C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S




Inculcate moral leadership in pupils: Kalam
*Introduces concept of national prosperity index
*Sees larger role for varsities
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam today called upon educational institutions to introduce weekly moral science classes for students. He said great teachers who could inculcate in the young minds love for their country and all human beings should take these classes.

Delivering the convocation address at the 56th annual convocation of Panjab University here, President Kalam said till the age of 17, it was essential that moral science was taught to pupils. He said parents and teachers, schools and homes must have an integrated mission: to inculcate moral leadership amongst children.

“It requires the ability to have compelling and powerful dreams or visions of human betterment, a state of things in which human beings could be better off in the future than they are now,” he said, adding that moral leadership required a disposition to do the right thing and influence others to do the right thing.

“If the child misses value-based education in the school, no government or society can establish a transparent society or a society with integrity,” he warned.

Dr Kalam asked the students: “Is it possible to aim at a peaceful, prosperous, happy and safe planet?” On getting a resounding “yes” from the audience, he said there was also a need to transform religion into spirituality and a nation that was economically developed .

Introducing the concept of national prosperity index (NPI), Dr Kalam said the index would be evolved by adding the annual growth rate of the GDP to improvement in quality of life of the people, particularly those living below the poverty line and the adoption of a value system derived from the country’s unique civilisational heritage.

He said the index would take into account the availability of housing, clean water, nutrition, proper sanitation, quality education, quality healthcare and employment potential. It would also include promoting the joint family system, creation of a team spirit , leading a righteous way of life, removing social inequities, and above all promoting a conflict-free, harmonious society.

“All our efforts in improving the national economic performance should be guided by the measured NPI of the nation at any point of time,” he said.

“Since the academic community of Panjab University is research and teaching-oriented, the thoughts on the index can be further developed in the form of an equation defining and expanding the content and relationship among multiple elements as discussed,” he said.

Visualising a larger role for the universities, he said the university system could introduce students to societal missions. “They can also work for removing social problems such as crime against women and children through debate and discussions.”

Vice Chancellor Prof RC Sobti conferred honoris causa degrees to Dr TS Kler, Dr SP Agarwal and Mr RK Saboo.

* * *

Oops !

During the Welcome Address, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti introduced Bhupinder Singh Hooda as Chief Minister of Punjab. There was a commotion in the audience but the VC did not realize his mistake till the end of the ceremony, when he apologized for the faux pas. This brought a smile to the President’s face too.

* * *

Kalam bytes

The best component of the religion can be transformed into a spiritual force that will shape society. It is a great message to be spread.

A strong partnership among the R and D, academy, industry and the community as a whole with the government departments will be essential to accomplish the vision for a developed India. We have to grow at the rate of 10 per cent per year, consistently for over a decade.

I realise righteousness in the heart leads to beauty in the character, beauty in the character brings harmony in the home, harmony in the home leads to order in the nation and order in the nation leads to peace in the world.

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‘Cure in doctor’s smile’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
A smile on the face of a doctor makes a patient at least 50 per cent whole while the rest depends on safe and quality treatment. This smile is an additional degree for a doctor, said Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

He was the chief guest at the 28th annual convocation of the PGIMER here today. Dr Kalam advised the new medicos that they should set an example for others in social service.

The president stressed on the need for research on mentally challenged children. He said the convergence of information and communication technology, medical electronics, bio-technology, nano-technology and mathematical simulation could lead to an integrated solution to their problem. The use of stem cells transplantation could prove helpful for increasing the quality and quantity of the neurons in the brain system.

Dr Kalam said studies on optimisation of mind-body synergy had been started in the Defence Research and Development Organisation in 1993 by integrating two laboratories - the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences and the Defence Institute of Psychological Research. This enabled creation of mind-body synergy in understanding problems faced by humanity.

Studies had been started in three areas, cancer, HIV/AIDS and coronary artery disease. The aim of the studies was to validate the hypothesis that mind-body synergy could provide a solution to global health problems. Health has to be treated not as the absence of disease but the feeling of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

Referring to the website of the PGIMER, Dr Kalam said a provision should be made for the common man to ask questions about specific problems connected with his disease, which could be answered by a panel of specialists.

