Drug peddlers turn informers
Chandigarh, October 9
Citing the case of Harpal Singh alias Raju of Sector 52, a police officer said Raju was nabbed by the NCB with smack and was instrumental in a trap laid by the CBI against sub-inspector Ved Prakash, the in charge of Sector 61 police post. In his complaint to the CBI, Raju alleged that Ved Prakash was threatening to implicate him in a narcotic case.
Later, it was on Raju’s disclosure that the NCB sent its report to the Chandigarh Police informing it about the nexus of cops with the drug peddlers.
Acting on the report, sub-inspector Harinder Singh Sekhon, Sukhjinder Singh, Bachitter Singh, Baljit Singh, Kuldeep Singh were placed under suspension. On Tuesday the police suspended another policeman, Mohan Singh, on similar charges.
The recent suspension of 11 policemen, including two station house officers (SHOs), Rajesh Shukla of Sector 39 police station, and Devinder Sharma of Sector 36 police station and a sub-inspector, in over a period of two months has stained the image of the Chandigarh Police. These policemen were placed under suspension for their alleged links with the drug peddlers and for dereliction in duty.
Shukla was suspended for his failure to prevent the distribution of drugs in his area. Sources said that Shukla faced action on a complaint lodged by the sons of a notorious woman of Dadu Majra, who is said to be involved in over 20 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. They alleged that they were forced to pay on monthly basis to carry out their activities.
Similarly, the accused in the drug trafficking case, Monu, Ravinder and Salman, had levelled allegations against sub-inspector Pargat Singh, in charge of Maloya police post, of torturing them in police custody and subjecting them to inhuman treatment.
The city is fast turning out to be a hub for drug traffickers if one goes by the contraband seizures by the NCB in the recent past. Police sources say the consumption of drugs has also gone up in the city. “The police is on the backfoot as it has failed to curb the menace,” admits a senior police officer.
Now, get gold coins from post offices
Chandigarh, October 9
Initially this service would be introduced in the post offices of Ludhiana and Jalandhar, said Prithvi Rajkumar, CPMG, Punjab circle. Subsequently, the service would be expanded to other post offices as well, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, he said much awaited electronic money order (EMO) service would also start from tomorrow. Through this facility, money orders can be sent electronically at the cost of the normal money order. The service will be available at 22 head post offices in the Chandigarh-Punjab circle.
Referring to other facilities being extended by the department, Kumar said for the expeditious disposal and delivery of corporate and bulk mail and to provide total mailing solutions to bulk mailers, ''Mail Business Centres'' have been established at Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. The Mail Business Centres at Chandigarh provides mechanised pick up and delivery service to all bulk mailers at the doorstep, he added.
“Mobile Business Offices” have also been established in the main cities of Punjab, which provide both traditional as well as premium services to people at convenient locations, Kumar said.
On the occasion, Kumar also launched the “National Postal Week” celebrations here. As part of the celebrations, India Post will organise “Savings Ban Day” tomorrow, “Mail Day” on October 11, “Philately Day” on October 13, “Business Development Day” on October 14 and “PLI Day” on the last day of the celebrations, that is October 15.
City celebrates Dussehra with gusto amid security
Chandigarh, October 9
Thousands of residents from the adjoining areas converged on the venues to see the symbol of evil being reduced to ashes. Artistes enacted scenes from Ramayana before the audience.
At Sector 46 Sabzi Mandi Ground, the celebrations were organised by the Sanatan Dharam Dussehra Committee.
More than 75-foot high effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnatha were consigned to the flames by the person who played Vibhishana. Haryana Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai was the chief guest.
Other eminent guests included Aditi Dua, wife of H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune, Krishankant Singh, chief engineer, Chandigarh Housing Board, Upkar Krishan, president, GGDSD College Society, A.C. Vaid, principal, GGDSD College, and Vipin Kumar, regional director, Passport Office.
Dr Kidwai honoured people from different walks of life for their extraordinary contribution to their respective fields.
