C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bed & breakfast scheme gets Centre’s nod
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Budget tourists looking for a family atmosphere during their stay in the city have a reason to cheer. The union ministry of tourism has approved the bed and breakfast scheme of the Chandigarh administration.

It will prove to be a boon for foreign tourists who do not have any corporate or institutional support and often look for social tourism. Many European and Asian countries offer social tourism to tourists.

The city will be the second place after the national Capital to offer the scheme. According to the ministry’s scheme, the department of tourism has short-listed the applicants who were interested to offer accommodation to tourists.

Conditions for the scheme

The bed and breakfast (registration and regulation) ordinance 2007 allows people, who intend to offer their house to guests, through a system of registration by a prescribed authority. The condition is that there should be adequate space to house the guests. The owner should be able to provide quality food prepared in hygienic conditions and proper sleeping arrangements to the guests. The scheme is different from the paying guest accommodation scheme, which provides for long-term and medium-term stay.

The visitors will have a low-cost option to stay overnight in Chandigarh. Most of such visitors will leave after breakfast for other destinations. House owners with sufficient space and a parking facility will be considered for the scheme, said director, tourism, Vivek Atray.

Out of the 75 applications scrutinised by a three-member committee of the administration, the number has been narrowed down to 36. The committee members personally visited the houses of the applicants to see the quality of accommodation, said assistant director, tourism, Vinod Kalia.

On an average 25,000 foreign tourists visit the city annually. There have been a number of inquiries about budget accommodation for a night as the city was the gateway to Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

To cover the security aspect especially incidents of attack on foreign tourists, the administration has decided that the house owners will have to convey the arrival of tourists at their respective police stations.

While giving its nod to the Chandigarh administration, the ministry has demanded that the guidelines framed should be strictly adhered to. The approvals to the interested establishments will be given under the silver and gold categories to maintain uniformity and avoid confusion among the tourists, the ministry has pointed out.



Banking transactions crippled in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Banking transactions in the tricity were hit today with a problem cropping up in the main server of some banks at Mumbai. Services of several banks like the State Bank of India and Allahabad Bank were affected.

According to the information available, the services of Allahabad Bank, including their ATM services and debit- card services, remained unavailable till late in the evening. Internet and ATM services in the State Bank of India, too, were hit for some time in the afternoon, though they were restored later in the evening.

SBI officials said interconnectivity was down in the afternoon. Though there was no problem at our end, we suspect that the snag was in the BSNL lease line, said an official.

Officials in Allahabad Bank informed The Tribune that the services were affected because of a technical snag in the bank’s server in Mumbai. “Though the server was down, we ensured that the transactions were carried out manually,” said an official. However,

Manu Sethi, a businessman in Mohali, said this was the second time that the e-operations of Allahabad bank were affected because of a technical snag. “Last month, too, the main server of the bank was down for more than two days. The bank should take immediate corrective measures to ensure that the problem is not repeated,” he rued.

It may be noted that last week technical snags in the working of the Punjab National Bank, too, had hit banking transactions. With the end of the financial year round the corner, such snags are adversely affecting thousands of consumers.



Justice After 22 Years
Ex-bank manager, 4 others acquitted of graft charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Finally justice has been meted out after 22 years to Manjit Singh Vohra. Former chief manager, Andhra Bank, Sector 17, here, Vohra along with four others was today acquitted by the Special Judge, CBI court, Jagdeep Jain. Vohra heaved a sigh of relief as he would no longer be forced to live with the stigma of corruption.

Vohra was accused of misusing his official powers when he was working as the chief manager of Andhra Bank. During his tenure in 1986-87, it was alleged that he had entered into a criminal conspiracy with the four directors of a company that manufactured chemicals. Vohra was accused of cheating Andhra Bank by using his official powers in favour of Tejpal Singh, Inderbir Singh, and Amrik Singh, directors of Punjab Cellulous Limited, and a business partner, Anandpal Singh. . It was stated that Vohra had got in touch with the accused through Tejpal Singh. The four directors of the company were the other accused in this case.

