C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Campaigning turns fierce
Shots fired at DAV,two injured
Tribune News Service

Injured Amandeep Multani Chandigarh, August 3
In the run-up to the students’ council elections, campaigning in colleges and the Panjab University campus has started to turn violent. A shooting incident at the Sector 10 DAV College here this morning left two students injured.

Yesterday, a showdown between two groups at Panjab University had left three students seriously injured. At DAV College today, two shots were fired during a group clash. It was a providential escape for Amandeep Singh Multani of the Students’ organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), projected as a presidential candidate for the DAV college students’council.

Nitinpreet Singh Brar, an activist of Students Organisation of India (SOI), allegedly fired at him. According to sources, a group of six youths, including three DAV students, came to the college at 11.30 am when SOPU supporters were campaigning for their candidate.

Nitinpreet, accompanied by Saravdeep Singh Gypsy, SOI president (PU), Buland Sekhon, Manpreet Singh Sekhon, Inderjit Khattra and Nirvirudh Singh Gill reached there. A verbal dual ensued which turned violent with Amandeep and Nitinpreet coming to blows.This happened outside the principal’s office. Nitinpreet allegedly took out a pistol and pointed it towards Multani, who challenged him to shoot him in the head.

“Immediately, hundreds of students assembled at the spot. While trying to flee in a car, Nitinpreet fired two shots at Amanpreet, but he escaped unhurt,” said Gurvir Singh Brar, SOPU chairman.

The SOI group was also carrying weapons, including knives.

Amandeep Multani said: “ I was sitting in the office when I heard students shouting. I rushed out and enquired about the matter. At this, Nitinpreet pointed the pistol at me”.

Amandeep was rushed to Government Multi-speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where he was discharged in the evening. The Sector 3 police station has registered a case against

Inderjit Khattra, Nitinpreet Brar, Buland Sekhon and two more under the arms Act.

DSP S.S. Randhawa said: “We have conducted raids in Mohali, DAV College and Panjab University to arrest the accused.” SSP Dinesh Bhatt supervised a meeting with representatives of student organisations urging them to maintain peace.

Principal of DAV College S Marriya was away to Delhi for a meeting. Prof V K Gupta, officiating in his place, said: “Action will be taken against college students allegedly involved in the incident after the principal comes back”.

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Beant Case
  Key witness Balwinder seeks protection
Notice to UT SSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A Division Bench, comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Rajive Bhalla, today issued notice to the UT administration and the SSP over a petition by Balwinder Singh, a prosecution witness in the Beant Singh assassination case.

The petitioner sought directions to the respondents, the UT administration and the UT SSP, for enhancing his security. He averred that security be provided at his residence, even when he was not there.

Balwinder Singh had provided the first clue in the Beant case which led to the arrest of the accused, who now stand convicted.The petitioner also submitted that his wife had died of a heart ailment caused by stress from threats to the family.

The UT administration has provided Balwainder with cops, who accompany him to work. 

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Finally, UT’s own akademi awards
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Chandigarh, finally, will have its annual akademi awards, on the lines of national awards, presented by central culture akademis. Approving the initiation of awards at a high-level meeting today, the administration decided that each of the three akademis - Chandigarh Lalit Kala, Sangeet Natak and Sahitya - will present these in their respective fields. Applications will be jointly invited by the administration and the akademis.

The akademis will soon be housed in a building along the Madhya Marg. Another major decision pertains to the renovation of Tagore Theatre. The same has been deferred till February next, much to the relief of culture groups, which had nowhere to go in the wake of theatre’s closure.

The Chandigarh Arts Council will give Rs 1.5 lakh to each of the three akademis for the annual awards. For this purpose, the department of public relations and cultural affairs will give Rs 4.5 lakh annually to the council.

The proposal will boost the city’s culture scene. It was also decided that the akademis would set up panels for selecting the best awardees for the purpose. Only those above 35 years would be eligible to apply. 

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Post-Violence
Protests on PU campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The violence on Panjab University campus triggered several protests today. With both PUSU’s Abhishek Puri and SOPU’s Harpreet Singh Multani having spent the night in the lock-up after the scuffle yesterday, the blame game began once again.

SOPU student activists protested in front of the vice-chancellor’s office against.

They submitted a memorandum in this regard to the VC, which stated that Multani was not at the student centre when the fight began and that he was being implicated in a false charge. The memorandum demanded Puri’s “immediate expulsion.”

Puri said SOPU’s claim on Multani was incorrect. Earlier in the day, INSO activists staged a ‘silent protest’. Sporting ‘no violence’ banners, they walked around the university and then dispersed.

