C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 die in Panchkula wall collapse
n Record 25 mm rainfall in town
n Trains delayed as track submerges
Tribune News Service

Vehicles stranded for hours on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road near the housing board chowk due to waterlogging on Saturday.
Vehicles stranded for hours on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road near the housing board chowk due to waterlogging on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 12
Heavy rain that lashed the city and its peripheral areas, particularly Panchkula, Zirakpur and Dera Bassi, this afternoon claimed two lives, injured two and brought life to a virtual standstill due to flooding.

A wall collapsed near the grain market in Sector 20 of Panchkula following the rain. The wife of a labourer, Shravan, and her child died when the wall fell on their hut. Two members of the family were injured and have been admitted to the PGI. The Panchkula administration has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the kin of the deceased.

Fortunately, a major tragedy was averted near the site of the wall collapse as around 20 families had left their jhuggis for safer places after the rain started.

Heavy traffic jams were reported on roads leading to Panchkula, which became inaccessible for a couple of hours due to the flooding of its streets by overflowing drains and causeways.

Rail traffic on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala main line was also held up as water submerged the track near Zirakpur. Several trains, including the evening Shatabdi, was delayed.

Low-lying areas in Zirakpur and Dera Bassi were inundated due to the swollen Ghaggar. Essential services like power and water supply were also disrupted.

The met office recorded a record rainfall of 25 mm in Panchkula, three times the downpour in the city.

The city with a drainage system to handle 1 inch of rainfall in an one hour was virtually inundated. The heavy rain at Kalka made things worse. It received 57 mm of rainfall. Vehicular traffic in Chandigarh came to a standstill on Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg.

Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Sector 36, said it took him over three hours to reach Fun Republic.

For over three hours, Panchkula-bound traffic moved at a snail’s pace. The DC, Rajinder Kataria, asked Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board to make food and shelter arrangements for the needy.

The road near Amartex was under 3 ft water, making the area inaccessible. Even the track near the level crossing on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road was submerged.

HUDA superintending engineer A.K. Aggarwal did not find the drainage system faulty. It rained heavily and water was cleared as soon as it stopped pouring, he said.

As per met officials, the city received 8 mm rainfall till 5.30 pm. They forecast dust storm or thunderstorm with rainfall for the next two days.

Strong winds that preceded the rain uprooted trees in various parts of the city.

Sources in the traffic police said a tree fell on the road from the PGI to Khudda Lahora and another in Sector 24.



Top cops, babus on peddler’s list
Call details of the accused reveal that he was in touch with bureaucrats. He was also supplying heroin to wards of some politicians and IAS officers
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The arrest of Harpal Singh, alias Raju, a drug peddler, by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Thursday could blow the lid off the use of drugs by big shots of the city.

While investigations are still in progress, reports leaking out from the NCB office in Sector 2 indicate that the long list of Harpal’s customers includes at least 60 police officials and bureaucrats, besides their kin.

Some city-based high-profile people are also on the list.

Harpal is an MPhil student of Panjabi University, Patiala.

NCB sources said he had given names of several policemen, including senior officials, who were reportedly “protecting” him. They were getting a cut from his earnings.

The call details of his phone revealed that he was constantly in touch with some bureaucrats of the UT police. If sources are to be believed, most of these cops stayed in southern sectors, where Harpal operated.

Sources claimed that Harpal was also supplying heroin to wards of some politicians and IAS officers. The NCB is verifying his claims.

Though NCB officials say action will be initiated against such people, the general impression is that nothing will be be done due to the high-profile connections.

Harpal was operating at several “levels” and would peddle drugs at late night parties and discotheques in and around the city.

He said he took to this lucrative business recently as there was a huge demand for high quality drugs, specially heroin, among the rich and powerful residents of the city. NCB officials said he had been peddling drugs for the past couple of years and was supplying smack for Rs 800 per gm and cocaine for Rs 5,000.

He was a complainant in a case that led to the suspension of Ved Prakash, in charge of the Sector 61 police post. The CBI had caught Ved Prakash while he was taking a bribe of Rs 15,000 from Harpal.

On Thursday, he was arrested with 3.5 kg of heroin which was smuggled from UP and Rajasthan.



Youth flaunt their drug status
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, July 12
The high and mighty of the city are again in the limelight following the recent seizure of nearly 3.5 kg heroin in the city. The high society culture and elite lifestyle is now conducive to drugs. It is perceived by the youth as a means of letting out frustrations, besides being a symbol of freedom, supremacy, style statement and adventure.