The police remained on its toes since early morning to ensure that everything passed off peacefully. Sources in the police said Dussehra was celebrated at as many as 37 places in the city and there was a heavy deployment of policemen at all venues. In all, 1,430 uniformed personnel besides those in plain clothes, which included personnel from the CID, operations cell and home guard volunteers, were deployed at various venues.
“Eleven DSPs, 35 inspectors, 140 sub-inspectors kept vigil over the processions and celebrations, leaving nothing to chance. The police was on high alert even during Ram Lila for the past nine days,” said a senior official.
NGOs burn effigies of HIV/AIDS, drugs
Chandigarh, October 9
Apart from the slum dwellers, the function was also attended by volunteers of the NGOs, which are running HIV/AIDS projects in the city like FPAI, SAFOSH, AIWC, SOPS, IPHA, Sehat etc.
Appreciating the initiative, Dr Vanita Gupta, state AIDS control society project director, said, “With cases of exchange of needles for drug abuse, people not using condoms at vulnerable times due to alcoholism or lack of awareness, tobacco addictions, the youth today is at risk. In India, 35 per cent of the reported HIV infections are in the age group of 15-24 years. Keeping this in mind, we decided to celebrate it in a unique way to symbolise our pledge of eradicating these evils.”
Community centres in colonies a neglected lot
Chandigarh, October 9
Most of the community centres are in a pitiable condition with broken windows, unkempt lawns, damaged doors, unhygienic toilets, wilted plants, and fans and tube lights that are not working. Despite the posting of chowkidaars in all these centres, they have become an abode for stray dogs.
Residents of Ram Darbar complained that they have taken up the matter of the poor upkeep of their community centre with their councillor a number of times but no action has been taken so far. The indifferent attitude of the authorities has not only led to denial of amenities that the residents are entitled but has also resulted in neglecting the existing facilities.
Interestingly, the authorities of the corporation claim that they have been incurring a lot of expense in renovating the centres. When contacted, BJP councillor Ramlal, who represents Ram Darbar, said he had time and again requested the corporation authorities to get the centre renovated but all in vain. He added that many officials visited the community centre after his request and made promises to get the centre renovated but till date nothing had been done.
Ram Lal further said due to the vibrations of the cellphone tower, which has been installed at the top of this community centre, cracks had occurred in many part of the building and it could fall any time.
Another BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey stated that the idea behind constructing community centres in colonies was that they would provide an affordable place for lower class residents to organise their functions or get-togethers. But due to poor upkeep of these centre that purpose had been totally defeated.
He said some of the community centres which were already well equipped in sectors were regularly renovated by the corporation, but no attention was being paid for proper maintenance of the the community centres located in the colonies.
North Park Ruckus
Panchkula, October 9 The accused, from Haldwani in Uttarakhand, was arrested by the local police, when she, along with four others under the influence of alcohol, was found quarrelling by the hotel staff. The other accused had been identified as Shashi Kumar Sharma, Vikas Surender Singh and Virender, all residents of New Delhi. According to the police, Shashi Kumar is in the business of trading at Delhi. According to the police, both Bhawna and Shashi reached hotel in the night when they were in inebriated condition. Soon they started hitting each other following which the hotel staff called the police. It was also alleged that the Bhawna hurled abuses at police officials, including SHO Baljeet Singh, who reached on the spot. She threatened the police officials and claimed that she was a well-connected politician and would teach them a lesson. Later, a medical examination was also conducted of the accused and a case under Section 160 of the IPC for committing affray was registered against them.
Panchkula, October 9
The accused, from Haldwani in Uttarakhand, was arrested by the local police, when she, along with four others under the influence of alcohol, was found quarrelling by the hotel staff.
The other accused had been identified as Shashi Kumar Sharma, Vikas Surender Singh and Virender, all residents of New Delhi.
According to the police, Shashi Kumar is in the business of trading at Delhi. According to the police, both Bhawna and Shashi reached hotel in the night when they were in inebriated condition. Soon they started hitting each other following which the hotel staff called the police.
