C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City to be ‘plastic-free’ from Gandhi Jayanti
Complete ban on polythene bags
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

What is banned

All polythene bags irrespective of the thickness will be banned in the city.

The plastic ban is touted as another environment-friendly decision of the administration.

However, the consumers will have to pay more for the paper bags as they will cost about five times more than the plastic bags.

Chandigarh, July 30
In an environment-friendly decision, which is sure to raise the hackles of the plastic bag manufacturers, the Chandigarh administration today decided to make the city "plastic-free" from Gandhi Jayanti — October 2.

However, unlike other places in India, including parts of Himachal Pradesh, the administration wants a complete ban with polybags of all thickness being banned.

"No person, including shopkeeper, vendor, wholeseller, retailer, trader, hawker or rehriwala, will be allowed the use of polythene/plastic carry bags for supply of goods in them," a notification said here.

The notification makes it clear that no person will manufacture, store, import, sell or transport polythene/plastic carry bags in UT.

Earlier, the administration had invited objections from persons likely to be affected from the aforesaid decision by publishing a draft notification in February 2008.

Objections and suggestions received within 60 days were considered by the administration. Sources said today's decision seemed to be well-timed to conform to the decision of the union health ministry to launch a no-smoking ban all over the country from October 2.

In fact, moving cautiously, the administration seemed to have waited for Chandigarh Plastic Manufacturers and Traders Association to resort to legal action first.

The association fell into the trap and moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court which declined a stay while fixing the next date of hearing for October 22.

Meanwhile, the complaints relating to the use, storage, import, selling, transportation and disposal of the polythene/plastic carry bags in UT will be entertained under Section 19 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.

The implementating officers include DC, director environment, SDMs, joint commissioner I and II, Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), district food and supply officer, inspectors of the food and supply department, medical officer health of the MCC, sanitary inspectors and food inspectors of the health department. The DC will act as the coordinator to implement the above orders.

Member secretary, Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee, will act as the coordinator to implement the ban on the manufacturing of polythene/plastic carry bags in the UT.

Terming the decision as "anti-people", senior vice-president of the association Anand Syal alleged that the cost of paper bags would be passed on to consumers.



Plastic ban illegal, say traders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The plastic ban by the administration has come in for criticism from the business community. Calling the action as "undemocratic and ill-conceived" the business community declared that they would challenge the irresponsible declaration at all forums, including Parliament.

"The administrator cannot assume the role of Parliament and start making laws which only the Parliament is competent to make. Even Parliament makes such laws after considering all scientific facts and statistics," said advocate APS Shergill.

"The administration invited the objections but has not given personal hearing to any person and has also not replied to the objections raised by the public in this regard," complained Naresh, a businessman.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had already issued notice to the administration for October 22 on a petition challenging the intention of the administration to ban all kind of polythene/plastic bags.

The petition challenged the basis on which the notification was issued by the administration. The petition had pointed out that plastic bags posed no problem to the environment and that there were no scientific facts to support the contention.

The problems due to plastic bags are due to non-segregation of plastic from non-plastic material, poor arrangements for disposal and lack of management by the Municipal Corporation to handle garbage.

The writ in the court also mentioned that the intention of the administration to ban plastic was beyond the powers of the administrator and also unlawful.



Speaking Out
A commendable step
The administration’s move to ban polythene bags from October has got a thumbs up from residents. In a talk with Sandeep, a cross-section of residents have revealed that they are happy with this move.

It is good for environment as plastic bags can neither be recycled nor degraded. This move can only be successful if the public is made aware about the benefits of not using polythene bags.
— Jasdeepak Singh
It needs to be banned to save the earth. But it is going to be a problem for housewives while buying vegetables and other home articles. I think the limited use of polythene bags should be allowed.
— Rani Balbir Kaur
Though the plastic ban was a commendable step, yet the complete bans seems to be arbitrary. Some relaxations may be given.
— Gursharan Batra
I must say it is a great thing to be concerned about the environment. People should be educated about this noble cause. It is surely going to help our environment.
— Archana Shastri



PNB officials in dock for giving loan in hurry
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Senior officials of the Punjab National Bank are in the dock for sanctioning a construction loan of Rs 2.2 crore, even though no construction was done with the loan amount.