Dr Kalam administered a five-point oath, including free treatment to the poor and needy , especially in rural areas.

Dr Anbumani Ramadoss claimed that the PGI had opened the first umbilical cord bank in the country. He conferred degrees on 301 students.

PGIMER director Prof KK Talwar highlighted the achievements of the institution. The Governors of Punjab and Haryana and the Chief Minister of Haryana were also present.

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Serve villagers first: Minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The government will have to make it mandatory for new entrants in the medical profession to treat patients for one year in villages from the next year, said union health minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss here today.

He stated this it in the context of the World Health Organisation’s vision of ensuring the safety of patients globally, especially the rural areas.

Dr Ramadoss, who was in city to attend the 28th convocation of the PGIMER, said fresh medical professionals should take a cue from the UK, where their compatriots were being compelled to return to their native country.

“India is a land of opportunities now,” added the minister. Earlier, Dr Ramadoss inaugurated the School of Public Health (SPH). The school will provide health development of population through education of public health professionals as well as discovery of new knowledge.

It will advocate the application of new ideas in health promotion and consultancy to strengthen the capacity of health organisations as well.

Aiming to conduct postgraduate teaching programmes, including MD, PhD and MPH, and short-term training courses for national health programme managers in various fields of public health it would provide consultancy services to state and central health services on public health matters.

It would also carry out research by setting up model public health projects.

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Traffic chaos on city roads
Tribune News Service

Commuters stranded at the Tribune Chowk as the traffic was blocked to allow the President’s cavalcade to pass on Wednesday afternoon.
Commuters stranded at the Tribune Chowk as the traffic was blocked to allow the President’s cavalcade to pass on Wednesday afternoon. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, March 7
Despite efforts of the Chandigarh Police, traffic jams were seen on the route taken by the President in the city. At most places, these lasted a few minutes, but vehicles clogged the roads nevertheless.

Taking preventive measures, the local police arrested 14 women and four men for breach of peace this afternoon in Sector 29. The persons, members of the Joint Action Committee of 13-Type Houses, had announced a black flag protest during the President’s visit.

The movement of the President’s entourage back to the airport resulted in a chaos in the evening too. Clashing with the closing time of offices, long queues of vehicle were witnessed on the route.

There was chaos at transport light point and Tribune Chowk. Much to the problems of the cops, street lights on the road dividing Sector 29 and Industrial Area from Tribune Chowk to traffic light were dysfunctional.

In the afternoon, the an Air force vehicle of the President’s cavalcade got struck in the afternoon jam.

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Surya Kirans revamp training, look for new aircraft
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Following a crash in which two of its pilots died near Bangalore last year, the IAF’s Surya Kiran Formation Aerobatic Team (SKAT) has revamped the training methodology for its aircrew.

The display team, which is in its 11th year or existence and is the IAF’s showpiece of flying skills, is also looking at switching over to a new aircraft as the current Kiran trainers it flies, are ageing. The team was given the status of a squadron last year.

The air crash that killed the two pilots, Wg Cdr D. Bhatia and Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh, was the result of the aircraft going out of control during a training sortie.

“The exact cause why the aircraft went out of control could not be established,” SKAT’s commanding officer Wg Cdr Sandeep Bansal said. “Consequent to the accident, the first- ever suffered by the team, we have reviewed our entire training programme and incorporated several changes,” he added.

The aircraft was flying just 200 mt above the ground when it went out of control, leaving no reaction time for the stricken pilots.

The junior pilot on the aircraft had been with the team for just three months and was being trained to perform manoeuvres.

“Earlier, for example, a trainee used to carry out single or two aircraft sorties first at high altitude and then at low level, before moving to a four aircraft formation.

Here again training was first at high altitude and then at level, with similar procedure being adopted as the trainee moved to larger six and nine aircraft formations,” the SKAT commanders said. “Now we initiate him into low level flying only at a later stage when he is fully comfortable with all manoeuvres in a large formation,” he added.