It was also alleged that the Bhawna hurled abuses at police officials, including SHO Baljeet Singh, who reached on the spot. She threatened the police officials and claimed that she was a well-connected politician and would teach them a lesson. Later, a medical examination was also conducted of the accused and a case under Section 160 of the IPC for committing affray was registered against them.
Now, bigwigs target unproductive land
Chandigarh, October 9
A chunk of 500 acre of land that runs along the Jayanti Devi ki Rao (a seasonal rivulet) and is locked under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900, has been bought by influential persons, including politicians.
The land, located along the upcoming Chandigarh-Baddi road, has been earmarked as the PLPA area in the Mullanpur master plan. Still, the big shots have been buying shares in the “unproductive” land.
“They know that the Akali government is pushing hard to take out large chunks of land in the Kandi area out of the purview of the PLPA Act. It is the speculation that city’s periphery would open up that influential persons are using all constitutional and unconstitutional methods to own the land,”said a revenue official, who has been dealing with a recent controversy over the ownership of the land, valued in several crores. The land is close to the area that is owned by IAS and PCS officers’ cooperative house building society in Sangriwala village.
The land has been under contention for the past 20 years as the village panchayat claims ownership of the land, stating it is shamlat (village common land). On the other hand, some other villagers, belonging to the Choe Reclamation Society in the village, hadclaimed that the land was private property and belonged to them. A division Bench of the high court ordered in favour of the societies.
Sources in the revenue department reveal a senior official in the Akali government has been pushing hard for mutations in favour of the landowners. A patwari, who had been recently reinstated, has been playing a crucial role in the controversial mutations. So far, the bigwigs only possess power of attorney executed at different places in the region. The record of the sale and purchase is entered in a separate register that remains in custody of the land brokers.
Though the role of the niab tehsildar, Majri, in executing the mutation in back date (September 5, 2008) is under scanner following an inquiry marked by the financial commissioner (Revenue) Punjab, Romila Dubey, the financial commissioner, rural development and panchayats, has pointed another major anomaly in the mutations.
In a communication to the financial commissioner, revenue, financial commissioner rural development has pointed out that the orders passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court were in favour of the Choe Reclamation Society and not in favour of individual landowners. The concerned revenue officer had at his own will sanctioned the mutation in favour of the individuals. Besides, the gram panchayat of Mullanpur, Garibdass, (the owner of the land in original Jamabandi) was never given an opportunity of hearing by the revenue officer while sanctioning
Beauty business turns ugly for entrepreneur
Chandigarh, October 9
When 70-year-old Mohan Kaur of Mohali signed a franchise agreement for opening a hair and scalp clinic with a Mumbai-based company, little did she realise beauty business was “not as attractive as it initially looked”.
And the company too did not realise they would “be put in an awkward position” and would have to sever all business ties after having “suffered in
That's right. Both the franchisee and the franchisor are on war path. The franchisee, Mohan Kaur, is claiming she had to suffer financial losses because of the company's policies.
The claims of M/S Richfeel Health and Beauty Pvt. Ltd. are not very different from those of Mohan Kaur. It is claiming that the dealing persons “started torpedoing the interest of the
Nearly one-year-and-seven months after the agreement was signed, Mohan Kaur has come out with a legal notice. In it, Mohan Kaur has alleged that she was “granted monopoly rights for the tricity”. But, a “company-owned centre” was opened at Chandigarh “by violating the terms and conditions of the parent agreement”.
Mohan Kaur has further alleged that this was done with “malafide intention”, knowing well that majority of the customers came from Chandigarh , Panchkula and Ambala.
In the legal notice issued on her behalf, Mohan Kaur's advocate has added “the things did not stop here”, and the company appointed “other agencies” for hair and skin care products by ignoring all norms of fair dealing, and by violating the terms and conditions. Moreover, the company did not supply the hair care products as per the requirement and as per the schedule.
A Mumbai-based law firm, on the company’s behalf, has replied to the notice. It has alleged that the guidelines issued by the company were violated. The centre went up to the extent of selling artificial jewellery.
The firm has added “profit depends upon individual caliber of a person dealing in franchisee. Here, all articles of requisite material were made available by the company, but the dealing persons, transacting the business, started torpedoing the interest of the company”.
