C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


11% interest for new loanees; 12% for old
HDFC borrowers allege rip-off
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Different rates of interest charged by a premier housing finance company has irked borrowers.While old borrowers have to pay 12 per cent as rate of interest on housing loans up to Rs 20 lakh, the HDFC is wooing new loanees by offering 11 per cent rate of interest.

The irate borrowers allege that inspite of being associated with the company for the past several years and paying their monthly instalments (EMI) regularly, they are being forced to pay more.The HDFC authorities, however, say they have given the option of conversion to the new EMI plan to all old customers.

“In spite of our loyalty to the company, we are forced to shell out at least Rs 10,000 per Rs 10 lakh loan a year, as compared to a person who takes a loan now,” said a resident of Sector 66, Mohali.

He said the EMI of a person who had availed of a loan of Rs 10 lakh at12 per cent was Rs 833 more than the a person who had taken a fresh loan. If the old customer has taken a loan of Rs 20 lakh, his EMI would be Rs 1,666 more than the EMI of a fresh loanee, who is paying 11 per cent as rate of interest.

Even after the customers have paid the conversion fee (0.5 per cent on principal outstanding the first time and 0.25 per cent subsequent times), they are offered 11. 5 per cent rate of interest, which is still 0. 5 per cent more than the rate of interest offered to the fresh loanees.

“Customers should be informed of the new EMI plans and that a facility for conversion is available. Even the conversion rates offered are very high, since these are based on the principal outstanding,” said another customer.

The HDFC authorities say that the reason for the different rates of interest is owing to the fact that the spread offered to each customer varies. “Earlier, the spread (discount offered, which is the difference between the prime lending rate and the rate offered by the bank) offered to the old customer was less, as compared to the spread of 3 per cent offered now. “We cannot change the spread even after the customers have paid the conversion fee. So the rate of interest is 0.5 per cent higher than the rate of 11 per cent offered to the fresh loanees.

“The difference in the rates of interest offered to the old customers and new customers is based on the PLR,” said a company spokesman.

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Ice cream vendor murdered
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 24
Close on the heels of the murder of a retired Major-General and his wife in Sector 25 here, an ice cream vendor was found murdered in his tenement at Budhanpur village opposite Sector 16 here this morning.

The body of Sarvesh Kumar, a native of Suraiyya village in Kannauj district of UP, was found by the police. Sarvesh, who had been living in the room belonging to a gurdwara for the past several years, was allegedly strangled to death with a nylon rope.

Sources said the rope belonged to the deceased. He probably used the rope to tie up ice-cream containers on his bicycle.

Senior police officials and forensic experts visited the crime spot to help in the investigations.” The murder either took place late at night or in the wee hours of today. The injury marks on his neck seemed fresh,” a police official said.

The motive behind the crime was not clear.

The body has been sent to the General Hospital, Sector 6, for a post-mortem examination. The report could lead to a breakthrough in the case, the sources said.

A search operation had been launched. The police was questioning friends and acqaintances of the deceased, besides people in the neighbourhood.

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CA's Killing
Weapon found

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Chandigarh Police today recovered the weapon and blood-stained clothes of Kanav Arora and Mandeep Singh, who murdered city-based chartered accountant Rajesh Goel on Tuesday.

Investigations revealed that gobbling up the profit earned during the sale of shares worth Rs 5 crore led to the murder of the chartered accountant. The deceased had invested the money on behalf of his client, Iqbal Singh Sabhwal, through share broker Kanav Arora, the main accused.

Seeing easy money coming their way, the broker, instead of returning the amount of Rs 1.90 crore earned from the sale of bonus shares, further invested a part of the amount, which resulted in a loss of Rs 25 lakh.

When the CA put pressure on the broker to return the bonus share money, the accused hatched a conspiracy to eliminate him.

Rajesh Goel was a financial consultant for Iqbal Singh, who runs a company, Sehaj Subhav. For his client, Goel purchased 77,300 shares of HCL Technologies through Kanav. At the closing of the financial year, the company gave bonus at 1:1. After selling the first lot of 77,300 shares, Kanav transferred the bonus shares (77,300) in the name of his employee Shiv Kumar and sold those. For this he used a transfer vouchre signed by Iqbal Singh.

