C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Relief for GPAs
RCS recommends nominal transfer fee
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Proposal then & now

Earlier, the administration had proposed “unearned income” amounting from Rs 3.8 lakh to Rs 5.25 lakh for the GPA transfer. However, now the RCS wants a nominal transfer fee ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 for the transfer on the Haryana pattern.

Chandigarh November 20
Over 15,000 General Power of Attorney(GPA) holders in cooperative group housing societies who wish to transfer flats in their name can breath easy. The Registrar for Cooperative Societies (RCS) has recommended a nominal transfer fee to the UT administration. RCS-cum-DC RK Rao, in a communication to the home-cum-cooperation secretary Ram Niwas, has urged the administration to follow the Haryana pattern while allowing the transfer of flats in GPAs' name.The proposed transfer fee ranges from Rs 10,000 (first transfer), Rs 20,000 (second transfer) and Rs 30,000 (third transfer).

Acting on a number of representations from the residents' welfare organisations, Ram Niwas had directed the RCS on Noverber 10 to have a re-look at the proposed hefty “unearned income” imposed by the Chandigarh Administration on the transfer of flats in the name of GPA holders.

Caring two hoots for “people-friendly” policies and dealing a severe blow to the cooperative housing movement, the administration had recently proposed the “unearned income” ranging from Rs 3.8 lakh to Rs 5.25 lakh for the transfer, depending on the category of the flat. Ironically, the “unearned income” was reportedly proposed under the rules which are no longer a part of statute books, as revealed in information procured under the RTI Act.

The proposal to levy “unearned income” had seen people up in arms as nowhere in the country such charges are levied. Even neighbouring state like Haryana (Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000) and Punjab (where no charges are levied if the GPA is eligible for transfer of flat in his name) follow “pro-people” policies aimed at giving a boost to the housing sector. Official sources said the final decision on the issue would be taken keeping in mind the policies being followed in the neighbouring states and public welfare in mind.

In fact, the Haryana Housing Board Act has been extended to the Chandigarh Housing Board, which is the coordinating agency for the allotment of land to about 120 cooperative housing societies in the city.

UT administrator SF Rodrigues had okayed a substitution policy for the cooperative societies under which the general body of the societies was authorised to levy the substitution charges.The cooperative societies want that the administration should either replicate the substitution policy in the GPA transfer or the implement the Haryana model proposed the RCS.



Schools refuse to obey education dept
Fail to furnish balance sheets
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

List of erring institutions

n Bal Niketan School
n St Soldier’s School
n New Public School
n Vivek High School
n St Joseph School
n Mount Carmel School
n St Kabir School
n CL Aggarwal School
n Moti Ram Arya School
n Shivalik View School
n Sharda Sarvhitkari School

Chandigarh, November 20
Eleven top-notch city private schools have failed to furnish their balance sheets as per the UT education department’s month-old notice seeking the same to scrutinise their fee structure and tighten the noose on “overcharging” defaulters. Failing to evoke a positive response from private schools to its earlier demands of furnishing their balance sheets, the administration, both the education and the finance department, had issued a ‘final’ notice with a deadline of 15 days.

However, even after a month, the large number of defaulters has given a serious blow to administration’s efforts to crack the whip against the erring institutions.

According to Samwartak Singh DPI (S) UT, “I have received it from some of schools but those who have failed to comply will be served fresh warnings to furnish the same at the earliest.”

“This is not the first time. The last time too they did not furnish details. We need to be strict with them and punish them. Asserted a department official, “What is the fun of serving notices all the time when many take it so lightly?

Those at the helm of the erring institutions have their own reasons. “We have not taken any concession from the administration so are not bound to share anything with them. We take fees according the facilities we provide,” said the principal of a school. It may be noted that the move was spearheaded by Sanjay Kumar, then education secretary, after several parents had complained about the arbitrary fee structure being imposed by certain private schools. In a bid to rein in such schools, the administration had sought their balance sheets to assess their claims that money, charged from students, was being ploughed back for the welfare of the children.

