C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Acquisitions
Administration decides to raise relief
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The UT’s policy to acquire agriculture land for public purposes is in for a major change. After Punjab’s announcement to offer the market rate for acquisition of land to its farmers, the Chandigarh administration has decided to offer similar relief for land acquisition on its periphery. A uniform collector rate will be offered, said a senior official in the administration.

The immediate beneficiaries will be the land owners whose land is being acquired for the IT park in Kishangarh and for construction of single-room dwelling units in the west of the city.

A committee constituted to redefine the procedure to fix the collector rate has suggested amendment in the Punjab Financial Commissioner Standing Order No.28.

The order (as applicable to UT), that speaks about the methodology to calculate land compensation rates, does not allow a uniform rate of compensation for all UT villages. After getting the nod of the Administrator, the committee constituted by the Deputy Commissioner is expected to work out the compensation.

By rough estimates, the rate would be around Rs 1crore per acre, said the sources.

A number of court cases due to inadequate compensation is one of the reasons being cited for increasing the compensation.

It was a long-pending demand of farmers that the land acquisition rates be hiked substantially. Nearly 2,500 acres is yet to be acquired by the administration in different villages.

A compensation of about Rs 37 lakh had been announced for acquisition in Sarangpur village; about Rs 45 lakh for Dhanas and about Rs 25 lakh for Mauli Jagran.

Cut in stamp duty

To check the registry of property at undervalued rates, the administration will be increasing the collector’s rate, a benchmark for the sale and purchase of property.

While revising the collector’s rate, the administration proposes to reduce stamp duty from 6 per cent to 4 per cent. Officials believe this will make selling and buying property cheaper.

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After CII, 24 bhavans found breaching rules
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Close on the heels of the estate office deciding to issue a notice to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for use of premises for commercial activity, which is not allowed, the office has issued notices to more than 24 bhavans and sabhas in the city on the same ground.

A large number of bhavans and institutions have been found to be carrying out business activity, including running shops and STD booths. The institutions will have to pay a penalty depending on the extent of misuse. The sites also stand to be resumed. Reliable sources said during surprise raids, it was found that a number of these buildings were being sub-let for commercial activity like parties, in contravention of allotment rules.

The list of violators includes the Bar Council, Sector 37, Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35, Himachal Bhavan, Sector 28, Rajasthan Bhavan, Sector 33, Guru Ram Dev Mahasabha, Sector 20, Sanatan Dharam Bhavan, Sector 23, Jat Bhavan, Sector 27, Prajapati Bhavan, Sector 38, and Sood Sabha, Sector 44. The list also includes Aggarwal Sabha, Sector 30, Dr Ambedkar Bhavan, Sector 37, Parsuram and Mahajan Sabhas, both Sector 37 and Saini Bhavan and Saini Sabha, both in Sector 24.

The Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, one of the prestigious institutions, had been issued resumption notice which was set aside. The bhavan authorities maintain that: “It only promoted handicraft from states, which was different from business activity”.

According to a senior official of the estate office, it had been detected that certain institutions were running full-fledged shops on the premises. One of the bhavans had a property dealer functioning from the premises and another a financer.

This was against the allotment rules because the bhavans had been allotted land at nominal rates for community activity. The official pointed out that the plea by the bhavans for holding marriages and other functions was that the facility was specifically for members.

This had been found untrue in several cases.

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Mid-Day Meal
Team headed by DPI inspects 3 institutes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Education department officials headed by DPI S.K. Setia conducted raids at about 4.30 am at all three institutes through which mid-day meal is supplied to schools.

Beside, raw material samples were picked up from the Kedriya Bhandar and Chandigarh floor Mill, Phase 1, Industrial Area.

The institutions inspected today were-CITCO’s Shiwalik View-17, Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management-42 and Chandigarh Institute of Hotel management and Catering Technology- 42.

At all three places, domestic cylinders, instead of commercial ones, were being put to use to prepare the meal.The teams collected nine samples of different food articles to get these checked at government laboratories.

The DPI (S) said: “Our purpose of inspecting these centres was to ensure that the food is prepared in sanitised conditions. We have spotted some shortcomings and we are reviewing and suggesting measures to make improvements.”

“At Shiwalik View, though reasonable hygiene has been maintained, we observed space constraints in their kitchen area due to which washing of vegetables and utensils was not satisfactory. Another shortcoming was that there were no official, either from CITCO or the contractor, for supervision. Domestic cylinders were being put to use , which should be stopped immediately. Around 100 cylinders are consumed daily.”

