C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn move to convert park into parking lot
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The survival of a park dotted with tress in Industrial Area, Phase II, is at stake, thanks to an “endeavour” of the Chandigarh Administration to provide additional parking space under the conversion policy.

With the least concern for environment, the Chandigarh Administration has proposed to convert a three-acre plot into a parking area, setting of protest from industrialists in the area. For the past many years, the park with mild steel (MS) railing on all sides is being maintained by the Chandigarh Administration.

Due to the consistent efforts of the owners of the industrial sheds in the area, the area had been landscaped and at least 166 trees stand on it. Lakhs of rupees have been spent on providing the basic infrastructure like a hut and other facilities.

An industrialist-cum-environmentalist, Mr Deewan Singh, who has planted over 6,000 saplings in the city, has been instrumental in planting saplings on the three-acre plot. “We have been taking care of the park, adjoining the kabari market, like our own child. The administration is eyeing the park to watch the interest of certain people”, said Jagir Singh, a member of the Industrial Sheds Welfare Association.

The industrialists apprehend that ultimately, the trees would be axed under pressure from those paying lakhs of rupee as conversion charges to the administration.

The association has pointed out that adequate parking space is available adjoining booths in the area.

Sources in the administration reveal that the five sites - three sites in Industrial Area, Phase I, and two sites in Industrial Area, Phase II - have been identified by senior officials in the administration. In an inter-office communication, the municipal corporation has been asked to explore the possibility to develop the park as a parking area by retaining the trees.

“As the number of trees in the park is 125, it seems the area cannot be utilised till the permission for cutting the trees is not accorded by the competent authority,” reads the official note.

After the industrialists took up the matter with the administration, the officials concerned are in a tizzy. The chief architect in a communication to the office of the municipal corporation has sought status about the park. “It is for the chief architect to clarify the status of the land. The corporation has no role. It develops the area as earmarked by the planning department,” said a official.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, union minister for state for finance, said he was supportive of the conversion policy as long as it meant overall development and more avenues for employment. “But it should not be at the cost of green spaces. The applicants under the policy should be asked to provide parking within their buildings,” he said.

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e-waste poses threat to city environs
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Life seems easier with electronic goods. But beneath the glitzy surface of benefits, looms a darker reality. As technology gets upgraded further, electronic goods get outdated faster, generating mounds of electronic waste or ‘e-waste’. It is the fastest growing waste stream and poses a huge health hazard. With the city geared up to be the next IT destination, e-waste is a problem we will soon need to deal with.

As of now, the e-waste generated in the city is being mixed with the municipal waste and dumped in the garbage dumping ground or rag-pickers are picking it up.

According to Mr M.S. Brar, Director, Information Technology, UT, the problem is yet not that grave in the city. “The IT Park has recently become operational. e-waste is an issue that needs to be discussed and we have already started thinking about it. A proposal for a permanent solution will be formulated soon,” he stated.

The hazards posed by the recycling of e-waste by the junk dealers are also many. Wanting to recover maximum benefits, e-waste like old computers, printers, etc. are sometimes burnt resulting in severe health and environmental impacts. Also with the e-waste being dumped along with the municipal waste, the problems are many as the hazardous toxins can mix with earth and affect the surroundings.

Agreeing to the situation, municipal corporation officials, however, clarify that though it is not completely their responsibility, they are already working on it. “There is no separate arrangement to collect e-waste, which we refer as domestic hazardous waste,” he stated. He further clarifies that e-waste or hazardous waste generated at home was only the MC’s responsibility.

“The MC is responsible for only domestic hazardous waste. As of now we have no separate way of disposing it of. We have, however, sent a proposal of Rs 2 crore to the UT under the city developmental plan to forward it further for clearance,” stated Dr G.C. Bansal, medical officer, Health.

Under the proposal the MC has suggested to have separate bins at the sehaj safai kendras to collect the domestic hazardous waste (cellphones, CDs, wires, batteries, etc.). This waste will be later disposed of separately.

