needs of the industry. Further, the speakers held the view that it needs translation into skill formation rather than confining itself to imparting theoretical knowledge.

The Haryana Education Minister, Mr Phool Chand Mullana, in his inaugural address at the workshop organised by National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, said that Haryana Government was committed to excellence in technical education quality.

"The budget for technical education has been increased to Rs 90 crore in 2006-07 compared to Rs 50 crores in 2005-06. The World Bank also deserved kudos for its Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), initiated to strengthen the technical education system," he stated.

Mr C.B.Mathur, Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT Kurukshetra, presided over the inaugural session. He assured that NIT Kurukshetra would be ever ready to take the lead in promoting the ties between industry and institute and would act as a nodal centre for collaboration with the industries.

Dr M.N. Bandyopadhyay, Director, NIT, Kurukshetra, emphasised on the need for more memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between industries and institutes. Dr R.P.Hooda, Vice- Chancellor, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, said the scale of operation of industries had increased immensely. "Even small-scale units have grown into huge establishments. It's really time for us to go beyond the designing of courses. We must ensure that these get translated into action and contribute to the skill of the student," he stated.

The Chairman of CII, Mr Adesh Gupta, said implementation was the most important part of any project. "Institutes must learn to implement what is planned for them. We have a successful IIT model which must be adopted for quality," he said.

Coming down heavily on the present status of summer trainings for passouts from technical institutes, Mr Gupta said interns hardly did anything. "They copy old reports and present them to the faculty, get graded on those and get a certificate. This should be checked since it is in nobody's interest," Mr Gupta maintained.

He stated that the dormant interaction cells in technical institutes needed to be activated and suggested that stating a course in solar energy management would be a good idea to meet the challenge presented by shrinking sources of energy.

Holding that the interaction aims to bring out a road map showing steps to be taken by these two sectors to improve the interaction among themselves, specific time base activities, the speakers added that the industry and the institutions would both gain from the deliberations.

The Vice-Chancellor of Guru Jambeshwar University, Dr RP Bajpai, speaking about the mismatch between the job and the training provided, said the responsibility of bridging the gap had to be shared equally by the institutions that provided the training and the industry that provided the jobs.

While on the one hand the industry had a stellar role to play by providing inputs on curriculum design, infrastructure development, faculty training among others, on the other, the institutions needed to remain in constant touch with the industry through consultancy and research in an increasingly competitive global market, he added.

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Workhorses of yore to fly past during IAF fleet review
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
For IAF veterans it would be a nostalgic moment when the Air Force’s workhorses of yore, Canberra bombers and Avro transport aircraft stage a fly past during the Presidential Fleet Review (PFR), scheduled to be held here on March 7.

“It is after a very long time that these aircraft would be participating in a fly-past,” a senior officer at the Air Force Station here remarked. The IAF latest acquisition, the Embraer jet for VVIP transport, may also feature in the fly-past, thought its inclusion is not yet finalised, sources added. Almost all aircraft and weapon systems in the IAF’s inventory would feature in the PFR

Once the mainstay of the IAF’s bomber fleet, only a few Canberras now remain in service. Inducted in 1957, these were used extensively for bombing and interdiction missions during the Indo-Pak wars. With about 58 years of service, perhaps the longest ever for a combat aircraft, these are now used for strategic reconnaissance.

Having bought over a 100 Canberras of different variants from the United Kingdom, the IAF became the largest user of this aircraft apart from the Royal Air Force. It also formed part of the Indian peace keeping force deployed in Congo under a United Nations mandate.

The British HS-748 Avro, which made its appearance in the Indian skies in 1964, was the workhorse of the IAF transport fleet before the arrival of the Russian AN-12 and thereafter, the AN-32. About 30 Avros are reported to be in service and are mainly used for training, communication and VVIP transport. Some of these aircraft are being further modified and upgraded.

Sources said about 20 aircraft formations, including those of fighters, transport and helicopters, would be participating in the fly-past. Fighter formations would comprise five aircraft each, mostly in arrow-head formation, while the composition of transport and helicopter formations would vary. The most noticeable formation would be combat aircraft forming the figure of “75” to mark the IAF’s Platinum Jubilee.

Several formations today carried out dry runs over the Chandigarh air base to try out various flight paths for the fly-past. The purpose was to select the flight path which would give maximum visibility to ground audience.

This would be the IAF’s fourth PFR. The first two were held at Palam in April, 1954 and April, 1972. The third was held at Chandigarh on January 19, 1976, which was reviewed by the then President, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. This included a fly-past by 43 fighters comprising 23 MiG-21s and 20 Su-7s. The parade consisted of 823 officers and airmen along with a line-up of Mi-8, Aloutte and Cheetah, along with An-12, Gnat, Fairchild, Packet, Canberra, Hunter, Su-7 and MiG 21 aircraft. 