Denying all allegations levelled in Mohan Kaur’s notice, the law firm added the company “as a matter of grace and goodwill gives another offer”. It has asked Mohan Kaur to certify all claims of investment from a chartered accountant so these could be scrutinised and the matter can be “monetarily and amicably settled”.
‘Language BPOs register big growth’
Chandigarh, October 9
Having grown into an important centre for Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) work, Mohali has started playing an important role in value and wealth creation in fields such as banking, telecom, finance and retail.
Such observations can just not be ignored, especially when they come from a person such as Radhika Balasubramanian, head, Intelenet India Domestic BPO Operations, one of India’s largest BPO companies that has 16,000 employees across seven locations in India with 2,000 in Mohali itself. “Set up in April 2007, Intelenet has helped attract the best talent in the region and also turn Mohali into a BPO hub,” she told The Tribune.
A part of Intelenet Global Services Pvt. Ltd, Intelenet plans to diversify into providing services in Indian languages. “The consumer market is in the villages, therefore we see the biggest potential of growth in the Indian language BPOs that are bound to surpass the requirement for people who speak good English. We are very seriously looking at the concept of rural BPOs,” said Radhika, without holding back that “non-English speaking youngsters too have a great future in the BPO industry of tomorrow.
She, however, said her company had been “rated as the No 1 domestic BPO service provider by Dataquest Survey on Domestic Contact Centres 2008 ”. Intelenet has also been rated as the “Best Workplace, 2008” by a study published by a leading national English daily.
As per NASSCOM-Everest study 2008, Radhika said the BPO industry in India at present is $11 billion industry that employs more than 7,00,000 people across 25 countries. Growing at around 50 per cent over the past five years, it is tapping significant opportunities for domestic businesses.
At its current growth rate, India ’s BPO industry is expected to touch the $30 billion mark by 2012. With her company servicing many Fortune 500 companies in the UK, USA, Australia and India, Radhika sees a huge growth, especially in language BPOs, much of it in north India.
UGC accepts pay panel recommendations
Chandigarh, October 9
The committee has recommended a minimum of 70 per cent salary hike along with a host of increments and allowances to teachers. At the entry level, an assistant professor would get at least Rs 5,000 more than a newly recruited IAS. The report is likely to result in far reaching effects for the welfare of the teachers.
New designations, higher pay scales, stagnation removals, tagging increments with performance are some of the promising recommendations, which will go a long way in attracting the talented youth towards teaching.
The committee has also introduced certain innovative practices in the academic functioning of the teachers. All the more, some novel corporate measures like better emoluments with better performance have also been recommended which, it is hoped, will substantially make the teaching profession more attractive and effective.
The social welfare aspect of the teachers has also been touched upon enabling him to be more committed and devoted to the cause of education. The recommendations pertaining to consultancy by the teachers will surely give a boost not only to the income of the teachers but also make the teaching effective by updating the teachers. There is a good allurement for the teachers to seek more knowledge in a particular discipline. The committee has made special recommendations regarding contract/ guest teachers, leave travel concession, childcare leave, and rating of teachers` performance and academic accountability.
PU students to get medical cover
Chandigarh, October 9
A committee had been formed earlier also to look into the proposal and
After many meetings, a final meeting was held on October 7 to finalise the details. It was decided that each student would approximately contribute Rs 100-125 per year and talks are on with New India Insurance for
Dean Students Welfare Prof Naval Kishore said, “The committee will soon table the recommendations after finalising the details”. The authorities further maintained the newly elected students council would also be involved in taking the decision to avoid any later issues. A final decision would be taken on October 15 in this regard.
