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Tribune Impact
Fund embezzlement: CM’s office orders probe
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, February 3
After The Tribune highlighted the issue of misuse of funds meant for development of a park in the district, Punjab chief minister's office has asked the district police to probe the matter and submit a report as soon as possible.

Erstwhile chief minister Amarinder Singh had sanctioned Rs five lakh for the development of Bhagwan Parsu Ram Park near the railway over bridge in the district. The amount was given to the district administration, which further allocated it to the municipal corporation. A three-member committee was also constituted by the administration to oversee execution of the work.

However, even as no development work was undertaken at the proposed sight, the MC reportedly showed that the entire amount had been spent.

A number of local residents had been seeking action against those who had allegedly embezzled the funds. However, no concrete action was taken in this regard. And this was despite the fact that evidences collected by the local residents under the RTI Act were sufficient enough to prove the guilt of officials concerned of the civic body.

Residents had alleged that no park had ever been developed by the MC at the site. On the other hand, the MC claimed that the amount was spent on leveling of the ground and erecting a boundary wall. A visit to the site, however, revealed that nothing had been done on ground.

Meanwhile, when Narinder Sayal, who had been leading the campaign against this misappropriation, sought information from the district administration in this regard the deputy commissioner's office filed an affidavit stating that although a three-member committee was formed to oversee the development work, it had not been asked to submit a report regarding the completion of work. The office stated that no information was available in this regard.

Finally, now in a formal commune sent to the district police chief, a copy of which is available with the Tribune, the chief minister's office has asked the SSP to furnish a report soon. The district administration has so far been maintaining silence in this regard.



Thousands get jobs under NREG scheme
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 3
The district administration here has claimed that 19,840 households have so far been registered under the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) Scheme and 17,947 registered families have been given job cards. The administration stated that 14,204 applicants in the district have already been given employment for 100 days.

In a statement yesterday, deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin said the district had received Rs 100.733 lakh under the scheme and the Union government and the state government had given an additional sum of Rs 1038.59 lakh. He said out of the said amount Rs 1,008 lakh had been released to the BDPO's and forests and soil conservation departments.

The deputy commissioner said that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme had become a useful tool for rural poor in the present scenario. He said under the scheme 100 days employment in a year was being provided to the rural poor irrespective of the gender.

He revealed that the main objective of the scheme was to empower rural women, protection of environment and to restrict the drain of rural people to urban areas.

He added that the aim of the scheme was to conserve water, plantation, check dams, construct water courses for irrigation of fields, levelling of uneven land of scheduled castes families, development of panchayat land for earning additional revenue, to build ring bandhs, rural connectivity by constructing roads and digging of drains and ponds.



Society stages plays against foeticide
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 3
The National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) observed its 77th monthly garden theatre winter programme at Baradari Garden, here today.

Braving the winter chill, the audiences witnessed two plays against the evil of foeticide, ‘Aagaaz ik khubsoorat soch’ and ‘So kiyon manda aakhiye’,

presented by Pran Sabharwal. On the occasion Kamaldeep, a rising folk singer, presented an anti-foeticide song ‘Na maar ammiye, na maar ammiye’, besides other songs along with Mulakh Raj.

Strongly condemning the evil of foeticide, chief guest Dr Swaraj Singh proved through effective arguments that the West cannot be blamed for the inhumane act of foeticide. He said the first ‘hukamnama’ released from Sri Darbar Sahib was ‘Kudi maar - Nadi maar’, which was against female foeticide. He lauded the artists and urged them to associate themselves with Indian cultural traditions, based on the philosophy of Guru Nanak and Vedas. He presented a cash award of Rs 3,100 to NTAS in appreciation of their dedicated services.

Paramjit Singh, Shyam Lal Gupta and Pran Sabharwal honoured the chief guest.



Angioplasty safer for heart patients
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 3
Renowned interventional cardiologist and director cardiology at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Dr Harinder K. Bali stated here today that angioplasty was more effective and safer treatment for heart patients as compared to the administration of clot busters (thrmbolytic drugs). Interacting with media, ahead of a CME organised at the local Panchayat Bhawan, Dr Bali said early angioplasty is the most effective method of opening blocked coronary arteries worldwide.