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Seminar on emerging world order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Army is hosting an international seminar on “Emerging World Order: Implications for the Security Calculus of the Extended South Asian Region” on February 22 and 23 at New Delhi.

The seminar is being organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), a Delhi-based think tank and a large number of eminent security analysts, from India and abroad are participating in the seminar, an official statement said.

Participants from Australia, China, Japan, Sri Lanka and Turkey would be presenting papers.

The seminar is being inaugurated by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The guests of honour for the inaugural session would be the Defence Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, and Chief of the Army Staff, Gen J.J. Singh.

A large number of delegates, comprising serving and retired civil and military officers, ex-chiefs, security analysts, ambassadors, high commissioners, defence attaches, academics from a host of countries, including France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Brazil, Chile, the USA and the United Kingdom be attending the seminar.

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A water-logged road
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
Residents of Sector 19 here today protested against the municipal council for the poorly maintained road which goes towards Bartana. With water-logging a constant problem in the area, the road is flooded with water, making it impossible for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to pass.

A resident of the sector, Mr Dev Raj, said they had complained about the pot holes on the roads and a leaking pipe, which had made their life miserable, to the authorities concerned.

“We have complained to the officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, municipal council and everybody we could possibly approach, but to no avail,” he said.

A fortnight later the problem continues as they await action from the authorities.

The residents have also approached the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neerja Shekhar, to intervene in the matter and redress their grievance. 

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Biotechnology to effect job glut
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Biotechnology has taken over information technology. The biotechnology sector is likely to emerge as a major job provider for skilled workers (over 1 million) in the next five years, thus contributing revenue of above $5 billion to the Indian economy.

“There is a need of frequent workshops and short courses for doctors to improve their academic knowledge and keep them abreast of the latest advancements in medical sciences,” said Dr M.G. Deo, vice-president of the Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine, Pune. He was at the PGI to deliver a lecture on “Emerging frontiers in biotechnology” at a course organised by the Department of Biotechnology, PGI.

A former director of the Cancer Research Institute, Mumbai, Dr Deo said biotechnology industry needed huge infrastructure, skilled manpower, technologists and scientists. There is a need to introduce biotechnology as a subject for undergraduate classed, he added. This would help in generating our own skilled manpower to meet the requirements of the industry.

“Since 70 per cent of the biotechnology applications are related to health, it should definitely be introduced in medical colleges so that the clinical trials of the research could be done. Frequent short-term exposures and workshops for the medicos would help them compete with foreign experts,” he opined.

Earlier, Prof K.K. Talwar, Director, PGI, spoke on ‘Stem cell interventions in myocardial disease”, while Prof Neelam Marwaha delivered a lecture on “Biology of stem cell”. Prof Sanjay Jain focused on “What a clinician needs from biotechnology”.

Dr Yatindra Prashar, a visiting scientist from the USA, spoke on “Geonomic diagnosis”. Dr Guptasarma from IMTECH spoke on DNA, RNA structure and Dr Girish Varshney spoke on antibody-based therapeutics.

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Exhibition on Chandigarh in Switzerland
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
“Twilight of the Plan: Chandigarh and Brasilia”, an exhibition on Chandigarh and its architecture is being organised in Switzerland by Universita Della Svizzera Italiana, Mendrisio. Prof Rajnish Wattas, Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, attended the exhibition as a representative of the Chandigarh Administration.

The exhibition will remain open till March 18. It is likely to play a significant role in focusing worldwide attention on Chandigarh and its contribution to urban planning, architecture and as a centre of Le Corbusier's works.

The exhibition is being organised as part of series of conferences and exhibitions on the theme of “New urban venues in the emergent world”. Curated by international architects, urban planners and Le Corbusier scholars comprising: Prof Josep Acebillo (Dean, Accademia di architettura), Prof Maristella Casciato, Prof Stanislaus von Moos, the exhibition also displays photography of Enrico Cano.

Prof Rajnish Wattas highlighted the evolution of Chandigarh from a small administrative capital city to an important regional hub of IT, trading, commercial activity with numerous vibrant new development projects undertaken in the recent past and in the making.

He also explained the vision and strategies for the future growth of the city and the initiatives taken by the Chandigarh Administration for shaping its future as a happening city, along with enlightened conservation of its heritage.