According to the prosecution, Vohra was accused of granting letters of credit worth Rs 4.9 lakh beyond his limit in favour of the company. It was alleged that Vohra used his powers to grant various credit facilities in favour of Harjinder Sales Private Limited beyond the limit of the bank.

Vohra had issued two letters of credit in pursuance of bills and discounting of cheques. One of the accused Amrik Singh passed away during the trial.

On the complaint of Andhra Bank to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a case was registered in 1986-87 and charges were framed against the five accused on May 3, 1996. The charges were framed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The trial was also held under Sections 420, 120-B of the IPC.

The defence pleaded before the court that all the limits granted by Vohra were sanctioned after oral permission given by the zonal manager,

Venkatatri, of the bank who functions from the main office.



Consumer saddled with fake note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A consumer at the State Bank of India, main branch, was in for a rude shock when he was allegedly given a fake Rs 500 note at the bank’s cash counter. The bank failed to replace the note.

Triveni Prasad, a medical equipment sales dealer, said he approached the bank to withdraw Rs 37,000 in cash today. He said he got the money through two cheques in the form of 74 notes of Rs 500 denomination each.

He says that he went to the Punjab National Bank in Sector 22 to deposit this amount in his other account, but was told by the bank that one currency note was fake. “When I again approached the SBI main branch, they refused to exchange the note,’ he rued.



Luxury Army Flats
Low-income bidders  raise eyebrows
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Names of a large number of seemingly low-income individuals figuring in the draw of lots by the Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) for luxury apartments have raised eyebrows in certain quarters.

While a large number of senior officers including some Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals have preferred to opt for middle category flats, a number of personnel below officer rank (PBOR) have opted for deluxe and super-deluxe penthouses under an AWHO scheme floated at Dwarka in New Delhi.

The approximate cost of a super-deluxe penthouse is stated to be Rs 63 lakh, while that of a deluxe penthouse is Rs 55 lakh. The cost of middle category deluxe apartments is between Rs 36 lakh to Rs 41 lakh. The draw of lots for the aid scheme was held on January 12.

Several serving and retired officers are now seeking a probe into the matter to ascertain the source of funding for luxurious apartments by individuals whose income apparently does not match the expenditure.

In one such letter written to Chief of the Army Staff, Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Adjutant General, retired officers have suggested that low-income individuals were applying for expensive apartments in this scheme for the benefit of civilians or for senior officers of friends by proxy.

The letter has also listed out a number of instances where names of PBORs have been mentioned against the successful draw of lots for penthouses. Similar instances have been quoted where retired Lieutenant Generals figure in the category of deluxe apartments. The complete draw of lots for the scheme is also available on AWHO’s website for perusal.

Army sources say that it is not the mandate of the AWHO to verify the sources or income or the paying capacity of an individual applying for an apartment under its schemes. It is only concerned with construction, allotment and payments.

Some officers also do not rule out the possibility of PBORs disposing-off ancestral property to raise finances for apartments. Army regulations require all service individuals to file a return on any acquisition or disposal of property by them. This return is scrutinised by the Adjutant General’s Branch.

Officers contend that the approximate cost of Rs 63 lakh being quoted today is bound to rise further if one goes by the progress of other AWHO schemes. The tentative cost of an apartment in Noida was stated to be Rs 25 lakh in May 2005, but has now increased to Rs 36 lakh.



Rickshaw-pullers clog bus stand road
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
It seems that the Chandigarh traffic police, known to issue challans to motorists even on petty offences, always turns a blind eye to violations by rickshaw-pullers. Authorities here have banned the movement of slow moving vehicles, including rickshaws and three-wheelers, on the internal road being used by the buses for entering the Inter State Bus Terminus, Sector 17. Even a signboard, has been put up at the entrance of the road in this regard.

