C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rape accused walks free; 3 cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 27
Tarlochan Singh, station house officer of Matour, investigating officer ASI Manjit Singh and a sentry were today suspended for dereliction of duty in handling the rape case of a 15-year-old girl.

The accused, who had raped his niece, had escaped from police custody last night. Tarlochan Singh and Manjit Singh did not produce the accused before the court even in two days.

Taking serious note of the mishandling of the sensitive case, the SSP of Mohali, J.S. Aulakh, today ordered the suspension of the police personnel. “It is a very serious lapse and it cannot be tolerated,” he said.

The accused was arrested on Saturday night and was made to sit at the Matour police station for two days in violation of rules.

Last evening, he managed to simply “walk away” from the police station. Even repeated requests of the complainant, Balwinder Kaur, wife of the accused, to produce him in court went unheeded by the police officials.

Stating that there was threat to her life and that of the victim’s, she met the SSP in this regard today.

It is the second time that the accused had been booked for raping the girl within a span of 10 months. He was acquitted of the charges in August last.

After the death of the victim’s mother, her father developed TB and deserted the family. She was left to fend for herself and her two younger siblings.

Her aunt put them in an orphanage, but later brought her home and made her join a school in Sector 70. After the first incident, her aunt alleged that her husband’s family threatened to eliminate her if she spoke against him in court.

She had demanded an inquiry into the role of the police when the court had acquitted him last year. 



Illegal construction on farm land
Over 100 pucca rooms have been erected illegally for migrants on land adjoining the IT park
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

The creche being run on a piece of land in Kishangarh adjoining the IT park
The creche being run on a piece of land in Kishangarh adjoining the IT park in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S. Chandan

Chandigarh, October 27
With the UT estate office turning a blind eye, a virtual migrants’ colony, with over 100 pucca rooms, has come up in the IT park area in Kishangarh.

Cocking a snook at law, a former sarpanch of Kishangarh, Prem Singh, has raised over 100 single-room pucca houses on his land adjoining the road leading to the IT park. The role of Prem Singh and a woman panch, besides some others, were under scanner for selling small plots in the Kishangarh area in violation of the Periphery Control Act.

Hargunjit Kaur, land acquisition officer, UT administration, said the administration was aware of it and action would be taken against violators. “Violations are rampant in the area. Prem Singh had been involved in selling plots illegally earlier also and criminal proceedings are being initiated against him,” she said.

“Permission cannot be granted for raising illegal residential accommodation on agricultural land. The violators had taken a stay for ‘dispossession of land’ from the high court and the next date of hearing is on December 3. As soon as the HC ‘award’ comes, the administration would take action against defaulters,” she added.

This place has become a home for hundreds of labourers from Bihar and UP. A creche for their children is also being run on the premises, fortified with gates.

“It is a torture to live in the area as one cannot pass through the area because of the filth and the stink emanating due to the non-availability of toilets and sewerage,” an architect who lives nearby said. “Illegal land deals are going on, but hardly ever any official turns up to take stock of the situation,” another resident claimed. Investigation by a Tribune team revealed that these labourers have been engaged by a company which is developing a five star hotel at the IT park.

“We have been here for the past six months and we are comfortable. Water is arranged through tankers but it is hard to live without electricity. We have asked ‘sahibs’ to provide us with power connections in our quarters,” some labourers from Purnia in Bihar said. 



Rodrigues on inauguration spree
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Inaugurations may be a politician's pastime, yet the UT administrator, S.F. Rodrigues, has donned a politician's cap with the inauguration of home for street children in Maloya today.

In the next four days (till October 30), the administrator will inaugurate five major projects, much to the chagrin of union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal, who is unlikely to find a place in the invitee list.

The administration is again set to “sideline” Bansal, who does not see eye to eye with Rodrigues. Ironically, one of the projects - the New Lake in Sector 42 - has been completed with a contribution of Rs 30 lakh from the MPLAD fund of Bansal.

Local Congress leaders are sulking at the “raw deal” being given to the minister, whose efforts in getting “extra money”" from the Central government for development projects in Chandigarh cannot be overlooked. Even the protocol demands that the minister, who is also the local MP, should be invited to the major functions of the administration, a senior Congress leader said here today.