Talking to TNS, DSP (South) KIP Singh said they had found the murder weapon and blood stained clothes of the killers.

The Santro car (CH03-A-2064) used in the crime belonged to Ishwinder Singh, another accomplice. He bought the car from Kanav’s mother, Krishna Arora, on November 30, 2006 for Rs 1,85000.

Chartered accountants of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali closed their offices as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Expressing concern over the security of members of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the  chairman, Chandigarh branch, Balwinder Singh, said the media and the judiciary should make efforts that justice prevailed.

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CBSE result today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The results of plus two examination conducted by the CBSE will be available at e-Sampark, e-Jan Sampark and e-Gram Sampark centres in the city tomorrow.

The results can be obtained from the centres in Sectors 10, 15, 18, 23, 40, 43, 47, Mani Majra and Industrial Area, Phase I. The result can also be obtained from e-Gram Sampark centres at Khuda Jassu and Dhanas. No fee would be charged for obtaining these. A nominal fee of Rs 2 per result would be charged for a printout.

The results will also be available at the DEO’s office and www cbseresult.nic.in

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Niki’s father-in-law booked

Chandigarh, May 24
Mohali resident Niki Nalwa, who was arrested along with her paramour Brandy by the Mohali police in connection of the murder of her husband Sukhwinder Jit Singh, an engineer with Quark in 2005, has reported a case of theft and forgery against her father-in-law Inderjit Singh.

In her complaint at the Sector 3 police station, here, she alleged that her father-in-law stole Rs 8 lakh in cash and jewellery worth Rs 1,75,000 from her husband’s locker. A case has been registered . — TNS

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He coaches balance
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
He is a doctor with a difference. Dr Amit Bhattacharjee, a doctorate in sports psychology and management, has designed a special programme for students to ensure balance between studies and sports. To top it all, he does not charge anything for his services.

Dr Bhattacharjee believes in setting precise goals - be it in sports or academics. He has been chosen for the District Winners Award for Teachers to be conferred on him on May 26.

Among his protégés are Satvika Saboo (national tennis player and 80 per cent scorer in plus 2); Vikram Garg (golfer and 88 per cent scorer in plus2); Corina ( shooter, now in Luxemberg), Upjeet (a Ranji player and now doing animal husbandry at the USA) and ace shooter and world champion Abhinav Bindra.

Working as research officer, ICMR, PGI, Chandigarh, he names his theory “excellence under pressure.” He says: “ My observation is that sportspersons are left with little time for studies. But if they follow the schedule designed by me, they can work wonders in both fields”.

Dr Bhattacharjee has offered his services free of cost to government school students after office hours. “It is my wish to help those underprivileged students who have talent and energy but are left behind only because of lack of resources. I can devote time to government school kids in the evening between 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm. on the weekends at special workshops.”

Dr Bhattacharjee says: “I have a fully equipped library. I have developed a programme where I prepare short notes, simplifying the study procedure. I focus on important concepts from their subjects.” “During exams, I implement my diet and diet supplement programme and maintain interaction with best available tutors. During these crucial days, if the players have to go outstation for a tournament, I update them through online information and guidance.”

Dr Bhattacharjee makes his students do lot of physical exercises-aerobics, yoga and breath control. “These activities stimulate the cardio and respiratory systems which enhances the student’s performance level.” The training programme involves mental imagery and energy management to instill confidence and reduce stress. “ Finally, they can handle time pressure, inter-personal conflicts and fear of failure,” he explains. At the age of 39, this doctor has been to three Olympics- Atlanta 1997, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004- Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships accompanying top sportspersons as their mental trainer.

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Another First
Hotel by hotel institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Hotel Chandigarh Beckons, a first-of-its-kind hotel in the country, will be inaugurated by Gen S.F.S. Rodrigues (Retd), Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, tomorrow.