The situation was no different at Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management-42. As many as 40 cylinders were placed together and the gas is supplied through pipes. “ This is also not allowed. Storing so many cylinders at one place requires a licence.”

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Police action: Rights panel moved
Adviser unhappy with SDM

Chandigarh, May 4
The Global Human Rights Council has moved the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged manhandling of residents of Janta Colony, Nayagaon, at the hands of officials of the Chandigarh administration and the Chandigarh Police.

The UT Home Secretary, SDM (Central), DSP, Central, and SHO, Sector 11 Police Station, have been made respondents in the case.

The petitioners have stated that while the residents were protesting in a peaceful manner against the construction of a wall by the PGI authorities, the police force led by the SDM acted in a brutal manner and cane-charged the residents.

Following a picture in one of the papers showing SDM Ankur Garg kicking a protester, the Adviser is learnt to have expressed his displeasure to the officer. The SDM is leant to have said that he acted in self-defence. — TNS

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Kang blames MLA Badali

Nayagaon, May 4
Former minister for animal husbandry Jagmohan Singh Kang in a press note said the incident was “most unfortunate” and instead of trying to find a solution to the problem, the administration was holing up over 20,000 residents of Janta Colony.

Kang also visited the site of the altercation this morning. “Over a thousand residents came out to air their grievances. They were shocked at the police action,” he said.

He alleged Akali MLA Ujagar Singh Badali had failed to solve the problem of the residents. He said six months ago, there was a similar impasse, but he had intervened and convinced the administration to find a solution.

Former member of Parliament and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain condemned the police action against the residents of the Janta Colony.

In a statement, he said it showed the “inhuman treatment meted out to the common man by the police.’ Demanding a judicial probe, the BJP said the union government should ask a retired High Court judge to conduct an inquiry into the episode.

The former MP said that cops guilty of ordering the lathi charge should be punished. He said the government had failed to rein in the police. The union home ministry could not escape responsibility for this arbitrary and barbaric action of the police. — TNS

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“RTI tool to fight corruption”
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Renowned Right to Information (RTI) activist and Magsaysay Award winner Arvind Kejriwal today stated that RTI was the most powerful tool in the hands of the most ordinary citizen.

In the city to address a group of senior income tax officials at the Direct Taxes Regional Training Institute here, Kejriwal a former IRS officer, said RTI was not just a tool to get information but a tool that empowered citizens to fight corruption and in the long run participate in the process of governance, he said. Kejriwal left the civil services some years ago to devote time to his work as the founder-head of Parivartan - a Delhi-based citizens’ movement trying to ensure a just, transparent and accountable governance. He was awarded Ramon Magsaysay for Emergent Leadership Award for activating India's RTI movement at the grassroots and empowering the poorest to fight corruption by holding the government accountable.

“The RTI Act in India is the most well-drafted act. It is only in India that anyone can go and demand information regarding something that the government is doing. No one can deny information on the basis that the project is still incomplete or that the file is under consideration. Also, only in India can a citizen demand samples of material used by contractors for construction while the work is on,” he said.

Responding to a query whether the act was also being misused, Kejriwal said the act could not be misused. “If an officer feels that he is being harassed by a chronic RTI Act user, he can contact the police and complain but to start denying information through lame excuse is not acceptable. And if there are 10 persons who trouble officers through RTI, there are thousands who have benefited,” he said.

A graduate from IIT Kharagpur, Kejriwal spearheaded an awareness campaign for RTI across 55 cities in India during which over 18,000 applications under the act were received. “I admit that the awareness about the act and its use will take time to reach those who probably need it the most, especially the illiterate in rural areas but other ways are being found to enusure that maximum number of persons are able to use the act. The Bihar government has, in collaboration with Parivartan, started the RTIline - a dedicated phone number which anyone can call and demand information. The request is recorded and followed up with various departments. The phone call is the same as an RTI application,” he said.

What next? Kejriwal said strengthening of local self-governance was the next big thing that needed to be done in India. “Parivartan was working towards drafting a proposal to give real power in the hands of the public. For example I live in Kausambhi in Delhi. Through RTI we gathered that our area residents give Rs 92 lakh to the government as tax but when we look around us we see that the roads are broken, there is no water in the taps etc. So where does this money go? Another RTI application revealed that the government has built Rs 42 lakh worth of roads in our area which existed only on paper,” he said.