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IT Park
Phase II tangled in red tape
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Bureaucratic hurdles have come in the way of registration of units in Phase II of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park. Work on the park projects has been delayed by more than a year.The area under the special economic zone(SEZ) has not been formally notified by the Centre yet.

Airtel and Esys have already been sidelined. At least a dozen companies have written to the administration that they be kept out of the area under the SEZ, which in turn has written to the ministry of commerce. Officials, on the other hand, said the projects had been approved and a formal notification was expected any time now.

Vineet Nayyar, managing director of Tech Mahindra, talking to the Tribune on the sidelines of the E-Revolution 2007 conclave, spoke about the “bureaucratic hurdles” that had delayed the project. “We have the work force, but the project cannot take off without formal approval,” he said. Nayyar said certain “persons” who did not qualify for SEZ rules had been left out. 

Tech Mahindra and Infosys are the two major players in Phase II of the IT park covered under the SEZ. Nayyar said Mahindra envisaged an investment of Rs 100 crore.This would mean saving Rs 16 crore on account of non-payment of VAT, excise and customs by the company under SEZ rules.

Nayyar underlined the need for training manpower for the IT industry according to changed needs. “Manpower shortage is one of the biggest hurdles facing the IT sector in the country.We don’t need only engineering graduates.The knowledge bank of professionals also needs to be supplemented with inputs from philosophy, politics and current events,” he said.

“ We are attempting a modification in the education system to suit our needs.The company is opening a school at Education City.”

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3 names for Lalit Sharma’s successor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
With the term of Lalit Sharma, adviser to the Administrator, coming to an end in September this year, the UT wing of the home ministry is learnt to have shortlisted three names for his successor. All three are Punjabis - Kiran Dhingra, Pradeep Mehra and Parvinder Kaur.

All three are 1975 batch officers. Pradeep Mehra has been adviser to the Administrator earlier too.The post was held by officers of the rank of joint secretary earlier. Lalit Sharma continued to hold the post on his elevation to the cadre of finance secretary. Under the same condition, Pradeep Mehra also qualifies, sources said. Mehra has his family based in the city.

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Drive to strengthen Public Records Act
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Sanjay Garg, director general, National Archives of IndiaChandigarh, August 3
The Right to Information Act (RTI) may have gathered all the hype, but the Public Records Act of 1993 remains stronger and more potent than the RTI; more importantly, its implementation being critical to the success of the recently-enacted legislation.

And yet, awareness regarding this Act, that mandates management, administration and preservation of public records of the central government and union territories, remains poor. Ever since it came into force on March 1, 1995, very few states and UTs have been able to implement it, leaving large chunks of public information inaccessible and unavailable under the RTI.

It is this inaccessibility of public information that drives the National Archives of India’s nation-wide awareness movement with respect to the Public Records Act. Through a specially-structured records management workshop that has travelled to all the metros, the national archives are ensuring enactment of this significant Act. Today, their team of archivists was at Government Museum auditorium in the city to conduct the first-ever records management seminar in north India.

“These seminars are very important as they seek to secure public records, which have absolute evidentiary value. These records are admissible in courts of law and are, therefore, tools of the administration and its memory. If saved well, they can save the government unwanted litigation,” said Sanjay Garg, director general, National Archives of India, the nodal agency for the implementation of Public Records Act.

At the seminar, Garg and T. Hussain, a senior archivist with the National Archives, trained government officials to create, control, preserve and dispose of public records to enable the governments to identify relevant information and take prompt action. According to a private survey, 10 per cent of administration staff time is lost in retrieving information that is stored haphazardly.

“Besides saving time, records management ensures that RTI works well,” said Garg, who is also overseeing the massive computerisation drive of the documents at the National Archives of India.

The archives are on the verge of computerising its huge volume of records that run into 45 linear km of shelf space. The next step, Garg said, would be digitisation of records to allow users anywhere to access information on the Internet.

“Right now, we have references of our entire record on the intranet. Our 60-year-long microfilming project is also under way,” Garg said, adding that the archives were specifically targeting the promotion of Hindi language.

In July this year, the archives hosted a special exhibition on Hindi, at the eighth World Hindi conference, held at New York. The show featured the archival wealth of Hindi, including personal communications of the doyens of Hindi literature. The archives are now preparing an exhibition around the 150th year of the first war of Independence.

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Patwari everywhere, but on his seat
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

The empty chair of Mullanpur Gareebdass patwari Harvinder Singh Poli at the village in SAS Nagar on Friday.
The empty chair of Mullanpur Gareebdass patwari Harvinder Singh Poli at the village in SAS Nagar on Friday.—Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, August 3
Residents of Mullanpur Gareebdass are up in arms against the patwari of the village who they allege is never in his office. True enough, patwari Harvinder Singh Poli was not at the patwar khana when The Tribune team visited the place today.