In homes where expenditure is rarely questioned and children get loads of freedom, taking to drugs or alcohol is not new. At a party at a discothèque in the city, youngsters admitted to such lifestyles. They proudly proclaimed how they used party drugs like ecstasy, LSD, acid, cocaine, speed and marijuana.

“One snort of crack cocaine is enough to forget about a tiff with dad,” says 19-year-old Prashant (name changed).

“My favourite is acid. Costing Rs 200 to Rs 300, one drop of acid on your tongue is enough to give you a high,” says 23-year-old Mitali (name changed).

They need a reason to justify their addiction. It could range from a disloyal girlfriend, a fight with friends, group politics, bad results, family spats and hopeless love cases. The drugs are not restricted to parties. It is no secret that these drugs are easily accessible to college students in and around the campus. Those who can afford it, visit party hubs like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for their dose of “heavenly fun”.



Green spaces may now be parking lots
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
After relaxing the floor area ratio (FAR) for developers of multiplexes in the industrial area here, the city administration plans to give away green spaces along roads for additional parking facility.

Faced with parking problems at Centra Mall that opened recently, the administration has started looking for more open spaces to create bay parking. The possibility of creating multilevel parking in vacant plots of the estate office is also being considered.

A senior UT official said the basement parking at Centra Mall was not being used fully. The IG, Chandigarh Police, has been asked to regulate parking around the multiplex.

“Since the mall has parking facility for less than 200 vehicles, additional vehicles have to be parked on the road. The building plans were passed without considering the increased demand for parking at multiplexes,” Jit Kumar Gupta, a former chairman of the Punjab and Chandigarh chapter of the Institute of Town Planners, said.

At the time of the introduction of the conversion policy in 2005, senior UT officials overruled objection of the urban planning department to the policy. Instead of taking a re-look at the policy, more benefits like increased FAR and conversion for smaller plots were allowed. Parking norms have not been revised. It is a criminal act and should be taken seriously, H.S. Mamik, an industrialist, said.

“Why should the owners of multiplexes not be made to make adequate parking arrangements by taking land on lease?” Anil Kumar, a shopkeeper, asked.

Sources in the administration said the fault lay with the norms of the national building code that did not cater to the increased parking requirements in multiplexes.

Officials admitted that the opening of the multiplex had triggered traffic chaos that could also affect emergency services, including fire.

Fun Republic, the first multiplex of the city, has a parking facility for 300 cars in a 90,000 sq ft complex. But Centra Mall, measuring 1,02397 sq ft, will be able to park only 170 cars. Another mall in the area will have a provision for parking only 100 vehicles even though the covered area will be over one lakh sq ft.

What needs to be done

n Revise parking norms
n Create common multilevel/surface parking
n Make area around multiplexes vehicle-free
n Strictly enforce parking in industrial area



Non-creative pros joining animation industry
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Non-creative professionals are now dominating the animation industry that earlier was considered to be a hub of creative professionals.

Interestingly, about 30 to 35 per cent of the non-creative professionals are joining animation industry every year.

Proficient professionals from engineering, medical, MBA, IT, BSc, BPO and architecture fields are joining this field as creative professionals. Even students are leaving mainstream courses like medical, non-medical and commerce to enter this sector.

Mandeep Singh, production coordinator of Mumbai-based Rhythm and Hues, stated that the industry now hardly comprised of real creative professionals. He said his own company had a team that consisted of environmental scientist, engineer, BSc and even IT professionals.

He stated that most of non-creative field professionals who were joining this industry had a passion and technical knowledge needed in this line.

Singh added that the industry was also welcoming those who were productive and could fulfil the demands of the market.

On the other side, Naveen Gupta, founder director, Frameboxx, commented that the demand of non-creative professional in animation was on the rise as only designers could not run this industry smoothly but trained engineers were also required.

Gupta, who is also a mechanical engineer by profession, said as the gaming industry was growing at a fast pace, demand of the engineers have recently picked up.

Mumbai-based independent animation movie director Uttam Pal Singh, who is also an architect, says professionals from all fields are now entering into this industry.

He said there was a dire need of counselling at higher education stage because most of the youngsters who want to join this industry do not get proper guidance and get stuck in the professions they do not like.


Stolen Passport Case
Crime branch on lookout for Delhi-based agent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The arrest of two more suspects in the stolen passport case has lent a new twist to the case. The crime branch, which had earlier claimed that the passports were stolen by Gurjinder Singh Lucky, is now looking for Verma, a Delhi-based travel agent.