According to Dr N.S. Tiwana, Director of Punjab State Council of Science and Technology, a policy should be formulated to deal with the situation soon. He stated, “We don’t need to wait for the government to take action, the city can be a pioneer in making such a policy. They can even advertise and get such waste collected,” he suggests.

Meanwhile, according to officials it has been learnt that many of the big companies in the city tend to donate or give away their computers and other techno-products in charity, which are later thrown away. It has also been learnt that Infosys had approached the Administration with a proposal to employee rag-pickers, to whom they will also provide meals to come to the campus and segregate e-waste from normal waste and to then dispose it of.

Officials state that the industrial hazardous waste comes under the Central Pollution Control Board. Officials of the department in the city and New Delhi not wishing to come on record stated that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment to formulate policies and unless that happens they can do nothing about it. They, however, acknowledged that if a city or state were to come up with a model solution they could consider adopting it. 

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Mentally unstable youth creates ruckus in Sec 35
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
A mentally challenged youth created a scene in Sector 35 this afternoon, when he tried to outrage the modesty of a 40-year-old woman and her eight-year-old daughter in full public view. He was completely naked at that time. He stripped both his victims and assaulted them. It was after a lot of efforts that the people managed to rescue the mother-daughter duo from his clutches.

Enraged over the incident, residents of the locality not only thrashed the youth, who is in his early twenties, but also stormed his house. They also resorted to stone pelting. However, the timely arrival of the police ensured that the things did not go out of control. The windowpanes of the accused’s house were broken in the process. The victims, who were in a state of utter shock, were rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

SHO of the Sector 36 police station Ishwar Singh Mann said the accused assaulted the woman, who earns her living by ironing clothes in that locality, and her daughter. He denied that the victims were sexually assaulted. The woman was chased by the mentally challenged youth, he said. The woman, scared by his action, ran away and fell down injuring her elbow in process. As the accused is mentally unstable, no action could be taken against him, he added.

The accused’s mother, a widow, told the police that nothing of that sort had happened and the people were making a false complaint against her son. She, however, admitted that her son was not mentally stable, said a police officer.

Ms Neelam Sharma, a resident of the locality, said she heard cries of a woman in the afternoon. She found that the cries were coming from a house. She rushed there and saw the accused sitting on the chest of the woman and molesting her. Her minor daughter was crying for help beside her mother.

Another eyewitness said the accused first went to the thatched hut of the woman and picked up her daughter. At this, the woman raised an alarm for help and attacked the youth in order to save her daughter. But her efforts to stop him proved futile and he came out of the hut carrying the girl. He then barged into a nearby house and stripped both the woman and her daughter and started molesting them.

Meanwhile, neighbours and other people assembled there. They hit the accused with batons and bats in order to overpower him. It was after a lot of effort that they managed to rescue the victims.

Meanwhile, the accused’s mother came there. She managed to take him away and locked him a room.

People alleged the police was trying to hush up the matter. The accused had assaulted a newly wed woman and a child earlier also, they added.

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Kapil Dev’s cousin booked on gambling charge
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 20
A resident of Sector 16 and cousin of former cricketer Kapil Dev, was booked along with 11 others under the Gambling Act here today. Interestingly, his name is also Kapil Dev.

In a raid carried out at a plot in Phase I of the Industrial Area here, the police arrested the “gang” and seized Rs 76,985 from them.

Police sources said the “gang” was gambling at Plot No. 313, which houses a shuttering business. Immediately, a team under ASP Munish Chaudhary along with SHO, Sector 20, Harbhajan Singh and SI Ajay Disodia was constituted to carry out the raid at the place.

On reaching there the team took those present in its custody. The police sources admitted that they knew that the group, comprising businessmen and contractors, met regularly to gamble. However, they had not been able to ascertain the exact location.

Those arrested include Madan, Ram Nivas, Mahavir Prasad, Satish Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Bal Krishan, all residents of Panchkula and belonging to well-to-do families. Others arrested include Kapil Dev from Chandigarh, Jaigopal, Rajesh Kumar from Bartana, Pritam Singh from Zirakpur and Sham Sunder, owner of the plot.

