C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

5 marla plot goes for Rs 61.50 lakh
NRI hand pushes up land prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The continuous slide of the dollar is prompting US-based non-resident Indian (NRIs) to invest in real estate in India. The trend was evident at today’s auction of residential plots by the estate office with competitive bidding by NRIs pushing land prices to a new high.

The rise in prices was 40 per cent over the last auction held in December 2004. Since the auction would serve as a benchmark for land prices, analyst do not rule out the possibility of big real estate players with stakes in the city and the region putting up their men for bidding at today’s auction.

Among the happy ones today were those who had invested in residential property in the recent past as they became richer by a few lakhs.

A one-kanal plot was sold for Rs 4. 02 crore against the reserved price of Rs 1.48 crore, making it the highest price paid for a plot of that size in Chandigarh. The plot ( No. 181) is located in Sector 11-A.

Another one-kanal plot in Sector 38-C fetched the estate office Rs 3.82 crore against the reserve price of Rs 2.05 crore. A three-kanal plot ( 2155) in Sector 15-C was bought by M.H.Sawhney, a Mumbai-based businessman, for Rs 8.18 crore against the reserved price of Rs 5.42 crore.

A Norway-based NRI, Basant Kumar, bought a five-marla plot in Sector 44 for Rs 61.50 lakh against the reserved price of Rs 39 lakh, bringing the rate to Rs 47,612 per square yard.

The total revenue collected from today’s auction of 34 sites was Rs 75 crore and the rate per square yard came to Rs 50, 000. In December 2004, the rate was Rs 25, 719 per sq yard.

For two-kanal plots in Sector 36, plot No. 527 fetched the highest price of Rs 5.66 crore against the reserved price of Rs 3 crore. Plots in the northern sectors fetched more.The EO held back 66 plots due to paucity of time and few bidders.

Manjula Aron, wife of a former Punjab chief conservator and mother of a California-based NRI, became the first to bid for a one-kanal plot in Sector 11-A for Rs 4,02,50,000.

She said her son worked with the Google and wanted to invest in India.



A Tribune Special
UT admn trips on babus’ tours
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Fiftyfive days after the UT administration was asked to provide details of public money spent on foreign tours of its key officials under the Right to Information Act, there has been no response till date.

An appeal in this regard was filed today with the appellate authority under Section 19 of the RTI Act.

The Tribune had sought details regarding foreign tours by UT officials on October 22. The administration has thus flouted the RTI Act which states that not replying within 30 days is to be deemed as refusal to do so.

The Tribune had sought details of foreign tours by home secretary Krishan Mohan, finance secretary S.K Sandhu, director of tourism Vivek Attray, former municipal commissioner P.S Aujla (whose term ended on December 6) and the director, Museum and Art Gallery, V.N Singh, in their official capacity from 2004 till date.

Holding key positions in various departments and the MC, the names of these officials appear most often when it comes to official tours abroad.

Specifying the departments of these officials, the application filed with the home department comprised queries related to the places visited, purpose of the visit, tour report, expenditure incurred and details of the outcome of the their visit.

Only last month, Krishan Mohan and Vivek Attray had gone on one such junket to London for almost 10 days. Official sources said they took their families with them.

Finance secretary S.K Sandhu, the then chief engineer V.K Bhardawaj, and chief architect Sunita Monga also went on a foreign tour to Belgium on August 25 this year to study underpasses.

While plans for these underpasses remain on paper, Bhardawaj and Sandhu both retired in November.While Bhardawaj declined a three-month extension that was offered to him, Sandhu continues in office till his successor is formally appointed.That leaves only Sunita Monga to finally give the city the benefit of knowledge derived from the trip.

The home secretary told this reporter that providing the information sought was a long and cumbersome process as information needed to be gathered from various departments. It was, thus, not possible to provide the information under the RTI in the stipulated period.

Foreign trip of each official is routed through a single point, that is the joint secretary (Personnel). Saying the information is difficult to gather, the administration seems to be looking for excuses for denying information potentially embarrassing to it.



