C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

HC seeks GMADA’s reply
Plea on free treatment by pvt hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, today issued a notice to Punjab and the GMADA for November 12 on a PIL seeking free treatment for BPL category patients by private hospitals allotted land at concessional rates without auction.

Petitioner H.C. Arora averred that PUDA had circulated a policy on August 18,2000, which contained a provision that “since the land is being allotted on concession by PUDA, therefore, the allottee shall provide free-of-cost-treatment facility to yellow card-holders.”

The policy also mentioned that the allottee should document the facilities made available and other details thereof sent on a regular basis to PUDA or any other such authority declared by the government from time to time. Also, the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, should evolve a mechanism for referral of such patients to the super-specialty hospital.

Arora contended that despite a lapse of about seven years, PUDA , now GMADA, had failed to implement this beneficial provision of its policy.

The result was that none of the super-specialty hospitals, which were allotted land on concessional rates without auction, had implemented it.

In fact, the GMADA told the petitioner under the RTI Act that allotment letters issued to these hospitals did not show any concession given to them.

The GMADA also informed Arora that none of the hospitals ever submitted any statement to PUDA or the GMADA regarding free treatment of BPL patients and that no authority had been specified by PUDA to whom such statements were to be sent.

Another important information was that seven hospitals, which included Seven Oak Hospital and Fortis Healthcare, were allotted land at concessional rates. 



Member paints Akademi black
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
In an embarrassment to the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, one of its executive council members, Tirthankar Bhattacharya, has lodged a complaint against its functioning with the secretary, culture. He has alleged irregularities and sought an inquiry into the activities of akademi’s office-bearers.

“Lapses abound. I have been pointing these out. Now, I am not even invited for meetings,” Bhatttacharya has stated.

A lecturer with PU’s fine arts department, he says the council members are not given copies of audit reports; they don’t know where the annual budget of Rs 5 lakh goes; procedure is not followed for inviting members to meetings and works accepted for exhibitions are not cared for.

“Once an exhibition is over, you can go to the store, show a receipt and walk away with any work,” Bhattacharya says in his letter, adding that meeting schedules are not intimated. “Intimation comes some hours in advance. Letters are not sent,”

He has requested the secretary to ensure that vested interests don’t hijack the akademi.

The complaint follows a lapse on the part of the akademi during the annual art exhibition that opened yesterday.

At the inauguration, Bhattacharya says he was shocked to find his painting missing from the “invitee section.” These works are not part of the competition and are not scrutinised.

Bhattacharya’s work was missing, whereas he says he had submitted it with a duly filled form, mentioning the category. When he confronted akademi secretary Ravindra Sharma, the latter refused to acknowledge the receipt of the work, saying, "it was never submitted".

Bhattacharya later traced the work to the akademi’s storeroom, where it was lying in neglect. Today, Sharma admitted the fault, but added: “Our clerical staff received the work in the professional category, where it was not selected for display. We didn’t mean to hurt anyone, nor did we intentionally withhold audit reports. No one ever asked for these. Our working is transparent and our objective is promotion of art.”



Now, woman in Sec 34 duped
Third victim in 24 hrs, but cops won’t move
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Despite efforts of the Chandigarh Police, the Muradabadi gang struck the city again this afternoon, depriving a woman of Rs 5,000 in cash and some documents in Sector 34, the third victim in 24 hours.

The police, it appears, has invented its own method to tackle the crime. Violating the apex court directions on compulsory registration of FIRs in cognizable offences, the cops register DDRs instead, and the crime is “checked.”

V.K.Chimni said his wife Sharan Chimni was waiting in her Toyota Innova SUV (CH-03-W-5480) in Sector 34 at 3.30 pm when a middle-aged man knocked at the window, informing her that her money had fallen out. His wife looked out and found Rs 10 denomination notes on the ground. She picked one or the notes and turned towards the man to say that the money did not belong to her. By that time, the man had walked away and vanished.

Chimni said when his wife looked inside the vehicle, she found that her handbag was missing. The bag contained Rs 5,000 in card, six credit and ATM cards and a mobile phone. The police was informed and a DDR (No 34, missing purse and documents) registered at the Sector 34 police station.

