C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Congested Spots on Chandigarh-Ambala Highway
NHAI asked to provide slow carriageway
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
To ensure smooth flow of traffic on the four-lane section of the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been asked to provide slow carriageway at the congested sections in Zirakpur and Derabassi.

The slow carriageway would also cater to the buses that often stop on the highway to pick and drop passengers. The issue was discussed in a meeting of Mohali district administration officials held today in Zirakpur.

Banquet halls face demolition

While the NHAI has issued notices to the banquet hall owners and petrol pump under the control of National Highway (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, for using unauthorised accesses to the National Highway, the banquet owners lament that NHAI officials were not providing the formalities required to regularise their openings. If no formula was worked out, the unauthorised structures could face demolition.

Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Mohali and Panchkula Deputy Commissioners to resolve the issue of unnecessary parking of vehicles on the Zirakpur-Derabassi stretch.

To find out the solution, Mohali Deputy Commissioner had yesterday constituted a sub-committee of officials. The officials along with the NHAI officials visited the spot to work out the modalities.

Regarding the issue of congestion at Derabassi, it was proposed that opening of the road coming from Derabassi town be blocked to stop its direct access to the national highway. The traffic would have to take a detour of about 500 metres to join the highway. At the inauguration of the Dappar toll plaza, the Punjab Cooperation Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh had sought flyover at Derabassi to ease the congestion.

The sub-committee has also suggested construction of bus queue shelters on both sides of the national highway at Zirakpur. Slow carriageways would enable the buses to park-to-pick and drop the passengers. The police have decided to challan the illegally parked vehicles after declaring the “tow away” zones.

Sources said the sub committee did not find merit in proposal of the NHAI to divert traffic through sector 19, Industrial Area, Panchkula and another through Dhakoli village, during construction of railway overbridge at Dhakoli on the Zirakpur-Panchkula highway.

The NHAI has been asked to constrict side roads on both sides before commencing construction of the railway overbridge.



Child Marriage
NGO to rescue of minor girl
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
At an age when she should have been going to school and playing with her friends, not troubled about the worldly things, 12-year-old Jasbir was asked by her paternal uncle (taya) to get married to a boy she had not even met or seen.

Thankfully, Jasbir, who works as a domestic help at a house in Bapu Dham Colony, was saved after the intervention of an NGO that got in touch with the Child Welfare Committee who rescued her.

Jasbir takes classes at the roadside school in Sector 8. It was one of her friends at the school who informed an NGO. The matter was then referred to the Child Welfare Committee and Child Line took up the matter immediately.

Marriage seemed to be yet another reason to celebrate for this young girl. She said: “One, day my father’s elder brother, who stays in Lalru, told me that he has chosen a boy for me and will marry me off on December 30. I don’t know who that boy was, his age or his qualification. The marriage was to be solemnised in a nearby gurdwara in the Bapu Dham Colony.”

When questioned on what she planned to do after marriage, Jasbir replied in a blink, “If married, I would have pursued my studies. According to my uncle, the boy whom I was supposed to marry was settled in Punjab. I would have gone to Punjab and would have pursued my studies.”

Jasbir said that she sweeps, mops, washes clothes at a house and is paid Rs 300. “I am not so keen on getting married, but had no option as my parents were ready for it, she said.”



CITCO treats bureaucrats generously
Offers discounts on buffets at hotels
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Extending discounts to senior bureaucrats seem to have become a habit of CITCO. Thanks to the corporation’s generosity, even in these trying times of recession, UT ‘babus’ will now be able to savour the buffets at a discount, which hitherto was restricted to à la carte menus in CITCO’s five-star hotels.

The decision to extend the “privilege” comes close on the heels of the CITCO’s decision to rollback, albeit under pressure, its earlier move to increase the discounts to bureaucrats from 40 to 50 per cent.

Though a decision for extending the discount facility to buffets was taken during the meeting of Board of Directors on December 13, it was implemented on December 29, incidentally the last day of Niharika Rai’s stint as the officiating MD of the corporation.

