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Bar boycotts judge’s court
Calls for strike on Feb 24
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association seems to be heading for a confrontation as it is “upset” with the way Justice Uma Nath Singh functions.

The association has not only demanded his transfer, but has also decided to boycott his court until then.

Association members placed chairs in front of his courtroom this afternoon. This is the second time lawyers have lodged a protest against Justice Uma Nath Singh. The directions of a Bench headed by him in advocate Tahar Singh’s case too had evoked sharp response from the Bar.

The Chief Justice of the High Court, Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, has been asked to withdraw work from Justice Uma Nath Singh.

The Bar Council has also given a call for strike in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on February 24.

The lawyers are protesting against an indication Justice Uma Nath Singh gave regarding the issuance of notice to the Bar president and a counsel for interference in the administration of justice. Interestingly, the notice which evoked the response was never issued to anyone.

The controversy dates back to January 20. Appearing before a Bench headed by Justice Uma Nath Singh, advocate MK Tiwari’s manner of arguing a matter did not go down well with the Bench.

Justice Uma Nath Singh, while adjourning the matter, talked about the issuance of a contempt notice. Tiwari, subsequently, forwarded a complaint in this regard to the Bar president.

As the matter came up for hearing today, Justice Uma Nath Singh reportedly asked Tiwari if he had got in touch with the Chief Justice. In response, Tiwari reportedly told the court that he had handed over a communique to the Bar president. Justice Uma Nath Singh was apparently of the opinion that the whole episode amounted to interference in the administration of justice.

Reacting to the developments, the Bar association held a meeting and met the Chief Justice, who reportedly said he would look into the matter.

Bar president Rupinder Khosla later told the media that they were officers of the court and it was the duty of the Bench to extend respect to them. “But Justice Uma Nath Singh insults lawyers daily. This is not the first time,” he said.

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City entry points to have cameras
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The city is set to have CCTV cameras at border nakas on 11 entry points to keep a surveillance on incoming vehicles. The project would cost about Rs 25 lakh and is at an advanced stage.

The cameras will capture the face of the driver, the vehicle and the registration number plate. The cameras would be able to capture images at night too.

Sources in the police said 10 companies were giving demonstration of their equipment and the companies would be selected after assessing the performance of their products.

The police has selected 11 entry points for the installation of these cameras. The city administration had sanctioned Rs 45 lakh to bring all entry points to the city under camera surveillance.

The SSP, SS Srivastva, said they had floated tenders following which 10 companies had come forward. The technical wing would analyse the equipment and after a clearance from it, the same would be sent to the financial wing for further action.

The project would be completed by March.

The project manager of a company said 56 cameras would be installed at the 11 points. On a two-way traffic road, six cameras would be fixed while on single roads four cameras would be required.

The cameras would function round the clock and could retain 15 days’ recording, which could be written on DVDs if required. Each entry point would have its own recording device and would function independently.

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Rose Festival
Exams near, but teachers, students put on duty
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The dual charge of DPI Samwartak Singh is affecting the functioning of the education department and schools. The education department has often collaborated “generously” with the tourism department to ensure the grand success of its endeavours and events. This time, Rose Festival has halted work at schools.

The education department usually takes months to either mull issues or review its own inspection reports and even initiate action, reflecting that the DPI’s other charge may be interfering with the smooth functioning of the department. The DPI usually lends a major part of his work force to make arrangements for such events. Not only department officials, but also teachers and students are “deputed” for the arrangements.

Examinations are round the corner, but several teachers are involved with arrangements for Rose Festival. A principal said: “Some staff members are on duty to mark tables while the others have been put on Rose Festival duty. Every school has been assigned a duty, but the staff crunch is creating major problems for us. But we are helpless as it is the DEO’s order.”

“We are teachers. We can participate in an event, but participation means presenting stuff at the event. It’s strange that we are put on such duties right before the examinations,” a lecturer stated.

Another teacher said this was not new. Some years ago, a dignitary had died in an air crash and “we were told to ‘decorate’ his funeral”.

When The Tribune team visited the site of the festival, schoolchildren could be seen painting the floor, arranging pots and decorating the place. When questioned, the teachers justified it as “participation”.

Even in the department, most of the times everybody from the DEO to the deputy DEO are out reviewing the arrangements or holding meetings in this regard.

When contacted, the DPI said: “It’s a big function for Chandigarh and only students and teachers who were talented and interested in arts, rangoli etc are put on duty.”

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City-Kalka Track
Withdrawal of banking locos may cause derailment
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, February 19
Resentment prevails among drivers and assistant drivers of the diesel shed here over the proposed withdrawal of banking locomotives from trains running on the Chandigarh-Kalka broad gauge section which has a steep gradient.

The running staff of the diesel shed has written to the Railway Minister, the chief safety officer and GM (mechanical) northern railway, besides other higher railway officers.

On the condition of anonymity, they told The Tribune that the railways was going to withdraw banking locomotives from all Shatabdi trains, Himalayan Queen and the Hawra-Kalka express. Out of these, three trains are running on this steep gradient section after the recent inspection of this section by a team of the Chief Electrical Loco Engineer (CELE), New Delhi.

Banking locomotives were being used on this section with all important mail trains since the past over two decades. They said the railways was likely to withdraw these locomotives for the sake of economy, but was not considering the safety of passengers. They alleged that this could lead to a serious mishap like derailment.

