C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City shivers at 7.6°C
Records coldest day of the season; rail, air, road traffic hit

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Chandigarh today experienced the coldest day of the season with maximum temperature touching 16 degrees Celsius and minimum dropping to 7.6 as cold winds blew throughout the day.

According to the Met department, the temperature will further fall in the next few days, as there are chances of rainfall in the city. Officials stated that people would get relief from fog with fall in temperature in the city.

Chandigarh and surrounding areas continued to remain engulfed in a thick blanket fog disrupting road, rail and air services for the second consecutive day today.

The Jet Airways Delhi-Chandigarh flight was cancelled while Mumbai -Chandigarh flight was delayed by more than 25 minutes due to foggy weather. A dense fog enveloped several areas of the region in the morning, reducing visibility considerably and forcing vehicular traffic to move with headlights on. Fog also affected movement of trains and hit air services.

Apart from slowing down different pairs of Shatabdi Express, running between Chandigarh and Delhi, several passenger trains were running behind schedule by four to 11 hours. While the Mumbai-Chandigarh Paschim Express arrived five hours behind its scheduled arrival time, the morning Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express (2011) was almost two hours late. The evening Shatabdi Express (2005) arrived 30 minutes late.

Passengers travelling in Shatabdi Express complained of frequent trains stoppages due to poor visibility. The worst affected have been those who are regularly travelling in Shatabdi Express (2011), and Shatabdi Express (2005).

Sources in the Railways reveal that in the past one month, the train has been running behind schedule.

Besides the Shatabdi, other long distance trains like the Kalka-Howrah, Unchahar Express, Sadbhawna Express were running several hours behind the schedule.

Normal life was thrown out of gear with fog continuing to play spoilsport. Taking a precautionary measure, the police also sent messages to people to avoid non-essential travel in foggy weather, use of dipper and maintain low speed and do not drink and drive to avoid accidents.



Bansal guns for Rodrigues
Seeks review of controversial mega projects

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Breaking his silence on the “pet but controversial mega projects” of UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues, Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal today sought the review of the mega projects for their alleged lopsided model of revenue sharing “heavily loaded against the administration”.

“We are not against developmental projects in Chandigarh, but there is certainly a case for the review of the ongoing mega projects as questions are being raised at the process of allotment of these projects to the major realtors,” Bansal told The Tribune here today.

Bansal, who does not see eye to eye with Rodrigues on these mega projects, alleged that hundreds of acres of lands, “forcibly” acquired from farmers and other landowners for peanuts, had been allotted to the private developers in a questionable manner as had been clear from spate of recent news reports. “In fact, there seems to be something wrong with the allotment of the land to the land developers," Bansal said.

Taking exception to the Chandigarh Administration's attempts to justify land acquisitions through advertisements in a section of the Press at public expense, Bansal raised fingers at the financial model of the projects. “The hospitals, hotels and other development projects were essential for the city but these should be developed taking care of the needs and concerns of the all stakeholders, particularly the landowners, whose land is being acquired for these projects,” the minister opined.

While the Punjab government was acquiring land at the rate ranging from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 1.76 crore per acre in neighbouring Mohali, the administration was giving a raw deal to the landowners by acquiring the agricultural land and transferring it to land developers for commercial purposes.

Hinting at “misplaced priorities” of the Administration, Bansal alleged that while the land for religious, educational and other institutional purposes was being auctioned, the land for the mega project had been allotted in a questionable manner.



Worn-out buses to run on city roads
Admn asks STA to pass 16 old CTU buses that have outlived their time span
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Chandigarh Administration today set a new precedent by giving a go ahead to the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses that already had outlived their time span.

Giving a hoot to court orders, the Administration has instructed the State Transport Authority (STA) to pass as many as 16 condemned buses (1999 and 2000 models) on the pattern of school buses. The school buses are allowed to run for a period of 15 years.