The schools had justified their excess fees in the name of “best of facilities”, like AC rooms, sports infrastructure, transport, instructors, and gymnasium, being made available to the students.

However, the administration’s stand was that barring the schools run by trusts or societies, no privately run school can legally divert the money towards raising fixed assets for the school. According to the Education Code under Clause 18, these schools could be questioned if they hiked fee to divert such expenditure to raise capital.



Aryan Brokers fleeces shareholders
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
A Chennai-based share trading company has allegedly defrauded some local residents to the tune of lakhs of rupees by selling their shares without their consent.

The victims have approached the police to get their money back from the company, Aryan Share and Stock Brokers, that has duped them by selling their shares from their accounts. The company runs its office from Sector 32. Ravinder Singh, a Mohali businessman, alleged that he bought shares worth Rs 2.50 lakh and put them in his account with the company.

“I was shocked when I got to know that there is nothing lying in my account. The matter came to light when I asked a company official to transfer the shares in my bank’s demat account. I was told that the documents had been sent to Chennai and a courier slip was also given to me. But later I found that slip was not genuine. Further enquiries revealed that the company had duped me of my entire amount as my account was empty”, alleged Ravinder Singh.

Another victim Sunny Paul, who was allegedly duped of around Rs 85,000, has the same story to tell.

“The company sold all my shares lying in the account without my knowledge. They even did not give us statements”, alleged Sunny, a resident of Sector 46.

Paresh, director of the company, denied any misappropriation of the money. “I have proper authentication, besides all records. All required information was passed time to time to all clients. After losing money during the trading, some persons are making false allegations against us”, said Paresh.

On the other hand, the complainants claimed that they were not alone. “The company has duped many people on the same lines. And we are afraid as a to let board has been put on the door of the cabin, in which the company runs its office”, alleged the victims.

Meanwhile, the police has initiated an inquiry in the case after getting the complaint.

“Yes, we have sent a person to Ambala to meet manager of the company. The inquiry is on”, said Sudarshan Thakur, SHO of Sector 34 police station.



Japanese encephalitis, the new killer disease
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

What is encephalitis?

A mosquito-borne disease that can seriously affect the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. It may lead to death. There are many types of encephalitis, most of which are caused by viral infection. The Japanese encephalitis virus grows on domestic pigs and certain kinds of birds and is carried by a specific type of mosquito, “Culex vishnui,” that breeds in rice fields, marshes, and standing water. The virus is transmitted to humans with a bite

The symptoms

High fever, severe and persistent headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. The patient also displays changes in behaviour. If the patients display symptoms such as confusion, sleepiness, and difficulty in waking up, the indications should not be ignored. These extremely important symptoms may require emergency treatment

Panchkula, November 20
After dengue and malignant malaria, the city is in the grip of a new killer disease - “Japanese Encephalitis”. Two deaths in the city due to suspected Japanese Encephalitis, the most common form of viral encephalitis, were reported here yesterday.

However, health department officials emphasised that so far not a single case of “positive Japanese Encephalitis” had been reported? in the city hospital. Even a single death is a cause of worry, said Dr Anil Allahabadi, deputy civil surgeon, malaria, Panchkula.

“Since no pigs or rice fields were found in the vicinity of the residence of victims, it was ruled out that the deaths were due to JE,” said Dr Allahabadi. He said, Gudia (5) and Suman (6) were residents of Sector 12 A, Panchkula and were under the treatment of a private practitioner.

Gudia’s father informed the authorities that he had taken his daughter to a private practitioner after she complained of severe headache and nausea. She was referred by the private practitioner to General Hospital, Sector 6, where doctors diagnosed that she was suffering from viral? encephalitis?.

Twelve positive cases of JE were brought to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, during the past five months from various parts of Haryana, Punjab and UP. According to experts at the department of community medicine, PGI, “The numbers are lesser as compared to the previous years, as 87 cases of JE were reported last year.”