The police discouraged the couple from registering a case, saying they would have to undergo tedious court proceedings in that case.

The officials asked the victim to rewrite her complaint, in utter disregard of the instructions issued by the IGP at the morning brief vigil around banks and market places should be stepped up.

A judicial magistrate is one of the two women to have fallen prey to the Muradabadi gang on Tuesday. 



Blame it on filth
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 1
The entire district administration descended on Madanpur village today following reports of a diahorrea outbreak in a colony there. A team led by the ADC assessed the situation in the colony. Three children have died due to diahorrea and 15 hospitalised in the past week.Yet, there is no respite for residents from the filthy conditions that they live in.

Dr H.S. Sarang, SMO at the civil hospital in Mohali, said after the handpumps were sealed yesterday, the municipal council has made alternative arrangements for drinking water.Tankers had been pressed into service.

Doctors at the hospital today discharged most children admitted two days ago. With five fresh admissions today, the total number of children hospitalised is now seven

Though the drinking water problem has been solved, the residents continue to be surrounded by filth and dirt. Despite the visit of local MLA Balbir Sidhu, MC president Rajinder Singh Rana, and Capt Kanwaljit Singh’s son Jasjit Singh Bunny yesterday, no effort has been made to clean the colony.

Heaps of filth submerged in rainwater dot the village. The doctors at the village screened over 30 persons today and 22 were found suffering from diahorrea.



A gem of a rubble
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 1
A treasure hunt left scores of residents of Nehru Colony here ‘rubble rich.’ The clearing of the wreckage at the Phase 3BI rehri market, gutted in a fire two months ago, began this morning. As the blistered tinsheets were removed, burnt goods found from beneath attracted a host of residents from the nearby Nehru Colony.

While children of the colony took the lead in the morning, searching for clothes and toys, by evening, women from the colony too had flocked to the site to take home some ‘treasure’.

A family from the colony that had spent the day going through the debris was zealously guarding their find while it was being transported to the colony in plastic bags. “We have found clothes of every size. They are not burnt and can be used. I even found a silver earring,” said a pleased Sarita.

Small pieces of jewellery and coins attracted many to the market. The early birds did well. As news spread that debris of jewellery shops were yielding rich rewards, women were seen straining their eyes for ‘shiny object.’

“My neighbour has found a chain,” said Rukhmani, scurrying through the debris in the hope of making it “rich’ too.



Computerised selection system for armed forces
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Two computerised selection tests are being introduced by the armed forces to screen candidates seeking a commission as officers. One is a comprehensive battery of cognitive assessment and the other, a pilot selection system is already undergoing field trials with a selection board.

The systems, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) caters to certain additional aspects of testing and assessments which were not be adequately addressed by the conventional systems in vogue.

The comprehensive battery of cognitive assessment (CBCA) is related to the measurement of intelligence, which has been an integral part of the selection system for officers. Cognition refers to all the mental processes that are involved in the acquisition, storage, retrieval and application of information, both real and imaginary.

The concept of intelligence, according to a DRDO in-house bulletin, has undergone a change and there has been a paradigm shift from the measurement of intelligence to the assessment of cognition. The prototype CBCA measures a wider spectrum of cognition and is not only restricted to the measurement of reasoning as done by earlier intelligence assessments. It would measure different dimensions of cognitions like attention, memory, problem solving, decision making, reasoning and concept formation.

The CBCA is stated to have a strong and sound theoretical, neurological and empirical base and it comprises of nine sub-tests. A comprehensive cognitive profile of a candidate can be generated by this system in a little over an hour.

The DRDO had already developed its “new-age” computerised pilot selection system in collaboration with the Air Force.

The system comprehensively evaluates the abilities and aptitudes such as psychomotor skills, information processing skills, coordination, visualisation, concentration, attention and time-sharing capability required by pilots by subjecting candidates to perform concurrent multiple tasks.

Hardware for the system has been developed using technology used in aircraft flight simulators. It is based upon a micro-controller and has an in-built security system to prevent unauthorised use. The system’s software has a new feature of recording the complete flight data of the candidate so that any variable pertinent to flying skills can be easily extracted from the data.