Verma had arranged passports for Lucky, the prime suspect, and both are still absconding.

According to sources in the crime branch, Upjeet Singh, a resident of Mukerian, who was brought to the city on a production warrant yesterday, had arranged passports for the suspects.

Upjeet was brought from Hoshiarpur jail, where he was lodged on charges of fraud and human trafficking.

Upjeet was a link between Lucky and Verma.

Lucky had approached Upjeet, asking him to arrange fake passports to send people aboard illegally.

Upjeet introduced Lucky to another travel agent, Gurginder Pal Singh, who was arrested by the crime branch in Delhi today.

Gurminder used to charge Rs 55,000 for each passport.

As per the deal, Gurginder gave Lucky three passports, which were later used for illegal immigration.

The details of the people whose passports were made were sent through e-mail from Banga (Punjab) to Delhi.

During interrogation, Gurginder revealed that the fake passports were handed over to him by JD, who in turn got these from Verma.

Gurginder Pal paid Rs 25,000 for each passport to JD. Gurginder took six blank passports from JD, which were printed at a press in Delhi.

The matter came to light with the arrest of Sukhwant Singh, a resident of Kapurthala, and Raj Kumar, a resident of Patiala, earlier this month, who disclosed that apart from Vicky, another Jalandhar-based travel agent was involved, who played a major role in sending them to Italy.

The two were deported from Singapore last year for travelling on a fake documents.

The crime branch had even arrested Neetu, wife of Vicky, alias Gurjinder Singh Lucky, who is the prime suspect in the theft of passports from the RPO.

Sources added that Ashu, another travel agent of Delhi, had recently approached Verma and procured around 10 blank passports from him.

Investigation officer Charanjiit Singh Virk said the interrogation of the suspects had revealed that the passports, which had gone missing from the RPO, used by Gurginder Singh and Upjeet were same.



FR Building Violation
CBI questions estate office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
While investigating building violation case of Fun Republic, the Central Bureau of Investigation has broadened its perspective wherein its has questioned the estate office on the criteria followed by the technical committee constituted to inspect the buildings of cinemas in UT.

The investigating agency has also inquired from the estate office whether the licence to other multiplexes in the UT were granted after obtaining the report of the building branch with regard to completion building of cinemas.

In a questionnaire send to the deputy commissioner, the CBI has inquired if the technical committee had some authority.

The estate office has been asked to explain whether the licence to the other multiplex in the UT was granted after obtaining the report of building branch with regard to completion of building of cinemas.

Replying to the query, the estate office stated that it had come on record that licence to Dhillon Theatre was renewed under the provision of the Punjab Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1952 relying on the reports of the executive engineer.

The estate office stated that the plan filed of the Dhillon theatre was already with the CBI so no information about it could be given. However, occupation certificate had been issued to the other two malls — DLF and Centra Mall.

The estate office confirmed that grant of licence to run cinema halls under the provision of the Punjab Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1952 came under the purview of the deputy commissioner’s office, which is maintaining the relevant record pertaining to grant of licences to run cinema halls in the city.



Tribune Impact
GMCH-32 told to procure drugs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
After Chandigarh Tribune reported the shortage of essential medicines, cotton and gauze at the emergency of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, the UT health secretary has directed the director-principal to procure drugs and cotton with immediate effect.

The lifesaving antibiotics, painkillers and cotton have not been available at the hospital for the past several months.

According to sources, the health secretary asked the current status of drugs and cotton to the GMCH-32 administration with news clip of Chandigarh Tribune. Immediately, the hospital administration made the list of shortage of essential medicine and cotton.

The list mentioned the name of drug and their status. It showed the status of cotton as ‘Nill’.

Also, paracetamol, buscopam and a few lifesaving antibiotics were also reported ‘Nill’. Senior doctor at GMCH-32 said they also reported the problem of issuing tender for procurement. Also, late bill payment was cited as one of the reasons for the non-availability of drugs.

UT health secretary Roshan Sunkaria said: “I have already directed the director-principal to procure drugs and other material like cotton.

He said delayed procedure of completing formalities was the reason behind non-availability of drugs and cotton for the past few months.”

All essential medicines, including cotton, will be available at hospital very soon. Also, he directed to look into the matter of delayed payment by suppliers.



Stress on media in proactive role
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Various speakers at a seminar on “Public perception of the Media” organised by the Chandigarh Press Club here today stressed the need for a proactive and pro-people role from journalists of all hues. It was unanimously felt that media must place the issues related to common man on priority.