The team is also looking at the HAL-made Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) as a replacement for the Kiran-II aircraft it currently operates. “These are being evaluated by the Air Force and are expected to enter service in three or four years,” Wg Cdr Bansal said. “Though we have no technical or serviceability problem with the Kirans, these are now old aircraft and will have to be replaced,” he added.

With 2007 being the IAF’s Platinum Jubilee year, SKAT would also perform the largest number of public displays this year, with about 60 events being scheduled at various places throughout the country. “Normally we hold about 35 shows annually,” the CO said. It is also scheduled to display its skills abroad towards the end of this year, probably in south-east Asia.

Pilot’s widow watches air show

The widow of Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh, who was killed in the aircrash last year, has developed a close association with the Surya Kiran team. Shweta, who is a lecturer at Allahabad University, makes it a point to attend SKAT displays where ever possible. She was here for the display today and would be returning to Allahabad to attend the SKAT display there tomorrow. Squadron officers say that Shailendra had always wanted to be a SKAT pilot and the couple were very happy when he had made it to the team. Though Shailendra’s dream was cut short, it is her way of cherishing his memory and living out his dream.

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Air display bedazzles onlookers
Tribune News Service

Air Force personnel along with their families have a view of the air show during the presidential fleet review at Air Force Station, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
Air Force personnel along with their families have a view of the air show during the presidential fleet review at Air Force Station, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, March 7
Today was a red-letter day for hundreds of villagers and residents of localities surrounding the Air Force Station.

The gala sight of over a dozen of fighter aircraft flying past leaving behind a trail of awed looks and necks being strained to catch a glimpse. The event was the IAF fleet review by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

It was a delightful experience both for the families of the armed forces as well as residents of the area as they watched the skies awestruck to witness the demonstration of stature and strength by the Air Force.

Hundreds of residents could be seen perched on the roof tops of their house. The flats in Sectors 46, 47, 48 and 49 were the most preferred ones. Even the stretch of the Chandigarh-Morinda railway track was full of anxious onlookers. Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Sector 48, said he had a number of family friends visiting him to watch the spectacle. A number of people took pre-lunch leave to see the show. The show was capped by a thrilling performance by the Sarang helicopter and Surya Kiran aerobatics.

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Kalam calls for introduction of moral science classes
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, today called upon educational institutions to introduce weekly moral science classes for students. He said great teachers who could elevate the young minds to love their country and other human beings should take these classes.

Delivering his address at the 56th annual convocation of Panjab University here, President Kalam said throughout the world in every school till the age of 17, it was essential that moral science be taught. He said parents and teachers, school campus and home had to have an integrated mission: to inculcate moral leadership amongst children.

“It requires the ability to have compelling and powerful dreams or visions of human betterment, a state of things in which human beings could be better off in the future than they are now,” he said, adding that moral leadership requires a disposition to do the right thing and influence others also to do the right thing. “If the child misses the value-based education in the school, no government or society can establish a transparent society or a society with integrity,” he warned.

Involving the students in his address, Dr Kalam asked “Is it possible to aim at a peaceful, prosperous, happy and safe planet?” On getting a resounding yes from the audience he moved on to say that other than having a value-based education system there is also a need to transform religion into spirituality and transforming the nation into an economically developed nation.

Introducing the concept of National Prosperity Index (NPI) Dr Kalam said the index was evolved by adding the annual growth rate of GDP to improvement in quality of life, particularly those living below poverty line and the adoption of value system derived from the country’s unique civilisational heritage.

He said the NPI would take into account the availability of housing, good water, nutrition, proper sanitation, quality education, quality healthcare and employment potential. The NPI would also include promoting joint family system, creation of a spirit of working together, leading a righteous way of life, removing social inequities, and above all promoting a conflict free, harmonious society. “All our efforts in improving the national economic performance should be guided by the measured NPI of the nation at any point of time,” he said, adding that the various elements of NPI need to be reviewed periodically.

“Since the academic community of Panjab University is research and teaching-oriented, the thoughts on NPI can be further developed in the form of an equation defining and expanding the contents and relationship among multiple elements as discussed, he said.