However, in glaring violation of the rule many rickshaw-pullers can be seen moving on this road. This not only creates a nuisance for bus drivers but also puts the lives of passengers in danger.

A bus driver Harbans Singh said: “The rickshaw-pullers, most of whom are migrants, park their rickshaws along the exit points and go inside the bus stand to pick passengers. Many times, we have to remove them and make way for our buses. Besides this, they also hamper the traffic flow by stopping the rickshaws anywhere, unmindful of the buses following close behind.”

“Two police pickets have been set up in front of the bus stand but no cop ever bothers to check this menace. Due to this hazard, many accidents have taken place and it’s always the bus drivers that are held responsible for them. It is difficult to understand why no action is being taken against them,” lamented a CTU driver.

Earlier a public address system was set up at the police picket to regulate traffic, but it has also become non-functional in absence of any care, the driver informed.



India, Pak experts share agro-knowledge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A two-day seminar on “Total agriculture between India and Pakistan: Farmers connecting through knowledge sharing on agriculture” began at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today. A 16-member delegation from Pakistan is in the city for the event.

The event is an important component of the programme initiated by CRRID’s Two Punjabs Centre to bring connectivity among the people of the two communities under the overall aegis of the peace process initiated by the two nations. A number of initiatives have been taken by both sides representing different interest groups.

The connectivity between farmers of the two countries is an important confidence-building measure as agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in both the Indian and Pakistani Punjab.

Experts also gave out their views on various subjects including agricultural policies and practices, food security and diversification, agricultural marketing, remunerative farming, support prices, loan waivers and subsidies.

The Pakistani delegation, led by Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi, vice-chairman of Farmers Associates and a former minister includes farmers, legislators, industrialists, businessmen, academicians, bankers and scientists.

The visitors also met the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and evinced keen interest for technology transfer in the field of agriculture to increase the production of wheat, cotton, maize, barley and sugarcane both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The members of the delegation shared their experiences with the Chief Minister on improving the quality of crops in Pakistan. They also dwelt on the prospects of allied agriculture in terms of animal husbandry, fishery, dairy, bee-keeping, horticulture and floriculture as traditional agriculture was no more profitable in Pakistan.



Panchkula MC Poll
Violations by Congress
INLD to lodge complaint with SEC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) would lodge a complaint with the state election commission against the alleged use of government machinery by Congress leaders during campaigning for Panchkula municipal elections.

Om Parkash Chuatala’s younger son and incharge of the Indian National Lok Dal campaign for the MC elections Abhay Chautala stated this here today.

Alleging that the Congress leaders violated the code of conduct during campaigning yesterday, the INLD leader said Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan and union minister Selja used their official vehicles to reach the venues of public meetings and both the public meetings were held on the land owned by government departments. The INLD had videographed all violations and it would be placed before the election commission, he said.

In fact, the ruling party was not even confident of wining the elections and that is why it had brought its prominent leaders like union minister and Chief Minister of the state for campaigning in the elections of the civic body, he added.

Abhay, who was interacting with media persons, claimed that the party would sweep at least 20 seats in the elections and said the INLD had decided to contest the elections on symbol to show its popularity in comparison to its rivals.

The party has fielded 25 candidates while it supported six candidates for the 31-seat civic body polls for which are to be held on March 31.

The party was going to emphasise on the national issues, including power supply and water supply shortage as well as price rise during the campaign, he said.



Party members hold protest, submit memo
Tribune News Service

Members of Shiv Sena Hindustani stage protest in Chandigarh on Monday.
Members of Shiv Sena Hindustani stage protest in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, March 24
Around 400 members of Shiv Sena Hindustani, under the leadership of Pawan Kumar Gupta, held a protest at the cricket stadium roundabout, Sector 17, here this morning. However, the group was stopped from marching up to the Vidhan Sabha.