The event was organised as part of the celebrations of the 28th Founder’s Day, which falls on July 15.

Participants, while highlighting the role of media in providing valuable information, appreciated the effort at introspection initiated by the club.

While concerns were expressed over commercialisation of media and trivialisation of news content, participants argued that the advent of market economy, cutthroat competition and callous approach by managements of a few media houses had contributed towards the erosion of journalistic ethics, which was the root of various ills that had tarnished the image and credibility of the profession.

The question whether the Press was “really and completely” free gains more currency with the advent of the neo-media and the concept of “citizen’s journalism”.

Such trends in the era of the Internet, was bound to break the monopoly of the traditional media. When more information would be available with people, media professionals would be required to exercise restraint and discontinue the trend of “trial by the media” that is practiced in some sections.

The need was felt to break stereotypes, highlight the abdication of responsibility by people’s representatives and bureaucracy as well as bring to the fore the sufferings of people.

Among those who participated were Nirmal Dutt, Dr Manjit Singh, Prof D.N. Johar, Arshad Khan, Maj Gen Rajendera Nath (retd), Mohinder Singh Virk, Roop Singh, Surinder Gill, Dr Pam Rajput, Anita Shabdeesh, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Angrej Singh, Prof Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, Vijay Vivek, Dr Yashpal, Dr Raghbir Sirjana, Dr Manmohan Kaur, Harkrishan Mehta, Prof Navjit Johal, Gurnam Singh Sidhu, Madhav Kaushal, Kanha Singh, Devi Dayal, Hardeep Kaur Balluana and Prof F.C. Badhwar.



Dug-up Routes
MC apathetic to road users
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Incomplete work and dug-up roads have become a source of nuisance for road users across the city. Thanks to the slack attitude of the authorities concerned, the sand and debris, spilled over the roads, make the motorists vulnerable.

Sources in the municipal corporation say the civic authorities waste no time in proceeding against residents if they find debris lying outside their homes, but when it comes to their own department, they conveniently ignore the rules.

A big trench, over 10-feet deep, is lying dug up for months near the road dividing Sectors 45 and 46, adjacent to the boundary wall of Dev Samaj College in Sector 45. Shopkeepers of Burail told The Tribune that the trench was dug up for months and was yet to be completed. To make matters worse, the authorities have not bothered to cover up the area or to install illuminating signboards around it to warn motorists.

Similar is the condition of the road dividing Sectors 27 and 30. It is being widened for the past over five months. The internal roads in Sectors 34, 38, 44, the road leading from Palsora to Mohali and the one from Sector 48 to Mohali share a similar fate. Besides, sand, mud and debris have made the roads in Sectors 31, 32 and 33, Sector 18 near Verka booth and in Sector 10 behind the market a bane for motorists, especially two-wheeler riders.

The debris spill over the roads due to rain and after drying up the sand makes a slippery surface for vehicles.

The road-sweeping machines clean the roads along the road dividers and generally leave out the areas along the road berms, where the sand is accumulated and spilled over due to rain. The practice also leads to congestion on the roads, as the motorists tend to avoid the stretch covered under sand.

City mayor Pardeep Chhabra admitted that the Malba Act was not being followed by the administration. He said he had told the authorities about the problem before the monsoon season, but his message was ignored. He added that the problem was more on the roads under the administration and that he had taken up the issue at the recently held co-ordination committee meeting.



Sec-44 roads not recarpeted for years
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The internal roads of Sector 44 have become a virtual death trap for motorists, especially at night. Congress grass and open areas being used for dumping debris has aggravated the problem.

Residents of the area say that the roads have not been repaired or recarpeted for several years.

The roads are full of potholes, making it particularly tough for two-wheeler riders. In the absence of streetlights, the internal roads are a picture of neglect.

An MC official said shortage of funds was coming in the way of development. Though the outer roads had been re-carpeted a couple of times, internal roads were not taken up.

According to sources, last year a resident went to the court following encroachment in the area. The court had ordered a stay, which delayed the recarpeting of roads.

Harjinder Kaur, councillor said, the process of widening the roads was going on and the roads would be recarpeted soon.



Insurance co told to pay Rs 29 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed National Insurance Company to pay claim of Rs 29 lakh along with interest of 12 per cent per annum to a resident of Delhi for repudiating claim of diesel generator (DG) set. The commission has also asked the insurance company to pay Rs 20,000 as costs of litigation.

The petitioner, Gobind Gupta, managing director (MD) of GD Mishardhatu Ltd, had purchased a generator set in May, 2000 for Rs 5 lakh.