Saying he had no faith in municipal bodies and Panchayati Raj models that were working in India, Kejhriwal said his organisation was also studying the various self-governance models across the world.

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NCERT told to expedite supply of books
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The Chandigarh Education Department is preparing to end shortage of NCERT textbooks on various subjects. The situation is grave. The session has begun, but the textbooks are yet to hit the stands.

The NCERT has released advertisements in leading newspapers on the availability of textbooks on its official website. The students complain that the site too does not open.

The department has requested the NCERT officials in New Delhi to expedite the supply of books. “We have faxed a message to the NCERT office at Delhi and asked it to send us formalities for seeking copyright of the publications,” said DPI (S) S.K. Setia.

The NCERT system and distribution pattern needs to be revamped. “Once we get the copyright for publishing rights, we will get the textbooks published through the controller of printing and stationery.”

The much-talked-about books, which promise to promote activity-based learning and reduce curricular burden and examination stress, are not available with any of the three authorised distributors in the city- Sector 19 Manchanda Book Store, Sector 22 Happy Book Store and Sector 23 Ramesh Book Store.

A city based trader, on condition of anonymity, said this time the distribution had been zone-wise. “The real problem is that they tend to maintain their own monopoly, prefer to sell at their retail counter at Aurobindo Marg in Delhi and sometimes this scarcity is made artificially, perhaps at the instance of private publishers,” he said.

Another reason for the scarcity of books, as described by the traders, is that the CBSE has made changes in the syllabi of almost all classes. “The changed syllabi could have been compiled much earlier, say by December-end. We are asked to deposit the amount in advance, but when we go to receive our order, we are shown the shortage slip ”, rued another trader.

In the absence of NCERT books, most parents have purchased books printed by private publishers at exorbitant rates. Even the traders are happy to sell the private publishers’ books.

“The private publishers publish text-cum-help books, which is similar to the original NCERT books and they offer us a margin of 25 per cent, 10 per cent more than offered by the NCERT,” said a trader.

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Monthly fee for school sites likely

Chandigarh, May 4
The Chandigarh administration proposes to charge a monthly fee of Rs 50,000 per acre from sites allotted to educational institutes, particularly schools, in future.

An important decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting here today. The recommendation will go to the Punjab Governor. — TNS

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COMMUNITY
 

Bar poll: presidential candidates chant transparency mantra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Even as the elections to the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana are drawing near, a requisition for a full house meeting of the association has been sought and queries posed to the two candidates running for the post of president.

The secretary of the bar association, Amandeep Singh, gave point-by-point answers to the queries, posed by Tahar Singh and Gurjinder Singh Chahal, advocates, relating to the functioning and accountability of the present bar association office-bearers.

He said that they had submitted the fund utilisation certificates to the Punjab Chief Minister and soon the certificates would be handed over to the Haryana Chief Minister as well.

To a query as to whether the expenditure incurred by the bar body had been approved by the executive committee, he replied in the affirmative.

“We have got everything approved from the executive and we will place it before the General House,” he said.

To another query that whether the amount, ranging from Rs 51 lakh to one crore, given by Punjab and Haryana governments or any other person, have been put before the General House, Amandeep said it would be done by due procedure.

“The procedure is that when a candidate addresses the bar before elections, only then the funds acquired are placed before the General House,” he said.

The President of the bar association and also a presidential candidate in the coming poll, Anmol Rattan Sidhu, said the grant cheque was given in his name and as a president he had to give a personal guarantee against any loss of income. In fact, indemnity bonds were given by the president as a mark of personal assurance against future risks.

Atul Lakhanpal, who too is running for the post of president, said the grant was given to the house but in the name of the president who was personally responsible for any loss of income.

He said there was a complete transparency during his tenure and accounts then maintained could be checked by everyone.

Both the candidates gave this reply in response to a query posed in the requisition letter asking whether the government grant was given to the house or the president of the bar.

The General House meeting is scheduled for May 8.

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Facility to dispose off hazardous waste by July
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
A common facility for disposal of hazardous waste would commence by the end of July, said the chairman of the Punjab pollution control board Yogesh Goel while interacting with industrialists of Dera Bassi at a meeting here today.

Goel clarified that no relaxation can be given to the industries, who fail to comply with the provisions of the hazardous waste (management & handling) rules, 1989.