A few queries, however, revealed that this was not just another case of absenteeism as the patwari normally chose to operate from the office of one Noor Property Dealer, nearby. The property dealers’ office was closed, but his family, residing on the first floor, said the patwari worked from their place.

When the Tribune team visited the patwar khana at noon today, the patwari was again not in his chair. Baljit Singh, the patwari for Parol village, who shares the room, said Poli had not come to office yet. He gave the mobile number of one Binder, who he said was assisting the patwari.

Further queries revealed that Binder was helping the patwari unofficially and was “attached” to him. When called for the preparation of some revenue papers, Binder offered to get the work done, promising to call back.

When asked where the patwari was, Binder said he had gone to demarcate some land nearby. He reluctantly gave the patwari’s mobile. When contacted, Poli said he was in Patiala.

People standing outside the patwar khana were candid about Poli’s whereabouts. “Check the doctor’s clinic down the road. He does his work from atop the clinic. You might find him there,” said a local resident.

“People wait for hours outside the patwar khana just to get some revenue records,” another local resident, Arvind Puri, said.

Local MLA Ujagar Singh Badali could not be contacted, but Morinda constituency in charge Kamal Kishore said the MLA was committed to providing good administration in the area. “We have been told that the patwari was not meeting people in his office, but calling them elsewhere. A thorough inquiry will be conducted into the matter. All government employees are paid to sit and deal with the people. In case they have to go out for a meeting, a notice of their whereabouts should be pasted outside their office,” he said. 

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Delegation meets Hooda
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 3
A delegation led by Chander Mohan, deputy CM, Haryana, along with the members of the Punjabi Sabha including president S.K. Nayar, secretary general Ravinder Rawal, met Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda to press for their demand.

The delegation demanded a piece of land for Punjabi Bhawan in Panchkula since the number of Punjabis residing in the town was huge but there was no place for the community to assemble for celebrations. The other communities, they said, had ‘bhawans’ in their names.

Chander Mohan urged the CM to consider this demand on priority. The delegation was asured of a quick action bu the CM, Nayar said.

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Flood control room officials not serious
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 3
Even though the district administration is issuing strict orders regarding duties to be performed at the flood control room, the indifferent attitude of those in charge of the control room has come to light.

Although employees are being regularly put on duty, the main telephone line in the flood control room has been out of order for the past several days.

On visiting the setup in Room No. 118 near the office of deputy commissioner H.I.S. Garewal, it was found that although the number of the telephone of the room had changed about a week ago, the old number (3075004) was still displayed for the public on the door of the room.

Parshotam Singh Sodhi, district revenue officer, who was made in charge of the flood control room, also stood transferred, but his name and mobile number could still be seen on the door of the control room.

When contacted, Sodhi told this correspondent that he had been transferred to Patiala about a month ago.

There is also lot of resentment among employees who are being put on duty at the flood control room.

Employees of the municipal council said they failed to understand why only employees from the civic body and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) were being asked to perform duties here.

It was pointed out that 80 employees had been put on duty at the flood control room in August, out of which 27 were from the council and 47 from the PUDA. Only names of six employees from the wildlife department could be seen on the duty chart.

In July also, out of 76 employees put on duty, 37 were from the civic body. These included junior engineers, inspectors, sanitary inspectors, junior assistants and computer programmers.

They added that earlier also several council employees were made to work on the atta-dal project, and election-related work. This had adversely affected the work of the civic body. 

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Woman dies of poisoning
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 3
A 26-year-old married woman of Jhugian village died of alleged poisoning, here today.

The victim, Hardeep Kaur, was picked up by her brothers from her husband’s residence in a semi-conscious state on August 1. She was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where she died this morning.

According to Zirakpur SHO G.P. Singh, Hardeep got married in February last year. Her husband, Mohinder Singh, worked as a mechanic in Zirakpur. The victim’s brother Rajinder Singh alleged that Mohinder, his father, and sister used to harass Hardeep for dowry.

According to the police, Rajinder received a call from Hardeep on July 31 saying that her in-laws were pressurising her to buy them a car. Rajinder and Amrik, Hardeep’s other brother, then went to her house and promised to buy Mohinder a car.

However, on August 1, Rajinder received a call from Mohinder saying that Hardeep was lying on the floor and he should come and take her away.

Although the brothers rushed her to the hospital, Hardeep did not regain consciousness and the police was unable to record her statement. The police has booked Hardeep’s husband Mohinder, her father-in-law Jasmer Singh, sister-in-law Shashi and sister-in-law’s husband Davinder Singh under Section 304 of the IPC. No arrests have been made so far.