Addressing the gathering, Pawan Kumar demanded claims for the Hindus that were affected during the 1984 riots. He said the Punjab Government had not fulfilled its promise till date. He also demanded proper status for religious places of the Hindus in accordance with the SGPC Act, 1925. Meanwhile, the OSD to the Chief Minister accepted the memorandum from the group and assured a meeting with the authorities soon.



Driving licence suspended for two months
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The registration and licencing authority (RLA), Chandigarh, has debarred a habitual offender from holding a driving licence for a period of two months following recommendations made by the traffic police.

Arun Arora of Sector 42-C had been issued six challans from December 25, 2005, to January 21, 2008. Hence, he had been disqualified from holding a driving licence for a period of two months from March 20 onwards.

Till now, the traffic police here have recommended 299 cases to the RLA for suspension of driving licences.

Out of these, 174 habitual offenders have been awarded punishment by the RLA.



Function on World TB Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Around 300 persons attended a function organised on the World TB Day in Mani Majra today. Sunita Chowdhary, Chandigarh municipal corporation councillor, was the chief guest.

Earlier, Dr T. Prabhu Shankar from the PGI welcomed the gathering. A poster competition on the topic ‘I am stopping TB’ was also organised. Ravinder, Laxmi and Sana Parveen won the first, second and third prizes respectively.



‘Malba’ still being dumped in Sec 33
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
In spite of The Tribune highlighting the issue of a ‘malba’ dump in Sector 33, it seems that both the municipal corporation and the area councillor Rajesh Gupta are still ignorant about the state of affairs.

The project of beautification of parks is being carried out within Sector 33 and the ‘malba’ collected is being dumped at this spot. Even private contractors dump ‘malba’ here.

However, Gupta, who had assured that the issue would be resolved soon, has not taken any step yet. When contacted he said: “I am planning to develop this area by building a park here. I will put forward the proposal in front of the beautification committee meeting next month.”

He added that the project would take three to four months for completion.

Notably, the problem of dumping does not end in this sector alone and there are a number of sectors in the city that are facing the same issue.



Fire in jungle area of Sec-43
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A minor fire broke out in the jungle area behind Sector 43 ISBT, here this afternoon.

However, a major tragedy was averted as the fire was brought under control before it spread to the nearby huts.

Sources in the fire department said they received information about the fire at around 4:30 pm.

Two fire engines from Sector 38 and 17 were pressed into service and the fire was brought under control within ten minutes.

A fire official said the incident could have taken a tragic turn as many labourers were living in huts close to where the fire broke out.

What makes the problem grave is the fact that the area is covered with dry grass.

He opined that the labourers should be immediately evicted from the place.



Water supply to be suspended in southern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Water supply will remain suspended in parts of the southern sectors due to maintenance work on Tuesday.

According to the water department, there will be no supply in Sectors 31 to 34, 44, 49, 20-C and D, Industrial Area Phase-II, Ram Darbar, Colony Number 5 and Burail village from 10 am to 5 pm, as connection of the delivery pipe of the newly installed pump at Water Works, Sector 32, has to be made with the main header.



Community centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union minister of state for finance, yesterday inaugurated a community centre in Sector 39. UT mayor Pradeep Chhabra and area councillor Jagjit Singh Kang, among others were present on the occasion.



Keep up good work

It is heartening to note that the Chandigarh administration is taking keen interest in every field to make the city beautiful in the real sense. The administration is removing encroachments on roads and commercial places in order to make the entire city clean and spacious. It is also making efforts to check noise pollution in and around the city. I remember that our honourable Governor has also stressed that the public should hold the staff concerned in every field responsible if there is any violation. This aspect should be strictly enforced and the administration should continue to work for the betterment of the city.

Tarlok Singh, Manimajra

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



Central Varsity Status
PUTA to go on mass casual leave tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Panjab University Teachers Association today held a general body meeting and updated the members about the current status of the demand for the central university status for Panjab University.