There are over 500 bureaucrats who possess “privilege cards” and are entitled to avail discount between 25 and 40 per cent. The Board of Directors, irrespective of past or present, are privileged to have 50 per cent discount.

Experts in the hospitality industry believe that no discount is ever offered on liquor due to strict excise norms, but the CITCO is liberal for its privileged members here too.

“No record is maintained at any of the CITCO joint about the number of times one has availed this privileged discount. Even the Class I officers at CITCO are entitled to avail discount up to Rs 1,000 per month, that too in a prescribed manner, but there are no such strictures on these bureaucrats. Since there is no photograph on the card, their family members, too, use the card more than often,” said an official of food and beverages wing of one of the CITCO joints.

According to an estimate, the buffet at five-star Hotel Mountview costs Rs 399 per head, including VAT, but after discount, one course meal would cost the privilege cardholders for Rs 200 only.

“Not a bad deal. They should withdraw all the cooks from their houses as with this discount, the meal at five-star hotel would now cost less comparative to get it prepared at home,” said an official.

The move has not gone down well with the CITCO staff that resent the that while the big shots were entitled to these privileges, they do not get anything “off” on their bills despite working for the organisation. “We are given negligible discounts that, too, only if we organise a private party in the hotels. Otherwise, we were never offered discount cards on regular basis as the officers are being given,” they said.

The staff, sources say, is only entitled for 10 per cent discount in Mountview, 15 per cent in Shivalikview and 25 per cent in Sector 24 Hotel Parkview.

This discount is offered only on food items mentioned in the party menus and the “special occasion” has to be in the “blood relation” of the employee.



Schools, colleges can be sued in consumer courts
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Parents who have complaints like unqualified or untrained teachers at schools and colleges or educational institutes adopting syllabi that have not been prescribed can file a case in consumer courts.

Listing on the wide array of complaints that come under the purview of educational institutes, the president of UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Justice KC Gupta, said,

“There are a number of schools that are not recognized by any university or an education board, parents of students who are studying there should come to know about this. Such complaints are entertained by the consumer forum as they are termed as deficiency in service and victims can knock at the door of the consumer forum. We have not seen such complains in the consumer forum as yet the reason for which can be lack of awareness.”

Giving details of an order that was recently pronounced Justice Gupta elaborated, “We have once given directions to the education department that the practice of bunking school classes to attend the private tuitions should be banned. The students bunk classes at school in order to attend classes at private tuitions who take heavy fees from students.”

The schools and colleges can also be taken to consumer courts for appointing unqualified teachers and untrained teachers. Thus the parents must check on the qualification of the teachers employed with the school and compared it with the standards specified by the education department.

Retired Justice S.N. Aggarwal specified, “The parents can approach the consumer courts if the infrastructure at the school is not up to the mark.”

Parents can also file cases in case the syllabi adopted by the school is not prescribed by the education board or department and if a particular institute in an advertisement says that it will ensure 100 per cent placement but it is not done.

Furthermore if there is any delay part of an education institute for issuing provisional certificates that result in denying admission to the students during academic year into the next higher course, then they can seek compensation at the consumer courts.


Cardiac patients more prone to attacks in winters
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
With mercury set to dip it is now time for cardiac patients to spend more time indoors and cut down exposures to cold. According to doctors, winter is the season to dread for the cardiac patient, or one suffering from hypertension.

PGI doctors claim that they have noticed an increase of about 30-40 per cent incidence of cardiac arrests in winters as compared to warmer months as low temperatures increase the possibility of spasms in arteries. Moreover, upper respiratory infections, which are common in winter?, predispose a person to the risk of a heart attack, especially in two weeks following the infection.

''During this period, there are primarily two physiological changes that increase ?the risk in case of the cardiac ?patients. Because of the constriction of blood vessels, the pressure on the heart and the rest of the circulatory system is more,” says Dr Yashpal Sharma, head of the cardiology department, the PGI.