Entrance Test Forms
You can bank on agents
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Yet again, forms for the All-India Engineering Entrance Exams (AIEEE), scheduled to be held next year, have become a source of making money for city black marketeers-thanks to the mismanagement on the part of the CBSE authorities.

A good number of aspirants had to return empty-handed from the Sector 17 branch of the Syndicate Bank, the only authorised sale counter for AIEEE forms, today.

Bank officials maintained that they had received 3,400 forms, which had been all sold. “What can we do? We are not getting any further supply from the CBSE authorities. I called up the CBSE Panchkula office in the morning too, but they were of no help,” said O.P. Gupta, AGM of the bank.

Worried parents and students had no option but to turn to black marketeers.The form that costs Rs 305, was sold for up to Rs 450 by the unscrupulous agents. The parents complained that they were not able to download the forms from CBSE’s official website www.cbse.nic.in.

The cost of each application form was fixed at Rs 305 for the general category and Rs 155 for the SC/STstudents.

Ankit, Kanhaya and Sandeep complained that instead of preparing for the exam, they had to waste their precious time searching for forms.They alleged that the agents were seen at coaching centres selling the forms for a premium.

Refuting the allegations, the joint secretary, CBSE, Panchkula regional office, said the distribution process of forms would be streamlined by tomorrow. “ I will make sure the supply is normal and transparent.”

Most parents who had to return empty- handed today questioned the wisdom of selecting Syndicate Bank that has limited branches as sole distributor for the forms.

“Thrice I have come here from Pathankot, only to be told the forms are ‘out of stock’. This bank has no branch in Pathankot. I fail to understand why such a bank has been chosen as the sole authority to sell forms,” asked Tilak Bhushan, a government employee.

Karnail Singh from Ambala, Rohit from Ropar and Ashwinder from Zirakpur echoed his views.



Sector-18 resident Mrs Gladrags
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Madhavi Awasthi, a resident of Sector 18, Chandigarh, has emerged winner in the grand finale of Gladrags Mrs India contest 2008 held on December 15 in Mumbai. She was crowned by celebrity judges Malaika Arora Khan and John Abraham.

Madhavi, reached the city today. A graduate in English Honours from Delhi University, she has a six-year-old son.

Her husband Ameet Awasthi is a lawyer. He said they were married in 1998. The following year Madhavi took part in a mega model contest in the city.

The Gladrags winners will be on their way to represent India for Mrs Globe in Las Vegas, California, and Mrs Universe in Bulgaria.



Consumer forum pulls up registrars
Delay in payment of fine for harassment over birth certificate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The registrar, additional registrar and chief registrar, births and deaths, have been pulled up by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I. It told them that they had made false assertions amounting to criminal offence for which they can be prosecuted. But, taking lenient view, the forum has refrained itself from doing so.

In an order passed on October 18 this year, the forum had asked the department of births and deaths to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 for harassing Surinder while issuing birth certificate.

The department had submitted the cheques for the total amount after the time stipulated by the forum. The department contended that they had filed a revision petition and the cheques should not be given to Surinder.

The forum observed that the department had filed revision petition but not appealed against the order of the forum. It was stated that the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had not issued stay on the order of the forum thus the department should have paid the fine on time.

The department had falsely asserted that copies of the order were received by them on November 29. The forum stated that as per the records of the forum it was clear that copy of the order was received by them on October 29.

Taking serious note of the forum, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, it stated: “It is sad state of affairs that government officials who are supposed to uphold the law and act honestly are supplying wrong information and telling lies before this forum.”

The petitioner, Surinder, had submitted an application on February 12, 2007, and deposited a fee of Rs 21 for issuance of child birth certificate to him. He was given a receipt and assured Surinder to collect the certificate within seven days.

The lawyer for the complainant, Deepak Aggarwal said, “Surinder had applied for the birth certificate for someone known to him. Though 280 days have passed by no certificate was given to him.”

Commenting if a third person can apply for birth certificate, Aggarwal clarified, “A third person can apply for getting a public document issued as per Section 76 of the Indian Evidence Act.”

While the opposite party, additional registrar, births and deaths, contended that Surinder was seeking information with regard to an individual with whom he had no concern and was filing different applications under bogus names.