Addressing the gathering, PUTA president Prof A.S. Ahluwalia said there was hardly any political party from Punjab that had not been approached by the leaders of PUTA. Dr Keshav Malhotra, department of evening studies, said the house that PU has passed Rs 100 crore deficit budget in the recent Board of Finance Meeting in which nobody represented Punjab. If the present financial crunch continues, nobody can save this premier institute from a slow unnatural death, exhorted Dr Malhotra.

Prof D.N. Jauhar, department of laws, appealed to the teachers to come out in larger number and protest the obduracy of the Punjab Government. Among others who addressed the gathering were Prof A.K. Aggarwal, department of math, Dr G.K. Malik, department of botany, Prof D.S. Toor, department of physical education.

Prof Manjit Singh, secretary PUTA, proposed to go for mass casual leave on March 26 that was endorsed by the house. After taking mass casual leave, all the teachers would assemble in front of the Gandhi Bhawan at 10 am.

It was also decided that a memorandum of demand would also be submitted to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on March 30, when he visits the university.

Meanwhile, the students’ council has decided to join the mass protest at Gandhi Bhawan.



UGC vice-chairman to address PU fellows
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The vice-chairman of the UGC, Prof Mool Chand Sharma, will address the fellows during a meeting to be held on March 29. After his hour-long address, the proceedings of the house would begin as per the schedule.

Prof Mool Chand Sharma who would be delivering the diamond jubilee lecture on March 31 presided by Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Vijender Jain, would address the house on various issues pertaining to higher education, functioning of the executive body of the university, working of a senate etc.

Welcoming this move, the senators see it as an opportunity to hear Prof Mool Chand Sharma speak in the house and share his valuable experiences. “It will be interesting to hear him while he addresses the members of the senate. I expect that he will share his academic and administrative experiences as vice-chairman of the UGC and the members will be benefited by the same”, said senator Ashok Goyal.

G.K. Chatrath said, “It’s a noble idea and a rare opportunity for the fellows to have a man of his caliber speak. The idea should be emulated and he should be invited mote often”.

A.S. Ahluwalia, PUTA president and a member of senate, said, “ I heard him once during one of the functions at the university and his lecture was an eye- opener. His speech gives a broader viewpoint about education, including Dos and Don’ts. His lecture would sensitise all the fellows right before the senate and would help us take decisions”.

According to sources, emeritus professors, deans and other distinguished functionaries of the university will also be present on the occasion.

Vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti, who got the lecture arranged for the fellows, said the university was planning to arrange the same for long and it was just the right opportunity.



From Schools & Colleges
Amanpreet adjudged best student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Amanpreet Kaur, a student of BCA-II, was adjudged as the Best All-Rounder Student of the year during the annual prize distribution function held on the campus of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, here today.

Vidhushi Sharma, a BA III student, was given the award of Best Flier (Air Wing). She is the only student who has been selected for the Air Force Officers Training and she flies solo Zen micro-light plane.

The Roll of Honour was presented to Harveen Sarao, Kulbeer Kaur and, Gurbinder Kaur, students of BA-III. Leela Bhatt, a student of BA-III was selected the All Round Best Sportswoman and Anita of BPEd was selected the All Round Best Outgoing Sportswoman. Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab minister, was the chief guest. Virsa Singh Valtoha, (MLA, Tarn Taran) was the guest of honour. Majitha also released a souvenir to commemorate 35 years of the college and gave a grant of Rs 3 lakh to the college. Dr Harinderjit Kaur, principal, read out the annual report highlighting the achievements of the college.

Gurdev Singh Brar, president and Major, Mohinder Singh, joint secretary, Sikh Education Society, were also present. Meanwhile, the staff members who had completed 25 years of service in the college were also honoured.

SEMINAR: A five-day seminar on “Vocational Education at Senior Secondary Stage” started at ICSSR complex at Panjab University here today.

Central Institute of Vocational Education Bhopal organised the seminar, inaugurated by DPI (S) S.K. Setia, in collaboration with UT Education Department for the functionaries of Jammu and Kashmir.