In addition, blood viscosity goes up because of lower water intake. Both cause an added strain on the heart, adds Dr Yashpal. The situation persists from November to March.

Dr HK Bali, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, says, "Another problem faced by cardiac patients in winters is greater chances of increased blood pressure levels. This in turn increases the needed quantity of BP controlling medicines.”

For all those who have a routine for early morning walks should delay it to post sunrise, adds Dr Bali. “The appropriate time to venture out for morning walks in the winter months should be 8:30 am as the early morning chill has subsided with the sun appearing on the skies," he says.

With general cold-related ailments like common cold and cough also increases the chances of cardiac attacks, some doctors also advise administering of anti-cold vaccines right at the outset of winter.

"The best way to keep the heart healthy in winters is to avoid all cold-related problems,” said Dr Bali.



Ban On Autos
Admn ‘softens’ stand

Agrees to find a way out; auto drivers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The much-acclaimed ban on the auto-rickshaws ferrying school kids in the city might soon be remoulded, as the UT Administration and the Chandigarh Mohali Panchkula Auto-rickshaw Joint Action Committee having come close to a compromise today.

Despite the ban, many auto drivers continued with their routine of ferrying school kids today. The committee also held a protest against the ban that seems to have softened Administration’s stand.

“We are ready to mould things if they give in writing that they will abide by the guidelines like restricting the number of students they ferry and follow anti-pollution norms,” said Ram Niwas, Home-cum-Transport Secretary, UT.

It may be noted the Administration had sought an affidavit from the auto drivers stating that they will restrict the number of students being ferried in their vehicle to six. They would have also to comply with anti-pollution norms and would charge on meter, he added.

The committee is thumbs up for all conditions but want some time to install meters, as according to them, it requires time and investment.

“We are ready to give this affidavit, provided we are given some time to get the meters installed,” Said Kamal Kant, chairman of the committee.



Pay Anomalies
Ex-soldiers threaten to burn medals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Flaying the government’s attitude towards their cause, a section of ex-servicemen threatened to burn their gallantry awards if the government did not take concrete step to meet their demands by January 26. Col PIS Phulka (retd.), National President, Ex-Serviceman Wing, Shiromani Akali Dal, today said if the government would not pay heed to their demands, hundreds of ex-sevicemen from states, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal, would gather in New Delhi and burn their medals. He said that ex-soldiers were already sitting on hunger strike to press for their demands at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

Colonel Phulka stated that the pay scales was creating resentment amongst the armed forces of the country.

Addressing a press conference here Colonel Phulka said the bureaucracy left no chance to give a negative colour to the thinking of their political bosses in order to downgrade the status of security forces.

Colonel Phulka further stated that the demand of “one rank one pension” of the ex-servicemen was outrightly rejected by the Union Defence Minister under the ill advice of these bureaucrats. “As per Madan Lal Khurana Committee’s report, the implementation of this demand involved an expenditure of Rs 650 crore only whereas these bureaucrats twisted the financial implications of this proposal to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore,” he said.

He said the enhancement of 70 per cent to the personnel below officer rank recommended earlier had been reduced 50 per cent by the Sixth Pay Commission. “Almost 90 per cent of the PBORs are part of armed forces, who have been adversely affected by the decision of the Sixth Pay Commission,” he said.

He added that the terminology used by the group of officers in respect of pay band-4 has confused it in such a manner that the 7th Pay Commission if ever appointed, will not be in a position to rectify the anomalies in the pay scales and the members of the armed forces will have to face litigations to get their claims.

“Even class IV employees in the Central government would be getting better pay scales, pensioner benefits and benefit of holidays and duty hour than the sepoys of the armed forces,” he said.

Colonel Phulka expressed apprehensions that some anti-armed forces elements had sneaked in the Ministry of Defence to torpedo the interests of the armed forces and to demoralise them. He referred to an incident where a martyr was compared to a dog by a political leader.