Visualising a larger role for the universities, he said the university system could introduce students to noble missions such as removal of illiteracy in the rural areas, promoting social values in the neighbouring villages, counselling the people in the villages for leading a good life free from any form of addiction and gambling. “They can also work for removing the social problems such as crime against women and children, dowry, child labour, and support to elderly people, through debate and discussions with the people in adopted villages by the university and affiliated colleges. The students can also be introduced for providing help to the differently abled people and persuading the parents about the necessity of immunisation and post-natal care to the mother and the child,” he suggested.

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6 students honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam honoured six students with gold medal at the 28th annual convocation of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, here today.

The Kataria Memorial gold medal was given to Dr Indranil Mallick, Department of Radiotherapy. While Dr Sumit Verma, Department of Paediatrics, and Dr Pardeep Kumar Aggarwal, Department of Nephrology, were awarded with the Major Amir Chand gold medal, for the best research work, for 2006. Dr Ajay J. Swamy, Department of Cardiology, was given the V.K Saini Memorial gold medal for the best published research work in cardiovascular diseases.

The R. Nath gold medal was bagged by Dr Pawan Kaler, Department of Biochemistry, in the field of biomedical sciences. Harpal Singh, B.Sc. lab student, for the best student in the BSc/MLT disciplines got the Aikat Memorial gold medal.

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Flouting rules Cable operators run advt strips
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Cable operators in the region are flouting rules by running advertisement strips on local cable channels. They are not just making a profit by running these advertisements, but are also obstructing viewers.

Sources said the cable operators in the tri-city were earning revenue worth lakhs each month through these “illegal advertisements”. With the operators charging anything between Rs 1200-Rs 1450 for running each advertisement for a one-month period, each operator was estimated to be earning thousands of rupees as additional revenue.

Interestingly, it is not just the local cable channel that runs these advertisements, but also the Doordarshan channel, which runs an advertisement strip.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, as amended in 2002 and Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, clearly state that advertisement on cable service cannot be transmitted or re-transmitted, unless such advertisement is in conformity with the prescribed advertisement code.

Section 6 of the Act, read along with Rule 7(sub-rule10) of Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, states that all advertisements should be clearly distinguishable from the programmes.

However, the cable operators say that they are allowed to run the advertisement strips.

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Abduction: Its two students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Adding a twist to the controversy, the Chandigarh Police today claimed that Haryana IAS officer’s son Sunil Kumar may have left the city with not one, but two students of his school.

Twenty-four hours after the police received a complaint accusing Sunil Kumar, a Hindi teacher, of luring a Class X student of Sector 22 Government Senior Secondary School, information about the disappearance of the girl’s classmate was received by the Nayagaon police today. The police does not rule out the possibility of the two girls being together.

The another girl, a resident of Karoran road in Nayagaon had reportedly gone to attend tuition in Shivalik Vihar at around 2:30 pm. She had not returned since.

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COMMUNITY

Principal Secy honoured

Among the students who received their degrees at the 56th annual convocation of Panjab University today was familiar public figure Dr S.S. Channy, Principal Secretary to the Punjab government.

In the university to collect his Doctorate of Philosophy, Dr Channy has worked on public health.

“I have worked on the analysis of secondary healthcare administration in Punjab under the guidance of Dr S.L. Goel,” he said while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

A postgraduate in public administration from Panjab University, Dr Channy was in the third year of law when he cleared the IAS examination in 1982 in his first attempt.

“I was placed 26th and completed my law degree, while I was in Mussourie,” he recalled.

Dr Channy said he had examined the issues and challenges of hospital administration as part of his research. “I have tried to come up with a number of feasible suggestions for making the health system of Punjab responsive to the needs of people,” he said.

He stressed that the benefits of efficient secondary healthcare would improve both primary and tertiary healthcare.

“Hospitals like the PGI will not be overburdened if secondary hospitals in the region take on their responsibilities better and perform efficiently,” he pointed out.

Dr Channy said he got the idea of working on a PhD on this subject when he was posted in the state health department.