Italy to tap Punjab’s manpower
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Punjab is prepared to provide the skilled manpower to meet the industrial requirement of Italy and will welcome the Italian industry to partner in training and skill development to tap the unemployed manpower in Punjab.

This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while addressing delegates at the seminar on “Doing Business with Italy” here today.

The seminar attended by more than 100 delegates from various industries in the region was organised by the CII Northern Region in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy and Malhotra and Malhotra Associates at the CII.

“Let Punjab and Italy join hands to further enhance trade engagement and make it a winning business partnership,” said Badal.

Responding to sentiment of Punjab and Italy growing together, the Chief Minister said, "Unemployment being the biggest challenge today, the state would like to create employment opportunities for the youth by engaging in joint ventures in the sectors, including information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, agro-processing or agro-technology.”

The government had taken steps to develop infrastructure and connectivity in the state as international airport at Mohali is on the cards and direct flight from Amritsar to Italy is also to be starting soon, he added.

Ambassador of Italy to India Antonio Armellini finds India as a strategic and long-term business partner.

“With a dynamic and open economy, the business environment in Italy offers every opportunity for Indian companies to thrive”, he said.

"Italy is intensifying its activities in Punjab, which we regards as one of the priorities in India”, he added.

Earlier speaking on the occasion Partap Aggarwal, chairman, CII Chandigarh State Council, said India and Italy were engaged in profitable and significant bilateral trade and investment partnerships with India's total exports to Italy last year showing an increase of more than 10 per cent over the previous year.

The imports from Italy also indicated an increase of 23.41 per cent over the previous year.

Prominent among who spoke on the occasion include Nicolo Tassoni, counsellor, head of Economic and Commercial Office, Embassy of Italy, Hardev Singh Mattewal, advocate-general, Punjab, Dr B C Gupta, principal secretary, Home, Punjab, Alessandra Marcarino, deputy trade commissioner, Embassy of Italy, Sergio Shambato, secreatary general, Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce.



Delay in post-mortem sparks protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The alleged delay in the conduct of post-mortem by the PGI and Government Multi-Specialities Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, authorities today sparked off a protest by relatives of the deceased.

In fact, a high drama was witnessed at the GMSH when the authorities delayed the postmortem of Dhani Ram, who died at the PGI last night. Dhani Ram was injured in an accident on the road separating Sectors 28 and 29 on December 11.

A brother of the deceased Mata Ram alleged that on account of the shortage of staff, the PGI authorities sent four bodies, including that of his brother, to the GMSH for the post-mortem. “However, at the GMSH, we were told by the doctors that the post-mortem could not be conducted as they had already exhausted their quota of four postmortems for a day.”

He alleged that from 10 am to about 3 pm, “We moved from pillar to post for the post-mortem but to no avail. It was only after we held a noisy protest that the GMSH authorities relented”, Mata Ram claimed, adding that only two of the four post-mortems were conducted at the hospital.



Office tiff affects pension seekers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 17
Lack of coordination between the SDM office here and the Municipal Council has become a source of distress to hundreds of those who had applied for pension under various schemes in the township.

Over 200 applicants have been waiting for their cases to be approved by the SDM’s office due to a misunderstanding of rules which none of these authorities are ready to clear.

The applications for the old age and other pensions are received by local councillors. Specific cases are recommended by these councillors and the council of members during its meeting clears these cases. Once these are cleared by the council the executive officer (EO), the MC forwards these to the SDM’s office for final approval.

The Mohali SDM’s office however sent these cases back insisting that the executive officer should verify the pension claim and attest the application before forwarding it.

The Mohali MC executive officer on the other hand pointed out that these applications did not require his verification as the council as a group had cleared these cases.

“According to the new rules a verification of the EO is not required. We have sent a letter to the SDM’s office regarding this,” said Jagir Singh, EO Mohali MC.

The SDM however insists that the EO should verify these claims. “If there is a change in rules than the council office should state it so that we can get it clarified from the government,” said Raghubir Kaur Khiara, SDM Mohali.