A case has been registered.

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Chandigarh Calling

BRD Chowk dividing Sector 47, 31 and Ram Darbar, Phase II, is very narrow and leads to mishaps day in and day out. Hundreds of vehicles pass through this road daily. Apart from this, the 90-minute traffic halt is another bottleneck impeding the smooth flow of traffic here.

While turning to Sector 47 and Mohali's Phase 11, the drive is a dangerous one as the road is riddled by roadblocks.

Last year, a car coming from opposite side had jumped over and rolled into the nullah that flows nearby. The only occupant of the car had died. So far no action has been taken by the authorities.

With a view to managing the flow of traffic, the need of the hour is to broaden the narrow turning road and reduce the halt timings at the traffic lights here.

Ban bears no fruits

Scared of cops, fruit sellers on the roundabout of Sector 7, 8, 17 and 18 in Panchkula cannot be seen during the day. But just after dusk, these fruit sellers appear with a vengeance… well literally. As they were causing an obstruction to the smooth flow of traffic, the Panchkula administration had banned them from the area last year. But over the months, they have realised that after the HUDA enforcement staff has called off for the day, they return around the roundabout to sell the choicest of grapes, apples, bananas, oranges and kinnows. Residents, for whose benefit they were banned, too, are happy to see them back as they do not have to go searching for the fruit sellers in the Sector 7 or Sector 9 market.

Chandigarh or LA?

It was as though stress had found an outlet. The moment Ozomatli, a Latin hip hop band from the US, got into form at the DAV auditorium the other day, the gathering, too, got into action, revealing a side one had never known.

Within seconds, the city's young and old had put the visiting Americans to shame. It is another matter that these very Americans had initially goaded the "inhibited" crowds into action. But they never knew they were in for a major competition. Soon as the inhibition was gone, the city audiences danced like never before. And if you thought only the young were jiving to the tunes of American multiculturalism, you are sadly mistaken. Prominent among the crowd was S.C. Marriya, principal of the college, that played a perfect host to rock stars.

So impressed were members of the band with the spirit of the city that they couldn't help saying: "We feel as though we are playing for Los Angeles." What a well-deserved complement!

Brands revalued

What the celebrated author Naomi Klein's "No Logo" could not achieve, this year's clearance sale of apparels by all major brands across the city has. Most of the premium branded stuff was put on sale at discount as much as 50 per cent - its reasonable price. With major international brand apparels, including Tommy Hilfiger, Espirit and the like, piled up like rags at their respective showrooms, they lost their brand value, almost. In this whole process customers were the real beneficiaries. Nevertheless, few customers who went shopping during the pre-sale period wailed. At discounted prices, the apparels offered value for money for the shopping buffs. All this serves a lesson for the ones who run for international brands carrying "red tags".

— Sunil Minocha, Ruchika M. Khanna, Aditi Tandon, Harbinder Singh

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Mystery shrouds burning of jeep
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Mystery shrouds the burning of a Maruti Gypsy jeep parked outside the house of the owner in Sector 38 west. Unknown miscreants had allegedly poured kerosene over the vehicle and set it afire late on Monday night. The vehicle was partially damaged in the fire.

Though the owner of the vehicle, Mr Surinder Singh, who is employed as a driver in CTU, has refused to pinpoint anyone for the incident, the police says that it is exploring various angles. In his statement to the police, Mr Surinder Singh has claimed that he did not have any enemies or was involved in a dispute with anyone. The police has registered a case of causing damage by fire with intent to mischief under Section 435, Indian Penal Code.

The vehicle was partially damaged in the fire. The loss could have been much more in case its fuel tank had caught fire. The above portion of the vehicle was burnt down, including its seats. The plastic parts of the vehicle, including its dash board and steering wheel, had melted in the fire.

Talking to TNS, Mr Singh said he went to sleep at around 12:30 am last night. It was around 1 am that he woke up after the windowpanes of his room were broken and flames were coming in to his room. On seeing his vehicle engulfed in flames he raised the alarm and rushed out.