Sources informed The Tribune that the Sector 16 branch of the bank had granted a construction loan of Rs 2.2 crore to Ashish Kapoor, who had claimed to have built an institute, A.V. Kings Oak Institute of Hotel Management, on a six acre-piece of land in Chatt village, in Mohali.

The loan was issued in the name of the directors of the institute, Ashish Kapoor and his mother Seema Kapoor.

Ashish had applied for the loan on March 26 last year on grounds of setting up a new hotel management institute along with the evaluation report of the building.

The proposal to the bank stated that the institute would have the capacity to accommodate 300 students in the hostel.

Subsequently the loan was sanctioned by the bank in no time on March 29, 2007. Despite taking all the three withdrawals against the loan, no construction was done on the land.

The matter came to light when the director of the management institute issued an advertisement for selling the land, mortgaged with the bank as collateral security.

With the role of the bank officers under the scanner for sanctioning the loan without verifying the antecedents of the loanee, the bank instituted an internal vigilance inquiry against three officials - chief manager, senior manager and deputy manager of the bank.

All three were subsequently transferred from the Sector 16 branch, and the case was handed over to the CBI.

According to the policy of the bank, the officials have to check the progress of construction before releasing all instalments of the loan.

In this case, the entire loan amount was released without verifying the progress on the construction of the building.

Interestingly, at the time of seeking the loan, the promoters had said that the institute would be world- class and courses would be affiliated to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Efforts to contact the accused bank officials proved futile. However, it is learnt that Ashish has now repaid a sum of Rs 8 lakh out of the total loan amount.

Talking to The Tribune, Ashish said, “The institute was a franchisee that has been sold off to someone else. I have paid the loan amount two months back and am no longer concerned with the institute. You can write whatever you want, you will get a reply from my side soon,” he said.



Scolded by mom, engg student hangs herself
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Priyanka Aggarwal, an 18-year-old girl, allegedly hanged herself to death at her Sector 20 residence, here, this morning.

Though no suicide note was recovered, the police, quoting family, said Priyanka’s mother scolded her for surfing Internet late in the night.

According to the police, the death came to light at around 7 am following which Priyanka’s mother informed her relatives.

Her brother Girdhari Lal came from Bathinda in the afternoon and the matter was reported to the police. Priyanka was a student of Sukhmani Engineering College,
Dera Bassi.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station Sukhdev Singh Bhullar said the family did not suspect any foul play behind the death.



Teacher suspended for hitting pregnant colleague
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Hitting a pregnant colleague cost a teacher dearly. In an outrageous incident, which occurred at Government Model High School, Kaimbwala, this morning, Yogesh, a JBT teacher, was involved in a tiff with his female colleague Monica, an NTT teacher, over a petty issue.

The matter became so bad that Yogesh hit her hard in the stomach. Confirming the incident, DPI (S) S.K. Setia said Monica was pregnant and the matter was serious. “Yogesh has been suspended as he was found to be culpable of hitting a woman colleague who was pregnant also,” he clarified.

DEO (S) Khushinder Sharma, who inquired into the matter from the Chandigarh education department’s side, after hearing both the parties, got written complaints from them and forwarded them to the DPI (S).

Taking a serious note of the scuffle, the DPI (S) immediately put Yogesh under suspension and ordered a thorough inquiry into the incident.

Narrating the incident, schoolteachers said Yogesh had asked Monica to show an official register to the school head, which Monica did not like. This led to a verbal dual between the two, which later took an ugly turn.

Both Monica and Yogesh gave written complaint to Sector 3 police station but later the matter was resolved amicably. “We received complaints from both the sides but later, they worked out a mutual compromise and no criminal proceedings could be made out on the complaints.”

It is pertinent to mention that both the teachers were transferred to the school on punishment grounds for their involvement in nasty incidents.

Yogesh was reportedly involved in a group scuffle at the same school earlier for passing malicious remarks to a female teacher but had managed to escape.

Following the incident, the then DPI (S) Ashwani Kumar had transferred five other teachers involved in the scuffle to different schools.

Higher officials of the education department confirmed that Monica was transferred to this school on “punishment grounds” for being involved in incidents of corporal punishment. None of the two could be contacted despite repeated attempts.


Draw of lots draws crowds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The preliminary draw for various types of flats in the Chandigarh Housing Board's Sector 63 housing flat scheme was held here today.