“I worked in the department first as secretary and then as head of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation. We were implementing a World Bank project that time and introduced a unique system of involving private players into the health delivery system,” he said.

He said secondary health systems could improve immensely if private players in health were seen not as rivals but as complementing the efforts of the state. — TNS

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Of social service and him

Dr S.P. Agarwal, secretary general of the Indian Red Cross Society, today said the body would start a nationwide movement to involve people in social work, asking them to contribute at least 100 hours of voluntary work every year.

Dr Agarwal is a renowned neurosurgeon and has remained director general, Health Services, Government of India.

He was in the city today to receive a Honoris Causa degree of Doctorate in Science during the annual convocation of Panjab University. Stating that the society was trying to deal with the problem of attrition among volunteers, Dr Agarwal pointed out that the aim was to train more and more persons in social work and first aid.

“There are many persons who want to get involved in some social work. But there are not many non-religious bodies that offer such opportunities. Now they can join the society as volunteer and contribute two hours of service every week by helping others. They could be trained in first aid or help in hospitals etc,” he said.

He said the 100 hours of voluntary service project was being first implemented in New Delhi, after which it will be taken to other states.

Dr Agarwal said the society had also constituted a 30-member strong team to run the disaster rehabilitation team that trained persons across the country.

“Also we are running an evening course in postgraduate diploma in disaster preparedness and rehabilitation,” he said, adding that a non- emergency ambulance service of the society was also on the anvil.

Honorary surgeon to two former Presidents of India, Dr Agarwal said his experience with the government as head of health services had helped him in his current assignment. “Red Cross is going a big way in generating HIV awareness. We have running a youth peer education programme in six states.” — TNS

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Searching for empowerment
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The paradox was ironic. When President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was awarding degrees to Panjab University students, more than 500 women from rural Punjab and Haryana were lamenting the lack of education and opportunity.

Assembled in Sector 25 Dharna Grounds in PU’s backyard, they presented the dark side of rising India. In the crowd were women from all ages (eight to 78 years) and all backgrounds. They came from Patiala, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurdaspur, Kurukshetra and Ambala.

But all of them came bound by hope. And though they knew nothing about Women’s Day, they exhibited a rare zeal to take part in the rally which Voluntary Health Association of Punjab organised today on the eve of Women’s Day.

For those gathered, it was an occasion to speak out for once, while others listened. “Normally it is the other way round,” said Jaswant Kaur, a 55-year-old from Lahari Kalan in Fatehgarh Sahib, who came to learn about the PNDT Act. Having spent a lifetime fighting foeticide, she says its root lies in dowry and unequal property rights in rural Punjab.

Most women spoke about foeticide and their helplessness in matters pertaining to child birth. Rajbir Kaur from Patiala said how she was made to bear child after child just because she didn’t have a son.

Another 50 women came seeking solutions to pension problems. Amar Kaur and Balvinder Kaur from Fatehgarh Sahib said, “Even the sarpanch does not help us. He only helps people close to him. We sent our applications several times but each time they were returned with some objection or the other. So much for Rs 200 a month.”

At the rally, representations were accepted by the lawyers of Human Rights Law Network, who are already fighting to secure pension rights of women in Punjab. Other issues discussed today included the rights of disabled women and domestic violence.

Harjit Kaur, a 15-year-old disabled girl from Gurdaspur, came seeking legal aid to secure her rights. There were also several women living with HIV, turned out of their houses after the death of their husbands. Illiterate and abandoned, many of them came with their HIV positive children. They have no money or support.

At the rally, pamphlets detailing women’s rights in distress situations were distributed. Two plays were also staged to spread awareness. And the women enjoyed every bit of their outing that came loaded with information. Had it not been for empowerment or at least the hope of it, they would not be sitting there, smiling in the face of odds.

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They live with stigma, they die with it
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , March 7
Even death fails to bury the stigma that comes with imprisonment of a woman in Punjab. Rejected by their families, so many women prisoners land up in mental asylums in the state due to stress they suffer during incarceration. And even after they die, there is no redemption for them as their bodies are not accepted by their families.