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Panacea for women alcoholics
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
There is light at the end of the tunnel for women alcoholics. The women alcoholics need not necessarily go through the hell and suffer silently from the deadly disease as help is available through the Alcoholic Anonymous(AA), a worldwide fellowship of men and women, which helps the alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

In fact, alcohol does not discriminate between sexes as women are equally prone to this physical, mental and spiritual life-threatening disease. In the wake of the social stigma attached to this malady, not many women in India come forward to seek help and prefer to suffer in isolation.

It is in this catch-22 situation that the AA comes into play to offer a "better way of life without alcohol" to the women alcoholics, says Anne(name changed), an Irish member of the AA, who is currently here to share her experience, strength and hope with other women alcoholics to recover from incurable alcoholism.

Anne's was a typical story of a woman who was a social drinker but turned into a alcoholic in a span of few years. "I drank to escape from my daily responsibilities into oblivion," Anne told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

As she entered her teens, she was a full-blown alcoholic. Waking up at strange places in the morning and almost daily blackouts were regular for many years. Psychiatric help and counselling proved to be of little help and depression ruled the roost in her life.

"It was a hopeless state of mind and body leading to virtual insanity. Thoughts of killing myself flashed my mind time and again. I could neither function without alcohol not with it," she quipped.

However, a call to a helpline in 1980 changed Anne's life for the better for all times to come. Regular attendance at the meetings and the AA's 12-step recovery programme put her life back on track. "Earlier, I did not have life, AA gave me life," said a grateful Anne.

Meanwhile, an AA member informed that the only requirement for the AA membership was a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for the membership and complete anonymity of those attending meetings is assured.

Those having drinking problem can contact the AA Helpline at 94170-37358 or write to PO Box No 1721, Sector 36, Chandigarh. Women alcoholic can also e-mail to a special address at aawomen@gmail.com. The AA meetings are held at Chandigarh throughout the week.

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They care and they share

Chandigarh, February 19
Competitions in story telling and drawing were organised by ‘Saplings - Care, We Share’, an NGO working for creating environment awareness, in the slum area of Sector 25, here, today in collaboration with the YTTS.

Saplings President Neenu Vij informed the children about the environment issues and encouraged them to make their surroundings cleaner and hygienic. Students of MCM DAV College also participated in organising the event under the guidance of Ms Aarti Jain, teacher. Talented children were shortlisted for further grooming in their areas of interest and were also given prizes for the best drawing and creative work. — TNS

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Senior citizens association celebrates annual day

Chandigarh, February 19
The Senior Citizens Welfare Association of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, held its fourth annual function at Kalagram.

A cultural programme by NZCC artistes, a dental check-up camp by Bansal Dental Clinic surgeons and other festivities marked the function. The association President, Amit Dhingra, said 30 senior citizens aged 75 and above along with 50 other citizens, who had rendered exceptional services in various welfare activities, were honoured.

The association would adopt slum children for imparting education, said the Secretary General, J.C. Gulati. He also thanked the Municipal Commissioner, Gurcharan Das Kala and Pritpal Singh, Chairman, Shimla Public School, for help and the State Bank of India, Sector 7, for providing gifts. — OC

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Lawyers form High Court Blood Contributors Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Judges, lawyers and staff of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today got together to form the High Court Blood Contributors Club.

Chief Justice, Mr Justice Vijender Kumar Jain, who formally announced the start of the club, said such clubs were the need of the hour. He said that there could not be a greater gift than helping the humanity. He disclosed that he has already decided to donate all his vital organs after his death. “My father did it and now I have also told my son to donate all my organs immediately after my death. But, blood is something that one can gift many times during his lifetime without losing anything. I am sure the fraternity will use the services of the club to collect as much blood as possible through voluntary donations,” the Chief Justice said.

Later, Chief Justice Jain also distributed commendation certificates on behalf of the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Sector 37, among those who have donated blood many times.

Among those who received the certificates were, Mr Justice S.S. Saron, Mr Justice Hemant Gupta, Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, Mr. Justice Virender Singh, Mr Justice Mahesh Grover, Mr Justice Rajesh Bindal, advocate Munish Jolly and advocate Lokesh Sinhal, both former secretaries of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

Among those present were Judges of the High Court, Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab, Rajan Kashyap, senior advocate M.L. Sarin and lawyers.

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100 donate blood at KBF camp

Chandigarh, February 19
Over 100 persons today donated blood at the sixth annual blood donation camp organised by the Kamlesh Bansal Foundation (KBF) in association with the PGI, Chandigarh, at the GK International hotel here.

The camp was organised in the memory of Ms Kamlesh Bansal, one of the founding members of the voluntary blood donation drive spearheaded by the Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh.

Dr B.C. Gupta, Principal Secretary, Home, Punjab, inaugurated the camp.