Wedding revellers face fire threat, courtesy GMADA
Kulwinder Sangha
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 17
Human life seems to have little importance for the GMADA authorities. For, if it had, they would not have exposed hundreds of persons attending functions during the on-going wedding season at community centres to a grave fire risk.

The seven community centres constructed in different parts of the town by GMADA do not have proper fire fighting arrangements. One of the buildings is at present temporarily occupied by the district courts while three others are occupied by police personnel. Three community centres are given on hire from time to time by GMADA for social and other functions organised by residents.

The SDM had asked the estate officer of GMADA through a letter dated September 11, 2007, to provide adequate fire fighting arrangements in the community centres and later inform her office that the needful had been done. The letter said in case of any fire GMADA would be held responsible for loss of life or property. In the letter it was stated that the assistant divisional fire officer had checked fire fighting arrangements in community centres in Phases II, III B 1, V, VI, VII and Sectors 70 and 71 and found that these were not satisfactory. GMADA has so far failed to provide fire safety measures in the community centres despite directions from the SDM. Even the estate officer has not bothered to give any reply to the letter of the SDM even though more than three months have passed.

A fire brigade official told The Tribune today that community centres did not have proper fire extinguishes, no fixed fire fighting installations, no emergency alarm system and not even a water storage tank to fight fire.

GMADA has been earning crores of rupees by disposing off residential and commercial sites in the town but has not bothered to spend a few lakhs on community centres to make them safe for residents.

Authorities wake up only wherever there is a major fire and order probes, followed by a few suspensions and get surveys done. The town had witnessed a major fire on June 1 when nearly 300 kiosks in Janta rehri market got reduced to heaps of ashes. The affected persons are still struggling to get back on their feet.



Army eye camp in Lebanon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
As part of ongoing humanitarian assistance being rendered by the Indian contingent deployed in Lebanon, a weeklong free eye-check-up camp was organised for people of South Lebanon.

About 800 students from 18 different schools were treated at the camp, which concluded yesterday.

Two Indian eye specialists, Dr Rajiv Mohan and Dr Vikas Sinha, were flown in from New Delhi, for the camp, held near the Indian position at Ebel Es Saqi.

The aim of the camp was to provide specialist technology available in India to those who do not have access to it in South Lebanon. Students diagnosed with refractive errors were handed over free spectacles. Abou Darweish, director of an NGO called Al Kayan, donated $6,000 the purpose.

The camp’s inaugural ceremony was attended by Brig Gen Casimiro Sanjuan Martinez, Sector Commander East of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Col Advitya Madan, commanding officer of the Indian contingent, Walid Al Ghafir, Superintendent of Hasbaya, civil dignitaries, UNIFIL officers, mayors, mukhtars, headmasters and schoolchildren.

On the occasion, Brigadier Martinez, Colonel Madan, Kassim Hashem, Member of Parliament from Cheeba, and Omar Al-Zuhairy, Mayor of Cheeba, planted two olive trees in the park as a symbol of the close cooperation between UNIFIL and Cheeba.



Heroes of Battle of Basantar remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Black Arrow brigade of the Western Command commemorated its Battle Honour day, signifying victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, by paying homage to martyrs and honouring the war heroes somewhere in the western sector over the past two days.

This year the celebrations were dedicated to 2nd Lt Arun Khetrapal, who was decorated with the Param Vir Chakra. Lieutenant Khetrapal’s memorial, located at Samba, was shifted to the Black Arrow War Memorial at Mamun, which is dedicated to all those who laid down their lives in the Battle of Basantar in 1971. A ‘Remembrance Parade’ was held to pay homage to the martyrs at the war memorial.

It was on this day 36 years ago that the brigade fought the daunting armoured action in the Skakaragah Sector, which resulted in a resounding victory.

The brigade assault was spearheaded by the Hodson’s Horse, the Poona Horse and 18 Rajputana Rifles along with other arms and services.

This was for the first time since Independence that they were bestowed upon by a common battle honour “Basantar”. So fierce was the battle that in just one day, the enemy lost 50 Patton tanks and its brigade was decimated on the banks of the River Basantar.

