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WWICS appointments set to create stir
New directors disassociate themselves from immigration business
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
World Wide Immigration and Consultancy Services (WWICS) announcement to appoint prominent personalities, including a former Governor, BKN Chibber, and former CBI director Joginder Singh as independent directors in the company, apparently to lend credence to its business, seems to have backfired with the bigwigs developing cold feet.

Interestingly, WWICS chairman and director, Col BS Sandhu (retd), is also associated with the controversial Forest Hill Resort case that has been under CBI scanner for the past few years. The case had hogged headlines after the company had given free memberships to influential people. The resort was closed down on the orders of the court.

When contacted, three of the newly appointed directors, Chibber, Joginder Singh and former Panjab University VC, RN Pathak, categorically stated that they had nothing to do with the immigration business and had agreed to be directors because of the company’s forays into the field of education. However, a press note by the company said: “The meeting of newly reconstituted board today dwelled upon the concerns within immigration industry after global meltdown, and discussed ways and means to deal with the challenge at hand”.

While the press note stated that it “hoped to progress, build capacities and widen our horizons from rich and diverse experiences" of these bigwigs, which also included former Punjab DGP, AA Siddiqui, the latter denied any association with WWICS. When contacted in Hyderabad, Siddiqui said though he had received a letter from the company, he had yet not given his consent. “I am not even aware of this,” he told The Tribune.

Joginder Singh said he had no knowledge about the Forest Hill controversy. Claiming that he had nothing to do with the immigration business, he said: “I am not even aware about the CBI case. I value selfless service and will inquire whether there is something wrong about the institution.”

Asked about the propriety of a former Governor lending his name to a private institution engaged in the immigration business, Chibber said: “I have nothing to do with immigration, but I am keen to work in the field of educational services being run by the institution.”

He, however, defended his decision of associating with the firm on the grounds that he could not just sit at home and “prevent” himself from rendering services to society. “I am not doing it for any profit,” he said, claiming that several former Governors had joined politics.

Pathak also said he had no interest in immigration. “I have accepted it merely to promote the cause of education at colleges being run by the institution. We would not allow anything wrong to happen,” he said.

The others who had reportedly joined the WWICS bandwagon include Sudhir Boleria, former Chief Secretary of J and K, and Kuljit Singh Sidhu, former Principal Secretary of Maharashtra. The company’s press note stated that it had reorganised its board of directors by incorporating a galaxy of eminent personalities, including retired Generals, former bureaucrats, police officers and academicians as independent directors on its board.

Sandhu said all persons had been made independent directors to bring about diversification in value added services. Asked if they had been appointed to promote the cause of immigration services, he denied by saying that, “It is not for promotion of business. We are already doing reasonably good. It would add value to our set-up, he added.

His claims notwithstanding, the move is bound to raise a controversy, more so because of the impending trial in the Forest Hill case. A senior retired government official wondered how people of such stature could lend their name to a private business.

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Most police buildings unsafe
31 of the 36 buildings have no basic fire safety equipment
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The police would surely have investigated and also prosecuted several people for negligence in cases of accidental fires, but when it comes to adhering to fire safety rules, its own record is dismal.
Impounded vehicles, which could pose a threat in case of a fire, at a police station in Chandigarh.
Impounded vehicles, which could pose a threat in case of a fire, at a police station in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Thirtyone of the 36 police buildings in the city have no basic fire safety equipment. These include 11 police stations with malkhanas, where sometimes even explosive material like RDX and gelatin sticks are stored as “case properties”.

The storage of seized inflammable material like kerosene, LPG cylinders and liquor is common in malkahas, which are generally located in the heart of police stations.

It is surprising that the top brass of the force has ignored this vital aspect, even when most of these police stations are located in densely populated residential areas.

According to the fire and emergency department of the municipal corporation, the police has a dismal record as far as implementation of fire safety norms is concerned.

A survey conducted by a team of fire safety experts revealed that the police has no arrangements to meet fire exigency in its buildings and may not be able to control even a minor fire.

Barring a few buildings like the Police Headquarters in Sector 9, Industrial Area police station, Police Hospital (Sector 26) and the MT section-26, which has a fuel station with a capacity of 21,000 litres and special crime investigation cell and traffic and security lines, Sector 29, the rest of the 31 buildings have nothing in the name of fire safety norms and equipment. Ironically, around 300 LPG cylinders are stored at the Sector 39 police station and there is no fire-fighting equipment there. As per norms, there should be a water tank of 5,000 litres along with other fire extinguishers.