The hotel has been set up by the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management (CIHM) and will be of immense benefit to the students as they will get training under the supervision of a team of 50 persons who have worked in the hotel industry and will be managing day-to-day operations.

Hotel Chandigarh Beckons is the first hotel in India, with a building and infrastructure, set up by a hotel management institute. Located at the campus in Sector 42, it has 22 rooms and four luxurious suites.

With a built-up area of 30,000 sq ft, the four-storeyed hotel has well-laid-out restaurants, a state-of-the-art business centre and spacious banquet and conference halls for gatherings of 50 to 250 and ample parking space.

The hotel will provide residents of the southern sectors with a quality place in fine dining.

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Survey bares ultrasound abuse
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The government should limit the number of ultrasound centres and permission should be given only to radiologists to own and operate the machine.

Ultrasound machines should be available at government hospitals only since all private centres tend to misuse the machines, and chances of misuse are more where both ultrasound machine and MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) centres are located on the same premises.

These opinions were expressed by AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy) practitioners during a survey conducted by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh (CRRID).

However, half of the surveyed AYUSH practitioners submitted that they needed ultrasound machines for treatment, while the remaining felt there was no such need.

The survey revealed that many ultrasound centres were being run by operators and doctors not properly trained to handle the machine.

At many centres, even the qualification of the operator could not be ascertained, says the survey report, collected by the Population Research Centre of CRRID from nine states - Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The survey was conducted to find out the extent of ‘untrained’ doctors of both allopathic and non-allopathic disciplines who were either owning or operating ultrasound machines, and to know the purpose for which theses ultrasound machimes were being used.

The number of scans carried out on pregnant women is intriguing. During the survey, it was found that nearly half of the ultrasound scans were carried out on pregnant women for obstetric (watching, monitoring, investigating the gestation of pregnancy) purposes. And a majority of these were carried out before 28 weeks of pregnancy.

The records of many ultrasound centres are also alarming.

Despite the availability of ultrasound equipment, 37 per cent centres in Delhi, 17 per cent in Gujarat, 26 per cent in Haryana, 2 per cent in Maharashtra, 5 per cent in Punjab and 1 per cent in Tamil Nadu did not conduct even a single ultrasound during last year, revealed the records of the centres during the study.

The study showed lack of proper understanding among health officials about the prescribed qualification or registration of ultrasound centres.

The PNDT Act provides that all ultrasound centres be registered under four different categories, namely genetic clinics, genetic laboratories, genetic counselling centres and ultrasound scan/imaging centres. However, the same kind of centres are listed under different categories in different states.

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Action sought against dera chief

Chandigarh, May 24
The president of the World Sikh Women Organisation, Shavinder Kaur Johal, has urged the union government to take action against the head of Dera Sacha Sauda for imitating Guru Gobind Singh.

Speaking to mediapersons here yesterday, Shavinder Kaur said a deputation of the organisation would soon call on the Prime Minister in this regard. 

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TA photo exhibition from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
To create awareness among the public about the Territorial Army (TA) and also to motivate civilians to join the organisation, the TA, in association with the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), will organise a photo exhibition at Government Museum and Art Gallery from May 26 to 30.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, co-operation and defence services welfare minister, Punjab, will inaugurate the exhibition. Titled "Territorial Army down the ages", the exhibition also aims at publicising the role and achievements of the TA and providing information about the eligibility criteria and the procedure of joining the TA as an officer, JCO or in the ranks.

The TA is a voluntary, part-time citizen's army, comprising persons who are not professional soldiers but civilians eager to do their bit towards the country's defence. Although it does not offer a regular career, the TA provides an ideal opportunity to the youth of the country to receive military training in their spare time so that in the event of a national emergency they may be called up to meet the needs of the country's defence and internal security.

The role of the TA is to relieve the regular Army of its static duties and to aid the civil power in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the community is affected or the security of the country is threatened.

It also provides units for the regular Army, when required.

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Journalists welcome wage board
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) has welcomed the constitution of the wage board for journalists and non-journalist employees of newspapers by the union government.