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An hour-long jam, courtesy SAD (A)
Activists oppose death to Hawara, Balwant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Hundreds of commuters were stuck in a traffic jam for more than an hour on Madhya Marg during a procession taken out by the youth wing of the SAD (A) here today.

The procession started from Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sector 19, and went to Raj Bhawan. The wing president, Barinder Singh Mann, led the procession in which over 5,000 partymen took part in protest against the detention of Simranjit Singh Mann and Bhai Daljit Singh.

The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab government for its inaction in the arrest of the Dera Sauda chief.

“The government has failed to take immediate action against Gurmeet Ram Rahim,” said Barinder Singh. He said the government should order the immediate closure of all deras.

They also demanded the release of Mann and Daljit Singh. They also flayed the death sentence given to Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh. They gave a memorandum to the Punjab Governor in this regard.

Meanwhile, chaos prevailed as the police blocked various points in order to make way for the procession.

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Hawara's lawyers meet home secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Defence lawyers of Jagtar Singh Hawara, who has been awarded death penalty in the Beant Singh assassination case, met the UT home secretary, Krishna Mohan, today and gave a representation that Hawara could not be shifted outside the Burail jail.

“We met the home secretary yesterday and apprised him of the notification issued by the Chandigarh administration way back in 1997 which barred the accused in the Beant Singh murder case to be shifted outside the jail. The notification still stands,” said Arvind Thakur.

The home secretary was informed that if Hawara was taken to Delhi or Ambala, the CJM who was conducting the jailbreak trial in the Burail jail would have to go to Delhi or Ambala.

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Safari that hit cop found abandoned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The police today found the Tata Safari (Pb-32-G-0020) that injured constable Sarat Ram yesterday.

The vehicle was lying abandoned near YPS School, Mohali. According to the RC, the vehicle belongs to V. Saini of Ropar. The front portion of the vehicle was 
damaged.

The constable tried to stop the vehicle for traffic violation but landed on the bonnet when the driver refused to stop and tried to hit him.

A police party has been sent to Ropar for further investigations.

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Official shifted out for annoying VIP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Annoying a VIP visitor with a reference from an official from Raj Bhawan has proved dearer for an official of the registering and licensing authority (RLA).

Jai Ram, posted as the registering and licensing officer, was given marching orders at 5 pm yesterday.

A similar order was passed for the PA to the deputy commissioner, but was cancelled later.

Though no official was ready to talk on the issue, sources confirmed that a communiqué for the immediate transfer of the two officials had been received from the office of the home secretary.

A senior official in the home department said it was a routine exercise but the orders for the PA were a mistake.

Officials were surprised at the sudden orders as there was no specific complaint against the officials as they had a good reputation in public dealing.

Jai Ram has been repatriated to the agriculture department and his charge has been given to Krishan Sarup Sharma, superintendent in the food and supplies department.

The sources said the VIP wanted an RC.

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Cops bar agitating students’ entry into college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The authorities at Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College allegedly asked the police to restrict the entry of students on agitation in the college here today.

The students boycotting the classes alleged that the authorities did not allow the hostellers to come outside to join the protest and put a lock on the gate of the college.

The students were boycotting their classes since Monday alleging that the management was forcing them to deposit Rs 31,600 in excess of the fee they were supposed to deposit. They were also demanding that the suspension of faculty member Dr Sudhir be revoked.

“Though we are protesting in a peaceful manner by not attending the classes, the authorities had called the police to frighten the students,” alleged Prerna, a student.

“The management has started suppressing our agitation by holding the students hostage in classes,” said Aman, another student.

We would present a memorandum to the vice-chancellor of Panjab University in this regard tomorrow, added Aman.

Dr Naresh Mittal, vice-president of Dhanwantry Ayurvedic Society, said the protesting students were forcing other students to leave the classes due to which the management had to take the help of police.

Moreover, he met the students yesterday to tell them that the management would not pressurise them to deposit the fee and they would be charged according to the directions of court, said Mittal. A written circular in this regard has also been put on the notice board today as was demanded by the students, added Mittal.

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Ban on Mush book
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 3
The Chandigarh administration today banned the sale of the Hindi version of “In the Line of Fire” by Pakistan President Gen Parvez Musharaff. The book is said to contain "objectionable material regarding maps of India".

The notification says the maps in the book do not conform to those published by the Survey of India.There are serious lapses on the Line of Control and the area shown as “disputed territory.”

The book is published by Rave Media of New Delhi. On the delay on the ban after its release, a senior officer said the issue pertained to certain maps which were to be verified by the Survey of India.

"The process of verifying maps took time”, he added.