Though it may not be by design, the inauguration spree by the administrator sans Bansal is being interpreted as a clever ploy by the administration to “deny” Congress to take political mileage in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, eyebrows are being raised at the “hasty” inaugurations of the projects, vocational training centre for street children (October 27), New Lake, library building of the Beant Singh Memorial, Tagore Theatre, all on October 29, and halfway home for mentally-challenged (October 30). The timing is intriguing as only library building of the much-delayed Beant Singh Mem rial is being inaugurated.

While Rodrigues would cut the ribbon for all the major projects, Bansal was content to inaugurate the bio-methanation plant at the slaughterhouse in the Industrial Area here yesterday. The minister usually inaugurates projects of the civic body, while Rodrigues takes centrestage at the inauguration of the UT projects, sources said.

“Though Bansal may not have been invited for the inauguration of projects, the fact is that these projects had been completed during his tenure,” added a Congress leader. 



Administrator-Adviser Slugfest
Janata Party wants Centre to intervene
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
A day after The Tribune exposed the slugfest between two seniormost functionaries of the Chandigarh administration — UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues and his adviser Pradip Mehra — over ambitious Medicity project, the Janata Party (JP) today sought Central government's intervention to end the “constitutional crisis” in the union territory.

The reported disagreement between the the administrator and the adviser over the Rs 203.70 crore reserve upfront project fee for the land in the prime IT park area, valued at over Rs 2,000 crore, needs immediate intervention and an inquiry to safeguard the revenue and proper functioning of the Chandigarh administration, a representation by the JP to the Prime Minister and the Union home minister said here today.

Mehra had shown his dissent on the concerned file since the land was public property and the same could not be squandered away at a throwaway price by the high-powered committee on medicity headed by the administrator, JP local unit president Ajay Jagga said.

The party demanded immediate appointment of an observer from the Central government to take charge of the land allotment matter and safeguard revenue of over Rs 2,000 crore through inquiry into the whole affair of land allotment so that there was no loss to the state exchequer.

Since the seniormost IAS officer of the Chandigarh administration had shown disagreement with the decision of the UT administrator, who is the constitutional head of Chandigarh, the Central government was competent to intervene in the matter, the representation argued.

Meanwhile, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amrtisar) Simranjit Singh Mann demanded a judicial probe into the matter. The mega projects, a majority of which were the brainchild of Rodrigues, were playing havoc with the basic character of city as enunciated by Chandigarh's creator Le Corbusier and need a judicial probe, Mann added.

In an another development, the Manimajra Farmers Welfare and Environment Protection Society today flayed the “motivated attitude of the UT administrator who rides roughshod over the advise given by the topmost bureaucrat in the administration”.

The mega projects, which were being projected as major development projects, were nothing but a nefarious collusion between the corrupt bureaucrats. The farmers in the union territory were getting raw deal at the hands of UT administration as it had failed to implement the Central government's National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, a press note said here.



2 arrested for setting woman, son afire
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 27
The postmortem report has revealed that the woman and her son, who were burnt alive at their house in the Gobind Bagh locality here yesterday, were first stabbed to death.

More than 10 wounds, caused by a sharp-edged weapon, led to the death of Hemant Kumar. However, the cause of death of Tirthan Devi, mother of Hemant Kumar, could not be ascertained as the body was completely charred and the postmortem examination could only reveal that it was a skull of a woman.

Doctors said it was a brutal murder, indicating the involvement of more than one person.

Meanwhile, the police has claimed to have cracked the case. The SSP said Inderjeet Bhardwaj, a resident of Guru Nanak Nagar, and Sonia of Heera Bagh, had been arrested in this regard.

The police is on the lookout for the third accused, Manoj Kumar.

Manoj had allegedly brought Sonia to Hemant’s house where a quarrel broke out. Manoj reportedly hit Hemant and then picked up a fight with his mother.

He stabbed both of them and in an attempt to destroy evidence, he torched the house before fleeing on his motorcycle.



Undertrials clash at Panchkula court
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 27
Tension prevailed at the local district and sessions when three undertrials indulged in a scuffle at the court complex here today. However, the police soon overpowered them.

According to the police, undertrials Pardeep, Sukhwinder and Ramandeep, all belonging to Pinjore, were involved in several criminal cases in the region.

The accused were in judicial custody and were to appear in a case of assault registered at Panchkula. All three were being taken to the first floor of the court when Sukhwinder and Ramandeep managed to free themselves and started thrashing Pardeep. Though the provocation could not be ascertained, it was reported that they were members of the same gang, but Pardeep had parted ways.