It is pertinent to mention that the STA Board of Inspection, more than once, had declined to issue certificate of fitness for renewal of registration by declaring the buses unfit for plying on the roads. Against the orders of the Board of Inspection, the Transport Department has gone in for an appeal before the Transport Secretary.

As per the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the power to issue the renewal of fitness certificate lies with the STA only and no appeal can be made against it.

Nevertheless, the STA has been compelled to “pass” these buses for weird reasons. Today, out of 16, the STA has given clearance to as many as 13 buses.

According to an estimate, a local CTU bus covers around 300 kilometres a day and buses on long-route run over 500 kilometres a day. Comparatively, a school bus has to run between 60 to 70 kilometres a day. This means that a CTU bus travels five times more than a school bus. How come the lifespan of CTU buses be proportional to school buses is beyond any imagination? say sources. Another plea taken by the Administration is about the failure of the grid system in case these buses go off road.

Questions are being raised that for the sake of grid system, the administration has yet not woken up from its deep slumber to take care of 17 brand new chassis awaiting fabrication for over six months at the CTU’s Industrial Area depot.

The sources said that till date, the tender for fabrication of these buses have not been finalised as no proposal in this regard has been put up by the Transport Department.

Interestingly, during a meeting held in September 17, the officials observed that the CTU had not even finalised the proposal for the purchase of another 61 new chassis despite the fact that sufficient funds were available with the administration.

As per Central government guidelines for state transport, after completing eight years or five lakh kilometres -whichever is later - the buses have to be condemned in view of larger public interest.

According to official figures, there is around 37 CTU buses of 1999 and 2000 make which had outlived their engine life, emanate smoke up to 95 per cent, having loose wiring, defective acceleration, starting problem and jammed emergency doors.



Education dept under scanner
Appoints retired employee as consultant

Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The appointments at the UT Education Department have come under a scanner once again as the department has allegedly accommodated one of it’s retired employees, Govardhan Das, as consultant (private schools) for a period of three months.

The profile that has been chalked out for the first time in department is being seen as a move to “adjust” the retired employee.

“What is this new post for? The department leaves no stone unturned to accommodate its favourites. If they felt the need for the post, then why wasn’t a fair selection made? They have overlooked everybody else and nominated a man without interviewing many like us who have retired after serving the department honestly for so many years,” said a retired principal.

“Nominating somebody just for three months is not justified. Still, if they wanted to hire somebody, then why someone with a tainted record? How can the department overlook that he was found guilty of misusing his position to get one of his accomplices appointed as the principal in a city school.

Moreover, several times he has been charged with corruption and former DPI had even taken away all his work for about two months after finding him guilty of corruption. He is just being accommodated, as he has been a long time favourite,” said a department official.

However, DPI (S), UT, Samwartak Singh has dismissed the allegations and justified Govardhan’s appointment on basis of his past experience in dealing with private schools.

“There were some pending issues that needed to be dealt with. We have created no new post. He will be here only for three months that, too, on contract. I have checked his record and found that though charges were levelled against him, but they were never proved. If anybody approaches me with the proof, I will not take a minute to reconsider the decision as he has not submitted his joining as yet,” said the DIP.


MC Elections
BSP not to support Cong, BJP candidates
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
To drive wedge between the BJP-SAD alliances in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation's mayoral elections, the BSP party today announced to support only Gurnam Singh, a SAD candidate, for the post of senior deputy mayor in the coming elections. The party has also decided to abstain from voting for the mayor and deputy mayor elections, who are the BJP candidates.

While talking to The Tribune, former Union Minister and convener, the BSP, Harmohan Dhawan, stated that the party has received the directions from the party’s high command not to support either the Congress or the BJP candidates on the plea of their national policy were against the BSP. He said the high command had given green signal to support the Akali candidate in the elections.

The BSP has four councillors in the 35-member Municipal Corporation. As the post of mayor for this term has been reserved for the scheduled caste candidate, the party could not contest, as it does not have an eligible candidate. By extending support to Gurnam Singh, the BSP would invariably be lending support to the BJP-Akali front.