The survey report reveals that even in buildings where fire-fighting systems were installed, the equipment was far less than the requirement.

Sources in the police said after the fire department conducted a survey in May, senior police officers constituted a committee to address the problem. The committee consisting of DSP (Police Lines) and an inspector, besides fire department officials, listed the requirement of various police buildings.

A senior police officer said the UT IGP had already send the report and list of existing fire-fighting arrangements to the engineering wing of the administration for action.

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Even after clean chit, Mehra can’t write ACRs
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Over two weeks after the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) gave a clean chit to UT adviser Pradip Mehra in an alleged case of misuse of CITCO funds for the renovation of his house in New Delhi, the restoration of powers to write the annual confidential reports (ACRs) of his subordinates hasn’t come through.

UT administrator SF Rodrigues had withdrawn Mehra’s ACR writing powers till the pendency of the inquiry, apparently on the plea that the inquiry was not influenced by Mehra. The powers were to be restored after the completion of the inquiry if he got a clean chit.

This is despite the fact that in the inquiry report, the CVC had hinted at the restoration of powers to Mehra. “The commission had approved the closure of the case. In this context, the union territory may take appropriate corrective action on some of the administrative orders issued due to the pendency of inquiry against Mehra,” the inquiry report dated January 21 had stated.

At the time of the withdrawal of powers, eyebrows were raised at the UT administrator’s decision since Mehra could not have influenced the inquiry in any way as it was conducted by the CVC in New Delhi.

Rodrigues had ordered a CVC inquiry against Mehra following a complaint by Ram Kishore Verma that CITCO funds amounting to Rs 7 lakh had been diverted to the renovation of Mehra’s house. Verma had subsequently backtracked from his complaint.

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Open pit costs MC dear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Leaving pits open has cost the municipal corporation dear as the consumer court has asked it to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Ravinder Lal, retired deputy inspector of the BSF, for not covering manholes.

Pronouncing the orders, the consumer forum headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal observed: “The MC is negligent and they are not rendering proper service to society. The opposite party, however, is not bothered at all and do not take any remedial measures. Officials deputed for this purpose do not check uncovered manholes and do not promptly provide covers, nor do they repair damaged manholes.”

A resident of Sector 33, Ravinder Lal, stated in his complaint that he had gone to the market in Sector 34 along with his wife, where he fell in an open pit. He said he was saved because his wife raised the alarm.

The MC, however, denied the charges and said water had accumulated due to rain on the road, because of which the complainant might have slipped.

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CHB board of directors okay rehabilitation project
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Clearing the decks for the Chandigarh administration’s ambitious rehabilitation scheme, a dream project of UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, the board of directors of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), today gave a green signal to the project proposed at Maloya, Mouli Jagraon and Dhanas.

These projects had failed to take off due to technical hurdles like submission of fake bank guarantee by the construction firms and the CHB had to undergo retendering process.

The administration has intended to rehabilitate over 25,000 illegally squatting families on the prime government land by providing them with 5,344 one-room accommodation at Mauli Jagran and Maloya.

Officials, preferring anonymity, said the delay of the project by several months had hampered mega housing projects of the CHB as a large chunk of land was illegally occupied by these people.

The CHB directors gave a green signal to construct 3,648 one-room units at Maloya, besides 1,696 units at Mauli Jagran. With this decision, the other pending projects for the rehabilitation of economically weaker sections have also been revived.

According to an estimate, out of a target of establishing 25,000 families, work for over 14,000 one-room units had been started. These include 512 units at Ram Darbar, 1024 in Sector 49, 608 in Sector 38 and 8,448 at Dhanas.

In yet another significant decision, sensing the future security of its employees, the CHB today proposed to draft a pension policy on the lines of Punjab.

The CHB has plans to put in around Rs 36 to 40 crores for the purpose. This amount will be deposited in the account of the insurance company that will be entrusted with the task of running this policy.

The officials told that the board was on the lookout for an insurance company to run the policy.

“Talks are on with the LIC but nothing has been finalised as yet. The share of employees’ provident fund (EPF) will also be merged with the insurance company,” said an official.

Besides, the CHB directors have also unanimously decided to outsource the collection of rental one-room accommodation.