A case under Sections 332, 353, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against them.



Hotelier’s wife dies of burns
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 27
The wife of a hotelier died after her clothes reportedly caught fire when she was in the puja room at her house in Sector 6 here today.

The deceased has been identified as Asha (43), wife of Balbir Pal Dandyan. Balbir owns India Palace Hotels at Mani Majra and Maheshpur in Panchkula.

Though the victim in her statement recorded before the duty magistrate said her clothes caught fire when she was in the puja room, the police is investigating other angles after a can of kerosene was recovered from the house.

It was the second marriage of Balbir after his wife had died a decade ago. Asha decided not to have children as he had three children from his first wife.

The victim suffered 80 per cent burns and was in a critical condition when she was taken to the PGI at night. She died at around 9 am this morning.

Balbir said they were making preparations for Diwali and Asha was arranging the puja room. All the members of the family were at home when the incident happened. Their children rushed her to the General Hospital, Sector 6.

According to sources, Balbir had been facing several civil and criminal cases and had even been in police custody in the past. Meanwhile, a forensic team collected samples of burnt material and photographed the spots dotted with oil.



Special children from Kargil out to chase their dreams
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
This is stuff, apparently, dreams are made for. Their innocence hit deep into the heart and the confidence in them is infectious.

Meet Hakima Banoo (20) , her elder sister Hasina Parveen (22) and their friend Zakira Banoo (21), who came all the way from the remote mountainous confines of Kargil. Accompanied by Ashok Philamon, their teacher and Father Thomas KJ, director of Roshni, a Rajpura-based society for rehabilitation of disabled, the trio came to visit Chandigarh, after hearing its status of being an ‘education hub’.

Hakima, riddled with tip-toe disease, though cannot walk straight but despite all odds, intends to contribute to the society. Aspiring to be an IAS officer, Hakima said, “I just want to serve the suffering humanity when ‘administrative power’ comes to me. There are no resource crunch but it is the ‘faulty system’ because of which benefits do not reach the needy,” said Hakima, studying in Class XII at the Government Higher Secondary School, Kargil.

Her sister Hasina Parveen is a teacher at the Government Middle School at Kargil. “My idea is to pay back the society by educating the masses which would further help them making their lives better,” she said. Following her is Zakia Banoo. She is a student of Class XII and would follow the footsteps of her friend Hasina only.

Father Thomas said the society had taken the responsibility of all medical expenses of Hakima and Zakia. “The tendon release treatment would correct their disability to some extent. The treatment would cost anything between Rs 12,000 and 15,000 each, which would be met by the society.”

Believing the notion that a differently-abled person can work as a mechanism to develop the latent potentialities of a person, Father Thomas said, “Ours is a comprehensive rehabilitation programme where the special children live with their families only. Our endeavour would always be to help them in their education and medical treatment required to correct their disability,” he said.

Father Thomas went to Kargil in June 2006, to establish a medical camp at Sankoo, 42 km from Kargil. Roshni is taking up survey of Kargil to identify physically challenged children. According to surveys, around 8 per cent of the children of the area are disabled.

Meanwhile, in order to explore various ways to bring the children with disabilities into the mainstream of social life, Roshni society is organising three-day mini Olympic programme from November 5 at the Trinity College premises in Jalandhar.

“Around 200 physically and mentally challenged children are being expected from Kargil, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu to take part in the competitions. The prizes would be given as stepping stones for their future progress,” said Father Thomas. 


Police on alert; security up
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The police has deployed 95 squads and installed eight surveillance cameras at busy places across the city ahead of Diwali.

Traffic jams were witnessed on roads leading to Sectors 17, 18, 22 and 35. Nakas were put up on internal roads near markets to thwart snatching bids. The pickets created traffic bottlenecks.

The SSP, S.S. Srivastva, said cameras would be installed at important and busy places, including the Sector 17 plaza, bus stands, market places and Rock Garden. “We have hired five cameras for the purpose. Joint nakas will be put up on roads leading to Mohali and Panchkula,” he said.

Long route buses, especially from Jammu and Kashmir, would be checked throughout the night. Private vehicles and taxis coming from the state would also be checked.

The Mohali and Panchkula police would check vehicles on border roads. Additional force from the CRPF had also been requisitioned for the operation.