Goel informed the industrialists to adopt effective pollution control measures and comply with instructions as required under the various environment laws. A spokesman of the board said the chairman told the industrialists that the Punjab Government is committed to industrial growth of the State. At the same time it is utmost essential that the environment should be taken care off. He assured that the fast clearances would be granted in a time-bound manner.

Meetings between the board and industry will be held periodically. The chairman welcomed the suggestions put forth by the industrialists and assured them to consider these sympathetically.

During the meeting, the representatives of the industries suggested various measures to cut down the unnecessary delay in granting clearances. They said the approach of the PPCB should be industry-friendly. It was also emphasised that the role of PPCB should also be advisory along with regulatory so that the pollution control system should be compatible to the norms.

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Big top losing grandeur
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 4
Having once been one of the most popular means of entertainment, circus is now spinning into oblivion. Domination of the electronic media on the recreation scene is choking the big top to a slow death. “Circus is a dying art and to save it, the government should give it the industry status,” says Ajay Dutt Sharma, proprietor of Asiad Circus.

“People are losing interest in traditional entertainment shows like circus. So, only the government can save and promote this art by supporting us. Till date, many big circuses like Kamla Three Rings, International Gemini Circus, Great Oriental Circus and Samrat Circus have perished due to big losses,” said Sharma, who has been running his circus shows at Mohali of late.

Besides the less occupancy during the shows, rising maintenance costs, high rent of grounds, rigmarole of government offices while taking permission and long file processing during the shifting of venues are the other problems, which discourage the circus people a lot, added Sharma.

The circus people demand concession on venue and electricity charges which are normally very high. Ban on child workers under the Prevention of Child Labour (modified) Act is another hurdle being faced by them. “Only small children can be trained for acrobatics and gymnastics and it is very difficult to train them at a later age. When child artistes can work in films then why not in circus?” asked Sharma.

Also missing from the scene are animals like tigers, lions and bears, which were once the top attraction of any circus. The government imposed a ban on public display of certain animals in 1998 which took away the beauty of the whole exercise.

According to Sharma, the project was started in 1979 by his father Satish Dutt Sharma. At that time, it cost between Rs 20 and 30 lakh but now it runs in crores. “As we have to look after around 150 families, including the employees of the circus and over 30 animals, we can not shut down the business,” rued Sharma.

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‘Hidden’ inquiry report
Chaos rules MC meeting

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 4
Uproarious scenes were witnessed at the Municipal Council meeting as Congress councillors exchanged heated words with councillors of the dissident group within its own party and those of the BJP here today.

Trouble started when BJP councillors raised the issue of MC officials suppressing an inquiry report of the director public bodies directing a recovery of Rs 2 crore from contractors who had done substandard work and Rs 80 lakh from MC staff.

Councillors, V.K. Sood and C.B. Goel, demanded a high-level inquiry by an independent agency as to why the report pertaining to works undertaken by the MC in the city had been “hidden” for over a year. Congress city unit president R.K. Kakkar joined the chorus even as INLD and Congress councillors began to defend president Manvir Gill. He also raised the issue of NGO president Hemant Kinger being beaten up on the MC premises by contractors.

The matter ended after the trio staged a walkout, stating that the president was not interested in redressing problems but got the agenda passed with support from her own councillors. “There is no point attending such a meeting,” they said.

Later, the House passed the purchase of a hydraulic platform for the fire station given the increasing number of high-rise buildings in the city as also the training of three fire officers. The council also approved a third party inspection of all development works carried out in the city.

In another significant decision, the House passed the registration of court cases against candidates contesting MC elections and found to be defacing public property with banners and posters. While the House deliberated on development works to be carried out in the city in 2007-08, allowing of advertisements on bus queue shelters was also given the nod. Jalmegha Dahiya raised the issue of non-functional streetlights in her sector.

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Haryana to promote efficient use of energy
Tribune News service

Panchkula, May 4
In view of ever increasing energy needs, the state government has decided to formulate special norms to promote efficient use of energy. These views were put forth by chief secretary of Haryana Prem Prashant at the formal launch 
ceremony of the complete energy efficient system at the Shakti Bhavan here today.

Speaking on the occasion, he emphasised the need to promote energy conservation systems. He said energy consumption in the buildings was about 33 per cent of the total power consumption in the world. This consumption was expected to equal the consumption of industries and transportation by year 2050. He said the Shakti Bhavan was the first in the state to have achieved the distinction of introducing a complete efficient energy system in the state.