According to sources, various student bodies had come up with a demand that like other universities that provide medical insurance to the students, PU should also implement the same. “We welcome the move, as it was our long-pending demand. An insurance cover to students is very important. In other varsities, it is a rule and it’s appreciable that PU has also started
ICICI bank told to pay Rs 50,000 compensation
Chandigarh, October 9 The forum observed, “We are of the opinion that the bank has certainly been deficient in rendering proper service and indulged in an unfair trade practice by excessively charging interest of 50 per cent per annum instead of 14.16 per cent on the loan account, advanced to the complainant and further charging foreclosure charges, which have never been agreed to between
both the parties.” The forum also asked the bank to overhaul and reconcile the loan account of the complainant. The complainant said he took a personal loan from the bank to the tune of Rs 41,060 returnable in EMI (Equated Monthly Installments) of Rs 2,222 at the rate of 14 per cent per annum with decrease in EMI & rate of interest after every six months. On the contrary, the bank gave loan amount of Rs 37,696 only, saying that Rs 3,364 was deducted for the process fee and pre-equated monthly installments interest, as the EMIs were to begin from December. When the complainant asked the bank as to why the EMI and rate of interest were not reduced as promised. It was averred that the repayment schedule provided by the bank showed the charged rate of interest on loan amount to be 50 per cent against the agreed rate of interest of 14 per cent per annum. And the bank thereby has overcharged Rs 12,000 by way of inflated and illegal interest rate. The bank denied to have ever agreed to decrease the EMI and interest rate as alleged. Regarding the excessive charging of interest, the bank stated that it was accepted by the parties and could not be challenged.
Chandigarh, October 9
The forum observed, “We are of the opinion that the bank has certainly been deficient in rendering proper service and indulged in an unfair trade practice by excessively charging interest of 50 per cent per annum instead of 14.16 per cent on the loan account, advanced to the complainant and further charging foreclosure charges, which have never been agreed to between both the parties.”
The forum also asked the bank to overhaul and reconcile the loan account of the complainant.
The complainant said he took a personal loan from the bank to the tune of Rs 41,060 returnable in EMI (Equated Monthly Installments) of Rs 2,222 at the rate of 14 per cent per annum with decrease in EMI & rate of interest after every six months.
On the contrary, the bank gave loan amount of Rs 37,696 only, saying that Rs 3,364 was deducted for the process fee and pre-equated monthly installments interest, as the EMIs were to begin from December.
When the complainant asked the bank as to why the EMI and rate of interest were not reduced as promised.
It was averred that the repayment schedule provided by the bank showed the charged rate of interest on loan amount to be 50 per cent against the agreed rate of interest of 14 per cent per annum. And the bank thereby has overcharged Rs 12,000 by way of inflated and illegal interest rate.
The bank denied to have ever agreed to decrease the EMI and interest rate as alleged. Regarding the excessive charging of interest, the bank stated that it was accepted by the parties and could not be challenged.
Panchkula bus stand to get facelift
Panchkula, October 9
The authorities said the renovation would be completed by next month.The company would construct a gate on the entrance, the revenue for which would come by displaying the advertisement on it for a specific period of time.
The authorities, however, would not pay any thing for the renovation. Instead, it would get a handsome amount from the Oceano Graphics, a Chandigarh-based publicity agency, for allowing it to display the advertisement.
According to the information, the 31-feet gate with backlit displays of advertisements would give a vibrant look to the bus stand’s entrance. “As we have already rented out the space available in the bus stand for the display of advertisements, the agency offered its services to beautify the entrance,” KS Kalsan, the general manager of Haryana Roadways, said.
However, it was decided that the agency would makeover the entrance, upgrade the parking facilities at the bus stand and the authorities would also allow the agency to use the gate for displaying the advertisements, Kalsan said.
Also, the agency would pay a substantial amount to the roadways for displaying the advertisements as per rules, he said.
Zirakpur flyover to open to traffic in Nov
Zirakpur, October 9
Sources in GMR, the company which had undertaken the construction for the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), disclosed that the Zirakpur-Ambala flyover would be functional before November. The 2.5 km long flyover has been constructed in four lanes.
Out of these the Lalru, Ghaggar Bridge and Dappar underpasses are already functional as is the Zirakpur bridge adjacent to the Yadvindra bridge.
GMR officials said almost 95 per cent work of the flyover was complete. Road-carpeting was also almost complete. He said the other work related to the flyover would be completed by the end of this month.