Combing operations were being conducted in slums across the city. The police rounded up nine persons on suspicion during an early morning operation at Burail village.

A police officer said no one was allowed to take leave during the festive season, except those having some emergency.

Meanwhile, the police said as per Supreme Court’s directions, crackers had been banned from 10 pm to 5 am. Action would be taken against those found bursting crackers on roads and causing inconvenience to motorists.



Cops return Rs 85,000 lying in unlocked car

Chandigarh, October 27
Setting an example, two constables of the Chandigarh Police returned Rs 85,000 that they found lying in an unlocked car parked in the Sector 17 here this afternoon. They policemen were on a special checking drive.

According to constables Dalbir Singh and Sarwan Singh, they were looking for unclaimed articles and found a Maruti car (HR-03-G-9885) unlocked with windowpanes down. They inspected the car and found a packet containing Rs 85,000 in the glove box of the car. The verified the documents and waited for the occupants of the car to returned.

After about two hours, the owner of the car returned. The policemen, meanwhile, brought the matter to the notice of their superiors and returned the amount after verifying the antecedents of the man. — TNS



Fire dept gears up to avert mishaps
Fire engines stationed at crowded areas 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Chandigarh fire and emergency service department has made elaborate arrangements to avert any untoward incident this Diwali.

In a special meeting held here today, Municipal Corporation commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria has directed the fire department to stationed fire tenders at the crowded areas of the city. The sites include Sector 22-D market, Sadar Bazaar near police station, Sector 19, grain market, Sector 26, Sector 15, 46 markets, Hallomajra and Burial near dispensary. When contacted, MC additional commissioner P.K. Sharma said that strict instructions had been issued to the fire department employees deployed on duty to use safety equipments like fire safety suits and helmet while dealing with any fire mishap.

Meanwhile, during a checking drive, the fire department found 50 stalls set up without licences in Sector 26 market. While the city markets are flooded with Chinese crackers, French and German glassware and French wines are among hot favourites as far are gifts are concerned. This year, and electronic appliances are not on the top of gift lists of the city residents. A shopkeeper said the recession had cast its shadow on their business, as there was less rush in the markets this year as compared to last year.

“The UT and the Haryana governments have announced the dearness allowance for its employees, while the Punjab government has not made any such announcement this year and have not even paid advance salaries,” said another shopkeeper. 



Infantry Day observed at Chandimandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Infantry Day was observed at the headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, today with the senior-most infantry officer of the Command, Lt Gen T.K. Sapru laying a wreath at the Veer Smriti war memorial to pay tributes to martyrs.

This day is observed as an Infantry Day every year to commemorate the landing of the first Indian soldiers (1 Sikh) at Srinagar to defend the Valley from the Pakistani-backed raiders soon after Independence in 1947.

A Special ‘Sainik Sammelan’ followed the wreath laying ceremony, where Gen Sapru addressed Infantry troops in the station. All infantrymen pledged and re-dedicated themselves to work towards sustaining and building up the indomitable team and traditions of valour that are the hallmark of the Army.

Later, a social evening was organised at the Shivalik Officers’ Institute, where serving infantry officers got an opportunity to interact with their predecessors and the infantry veterans living in and around Chandigarh. Barakhanas were also organised in all infantry battalions in the station.

Popularly known as "Queen of the Battle", infantry is the largest component and the premier fighting arm of the Army. The valiant and intrepid foot soldiers have kept alive the rich traditions inherited by them over generations.

Having taken part in all wars, counter-insurgency operations, low-intensity warfare and peace-keeping missions overseas, with their deployment ranging from steaming deserts to snow-capped peaks and dense forests, the Indian infantry has an enviable record of valour and experience. 



Recession dampens shoppers’ spirit in Mohali
Panchkula remains upbeat
Tribune News Service

Cops conduct anti-sabotage checking at Phase VII market in Mohali.
Cops conduct anti-sabotage checking at Phase VII market in Mohali. Tribune photograph

Panchkula/Mohali, October 27
Even as the price rise and recession has dampened the spirits of the shoppers in Chandigarh and Mohali, the shopkeepers in Panchkula are a happy lot. Following the past trends, residents of Panchkula are thronging shops to buy festival goods.

Apparently, the happiest among shopkeepers were jewellers as gold has shown a decline of Rs 3,000 per 10 gm during the recent past.