The need for a new selection system was felt in the light of vast technological advances in the aviation field, where a combat pilot not only has to be just a skillful flier, but an effective “systems manager”.

Organisations around the globe are increasingly using computerised tests in their selection systems. The attractiveness of using multimedia, computer adaptive and video testing rather than paper-and-pencil tests comes from increased standardisation, cost effectiveness, positive image of the organisation and realistic job preview they are able to provide, the bulletin adds.



Installation of high-capacity incinerator
Admn strikes down GMCH proposal
Rajmeet Singh and
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The Chandigarh administration has rejected a proposal of the GMCH, Sector 32, to install a high-capacity incinerator to treat biomedical waste.

The 500-bed hospital generates around 250 kg of waste daily and the existing facility is inadequate to treat it. The incinerator can treat only 10 kg of waste per hour.

The hospital authorities have no option but to transport the waste to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital which caters to the waste generated by various government hospital and dispensaries.

The administration has rejected the proposal citing stringent provisions of the central pollution control board which allows incinerators only at common biomedical waste treatment facility.

Sources said the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, states that installation of individual incineration facility by a healthcare unit shall be discouraged as far as possible but approval might be granted in certain inevitable situations where no option was available.

A senior official in the Sector 16 hospital said they had been told that treating the waste from the Sector 32 hospital was a temporary arrangement. Around 1 quintal of waste was being generated at the Sector 16 hospital alone. “In case we are asked to regularly treat the waste from the other hospital, it would put load on our infrastructure as our own requirement is increasing,” he said.

Recently, untreated biomedical waste being stacked at the Sector 32 hospital had attracted a notice from the Chandigarh pollution control committee. “Since a pollution control device is being installed in the Sector 16 hospital incinerator, the waste from the Sector 32 hospital could not be transported,” an official said.

The pollution control committee has again granted permission to the GMCH to transport the waste to the Sector 16 hospital. Sources said an arrangement to treat the waste at the PGI was also being worked out.

Meanwhile, an operation theatre complex comprising seven operating theatres, pre-operative room, doctors lounge, a central lobby and a post-operative recovery ward was inaugurated at the GMCH today.

Prof H.M. Swami, director principal, inaugurated the complex. 



Farmers to plead before IT bigwigs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
To register their resentment against the acquisition of land for Phase III of the IT park, farmers under the banner of the Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha would now be approaching big personalities associated with the IT industry.

The farmers have announced that they would be submitting their plea to representatives of IT companies who are scheduled to attend a two-day conclave on e-revolution starting here tomorrow.

“The intention is to draw the attention of companies investing in the city to the injustice to farmers whose land is forcibly acquired for the purpose. Though the IT industry boasts of giving employment to hundreds of people, they ignore the fact that this acquisition deprives thousands of others of their homes and only means of livelihood,” said a spokesman of the morcha.

They would point out that landowners wanted that the free trade practices that companies demand for themselves should be extended to them as well.

Farmers were paid Rs 10 lakh for property that was sold at Rs 11 crore in the IT park. 



IT conclave begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The chairman of Nasscom, Lakshmi Narayanan, would be in the city tomorrow to attend the inaugural session of the two-day IT conclave at Taj GVK here tomorrow. The third edition of the IT event is being organised by the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh along with the software technology parks of India. While the UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), would inaugurate the event, A.P.S. Kairon, minister for information technology, Punjab, and Harmohinder Singh Chatha, minister for agriculture, Haryana, would be the guests of honour.

The Nasscom chief would speak on the industry’s perspective and Nasscom’s theme. Issues of changing landscape of India’s emerging knowledge economy, talent management, performance issues, building an ecosystem, deploying the power of online resources, and achieving excellence by adapting global standards would be deliberated upon. Others to speak on the occasion will be Dr Omkar Rai, director HQ, STPI, and S.K. Sandhu, secretary IT and finance, Chandigarh administration.

Some of the key speakers at tomorrow’s sessions include Vishnu Dusad, MD, Nucleus Software Exports, and Srinath Batni, director and group co head (worldwide customer delivery), Infosys Technology.



Date with doctors a click away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Patients can now get appointments with doctors at the GMSH, Sector 16, and the GMCH, Sector 32, at e-jan sampark and gram sampark centres of the city.