Although more people in their forties were facing danger of a heart attack, he stressed that younger people in the thirties with cardiac risk factors should get periodic check-ups. These investigations should include, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, tread mill test and echocardiography.

Dr Bali clarified that although angioplasty was the superior and safer method of treating patients, unfortunately enough labs and experienced operators were not available in many semi-urban and rural areas of country. He said it was desirable that patients should be transported to tertiary care centers. He added that a heart patient could be administrated affective treatment by giving him thrmbolytic for up to 24 hours after the heart attack. This was particularly important for high-risk patients.

Dr Bali added that in such patients the use of clot busters ‘stops the clock’ and gives more time for performing angiography. In most of the cases it was not possible to ascertain whether blood supply had been restored after thrmbolytic treatment and the clinical indicators of success of this treatment were not reliable.



Spikers rue lack of facilities
Mandeep Puri

Chandigarh, February 3
Lack of initiative and facilities on part of the UT Administration is resulting in the downfall of volleyball and also shattering the talent of volleyball players. City-based international players, who had been representing in a number of international volleyball championships, are now insecure about their futures.

Surinder Kumar, who has participated in many International championships, including the Asian Youth Championship, and has won a gold medal in the All-India University championship said, “I have been representing Chandigarh for years, but certainly there is no help at all from the UT Administration.”

21-year-old Vinod Negi had won gold medals in the under-15, under-17, under-19 categories. “I give the credit to the Shivalik Academy under whom I had been seeking training. My future depends on the Chandigarh Volleyball Association,” asserted Negi.

Lalit Kumar had earlier made the city proud by winning a gold medal in the Youth Asian championships held in Iran, in the World Championship and also in the Memorial Tournament that was held in Italy. The player felt that the game has always been ignored, and steps needs to be taken to rebuild the game in the city.

There is no help from the administration said Vijay Pal, general secretary of the Chandigarh Volleyball Association. While talking to this correspondent, Vijay Pal asserted, “There is a notification by the UT Administration in regard to the reservation of the sportsperson. This game has always been in the lower phase. Motivation is what every player requires; this is what this game is lacking.”



Sarpreet strikes gold
Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 3
The hero of the last three days, Punjabi University cyclist Sarpreet Singh, once against gave ample evidence of his potential by winning gold medal in the 4 km individual pursuit in the All-India inter-university cycling meet being held at the Punjabi University, here today.

Sarpreet Singh, a student of the local Khalsa College, timed his race to near perfection and clocked 5:16.41 seconds to annex the gold, his fourth title in the meet so far.

Sarpreet has already won the Olympic sprint, 1,500b m team time trial and the 1 km time trial events and today’s win in the 4 km individual pursuit surprised not many as he was the favourite to win the race from the very start.

Sarpreet was followed by his colleague Kamninder Singh who clocked 5:25.62 seconds and Jagdeep Singh of Panjab University, Chandigarh, who timed 5:31.44 seconds in that order. In the only other event on a rain-marred day, Reshmi B.R. Of Kerala University won the 3 km individual pursuit for women.

Suman of the hosts and Anupreet Kaur of Panjab University followed her in that order.

Meanwhile, rain played havoc with today’s schedule forcing the organisers to hold some of the track events tomorrow.

The track events were to end today but now they will be held simultaneously with the road races tomorrow. The Punjab Co-operation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh was the chief guest.



Mandeep bags top honours in judo championship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Mandeep clinched top honours in the 73 kg category, Parveen Kumar and Ashu Batra bagged silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the Senior Chandigarh State Judo Championship 2007-08, at Sports Complex, Sector 42, here today.