He said the implementation of the energy efficient systems could help meet the power shortage to a greater extent.

Askoh lavasa, financial commissioner and principal secretary (power) to the Haryana government, who was also present on the occasion, said the state power utilities had decided to replace all conventional bulbs and tube lights with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in the near future.

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GMADA opens 24-hr helpline
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 4
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today launched a 24-hour helpline for Mohali residents. GMADA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said a dedicated phone line had been put in place for the residents for complaints relating to the GMADA anytime of the day.

The telephone number of the GMADA helpline is 6533398. “The phone will be available through the day and night though our earlier experience shows that very few calls are made after midnight,” said Krishan Kumar.

The residents can call at this number and after identifying themselves lodge a complaint, which will be fed into a computer immediately if the call is made during office hours or the next working day if the call is made in the evenings or weekend. The complaint will be processed and the department concerned will be told to redress the grievance as soon as possible. The caller who leaves his number with the attendant will be informed by the GMADA when the complaint is taken care of.

“The complaints could be related to roads, parks, water supply being maintained by the GMADA, licences, property etc,” said Krishan Kumar. In case the complaints relate to other agencies like the municipal councils, PUDA, DC office etc, these will be forwarded and the complainant informed accordingly.

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Residents nod must for liquor vend
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 4
The consent of the residents welfare association will be needed for opening a liquor vend in the residential area.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held by Krishan Kumar, chief administrator, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), here today. It was decided that even though the allotment of liquor vends was done by the excise and taxation department, land was provided on rent by the GMADA. If the association concerned failed to give its consent, the GMADA would not allow the opening of a liquor vend in that area. He said the step was taken keeping in view the problems faced by the residents.

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IT Department among least corrupt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
If you thought that the Income Tax Department in India was the most corrupt and inefficient, you are in for a pleasant surprise. A SWOT exercise undertaken by the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur, has found that productivity of manpower of India’s tax department was the highest when compared to the best nations in the world and the cost of collection was the lowest. When compared to corruption levels in other services, taxation was found to be actually one of the least corrupt.

“It was as much as a surprise for us as it is to others when we reached these conclusions based on data collected by reliable agencies,” said Ms Saroj Bala, Director-General (Training) National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur. Bala was in the city today for the inauguration of a one-day seminar on Right to Information Act.

“Based on public perception of corruption and inefficiency, our officers as a result suffered from low self esteem. But we realized that things were not as bad as they were made out. Productivity of manpower was gauged on the basis of how much percentage of the demand raised on assessment is collected by the department. India and Canada have approximately 27 million assesses but India’s performance was much better as compared to Canada. In fact, we have shown an 80 per cent increase in collection in the past two years. For 2006-07 the collections have touched Rs 230000 crore,” she said.

The cost of collection in India was .62 per cent of net revenue collection. In Japan it was over 1.58 per cent and in Canada it was 1.14 per cent. “It was lowest in India and is reducing further which also meant that while the department was performing better the government was spending less and less on it,” pointed out Saroj Bala.

The corruption perception index was compared on the basis of data provided by Transparency International. Police scored highest on the overall corruption score followed by health, power, education, ration, land administration, judiciary, taxation, railway and telecom. “We found that only 11 per cent income tax payers faced corruption charges whereas 67 per cent power consumers and 43 per cent litigants paid bribes,” she said.

A glimpse of the education profile of the manpower in the department showed that some of the officers in the department were educated at the Harvard Business or Law School, London School of Economics, Institute of Public Administration, Paris, universities in Australia, UK, USA, Singapore and even Japan. “It was heartening. We have just trained our 60th batch of officers and organized training has entered its 50th year. The SWOT exercise was called for in our golden jubilee year,” she said.

RS Mathoda, chief commissioner, IT North-Western region, VDS Balhora DG (investigations) Chandigarh, Manju Lakhanpal, chief commissioner, IT Haryana, PK Chopra, chief commissioner, IT Himchal Pradesh, Sudarshan Prashar, Director RTI, Chandigarh, were among those present at the seminar.

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Unending wait for amenities provoke resentment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Unending wait for basic amenities in market of Sector 24-D has ultimately led to widespread resentment among the shopkeepers. After having managed without water taps, streetlights and proper parking places for years together, the shopkeepers now have started to vent their ire.