The engine of the generator was replaced by the manufacturer sometime later after it broke down. The cost of replacing the engine came out to be Rs 40 lakh.

Thereafter, Gupta claimed insurance from the company. The surveyor of the insurance company came to assess the loss in January, 2005. The petitioner asserted that the surveyor demanded documents from the company that were supplied to him. The insurance company stated that the claim did not fall under the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, thus the claim was repudiated. The company stated that the petitioner had not got the set repaired and as such it was not entitled to any amount on account of reimbursement.



MC keen to outsource upkeep of parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Buoyed by the cost-cutting factors and better upkeep, the municipal corporation is keen to outsource the maintenance of parks and green belts in the city.

A survey of the parks in southern sectors reveals that the parks and green belts in the area have improved a lot, though at some places wrappers of eatables were seen scattered around and dustbins were overflowing in Sector 46. The residents say earlier grass was not cut for months and there were overgrown weeds in these parks as no one from the department concerned bothered to visit the parks for months. Now the situation has changed as gardeners are seen working regularly.

The corporation is in the tendering process of giving parks in Sector 15, the green belt in Sectors 18, 19, 21 and 37, Hibiscus Garden in Sector 36, Moonlit Park in Sector 22 to private contractors.

The horticulture department of the MC has given nine green belts and parks in various parts of the city to private contractors for maintenance. The corporation has given the green belt in Sector 7-C, Sector 20, and Sector 46 to private contactors apart from Sector 46 Garden of Shrubs, the park in Sector 47-C and D, two parks in Sector 32, Sector 36 Leisure Valley and Sector 11 Ixora and Poinsettia Garden.

A visit to the Sector 47 green belt reveals overgrown grass, though the work of cutting it has been started recently. Ram Lal Sharma, a resident of the sector and a regular visitor to the green belt, when asked about the upkeep of the park, said, “It’s too early to comment on the upkeep, as the work has been started lately only. The cutting of the grass is being done regularly and dustbins are clear, but it remains to be seen how long the things will go on like that”.

Sources in the horticulture wing of the corporation said as per the terms of the contract, the contractor has to ensure proper nourishment of plants and vegetation in the parks and green belts. The grass has to be cut on an average of 20 times a year and one quintal of manure per acre has to be used, besides regular weeding and hoeing the area.

“At a cursory look one cannot judge the actual condition of the parks as one cannot detect whether the contractor uses adequate amount of manure and fertilisers for the plants.

This is one area where they can compromise on nourishment to make extra bucks,” quipped an officer in the corporation.

He further added that no contactor could afford to meet the norms of nourishments and upkeep under the present stringent competition.

Arun Kumar Kansal, Xen, horticulture department, maintains that privatisation has not only helped in improving the maintenance of parks, but also reduced the cost of maintenance by 50 per cent. The department is facing an acute shortage of staff and it is difficult to perform the task.



BSF launches plantation drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
A plantation drive was launched by the Border Security Force on its Lakhnaur campus here today.

Additional Director General (West) G.S. Gill along with his wife Nikka Gill led BSF officers, their families, children and jawans in planting saplings.

This year, the BSF will plant 500 saplings on the campus. Last year, it had planted around 1,000 saplings on the campus.

Another 200 trees will be planted at its new HQ complex in Industrial Area Phase-II, Chandigarh, near the Air Force Station, where the BSF has acquired a piece of three acres of land.

During this year, the BSF has undertaken to plant 85,000 saplings around its border observation posts and other establishments along the 2,555 km-long western frontier.

While guarding the borders, the BSF is also contributing towards converting border areas into pockets of greenery by carrying out massive plantation drives of different variety of trees.

Each year, the BSF sets a target of plantation in coordination with the local forest department nurseries.

It is ensured by troops stationed in remote areas that trees planted by them were carefully looked after for a high rate of survivability.



1,000 saplings planted in park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The horticulture wing of the municipal corporation yesterday planted around 1,000 saplings of various varieties in a newly developed park in Phase I, Ram Darbar, to celebrate vanamahotsava, here on Thursday. MC commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria, planted the saplings at a function attended by former MP Satya Pal Jain, BJP local unit president Kamla Sharma, area councillor Ram Lal and officials of the horticulture department, including XEN Arun Kumar Kansal.



Seminar on emergency response
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The UT police today organised a seminar on emergency response and care awareness campaign for the senior citizens of the city.