The department of information technology, Chandigarh administration, launched the facility today.

The patients can seek appointment ranging from a day to a fortnight on a stipulated date and time.

The facility would later be extended to other hospitals, polyclinics, clinics, dispensaries and laboratories.



Plan to extend voter card drive

Chandigarh, August 1
Following complaints against photography teams for not going from door-to-door to click photographs of voters, the election department is contemplating to extend the drive for some more days. Though no official statement has been issued so far, the videography teams have been asked to stick around the centres for some more days, an election official said. — TNS



Humidity high at 91 pc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Monsoon today made a brief halt in the city, which recorded 28 mm rainfall after a long dry spell. It had rained about 24 mm four days ago, improving the situation marginally. However, the rainfall for monsoon is still below normal. “It should be about 300 mm from June 1 up to now but it has not reached that mark yet,” said Met director Chattar Singh Malik.

After the rain, humid conditions returned with a maximum relative humidity of 91 per cent. Minimum humidity was 65 -- also high by Met standards.

The maximum temperature declined by about three degree, although the night temperature was more as compared to yesterday. Today’s day and night temperatures were 33.8 and 26.6 degrees, respectively.



Man found dead

Chandigarh, August 1
A 45-year-old Karnal resident was found dead early this morning near the road dividing Sectors 33 and 45 here. The police ruled out foul as there were no visible injury marks on the body. The body was identified as that of Damodar Mathwal. He was working as a peon with a private company, from where he was expelled due to his drinking habit. — TNS



Shopkeepers not involved in arson: Mandal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 1
Coming out in support of shopkeepers of Railla village in Sector 12-A, members of the beopar mandal yesterday met officers of the district administration and submitted a representation.

Stating that none of the shopkeepers of the village were involved in the burning of two police vehicles after a mob went on the rampage, the delegation headed by Kuldeep Chitkara and senior vice-president of the mandal, B.B. Kochhar, urged the police and the administration to ensure the safety of the shopkeepers.

“We have seen the CD made available to us by the police to identify the miscreants who torched the police Gypsy. It has been done by labourers and no shopkeeper is anywhere near the burning vehicles. We have told the officers this and they have assured us that no innocent would be punished,” Kochhar said.

Meanwhile, Banarsi Lal, a resident of the village, visited the district secretariat to lodge a complaint that his son, a labourer, has been missing since the night of the arson. 



Green campaign on the roll
Tribune Reporters

A sapling being planted at BSF camp, Lakhnour, in Mohali on Wednesday
A sapling being planted at BSF camp, Lakhnour, in Mohali on Wednesday

Mohali, August 1
BSF personnel and their families launched a campaign, Greening India on the BSF campus, Lakhnaur here.

The function was inaugurated by G S Gill, additional director-general, BSF, Chandigarh. The function was attended by Nikka Gill, wife of G S Gill, a number of BSF officers, their families and civil dignitaries. They planted about 1,200 saplings in the residential complex.

During the function, Gill said the campaign was also being organised at a number of other BSF campuses.

Bassi Pathana: The Citizen Club here today celebrated the Vanmahotsav function and launched the plantation drive in and around the town.

Balraj Singla, president of the club, planted Tulsi, neem and pipal to mark the inaugural ceremony. Singla said “the level of pollution had reached at its peak and if we did not take the steps immediately, the coming generations would suffer”.

He said the Citizen Club would plant more than 1,000 trees this year. Manpreet Singh Sahi, advocate, Pushpinder Jindal, Santokh Sohal and Mohinder Singla, all members, also planted trees.

Patiala: Tree plantation programme was organised in Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 3, Tarapore Enclave, here today. Col. V S Kalange, chairman of the VMC, inaugurated this programme by planting a sapling in the school.

Col Bishan Dass, the guest of honour, motivated the students to plant as many trees as they could to make this environment clean and green. Sanarjit Kaur, principal of the school, threw light on the importance of tree plantation.

About 100 saplings were planted by the students.



Distt Secretariat
Divorced from cleanliness
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 1
The district secretariat in Sector 1, is nobody’s baby. While rubbish piles up in stairways, the secretariat’s different floors have virtually turned a junkyard with discarded sanchi models, a cable dish, broken furniture and huge trunks occupying the space in the corridors.