Also, they passed the agenda for making provision for amenities like street lights, sewerage connections, drinking water facilities, green belt and roads at the 320 small flats proposed under the Dr Ambedkar Housing Scheme at Sector 56.

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Gurdwara Clash Baba suspended
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
A day after accepting Baba Swaroop Singh of Santsar Gurudwara, Sector 38 west, as its employee, the MC today suspended him on the basis of a report submitted by the ADC, IS Sandhu, who was injured on January 30 after a team of the enforcement wing went to demolish illegal residential structure on the religious premises.

According to sources, the report submitted today is learnt to have held Baba Swaroop Singh responsible for instigating his supporters.

MC commissioner DR Roshan Sankaria confirmed that he had received the report and that the baba had been suspended.

Earlier in the day, with an aim to tighten its noose around him, the MC had sought legal opinion in the matter. Sources said officials of the MC today also held a meeting with its law officers and sent the matter for legal opinion to the administration’s legal remembrance.

Law officers reportedly said if the baba was not holding any office of profit in the gurdwara and was just rendering his services, then action could not be taken against him on these grounds. Sources said the MC was trying to probe if he was taking financial benefits from the gurdwara management.

Also under scanner would be his numerous trips aboard without intimating the MC. The role of officials who were responsible for sanctioning him leave would also be probed, besides him marking himself present in the official register without being present.

Meanwhile, the UT administration is believed to have charge sheeted three employees, two from the enforcement task force and one from the architecture department of the UT for dereliction of duty in connection with the coming up of an illegal structure at the gurdwara.

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Now, Jain takes up cudgels for UT staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
After Congress candidate Pawan Bansal, it’s now the turn of his BJP counterpart Satya Pal Jain to woo UT voters with for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Well versed with the fact that his political fortunes depended on UT employees, Jain, a former MP, today took up their case with the Ministry of Home Affairs and demanded that the central government should accept the demands of UT employees.

The demands included grant of bonus, service on compassionate grounds, increase in age limit for new appointments, regularisation of services of daily wage employees, sanctioning of more posts, etc. The UT in connivance with the Centre had reportedly stopped grant of bonus to its employees on Punjab pattern as the state was facing an acute financial crunch.

Terming the central government policies “anti-employee, anti-people and anti-poor”, Jain alleged that the interest of UT employees had always been ignored. “It’s because of faulty policy matters, especially of the Finance Ministry, that the UT employees are at the receiving end. There is no resource crunch with the Chandigarh administration, so aping the Punjab pattern in this respect is unreasonable. Otherwise, what is the point of not giving bonus to Chandigarh employees when employees of other UTs in the country are granted bonus by the Centre,” he said.

He said unprecedented price hike had affected the salaried class but in spite of this, the Centre had not paid any heed to solving the problems of government employees.

“These demands have been lying pending for the past five years, but no concrete steps have yet been taken to fulfil these. I have written many letters to the Prime Minister in this connection and have also forwarded copies of the memoranda given by the coordination committee of the employees of municipal corporation and UT employees,” said Jain.

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Amendments to CrPC
Lawyers strike work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Regular work at the district courts remained suspended in protest against recent amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) here today.

Lawyers protested against the amendments, which provide for giving powers to police officers to either arrest an offender for a crime that prescribes punishment below seven years or just give him a notice (summons) to appear before appropriate court of law.

Lawyers struck work and sat in the sun enjoying tea at the courts complex. Only important cases were taken up during the day.

The District Bar Association president said: “Courts all over the country and various associations are protesting against the amendments.”

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1.3 lakh vaccinated against polio
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The three-day pulse polio programme concluded here today. Over 1.3 lakh children below the age of five years, including newborns, were administered polio drops at various centres spread across the city during the campaign The campaign involved one-day booth activity and two-day house-to-house coverage.

At least 463 stationary booths and 66 mobile teams were deputed for the purpose.

Inspections were carried by UT Health Secretary Ram Niwas, mission director-cum-Director (Health) and Family Welfare Dr MS Bains, and Joint Director (Health) and Family Welfare-cum-Medical Superintendent, GMSH-16, Dr Usha Bishnoi Kapoor in various slums and colonies. Nongovernmental organisations, religious leaders and councillors also led the campaign by encouraging parents to bring their children to booths for getting oral polio vaccine administered.

PGI, Government Medical College, Sector 32, Homeopathy College, nursing colleges and NSS volunteers were also part of the campaign.