Repeated attempts to draw MCC’s attention to the problems seem to have proved futile for over a hundred shop owners in the market. The market welfare association had been trying to get basic amenities like toilets and water for the last seven years but to no avail.

Rakesh Kanojia, president of the welfare association, said in the year 2000, Pawan Kumar Bansal had allocated Rs 2 lakh for various development works. But till date nothing has been done. He stated that in 2005 a joint committee of the UT administration and the MCC had approved Rs 1 crore for development of Sector 24 out of which Rs 25 lakh were to be spent on the market. “Even then the state of affairs is the same,” lamented Kanojia.

Vishal Dhand, who owns a cement store, said no water taps were ever installed in the market. “I got a tap installed here for which the expenditure was borne by me,” claimed Dhand. However, he rued that when they tried to have a water tank, the MCC authorities thwarted the move saying it was illegal. He said that no streetlights in the market created security problems but despite all efforts, they were unable to get these installed.

The shopkeepers also stated recently the MCC re-carpeted some portions of the parking places. Though as the parking area outside the shop of the local councilor was completely re-carpeted, only 15-feet was re-carpeted in the other block. Shopkeepers said the councilor had assured that work would be completed by March end, but till day no work has been initiated.

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Unchlorinated water raises concern
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Un-chlorinated water being solid in plastic-jars has raised concern amongst city residents who are demanding that appropriate measures should be initiated to ensure supply of chlorinated water.

According to R.C. Raina, a former executive engineer of the UT administration, packaged drinking water being provided in city hotels and institutions contains no chorine at all. After getting the water samples tested from Municipal Corporation’s public health laboratory, Raina discovered that though as per the quality standards there should be 0.2 to 0.4 mg per liter, there was no chlorine found in the plastic jar water. The regular drinking water supply had 0.2 mg per liter of chorine.

The tests got conducted by Raina also revealed that though the required alkalinity of drinking water should be 250 mg per liter, the regular water had 124 mg per liter and the packaged water had only 118 mg per liter.

Total hardness of water, which should be 300 mg per liter, was found to be 76 in regular water supply and 42 in packaged water. The total dissolved solids were also far below the quality standards. In regular water it was 160 mg per liter and in packaged water it was 110 mg per liter though as per the specifications it should 500 mg per liter.

Raina stated that the laboratory report suggested that packaged water was not fit for drinking due to bacteriological examination was suspicious. He said that people visiting hotels, which supply packaged waters, should be made aware about these facts.

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Delegation from Maharashtra visits MCC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
An 11-member team of the Nanded Maha Nagar Palika, Maharashtra, accompanied by its Mayor, Shamim Berum A. Hafeer, today visited the Chandigarh municipal corporation to have a closer look at the working here.

A spokesman of MCC said the delegation was on a study tour to learn the best practices of the Engineering Projects and JNNURM in the country. Harjinder Kaur, Mayor of the municipal corporation, Chandigarh, gave a detailed presentation regarding the working of various departments of the MCC including sanitation system, water works, electricity and other functions of the MCC.

While elaborating about water supply schemes, the Mayor said water supply of the city was based on two sources including surface water and underground water. The Bhakhra Main Canal flowing at a distance of 27 kms was the main source of surface water, which was being tapped at nearby village Kajauli, and underground water from about 180 tube wells.

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AIBKU assures support to land owners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The president of the Haryana unit of the All India Bhartiya Kisan Union (AIBKU), Ghasi Ram Nain, has assured his support to the agitating land owners of Kishangarh village here.

Addressing a meeting of farmland owners, the BKU leader was led by unit’s general secretary, Pala Ram. This meeting was organised jointly by the Mani Majra Farmers Welfare and Environment Protection Society, Pind Bachao Committee, and the Chandigarh Farmers Action Group

Nain expressed his concern at the heartless manner in which the Chandigarh administration was treating farm land owners. Many of the farmers were being displaced for the third time since the inception of the city.

The policy of the Government seems to be 'kisan ujado, mazdoor banao' he said, referring to the fact that the government was slowly converting farmland owners into daily wage workers and urban slum dwellers.

Brig K.S. Kahlon, Vice-President of the Mani Majra Farmers Association informed that The BKU has included the demands of the farmers in Chandigarh in their national memorandum.