Union president Vinod Kohli said the government had announced the names of the board’s chairman and secretary, but the names of the members were yet to be announced.

He demanded the announcement of the names of the other members in a couple of days to give the board full shape so that interim relief could be announced at the earliest.

The Tribune Employees Union also hailed the decision of the union government. Its president, Jagtar Singh Sidhu, said the government had acceded to the long-pending demands of the employees. aChandigarh Journalists Association president Haresh Vashisht demanded that the wage board must take up the issue of recommending interim relief.

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Ranikhet man collapses at railway station
Death cuts short vacation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
When he left his home in Ranikhet to board a train to Chandigarh day before yesterday, little did he realise that it would be his last journey. On vacation to Chandigarh, 50-year-old Harish Kumar could never reach his sister whom he had come to meet, as death arrived before his destination.

Soon as he alighted from the Samjhauta Express upon arrival in Chandigarh and walked towards the exit of the railway station, Harish collapsed on the way and died on the spot. His body has been shifted to the mortuary of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Harish, a peon at a school in Ranikhet, was on his annual summer vacation to his sister, who lives in Dadu Majra. The deceased's brother-in-law, Naresh, who came to the railway station to identify the body, said Harish was not in the habit of intimating his arrival.

"He would come to us every summer, but would never announce it in advance. He did not want to trouble us with formalities," he said.

In charge of the general railway police post, Haryana, Balkar Singh said Rs 10,000, a passbook and a slip were recovered from the deceased's body.

His family's local contact numbers were mentioned on the slip. Meanwhile, Naresh said Harish would always bring his own money when he came to visit his sister. "He would never let us spend anything. He would even bear our expenses when he was here."

The deceased's family said he had no children. His wife died many years ago and he lived all by himself in Ranikhet. Naresh has now gone to Ranikhet to escort the rest of the family back to Chandigarh, where the cremation will take place on May 28.

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Letters
Land lying unused

I want to draw attention to a vast unused piece of land in front of the 3110 series block, Sector 44 D, Chandigarh. This ground is full of thorny undergrowth and waste, making it unsuitable for playing or walking. In Chandigarh, where land is hard to get, this plot serves no purpose. The authority concerned should take steps to find the owner of the land and construct whatever it is meant for, or convert it into a park, which will be useful for all.

Rashi Srivastava
Chandigarh

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9 hurt in mishap

Lalru, May 24
As many as nine persons were injured in a head-on collision between an auto rickshaw and a truck on the Lalru-Handesra road here today.

The injured have been identified as Ajaib Singh, Pushpa, Mahinder Singh, Baljit Kaur, Gurjit Singh, Jaspreet Kaur, Balbir Kaur and Jagga (7) and Aman (5). — TNS

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Rs 35,000, gold chain stolen from house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The police today registered a case under section 380 of the IPC at the Mani Majra police station on a complaint of Narinder Kumar, a resident of Mani Majra, who alleged that Rs 35,000, a gold chain and a nose pin were stolen from his residence during the intervening night of May 22 and 23.

Vehicles stolen

Avtar Singh of Sector 42 complained his Scorpio jeep (PB-10-BC-3137) was stolen from his residence on May 22. A case under section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

A Pulsar bike (CH03-P-3843), belonging to Tejwinder Thakur of Sector 47-D, was allegedly stolen from his residence during the night on May 19. A case has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.

Eve teasing

The police arrested Hari Singh, a resident of Sector 56, on the charge of eve teasing from near the dispensary in Sector 22 yesterday. Later, the accused was bailed out.

Chain snatched

A resident of Sector 41, Gulshan Wadhawan, lodged a complaint at the Sector 39 police station that two unidentified motorcyclists snatched her gold chain from near her house at 11.30 am today. A case under sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered. 

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12 traders challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The department of legal metrology (weights and measures) has launched a special drive to check weights and measures being used by traders. The drive was carried under the Standard of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985.

About 40 establishments were checked in the Grain Market, Sector 26, Chandigarh, and 12 traders were challaned for violating various sections of the Act. 

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