Braving heavy downpour, applicants turned up in large numbers at Government Medical College and Hospital-32 auditorium to witness the draw for three-bedroom, two-bedroom, one-bedroom and one-room (EWS) flats, in which applicants equal to double the number of dwelling units available in each category were shortlisted in the presence of senior officers of the board, including the chief executive officer (CEO), additional CEO and secretary.

Heavy security, strict frisking and peaceful conduct were the highlights of the draw. Only applicants with valid registration slips were allowed into the auditorium. Bags were not allowed in.

The final draw will be held after thorough scrutiny of the eligibility of shortlisted applicants. The list of shortlisted applicants in each category will be put up on the website of the board (www.chb.co.in) by late tonight and will also be pasted on the notice board of the board in Sector 9 tomorrow.

In today's preliminary draw, 3,420 slips were taken out for 1,804 flats in all the four categories for which there were 21,587 applicants.

As many as 84 flats in the three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom category had already been allotted under the assured allotment scheme in which the applicants had bid with prices higher than the reserve price of the flats.

Another 94 flats in all the four categories come under the discretionary quota of the UT Administrator.

A spokesman of the Housing Board briefed that the maximum number of 8,948 applicants under consideration today were for two-bedroom flats in which 1,416 were short-listed for 756 dwelling units.

The second highest number of applicants 6,333 was for three-bedroom flats. In this category, 516 applicants were short-listed for 275 flats.

For the one-bedroom flats, out of 3,932 applicants, 910 were shortlisted for 484 dwelling units and for EWS category, 578 applicants out of 2,374 were shortlisted for 289 flats.

The category ‘A’ three-bedroom flat with an area 1,424 sq ft will cost approximately Rs 39.57 lakh if the payment is made upfront.

The category ‘B’ two-bedroom flats with an area of 1,075 sq ft will cost Rs 29.14 lakh. Both categories will have a provision of one car parking space in the basement.

A category ‘C’ one-bedroom flat with an area of 684 sq ft and a provision of one scooter parking space in the basement will cost Rs 17.15 lakh.

The category ‘D’ one-room flat for the economically weaker sections with an area of 340 sq feet will cost Rs 5.66 lakh.

For allottees opting for instalments, the board will charge an interest of 12 per cent per annum.



Custodial Death
Again, CCTV cameras prove futile
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The mysterious death of 35-year-old Inderjit Singh in Industrial Area police station on Monday has not only exposed the negligence of the policemen on duty but also the worthlessness of the CCTV cameras installed there.

The fact that the cameras have failed to record the happenings in Inderjit’s death, which incidentally occurred not in any closed room, but in the reception area close to the entrance of the police station, reveals that the purpose behind the installation of such sophisticated devices stands defeated, feel experts.

“The cameras should have been placed in such a manner that all movement in at least the areas frequented by the public are recorded,” said a senior Delhi-based security consultant.

He felt that there was no use of such half-hearted measures as presence of “dark areas” defeats the purpose of surveillance.

In the police station, the camera is installed in the far-end corner ceiling behind the duty officer’s (munshi) seat.

The areas that are apparently visible include the entrance gate, the chairs/standing area around the duty officer’s work desk.

The door of the women desk, where Inderjit allegedly died, is adjacent to the entrance gate and diagonally opposite the camera.

The area that is visible in the CCTV is the entrance door of the women desk. Not only in this case, but in earlier incidents, CCTV could not provide vital evidences.

Last year on May 26, then SHO of the Manimajra police station Bishi Ram was allegedly caught taking bribe by the CBI.

The incident was not captured by cameras installed in the SHO’s room, as the incident took place in the retiring room, said CBI officials.

Similar, this had happened during the sensational theft of currency at the Sector 17 Reserve Bank of India, as the cameras were not installed in the strong room.

IG SK Jain admitted that it was not possible to cover the entire area of the police station. Five cameras are installed to capture the common areas, including entrance, duty officer’s room, lock-up and the SHO’s room.

As the industrial area police station has old building plan, it was not possible to bring the entire area under the cameras.



Dimpy Murder Case
Not easy to plug missing links, says cop
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Chandigarh police is taking the disclosures of Jaswinder Singh Bhullar, alias Rocky, arrested in connection with the Prabhjinder Singh Dimpy murder case, with a pinch of salt.

Police sources said, “Investigating officials are of the view that Rocky being a “seasoned” criminal will try to mislead the police.

The probe teams had been trying to put together the links and sequences of events and were corroborating them with Rocky’s statement.