“Post-Monsoon triggers off encephalitis cases. Most of these cases suffer from encephalopathy (swelling of the brain) caused by varied reasons, ranging from malaria, meningitis, viral factors among others,” said Dr Suneet Singhi, head of the pediatrics department, PGI.



Treating special kids with a difference
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
In an era when materialism rules the roost, a one-of-its-kind NGO, Society for the Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged (SOREM), is on a unique mission to integrate the special children into the mainstream of society through a multi-pronged strategy of blending education, sports and vocational training.

With that in mind, SOREM has already set up a state-of-the-art centre on the sprawling 5,000 square metres in Sector-36 here for the special children. “The idea for setting up the advanced centre is to instill a sense of independent living by providing all basic facilities for their rehabilitation under one roof,” Promila Chander Mohan, the brain behind the centre, told The Tribune here today.

In fact, a long experience of 22 years in the service of the mentally-challenged seems to have stood in good stead for Promila, who was a driving force behind the start of the Special Olympics in the region in the early nineties. “Because the special children cannot excel academically, their participation in sports would go a long way in instilling a sense of belonging among them ultimately paving the way for their integration into the mainstream,” Promila said.

With awareness and sensitivity about mental illness still at its infancy in India, the biggest challenge was to make the special children acceptable to even their own families. In fact, a holistic approach comprising of counselling, therapy, vocational training and sports activities can boost the “acceptability level” of these children in their families and society, she claimed. While the vocational training could make them self-reliant, it is had been found spinning wheel was emerging as one of the best therapies for these children, she added.

Taking the rehabilitation concept further, Promila is planning “unified games” where the normal and special children would play together to “create awareness about the needs of the special children”. And with a view to fully utilise the facilities at the centre, Promila is planning early intervention to admit special children from the age of one. Meanwhile, diagnostic and treatment at the centre will get a boost with eight doctors from the prestigious PGI here offering their services to the centre.


Secretariat Threat Letter
Probe hits roadblock
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Investigations into the recovery of a threat letter from Punjab mini secretariat, Sector 9, on September 15 informing about bombs planted in the building are lily to hit a roadblock. For, the samples of print outs taken from computers installed in the secretariat with that of copies of threat letters did not match, sources informed.

The sources said the threat letter was copied from a fax machine. As it was a typed letter, the police took hundreds of print outs from the computers installed at the secretariat and sent them to the central forensic sciences laboratory (CFSL) for examination. The samples could not be matched as thermal printing used in the fax machines was entirely different from laser printing used in computers, from which the print outs were taken for matching. Under no circumstances, the experts could match and find a similarity in the questionable documents with that of the sample documents.

The police had sent the documents from examination believing that it would help them in zeroing down the computer from which the letter was typed or printed out. The sources said the CFSL experts had prepared their report, which would be dispatched to the police shortly.

On the other hand, the SHO of the Sector 3 police station, Har Sahai Sharma, maintained he had no information about the status of the report. He said he would send a reminder to the CFSL to send the report.

The police is awaiting the CFSL report to further proceed on the matter and has recorded a daily report in the matter so far.

The recovery of the letter on Monday morning was the primary factor, which indicated the police about the involvement of some mischievous employee. With the negative outcome of the report the investigation would hit a roadblock, the matching of the documents was the scientific evidence that could be used against the guilty, a senior police officer said.



Ex-serviceman duping case
Former havaldar posed as Colonel
Elusive dhaba-owner had Army links
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Rajinder Singh Thakur, an ex-serviceman, the former havaldar, who has been held for duping unemployed youths on the pretext of getting them jobs in military, conducted interviews at a hotel in Sector 20, posing himself as a Colonel.

The city police is looking for a Shimla-based dhaba-owner, who allegedly in connivance with Thakur, duped 27 unemployed youths for over 18 lakh of rupees in this connection.