Colonel Phulka exhorted the seven lakh ex-serviceman of the state and family members of the working soldiers that they should rise above petty politics and should work together under the banner of Ex-Serviceman Wing to get their genuine demands accepted by the Centre.



Relief from cold, but fog delays trains
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
There seems to be some respite from the cold wave and foggy conditions for residents of Chandigarh and surrounding areas with slight rise in temperature. Today, the maximum temperature rose to 16.4 degrees Celsius compared to yesterday’s 14.6. The minimum temperature also rose to 6.8 degrees Celsius, which is a meagre increase from yesterday’s temperature.

According to the meteorology department, partly cloudy sky with possibility of light rain will be in the city, and in the coming days, the temperature is expected to be normal.

Dense fog during the morning and evening affected schedules of flights and trains on third consecutive day. The Unchahaar Express was delayed by nine hours, while the Sadbhawna Express was late by more than three hours. The Jan Shatabdi was running behind its schedule by one hour, and the Kalka-Hawrah Mail was late by 12 hours. The Mumbai-Chandigarh Paschim Express arrived five hours behind its scheduled arrival time, the morning Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express (2011) was almost one hour late.

The Jet Airways’ flight for Delhi was cancelled and another flight for Mumbai was behind schedule by more than one hour. 



Experts to discuss ways to beat meltdown
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
To debate the implication of global financial meltdown and suggest a way out, Prof Susan George, an eminent scholar of the Transnational Institute, Netherlands, Prof YK Alagh, former Union Minister for Power and Planning and Prof Randhir Singh, a renowned political theorist and other distinguished scholars would be presenting their views at the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) here on January 5.

The eminent persons would be delivering their lectures during the “Inaugural Lecture Series - 2009” being held at the IDC from Januray 5 to January 7. On January 6, a roundtable on “Security Sector Reforms: Challenges of Terrorism” would take forward the debate on the new reality of globalising the world order. These challenges have a bearing not only on issues relating to human security, but on environmental degradation, deteriorating ecological balance, population mobility, poverty, distributive justice in multicultural settings.

The keynote address will be given by Prof Christopher Stone, Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA with presentations by Prof Paul Wallace, Professor Emeritus, Department of political science, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA and Dr Pramod Kumar, director, IDC. Other participants include AS Dullat, former RAW chief, KS Dhillon, former DGP, Madhya Pradesh, Dr KS Subramanian, MPS Aulakh, Prof Rakesh Dutta and Prof Ronki Ram.

Besides, a national workshop on food security will also be convened on the occasion to discuss the manner in which the food security of Indian masses has once again become a major concern of national policy as the result of a number of recent developments. The issues are proposed to be discussed in the one-day workshop on food security. The keynote address will be delivered by Prof Susan George with presentations from Prof HS Shergill, director (Research), Punjab Development Studies Unit, IDC.



Fest proves to be turning point in Siddharth’s life
Harpreeti Bassi
Sheetal Mahajan

Siddharth Kaushal

Chandigarh, January 3
For Siddharth Kaushal, a DAV College student, participating in a cultural festival at IIT Mumbai has surely proved to be a turning point in his life.

It is not only the award of the best actor in situational acting but also the whopping scholarship of Rs 1.5 lakh to Kisore Namit Kapoor Acting School in Mumbai that has left this active member of DAV College Dramatics Club “Aaghaaz” beaming.

“It’s really a surprise for me. I had gone to the fest with just one wish that was to win but this scholarship has come across as a life-changing brownie. Many great stars like Hritik Roshan have been a part of this acting institute. I consider myself lucky to have got through this institution,” he exclaimed.

Pursuing his graduation and now in the second year, he cannot wait to complete his graduation and avail the opportunity to jumpstart his career. However, this opportunity is accompanied with confusion for Siddharth, who always aspired to be in the Army.

“Acting was never my first love but a passionate hobby. I always wanted to join the Army and was all set for it but now of course I am in a fix and I really have not decided what to do.”