By the end of the war the Black Arrow Brigade was the most highly decorated formation in the Army, having won 79 gallantry awards.

These included one Param Vir Chakra, five Maha Vir Chakra, 12 Vir Charka and 27 Sena Medal.

War widows were also honoured on the occasion. A large number of retired officers, JCOs and other ranks who had participated in the historic battle were present to motivate the present and future generation of soldiers.

A bronze bust of Lieutenant Khetarpal was unveiled at the Basantar War Memorial Complex. A Sainik Sammelan was also organised.



Delimitation of Wards
BJP to approach administration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The BJP will approach the district administration afresh for reconsideration of delimitation exercise carried out for the wards of the Panchkula municipal council.

Addressing a press conference here, Haryana senior vice-president of the party Gian Chand Gupta termed the delimitation of wards as autocratic adding that the authorities had not sought any public opinion before finalising the boundaries. Pointing out anomalies in the notification, he said these were occupant specific instead of clearly mentioning the ward limits.

He said they would approach the deputy commissioner again to rectify the shortcomings in the delimitation process.

“We had submitted a memorandum to the district administration right after the delimitation was announced. However, we failed to get any response from the authorities,” he added.



Haphazard parking: 2 contractors challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
With haphazard parking at various places in the city posing troubles to daily commuters, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation swung into action today and conducted a drive in Sector 22 and Sector 17 markets to check the menace.

The traffic police accompanied MC officials in the drive and two parking contractors in these markets were challaned. Councillor M.P.S Chawla, in charge of the drive, said the checking was followed by written complaints from people who daily faced inconveniences owing to the irregular parking, encroachments as well as a laidback attitude of the personnel on duty.

The drive started at 2.30 am when the enforcement wing reached 22 market and found several vehicles parked haphazardly. While the two-wheelers were encroaching the spaces provided for cars, many vehicles were seen crossing the boundary line. With constant announcements by the police, the vehicles were regulated to some extent.

The parking contractor cited shortage of staff as the reason for the menace and also said there were no separate boards installed which can guide the people the demarcation between parking scooters and cars.

The MC officials said the drive would become a regular affair at various markets in the city in the coming days.



3 scientists of PGI get awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Three scientists of the PGI have brought laurels to the city by winning prestigious awards.

According to a press note issued here today, Dr Nidhi Anil, senior demonstrator, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, was awarded the UCB-ICAAI Young Scientist Award at the 41st annual convention of the Indian college of allergy, asthma and immunology held at New Delhi recently.

The award was given to her in recognition of her work on the role of gamma delta T cells in the immune pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease seen in children where lungs get progressively damaged due to infection and inflammation. This work had been done under the guidance of Dr Meenu Singh who looks after these children in the Advanced Paediatrics Centre. The other co-authors were Prof Arvind Rajwanshi and Dr Harpreet Vohra.

Dr Ruchi Gupta, senior resident, department of cytology and gynaepathology, won the best paper award for "Expression of tissue transglutaminase-II and p-16 on cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and invasive carcinoma", at annual conference of pathologists and microbiologists held at the PGI.

Similarly, Dr Upasana Gautam, research scholar, department of cytology and gynaecpathology, got best paper award for "RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry in the diagnosis of EWING's sarcoma", at the 37th annual conference of Indian Academy of Cytology held at Allahabad, the press note added.



Local PRSI chapter awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Chandigarh chapter of the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) was presented with the PRSI National Award 2007 for performance excellence for the second year in succession at the recently concluded 29th All-India PR Conference held at Chennai.

The award was presented by K.K. Acharya, MD, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited.

The award was received by Renuka B. Salwan, deputy director, public relations, Bureau of Indian Standards and chairperson of the Chandigarh chapter of the PRSI, and V.P. Sharma, joint director (public relations), Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).



2.47 million AIDS victims in India: Health ministry
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 17
A one-day workshop on HIV/AIDS was organised by the Punjab State AIDS Control Society under the chairmanship of T.R. Sarangal, secretary, health and family welfare, Punjab, and project director for 57 medical officers of district civil hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals and medical colleges of Punjab.