“In the beginning of the festival season it was apprehended that the sales would be sluggish this time. However, the heavy reduction in gold prices proved to be a boon for the jewellers,” said a jeweller of Sector 16. The price of 10 gm of gold has plummeted to Rs 11,600 after touching it peak Rs 14,600 recently.

Similar was the scene at the market of Sector 7. There was no effect of price rise in the sale of gift items as well in Panchkula. “I have been putting up a stall of gift items during the festival season for some time and the response is pretty good this time as well,” said Vikram, a shopkeeper.

The mood of sweetshop owners in the town was also found to be upbeat. “The reports appearing in newspapers about the presence of synthetic milk and spurious sweets had made a dent in the sales of sweets initially. However, the sales have been picking up now,” said Shammi a shopkeeper at Sector 10.

However, the markets are not witnessing a heavy rush of shoppers in Mohali as seen in the past. A number of shopkeepers told The Tribune that they did not register as much sales as anticipated. “The recession and fear of terrorist strike could be keeping the people away,” said Avinash, a dry fruits seller.

To allay the fears of public, the Mohali police has been carrying out anti-sabotage checking in different markets. “We want to ensure people that there is nothing to be afraid of,” said a police official.

Market of Phase 3B 2, V and VII, witnessed sparse number of shoppers. In the Phase V market, the market welfare association arranged private security guards to manage the parking. Some of the markets literally wore a deserted look after 10 pm. 



Home for street kids inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues inaugurated the first phase of the Street Children Home and Vocational Training Centre at Maloya on Friday.

The administrator went around the complex comprising the administration and education block, multi-purpose hall, computer training centre, library-cum-recreational hall, music room, medical room, vocational training block and residential blocks equipped with all modern facilities of dining hall and kitchen.

Rodrigues and his wife Jean Rodrigues also inquired about their background with words of guidance and advice to avail the opportunities of empowerment and ensure their rehabilitation as productive members of society.

During an interaction with the senior officers and members of the advisory committee set up for this institute, he said the unique project had been conceived with the goal of integrating society through the practical approach of bridging the gap between haves and have nots. He said that this experiment will also contribute in inculcating, among the inmates, a sense of belonging and becoming an important segment of society.

Director, social welfare, Amandeep Kaur, while giving a brief of this project, said the beneficiaries had been identified with the help of NGOs like the Don Bosco, the child development project officer and the labour department and the criteria for admission is 5 to 18 years for the children. She said inmates would be provided education, training and skill development in the trades like electrician, mechanic refrigeration and air conditioning, cutting tailoring and embroidery, plumbing, mechanic motor vehicle, welder, computer, carpenter in collaboration with department of technical education.

M.P. Singh, secretary to Governor, Ram Niwas, home secretary, Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary, Mohanjeet Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, R.K. Rao, deputy commissioner, Roshan Sunkaria, commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and Krishanjit Singh, UT chief engineer, were present on the occasion. 



Admn discusses development in Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
A meeting regarding the development of infrastructure in Industrial Area was held today under the chairmanship of home secretary Ram Niwas.

Members of the committee--finance secretary, chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, commissioner of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh deputy commissioner, UT chief engineer, chief engineer of the CHB, chief engineer of the MCC, UT chief architect and director of industries-- attended the meeting. Presidents of the industrial associations presented various issues before the committee such as power supply, sub-way connectivity of Industrial Area, Phase I and II, need-based changes in the building bylaws, development of parkings in the industrial area and the removal of roadside encroachment.

It was also said that the city must have exhibition-cum-convention centre for the industrial and commercial activities in Chandigarh, in association with the industry. For this, a society will be constituted and chief architect will be the nodal officer.



e wild wild web
Electronic commerce

If you want to fly to any destination within or outside the country, the ticket is sold online. You have to take a printout of your ticket or you have the PNR and approach the particular airlines counter at the airport with a printout the ticket.

No longer one has to stand in the queues at the railway reservation counters. You have the easy option to purchase the ticket online.

Income tax is deposited only online. You have an option to file your IT return online. In fact, it is the age of electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, which consists of buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily since the spread of the Internet. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction's lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well.

A large percentage of e-commerce is conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content on a website, but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way.

The meaning of electronic commerce has changed over the last 30 years. Originally, electronic commerce meant the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), which were both introduced in the late 1970s. Another form of e-commerce was the airline reservation system. E shopping was invented in the UK in 1979 and during the 1980s it was used extensively particularly by auto manufacturers.