Dr Gupta hailed the efforts of the foundation and pointed out that donating blood can save many lives. Interacting with the donors, he pointed out that medical science had proved that donating blood also helped the donors as it replaced old blood in the body.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Anu K. Bansal, Secretary, Kamlesh Bansal Foundation, said, “A special feature of the camp is the participation of a number of people from Ludhiana, who come every year specially to donate blood.”

Today also over 30 donors led by Mr Sohan Lal Sherpuri came from Ludhiana. Eminent persons like Mr Kulwinder Singh, Mr Rakesh Markan and Mr Y.P. Sharma not only donated blood but also motivated others to serve humanity by donating this gift of life. Mr Bansal said efforts were on to hold such camps more frequently. — TNS

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Rs 1.5 cr sanctioned for 20 ambulances
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Chandigarh Administration has sanctioned over Rs 1.5 crore to the Municipal Corporation for buying about 20 ambulances equipped with infrastructure to ferry-senior citizens, chronic patients and road accident victims to hospital. The ambulance service would be run entirely by the Municipal Corporation. The money has been sanctioned following a resolution passed by the Corporation in its general house.

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My FM — Dil Se launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 19
After Big FM-92.7, another FM radio channel, My FM-Dil Se, was launched in the city here today. The Snergy Entertainment initiative was formally launched at the Bhaskar complex by Mr Romesh Chander.

It promises complete entertainment capsule for music lovers. Though the target audience is between 15 to 35, the eclectic music mix ranges from Hindi film music to Indi pop, Punjabi pop, ghazals, sufina and what not, claims station head Richa Sharma.

Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal, Mayor Harjinder Kaur, Home Secretary Krishan Mohan, Vivek Atrey, Jaspal Bhatti, Satpal Jain and many other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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Of dead phones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
All telephone lines in Sector 46 have been dead for over two days now. Though the residents claimed that complaints in this regard were forwarded to the authorities concerned, the problem had so far not been rectified.

They added that even day-to-day chores like booking LPG cylinders have become arduous as a result of the dead phones. The BSNL authorities said they were looking into the complaints and the problem was likely to be rectified in a day or so.

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1-day-old baby's body found

Panchkula, February 19
A day-old-baby boy was found dead by the roadside in Sector 8, here today. The baby had turned blue and was wrapped in a white cloth when he was found by a rag picker while she was sifting through the rubbish. She, in turn, informed a salesman of a nearby shop who called in the police.

Bearing wound marks around the eyes and on the body, the baby had a cut umbilical chord put inside a polythene, lying beside him, when he was found. Police sources said the body bore some burn marks and blisters as well.

The police said the body of the baby was sent to the mortuary of the General Hospital, Sector 6, where a postmortem examination would be conducted to ascertain the cause of death. The police has registered a case. — TNS

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Mason electrocuted, one booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A 26-year-old mason was electrocuted this afternoon after coming in contact with a high-tension cable overhead in Daria village. The incident took place in a house where construction work was going on.

According to the police, the victim, Anil Kumar of Makhan Majra village, near here, along with his brother Pardeep Kumar, were hired by Tirath Singh, the owner of the house, to construct a bathroom at the top floor of his house. The police said Tirath Singh was forcing the brothers to complete the work soon. He even did not alert them about the overhead high-tension wire passing just a few feet above the roof.

Anil Kumar unmindful of the high-tension wire put up an iron ladder to reach the top floor and in the process the ladder touched the cable. He got electric shock and was thrown at a distance. He suffered serious injuries and fell unconscious. The police was informed about the incident and a police control room vehicle rushed the victim to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where he later died.

The police arrested Tirath Singh, the owner of the house, on the allegation of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code in this connection. 

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Two vehicles stolen from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Two vehicles were stolen from the city while a theft was attempted in a house in Sector 27 here.

Mr Sheetal Kumar Sethia of Sector 37 reported to the police that his Mahindra Bolero jeep (CH-23-(T)-8791) was stolen from his residence on February 17. In another incident, Mr Shushil Kumar of Sector 35 has lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that his motorcycle (CH-03-M-3242) was stolen from Sector 42 on February 8. Two cases of theft have been registered in this connection.

Burglary bid

Mr Deepak Kumar of Phase III, Mohali, has reported to the police that an attempt was made to burgle his house on Sunday night while he was away. On his return on Monday he found the locks of his house broken and called the police. A case has been registered in this regard.

Battery stolen

Mr Subash Jain of Sector 8-C, Chandigarh, has filed a complaint with the police that the battery of his inverter was stolen from his residence on Sunday night. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

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