The aim of the workshop was to orient about the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS through integrated counselling and testing services being run by the society.

T.R. Sarangal said the health ministry had put the figure of HIV infection in India at 2.47 million as of now.

Dr N.M. Sharma, additional project director, PSACS, said the performance of ICTC’s in Punjab was improving since last three years. People were coming out to know their status at their own. Pavan Rekha Beri, assistant director, PSACS, gave the highlights of the National AIDS Control Organisation’s guidelines of ICTC’s. 



Car dealers offer a lot to beckon customers
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
If you are planning to buy a car by this year-end, car dealers have a lot to offer to you.

From cash benefits to free insurance cover, you can choose from a host of schemes.

Be it Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota or in the Tata, Almost all companies are cash benefits and other schemes to attract customers. “By this time of the year, offering discounts is a standard practice as people have tendency to buy cars in the new year”, confessed a car dealer.

Tata Motors is providing its customers with cash benefit of Rs 20,000 and a scratch card with an assured gift. The scheme has already started from December 3 and the agency has already sold around 30 cards under this. Lally Motors of Prestige Honda is giving one-year warranty with Honda, and two year with Honda Civic.

“I am confused whether to go for the discount or buy a new model in the coming year. Moreover, there is an expectation of a rise in the prices of the Hyundai model in January”, said a customer came in KLG Hyundai.

Dynamic Motors of Chevrolet has decided to give cash discounts to those who plan to buy a car this month. The customers can avail Rs 50,000 discount and three-year warranty with Optra, cash benefit of Rs 50,000 on Tavera, Rs 51000 on Aveo and Rs 31000 on Uva.

Hyundai Motors has come up with free insurance and accessories worth Rs 20,000, Ashwani Automobiles has a special offer for customers who plan to buy Accent this month, as the same could be available on a special offer at Rs 4.99 lakh. Berkeley Automobiles of Maruti Suzuki has come up with cash benefits on various models, which varies from Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 according to the model.

Swami Autos of Mahindra is providing Rs 20,000 cash benefits on all commercial vehicles that are available in the showroom. Pioneer Automobiles have a special triple treat offer, which includes cash schemes and other benefits under this offer. Saluja Ford has decided to give free insurance and accessories.

Krishna Auto Sales (Octavia) are providing the customers with free insurance and free services on selective models available in the showroom.

The automobile companies have already started the race and are in competitions with other dealers to increase the sale and give most benefit out of it.



Nek Chand inaugurates petrol station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Creator of Rock Garden Nek Chand inaugurated a petrol station and ‘In and Out’ outlet in Sector 4 here today.

While talking to The Tribune, Nek Chand said, “I am more involved socially these days. I appreciate the fact that people are coming up with creative ideas and opening such utility stores. This would certainly help the city to rise and compete with foreign cities.”



Blood donation camp today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
Allied Institute of Hotel Management and Culinary Arts, Panchkula, will be organising blood donation camp on the Institute premises tomorrow.

The camp will be inaugurated by Apoorva Singh, IAS, managing director, Uttar Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam. 



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Lt-Col B.M. Talwar (retd), president, senior citizen council, Panchkula, has declared the following nominated member of the executive committee. J.S. Shangari, M.L. Garg, K.S. Jindal, B.B. Sharma, J.G. Aggarwal and R.S. Sharma. 



Sehgal gen-secy of bank union
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
K.K.Sehgal was unanimously elected as general secretary of the Chandigarh and Punjab Bank Employees Union in the 1st triennial conference. The other office-bearers are V.K Khera-senior vice-president; R.K.Gupta - vice-president; T.P.Singh- general secretary; Gurmeet Kaur- deputy general secretary; and Subhash Chaudhary-treasure.



Fauji Beat
The Generals of the ’71 war

India achieved a decisive victory in the 1971 war. The credit for this mainly goes to Field Marshal (then general) Sam Manekshaw. For, he as the Army Chief could dig in his heels and tell the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that he would launch his Army into East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) after full preparation and not in a hurry, as she wanted. That he could change her opinion by his courage of conviction largely went to his credit and brought fame to the country.