The ground floor, where the SDM and city magistrate’s offices are located, is forever dusty as construction is on in the vicinity. Also, on this floor, just outside the election office, there are nearly 24 tin boxes and jute bags containing election material piled up in the entire length of the corridor.

Leaving no space for movement, the line of boxes looks menacing to visitors. Officials maintain they have no other place to store election material. Broken chairs and other furniture greet the visitors using the back door to gain entry into the building.

The first floor, surprisingly, has no stock in the corridors but small heaps of rubbish dot the entire stairway from the ground floor. Though the corridors leading to the DC’s office and the superintendent’s office are swept everyday, the second entry from the back of the building is full of filth left unattended by sweepers.

The second floor, too, is the worst with rubbish and broken furniture occupying the “prime location”. The prize-winning models of sanchi-making contests organised annually by the district administration gather dust alongside a broken cable dish, a discarded cycle, folding beds and furniture.

Here, too, the only justification is space constraint and stores are not available to stock unwanted material.

While all this continues to be an eyesore for the officials and visitors alike, the stinking washrooms make matters worse for the staff. Broken basins and leaking taps only add to the mess and nobody seems to be bothered. Cleanliness, here, is certainly a casualty though officers continue to sit pretty in their sparkling offices with not so much as an inch of dust.



Anti-encroachment drive in Sector 7 market fails
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 1
The enforcement wing of the Estate Office, Haryana Urban Development Authority, returned empty-handed in an anti-encroachment drive in the Sector 7 market, where violations are the order of the day.

Though the staff had told the shopkeepers to remove all their items from the corridors yesterday and was assured cooperation, today was a completely different picture as the shopkeepers joined hands to prevent the staff from taking away fridges and racks of chips stacked in the corridors.

Sources in the Estate Office said the traders’ association, which met estate officer S.P. Arora, had gone back on its word of extending help to the staff in clearing encroachments.

The shopkeepers, however, maintain that the staff was taking away items without issuing proper receipts for the same. “We are not against the removal of encroachments, but the staff should give us receipts so that the shopkeepers can take their things back after paying the fine,” association president B.B. Kochhar said.

As there was no police deployed at the market, the staff returned without any major action. It was finally resolved that a second round of talks would be held between the estate officer and the association to work out a way to remove encroachments.

Yesterday, HUDA officials issued a warning to the errant vendors and shopkeepers, telling them to stay within the space allotted to them. 



Labourers injured as earth gives in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Two labourers escaped with minor injuries when the earth gave in at a construction site in Phase I, Industrial Area, here this afternoon. The victims have been identified as 30-year-old Puti Lal and 21-year-old Ram Asre.

The police said it received information at around 3.30 pm that some labourers were buried after the earth gave in. The work was in progress near the boundary wall of a mall. The sewerage pit was about 10 ft deep. The police called the fire brigade and a JCB machine was pressed into service. The victims were rescued after half hour.



16 detained for drinking

Chandigarh, August 1
In a late-night raid, the police rounded up 16 persons for consuming alcohol in public places at different locations from around the city, here tonight. The raid was conducted in Sectors 18, 21, Industrial area, 34, and Mani Majra. These people were caught from outside eating joints and taverns.

Continuing with its drive to check consumption of alcohol in public places and to prevent smoking, the police have also taken three samples from a hookah bar and restaurant in Sector 26, suspecting tobacco consumption, despite claims by the staff that the hookahs are simply flavoured pieces of coal. — TNS



Work divided between GMADA, council

Mohali, August 1
A day after the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Municipal Council here were caught in a conflict over who is accountable for the cleanliness and maintenance of Madanpur village, the chief administrator, GMADA, today demarcated its responsibilities.

In a press note issued by the GMADA, the cleaning of vacant plots in respect of vegetation etc in various sectors will be the responsibility of the GMADA. However, divisional engineer (Horticulture) of the GMADA will ensure cleanliness of all vacant plots with in one-month period.

Any garbage/solid waste thrown by residents in the vacant plots will be lifted by the Municipal Council, SAS Nagar. The GMADA will be responsible for sanitation works in Sector 66 to 69 only.