The basic objective of the seminar is to apprise the key functionaries of the state about the various aspects of vocational education at 10+2 stage and its implementation strategies with special reference to Chandigarh.

Setia highlighted various initiatives taken by the education department in the field of vocational education and also introduction of new courses, collaborative model and part time vocational courses. “During the five days, the delegates would be taken to various Government Senior Secondary Schools where vocational courses are being run so as to facilitate close interaction between the school principals and teachers of vocational courses”, said Setia.

Awareness drive: The Chandigarh administration has decided to launch awareness and sensitisation activities in schools and colleges regarding hazards of tobacco use. The programme would be part of the PGI's Tobacco Cessation Centre. UT home and education secretary Krishna Mohan said the PGI's team of psychiatrists and psychologists would be visit schools and colleges on Mondays and Saturdays for such activities.

Director of higher education Raji P. Shrivastava would formulate a schedule for the colleges and director, public instructions (S), would take care for schools.

Contest: Preeti of Dev Samaj Polytechnic, Sector 45, emerged winner in the slogan-writing contest and Himani of NIIFT, Mohali, bagged first place in the poster-making event. The inter-college contest was organised by Dev Samaj College for Women and Dev Samaj Polytechnic, Sector 45, Chandigarh, here today.

The competition was a part of an AIDS-awareness campaign in the college in collaboration with the State AIDS Control Society, U.T., Chandigarh. Fifty students took part in the competitions.

Results: Poster making: 1 Himani Singh of NIIFT, Mohali, 2 Navjot of Dev Samaj Polytechnic, 3 Jyoti of DSCW- 45.

Consolation prize: Shilpa Sharma of Dev Samaj Polytechnic; Harneet Kaur of INIFD, Mohali.

Slogan writing: 1 Preeti of Dev Samaj Polytechnic, 2 Manpreet Kaur of DSCW- 45, 3 Pooja Gupta of DSCW- 45; consolation prize: Ashish Singh of DSCW- 45.

Collage making: 1 Neha Sood of DSCW- 45, 2 Kanika Sharma of DSCW- 45.



Surbhi best in interior designing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Surbhi Bahlvi of Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, was awarded first place in the college in interior designing category during the Pidilite Awards for Excellence (PAFE) held at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, here, today.

In the architecture category, Jasmeet Kaur of Chandigarh College of Architecture received first prize.

As many as 28 outstanding students of architecture (B.Arch) and interior designing (ID) from nine institutions of Northern India received the award this year.

Pallav Mukherjee, a well known architect and president of the Architects Association of Chandigarh (including Panchkula and Mohali), was the chief guest.

The awardees were:

Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture, Banur, Patiala: 1 Samneet Samrai (B.Arch.), 2 Neha Gupta (B.Arch) , 3 Himansu Suri (B.Arch.); 1 Monika Verma (ID), 2 Mayank Jain (ID), 3 Aditi Manocha (ID).

Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Bathinda: 1 Deepika Dhand (B.Arch.), 2 Karuna Arun (B.Arch.), 3 Sonali Goyal (B.Arch.).

Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar: 1 Neha Jindal (B.Arch.), 2 Deepali Aggarwal (B.Arch.), 3 Smriti Singla (B.Arch.)

Lovely Institute of Technology (Architecture), Phagwara: Supriya Giroti (B.Arch.);

RIMT College of Architecture, Mandi Gobindgarh:1 Gurinder Kaur (B.Arch.), 2 Lohit Jain (B.Arch.) , 3 Gurjinder Kaur (B.Arch.)

Govt. Polytechnic College for Women, Sector 10, Chandigarh.:1 Surbhi Bahlvi (I D) , 2 Shrobana (I D), 3 Simrandeep Kaur (I D)

Chandigarh College of Architecture: 1 Jasmeet Kahlon ( B.Arch.) ,2 Sheetal Bedi (B.Arch.), 3 Khusboo Raheja (B.Arch.)