Various voluntary teams of Rotary International from all over the world visited different areas like slums, colonies and transit points.

Independent monitors deputed by the WHO from PGI and GMCH, Sector 32, also inspected various areas.

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Shaurya Chakra for Gp Capt Chafekar
Tribune News Service

Gp Capt ChafekarChandigarh, February 3
Commanding Officer of Chandigarh-based 48 Squadron Gp Capt SC Chafekar has been decorated with the Shaurya Chakra for exceptional courage and professionalism.

Group Captain Chafekar had created history by landing an An-32 twin-engine aircraft at the world’s highest airfield Daulat Beg Oldie located at an altitude of 17,000 feet on May 31, 2008. Other members fo the aircrew were Wg Cdr MB Aserkar, Wg Cdr Arijit Ray and Wg Cdr SC Tripathy.

This was for the first time that a twin-engined aircraft had landed at such an altitude. The IAF had reactivated the airfield, located close to the Karakoram Highway in Ladakh, after a gap of 43 years. Earlier, three-engined Packets operated from the airfield.

Group Captain Chafekar was commissioned in the IAF in December 1982. 

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Yeti may exist: Indian researchers

Yeti — the snowman which has been an enigma and baffled scientists and explorers alike, may exist after all, an Indian journalist and researcher has concluded.

The journalist, Tribhuvan Nath, who had researched the abominable snowman, has achieved the distinction of featuring next to Sir Edmund Hilary in the list of 10 notable cryptozoologists in the world.

Nath’s contribution has been recognised by an international authority in cryptozoology, Loren Coleman. The posthumous recognition has come within 10 months of the journalist’s death at his home at Panchkula in Haryana.

Tribhuvan Nath, who co-authored ‘On the Yeti trail-- Search for the elusive snowman,’ alongwith Madan Mohan Gupta, finds mention on this list as one of the two Yeti chroniclers who died in 2008.

Coleman has compiled the list and has won international acclaim for popularising cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The book, which attempts to demolish all myths about the Yeti, gives a convincing account of its existence.

A Buddhist nun, Noma Dima, in the chapter ‘I became a Yeti’s wife,’ has given a gripping account of being abducted by a Yeti, of days spent with him, her pregnancy and birth to a male baby.

Dima described the baby as a freak child with long wool-like hair all over his body, the anatomy of a human being and the face of a monkey.

The Buddhist nun has further narrated how the boy at the age of two, had remarkable strength, sense of hearing and visual power that helped him see in the dark.

Nath writes in the book: “Scientists debating about the Yeti’s existence are broadly divisible into two camps, the ‘believers’ and the ‘non believers’...Till the Yeti’s existence and identity are unequivocally confirmed, the reader may feel free to choose the camp he or she would like to belong to.”

The writer says: “Though the Yeti was not considered fit enough to be mentioned in any standard publication till the sixties, this creature eventually found its way into the ‘Encyclopaedia of the Unexplained’ published from London.” — UNI 

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Insurance scheme for workers unveiled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
UT Administrator SF Rodrigues today launched the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana at Colony No. 5 with a view to providing health insurance cover to workers in the unorganised sector.

On January 28, senior officers of the Chandigarh administration and the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment had signed an MoU in the presence of representatives of National Insurance Company.

Rodrigues asked officers of the administration, NGOs and functionaries of National Insurance Company to implement the scheme effectively and ensure that its benefits reached workers who play a significant role for the growth and development of the city.

He also impressed upon workers the need to take advantage of the ambitious programme, which envisaged the issuance of smart card at a cost of Rs 30 with health insurance cover of Rs 30,000 per family per annum in government hospitals and also some privately-managed medical care institutions.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas said under the scheme, health insurance cover would be provided to workers belonging to below poverty line category. In this cashless health scheme, beneficiaries would be issued a smart card on the basis of which they could avail of medical treatment at designated hospitals worth Rs 30,000 in a year.

The scheme could be availed by the beneficiaries all over the country. There was a provision in the scheme for reasonable pre and post-hospitalisation expenses for one day prior to or five days after hospitalisation.

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Protest by blind outside CM’s residence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The visually impaired from Punjab today raised slogans in support of their demands outside the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Sector 2, here this afternoon.

The Chief Minister met with representatives of the protesters later in the day and assured them action on their demands.