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PU prof to attend global congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Dr Harnam Singh Shan, former professor and chairman, Guru Nanak chair and head of the departments of Punjabi and Sikh Studies, Panjab University, has been invited to participate in the 38th International Congress of Asian and North African Studies.

Dr Shan will contribute on the subject and motto of the congress, ‘Peace at Home, Peace in the World’, under the section on religion (basic common values) in the context of the thought, teaching and message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Incidentally, the theme coincides with the commemoration of the world-wide celebration of Granth Sahib’s tercentenary day which falls on October 29.

This global meet, that happens once every four years, brings together eminent scholars from various religious and cultural communities of the world and is being held in Ankara (Turkey) from September 10 to 15.

Professor emeritus Shan had participated in its previous eight sessions held from 1967 onwards, contributing several scholarly papers and even presiding over some of their sections.

A scholar of international repute, Dr Shan has authored 86 books/monographs and 227 research papers and to many publications.

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UT fails to weed open spaces
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Chandigarh administration is doing nothing to check the growth of congress grass in and around the city.

Apart from being a safe haven for anti-social elements and insects, the weed is causing allergy, skin rashes and asthma to residents.

The administration has failed to implement its own orders to eradicate the weed. Under the green action plan, a special campaign to remove the weed had been stressed upon but the orders remain on papers.

Residents in almost all sectors complain that the weed had spread over open spaces around playgrounds and along road berms. “Being a rainy season, the government should launch a campaign to remove the weed,” said Ram Avtar, a resident of Sector 30.

In Sector 31, the weed is everywhere and in Sector 42, it has grown along the road leading to Mohali, making it difficult for road users to seek the traffic coming from the opposite side.

A similar complaint has been received from Sectors 40, 41 and other southern sectors.

Experts recommend that it should be rooted out before it develops pollen and flowers. The weed sucks vital micronutrients from the soil and inhibits the growth of other plants in the vicinity, besides causing allergy. 

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Cops shy away from FIRs
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu/ Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Supreme Court’s directions with regard to the registration of FIRs notwithstanding, the Chandigarh police continues to turn away complainants on one pretext or the other.

The Chandigarh Tribune has come across some cases that are a testimony to the fact. In one such case, the Sector 34 police station recorded a DDR of Satwinder Singh of Sector 44 whose bag containing a laptop and other documents was stolen from his car.

The police coaxed him to mention in his complaint that his bag was lost in the Sector 44 market.

Satwinder Singh told TNS that on July 31, he went to a medical store in Sector 44 and parked his car there. He left it unlocked and returned in less than five minutes, but he found the door of the car open and the bag missing. He went to the Sector 34 police station to report the matter.

He alleged that officials at the police station told him that it was his fault as he did not lock his car and thus, they could only make a DDR entry. He was asked to write that he “lost” his bag due to his negligence.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station said a DDR had been registered and the matter was being investigated.

In another incident, U.V. Gupta of Sector 12, Panchkula, said despite the fact that he had lodged a complaint with the UT SSP about two weeks ago, no action had been taken.

He alleged in his complaint that he had purchased a Tata Indigo car from the car bazaar.

The deal was settled for Rs 2.65 lakh, which he paid to the dealer. However, he was not give the original documents of the vehicle.

He alleged that the stereo was also removed from the car by the dealer. His complaint was sent to the Sector 26 police station.

The investigating officer, Ravinder Singh, said the matter was being investigated.

The car dealer said the documents were pending in the office of the registration authority and he would hand them over in a few days.

Similarly, two helpers working at a juice shop and a dhaba alleged that the police had forced them to reach a compromise with their employer, who had not only withheld their salary, but also thrashed them before expelling them.

Inspector Rajesh Shukla, additional SHO of the Sector 34 police station, denied the allegations and said both parties had reached the compromise on their own. 

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Army denies info on AWWA under RTI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Army has declined to part with any information pertaining to the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) under provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI) on the grounds that AWWA is an NGO and not funded by the government.

In his orders issued on July 31 on an appeal filed by a local advocate against the decision of the principal information officer, the Chief of Staff Western Command, the appellate authority, has held that the RTI was not applicable to the AWWA as it was not substantially funded by the government. Further, there was no law in force under which the principal information officer could access information relating to the AWWA.

Earlier, the appellant, Guneet Chaudhary had sought information on 35 points concerning the functioning of the AWWA, including the sources of funding, number of officers and military personnel attached with it, reason for providing office space to the AWWA in high security zones and grants given by the AWWA to widows and children of Army personnel.

The queries were mainly based on the findings of the comptroller and auditor general, in which he had pointed out the loss to the exchequer of Rs 75 crore due to private use of air force aircraft by spouses of air force and Army chiefs who are presidents of the Air Force and Army Wives Welfare Association. They are not covered under the category of other entitled person to use service aircraft.