Observers believes that as the BSP has already made an announcement not to support either the Congress or the BJP in the coming elections, both the party members have diverted their focus to the nominated councillors to get their. Rather both the parties have intensified their campaign among the nominated councillors to convince them to vote for their party.

Insiders in the BJP party revealed that their party was arranging the meeting with the nominated councillors and even few of the disgruntled the Congress councillors to elicit their support in the coming elections. Sources in the party revealed that after the announcement of Kamlesh as mayoral candidate, the Congress councillors are annoyed with the party high command.

Meanwhile, in a recent meeting of the Balmiki community a decision was taken that if Harphool Chand Kalyan would contest the elections for the senior deputy mayor, as the Congress candidate then the community would excommunicate him from their community.



Councillors object to MLA running proceedings
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 30
Certain councillors belonging to the opposition group objected to Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu trying to run proceedings of the General House at a meeting held today instead of the council president Rajinder Singh Rana.

When an issue relating to dumping of garbage by safai sewaks, who collected the waste from houses was being discussed, the MLA said the safai sewaks could dump the garbage in trolleys, which would be parked by the civic body in the areas, which faced problems. BB Maini objected to this saying that the meeting was to be addressed by the council president and not by the MLA. Maini, who was supported by some councillors, told the MLA that he was only an ex-officio member of the council and could not run the proceedings. The MLA, however, argued that he represented people of the town and as such he had the right to speak up openly at the meeting.

Rajinder Prasad Sharma questioned the president and the executive officer (EO) of the civic body why no action had been taken against employees who had staged a protest against the councillors when the House had met in September. He said it was brought to the notice of the EO that the employee had released a rehri, which had been impounded after a bribe was allegedly paid.

The employee was allegedly caught red-handed by certain councillors. As the activities of certain employees were exposed they got together and raised slogans against the councillors but the authorities concerned failed to take any action in this regard. Sharma said these employees had shown disrespect to the elected representatives and had even stopped attending phone calls of the councillors.

Kuljit Singh Bedi said the district administration had deprived the councillors of their rights by failing to hold the elections to the posts of senior vice-president and vice-president, which were lying vacant for the past about an year and a half.

The president informed the house that gates were to be put up in various areas of the town for security purposes at a cost of about Rs 66 lakh. He said a private firm had offered to put up these gates free of cost provided it was given the permission to display its advertisement on these gates. The house cleared the proposal.

Various other items relating to the employees were also cleared at the meeting.



Mock evacuation drill at RBI office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Tense situation prevailed in and around the building of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at Sector 17 as the joint mock evacuation drill commenced here this evening as a cavalcade of police and fire-brigade vehicles, blowing sirens, rushed towards the building.

The drill was conducted jointly by the Fire Department, the ITBP, the Chandigarh police and security guards attached to the Central Bank unit to check the preparedness of their security personnel in case of fire, any other disaster or some terror attack. After the drill, senior officials expressed satisfaction on the preparations.

At 4:15 pm, fire alarm of the RBI building was blown up to vacate the building, and the police vehicles reached there to cordon off the area. The police put barricades, and asked the motorists to take a detour. The ITBP personnel threw empty grenades into the building, and carried out the rescue operation. A mock fire was made at the fourth floor, which was extinguished and the fire brigade personnel rescued two employees from the third floor.

Interestingly, unaware about the drill, visitors thought the city had been attacked by some terrorists.

According to the fire and emergency safety committee chairman, MPS Chawla, after receiving a call, two motor-bikes, followed by five fire-tenders and hydraulic fire-tenders reached at the spot, and started their drill. As a part of the drill, the top floor of the building caught fire, which was controlled by firemen on time.

He said that they wanted to test how fast they could evacuate people from the building in case of any emergency.

A police official said the fire and emergency services department conducted the drill, and the UT police provided assistance to the operation and to control the traffic.