While he might take some more time to chose his path, his associates want him to go for acting. “He is my golden boy with a Midas touch. Siddharth has done the entire team proud. Being such a versatile actor, he has a bright future ahead. He gets acclaim in whatever he does,” said Prof Ravinder Chaudhary, his mentor.

Siddharth has also played the lead protagonist in a short silent film, "Socha Na Tha" by Aghaaz Productions, which was also screened at IIT Mumbai. Now he is all set for the inter-university nationals to be held at Medina pore (West Bengal).



Police clueless in Pandey beating case
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, January 3
Almost one week has passed away but still the truth has not come out in the inquiry marked in the case of Arvind Pandey, who was allegedly beaten by ASP (Central) Madhur Verma and his three gunmen at the Sector 17 police station on December 26, 2008.

DIG (Headquarters) Mahabir Singh has marked an inquiry on December 28, 2008 to SP (Security and traffic) HS Doon to investigate the whole matter.

Pandey, a Sector 17-based bookseller, alleged that the investigation officer and the accused are of almost same rank and how the inquiry would be fair.

Pandey said, “I will move an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to show me the footage of CCTV cameras of that time period. I will go and meet Governor SF Rodrigues and IG SK Jain on the next working day.” “Even now I fear that the police will put pressure on that person, who went along with me that day,” he added.

Pandey has earlier made allegations that ASP Verma has beaten him with the help of three gunmen when he went to his office. He went through the main entrance of the police station and it must be recorded in the footage of the CCTV camera, but after the whole incident he was thrown out from the entrance door of the ASP office because there was no CCTV camera.

ASP Verma has already denied the allegations made by Pandey against him. Verma said, “Pandey has implicated me in a false case and the truth will come out after the inquiry.”

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier on Pandey’s complaint the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested the Neelam police post in charge Sanjeev Kumar in a corruption case on November 7 last year.

HS Doon, SP, the UT police said, “The investigations are on and the investigating officers are collecting the information, in a short time the truth will come out.”



More accolades for Mitter Sain
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 3
Striking an amiable balance between his profession of a serving district attorney and the passion of a prolific Punjabi novelist, the modest Mitter Sain Meet has achieved another milestone establishing his literary prominence. Winner of the prestigious Rashtriya Sahitya Akademi award-2007 in novel writing for his classic literary creation “Sudhar Ghar” (Jails), Mitter Sain has not only glorified the Punjabi literature but also given altogether a new thematic dimension to novel writing. Away from the common themes of romanticism and dreaming, Mitter Sain has brought into focus socially relevant issues like the administrative laxity in administration and judiciary, ignoring the concept of reformation based on the psychoanalysis of criminals lodged in jails. While the award will be formally conferred by the President of India in February, Mitter Sain was in the city and shared his contrasting concepts with The Tribune after a ru-ba-ru organised by Writers’ Club at Uttam Complex here today.

Any form of literature must depict the ethos, aspirations, problems and suggestive measures of the people, debate the common issues in a subtle style without any prejudice to the society and the governance, he said. “All my short stories and six novels like “Tapteesh”, “Agg de Beej”, “Kafila”, “Kaurav Sabha” and “Sudhar Ghar” have immaculately depicted the evils perpetrated by the ridiculous attitude of governance and leadership,” he added.

When asked for his inspiration for writing, the Ludhiana-based author claimed, “My writings are just the observation and articulation of the anguish of many poor persons not getting fair justice in every sphere of life. Sahir Ludhinavi’s couplet “Duniyan ne tazarbaat-o-hawadis ki shakl mein, jo kuchh mujhe diya hai voh lauta rha hun mein” is a veritable summation of my concept, treatment and mission.”

On the impact of his socially oriented writings, he disclosed that three of his novels had been translated into Hindi, titled “Ram Rajya”, by the Haryana Police Akademy and prescribed as research work.

Born in Barnala, Mitter Sain was a brilliant student being a topper in BA (Hons) and medallist in LLB from PU, Chandigarh. Divulging his future plans, he indicated that his next novels would bare rampant corruption in politics, judiciary and the debasing power of money. Commenting on language and literature, he opined that good Punjabi literature, with a cultivated literary language, stimulated its growth, especially in novel genre.