SSP S.S. Srivastava, who was the chief guest, highlighted the importance of traffic management. During the seminar, senior citizens were educated on steps to be taken in case of road accidents. The use of first aid was also highlighted.

Officials of the UT police discussed ways to curb increasing road accidents. Information was also given on usage of emergency calls like calling the police control room (PCR), fire brigade and medical services.



Two Rohtak residents duped
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
Two Rohtak residents were allegedly duped of Rs 1,40,000 when they reached here to purchase a car on Thursday. The victims Sumit and Amit were rescued by the police from a locked room in Ramgarh where they were dumped by the accused after giving them some sedative.

According to the information, the victims had made an advance payment of Rs 50,000 to three persons belonging to Jhajjar against the purchase of a Swift car. On Thursday, Sumit and Amit reached here to make the final payment of Rs 1,30,000 to the accused Praveen Lala and Mota. The accused took them to a house at Ramgarh where they were given sedatives in the eatables after which they fell unconscious.

Today they found themselves locked in the room and Rs 1,40,000, which they brought with them, were missing. Two gold rings and two mobile phones were also missing from their pockets.



N-deal in interest of Punjab: Ravi Inder
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 12
Akali Dal (1920) supports Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of nuclear deal and wanted the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also to do the same instead of getting involved in a narrow political game.

This was stated by Ravi Inder Singh, president of the Akali Dal (1920), and former speaker of the Punjab Assembly, at a press conference here today. He said the energy issue was a much bigger than the Prime Minister as it affected every citizen of India. The SAD should think about the welfare of Punjab and have the guts to vote in favour of the nuclear deal. He said his party was against the Congress, but in favour of Dr Manmohan Singh.

The former speaker said the SAD had planned to take a decision on the nuclear deal by July 15. In case the SAD decided to vote against the PM, his party would organise protests. Meetings in this regard would be held in Amritsar on July 16, in Moga on July 17, in Sangrur on July 18 and in Mohali or Chandigarh on July 20. He said it was strange that the SAD claimed that it did not have knowledge about the nuclear deal. The SAD should watch the interests of Punjabis and the Sikhs which were in a minority and if this could not be done the name of the party should be changed to “Badal Dal” or “Parivar Dal”, he added.

He further said that both Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal had been claiming to make Mohali a world class city, but the residents of the town were facing six hours of power cut each day. He said Punjab did not have natural resources like coal, gas and oil to generate power. The fourth alternative was nuclear power, which would have to be obtained from other countries and Dr Manmohan Singh made an effort in that direction. There were 43 countries in the nuclear supply group. “We are a power-starved nation and we have no option,” he added.

Among others who accompanied Ravi Inder Singh at the press conference were Inderjit Singh Zira, former minister, and Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, former president of the Akal Takht.



Mohali industries association gets new president
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 12
B.S. Anand, director, Jupiter Aqua Lines Ltd. has been chosen as the president of the Mohali Industries Association. The office bearers of the Association were finalised during its annual general meeting held yesterday under the chairmanship of T.L. Easwar, president, MIA.

The meeting was attended by a large number of members. The 36th annual report of MIA, which included all the activities of the Association during the year, was read out. The members appreciated the remarkable work done overwhelmingly by the present executive committee and by all the expert committees during the year.

Anurag Aggarwal, proprietor, P.K. Industries, would be the senior vice-president while R.P. Singh would be the vice-president. K.S. Mahal, CEO, Gifval Industries, would be the general secretary and R.S. Nibber, managing director, Pritika Industries (P) Ltd. would be the joint secretary. P.J. Singh, director, Tynor Orthotics Ltd. would be the finance secretary.

The executive members include Gurkirpal Singh, Yogesh Sagar and Lalit Kumar Bansal.



Music needs innovation to survive: Jagjit Singh
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh July 12
“Any musical art form, though rooted in tradition, can survive only through innovations and by enriching it from other compatible sources,” opines Jagjit Singh, epoch-making ghazal maestro.

With his unrivalled contributions in other genres like films, folk and devotional music, Jagjit Singh has been reigning supreme on the Indian music firmament for four decades.

Jagjit Singh was at Ludhiana on the invitation of Ashok Bhalla, a noted philanthropist. He shared his views on his forthcoming musical ventures. His prestigious musical project of renditions of the Gurbani includes bringing out a set of albums to mark the 300th year of the Parkash Utsav of the Guru Granth Sahib. The project under the aegis of Takht Hazoor Sahib is ready for release in September.

Singh ensures that serenity and spiritual intent of the divine utterances of the Sikh Gurus, sages and seers is reflected in all sanctity. “In their hymns they send the thrill of their soul across centuries,” he says.