Markets wear deserted look
Blame it on recession, cold weather, terror attacks

Priya Chadha and Pawan Tiwari

Chandigarh, December 30
As the city prepares to step into the New Year, shoppers are not thronging the city markets. Already hit by a global meltdown, shopkeepers are finding it hard to sell their stocks as the number of shoppers and tourists frequenting the commercial markets has gone down.

“Recession has cut our pockets, New Year time used to be a shopping season earlier, I always used to celebrate the New Year abroad but the recession has forced us to spend more time with our families at home this year,” said Geetanjali, an advocate.

Blame it on cold weather or Mumbai attacks, the markets bore a deserted look on Tuesday as people preferred to remain indoors. The markets of Sectors 17, 19, and 22 are witnessing less rush as compared to the previous years.

“Though inflation has lowered but still there is no reduction in the prices. We are left with no alternatives other than going for subordinate brands in the markets, the recession has taught us a lesson to stay within our economic limits,” said Kirpal Kaur, a housewife.

“After a heavy slump in the market, customers have become more alert regarding expenditure. With New Year round the corner, we expected the number of buyers to grow but it did not happen,” said Bhupender Singh, owner of Micky Chhabra, Sector 10.

“Apart from the recession, the recent Mumbai terror attacks has also impacted the travel bookings, as compared to the last year the bookings have reduced to 50 per cent,” said Vinod Sharma, owner of Venus Holiday Mart, Sector 8.

People prefer safer destinations

A number of city residents are opting for holidays at destinations closer home.

Earlier people used to prefer to go to Mumbai or Delhi for their New Year celebrations but in the wake of Mumbai attacks, the tickets are being booked for nearby and safe areas, said Jagtar Singh, owner of Teji Tours, Sector 46.



New Year celebrations likely to be sombre, subdued
Sheetal Mahajan and Harpreeti Bassi

Chandigarh, December 30
Not withstanding the “Star studded night 2009” in the Taj, it is otherwise going to be sombre and subdued New Year celebrations in the city this year. Though the New Year is round the corner but the excitement of celebrations amongst people is much less, which is evident from the absence of any hype and hoopla in public places as compared to the previous years.

“As part of condolences to the families of those killed in the Mumbai terror attacks, we have cancelled all New Year celebrations this year,” said RK Singla, general manager, Hotel Mountview.

Claiming the time to be non-conducive for any celebrations after the Mumbai violence, many luxury establishments famous for their New Year bashes such as CGA, PCA and Chadigarh Club have cancelled all celebrations lined up for December 31.

The hotels in the city have decided not to have New Year bashes. They are not rejecting individual parties, but the idea is to have low-key celebrations. “We are booked for a private party on the New Year Eve but the hotel itself is not organising any celebrations. It’s going to be a normal affair, just like any other day,” said Anil Sharma, manager, operations, Hotel GK International.

Taking a cue from most of the clubs and restaurants, the city’s shopping complexes and multiplexes have organised no major celebrations for the festival.

“Being the oldest multiplex of the area, we are considered to be the benchmark when it comes to celebrating a festival, so we could not completely do away with the celebrations this year. We just had a winter festival that lasted till December 28. There are no special arrangements for the New Year though,” said Chaman Sharma, assistant manager, marketing, Fun Republic.

With bare minimum decorations, other malls are also keeping the celebrations a low-key affair. “We have only organised shopping-oriented events, which would bring the footfall in the mall. No other special celebrations are lined up for the occasion,” said Mahim Singh, chief manager, City Centra Mall.

On the other hand, the revelers also seem to have developed cold feet to venture out for bashes. “After the Mumbai attack, we feel scared of going out in public places for partying. This is the reason why the enthusiasm to celebrate New Year is missing this year,” said Inderpreet, a college student.

Certain premium leisure spaces like pubs and discotheques of the city which are having New Year celebrations, claim to keep the bashes low-key.