Inderdev, the dhaba-owner, used to lure the unemployed youths, belonging to nearby areas in Himachal Pradesh, visiting his dhaba. He would tell them he had links with higher officials in military and get them appointed in the Military Engineering Services (MES) as drivers, mechanics and carpenters, Amarjit Singh, the investigating officer of the case told The Tribune.

Sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the UT police said Thakur, who had retired as havaldar from military, impressed the aspiring candidates with his English and military mannerism. He posed himself to be a Colonel in military, and would call the candidates for interviews at Skylark Hotel in Sector 20, Chandigarh, besides holding interviews in Shimla and Jalandhar. He allegedly took Rs 70,00 per candidate for issuing him an “appointment letter”. Thakur is presently in Burail Jail.

Though there were glaring discrepancies in the appointment letter, however, the gullible unemployed youths failed to notice them. The appointment letters were full of spelling mistakes, even the appointment was spelled as “apoointmnet” and the defence services as “defiance services”, said a police officer.

After his retirement in 2001, Thakur appeared for recruitment in MES in 2002, but was rejected for being overweight. He then hatched a conspiracy with Inderdev to dupe unemployed youths.

The police had received complaints from 27 persons from Uttrakashi and Shimla against Thakur. According to the sources, so far other than the complainant, Vinod Singh Chauhan, four others, Umesh, Jainder Singh, Bindesh and Laxman, from Uttrakashi had approached the police. Besides, four persons from Shimla had also come to the police.

The police said Inderdev had closed his dhaba after the arrest of Thakur. The police teams had raided his hideouts several times, but he remained elusive.

The police has now moved to the court to declare him a proclaimed offender and the decision is expected in a couple of days.



Three-day saang fest concluded
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, November 20
An immaculate staging of a popular folk drama “Ajit Singh- Rajbala” by artistes of Kurukshetra University provided a befitting grand finale to the three-day Yuva Haryanvi Saang Festival, which concluded at Tagore Theatre here today.

Written by a noted Haryanvi playwright Chander Lal Bedi, the folk play depicted the saga of sufferings and resolute resolves of prince Ajit Singh, who lost his kingdom of Amarkot and subsequently his proposed marriage to princess Rajbala of Jaisalmer. The play progressed under the direction of Sooraj Bedi with compatible acting spells from all actors, including five female artistes.

The highlight of the festival, organised by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, Haryana, remained the pioneering performance of the female actors for the first time in the history of Haryanvi traditional saang staged in the region.

Project director B.S. Balhara presented cash awards of Rs 51,000, Rs 31,000 and Rs 21,000 to respective winners on behalf of the DPR, Haryana.



No prominent takers for food street
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
No prominent food chain owner made a bid in the first night food street coming in the city soon. For eight food kiosks only 43 localised food chain owners turned up with the highest bid going for Rs 31,000 against the reserve price of Rs 5,000.

The municipal corporation had decided to invite bids for four Indian, two continental, one Chinese and one south Indian kiosk in response to which no bidder turned for the south Indian kiosks.

Referring to the concept of food streets of Delhi one always think of specific cuisine streets like kabab street, chat street, parantha wali gali and Bengali street. Whereas here the authorities are not focusing on any specialisation due to which there were very few bidders.

One of the owners of south Indian restaurant stated that as per the food culture habits of north India they prefer heavy food like parantha, chicken, cholhe bhatura even during night hours, whereas south Indian food comprises of light food like idli, plain dosa as night meal. As we already have a hunch that south Indian night food kiosks would not attract much crowd so we dropped the idea of bidding for it.

When contacted the MC, joint commissioner T. P. S. Phoolka, said they were reviewing the bids on the basis of their experience in the food industry. The night food street will become functional by the end of this month. 



Tension prevails as GMADA fails to demolish structures
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Tension prevailed in Madanpur village as the enforcement staff of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) made an unsuccessful attempt to demolish around 12 temporary structures.