Indo Global College of Architecture, Abhipur: 1 Sahiba Duggal (B.Arch.), 2 Simranjit Singh (B.Arch.), 3 Mandeep Kaur (B. Arch.)

INIFD, Chandigarh:1 Ravneet Oberoi (I.D) , 2 Sapna (I.D), 3 Shally Bansal (I.D)



Career seminar on optometry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
As part of the World Optometry Day celebrations, the GEI School of Optometry today organised a free career seminar for the class 12th students.

Speaking on the occasion, Anuja R. Singh, programme in charge of the GEI School of Optometry, claimed that the course provided excellent job opportunities to students after the completion of four years.

Optometry is an independent, self-sufficient, primary eye-care profession. Although in Western countries it is very well-developed, in India it still in a very nascent science.

The course aims to balance the crunch of trained medical manpower in the coming times and at the same time provides youth with an opportunity for enormous growth, she said.

A recent survey has shown that the population to optometrist ratio in India is two lakh to one, whereas in developed countries like USA and Europe it is 10,000 to one.



From Schools
‘Gaiety 2008’ at St Vivekanand

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
St Vivekanand Millennium School, HMT, Pinjore, organised ‘Gaiety 2008’, the annual prize distribution and cultural evening at Dr B.R. Ambedkar Auditorium at Pinjore near here today. Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Jain was the chief guest. While Justice Surya Kant of Punjab and Haryana High Court was special guest for the evening. Prakash Sharan, executive director, HMT Ltd, Pinjore, presided over the function. With the theme of ‘global warming’, the function started with the lighting of the lamp and ‘saraswati vandana’ followed by plays, songs and dances by students. More than 400 students participated in the function.



INSO welcomes PU’s decision on fee hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) has decided to launch a ‘Chhatra Satyagraha’ aimed at higher transparency and restoration of students’ rights. INSO expressed happiness over PU’s decision for not increasing the annual 10 per cent fee hike. Last year, 5 per cent fee hike was done and the previous year, this hike was 10 per cent across the board.



Murder case assigned to Panchkula police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Following the failure of Chandigarh police to investigate a murder case and its refusal to register a first information report, Justice Mahesh Grover of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the Panchkula police to carry out a probe into 
the issue.

Pronouncing the directions in an open court, Justice Grover directed DSP Panchkula to investigate the matter under the SP’s supervision. The matter pertains to the alleged murder of Mohali district resident Shamsher Singh. His body was found near a petrol pump in Sector 34 on September 5, 2005. A note was also found mentioning the names of certain persons who could be responsible for the murder.

Even though a detailed representation was forwarded to the police on December 7, 2005, for registration of a criminal case, the police refused to register a first information report and tried to pass off the alleged murder as ‘natural death’.
Seeking the registration of a case, petitioner’s counsel Gurnam Singh and Harnek Singh had stated that insecticide had been detected in the postmortem examination. Yet, the police had refused to act.

Taking a serious view of the endeavour to ‘hush up the truth’, Justice Grover, on the last date of hearing, had asked the counsel for UT to reveal the name of the officer involved in the investigations of the matter.

Issuing the instructions in an open court, Justice Grover had made it clear the Court would burden the officer with exemplary costs.

Expressing ‘deep concern’, the Judge had observed prima facie that the death appeared to have occurred due to poisoning, but the police was trying to project it as natural death and had failed to give a plausible explanation.

Shamsher Singh’s son Balwinder Singh had earlier filed the petition against the UT and other respondents.

It was alleged that a head constable was helping a rival party in a matter pertaining to the possession of a plot. Subsequently, Shamsher Singh was implicated in a false case.

Balwinder had further alleged that a conspiracy to eliminate his father was also hatched by the rival party. Later, a constable informed him about the discovery of Shamsher’s body.