New Year Celebrations
Police set to deal with violators strictly
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, December 30
To make the New Year celebrations safe, the local police is taking hard steps to control the traffic and security arrangements. More than 1,800 cops have been deployed for the purpose, and special nakas will be laid down in various parts of the city.

A senior police official said last year, on the night of December 31, some persons were found heavily drunk, who were causing harassment to their families and other commuters.

To welcome the year 2009, many parties have been planned in discotheques, pubs and clubs of the city. The whole city will be covered by the special nakas, equipped with alcho-meter, especially outside party places.

The traffic police has also planned to deal with the traffic violators strictly. The drunk drivers will not be allowed to drive, and a huge amount of fine will be imposed upon them.

While discussing the traffic and security arrangements, HS Doon, SP, traffic and security, said: “Not even a single person will be spared this time, if found violating the law. Stopping the drunk drive is on the top of our agenda. It is my personnel appeal to the public to make the celebrations safe and happy.”

Last year, on the occasion of New Year, traffic jams were quite common near the 24-hour eating places, like hotel Aroma in Sector 22, Subway in Sector 17, and the ISBT, Sector 17. This time, the police assured that they were taking many steps to control the clashes and drunken brawls.

Mahesh, a local resident said: “Last year, on the same night, there were many clashes outside the discs, and some youths were involved in illegal activities, but now it is the need of the hour to make strict security arrangements.”

Not only the police, even the discs, clubs and hangout places have increased their private security. Even some clubs have hired lady bouncers to strictly deal with the ladies.

The firemen and ambulances have also been alerted.



No party beyond 12.30 am on New Year eve
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 30
The district administration is set to play spoilsport for the new-year revellers, who have made grand plans to dance their way in to the new year.

The District Magistrate, Mohali, in prohibitory orders, has banned opening of hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces and clubs beyond 12.30 am on the eve of the New Year. This means that no party on the eve of New Year will be allowed after 12.30 am at a number of marriage palaces and clubs dotting Chandigarh’s periphery.

Rave parties are often held at peripheral marriage palaces, resulting in law and order problem. Haphazard parking of vehicles at the venue of the functions often lead to traffic jams on the Patiala-Chandigarh, Chandigarh-Ambala and Zirakpur-Panchkula highways.

The SSP, Mohali, JS Aulakh, said the orders would be strictly enforced. The police teams would videograph the functions to avoid violations of the guidelines.

Passing the orders, the District Magistrate, Rahul Bhandhari, said there was apprehension of law and order problem due to opening of the places on the eve of New Year celebrations.

The prohibitory orders would be applicable on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1. The police has been asked to enforce the order strictly. The District Magistrate further said the orders of Supreme Court regarding sound pollution would also be enforced at the hotels, restaurants, clubs and marriage palaces.



Bridge rural-urban divide: Ansari
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
To provide good and effective governance, we need to have cooperative interaction between different social circles of society. The rural and urban strata should be brought together for promoting holistic knowledge through inter-disciplinary research”, opined Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari.

The Vice-President, who was here to inaugurate the new block of the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) at Sector 38, here, today, in his inaugural address, appreciated the role of the IDC for undertaking research on socially relevant issues.

“The social issues, which include health problems like AIDS, immunisation, family planning, industrialisation, technological upgrading, environment, gender sensitisation, improving the delivery of government services, rural indebtedness, literacy and quality education are the significant ingredients for balanced and sustainable development. More focus should be on those issues which are of relevance to the common citizens, especially the poor and the underprivileged,” he said.

“We should focus on the rural areas of the country. They are directly involved with the production but their counterparts belonging to urban areas are more focused on production as well as bulk consumption. So, the need of the hour is to bring both the factions together and expand area of operation for covering wider community. The existing governance priorities should be questioned and alternatives should be developed to improve the lot of common man, especially those who are located in villages,” he opined.