Riding on the glory of ‘Hey Ram’, the maestro is likely to bring out an album on Gayatri Mantra and Mahamtritunjaya. After a series of national award winning Punjabi films, Jagjit Singh has taken up featuring prominent Punjabi poets with two of their best poems for his new project. The album is likely to be out in November.

On bequeathing of the legacy he reiterates that “legends” who took their guru’s advise as a devout order and learnt to preach and propagate the music further are no where to be seen now. Unfortunately, the ethics and values of teacher-student tradition are fast changing.



Slump forces retailers to put up sales
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Reeling under a weak consumer demand as the inflation soars to 11.89 per cent, retailers in the city are now trying to woo customers by offering discounts. The “end of season sale” has started at least a month in advance this year.

Branded clothes, shoes, kidswear and toys, artifacts and electronics, everything is on sale. With customers giving a thumbs-down to shopping in the current scenario where prices are high, retailers are trying all possible tactics to bring customers back to stores.

City markets greet customers with hoardings and billboards displaying sales, albeit consumers are missing.

Even on the weekend, the usual rush of customers in shopping areas is missing. Shopkeepers say impulsive buying that had been a routine in the past is no longer there.

Ranjit, a salesman at Woodland store in Sector 17, says there is a 30 per cent fall in customer visit.

Agrees Parveen Bansal of Vishal Sarees, Sector 17: “Most franchisees of branded goods have started sales because of a slump in the market and stand-alone shops have been forced to follow suit.”

From 20 to 60 per cent, retailers are offering huge discounts to sell their stocks. With inflation levels expected to go higher, these retailers are now trying to stretch the rupee to fit the budget by introducing schemes like buy two get one free, scratch and win vouchers and shopping for the dame for free for the same amount as has been spent by her male counterpart.

Randhir Singh, an officer in a nationalised bank, says with the rising bill on food and fuel, he has restricted his weekly trip to the market, so as to avoid impulsive buying.

“In these circumstances one has to tread cautiously with one’s family budget. Any aberration can wreak havoc with your budget and no one wants to dig into their reserves for normal expenses,” he adds.



Seminar on fuel conservation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Keeping in view the present scenario of skyrocketing fuel prices and the need to conserve depleting energy recourses, IAF’s 12 Wing organised a one-day seminar on fuel conservation here today. The seminar was conducted by the Petroleum Conservation and Research Association (PCRA).

PCRA joint director Amit Sharma gave tips to participants on fuel saving for petrol, diesel and LPG vehicles.

The objective of the seminar was to spread awareness among drivers and other vehicle users.



Make city bicycle-friendly

Whilst the Chandigarh administration is busy providing new facilities to motorists, it should not forget those who use environment-friendly means like bicycles for commuting.

A quick look around the city reveals that there is lack of proper bicycle facilities, including convenient parking spaces.

The administration should realise that promoting cycling is a cheap and effective solution to the problem of traffic congestion in the city. The administration should not marginalise those who choose this alternative means of transport.

Rajesh Krishan, 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



BBA not a ticket to MBA
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Is Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) a ticket to Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)? A rare probability, if the experts are to be believed.

Reason: This three-year degree course teaches the candidates about English and business communicative skills, basic accounting, human resources management, financial and marketing management, sales and distribution etc, but all these basic business skills seldom help the candidates to go for extension in business studies.

The Tribune talked to educationists who pointed out various factors which deterred the BBA students to go ahead in the business stream. Head of the department of BBA of Government College-11 Mukesh Sharma said: "The reason is that 90 per cent students having engineering background apply for the entrance test for MBA. It is natural that these students possess higher IQ and score more percentage than an ordinary BBA student. So, BBA students fall flat at the entry level what to talk of competing at the master’s level.

K.S. Saluja, principal of Government College-46, echoed similar views. "BBA is not a prelude to MBA. Professionally qualified students appear in MBA entrance after cracking the MAT or CAT exam with higher percentile. In comparison to them, the BBA students find hard to take off," he said.

The officials of IDBI, Wipro and Reliance Life Insurance opined that BBA graduates are offered lower-level profiles in sales or marketing, but for lucrative assignments like human resource (HR), MBA students were the only choice.

It is pertinent to mention that this self-financing course was started six years back and it was surrendered by most of the colleges because of having a very lukewarm response. But it gained momentum with the recent IT boom in the region.