New corporate strategy need of the hour: Minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
A two-day conference organised by the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), on “Management Accountancy for Corporate Competitiveness” was inaugurated here today by Union Minister for state for Finance, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Haryana Power Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Addressing the conference, Surjewala said a fresh approach to corporate and accountability was the order of the day. Management accountants must comprehend, understand and explain to corporate boards the risk associated with company.

He said in times of global meltdown a new corporate strategy and a number of essential paradigm shifts were the need of the hour. He also referred to the changing business environment and said products and service were now perishable commodities. To sustain and achieve competitive advantage, customer focus was the main mantra, he added.

Various speakers at the seminar felt that the main challenge facing firms today was how to take advantage of new resources and markets while dealing with intense and growing global competition.

The speakers said the challenge facing governments was how to design and implement supportive policies and strategies.

While corporate units have a clearly defined bottomline, the government has to balance the interest of various sectors of society — the producer, the consumer, the workers, the rural sector, weaker sections, and the like they felt.

Emphasising on how to respond effectively to the demanding global environment, speakers said that firms needed to develop a range of export capabilities in the areas of technology, marketing, management, human resources and finance, and continuously upgrade themselves. They need to support competitiveness with a coherent strategy with the effective use of management accountancy

In developing countries, innovation in applying information and communications technologies to trade was an undisputed driver of competitiveness. Developing countries, however, tend not to produce technology but to use imported technology, obtained from sources such as foreign direct investment and licensing, and from equipment and skilled manpower supplied by technical assistance programmes, they said.

They also emphasised on the need of having a coherent competitiveness strategy, tailormade to national circumstances.



Chamber upset as cops fail to nab robbers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
The local police has come under widespread criticism for its failure to prevent theft cases in the town. This lackadaisical attitude of the police has been highlighted by the Chamber of Industries, Focal Point, Phase IX.

The association members have in a letter written to SSP JS Aulakh lamented that the cops at the Phase XI police station had failed to check the increasing incidents of thefts. In the past one week, goods worth several lakhs had been stolen but the police had failed to act despite a suspect being handed over to it.

Instead of reaching the spot on time, the police was seen siding with the suspect whose rickshaw was found on the spot.

Alleging that the SHO was not interested in resolving their problem, they have demanded action against the erring cops. In the past few months, the incidents of thefts have increased but the cops have failed to act.

The SSP has directed the DSP (city) to probe into the matter. A constable at the Phase 11 police station has been transferred in this connection.

Meanwhile, a case was registered on a complaint lodged by Satwant Singh, a resident of Mohali. According to the police, Satwant Singh, who was out of station for the past couple of days, alleged that on his return he found the locks of his house broken. He told the police that the jewellery worth lakhs of rupees was missing from the ransacked house.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered on a complaint lodged by Parvinder Singh, a resident of Mundi Kharar. He told the police that his scooter was stolen from outside his office on Friday morning. In another case, Ram Kumar, a resident of Shahi Majra, complained that his motorcycle (PB65C-5477) was stolen from Phase 5 market on December 24. A case has been registered.



Compensation to Farmers
Bansal accuses admn of discrimination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The Minister of State for Finance today said the UT administration had adopted double standards while extending the “awards” to the farmers for dispossession of their land in the name of development. The talks were on with the Centre, and very soon some concrete and feasible policy was expected in this regard, which would be helpful to the farmers in coming out of the traumatic mental condition they are passing through, he further said during a felicitation ceremony held today. The ceremony was organised by the minister at the Sector-28 Community Centre here today to honour the newly elected panches and sarpanches of gram panchayats.

He said the administration had never adopted the prescribed Punjab Raj Act, and the panchayats were deprived of their rights. He assured to take an initiative in the matter too.

BB Behl, president of the local wing of the Congress said for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Bansal would be representing from the Congress side.