Lieut-Gen J.S. Aurora, who was the Eastern Army Commander in the 1971 war, transformed the map of the sub continent by creating Bangladesh. Rightly called as the hero of Bangladesh war, General Aurora was a macro model of a simple and professional soldier.

On the Western front in the 1971 war, when the enemy launched a determined attack to dislodge us from the eastern bank of the Manawar Tawi, in the Chamb sector in J&K, on the night of December 9, in a bid to capture Akhnur, the GOC of our division started making plans for a withdrawal. It was then that the late Lieut-Gen Sartaj Singh, GOC 15 Corps, flew into the sector, rejected the plan of withdrawal, assumed control of the sector and ordered a counter-attack by reorganising the force. Thus, he saved the honour of the country. The late General Sartaj Singh had retired as the Southern Army Commander.

We will miss them

Four infantry regiments celebrated their reunions a few weeks ago. While the Kumaon and Naga Regiments celebrated their reunion together at their Regimental Centre at Ranikhet in Uttranchal the 1st and 4th Gorkha Rifles reunions were held at the 14 Gorkha Training Centre (GTC) at Subathu in Himachal Pradesh.

The special feature of these reunions was British officers and widows of some British officers who despite being in their late 80s, travelled all the way from Britain and evinced keen interest in their old regiments. It made one feel that their hearts still throbbed with affection for the units in which they had served more than 60 years ago. Several of them gave first hand information of the units they were serving with during World War II.

Most of them being in the twilight of their life, we will miss them at these functions after a few years.

— Pritam Bhullar



Combined prospectus for private schools

Advertisements by private schools to attract more and more parents for the admission of their kids are common these days. Most parents desire to expose their children to modern education. Exposure to modern things is essential for kids, but overexposure to modern technology is harmful as it puts more and more mental pressure on kids. Parents should weigh the pros and cons of all schools before admitting their children to any school.

The UT education department can help the parents by providing a combined prospectus on the line of the prospectus for government schools so that they can gauge the things for themselves. The CBSE and education department both should also evaluate the programmes run by various private schools.

Manjula Kiran, Chandigarh

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



Man held for theft of cheques
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
One person was arrested for allegedly stealing cash and cheques amounting to thousands of rupees from a motor company in Industrial Area. The accused Yashpal was nabbed after he was trying to encash the cheques in a bank here today.

A complaint in this regard was filed in Industrial Area police station on December 10. Mohit Partap of Prem Motors had alleged that a cash amounting to Rs 55,000 and signed cheques were missing. The police has flashed messages in all the banks concerned regarding the cheques. The Canara Bank branch of Sector 19 gave a call to the police today after the accused came to withdraw the money against the cheques and was thus arrested, the police said.



ICICI Pru, postal dept ink pact
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
ICICI Prudential Life announced its partnership with India Post in a press conference here today. The aim is to provide its customers the convenience of utilising the vast network of India Post in Punjab.

Customers can walk into any post-office that are listed on the ICICI Prudential Life website, produce their acknowledgement letter and policy number and make their premium payments in cash. Manjula Prasher, chief post master-general, Indian Postal Services, was present on the occasion.

Poonam Bhardwaj, senior vice-president and head, Customer Service and Operations - Rural Business, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, said, “With the company strengthening its position in rural India, it is essential that we provide our rural customers the convenience and service experience. Our strategic partnership with India Post will enable our customers to pay their premiums at a place close to their homes and in a mode that they are most comfortable in.”



Dish TV launches Minikids TV
Tribune News Service

Manjit Singh, head, north zone Dish TV, launches Minikids games for children in Chandigarh on Monday.
Manjit Singh, head, north zone Dish TV, launches Minikids games for children in Chandigarh on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh , December 17
North zone head of Dishtv Manjit Singh launched ‘Minikids TV’, educational games for kids, here on Monday.

The games will help kids in learning to identify colours, match pictures, solve puzzles and spot the differences. These games are designed to develop audio-visual memory and creativity among the kids.

Talking to The Tribue Manjit Singh, said, “We have about four lakh customers in Punjab and about 160 channels.



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