In women open category Yogesh finished as champion. Harsha won silver medal while Sukanya and Simran clinched bronze medals. Other results: (Men): 56 kg: 1 Sagar Dewan; 60 kg: 1 Vipin Kumar; 66 kg: 1 Hardeep Singh; 73 kg: 1 Mandeep, 2 Parveen Kumar, 3 Ashu Batra; 81 kg: 1 Shamsher, 2 Kuldeep; 90 kg: 1 Kuljinder, 2 Anil Jaura; 100 kg: 1 Amit Yadav, 2 Saurab Jagota, 3 Kaushal; Open: 1 Samsher, 2 Anil Johra, 3 Saurab and Amit.
(Women): 48 kg: 1 Sarita; 52 kg: 1 Komal Saini; 57 kg: 1 Jyoti, 2 Reeta Gupta; 63 kg: 1 Simranjeet, 2 Yogesh; 70 kg: 1 Yakshi; 78 kg: 1 Harsha; Open: 1 Yogesh, 2 Harsha, 3 Sukanya and Simran.

All medal winners will attend the conditioning camp that will be held till the date of departure of the Chandigarh team for the Senior National Judo Championship 2007-08, being held at Kochi (Kerala) from February 14-18.



Education dept orders repainting of school walls
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 3
To motivate school children for sports, the Education Department is starting an innovative sports oriented programme. Under this, government school walls would be repainted with the figures displaying sports activities.

To begin with GMSSS-23 will be the first government school whose walls would be having such paintings. GMSSS-23, which is pro-sports, will now have more motivated sports students.

S.K. Setia, DPI, schools, said, “The city has produced a number of sportspersons in the past. To motivate more students in sports, the educational department is coming up with this programme. Elaborating it further, Setia asserted, “The education department has already started special sports programme for special children and with this programme, students will certainly get motivation and there will be an increase in the percentage of sports students within these schools.

For this programme, the education department will be conducting special sports oriented workshops. Moreover, teachers from the fine arts department will be hired for this programme. The walls would be repainted according to the guidelines given by the fine arts teachers. Starting from GMSSS-23, all the schools would be covered under this sports programme”, added Setia.



Cricket coaching camp from Feb 18
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 3
Association for Twenty-20 Cricket, Punjab, will be holding a coaching camp for the probables of the forthcoming under-19 nationals to be held in Hyderabad from February 18 to 22.

The probables are: Rahul, Yuv Raj Singh, Pardeep, Rahul Mankotia, Ajay Malik, Amneet, Manish Nain, Baljinder, Vikrambir, Rohit, Navjeet Singh, Gaurav, Rajat, Birender and Harinder.



Brush test, a ray of hope for oral cancer patients
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for patients suffering from oral cancer which claims a life every seventh minute in India.

In fact, the advent of brush test has made oral cancer a potentially preventable disease.

The brush test can prevent oral cancer by facilitating routine painless testing of the abnormal spots that appear in the adult population.

  • Oral cancer is one of the largest killer claiming a life every 7th minute
  • Smoking and chewing betel leaves are the major causes of disease
  • Brush test is the painless procedure to prevent oral cancer

Doctor can identify the pre-cancerous cells by the brush test and thus prevent the development of oral cancer years before it can even start, says Dr Zahra Hussaini, director of the International Health Continuing Education Providers.

The Indian Dental Association has supported the launch of the brush test in India developed by OralCDx Laboratories, USA.

Nanavati Hospital was the first hospital in India to use brush test about a year back. Now, it is available with any dentist or ENT surgeon, Dr Hussaini added.

With a large population addicted to smoking and chewing pan, oral cancer has assumed alarming proportions in the country and it is reportedly the number one cause of deaths.

It is estimated that there are about 92,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed every year.

Despite the advances in surgery, radiation and chemotherapy the survival rate of oral cancer has not improved in the last 40 years.

This was because around 80 per cent of all new cases detected each year are found in advanced stages, III and IV, which clearly showed lack of awareness about disease.

Smoking cigarettes and bidi and eating betel leaf being the major reason for oral cancer, the disease is often detected in the final stages, which calls for prevention rather than cure.



100 surgeons attend CME
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Over 100 surgeons form the tricity attended the seventh general body meeting and the continuing medical education (CME) programme of the Chandigarh Surgical Society at the CII convention centre yesterday.

Dr Raj Bahadur, director-principal, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, was the chief guest.