Although the Internet became popular worldwide in 1994, it took about five years to introduce security protocols and DSL allowing continual connection to the Internet. And by the end of 2000, a lot of European and American business companies offered their services through the World Wide Web (WWW). Since then, people began to associate a word e-commerce with the ability of purchasing various goods through the Internet using secure protocols and electronic payment services.

Amazon.com and eBay have emerged as the twin international giants in the arena of eCommerce. In 1995, Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com while eBay was founded by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb. In 1999, five years after Bezos first plunged his stake into the ground as an online bookseller, Amazon invaded eBay's territory, introducing Amazon Auctions and a way for retailers to set up stores on the site, called zShops.

In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $ 1.5 billion. In 2008, US eCommerce and Online Retail sales projected to reach $204 billion, an increase of 17 percent over 2007. Bazi.com, an Indian online retailer with its attractive scheme of online auction of items including jewellery became a household name among the Internet users in India. Soon, EBay acquired it. In 2001, EBay acquired another e-commerce site Half.com and four years later in 2005 brought the shooting.com under its spreading net. Skype, the internet telephony service was too acquired by eBay though this acquisition alone cost eBay dearly as it had to write down last year $1.4 billion of the $3.1 billion acquisition.

The eBay succeeded in emerging from the last recession seven years ago with an aura of invincibility, which led its chief executive to boast that "eBay is to some extent recession-proof." As the online auctioneer's revenues and stock price kept climbing, one of its primary rivals, Amazon-com, just limped along. But times have changed. EBay has struggled with stagnation this year while Amazon.com has emerged as one of the most vibrant and reliable retailers in the country.

E-commerce is considered to be a refuge from economic storms as people who stay away from the mall might actually be more tempted to shop online and hunt for deals, says a recent write up in the New York Times.

You can even sell and purchase home, garden and pet supplies on eBay and Amazon-com. There are hundreds of new, used and refurbished Trek racing bikes on eBay; as of last week, Amazon had three for sale. Acquisitive parents can buy a $90 Deux Par Deux baby sweater dress on eBay for under $30, for example. But only a few of this French designer's items are listed on Amazon, and for close to full price.

But despite so many strides by the Internet, the E-commerce is merely seven percent of retail business in the United States of America, which invent the Internet and World Wide Web and adapted to the new technology at a speed.

There is no doubt that India is moving towards broadband, and is experiencing strong growth in Web-based sales. This fact is reaffirmed by statistics, which inform that the number of active Internet users in India is between 20 million and 25 million. In fact, even the definition of 'active users' is under debate. This lack of proper data points in India is disturbing for a medium that promises measurability and accountability.

The online retail industry is headed globally in an upward trajectory and industry predictions are further spurring the enthusiasm with estimates that online retail will grow at 10-20 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next six years. The process may witness a break in the wake of ongoing financial crisis in the US. In India the online retain sector is dominated by Ebay India, but definitely expect to see some action here. Futurebazaar.com of Kishore Biyani and IndiaPlaza.in are upcoming players. It remains to be seen who will emerge out as the Amazon of India (how about Amazon India itself?) The Futurebazaar.com of Kishore Biyani is getting about 3.5 lakh hits per day. Its nearest rival is IndiaPlaza.in as Indiatimes.com., Travelguru.com,, Shaadi.com., Naukari.com,, Mauj.com,, Makemytrip.com,, Zayadad.com,, Makan.com,, Basera.com., Yatra.com., Cleartrip.com, A1booksIndia.com figure among the well known sites in the retail business Barring a few of them, they may take a few years to reach a critical mass. Travel is definitely a hot sector which already has a bunch of players, followed by entertainment (seventymm).

However, the current dominance of English language and poor user experience of Indian sites are the two main reasons for slow progress in the online retail sector.

AnilM is an editor with Instablogs.com




Road safety hardly a priority with govts
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Instilling road safety among children seems to be the last thing on the mind of the authorities. This is apparent as no state government has expressed interest in buying a book on road safety even though the union ministry has said the book is “useful for children”.

The book, “Your Child’s Road Safety Handbook”, has been authored by Harman Sidhu, who was incapacitated in an accident 13 years ago. Published in December, the book was released by the UT administrator and lauded by Kiran Bedi and road safety expert H. Kishie Singh, among others.