“In a matter of few minutes my neighbour and other people reached at my home and began extinguishing the fire by pouring water and sand on the vehicle. Meanwhile, the police and fire brigade were also informed.However, the fire was brought under control before they reached ”, said Mr Singh.

He added that a bottle of kerosene was recovered from the vehicle. He alleged that despite the fact that he requested the police to question the watchman of the locality, they did not pay heed to him. The vehicle was 1998 model and was insured under third party policy. 

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GCM reassembles to review colonel’s case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The general court martial (GCM), which had acquitted a colonel on charges of sexually assaulting a woman officer under his command, today re-assembled to review its earlier findings.

The GCM had in December found the officer not guilty of all 12 charges faced by him.

According to sources, the GCM, presided over by Brig J.S. Rawat, Deputy Director,Ordnance Services,11 Corps, assembled today afternoon at Tibri Military Station near Gurdaspur where the trial had taken place.

The revision assembling order was read out in the court today, after which it was closed to discuss the issues involved and arrive at a fresh conclusion.

The revision order has dropped one of the charges faced by the officer, Col D. Mitra, commanding officer of an air defence unit. The revision of the findings will now be done on 11 charges, the sources said.

After the deposition of witnesses for about three months, the court had come to the conclusion that none of the charges levelled against Colonel Mitra could be proved.

It is also learnt that the woman officer, on whose complaints the proceedings against the colonel and a major were initiated, had met the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Daljeet Singh, at Chandimandir on January 29.

She had put in a formal request for the interview through the commander of an air defence brigade with which she is currently attached. The orders to review the GCM’s findings were issued after the interview.

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Fauji Beat
Comradeship is rallying factor in war

An argument advanced by some people is that a soldier joins military service knowing full well that he has to face death in battle yet he opts for it to earn his livelihood.

The inventors of this argument fail to realize that the fear of death and the instinct of self-preservation cannot be driven away from the human mind by providing livelihood to him; nor can this transform a coward into a courageous man. Philip Mason in his book, “A Matter of Honour”, writes: “Men may come to Colours for pay, but it is not for pay that they earn a Victoria Cross”.

No doubt, training and good leadership are important factors and so are the cause he fights for and his morale. But these by themselves cannot make an individual face bullets undauntedly. According to Maj-Gen Terry-Messa Allen, comradeship is the rallying factor in war. “Men do not fight for a cause but because they do not want to let down their comrades”, he says.

Two examples prove this point beyond any doubt. In Bangaldesh, the Pakistan Army had a strong national cause to fight for. Yet it surrendered because of the “survival instinct” that overpowered the minds of rank and file and persuaded them to surrender. In the battle of Saragarhi, in which 21 soldiers fell fighting against ten thousand tribals on September 12, 1897, there was no national cause because they were fighting for the British. But it was their comradeship that egged them on to fight until the last man.

It is comradeship that inculcates cohesion, mutual respect, loyalty and compassion for one another. Our military organizations from the very beginning have been designed to develop and sustain group and class interests, which generate in the members of the team self-pride as well as pride in their sub-units and units.

Plantation at Siachen

Every soldier who climes up to the snowy Saltoro heights to do a tenure there, plants five saplings at the Siachen Snout. It then becomes a mission for his brethren who are located at the snout of the glacier to take care of these saplings. Sure enough, when he returns on completion of his tenure at the highest battlefield in the world, he finds the saplings thankfully smiling at him for their origin and growth.

The plantation target set for the Siachen Brigade was 102,000. Happily, it has already been exceeded as a total of 1,17,538 saplings of willow, poplar, shady and ornamental trees have been planted. The main sources of the saplings are branches cut from the trees and sia bushes from the nearby areas. The area selected for plantation is not only restricted to the Army camps/posts but it also includes the villages along the route.

Apart from greening the barren area, these saplings reduce the soil erosion, improve water conservation and increase the oxygen supply at that height. The local population is grateful to the soldiers for their efforts towards the afforestation of their land.