Kulwant Singh, vice-president of the Neterheen Jagaritee Sangh, Punjab, said they met with the Chief Minister, who assured them of meeting their demands soon. However, he did not set any deadline. Badal instructed the Chief Secretary to do the needful at the earliest.

The vice-president said if the state government failed to keep its promise they would stick to their earlier programme of blocking the Mohali-Kharar on February 10.

He added that they had met Badal on July 8 and the Chief Secretary four times thereafter, but no action was taken.

The visually impaired converged on the CM’s residence, much to the chagrin of the local police, which had no idea of their action.

The protesters were adamant on meeting Badal personally and when the police failed to persuade them to go back, a meeting was organised.

The protesters alleged that they had faced police atrocities six times and the UT police had earlier arrested 70 members of their union.

They alleged that the government was not filling vacancies against one per cent quota for visually impaired.

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Brawls: Colleges in passive mode
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Barely 15 days after a bloody brawl at DAV College in Sector 10, there was a violent spat between a student of SD College-32 and a group of boys, including some former students, here yesterday.

While such incidents raise concern over increasing violence among students, there is usually no or minimal action on part of the college authorities, bringing their accountability under scanner.

In this case, while police officials confirmed the victim and one of the accused to be a student of the college, and also said they had fought to settle old scores, the Principal, AC Vaid, said he did not take action as

“this is nothing to do with the college. It was a fight between the boys outside the college and I have not been informed yet”.

However, contrary to his claims, Sudarshan Singh, SHO of the Sector 31 police station, said a case had been registered against one of the accused last year also and the college ought to be well aware of the “controversial” background of its students and the incidents that happen right under its nose.

The UT administration, in one of its directive, had clearly stated that students’ safety and conduct was the responsibility of the college in the vicinity of the campus.

But students continue to use college campus and its vicinity to settle scores and action is evaded on the pretext of the act happening outside the college.

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1 killed, 2 injured in accident

Chandigarh, February 3
Ram Kumar of Colony No 5, in his thirties, was today killed while two others were injured in a road accident involving a motor cycle and an auto-rickshaw on the road dividing Sectors 34 and 35, here, this morning.

The injured were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, where Ram Kumar succumbed to his injuries and the two others were nursing their injuries. The accident occurred when the motor cycle driven by Sunil Kumar coming from Sector 35 collided with the auto-rickshaw.

Sunil was admitted to the hospital and had been booked in a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. He would be arrested after being discharged from the hospital. — TNS

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Protest over school in residential area
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 3
Residents of Phase III-A here are up against the proposed construction of a government primary school by the Punjab Education Department in a park situated in the midst of 10-marla houses.

The Residents Welfare Association (10-marla houses) of the area held a meeting today to discuss the issue. Apart from office-bearers of the association, newly elected senior vice-president of the Mohali Municipal Council Harmanpreet Singh Prince also attended the meeting.

President of the association Kulwant Singh said they had made many representations to GMADA and the education department, but in vain. He said three government and one private school were already functioning within 500-metre radius in the area and there was no need to construct another school at the cost of a park.

General secretary of the association Gurmukh Singh raised the issue of pollution in the area caused due to the generators installed by the BSNL exchange close to residential houses. Due to long power cuts, the exchange generators are on for most of the daytime causing inconvenience to residents.

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Singh promised to take up both issues with the administration and assured all necessary help to solve the problems of the residents.

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Health dept recruits 19 analysts
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 3
The department of health and family welfare, Punjab, issued appointment letters to 19 analysts employed on a regular basis for the food, drugs, excise and chemical laboratories in the state.

The letters were handed over by Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla on the premises of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation here today. Chawla said transparency was maintained while making these appointments and stressed that analysts should keep a proper check on adulteration of food items.

AR Talwar, principal secretary health, said these analysts had been appointed on a regular basis to meet the shortage of staff, as these posts were lying vacant for the past several years.

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Mumbai team visits MC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The second team of 15 elected representatives of Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation visited the municipal corporation office today to study its key projects. Their objective was to refresh knowledge on practices in urban management, etc.

The team met with Mayor Kamlesh, Senior Deputy Mayor Harphool Chand Kalyan, Deputy Mayor Vijay Singh Ranaand other councillors.

Additional Commissioner PK Sharma gave an introduction on various projects and functions of the corporation, slum rehabilitation projects, urban planning and architecture, etc.

Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka, Town Planner ML Arora and other officers were also present during the presentation.

The delegation was led by improvement committee chairman Yeshodhar Padmakar Phanse, Manmohan Suryakant Chonkar, Rajendra Prasad Brijbhushan Chaube, Devidas Sahebaro Borse, Balwant Singh Gunvantsingh Manku, Babsaheb Dnyanu Bansode, Shubhangi Dasharath Shirke, Vidya Ajit Chavan, Asma A Shaikh and other councillors were among the visiting team.

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Builder surrenders Rs 2.5 cr as tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
A city-based builder, Pioneer Land Construction Pvt Ltd., Sector 34, today surrendered Rs 2.5 crore as tax to the income tax department after a survey was conducted by the department.

However, the department assessed more tax evasion after examining the records.

Income Tax Commissioner, Range II, AK Kaushal said on the basis of information gathered during the survey and details of high-value transactions, tax liability was found to be much higher. However, he refused to divulge the concealed income by the owner. The department would not accept the surrendered amount, he said.

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95 pledge organs at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Ninety-five patients pledged their organs after death during an an initiative taken by the department of transplant surgery, PGI, her yesterday. The department has decided to organise a week-long activity for spreading awareness regarding donation of various organs after death.

On the first day, around 500 patients visited the information desk set up at the new OPD and 95 patients pledged their organs.

According to doctors at the institute, each year hundreds of people die from brain death due to head injury, brain tumor or brain hemorrhage.

Since awareness on brain death and subsequent organ donation is lacking amongst people, very few of them opt for organ donation.

Around 150 patients undergo renal transplantation at the department of transplant surgery, PGI, every year, only two out of these are from brain dead donors.

The doctors claim that the procedure of organ donation at the PGI has been streamlined and there is no delay in releasing the body for funeral.

The overall appearance of the body does not change after organ donation as the organs are removed by a highly skilled team of surgeons who after removing the organs carefully stitch up the body.

The PGI authorities have also been waiving all hospital charges of the patients who decide to donate organs after death as a goodwill gesture.

Doctors also say that many a times, person is willing to donate organs during life but the family members are unable to take decision regarding organ donation after his death.

Therefore, those who want to donate organs should fill a donor card and keep with themselves so that it can help relatives execute the decision to donate organs after death.

Organ donor card is similar to a will. By signing the card, one agrees to donate organs.

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‘Sach ki Bani’ released
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 3
This year’s historic 300th anniversary of the investiture of the Guru Granth Sahib could not have passed without a long lasting tribute. Sach ki Bani- Universal Message for Peace, a compilation, which was released today by Shromani Khalsa Panchayat, has been dedicated to the tercentenary celebrations.

Authors Swaranjeet Singh, Harvind Kaur Singh and Kulwant Singh Hundal, under the aegis of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies (IFCAPS) have edited a compendium of especially written articles by scholars and Sikh practitioners. The book contains 13 articles in English and 9 articles in Punjabi language. While releasing the book Rajinder Singh Khalsa, convener Shromani Khalsa Panchayat said the bilingual quality of the book gives it the local and global perspective.

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Italian envoy’s statement on Netaji ‘hurtful’
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 3
The statement of Italy’s Ambassador in India Alessandro Quaroni about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose has deeply hurt sentiments of followers of Netaji.

VP Saini, convenor, Netaji Subhash Kranti Manch said this while addressing a press conference here. He has written a letter of protest to the Prime Minister of Italy. Quaroni had said at a function in Kolkata on January 23, “I personally do not see the point of research because, unfortunately, the person Netaji died.”

Saini said such a statement, even after the report of Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry that Netaji did not die in the alleged air crash at Taihoku and the report by the government of Taiwan that no air crash involving Netaji took place at Taihoku, is a very serious matter.

Saini has asked in the letter whether the statement made by Quaroni was the official version of the Government of Italy. He has further asked from the Prime Minister of Italy that whether there were any documents or evidence supporting the viewpoint of Quaroni.

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GMADA Plots
Draw of lots soon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 3
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is holding draw of lots for the third phase of plots in Sectors 76 to 80. The draw of lots for around 1,300 plots is likely to be held before the third week of this month.

Sources said the allotees had been demanding draw of lots for the last many months. Though the draw of lots would be conducted, physical possession of the plots would not be given immediately. Already two draw of lots have been held for the housing scheme.