Rani’s family in Ludhiana’s Samrala tehsil refused to take her body for the last rites after she died of septicemial shock as a result of bilateral pneumonia. She was just 35. Arrested in connection with a criminal case, she was admitted to a mental asylum on January 16, 2003. She died on December 16 later that year at the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar, where she was shifted after illness.

Even as the nation holds seminars and conferences on Women’s Day, a study carried out by Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institute of Correctional Administration, says Rani’s case is not an isolated one. The demise of as many as nine women in judicial custody was reported to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission between 2000 and 2007.

Lalli says the bodies of Rani and some other women prisoners were eventually cremated by the jail officials as the families remained indifferent even to their deaths. “This”, she asserts, “points at larger social issues of neglect and discrimination against women prisoners not only by the society, but also by the families.”

The study on custodial deaths has been sponsored by the commission itself. Lalli has already submitted to the commission a copy of the voluminous report running into over 200 pages. Quoting the contents of the report, sources in the commission assert Lalli has attributed the deaths of women prisoners to stress.

“Out of total nine deaths of women prisoners, three were reported by the director, Institute of Mental Health, Amritsar. This indicates that the main factor behind the deaths of women prisoners is mental problems,” she has asserted.

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‘Encourage women entrepreneurship’

Chandigarh, March 7
A national seminar on women entrepreneurship was organised on campus of the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences (DBIMCS) in collaboration with the Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA) recently. Chairperson of the Punjab State Women Commission Parminder Kaur was the chief guest and the keynote speaker.

Chairman of the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes Zora Singh said entrepreneurship in general and women entrepreneurship in particular needed special emphasis in the policies of the government both at the centre and state levels. Commercial banks and other financial institutions must launch special facilities and incentives schemes to encourage and motivate women to start their micro and small enterprises.

Vice-chairperson of the group Tejinder Kaur, DBIMCS director Shalini Gupta and president of the PCMA Prem Kumar presided over the technical sessions. — TNS

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Rally against power theft
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
The pilferage of electricity can largely be curbed effectively by mass awakening and educating the people at large, for which the youth is required to come up and work in a positive way. It will also help in bridging the gap between demand and supply of power. This was stated by P.K. Das, special secretary (power) and managing director, Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam, while addressing students of the Government College here.

He also flagged off a “bijli chori roko jan chetna rally” of the students. He said the concept of free electricity or drawing of power through unauthorised means was not good for the financial health of power utilities. Haryana lacked natural source of hydel generation and for thermals coal was brought from distant places involving abnormally high expenditure.

The theft of electricity also led to damage of transformers and distribution lines, which created problems for honest consumers and power utilities.

Referring to the optimum use of electricity during the evening peak load period, he emphasised that bulbs and other electrical gadgets should be switched off when not required. He said power was supplied during this period on a rotational basis.

Energy conservation would help in supplying power to areas where restrictions were imposed during the peak hours.

Layak Ram Dabas, inspector-general of police, said the people should cooperate with power utilities in curbing theft of power instead of forcing it to initiate hard steps.

“Bijli chori roko jan chetna rallies” would be held at all district headquarters in the first phase.

He added that power theft could be curbed with the help of students. The rates of electricity could be brought down by Re 1 per unit by curbing pilferage of power in the state.

Raj Shree Rana, college principal, said electricity had become a basic requirement for all citizens.

She urged students to cooperate with power utilities to give the message of optimum use of electricity and avoidance of power theft to a minimum of 10 citizens of their respective areas. Shiva and Satya Pal, students of the college, emphasised on the need for energy conservation and treat theft of power as a social evil.

They were awarded Rs 500 each. A complaint box for information regarding power theft was inaugurated.

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3 parking sites for Ind Area-I
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The UT administration has accorded approval to the department of urban planning to release three more parking sites in the Industrial Area, Phase-I.

The conversion policy entails creation of more parking area. These parking lots will accommodate 1,100 cars, thus solving the problem of parking space in Industrial Area, Phase-I.

The temporary surface parking would be constructed by the Municipal Corporation behind dairy farm (2.11 acres), plot No. 184-A (1.45 acres) and near poultry farm (1.59 acres).