All roads, road berms, parking area of commercial pockets, public health services and electrical services, excluding lights in parks and parks within the council area are deemed to be handed over to the council. — TNS



PU move welcomed

This is with reference to the news item ‘Punjab University panel to review the system of internal assessment’ published in The Tribune dated July 28, 2007.

The decision to constitute a high-powered committee by Panjab University senate to review internal assessment is a welcome step in the right direction. In view of complaints of ‘bias and partiality’ in the assessment, the system needs to be examined. There are cases where marks on account of internal assessment are doled out to students irrespective of what they deserve, thus defeating its very purpose. The objectivity/sanctity is lost when there is hardly any difference between the marks of the dullest and the brightest student in the class.

In the absence of any checks, internal assessment tends to be based on the whims of the teachers. But then, it should not be difficult for the university to stop abuse of the system. A random inspection by the university of the result registers and the records of internal assessment sent by the colleges would be sufficient to give the right signal to everyone concerned.

The system should be so transparent that students should be able to calculate their own assessment.

R. Kashyap, Chandigarh

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Dowry case: Raid on house of hotelier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
A team of the Chhattisgarh police today conducted raids on the Sector 33 house of Raj Kumar Gupta, owner of Park Inn Hotel, Sector 35, in connection with a dowry harassment case registered against his son in Bhilai.

The four-member team reached here last night and began conducting raids on his house and hotel. Stanley Lal, an ASI accompanying the team, said no one from the family was at home and the hotel staff feigned ignorance about their whereabouts. The manager of the hotel told the police that he did not even have his mobile phone number.

A case of dowry harassment was registered against Gupta’s wife, son, daughter and son-in-law on a complaint filed by Rohit’s wife Jaya. A gold medallist in computer engineering, she alleged that she was harassed by her in-laws for dowry. She was thrown out of the house along with her children two years ago.

The police also raided the house of Gupta’s relatives in Sector 33, but it could not find anyone there. In the afternoon, it went to Ghaziabad to raid the house of Gupta’s daughter. 



Travel agent goes back on his word, arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The police today arrested a travel agent for allegedly duping a Ludhiana-based businessman.

The police said Ravinder Kumar Sharma, a distributor of Pepsi company, told the police that he won an international tour package in a contest from his company.

The package was purchased from Ajit Sehgal, proprietor of Shaurya Travels, Sector 8.

It was alleged that Sehgal offered him another package for the same amount but better facilities.

He was told that he would be lodged in international hotels and would be taken on sight-seeing tours.

Sharma agreed to the package but he was made to stay in “poor” hotels and was not given proper facilities as promised.

The police has registered a case of cheating under Section 420, IPC, against the travel agent.



ASI jailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
An ASI with the Chandigarh police, Kaka Singh, was today sentenced to one-year imprisonment by a special CBI court which held him guilty of graft charges.

Kaka Singh, who was posted at Sector 31 police station, was caught by a CBI team while accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from Karam Singh, a resident of Mumbai.

Kaka had threatened to implicate Karam Singh in a false case.

Meanwhile, Rajesh of Rajiv Colony here was sentenced to three years’ RI today under Section 366, IPC, after the additional district and sessions judge, S.K. Aggarwal, found him guilty of kidnapping. 



Man robbed of Rs 1.80 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Thieves broke open the boot of a scooter parked in Burail village and decamped with Rs 1.80 lakh, here, this afternoon.

The police said Bhagwan Dass of Sector 22 lodged a complaint with the police that he withdrew Rs 1.80 lakh from the Chandigarh Cooperative bank in Burail at around 12.30 pm. Dass said as it was raining, he put the money in the boot of his scooter and began waiting under a nearby shed. When he returned after 15 minutes, he found the boot broken and the money stolen.

A case has been registered.


Davinder Singh Manchanda, a resident of Ludhiana, who came to the city for some work, was robbed in broad daylight in Sector 17, here today.

Manchanda, an employee of High Grips Engineering India, had come to the city for some business with the Rajasthan Bank in Sector 17. He parked his Indica car near the Gymkhana club and went into the bank. When Manchanda came out, he found that the car had been broken into and his briefcase was missing. The briefcase contained a revolver, Rs 50,000 and some documents. The police has registered a case.