The survival rate of 70 to 80 per cent of these saplings goes to prove that the experiment is a great success. Undoubtedly, it is a highly challenging task to keep these plants alive at that height and that too in the freezing climate.

Know ECHS rules

Most of the problems that the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members face stem from their ignorance of the rules. A sizeable number of members do not even know for which diseases they are to be referred to the Command Hospital, Chandimandir and not to the empanelled hospitals.

For certain specialties such as eye, ENT, general surgery, psychiatry, skin and dental treatment, they have to be referred to the Command Hospital by the Chandigarh polyclinic. And even in an emergency, for these diseases they should go to the Command Hospital and not to an empanelled hospital, as the latter cannot treat them. In case of any doubt, they should seek advice from their polyclinics.

— Pritam Bhullar

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IT raid on Doaba Sweets
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The Income Tax Department today conducted search operations at several prominent business establishments in the city, including well-known sweet shop Doaba Sweets, and conducted surveys.

Acting on secret information, officials of the department conducted surveys to match the stock with sales and tax shown by them in their income tax returns. The presmises of the Doaba Sweets in Sector 21 and 30, besides Mohali, were searched by the officials.

Sources said the premises of Parveen and Company, a timber firm in the Pipliwala Town in Mani Majra, and Bansal Sanitary in the Notified Area Committee, Mani Majra, were also searched. The searches, which began in the morning, continued till late in the night.

Certain documents were taken into possession by the department to ascertain the possibility of the tax evasion, the sources added.

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DC reviews mela preparations
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 20
The Mata Mansa Devi Pooja Sthal Board today met under the chairmanship of Chief Administrator and Deputy Commissioner Neerja Shekhar to review the preparations for the forthcoming Navtratra mela. The mela will be held from March 19 to 27.

While duty magistrates and protocol officers will be appointed for the purpose, metal detectors will be installed at the main entrance of the temple. Home Guards will also be on duty, besides, nakas all along the route to the temple.

She directed the officers concerned to ensure proper medical facilities at the venue with round-the-clock availability of doctors, oxygen cylinders and ambulance. She added that fogging should be carried out every morning at the venue.

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BSNL phones beset with probems
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Even though the BSNL has rung in new schemes to attract additional subscribers and prevent the existing ones from surrendering the connections, the residents putting up in and around the city continue to dial up inconvenience. For, the phones have either being lying dead for almost a week, or else the calls are not getting through.

The worse affected are so many BSNL landline subscribers of Sector 46 and Baltana village just on the outskirts of the city. The residents of both the places claim they are finding it hard to manage even simple household chores due to faulty phones.

Adding to the problem is the inability of the residents to lodge complaints with the officials concerned. “I have been trying to lodge the complaint by dialling up the fault booking service at 197. But the number is either constantly engaged or goes unanswered,” says Neeraj Sharma, a student putting up in the sector.

Neeraj adds he was always under the impression that the fault booking service has been computerised. “If so, I just cannot understand why the phone goes unanswered,” he says, adding that he has not been able to call up an educational helpline for seeking guidance for the impending Class X examinations due to the faulty phone”. 

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Kid drowns in ditch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
A two-and-half-year-old boy was drowned in a ditch filled with rainwater at Mani Majra this afternoon. The victim, Shubham, went missing this morning and his body was found in the ditch in the afternoon.

The police said it received information about the body around 3 pm. The body was fished out of the murky water and brought to the police station. At the same time, the victim’s mother reached the police station to lodge a complaint about her missing child. The police showed her the body and she identified it as that of her son’s. The police shifted the body to the Sector 16 General Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

The victim’s mother told the police that Shubham had gone out for playing around 11 am without informing anyone. As he did not return home even after several hours, they went out looking for him.

A police personnel at the Mani Majra police station said the victim, along with his parents, had come to Indira Colony from Sector 56. They had come to attend a marriage there and his father Teja Singh had gone with the marriage party. He had been informed about the incident. Shubham was the youngest of his four siblings.