The CME included topics from various specialities of surgery. Dr Usha Dalal of the GMCH spoke on lung cancer, while Dr A.S. Bawa from Fortis Hospital talked about fracture of penis.

Similarly, Prof S.M. Bose of the same hospital delivered a talk on small bowel tumor with perforation, while his colleague Dr Ravul Jindal gave the keynote address wherein he spoke on the treatment of peripheral vascular diseases.

Meanwhile, the new executive committee of the society for 2008-09 was installed by Dr Raj Bahadur.

The office-bearers are: president — Prof S M Bose; secretary — Dr A.K. Attri; treasurer — Dr Rajeev Sharma; and joint secretary — Dr Ashwani Dalal.

The society also felicitated Prof J.S. Chopra, former head of the department of neurology, PGI, who has recently been awarded with Padma Bhushan.



Sec-19 resident commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Poverty forced 53-year-old Rajeev Kumar, a resident of Sector 19, to commit suicide this morning.

Rajeev, who worked as embroider, hanged himself at a rented room where his daughter Sangeeta used to take tuitions.

The matter came to light when Sangeeta left her residence for the room to take tuitions around 8 am. Rajeev had left the home around 6.30 am. He was taken to the hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

A suicide note was found in which Rajeev blamed his poor financial state for the step. According to the note, Rajeev had borrowed Rs 50,000 from someone but could not return the amount.



Three cars stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Three cars were stolen from different places on the intervening night of February 2 and 3.

Aditya Kant of Sector 33 reported that his car (HP 03 A 0002) was stolen from his house. Another car (CH 03 N 2508) belonging to Meenakshi of Sector 36 was stolen from the complainant’s residence.

In the third case, Om Parkash of Sector 37 lodged a complaint claiming that his car (HP 27 0627) was stolen from his residence.



Biometric cards for vendors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The Union Bank of India yesterday launched biometric cards for financial inclusion of small vendors in the city. With this, 1,300 vendors can avail of banking services through the use of this card, which will enable them to make transactions through a hand-held computer.

Minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest on the occasion. The function started with the lighting of the traditional lamp.

The minister said: “Banking is an important part for the development of a nation and I appreciate the fact that the bank is the first to have taken the initiative of providing banking service to the poor. Providing facilities like loans at lower rates and overdraft would be an asset for the poor.” A hand-held computer is taken to hawkers by volunteers/business facilitators of the bank, which biometrically identifies the thumb impression of the customer and allows him to withdraw/deposit money from his account.

A receipt is issued to the customer, while the transaction made is later fed into the bank’s main server at the branch. Besides transactions, the computer can be used to disburse old age/widow pension in rural areas.

Addressing the gathering, M.V. Nair, chairman and managing director of the bank, said: “The bank has already covered 17,000 villages and will reach out to people below poverty line.”



Women maestros enchant audience
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, February 3
The fourth two-day Acharya K.C.D. Brahaspati Sangeet Samaroh concluded at the auditorium of Law Bhavan in Sector 37 today. The festival titled 'Prathma', organised under the aegis of Acharya Brahspati Institute in association with Sadbhavna Arts, was a tribute to the acclaimed musicologist, Acharya K.C.D. Brahaspati.

The concert bore a special significance as all five performing artistes were women and gave instrumental recitals, including the percussion, which is a rarity.

Dr Ragini Trivedi from Indore commenced with the jal tarang recital doling out two compositions in vilambat and drut lya with the melody meter articulated by Mehmood Khan on tabla.

Vijaywada-based AIR artiste Vidushi Sumathi Rama Mohan Rao presented a varnam on mridangam followed by a thyagaraj composition set to adi taal. She concluded with folklore-based kirtana in raga valli. She won applause for her stamina and accurate strumming.

However, the grand finale by woman flautist Sunita Shinde Reddy from Ujjain was a dexterous display of technique and adroit mastery over laya and taal. She presented two compositions in raga Durga in both slow and fast tempos before doling out a bandish each in raga hansdhwani and pilu.