Vehicles stolen

While Parminder Singh of Patiala reported that his Scorpio (PB-11-W-5378 (t)) was stolen from Sector 44 on Monday night, Naresh Chadha of Sector 20 reported that his Maruti Alto car (CH-03-X-2876) was stolen from his residence on the same night. In another incident, Amrinderpal Singh of Punjab University, Sector 14, lodged a complaint alleging that his motorcycle (PB-42-A-4654) was stolen from his residence on Sunday night. Similarly, Uttam Singh of Sector 7 reported that his scooter (PB-27-6370) was stolen from Sector 9 on July 28.

Four cases of thefts have been registered.

Smack seized

The local police arrested Geeta of Janta Colony Sector 25 from this afternoon for allegedly carrying 15 grams of smack. A case under Section 21of the NDPS Act has been registered. 



Farmer’s Mart opens
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 1
Chairman, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board, Shadi Lal Batra, today inaugurated the first government-managed Farmer's Mart at the office complex of the HSAMB, Sector 5, here today.

Batra stated that the government was committed to providing modern infrastructure and facilities for agricultural marketing and marketing support to the farmer to ensure remunerative price of their produce.

He stated that Farmer's Mart would not only ensure availability of better quality fresh fruits, vegetables and other products at competitive rates to the consumer, but also ensure better prices to the farmer because of elimination of middlemen and direct marketing to the consumer.

He stated that this mart had been set up on a pilot basis with the help of agriculture and horticulture departments and if the scheme succeeded, the concepts would be expanded throughout the state.

Batra further stated that the marketing board was going to set up a new air-conditioned fruit and vegetable market at Panchkula which would provide space to more than 300 vendors/shopkeepers. In addition to that, one floor would be dedicated to food stores and super markets. 



Neeta Lulla might open store in town
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
After fashioning a career for herself in apparel designing, Bollywood’s “hottest” designer Neeta Lulla is now considering the feasibility of opening her flagship store in Chandigarh for catering to the style needs of the region.

In Chandigarh for interacting with and “brushing up” the talent of the students of Inter National Institute of Fashion Designing (INIFD), Sector 8, Lulla says she is “practically toying with the idea of coming up with a store here”.

Known for creating seductive and feminine attires by using unconventional fabrics and stuff like fishnets, leather, shells and even foils while designing the garments of top stars of Bollywood, Lulla is already offering her “niche” and “bridal” haute couture from her recently-launched store in Mumbai.

Back in India after displaying her flair on the ramps during the “Rome Fashion Week”, Lulla says the creativity of the Indian fashion designers, and their awareness of global fashion trends left the spectators impressed.

“You see, the Indian fashion designers are well aware of the cuts,” she says. “In fact, their forte is the cuts. And the best thing about Indian designers is that they are constantly involved in the process of learning new techniques and improving upon the old.”

She adds: “Ten years ago, the designers here were more comfortable working on Indian stuff, but now things have changed. Coming up with “fusion” stuff is a part of their day-to-day activity. It is as easy as working on a saree.”

Flanked on stage by INIFD director Ritu Kochhar, the Mumbai-based designer predicts “free-spirited” outfits for the marriage season. “There will be more of bright and cheerful colour likes peaches and roses. Needless to say, inevitable red will also be there.”

Lulla says the concept of organising marriage ceremonies outside the cities and at exotic locations is now gaining popularity. And its effect is vividly visible on bridal wear. “The emphasis is now more on cuts and fits than on embellishments. The stuff is definitely more stylish.”

For those unaware of her credentials, Lulla has 300 films, countless shows and two decades as designer, to her credit. She is the designer behind some of Shilpa Shetty’s clothes in the Celebrity Big Brother. The national award winner has also designed exclusively for actresses like Juhi Chawla for ‘Darr’, ‘Aaina’, ‘Yes Boss’ and ‘Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke’; Karisma Kapoor for ‘Judwaa’; and Aishwarya Rai for ‘Taal’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and ‘Dhai Akshar Prem Ke’. 



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