Asked about the response to the book, Sidhu rued that after going through the book, the joint secretary in the union ministry of shipping, road transport and highways sent a letter to transport commissioners to get copies of the book, but only four states had contacted him.

The Maharashtra and UP governments had ordered one or two copies. Sidhu had invested over Rs 4 lakh in producing 5,000 copies of the book.

On the other hand, teachers from countries like France have approached him through email and asked for the book to educate students on this vital aspect. He said those travelling with pilot security vehicles were least concerned about the right of way. Corporate houses approached him as part of “Corporate social responsibility”, but they claimed they did not have the funds to buy the books.

The Haryana police, however, placed an order for 3,000 copies and Raja Rammohan Roy Foundation for 465 copies. 



PU Senate: A mixed bag
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The newly nominated Senators’ list released yesterday sprung many surprises, with the rejection of many probable candidates and selection of many new faces. In fact, the house of 91 members is a mixed bag of some old and some new faces.

According to sources, out of the total 36 nominated members, 12 nominated members have earlier been Senators also.Though, the nomination of a non-teaching staff representative has not gone down well with all the sections of the university and many are unhappy over the same. Nevertheless, the decision has been pending since a long time and finally it has come through. In fact, there had been a long pending demand for the same from all the associations of non-teaching staff members .

The non-teaching staff had demanded that three members of the non-teaching staff be nominated to the Senate to represent about 3500 non-teaching staff members of PU.

After the non-teaching representative, now the students are gearing up to start a quest for their representation in the governing body of Panjab University’s Senate.

However, the series of surprises had begun with the first phase of Senate polls held on August 27, which saw Ashok Goyal defeating Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh. Goyal’s victory was significant, as he dethroned Deepak Manmohan, who was considered to be a formidable opponent and had been on the university Senate for 32 years.

In the election for the principals and lecturers of affiliated colleges and graduate constituency for eight seats each, two newcomers, Janmit Singh and RS Jhanji, were elected out of the total five new contestants. A total of 13 candidates had contested elections for eight seats in this constituency.

During the elections for the 15 seats in the graduate constituency held on September 21, the only seat reserved for candidate from Chandigarh went to first-timer Rajbans Singh Gill of Punjabi University, Patiala. The defeat of sitting Senator and BJP candidate Praveen Kumar Sharma had also come as a major surprise. Similarly, the elimination of sitting Senators SS Hundal and Madanjit Sahota also came as a shock.



2 killed, 1 hurt in Panchkula mishap
Tribune News Service

An injured being taken to General Hospital, Panchkula
An injured being taken to General Hospital, Panchkula, on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, October 27
Two people were killed and another injured when a truck driver lost control over the vehicle reportedly when one of its tyres busted at the Panchkula-Barwala road here today. The deceased have been identified as Mukesh and Lalit of Madanpur. The injured, Kamlesh, father of Lalit, was admitted at Panchkula General Hospital.

According to the police, the truck was going towards Ramgarh when one of its tyres busted. The truck driver lost control of the vehicle which hit the vend of a chicken seller, Mukesh, injuring him critically before it turned turtle, burying Lalit and his father Kamlesh under it.

While Lalit died on the spot, Mukesh succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

At the spot of accident, many vendors set up their shops to sell meat products in the evening which attracts a large number of people at night.



Festival of pollution!

The attraction of Diwali is lights, decorations of markets, and purchasing of household goods and gifts. Nowadays, meaning of Diwali has been changed. The name of Diwali should be given festival of sound of crackers and pollution.

The city administration, every year, comes with orders of banning crackers after 9 or 10 pm, but all in vain. But the law makers are themselves law 

The high-up Sectors are witness of sound of crackers throughout the night. The high dignitaries start bursting crackers after midnight, which goes on till morning.

The bursting of crackers should be banned strictly and should not spare any person. The least punishment should be one-day imprisonment plus Rs 1,000 fine.

They produce pollution beyond tolerance. After the day of Diwali, there are hundreds of injury cases.

The main cause of injuries is bursting of big and dangerous crackers. If administration enforces the law honestly, Diwali will be the festival of lights and enjoyment.

G. K. Chopra, Chandigarh

Avoid crackers

On the eve of Diwali, every household has fireworks, no matter whether rich or poor. Cracker-manufacturing industries cause much harm to the environment. 
Although they create employment, but they have an obligation to protect the environment too.