Consumer Forum
Company asked to pay Rs 1,100
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directed Raj Shree Industries in Industrial Area, Phase II, to pay compensation of Rs 1,100 to a resident of Sector 44 for deficiency in service. The industry was also asked to pay Rs 1,100 as costs of litigation.

The petitioner, Paramjit Batta, had purchased four Relaxo ceiling fans worth Rs 3,600 from industrial area here. He stated that the fans had a warranty of two years. Batta stated that after installing, the fans did not work properly. He complained to the opposite party but the blades were not replaced. The opposite party did not appear before the forum to file reply. The forum, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, observed: “We are of the firm opinion that the petitioner has sufficiently proved his case by way of documentary evidence on record. Therefore, we accept the petition partly.”



District Courts
Judicial services’ results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The results of the main written examination of the Haryana superior judicial services were released today. The written test for the posts of additional district and sessions judge, Haryana, was held from February 22 to February 24. The viva will be held shortly.

SENTENCED: Additional district and sessions judge R.S. Attri today sentenced Gurjinder Singh to one-year imprisonment under the NDPS Act. The UT police had arrested Gurjinder from a gurdwara in Sector 40 on May 8, 2003 for possessing 6 gm smack. He was convicted under Section 21 of the NDPS Act.



Municipal engineer suspended
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 24
Municipal engineer of the Mohali Municipal Council Tarsem Singh Rai has been suspended by the government today.

The orders which were to be implemented with immediate effect were served to the suspended engineer before the office closed for the day and Rai was relieved of his charge.

Executive officer (EO) of the civic body J.S. Thind said the suspension orders were received in the afternoon today which did not specify the reasons behind the suspension. The orders said the charge sheet would be issued later. The headquarters of Rai during the suspension period would be at Gurdaspur.

It is reported that one of the reasons behind the suspension of Rai were the sour relations going on between the Mohali deputy commissioner H.I.S. Garewal and the civic body EO. The deputy commissioner is living in a house in the municipal complex adjacent to the temporary accommodation occupied by the EO. There was a four-foot passage in the fence separating the two residences. The EO had complained to higher authorities accusing the deputy commissioner’s wife of “harassment”.

Reacting to the complaint of the EO, the government had sent an official of the central vigilance office of the Department of Local Government to the municipal complex in Phase V here on August 10 last year to study whether it was necessary to construct a common boundary wall separating the residences of the deputy commissioner and the EO.

Chief Vigilance officer A.K. Prabhakar reportedly had no objection to the construction of the wall measuring about 65 feet.

According to sources, the government had probably taken action against the municipal engineer on the basis of a report sent by the EO to the government about two months back. It is learnt that the EO had stated in his report to the government that the municipal engineer had written a letter to the deputy commissioner stating that a wall could not be constructed to separate the residences of the deputy commissioner and the EO even when the government was allegedly interested in getting that wall constructed.

Sources said the EO had also pointed out in his report to the government that the engineering wing had spent more than Rs 2 lakh on the renovation of the house occupied by the deputy commissioner. The report also pointed out that the office building of the civic body in Sector 68 here was not constructed with proper care as lot of leakage was going on in the building.



42 safai karamcharis found missing during raid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
In a surprise raid, 42 safai karamcharis (sweepers) of the municipal corporation were found absent from duty today.

According to councilor Resham Chand Jakhu, a four-member team of councilors, including Sunita Choudhry, Ram Maurya, Anil Kumar Dubey and inspector of the department Gurmail conducted a surprise check at seven places early this morning.

The team found three persons out of 10 absent at Vikas Nagar, 15 persons absent out of 35 at Mauli Complex, three absent out of 13 at Motor Market, two absent out of 10 at Shivalik Enclave, four absent out of 10 in Modern Housing Duplex, five absent out of 22 at Modern Housing Complex and 10 absent out of 25 at 
Indira Colony.

Jhaku said, "The attendance register was not properly maintained and was tampered with."



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