Apart from these sites, a site measuring 1.58 acres between plot Nos. 41-48 and 42-47 was released to the municipal corporation to accommodate 256 cars.

The site was also recommended at the 82nd meeting of the MC house held on December 27.

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Son’s ailment puts family in debt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Ailments have been haunting the family of Harbans Singh, a resident of Jandwala village in Faridkot district, for the past about a decade. His son Gurmail Singh developed a renal failure and the expensive treatment virtually brought misery to the family.

Owner of a small landholding, Harbans has sold a major chunk of the land to meet the expenses of his son’s treatment. Though mother of the patient Gurcharan Kaur donated one of her kidneys to her son and he underwent successful renal transplant, yet the treatment dragged the family under heavy debts. The family is now seeking the mercy of their neighbours for food grains. The family has been putting up in Khudda Lahora opposite the PGI and needs financial help.

Donors can contact Harbans Singh at 9855676933.

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Pensioners seek travel concession
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 7
The local Senior Citizens (Pensioners) Council has demanded that senior citizens be given 50 per cent concession in bus and rail travel.

General secretary of the council Jai Singh Sehmbey said here yesterday that the age limit for senior citizens for income tax purposes be brought down to 60 from the present 65 years.

He said senior citizens were not satisfied with the increase in the income tax slab, which was raised marginally, and it should be fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh.

He said the council welcomed the national housing policy announced for senior citizens.

The council would organising the 10th annual veterans athletics meet for life members on March 23, he said.

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Blood donation camp today

Chandigarh, March 7
The Tribune Employees Union is organising a blood donation camp here tomorrow. The camp is being organised in connection with International Women’s Day and would be inaugurated by Dr Saudamani Bambah at 9.30 am.

Dr RP Bambah and Justice S.S. Sodhi (retd), both trustees of the Tribune Trust, would visit the camp. A team of doctors led by Dr Ravneet of the Department of Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, would conduct the camp. — TNS

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CRIME
 

Thieves decamp with jewellery worth 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Dr Rajdeep Singh of sector 8 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that US $ 2000, jewellery worth about Rs two lakh and some documents were stolen from his residence on Tuesday night. He told the police that the thieves gained entry after breaking open door and went to the first floor of their house. A guest of the family, who returned from USA, was sleeping. As the old man was partially hearing impaired, he did not notice anything.

It was only in the morning they found his room ransacked and things missing. A case has been registered in this regard.

Four vehicles stolen

Four vehicles including a car were stolen from the city. Simranjit Singh of sector 45 reported to the police alleging that his car (CH-03-C-2388) was stolen from Sahib Singh Parking lot on Tuesday. Satish Kumar of Mauli complex, Manimajra, lodged a complaint alleging that his Hero Honda motorcycle (CH-03-V-2026) was stolen from the same locality. Similarly, Rash Pal Singh of sector 18-B filed a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj CT-100 motorcycle (HR-59-3387) was stolen from sector 26 on Tuesday. In another incident, Surinder Singh of sector 45 reported to the police alleging that his scooter (CH-01-P-7465) was stolen form sector 23 on March 3.

Four cases of thefts have been registered in various police stations in the city.

Purse snatched

Kalawati of Sector 20-D reported to the police alleging that two unidentified persons riding an active scooter snatched her purse containing Rs 2400 and some documents near dispensary in sector 45 on Tuesday. A case has been registered in this regard.

Smack seized

The Special Crime Investigating Cell of the Chandigarh Police arrested Kamlesh and Pardeep Kumar, both residents of Kullu, from sectors 25 and 38 Small Chowk and sector 38-West, respectively on Tuesday. The police recovered 11 grams of smack from Kamlesh and 10 grams of smack from Pardeep. Two cases have been registered against them in this connection.

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Cash, jewellery stolen in broad daylight
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
Thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh from a Sector 16 residence in broad daylight today.

The house was locked and the occupants were away when the theft took place.

House owner Dimple Sehgal said she left for work and her son left for college in the morning. On returning in the afternoon, they found the lock on the front door broken.