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Sewing machines distributed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
Members of the All-India Anti Terrorist Front (AIATF) donated 16 sewing machines to widows and wards of ex-servicemen yesterday at a CSD outlet in Mohali in association with the Sirdi Sai Samaj and Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell.

President of the Chandigarh unit of the front, Rajesh Sharma, Colonel Sohi (retd) and Capt Harpal Singh, father of Shaheed Major Harminder Pal Singh, distributed the sewing machines. 

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MC sub-committees members elected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The chairman and deputy chairman of the various sub committees of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, have been elected. Surinder Kumar Jagota is the chairman and Gurnam Singh will be the deputy chairman for the Roads Committee.

Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee, chairman, Vijay Singh Rana, deputy chairman, Anil Kumar Dube. House Tax Assessment Committee, chairman, Chander Mukhi Sharma, deputy chairman, P.K. Mukhrjee.

Environment and City beautification Committee, chairman, Gurcharan Das Kala, deputy chairman, Sunita Chaudhary, Sanitation Committee, chairman, Dr A.P. Sanwaria, deputy chairman, Sarita Devi.

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40 BSNL men found late

Chandigarh, February 20
A surprise check conducted at the office of Chief General Manager Telecom, Punjab Circle, Sector 34, found as many as 40 officers reporting late for work. The surprise check was conducted by the Principal General Manager Telecom Chandigarh D.R. Paul. — TNS

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Rasam pagri held

Chandigarh, February 20
The rasam pagri of Krishna Piari Malhotra, wife of Mr S.P. Malhotra, former Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation) and consultant to the Haryana Government, was held at Shri Durga Mandir, Sector 7, Panchkula, today.
She had died at Panchkula on Saturday. She is survived by her husband, a son and two daughters. TNS

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Tribune ex-foreman dead

Chandigarh, February 20
Ram Kishan Sharma, former foreman of The Tribune, died after prolonged illness recently. He was cremated at his ancestral village Thankpura in Una district of Himachal Pradesh. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. The “rasam kirya” will be held at his ancestral village on March 1. TNS

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Tribune journalist bereaved

Chandigarh, February 20
Lt-Col Labh Singh (retd), father-in-law of Mr Ramandeep Singh, Sub-Editor, The Tribune, passed away at Command Hospital, Chandimandir, early today. He was 64. TNS

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Jewellery worth lakhs stolen from hotel room
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 20
Gold jewellery worth lakhs was reported missing from a room in hotel KC Crossroads in Sector 10 here today. A relative of the victim family, Mr Surinder Talwar, said the family had come to the city in connection with the marriage of one of its member from Indore.

“We booked 25 rooms in the hotel. My daughter was to get married to their son. The marriage took place yesterday and the doli arrived at the hotel this morning. While most of the relatives were to catch a train from Ambala, the family was scheduled to take a flight in the afternoon,” he said.

In the afternoon, at 1 pm, the boy’s mother, Ms Mithali Shovarkar, left the room to see off some of her guests. She went downstairs after leaving her bag containing the jewellery and valuables with her husband.

“The door was open since he moves around in a wheelchair. Everything was packed and the family was scheduled to leave in a couple of hours. He went into the bathroom and after a while she came in. She found that her purse had been unzipped and a pouch containing most of her jewellery was missing. The bag had seven pockets and jewellery in the other pockets was lefty untouched,” he said.

Immediately, she called the Manager, who in turn called the police. The Manager, Mr S.K. Mehta, said both entry points of the hotel were closed and nobody was allowed to leave the premises.

“I called up the security staff in front of the lady and told them to close the doors. The staff attending to the rooms on that floor was asked to stay back after the shift got over. I myself asked them to return the valuables if they had stolen any. They refused. I don’t think anybody from my staff has done that,” he stated, giving the staff a clean chit.

Family members said it was the job of an insider only since everything was packed and the family was waiting to leave. “The pouch contained a lot of jewellery, nearly eight sets. Whoever stole the pouch was waiting for the right moment to strike. All relatives staying at the hotel were immediate family members. There was no outsider,” Mr Talwar explained.