The appellant has pointed out that the AWWA has serving officers and men attached with it and is making use of Army resources. The AWWA is also running shopping complexes, commercial establishments, organizing charity shows and other cultural evenings. Though there is no membership fee or subscription, the spouse of every officer is required to be its member and attend its activities.

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Bar body: It’s fight for dignity
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, August 3
Emphasising that there were no differences among bar members over the agitation by lawyers and its future course, the High Court Bar Association today said the Bar stood united.

Vice-president of the association G.S. Attariwala, expressing displeasure over yesterday’s furore, said not much should be read into it.

He clarified that not Tahar but the behaviour of a judge towards the Bar was the issue.The agitation was over the dignity of the Bar and not a particular lawyer.

“I want to thank the Chief Justice for his positive handling of the crisis. The Bar will take two steps, if the Chief Justice takes one,” he added.

Echoing his views, association general secretary Onkar Singh Batalvi stressed that though a proposal had been mooted to send a delegation to the Chief Justice of India, nothing had been finalised so far.

“The future strategy will be finalised by consensus and there are no fissures among the members of the Bar whatsoever,” he said.

Batalvi rued yesterday’s uproar and said there was no junior-senior divide.

Senior executive member Kapil Kakkar called for “equipoise and calm” to tackle the sensitive issue.He said any hasty action could complicate matters further.

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Oustees may lose privileges
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The administration is in no mood to offer major sops to landowners whose land may be acquired in future, if the conditions being incorporated in the draft for oustees’ scheme are any indication.

Earlier, the allotment of independent plots was proposed, but now the administration has proposed allotting dwelling units and the beneficiaries would be only those whose land was acquired from the date of notification of the scheme.

The Chandigarh Housing Board, which would be the nodal agency to implement the scheme, has expressed its inability in selling the dwelling units less than the existing rates.

In the previous scheme of 1996, the board had fixed a certain quota of plots in the housing schemes.

“While Punjab has announced to offer adequate compensation and plots to persons whose land is acquired, the Chandigarh administration is reluctant to extend the same to the city. It is like old wine in new bottle,” said H.S. Billing, general secretary of the oustees rehabilitation committee.

A senior officer said instead of carving out dwelling units out of the general housing scheme, the administration could float a special housing scheme after inviting applications from the oustees. But the cost of the flat would be as per the existing CHB rates.

“In 2003, the then UT administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), had asked his officials to prepare a scheme under which such families will now have to pay negligible cost for flats under a special rehabilitation scheme for them in Sector 63. However, now the scheme has been changed,” he said.

If one goes by the allotment rates, it can be assumed that the administration wants the oustees to invest the entire compensation amount to pay the cost of the dwelling units.

“While the administration is drafting new schemes, the families of 5,000 villagers who were ousted more than 33 years ago to develop Sectors 31 to 47 and the Industrial Area are not even being considered,” said the affected villagers.

The existing oustee policy of 1996 has failed to provide relief to all oustees as the conditions are so stringent that no one is able to get a plot, the pind bachao committee has pointed out.

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Programme for SBI staff

Chandigarh, August 3
The State Bank of India launched Parivartan, a mass internal communication programme here yesterday.

The programme would continue for 3 months at a stretch to cover 8100 employees, in different states. At present, 22 per cent of employees in various states have already been trained under the programme. Hemant Contractor, chief general manager, Chandigarh circle, said the programme attempted to bring about a mind-set change in employees who have, for decades. TNS

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IT conclave ends with focus on entrepreneurship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The last day of e-revolution-2007 ended with the focus on entrepreneurship with the role of innovation and investing. The day's event was held with the initiative of Band of Angels, Indian Venture Capital Association, and TiE.

Vineet Nayyar, MD, TechMahindra, in his address on “Exploring new age of innovation and collaboration” emphatically put across the need to revamp the education system.

Ramesh Inder Singh, chief secretary of Punjab, said the Punjab government had taken steps to ensure an environment for economic growth. Mohali had been chosen for setting up a knowledge city.

David Nishball, president, Airtell Enterprise Services Ltd, spoke on how mobile communication was driving innovation in enterprises and improving the bottom line of organisations.

Lalit Sharma, adviser to the administrator, underlined the need to re-organise the vast amount of data that floats in government offices in a more usable format and make it useful for residents.

Entrepreneurial ecosystem was taken up under the chairmanship of Puneet Vatsayan, director, Mobera Systems, who said the fear of inertia, fear of failure, and fear of lack of innovation were preventing people from starting their own enterprise.

Pradeep Gupta, chairman, Cybermedia and founding member of the Band of Angels, listed out the essentials to create an enabling ecosystem that would encourage entrepreneurship.