Earlier, two city-based women maestros Shobha Koser (kathak) and Chander Kanta Khosla (sitar) were awarded with the Sangeet Sewa Samman by former city mayor Kamla Sharma. Dr Kamla Shanker, accompanied by Vinod Lele, gave a scintillating guitar recital. Restricting to the gayaki ang only, she elaborated the alaap before exposition of vilambat and drut gats of raga shudh kalyan. Later, she presented raga mishar pilu. Vidushi Sukanya Ramgopal was the other artiste performing on percussion instrument ghatam, which otherwise is a stronghold of male artistes. Audience commended her tal kachehari. Dr Saubhagya Vardan coordinated the entire programme.



City locations ideal for shooting: Filmmaker
S.D. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
“The reverberations of the ongoing Chandigarh Film Festival are felt in the Bollywood but it has yet to catch up the intensity acquired by the annual Goa Film Festival,” opined the acclaimed film maker Anil Sharma, known for hits like Gadar, Apne, The Hero and many more.

He said: “The city with all its panoramic locations in the backdrop of Shivalik foothills, friendly weather conditions, connectivity facilities and above all photogenic faces with innate aesthetic potential is the most ideal place for film productions. But the progress to translate the conceived Film City Project into reality has not gained desired momentum in accordance with the enthusiasm I witnessed on my last visit to the city while shooting for Apne.” “The administration will have to be more generous for providing the ground infrastructure for film production besides accommodation and alluring benefits to beckon the already established film houses for shifting from Mumbai or create additional unit set ups,” Sharma added.

Credited Twenty Film Productions, mostly grave flops yet riding on the tremendous success of few super hits, Anil Sharma, in city on the invitation of Chandigarh Tourism, shared the contemporary film making scenario with candid expressions.

After an introduction and welcome by Vivek Atrey, the enterprising director, Sharma, maintained that over the years a diametric change with record viewers had emerged at the international market of Bollywood films. Believe me, over 90 prints of Indian film were released in London alone compared to 40 to 50 in Mumbai, disclosed Sharma.

There are certain external pressures, including the distributors, financers, some top actors also, which govern and dictate their preferences when one plans to make film of his choice’ says Anil while failing to make a single comedy or a romantic film, which is my forte, since these forces have cast me in a special mould of a action film director.

His forthcoming ventures include ‘Veer’ with Salman Khan and ‘Master’ with Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol. Hema Malini will definitely join the trio sometimes later and all depends on the film’s story, said Anil Sharma.



Chandigarh Film Fest
Director Nathani’s ‘Hope’ screened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Kamal Nathani, producer of films like ‘Khatta Meetha’, ‘Jalwa’ and ‘Chashme Badoor’ today lent charm to the ongoing Chandigarh Film Festival. Known for his penchant for novelty and fun, the producer today shed light on his new role as writer and director. His debut film ‘The Hope’ has been through the festival circuit, gathering good reviews at the 52nd National Awards-2005, the Mami International Film Festival-2003 and North-West Media Fest, Hannover, Germany, 2004.

Today, the film was shown in the city and it brought alive the power of hope. Nathani personally talked about the film as one of ‘hope, peace and survival’. The story moves around the lives of three commandos who are on a mission to nab a terrorist; they, however, find themselves in a dilemma when they wish to save the life of the same terrorist they had set out to arrest.

“Paradoxes are interesting to explore,” says Nathani, who had an interaction with a rather thin gathering of cine lovers at Government Museum auditorium where Madhur Bhandarkar was also expected earlier during the day. He, however, did not turn up. Nathani, for his part, did justice to the role assigned to him. He spoke of his earlier profiles as a film producer and the need to graduate to direction and film writing.

For Nathani, positive attitudes like hope are literal driving forces of life. That’s exactly what he portrays in his film which is essentially about relationships and value of human life. A 15-year-old is at the heart of this dramatic exercise in celluloid, which some cinema lovers from the city had an occasion to watch this evening. Starring Rajat Bedi, Gayatri, Mukesh Tiwari among others, the film has been produced by Subhash Sharma. It has music by Sneha Khanwalkar.



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