Meanwhile, the police took two members of the hospitality staff into custody for interrogation. A case has been registered.

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Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Reportedly tormented by strained domestic life, a 38-year-old carpenter allegedly hanged himself at his residence in Sector 11 here. The alleged suicide came to light this morning when his brother saw him hanging by a rope from a railing of the parapet on the first floor.

The police sources said the deceased, Dharampal, was living along with his brother Balbir Singh in a rented accommodation. Balbir Singh is an advocate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Balbir told the police that he saw his brother hanging in the morning and informed the police. He told the police that Dharampal might have taken the extreme step during the night.

Quoting Balbir Singh, the police said Dharampal had married about 15 years ago but it ended in divorce in two years. Thereafter, he got remarried and this time also his wife left him about five years ago. He was working as a part-time carpenter.

The police said the body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem. The viscera would be sent for a chemical examination to know the exact cause of death.

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Water meter, tap thief held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The police today arrested a Sector 45 resident on the allegations of stealing water meters and taps from a series of houses in Sector 21 during the past couple of days.

The accused, 27-year-old Rohit, came to the Sector 18 market to sell the stolen articles when he was nabbed.

He lived with his father in St Stephens High School, Sector 45. The police claimed that all articles, including water meters and taps stolen from a series of houses in the area had been recovered from him.

House burgled: Mr Subash Sehgal of Sector 22 reported to the police alleging that one gold ring, four bangles, some clothes and Rs 3,000 were stolen from his residence today between 11 am to 12 noon.

Vehicles stolen: Mr Bhola Nath of Phase II, Bapu Dham colony, reported to the police that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (CH-03-X-6613) was stolen from NAC, Mani Majra on Monday.

In another incident, Ms Priya Yadav of Sector 33 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that her scooter (PB-11-H-5634) was stolen from near PAB, Sector 8-C, on 
February 16.

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Private participation in defence sector still minimal
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Even as private players lead the way in the manufacturing sector, private participation in defence sector is still minimal. Amongst those who are working in the defence sector, majority are doing outsourcing work for the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

It is estimated that the DPSUs and Ordanance Factories which supply a majority of new arms and defence equipment to the Indian armed forces, are outsourcing 20-25 per cent of their requirement to the private sector. Of the total purchases of around Rs 8265 crore made by the DPSUs in 2005-06, purchases worth Rs 2077 crore were obtained from the private sector, including the small scale industry (SSI) sector. Similarly, in 2005-06, outsourcing by Ordanance factories was to the extent of Rs 2529 crore to the private industry.

Representatives of private companies associated with the manufacture and supply of defence-related items, who had gathered here to participate in the Defence- Industry Partnership meet organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), while talking to TNS, said that the poor show of private players in the defence sector was a result of the archaic rules being followed for defence procurement; long gestational period; and, high cost of investment coupled with lack of venture capital funds.

Speaking to TNS here today, Mr Mukesh Vijaywargi, deputy general manager- marketing, Forbes Gokak, said that there was little scope for the organised private sector in getting orders for the defence sector in India. “We are converting fibre into textile application (ballistic armour, weather proof armour, sleeping bags, jackets, parachutes, camping fabric et al) for the Ministry of Defence, UK, and French, Belgium, Denmark and Australian army. Our textile applications are accepted by these companies after passing through stringent quality control and quality assurance measures. Though we have made numerous representations to the Government of India, we have not got any orders from them. Based in India , we are clothing the world, but not our own defence and civil defence forces,” he said.

His views are supported by Mr Akhil Mathur, deputy marketing manager, The State Trading Corporation of India. “Since a majority of the DPSUs get the contract for manufacturing defence equipment, they are outsourcing the work to some Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Even we have three SMEs listed with us who are manufacturing ballistic armour for us,” he said, while adding that long gestational period and lack of continuity of business were the reasons for poor private participation.

Mr Virender Singh, branch manager of Rolta India, rued that unlike the USA where even the production of planes like F- 16 was given to the private sector, majority of private players in India were involved in the production of peripheral defence goods.