Previous number says that only in Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, more than hundred patients come for treatment gallous fallen to fireworks.

While people rejoice with their friends and family members, have they ever thought about the plight of the doctors, para-medical staff, police officials and fire department officials, who have to spend their nights in the hospitals, police stations and roads on the day of festival.

Crackers create noise and pollution. To save City Beautiful, we should pledge to shun crackers and share only sweets and good wishes. We should take blessings from nature by not polluting it.

Kulbhushan Kanwar, Chandigarh

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Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Teachers back varsity in hour of need
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Panjab University may have been going through a financial crunch, but in its hour of need, many teachers of the university are generating revenue by offering consultancy to renowned firms on various projects.

In fact, not only the teachers are individually bringing the moolah, in certain cases, team of experts from various departments are engaged in research work through CIIP (Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme).

The departments, which have bagged maximum projects during the last one-year, and have thus contributed maximum to the university’s funds include University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and the department of Chemical Engineering and Technology (DCET).

Out of the three departments, UIPS has bagged maximum number of projects, especially, in the areas of research.

Prof OP Katare of the department of UIPS has got a project worth Rs 36 lakh in the field research with a renowned Gurgaon-based company. Prior to this, he got a project from a renowned pharmaceutical company worth Rs 4.5 lakh. Similarly, Prof TR Bharadwaj of the same department also worked for a research project worth Rs 1.36 lakh.

Recently, Dr Rohit Sharma of UIET bagged a project worth Rs 4.32 lakh with a renowned equipment firm.

Similarly, a team of experts from the department of chemical engineering and technology has got a project worth Rs 9.6 lakh with a Delhi-based firm recently.

Even the Dean University Instructions, Prof SK Kulkarni, who is from UIPS, has also been contributing a lot towards the university’s funds.

According to sources, presently, university teachers were working on many other research projects and were even offering consultancy services to foreign-based forms.

The projects were to the tune of Rs 10 lakh and the reports were going to be submitted soon.



Incident misrepresented by teachers: Mgmt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The case of DAV College, Sector 10, wherein the members of the teachers’ union had alleged that some of them had been manhandled by the principal and few outsiders on his behest, has taken a new turn.

In its reply, the management alleged that the whole incident was misinterpreted at the instance of some of the lecturers, namely A. K. Taneja, Anil Sarwal and Avanindra Chopra, to save themselves for their misdeeds and ugly scene created by them in full public view at the time when a gathering of respectable persons were to have their dinner hosted on the college premises. The management said it was a common knowledge that retiring employee was usually given a farewell on the 31st of the month. For this purpose, no modalities were required to be discussed as claimed by these lecturers, the management said.

The position of alleged hooliganism shown by A. K. Taneja, Anil Sarwal and Avanindra Chopra on October 24 has been intimated to the managing committee, New Delhi, for disciplinary action against them.



Diwali celebrated in schools, colleges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 27
Swami Vivekananda Group of Institutes celebrated Diwali at a function organised on the campus. N. C. Jain, field general manager, PNB, Chandigarh, was chief guest and D. S. Bainola, AGM, PNB, was guest of honour.

St John’s: St Joan's Public School, Zirakpur, celebrated Diwali with great fun and enjoyment. Students, decked up as different characters from the Ramayana, presented a ballet. Students were told about the importance of the festival.

Earlier, a rangoli competition was also organised on the school premise.

St Soldier: At St Soldier School, Mohali, students of pre-primary wing showcased their best assemblies. The programme commenced with Class I’s presentations of ‘Rainy Season’ and ‘Summer Season’. Students also tried to convince the audience to ‘Say No to Junk Food’. Class II apprised everyone about ‘Power and Water Conservation’. Students took the audience to a journey through the city by presenting the highlights of Chandigarh in an enthralling manner. They also presented ‘Give it Your Best’.

Govt College: At the Government College, the festival was celebrated with great enthusiasm. The students of diploma in hotel house-keeping and fine arts put up an impressive display. The students of MA (fine arts) also put up an exhibition of floating candles, diyas, painted fabrics and flowerpots.

Ajit Karam school: Students of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 65, celebrated the festival by participating in diya-decoration activity. The tiny artists decorated the earthen lamps. The best creative artists were Inderveer Singh of Pre-Nursery, Gurjot Kaur of Nursery and Jaskaran Singh of KG. Classes from I to IX gathered for a special assembly, where students shared their views about the festival.



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