The Vice-President advocated that the ‘think-tanks’, should evolve such policies, after critical analysis but should involve younger generation for social and economic transformation and for building a humane and just society.

To acquire system of good governance, he said there was need for reconciliation by making critical appraisal of the various socio-economic problems and after finding answers to these problems, the reforms needed to be put back into the system. “We have inherited best structures of governance, the need is to redefine rules so as to make delivery of services more people friendly”, he said.

Terming the IDC as critical research autonomous body, the Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal opined that the Centre’s study would be helpful for the government in establishing good governance.

IDC chairman JN Joshi, said there was a need to recognise the relevance of social sciences research and allocated social resources for research. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Cooperative Minister, Punjab and former Army Chief, Gen VP Malik were among those present on the occasion.



‘Chronic sinusitis may be cancerous’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
“It is advisable to get sinusitis properly diagnosed and treated by a specialist doctor at an early stage as it could be a cancerous tumor in some cases,” states Dr Parul Goyal, director rhinology and sinus surgery, SUNY Upstate University, New York. He was speaking at a CME programme organised by Fortis, Mohali at the hospital auditorium.

Chronic sinusitis is a persisting inflammatory condition of one or more sinuses and most commonly develops after an acute sinus infection. Over 50 senior doctors from PGI as well as other hospitals of the tricity attended the programme.

Talking about the latest trends, Dr Goyal said, “Through special cameras placed in the sinus, we are now not only able to identify tumors in the nose, but also tumors in the brain as well as problems in the eyes of the patient. This has been a big leap forward in the medical arena and has resulted in tremendous benefits to patients.”

“Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), along with medication, is the preferred choice for treatment of chronic sinusitis,” he said. “As compared to earlier surgical techniques, the new minimally invasive surgeries ensure that there is no scar tissue and the incision made is very small. For the patient this means less pain, low recovery time, a long term solution to his problems and a better quality of life for him subsequently,” added Dr Goyal.

Giving details of the surgery, he said, “This involves a surgeon inserting an endoscope into the nose.



Cold response to auction of ‘fancy’ numbers
0025 goes for just Rs 45,000

Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 30
Cash-rich farmers of villages in the periphery of Mohali are holding back their money while bidding for fancy vehicle registration numbers in the district.

This cold response of the owners of newly purchased vehicles was visible in the auction of fancy vehicle numbers (PB 65 H series) at the office of the district transport officer here today.

The global meltdown and slowdown by the promoters of mega projects in the city’s periphery has also resulted in low bidding amount for the numbers as a few people are buying new vehicles, said an official.

District Transport Officer (DTO) Balbir Singh said the maximum bid of Rs 45,000 was for number PB 65-H-0025 against a reserve price of Rs 3,000. The second highest bid of Rs 14,000 was for PB-65-H-0020 against a reserved price of Rs 3,000.

Against a target of Rs 1.12 lakh, the DTO was able to earn Rs 2.39 lakh during the auction of 77 numbers.



Civic Amenities
Shalimar Enclave residents get relief
Tribune News Service

Zirkapur, December 30
The harassed residents and plot-holders of the Shalimar Enclave in Dhakola village area here have heaved a sigh of relief following the undertaking given by the GMADA before the Punjab and Haryana High Court to make efforts to provide the promised basic civic amenities within six months.

The residents’ welfare association of the Shailmar Enclave fielded a civil writ petition in December, 2006, with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, hauling up the colonisers, the Punjab government and the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA).

Gurdev Singh Saini, president of the association, said the promoters of the Shalimar Enclave had refused to provide the basic civic amenities, and also put the spaces kept for the community centre and parks on sale.



Seminar on Josh Malihabadi ends
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 30
The propagation of rich Urdu literature among the masses in a phased manner in general and revival of the legendary Urdu poet, Josh Malihabadi remained on the top agenda at a two-day seminar, which concluded here today.