The session on “Innovation: Key to entrepreneurship” had a panel comprising Ranjit Shastri, Jai Saboo, Piyush Shah, and Garima.

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Plan to improve maternal, child health
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The administration is implementing an action plan for improving maternal and child health through a professional network of PGI, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and Government Multispeciality Hospital , Sector 16, Chandigarh.

This was stated by Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, General S.F. Rodrigues. The administrator was interacting with a delegation comprising the Paediatric Health Education Unit, PGI, the Childline, Indian Academy of Paediatric and students of MCM DAV College led by Dr Bhavneet Bharti. The delegation called on the Governor to mark the World Breastfeeding Week.

This project, conceived for the 11th Five Year Plan, covers neonatal, infant and maternal mortality objectives with the focus on eradication of anaemia among women and upgrading nutritional status of children, informed the Governor.

A multi-pronged strategy has been adopted to improve institutional delivery services, identification and referral of severely malnourished children, regular health check-up of children with follow-up treatment, strengthening of school health programmes, effective implementation of the Janani Suraksha Yojna and performance-based incentives to link volunteers for increasing health service utilisation in slum, added General Rodrigues.

The programme is scheduled to be launched next week, said the Governor.

Lauding the initiative of organisers, General Rodrigues asked volunteers to extend their partnership with the administration for implementing various child health care programmes and check the unethical practice of child abuse, through their network.

He said health professionals and social volunteers could play a significant role by providing their support as active partners in these societal endeavours.

Earlier, the delegation, submitting a memorandum to the Governor, appealed to make provision of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding among women, in their state policy and programmes.

Dr Bhavneet Bharti, assistant professor, while highlighting the objective of this week, said if all women were supported to begin breastfeeding within one hour of a child birth, it could save 22 per cent of all newborn deaths, which amounted to nearly 2,50,000 in the country.

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OCET-2007 for vacant seats on August 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
OCET:The Panjab University would conduct the OCET-2007 for vacant seats on August 19. The prospectus, including application form for admission to LLB, MA (Journalism and Mass Communication), M.Tech (Microelectronics, Instrumentation, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology), ME (Electronics and Communications Engineering), ME (Information Technology), MBA (Executive), MBE, BP.Ed, M.Sc (Honours) in Biochemistry, Mathematics & Microbiology, M.Sc (2-Year course) in Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Environment Science, Nuclear Medicine, MSc (Honours/2-year course) in Botany, Chemistry, Physics and Zoology Courses in the University Teaching Departments/ Regional Centres at Ludhiana and Muktsar for the academic session 2007-08 would be made available from August 6 on the payment of Rs 1,100 (Rs 550 in case of SC/ST) in cash from State Bank of India, PU Fee Counter. The last date for receipt of application forms at the CET Cell, Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall (Near Post Office) is August 17, up to 4 pm. The roll numbers would be issued on the spot.

Second Counselling: the second counselling for SC/ST, all other reserved categories and general category would be held on August 8 and 9 for B Pharma, B.Sc (Honours), Panjab University, Chandigarh; BA LLB (Honours) Five-Year Integrated Course at UILS, Chandigarh and PURC, Ludhiana; and MCA at DCSA, Chandigarh, PURC, Hoshiarpur and Muktsar. The counselling would start at 9.30 am at Law Auditorium, PU.

Interviews:The interview of the candidates who have applied for admission to Certificate and Diploma Courses in the subjects of Urdu and Persian for the session 2007-08 would be held in the Department of Urdu on August 6 at 10.30 am.

Admissions:The admission to M.Phil in Gandhian Studies is open to postgraduates in Arts/Social Science with at least 55 pc marks. The last date for submission of application forms in the University CET Cell is August 10. The entrance test would be conducted on September 9.

Results: The results of the following examinations have been declared: BDS Ist year June 2007, BE (Food Technology) IInd, IVth & Vth Special Exam February 2007, MA I & II (Fine Arts) April 2007, BA-II (DCS) April 2007, MA-II (Education) April 2007, BE (Telecom & IT) IIIrd Semester Special Exam January 2007, BE (Electronics and Electrical Communication) VIth semester April 2007, BSc-I (Microbial and Food Technology) April 2007, MCA IVth Semester April 2007, MP Ed Part-I April 2007 and MBA (IB) IVth Semester April 2007. Students can see their results in their respective departments, colleges and PU website.

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P’kula Plots
Refunding of money begins
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 3
The refunding of earnest money of unsuccessful applicants of plots in Sector 31, Panchkula, has begun, informed estate officer S.K. Arora, here today.

The draw against the plots was held on July 25.