A senior officer admitted that as the murder was planned and executed by experienced shooters, it was not easy to plug the missing links.

Till now the police had been relaying on the single evidence, of the recovery of weapon used in the crime.

The officials were not sure whether he had named the real shooters, or was just dodging the investigating officials.

The police said Rocky disclosed that Dimpy used to come to Chandigarh to enjoy life and stay in the company of the women.

He also knew that Dimpy did not carry weapons in the city while meeting his women friends. When asked why he had selected Chandigarh to kill Dimpy, rocky revealed that there were numerous escape routes from the city to other states, thus making it convenient for them to execute their plan.

Rocky was arrested along with his accomplice, Amanadeep, on Sunday night and weapons seized from his possession. Rocky is in police custody till August 4.



Deepalaya aims to reach out to ‘unreached’
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Their children are their biggest asset. Mewat-based NGO Deepalaya takes great pride in their growing numbers and as it readies to cross the 30-year milestone of being in the service of society, there’s a lot more on the cards.

In the city for a meeting, secretary and chief executive of Deepalaya, T.K. Mathew, says that the most ambitious project of the celebration year would be to reach out to the “unreached” and help them turn a new leaf.

“We have come up with the idea of imparting computer education with a difference. We will launch mobile computer learning centres in the Tavru block in Mewat so that the youth of the villages around are trained in a skill which will be an asset for them,” he says.

Under this project of Deepalaya, any villager can walk up to the mobile van equipped with computers and the entire paraphernalia as also instructors to impart training.

“We don’t believe in offering any service free of cost because people don’t realise the worth of it unless they pay for it. So, for nominal charges, any youth of the village can avail himself of this facility and become adept in the use of computers. We have identified four places where these mobile vans will be stationed for the benefit of the villagers,” he explains.

This project was given the nod after the tremendous success of their “education on wheels” programme which was later adopted by the Delhi government.

“We took education and learning to children who were unwilling to attend school. The computer programme is a step higher in the same direction,” Mathew remarks.

With a mobile medical unit of the NGO already attending to medical concerns
in the area, Deepalaya has also set its eyes on educating and rehabilitating
handicapped children.

“We want to make the disabled children differently abled so that they are not
seen as a burden by their families. The modalities are being worked out for the
same,” he said.

With three decades of social service behind them, the members of the NGO are upbeat about the programmes in the offing.

“We are gearing up for the celebration in October when we have a few
programmes lined up which include preparing a carol-singing team of 300 students drawn from our schools. A dispensary offering OPD, cataract operations, a gynaecological department will be inaugurated on October 9 followed with a programme in Delhi,” he maintained.

Recalling how Deepalaya came about, Mathew, who will complete 50 years of social service, said that three office-bearers of the church conceived the idea way back in 1978 and are seeing it fructify.

“It is a dream realised for us. The sense of having made students out of street-children gives tremendous pleasure and it can only grow given the projects on the anvil,” he avers.

For now, Deepalaya is spreading a lot of smiles around as it gears for its big day in October. The mood is jubilant in the Deepalaya camp though its members realise that there are still miles to go to change the world around.



Changing lifestyle cause of hypertension
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Plus 30 in Chandigarh? Get your blood pressure checked, as there are 50 per cent chances that you could be suffering from hypertension, which incidentally doctors acknowledge is the biggest “killer.”

Hypertension, a major contributor to cardio vascular disease, has gripped the city like no other non-communicable ailment in the recent years.

As per data available with the state non-communicable disease program officer, of the 6,055 patients suffering from such diseases, 3,279 are of hypertension.

According to Dr J S Thakur of community medicine, PGI, changing lifestyles have brought in this ailment, which need to be controlled at incipient stages to avoid grave complications.

He said hypertension increased the risk of getting a stroke four fold and the risk of cardio vascular disease raised with higher levels of blood pressure.

He said consumption of fast food, sedentary life style, stress and use of tobacco and alcohol had increased the number of cases here.

According to paper published by the department of the general community medicine- out of total deaths here, 35 per cent are due to cardio vascular disease.

“Most of the people wait for a headache or some other symptom that they attribute to high blood pressure before seeking medical help,” said Dr S.K. Bhandari, nodal officer of NCD programme. He emphasises that lifestyle management is important in controlling hypertension.