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Letters
Improve fire fighting system

This refers to a report in Chandigarh Tribune dated February 3 “Fire safety? PU yet to wake up”, the MC has asked the Punjab University to upgrade its fire fighting system. The MC has brought in the notice of the Chandigarh Administration that most of the buildings in the city and rehri markets have not installed fire extinguishers. The administration has not taken it seriously. Most of the fire tragedy cases are due to short-circuit. The UT administration has allotted government houses to the employees and the electricity wires are more than 40 years old. The electricity department has not changed the wires, which could lead to short-circuit.

The few officers relating to the electricity department has been suspended in corruption cases. There is also shortage of staff in the department.

The UT administration should order to change the wires and increase the load according to need of the residents of the government houses.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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Admn to set up more government schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The UT administration is soon to come up with three government high schools in sectors 50-B, 53-B, 54-A and also an Indoor Basketball hall in the Sports Complex in Sector 42, the foundation stones of which were laid by Gen (Retd) SF Rodrigues, PVSM VSM, today.

The initiative according to the authorities is aimed at strengthening the educational and sports infrastructure in the southern sectors.

The authorities claim that upcoming complexes will be equipped with ultramodern facilities. The Sector 50-B Government High School Complex is being constructed on a plot area of 4.23 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 2.56 crore, one at Sector 53-B would cover an area of 3.60 acres at a cost of about Rs 2.58 crore and the Sector 54-A Government High School Complex would be of 4.17 acres and cost around Rs 2.58 crore. The Indoor Basketball hall will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 1.87 crore.

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PU examination system to go hi-tech
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Panjab University is all set to upgrade its old examination system and make it more techno-savvy for the forthcoming annual exams.

The format of examination answer sheets, which was going on for the past 45 years, has been re-designed and hi-tech software has been installed for preparing results of the university speedily.

The authorities have already ordered 15 lakh new answer sheets for the undergraduate examination and three lakh for the postgraduate examination of the university.

The cover of the newly designed answer sheet is divided into three parts, which contains a barcode number on each sheet, which will only be known to the examination department. After the exams are conducted, a file would be generated in the computer that carries the roll number, subject, barcode number and examination code of each student.

When the examiner checks the answer sheet and indicates the marks, these would be scanned on the computer and the software of the computer would automatically save the result of the student against the barcode number.

Vice-chancellor, PU, RC Sobti, said the problem of delay in declaration of results was being faced by the university. In order to cope with this problem, the authorities have not only introduced a new examination system but also newly designed answer sheets. He said this system would help in speeding up the declaration and the system would also become very transparent.

He also revealed less manpower would be needed for compiling the results after introducing this system.

Even the PU controller of exam, AK Bhandari, revealed the examination branch faced the problem every year to declaring the results on time, especially of the first year of

undergraduates. He said around 100 personnel were deputed for coding and decoding of the answer sheets, but after the introduction of new system the work would be automatically done by the computers. 

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Tops in NAAC grade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Panjab University is leading in the region in academics by securing 3.47 grades out of four as per the grading done by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC).

As per the NAAC report Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has got 3.35 grades, while Punjabi University, Patiala, got 3.2 grades.

The eight-member NAAC team had visited the university in the month of November last year to monitor the research, academics and evaluate the system of the university for grading.

When contacted PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti expressed happiness at the result of the grading by the NAAC but added that the details were still awaited. 

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From PU
MD, MS entrance test results out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
This is for the information of public in general and candidates in particular that the result of MD/MS Entrance Test-2009 conducted on January 28, 2009 by Panjab University, Chandigarh, has been declared today.

The result enquiry can be made on all working days between 9 am to 5 pm personally as well as on telephone No 0172-2534829. Besides, the result will also be available on the university website <http://results.puchd.ac.in/> according to the Controller of Examinations, PU.

Wall magazine launched

A wall magazine “Public health times” run by students of masters in public health under the centre for emerging areas in science and technology was launched by Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, today at the academic staff college, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The magazine will simultaneously be put up at two other venues at the Student Centre and Health Centre.

The objective of the magazine is to raise awareness regarding different health issues in the university students and visitors.

The theme taken for the first issue is significance of hand washing, balanced diet and issues related to girl child.

Prof Sobti in his address stated that these kind of exercises help to reach society as well as prove to be beneficial training tools for the students. He appreciated the effort of the students.

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