Officials led by SDO (building) Santosh K. Bains claimed that the structures were on acquired land, occupants of the structures claimed that it was a village shamlat land that was never acquired.

After the enforcement staff started its drive, residents led by women laid down in front of a JCB machine being used in the operation. Efforts by the GMADA officials to convince the residents to stop opposition failed to yield any result. The GMADA officials had to withdraw from the spot.

In aid of the residents, the Dalit Rights Protection Forum had filed a case in the local court seeking compensation and suitable rehabilitation. Pushpa Salaria, all-India chairman of the Dalit Rights Protection Fund, said the case would come up for hearing.



Curbs on wi-fi access led to PU brawl
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Are the efforts by computer centre employees of Panjab University to restrain students from misusing the wi-fi facility was the reason behind Wednesday’s brawl? This question was there on almost everybody’s mind today. A day after this incident that took place in the corridors of the computer centre, its impact on the minds of the university fraternity was evident from the fact that the matter was discussed in the department of computer sciences.

Prof R C Sobti, VC, even addressed students and the faculty of the department of laws as a student happened to be of the department.

According to sources, technicians of the computer centre, who are responsible for allowing the use of wi-fi facility on the campus, were constantly drawing the ire of the students.

Recently, in the wake of terror threats, the PU authorities had decided to regulate the usage of wi-fi. It was made mandatory for the students to register their computers with the network card which has a unique identification number called MAC. With this, those who are not the students of the campus are restricted from misusing this facility.

However, it was found that many students were downloading illegal softwares and then through proxy sites, they could visit objectionable websites. Recently, some students were identified through their MAC numbers browsing proxy sites. Later, they were banned to use this facility.

The university has a database of around 50,000 restricted sites. The authorities had even tried to keep away students from these sites by blocking certain keywords. So much so that students have even been sending request mails as well as hate mails to the authorities to restart many restricted websites.

Insiders believe that it was this frustration among students that could have allegedly led to the violence.



Natural products cure diseases, say experts
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
The natural product, particularly microbial and plant products have played a vital role in the discovery of new chemical entities in drug discovery.

Around 48 per cent of new chemical entities between 1981 and 2002 were actually natural products or analogues or derivatives, said Prof K.K. Bhutani, head of department of natural products, while speaking at the final day of the five-day international conference on new development in drug discovery from natural products and traditional medicines at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) here.

He said the pharmaceutical industries had to come forward with a focus on utilising the traditional knowledge in context of ‘medical pluralism’ to fulfil health needs of the society. The therapeutic areas of inflammation, metabolic diseases and obesity may receive more attention for the development of natural products. Lifestyle diseases like obesity and metabolic disorders are silent killers, which have always been unnoticed. A huge amount of information is already available in traditional medicines about their cures. Meanwhile at the concluding function, Prof William Gerwick, eminent marine chemist and biologist from the University of California, USA, who was the guest of honour at the valedictory function, said it is quite inspiring to see the spirit and enthusiasm amongst the students. Internationally renowned academicians and researchers from 11 countries propounded their expert opinions and focused on the latest developments that have taken place in the field of natural products and traditional medicines research. The scientific deliberations of the conference had been divided into 15 plenary sessions, 27 invited lectures, 21 oral presentations, and over 180 posters were presented during the conference.

At the concluding function, Prof Harkishen Singh, professor emeritus, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, gave a lecture on “Discovery of a drug-story of an orphaned discovery”. Others who spoke on the occasion were Prof K. L. Dhar and Prof O. P. Suri.



PU workshop on centre-state ties from Dec 10
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Panjab University is going to host the prestigious two-day north-western regional workshop on rethinking centre-state relations in India under the aegis of the Commission on Centre State Relations, New Delhi from December 10 to 11.