Rehabilitation Scheme
Rodrigues’ dream project hits roadblock
Rs 103-crore tender of Ludhiana firm rejected
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Chandigarh administration's ambitious rehabilitation scheme, a dream project of UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, intended to rehabilitate over 25,000 illegally squatting families on the prime government land, has hit a roadblock.

With the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the executing agency for the much-criticised project, rejecting the Rs 103-crore tender of a Ludhiana firm for the construction of a part of the project in Mauli Jagran and Maloya following submission of a fake bank guarantee amounting to Rs 1.81 crore, the project had been pushed back several months behind the schedule.

Officials sources told The Tribune that the re-tendering process for the allotment of the project would take several months.

This would mean that besides delaying the current project for several months, other mega housing projects of the CHB would have to wait as large chunks of land were under the illegal occupation of the slum dwellers.

Acting swiftly, the CHB recently rejected the Rs 103-crore bid of the Ludhiana-based Span Technocrats, Builders and Engineers for the construction of 5,344 small one-room tenements--1,696 in Mauli Jagran and 3,648 in Maloya--following the submission of fake documents, including the bank guarantee.

In fact, a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against the promoters of the firm.

A senior functionary of the administration said a missive would soon be sent to the CHB to speed up the rehabilitation project, including the construction of tenements in Mauli Jagran and Maloya.

Since the project was actively being monitored by the Administrator, efforts would be made to complete the project on schedule so that the dream of thousands of slum dwellers to have a dignified living could be realised.

In fact, the UT administration has a vested interest in the early completion of the project as the rehabilitation of the slum dwellers will get scores of acres of land freed from illegal occupation.

The freed land is to be transferred to the CHB for the mega housing schemes for the general public, the sources added.



Changes in building bylaws get nod
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The administration has approved the recommendations of the modification of the old building bylaws which will affect more than 75 per cent of the area and population of the city.

Finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said as the old building bylaws were conservative in nature and could not go with the changing scenario and changing concept of town planning, building planning, growing economic activities and aspirations of people and there was a need for changing the existing building bylaws.

Decision has been made for making parking provision equivalent to the number of floors constructed for all houses located in plot of one kanal and above.

As regards commercial buildings, offices, large housing projects, etc. the parking norms have been doubled.

As an incentive for motivation, the parking area is being exempted from the floor area ratio (FAR).

However, to encourage more parking, it has also been decided that parking on the surface as multi-level parking will also be allowed without area being counted towards FAR and only 50 per cent of permissible ground coverage will be counted towards ground coverage.

Certain major commercial areas like Sector 17 and 34 have only been allowed with architectural control of having raw concrete to be used on external façade.

It has also been decided that the size of educational plot for various educational institutions of primary, middle, secondary, technical institution, etc. categories should be as per the norms prescribed by the CBSE, the AICTE, the Medical Council of India etc.

Keeping in view the seismic zone in which Chandigarh falls, it has now been decided that to take a precaution against earthquake, all building plans need to be cleared by structural engineers.

In another decision, one kanal and above plots to have provision of ground water
harvest system.

Barring northern sectors, the administration will gradually shift to volumetric control. As a result, almost all plots, by and large, will be covered by FAR, height and ground coverage. Distinct zoning of every plot will be prepared and will be issued.

Addressing the ever-increasing parking pressure in integrated projects like IT park and industrial areas where commercial and institutions exist, the parking norms have been doubled.

At present, for every 50 sq feet, there is provision for one vehicle or car parking, which has been doubled. Multi-level parking will be made available with free FAR.

Marla houses have been given a major relief and they would be allowed 70 per cent of ground coverage at 2 FAR.

One kanal houses allowed for 1.5 FAR with 50 per cent ground coverage whereas, two kanal and above are admissible to 1.25 FAR with 40 per cent ground cover.

SCOs and SCFs have been allowed for the habitable use of their basements,
provided they adhere to the safety norms like proper lighting and ventilation,
stairs and emergency exit.

Space at IT Park will be available at extra FAR up to 1.5 and for 3 acres and above area the FAR has been increased from 2 to 2.50 that too if subject to the new parking norms.



Professionalism is Puri’s forte
Tribune New Service

Mohali, July 30
Famous small screen actor Rajesh Puri ended his two-day shooting schedule at Mad Arts Studio here today.

Rajesh Puri, “Lallu” of the Hum Log fame, was in the city to shoot two short films being produced for the PSEB by Jaspal Bhatti.