While applicants residing in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali can collect the cheques in person between 10 am and 4 pm, the cheques for other cities have already been dispatched, Arora said.

The office will remain open on Saturdays as well. 

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Bomb scare
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 2
Panchkula cops went in a tizzy when somebody informed them that a bomb was lying near the Raghunath temple in Sector 15, this evening.

The PCRs reached the temple and found a gift-wrapped box lying on the temple premises. They put the box in a water tank nearby to check if there was some explosive substance in it. However, after the wrapping was opened, there was a model of the Taj Mahal inside it.

The police say that two boys had been spotted with the box. 

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Tips for safe driving
VEHICLE MAINTENANCE & SAFETY-2

TYRES & BRAKES
n Check tyre pressures regularly particularly before a long journey. Do this when the tyres are cold as hot tyres give misleading readings. Your brakes and steering are adversely affected by over or under inflated tyres.

n Faults in the braking or suspension system cause uneven and excessive tyre wear. Have these corrected as soon as possible. Have wheels checked for correct alignment regularly.

n If vehicle pulls to one side when braking, brake adjustment, tyre pressure and alignment need to be checked urgently.

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Letters
Bring transparency in admn

The Punjab transport minister’s visit to the ISBT, Chandigarh, and then to Rajpura came like a breath of fresh air in the politically hot atmosphere. More such visits by him can create a positive impact on the whole system. His swift action of meeting the UT administrator is also praise worthy.

We just hope that promises will not only be kept but long-term arrangements for cleanliness of the ISBT will also be taken.

Is there any mechanism whereby a common resident of Chandigarh can raise any issue with the administration and expect timely action. Most of the time press reporting, reader’s letters and personal representations fall on deaf ears.

However, working of the government should be transparent and responsive and more people-oriented because people’s participation in the administration is imperative for good governance.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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3 docs booked for negligence
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 3
The Khanna police has booked three doctors associated with a private nursing home for causing death due to negligence while treating a patient.

According to SSP Gautam Cheema, the police has arrested Dr Ranjit Singh, owner of Khanna Nursing Home, and Dr Dharampal, while Dr Nitin Aggarwal from Ludhiana is yet to be arrested.

Relatives of the patient, Amarjit Singh of Amloh, who died today following prolonged illness, had alleged that the patient was administered treatment for an aliment that he never suffered from.

Amarjit Singh’s son Babbi claimed that his father had been admitted to the nursing home in April where he was diagnosed with a kidney stone.

He alleged that though his father was suffering from cancer, doctors at the nursing home deliberately diagnosed him wrongly.

He said even after they got a report from a private laboratory in Patiala, which confirmed that Amarjit was suffering from cancer, the doctors at the nursing home continued to treat him for kidney stone, which ultimately led to his death.

Babbi alleged that they were forced to spend lakhs of rupees on his father’s treatment even as he was not being treated for the aliment that endangered his life.

Babbi claimed that doctors at the nursing home even operated upon his father to remove the kidney stone and during the operation they slashed his small intestine, which rendered him inept to digest food.

However, Dr Ranjit Singh, owner of the nursing home, claimed that the doctors had diagnosed the patient correctly, as he had several stones in his kidney.

He refused to acknowledge the test reports produced by Amarjit’s relatives.

The SSP said the police had sought a report from the IMA and the PGI, Chandigarh, to ascertain the negligence on part of the doctors.

He said the doctors accused had been booked by the police under Sections 269, 338 and 304 (A) of the IPC.

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4 held, poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 3
Incharge of Narcotics Cell Ludhiana (Rural) today claimed to have recovered 51 bags of poppy husk from two trucks and arrested four persons in this connection. According to a press note released here today by SSP, District Police, Ludhiana (Rural), Gurpreet Singh Bhullar stated that a police party, under the supervision of SP (D) Ashok Baath, headed by incharge (narcotics cell) inspector Amarjit Singh was present at T-point Nanaksar on Moga- Jagraon G.T. Road when information was received regarding some persons bringing large amounts of poppy husk in trucks.

The police party recovered 51 bags containing 2,040 kg of poppy husk from truck bearing registration number PB-29A-9884 valuing Rs 13,77,000 whereas the other truck was empty. 

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Biz Word

Chandigarh
TREE PLANTATION: Punjab National Bank today launched a tree plantation camp at Sikhya - the school of learning, Sector 46A. It was inaguarted by B.P. Chopra, general manager, PNB, Haryana zone by planting a sapling. The staff of PNB and students of the school later planted over 100 saplings.

DONATED: Under community services banking of the State Bank of India, chief general manager (corporates), formally handed over the automated blood cell counter and other machines, costing more than 5 lakh to the thalassaemic children’s welfare association at PGI. — TNS 

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