Rooms and cupboards were ransacked and almirah locker containing the cash and jewellery ripped open by the thieves.

In another case of attempted theft, the Sector-6 house of former bureaucrat T.C. Gupta was broken into last night.

Though the family was away, the servant staying in the house said he heard some noise in the night went to investigate.

Alerted, the thieves fled the scene leaving behind bundles of crockery and microwave they had picked up. They also left behind a flashlight.

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Mother of two commits suicide

Chandigarh, March 7
A 28-year-old mother of two allegedly hanged herself at her Sector 9 residence, here this evening.

Quoting the family, the police said the woman had been suffering from depression lately.

The police said the woman, Uma Devi, was found hanging by her husband around 5.30 pm.

He lowered her as she was breathing at that time. The police was informed and the woman was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where she later died. The couple, married for 14 years, had been living in the servant quarter of the house. — TNS

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BUSINESS
 

Hoteliers gear up for World Cup
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
As the ICC World Cup countdown has begun, the hospitality industry of the city is gearing up for the biggest cricketing extravaganza, starting from March 13.

This time, the local tourism department will also play a part in collaboration with the industry to provide the city residents, tourists and visitors a gala time during the world cup matches.

The odd timings of the matches might be a little problem for the Indian fans as the matches will start around 8 pm (IST) to culminate around 3.30 am. But most of the hoteliers are happy with the night timings as it would boost the business numerously during the match days.

“In fact the late timings suit our business as the late night matches always attract a large number of customers to the eating houses. But one problem, which we face would be the early closing timings of the restaurants.

To cope with it, we would seek special permission from the administration to keep the restaurants open till the end of the matches”, said Manmohan Singh Kohli, president of Hotels and Restaurants Association of Chandigarh. Normally the hotels remain open here till 11 pm.

About the preparations of the local hotels for the forthcoming event, Kohli, who is owner of Aroma Hotel said, “Definitely, there will be something special for the customers during the matches. This time, we would make some attractive plans in collaboration with the local department. We also had a talk with Vivek Attray, director, Tourism, Chandigarh, on the issue. As he is out of the country, the concrete programme will be chalked out after his return.”

On the other hand some big hotels and eating houses have already started preparing themselves to encash on the opportunity. “To attract more customers, we will install a big screen in our coffee shop, which remains open 24 hours while in restaurant, a big TV set will be put up to facilitate the cricket fans. Not only special dishes will be introduced but special discounts will also be given during the world cup matches”, said R.P. Singla, general manager of Hotel Mount View.

The proprietors of city’s first sports bar “SCORE!!!” at sector 8, contemplate to inaugurate it with the starting of World Cup. About their special plans, Ranjit Bajaj, CEO of the bar said, “We have prepared special video diaries of each player of Indian team.

These diaries, with special quotes of the players will be shown during the matches of India”.

“Besides, a lucky chance to win West Indies’ tickets, special west Indian dishes, a 42” TV with Tata Sky facility for each table, three big projector screens in the middle of the hall with the most powerful projector of the 5000 lumens will be the highlights of the bar during the matches”, said Bajaj.

On the late night timings, Bajaj said that they would apply for special permission to the administration so that the customers would enjoy the matches till culmination at the bar.

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Biz Clips

Chandigarh
Inauguration: Union Bank of India will inaugurate its eighth branch in the city in sector 32-D. The branch will be inaugurated by V.K. Dhingra, general manager of north zone. The branch will be fully airconditioned and will be on core banking. It will also have an ATM facility.

BSNL service: The Punjab Telecom Circle of BSNL has launched the web hosting, message hosting and web collocation service. An official release said that BSNL has already crossed the figure of 1.50 lakh dial up internet connections in Punjab circle. Now the BSNL B-fone subscribers can use the service with nominal usage charges of 10 paisa per minute.

Hutch bill: Hutch customers can now receive bills in nine Indian languages, apart from English. Customers can now receive their bills in Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati and Malayalam. Customers can now also pay their bills through credit cards by calling Hutch Care Helpline at 111. An official release said that there is no additional charge for these services.

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