The governors and chief ministers of states, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Prdaesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi, are expected to participate in this two-day event. Besides bureaucrats, academicians including vice-chancellors of regional universities, thinkers, people from civil society would deliberate on various issues ranging from Centre-state relations, Centre-state economic and financial relations with reference to inter-governmental funds transfer, conditionalities on transfer of funds from the Centre to states and other centrally sponsored schemes.

This is for the first time that the university is going to host this regional conference. Earlier, last month a regional conference was held at Shillong. The aim of the conference is to gather people’s perception about government; it’s functioning in broader spectrum, besides reviewing issues concerning Centre-state relations. After deliberations, the commission will make recommendations for appropriate changes, review constitutional and legal aspects of the relations, besides focusing on mechanism for inter-government consultations, reviewing local governments and administrative relations, economical and financial relations between the Centre and the state, economical and financial relations on unified and integrated domestic markets.

The two-day conference will spread over different sessions, with chairman of the commission M.M. Punchhi and former chief justice of India presiding and addressing the inaugural session respectively. Besides, S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and UT administrator, Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana, Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh are expected to be present during the inaugural session.



Breast cancer rising fast in India: Expert
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women worldwide. But the incidence of cancer in developing countries like India continues to be much lower than those seen in developed western nations, said Prof Ramesh C. Gupta, University of Louisville, the US.

He was speaking during the ongoing international conference on new development in drug discovery from natural products and traditional medicines at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER).

Deliberating on “berry phytochemicals prevent breast cancer”, he said with rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, the incidence of breast cancer was rising fast among Indian women. According to the latest National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) report, breast cancer has replaced cervical cancer as the leading cancer in females in India. The districts with highest median age adjusted rates (MAAR) included Chandigarh (39.5), followed by North Goa (36.8), Aizawal (36.2), Panchkula (34.6) and South Goa (28.0).

The distribution in the rural and urban centres is distinctly skewed towards the latter. Breast cancer is emerging as a prominent public health problem in the urban centres of India.

Earlier, Prof William Gerwick, University of California, the US, while speaking on “Integrating Chemical and Biochemical Approaches to Natural Products Drug Discovery from Marine Cyanobacteria”, said marine cyanobacteria have emerged to be one of the richest sources of natural products among all life forms in the oceans.

Marine cyanobacteria are an exceptionally rich source of novel peptide and integrated peptide-polypeptides type natural products. Many of these natural products are potently cytotoxic to mammalian cells, and this had furthered their exploration as a source of new anti-cancer lead compounds.

“Our efforts in this area have mainly revealed the exceptional capacity of these organisms to create structurally diverse cyclic peptide. Continued multidisciplinary examination of this resource for new bioactive natural products was warranted,” he said adding that it was the interface of these disciplines and technologies that innovative ideas and questions are generated and ultimately answered.

Besides, Prof Bharat Aggarwal, University of Texas, the US, spoke on “Multi-targeted therapy by natural products: Add spice to your life” and Prof Acharan Narula, director, Narula Research, Chapel Hill, spoke on “Osteoarthritis: Is there any light at the end of a dark tunnel?”



Shatabdi passenger dies of heart attack
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
A Chandigarh resident died while travelling in Shatabdi Express due to cardiac arrest here today. The deceased identified as A K Nagpal (58), was immediately shifted to General Hospital, Sector 6, after the train was stopped at the railway crossing of Sector 19 around 6.30 pm.

Nagpal, who was an official at northern regional office Laboratory of Bureau of India Standards at Mohali, was declared brought dead. There were some marks of bleeding on the nose and mouth of the deceased, the doctors said.

While the exact cause of death would be ascertained after a postmortem, the people accompanying the body informed he was a cardiac patient, they said.

In fact, he was brought to the hospital late as the coach in which he was travelling stopped at the sot where the access of vehicles was not possible. Moreover, due to traffic jam on both sides of the railway crossing the ambulance got stuck there.