Members of Mani Majra farmers Association, the Chandigarh Farmers Action Group and Pind Bachao Committee will participate in the rally outside the Parliament House jointly with the All India Bharatiya Kisan Union, said Jyotii Subramanian, President, Chandigarh Farmers Action Group.

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Haryana Roadways employees stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Haryana Roadways United Employees Action Committee staged a dharna in front of the roadways general manger K. S. Kalsan’s office, Haryana Raodways Depot, Industrial Area here today.

Over 150 workers of the committee staged a protest against the alleged misbehaviour and dictatorial attitude of the general manager in the dharna. Talking to TNS, Lal Chand Kasana, president of the Haryana Roadways employees union (Chandigarh depot) said, “We have met to the higher authorities including Haryana chief minister, transport minister, transport secretary and transport commissioner regarding our problems but nobody took any action.”

The other leaders, who were present at the dharna, were Ajit Singh, Baldev Singh, Hari Naryan Sharma and Raj Kumar Verma.

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TCWA to organise 6 blood donation camps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association (TCWA), Chandigarh, has decided to organise six blood donation camps this summer to meet with the shortage of blood during summer months helping in saving the lives of serious patients and Thalassaemics.

The thalassemia major patients require blood transfusion every three to four weeks to sustain life.

It is estimated that about 240 million people around the world have the thalassemia trait and among Punjabis and north Indians more than three per cent were the carriers of the thalassemia gene. It was also estimated that over 8000 children with thalassemia major were born every year in India. 

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Blood donation camp held

Chandigarh, May 4
A total of 113 units of blood were collected at blood donation camp held at Multipurpose Hall of Police lines, Sector 26, here today.

The camp was conducted under the supervision of Dr Neelam Marwaha, Professor and Head to Transfusion Medicine (PGI), Chandigarh. All ranks of Chandigarh police including SSP Gaurav Yadav participated and donated the blood in the camp. — TNS

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‘Char Muye To Kya Bhaya’ released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
“There is an immediate need to link our coming generations with our culture, literature and religious heritage and this can be done only with sincere and progressive efforts of intellectuals and writers,” said Punjab cooperative minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh while releasing a book titled “Char Muye To Kya Bhaya” written by Mewa Singh at a function organised by the National Society for Child Artists in the city today.

He also appealed to the writers’ community to create literature that would help in making a better society. Speaking about his book, Mewa Singh said “I was inspired by children to write this book.” Ajit Sailany, chairman, National Society for Child Artists, Col Jasbir Singh Bhullar, Dr Kulwant Singh Grewal and Dr H.P.S. Walia, Punjabi University, Patiala, and columnist Gurpreet Singh Niamian read papers on the book.

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Towers in residential area opposed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 4
Residents in Phase IV have demanded that communication network companies should not be allowed to put up towers in residential areas.

The residents have complained to the president of the Municipal Council and the Estate Officer, GMADA that a person was getting an Airtel tower installed on the premises of his three-storeyed house in the area much to the annoyance of others.

They said such a move should be checked by the authorities concerned because people would have to face problems like pollution by generator sets, vibrations and the alleged nuisance of the security staff that would be deployed by the company. Apart from this an untoward incident could also happen due to the installation of the tower.

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Letters
Shed macho image

Youngsters are influenced by the macho image that films, advertisements and serials create of drinkers and smokers, be it Amitabh as 'Sharabi' or Shahrukh as 'Devdas'.

Even villains turn macho after smoking a cigarette or after having a peg.

Media must correct this image and understand that knowingly or unknowingly they are influencing addictive behaviour in teenagers.

J.S. Bedi, Kharar

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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CRIME
 

Pirated CDs siezed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The local police arrested Lucky, a resident of Mohali, on the complaint of Jaswant Singh of Jalandhar. The police recovered 13,142 pirated CDs from his shop Video 22, Sector 22. A case under sections 51, 52A, 63, 64, 66 and 68A of Copy Right Act has been registered at police station Sector 17.

Smack seized: The Chandigarh Police arrested Dilbagh Singh, a resident of Sector 52 and recovered 12 gram smack from his possession. A case has been registered against him under Section 21 of NDPS Act at police station, Sector 36.

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6 booked for looting

Mohali, May 4
The police has booked six persons on a charge of looting a Panchkula resident at gun point. According to the police, unidentified persons had taken away a gold kara, Rs 50,000 and two mobile phones.