However, Brig Xerxes P Adrianwall(retd), general manager - Land Systems, Mahindra Defence Systems, which is the largest uparmour Original Equipment Manufacturer for the defence forces, said since a 100 per cent private participation with a 26 per cent FDI was allowed only in year 2001, the private players have done fairly well. So far, 37 letters of intent / industrial licences have been issued to private entrepreneurs in the private sector for manufacture of a variety of defence items.

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Defence meet at CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
It is imperative to achieve maximum synergy between the defence and the industry to create appropriate defence technologies and strengthen defence industrial base in the country.

This was stated by Lieut-Gen Daljeet Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Army Western Command, at the inaugural session of the two-day “Defence-Industry Partnership Meet” being organised by the CII, Chandigarh Council, which started here today.

He also inaugurated the exposition being organised, showcasing various equipment.

Mr Prem Hans, Director, Defence Supplies, read out the keynote address on behalf of Mr T. Ramachandru, Joint Secretary (S), Ministry of Defence, Government of India.

Mr R.M. Khanna, conference chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, and Mr Partap K. Aggarwal, chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, also spoke on the occasion.

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Yuvraj goes SCOREing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Come March and a state-of-the-art lounge and night club based on the theme of sports will be launched in the city. The sports bar, SCORE!!!, will probably be India’s largest such bar. It will be located at SCOs 177 and 178 in Sector 8-C here.

Yuvraj Singh, the local cricket sensation and youth icon, has been endorsed as the brand ambassador for the bar.

As regards cricket, Yuvraj Singh said, “The forthcoming World Cup provides a great challenge and opportunity for all of us. We will try and give our very best which comes once in four years. Everyone in the team is excited.”

Team India’s batting pivot Yuvraj Singh emphasised on lifting the fielding standard and said they were working hard in that department. “Fielding is a key area of the game and it can be our strong point. During our net sessions, we lay a lot of stress on this and I must say we are improving. Earlier, chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar and coach Greg Chappell have expressed concerns about our fielding standards,” said the left-handed batsman.

Yuvraj made an impressive comeback to the national team, after a three-month layoff due to a knee injury, by scoring unbeaten 95 runs against Sri Lanka in the final one-day international match at Vishakhapatnam. “When I was told about SCORE!!!, I knew that I had to be associated with it in some way. The basic essence of the place is what attracted me. The concept is a perfect combo of sports and relaxation, of energy packed programme and entertainment and finally about sports and still more sports! Never before in India has this concept of sports bar been given its due, but with SCORE!!! coming up, I see an entire new genre of a perfect outing for sports lovers being brought up,” he said.

The project was conceptualised by Mr Ranjit Bajaj, an ardent sports lover. “Being born and brought up in Chandigarh and having experienced the kind of nightlife existing here, I realised what was missing and what was needed. I realised that one of the factors that stops Chandigarh from becoming a metro is the absence of good nightlife. I see my dreams realising for Chandigarh with this project,” Ranjit said.

“Yuvraj’s personality goes with the essence of SCORE!!!. We are launching it just before the World Cup so that the city people are able to witness and experience the true flavour of the sports extravaganza,” he said.

The bar will be spread over an area of around 5,000 sq ft initially. The area will be increased by 5,000 sq ft very soon. It will have a bowling alley, pool tables and virtual reality gaming facilities. There will be a ‘sports theque’, where India’s top sports brands will have small retail shops. An ‘am phi theatre’ will be incorporated to give sports lovers viewing pleasure of all major sports events. It will have a 42” plasma screen dedicated to each table, besides a huge wall projector and the main plasma screen.

SCORE!!! will also have an exclusive VVIP lounge. The access to it will be through thumbprint scan only.

“With growing awareness and concern over health and diet, we have made a deliberate effort to lay stress on this aspect. There will be tailor made platters for health freaks, apart from our elaborate menu listing a variety of cuisines. Our idea is to give ‘Health coupled with entertainment’ to our patrons!” said Ms Anupama Bhardwaj, MD of SCORE!!!.

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