At present, BBA is being taught at both government colleges in Sector 11, Government College of Commerce-42 and almost at all privately aided colleges. With a whopping average cut-off of 82 to 89 per cent, all seats were filled in the first two days. The fee for this course ranges from Rs 18,760 to 19,500 per annum.

Lack of qualified faculty for BBA is another factor that deters students to go ahead in the stream. Since the course has commerce base, an MCom or MBA-qualified teacher is required to teach the BBA students. “Barring government institutes or a few private colleges, no institute has UGC NET qualified staff. The reason is that since this course is a self-financing course, the lecturers’ salaries would have to be generated through students' funds. Consequently, the teachers' share comes out at around Rs 7,000 to 8,000. Do you think any MBA qualified person would come to teach students for this meagre amount?” questioned Prof Avanindra Chopra of DAV College-10.

Another school of thought is that BBA is more practical business study which is essential for doing MBA which is more of a theoretical study. "Agreed that the competition is tough for BBA graduates, but these students are practically better equipped in business studies. The candidates with engineering background may have specialisation, but to be a successful entrepreneur, practical aspects of business taught in BBA are must," said A.C. Vaid, principal, SD College-32.



Humanities seats in model schools filled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The 10th day of Class-XI admissions saw a thin crowd as the day was scheduled for compartment candidates having 47 per cent and above marks as well as the compartment candidates under the sports category. The counselling is underway at GMSSS-10.

A total of 115 students were admitted today out of which most students opted for humanities at GSSSs-37 and 15. Seats in most vocational courses and humanities in all model schools have been filled.

The students just had the option to take up humanities in non-model schools or choose from a few vocational courses. Seats in courses like travel, bakery and confectionery at GMSSS-10 have been filled.



Students run to highlight population pangs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Maharishi Dayanand Public School, Daria, in collaboration with the department of environment, Chandigarh, organised a run to mark World Population Day.

Students of various classes participated in the run. Among the boys, Ravi Ranjan, Rakesh Kumar and Krishna got the first, second and third positions, respectively, while Jaswinder Kaur, Mandeep and Mona stood first, second and third, respectively, among the girls. In charge of Maharishi Dayanand Eco-Club Prabha Bhainsora said the main aim of organising the run was to make the students aware of the increasing population of the world.

Meanwhile, the day was also observed on the premises of Sharda Sarvhitkari Senior Secondary School, Sector 40-D, Chandigarh. To enlighten the new generation about the grave consequences of the ever-rising population, an interactive session was held.



From Schools and Colleges
Seminar on enterprise planning held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 12
A seminar on enterprise resources planning was conducted by ‘Headstart’ at Indo Global College of Engineering, SAS Nagar. The key spokesman on the subject was Vivek Kumar, business manager, Headstart, Chandigarh. The seminar was attended by large number of faculty members and students of computer science, electronics, mechanical and civil engineering departments.

Vivek, during his presentation, deliberated on the concept of enterprise resources planning, which is becoming a very useful tool in upcoming corporate business/industry to optimise their customer base by judicious allotment of effort and resources so as to enhance productivity/output in the desired segments of business.

COMPETITION: Dance competition for the tiny tots of Doon International School was organised yesterday in which the kids enthusiastically participated. With their stunning feat of dance they enthralled the teachers and other children.

PLACEMENT: Infosys technologies limited conducted a joint campus placement drive at Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology College, here, on Wednesday. SSIET had invited students from IET, Bhaddal College, to their campus to participate in this joint campus exercise and the students of both the colleges did equally well.

Prof Avtar Singh, chairman of the institutions, was full of praise for the Infosys team, and thanked them for their warmth and support given to the students of both the colleges.

VAN MAHOTSAV WEEK: Students of Indo Global College of Education celebrated ‘Van Mahotsav Week’ in the college. Dr Sarita Saini, principal, acquainted the students with the major issues of environmental concerns. The students presented speeches on importance of trees. A poster making and slogan writing competition on the theme environment was organised.

Harpreet Kaur, Varinder Sond and Kamaljeet Kaur bagged the top three positions in poster making competition.

Davinder Singh, Parwinder Singh and Navjot Kaur clinched top honours through their innovative and novel slogans in slogan writing competition. To conclude the week the students were taken to one-day educational trip to Kasauli Hills to have first hand experiences in the lap of nature.

MBA SEATS: In the recent inspection by AICTE experts consisting three teams, having four members each, Swami Vivekananda Institutes have been accorded the nod for 240 new seats in MBA. All seats are available from the current session. The nod has been given by experts after interacting with the faculty, subject experts and infrastructure of the institutes. 



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