The police said Sudhir Kumar had lodged a complaint stating that when he was going to Nadiali village in his car was overtaken by another car which had no number plate. The occupants of this car stopped his vehicle and at gun point took away his valuables. — OC

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BUSINESS
 

Corruption slows economy, says Prof Hooda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Corruption slows down the economy and affects every aspect of personal and national life. Elimination of corruption is crucial to any campaign of integrity.

This was stated Prof R.P. Hooda, vice-chancellor, Kurukshetra University, while kicking off CIIs Integrity India campaign here today. He pointed out that corruption was yet to be defined, though people know about it from stray thoughts and experiences around.

Drawing a parallel between societal concerns over environmental and gender bias issues, and corruption, Prof Hooda mooted the idea of corruption studies along the lines of environmental studies and gender studies. He also called upon the Confederation to organise multi-disciplinary seminars involving educationists, economists, sociologists and others, to come out with systematically researched material that will analyse and suggest ways and means of fighting the evil.

The Integrity India campaign is part of CII's effort in catalysing industry's engagement on crucial social and national issues, and is designed to focus national attention on transparency, accountability and ethical behaviour. The youth-centric programme is being driven by the Young Indian Forum that focuses on issues of national importance and motivates a generational change in the economic and social agenda of India.

Conceptualised by CII President R Seshasayee, the campaign is being led by Infosys Chairman and Chief Mentor N.R. Narayanamurthy. Besides motivating youth to become agents of change, the campaign is using the RTI Act and e-governance to take it forward. To ensure total involvement of industry, the CII plans to set up a cell to address the genuine issues of harassment faced by small and medium entrepreneurs in regard to tax issues.

On this occasion, a play on Mahatama Gandhi "Gandhi Ki Vapasi", was presented by Theatre Age. The function included a lively question answer session where students voiced their concerns.

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Sahara India Parivaar enters global market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Sahara India Parivaar on Friday announced its entry into the global services market by launching Sahara Care House - a single window platform for global Indians enabling one-point easy access for over 60 support and care services for them and their families in India. The aim is to target 12 million NRI Punjabi population which accounts for almost 50 per cent of NRIs based across the world. Addressing mediapersons, chief executive officer of Sahara Care House, Romi Datta, said the service would be launched in seven cities of Punjab and over 107 relationship ambassadors will be looking after families of NRIs from Punjab. The services range from serious medical emergency to a simple utility bill payment, from personalised travel and leisure services and investment information services to property management and maintenance.

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Biz Clips

EXPANSION: Allahabad Bank will be expanding its network of branches in Punjab and will open at least five new branches at Mansa, Sunam, Ropar, Barnala and Sangrur. This was disclosed by Anil Kumar, zonal head of Allahabad Bank, who said that new branches will be opened at Mansa, Sunam, Ropar, Barnala and Sangrur during this month.

DONATED: The Punjab Bank Employees Federation today donated school uniforms and school benches to Aruna Asaf Ali Trust. The donation was made as part of the 61 years anniversary celebration of the All India Bank Employees Association. N.K. Gaur, secretary of the association said the donation was part of the social obligations of the association.

DISTRIBUTED: State Bank of India Ladies Club today distributed books, note books and school bags to 21 students from the poor socio-economic strata, studying in Government High School, sector 24. Nisha Contractor, president of the club, urged the students to work hard and excel in their studies.

CONSTRO INDIA: Looking at the fast pace of infrastructure development and construction activities in India, top construction equipment manufacturers and technology developers from Korea, China, Malaysia, Germany, Italy, Canada, Holland, Denmark and Dubai, will be showcasing their products at Constro 2007 - a real estate and infrastructure exhibition to be organised at Pune from November 28 to December 2. This was disclosed by R.R. Dhoot, vice-president of Pune Construction Engineering Research Foundation, during a media interaction organised here today.

LAUNCHED: Whirlpool unveiled its new products across four categories - refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and dryers on Thursday. All newly launched products are designed to create a magic in home making and features the company's patented sixth sense technology connoting intuitive understanding of a woman's needs. After attaining leadership in the direct cool (refrigerator) segment, the company aimed to gain leadership in the frost free (refrigerator) segment with the launch of the Mastermind frost free refrigerator, said Tamal Kanti Saha, vice-president, sales, Whirlpool. With the launch of this innovative product line up, they were confident of achieving their goal of sustainable and profitable growth," he added.

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