“Road marking, installation of streetlights, safety railing on the side walls of the flyover, wiring of the streetlights and proper adjacent of the flyover from the Ghaggar bridge will be completed soon," said GMR employee on the site. Around 500 workers have been working on this project.
Talking to The Tribune, Dera Bassi SDM Sohan Lal Bhumbak said most of the work was in the final stages and added that the opening date of the flyover was still not final but it would declared shortly after discussions with the authorities concerned.
Zirakpur traffic in charge Sanjeev Kumar said, “We were waiting for the flyover to open. The number of accidents will decrease after the flyover becomes functional.”
Rare honour for K.N. Pathak
Chandigarh, October 9
Dr Pathak is the only professor in the subject of physics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, J&K and PU, Chandigarh, who has been honoured by the INSA by awarding the fellowship.
In 1996, he was conferred Meghnad Saha Award by the UGC. He has obtained several exact results for the dynamic correlation functions of dynamic variables of interest like density, particle current and heat current, which have been found of immense value, in interpretation of experimental findings on dynamic and transport properties of fluid state of matter.
Recently, he developed a binary cluster theory of dynamics of fluids, where two-particle collisions of all orders have been summed up. The theory provides the coefficients of self-diffusion, viscosity and thermal conductivity, using only temperature, density and continuous interaction potential between atoms.
Medical conference to start tomorrow
Chandigarh, October 9
Addressing a press conference here today, Dr A. K. Gupta, chairman of the Committee of Hospital-Acquired Infection Policy, said nearly 400 delegates from around the country would participate in the conference to be opened at Bhargava Auditorium here.
Dr Gupta said the conference would provide an opportunity to senior hospital administrators to interact and exchange their experiences.
Many acclaimed resource persons in the field would address the burning issues on such topics as medical-waste management, disaster management, outsourcing of health care services and role of hospital administrators in issues regarding HIV and AIDS.
Students celebrate victory of good over evil
Mohali, October 9
Shivalik Public School: Poetry recitation in praise of Lord Rama marked the celebrations at the junior section of the school. Students of Classes IV, V, VI dressed up as Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman gave the message of victory of good over evil.
Golden Bells School, Sohana: Students presented scenes from Ramlila. A colourful fancy dress show, presented by tiny tots, brought alive the characters from the epic ‘The Ramayana’. Mask-making and slogan-writing competitions were organised. A quiz was also conducted.
Doon International School: Students of the school performed Ramlila wherein various incidents from Lord Rama's life were enacted. Devotional songs were sung and Ravana’s effigy was burnt.
Shastri Model School: Students dressed up as Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Ravana, Meghnad, Kumbkaran presented a colourful show.
Small Wonders School: The week-long celebrations at Small Wonders School, Phase VII, concluded with the burning of Ravana’s effigy. The events organised during the week included narration of mythological tales to the children and enactment of scenes from Ramayana. To render the festivities more meaningful, a poster-making competition on "say no to crackers" was organised for Class-II students in order to encourage them to celebrate Dussehra and Diwali in a less polluting and harmless manner.
Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School: The programme started with a bhajan by the school choir. Later, a huge effigy of Ravana was set on fire in the ground.
DAV sends relief material Students of DAV
Public Senior Secondary School, Phase X, sent relief material for the
Bihar flood victims. The material was handed over to Chandigarh mayor
Pradeep Chhabra to be sent to Delhi. Chhabra lauded the efforts of the
school. Principal of the school Jaya Bhardwaj said it had always been
their endeavour to stand for the social cause. She said the students and
their parents had readily agreed to the school's proposal to contribute
towards the Bihar relief fund. The teachers of the school had also
contributed their one-day salary, she added.
Students of DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Phase X, sent relief material for the Bihar flood victims. The material was handed over to Chandigarh mayor Pradeep Chhabra to be sent to Delhi. Chhabra lauded the efforts of the school.
Principal of the school Jaya Bhardwaj said it had always been their endeavour to stand for the social cause. She said the students and their parents had readily agreed to the school's proposal to contribute towards the Bihar relief fund. The teachers of the school had also contributed their one-day salary, she added.