The police said it was when the train reached near Sector 19 of Panchkula, Nagpal suffered a heart attack after which the train was halted for around half-an-hour at 6.35 pm. The traffic could be controlled after one hour when the train left for its destination at 7 pm.

Nagpal was staying at Sector 48 in Chandigarh, while his family was in New Delhi. His wife was a teacher there while his son was settled at USA.



Door-to-door survey by health officials soon
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
After eight cases of Chikungunya reported at the local General Hospial, the health officials have decided to conduct a door-to-door survey in the sectors from where the cases were reported.

A survey and fogging operation would be conducted in Sectors 6, 12 and 17 from where three suspected cases of chikungunya were reported at the hospital on Tuesday. The department today however confirmed all the three cases.

One of the patients, Sangeeta from Sector 6, was however from Hisar who had come here to her relatives recently. “It is suspected she had been carrying the infection from Hisar as many more patients also reported from Hisar at the hospital last month,” said Allahabadi. Last month, five cases of chikungunya were reported at the hospital, he said. Three of these cases were found to be from Hisar and the rest were from Rohtak, he added.



Bank to take action against defaulters
Our Correspondent

Kalka, November 20
The Panchkula Co-operative Bank, Kalka, has decided to take a stern action against the loan defaulters.

The officials of Panchkula Central Co-operative Bank, Panchkula, revealed Rs 2.67 crore loan was to be recovered from 1635 customers of the kalka branch. The loan amount of Rs 1.59 crores was to be recovered from the small farmers as the agriculture loan and Rs 1.08 crores was lying outstanding in non-agriculture loan.

Meanwhile, loan amount of Rs 46 lakh has already been exempted under the agriculture debit waiver scheme of the Central government. The sources further said under the Haryana government’s one time settlement (OTS) interest relief scheme, the loan interests of 26.82 lakh of defaulters had been exempted upto 31-3-2006.

The sources further said under Section 110 of the Co-operative Act, 1984, the bank would either seize or sale any property owned by defaulters.



SBI manager guilty of not clearing bills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
It took 14 years to hold the chief manager of State Bank of India and three others guilty for not clearing the bills of canteen in the bank.

The bank officials were asked to pay Rs 2,34,000 by labour commissioner after a complaint was made by canteen employees in 1992 . The bank officials challenged the order in the High Court but labour commissioner’s order was upheld.

Holding the chief manager, J.S. Bhatnagar, then canteen manager, Kamal Kapoor, chief manager (implementation canteen) late D.V. Passey and then secretary, implementation committee, S.K. Walia, guilty under Section 22 of the Minimum Wages Act the court imposed a fine of Rs 500.



‘Special search’ to nab anti-social elements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
In an effort to nab suspected terrorists, anti-national and social elements, the Chandigarh police has been conducting “special search”, especially in slum areas of the city these days.

Today, a police party consisting of two DSPs, around 70 personnel, paramilitary and the Punjab police commandos was deputed to raid each and every dwelling unit of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26.

The operation, which continued for over three hours, started at 4 am.

During the search, as many as 12 suspects were rounded up and stranger rolls had been issued. However, all rounded up suspects were let off after due verification through local leaders.

“The main purpose behind the search was to restrict the movements of the anti-social elements in and around the city,” said P.K. Dhawan, DSP (East). More such searches will be carried out in different parts of the city, he added.

Meanwhile, the police has also deputed 50 personnel for the forthcoming two-day Chandigarh Carnival starting from November 22.



Man commits suicide in Sector 32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
A 50-year-old Pardeep Kumar, a resident of Sector 32, here, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his house here late this evening.

The deceased, who was unemployed, was found hanging from a ceiling fan by his wife who had gone out with her two children. No suicide note has been found on the spot.



Rally on safe medication
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Students of Swami Vivekanand College of Pharmacy today organised a rally here to mark the National Pharmacy Week celebrations.

The rally, organised under the aegis of Indian Pharmaceutical Association, was flagged off by the chairman of Swami Vivekanand Group of Institutes, Ashwani Garg.