Meanwhile, out of 12 sarpanches, only 9 turned up at the function. Among others present on the occasion included Balbir S Sidhu, Mohali MLA, Jagmohan Singh Kang, ex-minister, Punjab, and city mayor Kamlesh.



Grain Market Barricading
Traders up in arms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Traders of the vegetable and the grain markets organised a meeting today to protest against the Chandigarh Administration’s move to erect barricades at entry points of the Sector- 26 grain market.

The traders called for launching an agitation for getting the barriers removed at the earliest. A joint action committee to be headed by Bhim Sein, president, grain market, was constituted on the occasion. He said the traders would go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday onwards, if the matter was not resolved at the earliest.

The meeting was attended by large number of traders from the respective markets, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president and representatives of trader cells of all political parties. MP Kohli, chairman, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and Charan Jiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, while extending their support to the protesting traders decided to take up the matter with the committee. 



Juvenile Home efforts
Child reunites with family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
With the efforts of authorities at Juvenile Home in Sector 25, another child has been able to reunite with his family.

Twelve-year-old Rahul was found shivering near the PGI on December 30. The child reached Juvenile Home at midnight on the directions of the SDM Central and was provided shelter there.

According to sources at Juvenile Home, the child was given counselling and as a result he later disclosed contact number of his family. The child also disclosed that he belonged to Amethi and told his address to the counsellor at Juvenile Home.

According to Rahul’s mother Sumitra, her son had a fight with some of his friends and as a result he ran away from home. He knew that one of his relatives lives in Chandigarh so he caught a train to the city.

On getting the contact number of Rahul’s family, the authorities informed the family about the whereabouts of their child, who then informed the child’s relatives.



Sector 25 gets new electric crematorium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
In order to save the ecology the local municipal corporation has replaced the new electric crematorium at the crematorium in Sector-25 with the old one, which had outlived its utility.

The new electric crematorium has been installed at the cost of Rs 59 lakh, which includes the cost of new wire panels and generator sets. It also has a separate chamber for collecting bones and ashes.

But, not many people opt for this unconventional way of cremating the body. Figures reveal that on an average 120 tonnes of wood is needed for cremating at least 300 bodies in traditional manner every month. If people start opting for this a large number of trees could be saved from being axed.

However, out of 10 bodies cremated every day on an average, only one or two bodies, mostly unclaimed ones are cremated in the electric crematorium.

While in the West and even in bigger Indian cities, this method of cremating the dead is preferred over the traditional one.

Call it as a lack of awareness or rituals related with the traditional cremation, most of the people are not willing to opt for this method, a corporation official remarked.



Sangarsh committee protests against GMADA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 3
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangarsh Committee, Sectors 76-80, held a protest demonstration outside the PUDA bhawan here today against the failure of the authorities concerned to hold a draw of lots for plots allotted to them about eight years ago.

The protesters raised slogans against GMADA officials and demanded action against those who had failed to execute the orders issued by the Punjab Chief Minister, which said that a draw of lots for the remaining plots should be held. Around 1,400 allottees are still awaiting the draw of lots.

President of the committee Sucha Singh Kalour said that even the allottees who had been given possession of plots were feeling harassed as there were no proper arrangements of water supply, sewerage and power in the area and they had to visit GMADA office time and again.

He alleged that the draw of lots for the remaining plots was being deliberately delayed due to the directions of certain Akali leaders.



1 hurt in accidental gunfire shot
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
In a bizarre incident, Karan Raj, a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh, was injured in a gunfire shot at a house in Phase 3 (A) here last night. The victim had reportedly gone to the house of his brother, an arms licence dealer, in connection with the purchase of a firearm.

Though no police official was available to give comments, sources said the victim was studying the functioning of the loaded weapon when it accidentally fired. But nothing can be said till the statement of the victim was not recorded, said a police official.

The victim has been admitted to the PGI with injuries in his abdominal area and was said to still unfit to give the statement to the police. After being admitted to the PGI, the Chandigarh police was inadvertently informed and they recorded the statement of the victim.