“Showing exemplary professionalism, the actor completed his hour-long shooting despite having received the news of his father’s death.

He completed his work and then rushed back to Mumbai,” said Bhatti. Bhatti said he was making two films on energy saving for the board.

“The films are being made to promote the use of CFL lights for which the entire team of actors have come from Mumbai. Rajesh Puri played two different roles in the two films. The first day of shooting was completed yesterday at the Phase V market where I played a beggar and Puri played a rich sethji. Today, he played the role of a person who is an incorrigible power stealer,” explained Bhatti.



GMADA asked to withdraw policy on PGs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 30
At its monthly meeting yesterday, the municipal council passed a resolution asking GMADA to withdraw its policy on paying guests (PGs) as it had led to a lot of resentment among residents.

Councillors pointed out that a large number of residents were keeping paying guests but the trend had created problems, including those related to law and order.

A proposal against allowing paying guest facility in residential areas was tabled at the meeting and was unanimously cleared by the house.

Councillors said GMADA had violated its own laws by allowing PGs in residential areas, as this amounted to permitting commercial activity.

Amrik Singh Somal said a ban should be imposed on keeping paying guests in residential areas.

He said in his ward, 35 persons were staying as paying guests in one house, which created a lot of noise and disturbance that went on till late at night. Nobody had any control on PGs, he said.

In August last year, the executive committee of GMADA had allowed PG facility in houses measuring eight marlas and above.

The house also unanimously cleared the proposal to levy charges to the tune of Rs 1,000 per trailer for removing malba dumped by owners outside their houses after carrying out construction activity.

When these heaps were not removed for a long time, people started dumping garbage on these heaps, leading to sanitation problems.

When the proposal relating to the purchase of gum boots for safai sewkas to protect them from infections while removing garbage came up for discussion, Kuljit Singh Bedi said even private sanitation contractors should be directed to provide gum boots to their employees.

Estimates for development works worth around Rs 3 crore were also cleared at the meeting of the civic body.



Move to close dispensary resented
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 30
Members of the Block Congress Committee staged a protest in Phase 3B1 here yesterday against the move of the Punjab government to close down the primary health centre running in the area.

Protesters demanded that the health centre should not be shifted as it catered to the residents of many sectors.

Balbir Singh Sidhu, Kharar MLA, said the government was interested in opening an ayurvedic centre in the building, which housed the primary health centre.

He said he did not oppose the move to set up an ayurvedic centre here, but not by closing the dispensary, which was running in the area for the past many years.



Installation of idols
Our Correspondent

Baltana, July 30
An installation ceremony of idols was held in Shiv Mandir at Kalgidhar Enclave on Wednesday. The idols were brought from Hardwar.

The four-day function concluded with community langar. N.K. Sharma, former president, Municipal Council, Zirakpur, was the chief guest.

The function was organised by devotees of Defence Colony, Highland Society and Kalgidhar Enclave.



100 donate blood at camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
To promote the voluntary blood donation movement, a blood donation camp was organised here today.

Regal Health Care, Sector 46, in association with the market welfare association, organised the camp on its premises. Limca Book Record holder Dr Kanwal Vilku inaugurated the camp.

More than 100 donors participated in this camp which was conducted by the department of transfusion medicine, PGI.



Key role for India in WTO talks: Envoy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Ambassador of the European Union to India, Danie'le Smadja, today addressed members of the industry.

He spoke at an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (Northern Region), here today.

The Ambassador acknowledged India 's emergence as an economic power and said that India had become indispensable on the negotiating table.

He added that it had to play a key role in the WTO negotiations, and highlighted areas of business interest 



Canadian diplomat cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Canadian diplomat J.C. Gosseian (62) working with Canadian Consulate General here, who died while playing tennis at the CLTA Stadium on Saturday, was cremated at Sector 25 crematorium today evening.

According to PGI sources, the body that has been lying in the morgue was released today without an autopsy after his family sent in a written request through the consulate. Senior officials of the consulate received the body.

No official from the consulate was available for comments. Gosseian had suffered a massive heart attack while he playing with a teenager at CLTA Stadium. He was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital from where he was referred to the PGI.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chanidgarh, July 30
The headline of the news item “Teacher collapses in School, principal blamed”, published in yesterday’s edition, has inadvertently mentioned as “principal” instead of “Director Principal”.