The theme for this week is “Ask Your Pharmacist: For Safe Prescription Medication”. The rally was attended by over 200 students and staff members of the college. The students were holding banners and placards with slogans like “Educate before you medicate”, “Know Your Pharmacist”, “Consult before you take medicine”, “Consult Pharmacist for healthier life”, “Pharmacist-custodian of medicine knowledge” and Pharmacist-for right use of medicine”.



PU Notes
Symposium on bio-medical research begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Panjab University is organising the 78th annual session of NASI (National Academy of Sciences) and symposium on novel approaches for bio-medical research from November 21-23. About 400 delegates are to participate in the session. The bio-medical research, the theme of the symposium, is witnessing a rapid change in the way the research is being conducted.

The symposium and annual session will be inaugurated by Prof. M.G.K. Menon. Prof. P.N. Tandon will deliver the theme lecture of the symposium. The symposium on first two days will be divided into eight sessions to be addressed by eminent scientists.

On the third day, there will be parallel poster sessions. The Children Science Congress on the same day, the first of its kind to be hosted by NASI, with a view to promote scientific awareness among children, will be the hallmark of the event. The NASI will also be presenting the Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Awards (2008) and Swarna Jayanti Puruskar for best paper presentation.

Office shifted

Panjab University has notified for candidates appearing for UGC-NET scheduled on December 28, that the office of the coordinator has now been shifted to the department of botany, PU. The office will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm on all working days.

One-day seminar

The Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, PU, in collaboration with CARES, Mohali (an NGO) organised a one-day seminar on the theme “Save girl child” at Rotary Club, Dhanas village, Chandigarh. More than 30 community women participated in the seminar.

Dr. Prabha Vig, senior project officer from the Centre, highlighted that the girl child in India does not enjoy good status in the country.



Manav Mangal cultural fest
Tribune New Service

Mohali, November 20
The cultural bonanza of Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, Chandigarh, commenced at Manav Mangal Smart School, Phase 10, here.

Through a song, the youngsters paid tribute to the Almighty, their parents and teachers for showering all their love and affection upon them. An item was presented by tiny tots that left the audience spellbound.

Through ‘Kudrat Ki Pukar’, the students came forward with a message that trees are essential for our survival in future. In their own lucid and innocent style, they requested one and all to lead a healthy life.



Qaumi Ekta Week begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 20
As part of the ongoing Quami Ekta Week (National Integration Week), Yuvsatta and the Peace Club of KB DAV-7 organised a trip for 40 young students for “Building Interfaith Trust & Brotherhood” with visits to a church, gurdwara, temple and mosque.

Integration meet

The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti is organising the National Integration Meet 2008 from November 20 to 21. UT home secretary Ram Niwas was the chief guest at the opening ceremony at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalya, Sector 25, here today.

The theme of this year's meet is "Millennium Developmental Goals: Climate Change and Environment".


An entrepreneurship development programme (EDP) was organised today to commemorate the Global Entrepreneurship Week at Government College for Girls, Sector-11. UT home secretary-cum-secretary, Industries, Ram Niwas, was the chief guest. The programme was organised by the department of industries, administration, in association with Abza Consultants.



60 NCC cadets visit old age home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
As many as 60 cadets visited Old Age Home, Sector 15, kicking off the week long celebrations in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC directorate, to take blessings and to convey a message of social responsibility towards elders today.

The cadets interacted with the elderly people and spent time with them. Apart from the interaction, the cadets danced with the elderly people and elated their spirits. This was followed by a visit to a blind school in Sector 26 where the cadets interacted with the students and got to know different methodology by which the visually impaired children get education in spite of all odds.

The cadets distributed sweets among the visually impaired children as a token of love. A cycle rally was also conducted where about 150 cadets carried the message of “Save girl child.” A painting, declamation and essay writing competition were also held to mark the occasion.



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