In the seminar organised by the Haryana Urdu Academy in association with the Ghalib Institute, Delhi, over 20 scholars read exhaustive papers on the legendary Urdu poet. Recalling his association with the poet, Padmashri KL Zakir recited some unpublished couplets of the poet and opined that acknowledging the works of writers is a part of our commitment to promote the literature and language. The akademy is making concerted efforts in this regard. He disclosed that an international seminar on the poet of the same sensibility, Majaz Lakhnavi would be held in the third week of February.

Expressing divergent views on the parameters of evaluating a writer with an oblique reference to the rebel poet Josh Malihabadi, the noted Urdu scholar Dr Kamlesh Mohan brought new perspectives into focus. While Josh, is regarded as a proponent of composite culture and secularism his concept of ideological revolution must be viewed critically. Many of his literary creations laced with romanticism ignoring the intellectual potentiality of female gender. Dr Deepak Tandon and Qamar Rais presented valedictory address. London-based Urdu poet Gulshan Khanna, Ghulam Bnabi Khyal, Chand, Dr Shjaid Mahauli, Dr Naseem Ul Sahar, Dr Kamlesh Mohan, Dr Farooq Argali, Dr Farzana Naseem and Mustamir read out their papers today. The akademy secretary KL Zakir thanked the participating delegates and the scant audience at the Haryana Niwas Hall.



Applications invited for general pool houses

Chandigarh, December 30
The House Allotment Committee, Chandigarh Administration, has invited applications for allotment of various categories of general pool houses in Chandigarh for the year 2009-10.

As per provisions of the Government Residence (Chandigarh Administration General Pool) Allotment Rules, 1996, the application for allotment of higher and lower-categories of houses are invited from eligible employees. The interested eligible employees can collect application forms (Form A along with Form 'D') from the eligible officials/officers and forwarded to this office by January 31, 2009. It is further clarified that higher category of houses include houses from Type-III to IX (old) and Type V and VI (new), lower category of houses include houses from Type X to XIII (old) and Type 1 to IV (new).

Eligible employees mean an employee of the eligible office of the government of Punjab, government of Haryana, Chandigarh Administration or of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, working on regular basis in an eligible office or on foreign service having posting with substantive charge at Chandigarh, Panchkula or Mohali. — TNS



‘Misuse’ of car fuel
Mayor gets admn letter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The UT administration is reportedly tightening its noose around officials over the misuse of official allowances.

According to sources, the administration has not even spared Mayor Pradeep Chabbra in this regard.

The sources informed that in a recent development, the UT administration had sent a letter to the Mayor, stating his alleged use of excessive car fuel over and above the amount sanctioned to him.

The sources revealed that a penalty of around Rs 60,000-70,000 had been levied on Chabbra. However, when contacted Chabbra claimed that the letter was nothing but a routine explanation. He added that he had only been asked to give explanation, which he would give soon.



Beating by ASP
Pandey moves NHRC, seeks security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
A city-based human rights organisation took up the issue of the alleged thrashing of Arvind Kumar Pandey by ASP (Central) and his gunmen with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It also sought security for Pandey.

Representatives of the Global Human Rights Council, at a press conference here today, stated that they had lodged a complaint with the NHRC and the ministry of home affairs against the UT IGP, SSP and ASP (central) Madur Verma on behalf of Pandey.

They sought fair probe into the episode and an appropriate action against the guilty. The also demanded security for Pandey, who is a complainant in a corruption case, registered by the CBI against a Chandigarh police officer.



CHEMCON-2008 ends at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The four-day annual conference of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE), CHEMCON-2008, concluded today at the department of chemical engineering and technology, Panjab University.

Various eminent scientists, professors and industrialists from the country and abroad came together on one platform to talk on the various ways in which green technology could be used and how important sustainable growth is for overcoming the energy crisis the world may have to face in future in CHEMCOM.

The new council of the institute was also elected. Sushil Kumar was elected as president and CV Murthy vice-president of the IIChE.

The CHEMCON-2009 will be held at Vishakhapatnam.



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