Industrial shed catches fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
A minor fire broke out at one of the industrial sheds in Ram Darbar today evening. The incident took place while some workers were doing refrigerator-related welding works in the shed. Around 5 pm, a pile of thermocol sheets lying near the workers caught fire.

Immediately, the fire tenders were called, and two of them reached from Ram Darbar and the Sector-32 fire station. The fire was brought under control with in 7-8 minutes.

While nobody got injured, goods worth Rs 50,000 were damaged.



1 charred to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 3
A driver, Balbeer Singh (60), was charred to death in a fire which broke out last night at a store in Natwala village in Raipur Rani here.

Short-circuit was believed to be the reason behind the fire.

According to information, Balbeer Singh was sleeping inside the store when the incident took place. After the post-mortem examination in a hospital, the body was handed over to the family of the deceased today.



Man found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
A man in his mid-seventies was found dead at his home around 2 pm at colony No 5, here today.

The deceased has been identified as Vijay Kumar, he was alone at his house and nobody was looking after him.

The police said the body had been sent to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, where a postmortem would be conducted tomorrow.

Sudershan Thakur, SHO, the Sector 36 police station, said, “He was suffering with an ailment and was living alone at his house from the past 15 years.”



Auto drivers attend workshops

Chandigarh, January 3
The Chandigarh traffic police today organised three workshops on road safety for auto-rickshaw drivers in front of the PGI, ISBT in Sector-17 and Sector-43. These workshops were organised as a part of the “Road Safety Week-2009.” At least 600 auto-rickshaw drivers took part in the workshops.

Lectures on road safety and tips on safe driving besides thousands of pamphlets were also distributed among auto-rickshaw drivers. JS Cheema, DSP (Traffic), along with other police personnel was present on the occasion. — TNS



DOEACC to handle MC complaint cell
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Tired of a dug-up road in your locality? Are streetlights in your area non-functional? Is sanitation a problem in your sector or not getting clean drinking water?

Now, the authorities of the municipal corporation have decided to launch a new complaint number, which would be handled by DOEACC, a government agency. It is already handling complaints addressed to the UT Administration. Earlier, a complaint number existed for addressing all corporation-related complaints. According to sources, numerous complaints were being registered every day and also redressed. But many a times, the complaints ended up confusing the officials who were not sure whether a particular road, or area falls under municipal jurisdiction or the UT administration.

Unlike the earlier service, the new complaint cell number would work two ways. As soon as a complaint would get registered, it would be forwarded to the JE or SDO concerned. The complaint can be related to the public health wing, sanitation and roads etc. Complaints would not only be sorted out but the same would also be conveyed to the complainants as well. Even the officer concerned is unable to sort out the problem; its status would be communicated to the complainants, the sources added.

“The new service will be more convenient for the residents as will come to know about the status of their complaints”, said T PS Phoolka, municipal joint commissioner.

At least five staff members of DOEACC would take care of the service, which is due to start, soon. The complaint number is yet to be decided and would soon be advertised.

The entire project is being launched at the estimated cost of Rs 30, 000 to Rs 40,000.

This issue was raised in the recently held municipal House meeting.



Accounts technician course launched
Pawan Tiwari

Chandigarh, January 3
The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) announced today that the institute had launched an accounting technician course from this year.

While addressing the media, Kunal Banerjee, president of the ICWAI, said the institute had also signed the mutual recognition of Indian ICWAI with CIMA, UK, a leading management accountancy institute in the world.

“The institute, continuing its efforts in the management-accounting field, has introduced the Management Accounting Guidelines in India, in collaboration with the CMA, Canada,” said Kunal.

Recently, the institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The MoU would provide recognition of the ICWAI examination by IGNOU, where students would be eligible for IGNOU’s BCom degree by passing institute’s four exams, he added.

The mode of education will be in both the languages, Hindi and English, with three years of the course duration.



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