Meanwhile, teachers of the school has issued a press note stating that the teacher in question Madhu Madan was shifted to GMCH-32 with the help of school doctor, Dr Namita, and a senior clerk CM Sharda, not by her husband. The husband reached the hospital after he was informed telephonically.



Cholera epidemic

It is not for the first time that politicians and officials concerned have failed to perform their duty to check the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in the region.

Generally, the authorities take action only after some unfortunate tragedy strikes a region. The respective administrations’ tall claims in the tricity that all drains have been cleared in the rainy season have proved hollow.

The poor storm-water drainage was exposed when about a fortnight back, a two-year-old child died while three others had a narrow escape when a storm-water sewer, passing through Bapu Dham Colony gave way in the incessant rain.

Contaminated drinking water, the worst- ever sanitary conditions, defecation in the open, have led to death of several children especially in Rajiv and Indira Colonies.

Such incidents occur not only because of inefficiency. Epidemics like cholera, dengue and other killer diseases sprout because of neglect by officials concerned.

The need of the hour is that the concerned staff should visit and identify dangerous spots regularly to plug the loopholes.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

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From Schools & Colleges
PEC welcomes freshers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A series of presentations and interactive talks were organised by Punjab Engineering College (PEC) cultural clubs and editorial boards to formally welcome the new batch on its premises at Sector 12, here today.

The technical societies like IEEE and IETE also joined in the specially organised programme “Orientation-2008.

A few magazines and pamphlets were handed over to students to get an insight into the activities of the clubs.

The students thoroughly enjoyed their meal and were looking forward to discover the rest of the events for the day.

The dramatics club of the college staged a play on social awareness. At the end of the programme students were shown Amir Khan’s movie “Taare Zameen Par.”

Art of Living workshop

MCM DAV College for Women, Sector-36, organised a seven-day basic Art of Living workshop for its students.

At least 275 students from the MCM hostel attended the workshop. The programme broadened youth's vision of the world and provided practical knowledge and skills.

Students were also taught Yoga and breathing exercises. The workshop concluded with a “satsang” and an experience-sharing session.

College principal Puneet Bedi said such workshops would go a long way in enhancing spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual capabilities of the students.

Computer awareness

A computer awareness programme was conducted at Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector -32 here, today.

The programme focused mainly on underprivileged and special students of Saint Soldier International Convent School, Mohali, during the summer vacation.

These children were trained to operate MS Office software. They were felicitated by DPI (School) S.K. Setia, who handed over certificates to them.

KOSHISH website was also launched by the DPI (S) on the occasion. A similar programme for housewives is also being conducted in the school.

Orientation programme

The Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, Chandigarh, organised an orientation course on adolescent health and healthy living at Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas.

At least 80 children and teachers attended the programme. The main objective was to appreciate the life skill programme for healthy living among children.

Renu Gandhi, programme in charge, Department of CACEE, PU, expressed the need to introduce the concept of appropriate life skill education programmes and counselling among children.

Rain walk

The students of nursery and KG classes of P M L S D Public School, Sector 32-C, Chandigarh, enjoyed a rain walk on the school premises here today.

With colourful umbrellas in their hands and singing rain songs they had a fun day. Meanwhile, the students of the primary wing of Shishu Niketan Model School, Sector 22-D, also celebrated the rainy season today with lots of enthusiasm.

The children also enjoyed the rain dance especially organised for them by their teachers. A football match was also organised in which children and their teachers actively took part.



3 acquitted in murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Additional District and Sessions Judge S.K. Aggarwal today acquitted three in a murder case, as the prosecution was not able to establish the crime.

According to prosecution, Surekha had committed suicide on October 24, 2003, after consuming poison.

A case of abetment to suicide was registered against Naresh, her husband and brother-in-law Mukesh on the complaint lodged by deceased’s father Roshan Lal.

Naresh got married to Surekha in 1992. After nine years of marriage Naresh started troubling his wife.

Surekha along with her children shifted to her parents place in Rajpura. Naresh then borrowed Rs 2.30 lakh from his father-in-law to purchase a car.

But, he neither purchased the car nor returned the money. On October 22, 2003, Naresh called Surekha to his residence in Sector 38 (West) as the festive season was approaching. The victim committed suicide on October 24, 2003.

The victim’s daughter stated that Surekha died after Rena, he sister-in-law, gave her water to drink. The police had registered a murder case. However, later, the witness turned hostile.



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