In the absence of banking locomotives, wet track could lead to skidding. The railway had recently increased the speed of all trains on this section from 50 to 75 km per hour. Without these locomotives, speed could not exceed over 60 km per hour.

The letter stated that 2005 and 2011 trains were equipped with 770-volt generators and there were chances of passengers getting electric shocks if the train derailed. Also, there was a chance that the match coupling between compartments would break.

As per the C&W manual, if the air pressure in breaking pressure power(BPP) did not drop at the rate of 0.6 kg/C.M2/sec, there were chances of break failure.

The working timetable of the northern railway, Ambala Division, stated that there was a provision for banker power for trains exceeding a load of 650 tonnes. All the above trains ran on the section with 16-17 coaches that have a load of over 900 tonnes, they said.

They urged the department not to exercise economy at the cost of the safety of passengers and railway property.

Old records of the railway reveal that in 1997, the link of compartments snapped as banking locomotives were missing.

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‘Opportunities in Illinois despite meltdown’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
New opportunities and a huge potential for growth exists in the state of Illinois, even in these critical times, said Rajinder Bedi, managing director, State of Illinois (USA), while addressing an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chandigarh Council here today.

Suggesting the select CII members to think globally for exploring opportunities, Bedi said , “Only if you think locally, you will become a part of the down turn. The need of the hour is innovation and globalisation. The two countries need to anticipate and adapt to the demands of the 21st century and beyond.”

He further added that Illinois and India could collaborate for joint activities and projects in the fields of renewable energy, environment and clean-coal technology, food processing , biotechnology, chemicals, fabricated metals, plastics, rubber and transportation equipment.

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Human rights panel summons Chand, Fiza
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
In the Fiza-Chand standoff, the Global Human Rights Council, supporting Fiza, has moved a petition before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) stating that the Mohali SSP had failed to act on a criminal complaint filed by her.

Acting on the petition, the commission has summoned the SSP and the Kalka MLA for February 25. The rights body in its petition said though the victim has in her complaint accused the MLA of cheating her by changing his faith with the intention to raping her, but the police had failed to register an FIR against him.

Talking to mediapersons, Fiza said while the police was fast to register a case of attempt to suicide against her, it was not showing the same alacrity in registering an FIR against him.

A police official told The Tribune that both parties had been summoned for tomorrow and the matter was being probed. Sources said the person, who was likely to represent the case of Chander Mohan, would seek time to prepare the reply.

In her complaint, she has sought the registration of a case under Sections 295-A, 376, 420, 500 and 506 of the IPC. A few days ago while addressing a press conference, she had hinted at legally pursuing the matter against her estranged husband. She had twice given him a deadline to come and explain his position to her.

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Home Secy orders removal of encroachment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A meeting regarding removal of encroachments was held under the chairmanship of home secretary Ram Niwas here yesterday. All encroachments reported during the past one week were reviewed and it was decided that all these encroachments should be removed within one week.

The SSP was directed to provide police force and nodal officers were asked to coordinate with the respective SDMs in the removal of encroachments.

A majority of encroachments were detected in the periphery area. Some religious structures were also detected that were at their early stage of construction. It was noticed that in certain cases, some encroachments had resurfaced again.

The Home Secretary also ordered registration of criminal cases in such instances where encroachments were being made repeatedly.

He said the officials concerned should also be booked in cases where construction had been going on for more than 15 days.

The chief engineer would ensure that no encroachment took place on the acquired land, possession of which had been taken by the department.

He was also asked to ensure that all areas under his jurisdiction, including parks, V-2, V-3 and V-4 road berms, remained free of encroachments.

The land falling in the periphery under the Periphery Control Act is being taken care of by the Land Acquisition Officer.

He siad it is the responsibility of the MC Commissioner to ensure that no encroachment took place on the land falling under the jurisdiction of the corporation.

Additional Commissioner PK Sharma has been designated as nodal officer.

As regards the area falling under the control of the Chandigarh Housing Board, the its Chairman had been asked to ensure that no encroachment took place on the land owned by the board.

The estate officer would be responsible for removing unauthorised constructions, initiate resumption proceedings under the Capital of Punjab (Regulation and Development) Act and Rules, framed thereunder.

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Sector 20 temple razed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The enforcement wing of the municipal corporation along with respective area supervisors carried out a demolition drive here today. The drive was carried out under the supervision of Surinder Kumar, tehsildar, enforcement.

During the drive, the team demolished one newly constructed temple and a dhobi hut (pucca structures) in Sector 20-D.

The enforcement wing consisting of sub-inspectors Rattan Singh, Baljit Singh and Ved Parkash Gautam also demolished 15 pucca structures, including three dhabas, two tea vending shops and 10 jhuggis.

The drive is a message to encroachers to remove encroachments as more such drives would be carried out in the future.

MC’s Additional Commissioner PK Sharma warned field functionaries of taking action against those who failed to safeguard the municipal property.

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Security beefed up for Rose Festival
Amit Khanna

Chandigarh, February 19
CCTV cameras, machans (view towers), and anti-sabotage squad may not be anyone’s idea of the popular Rose Festival, but that is what the visitors to this year’s edition of the festival of flowers will witness.

To thwart any untoward incident and streamline the flow of traffic during the 37th Rose Festival starting tomorrow, elaborate security and traffic arrangements have been put in place by the city police.

Besides, an anti sabotage squad will also be keeping a tight vigil on those in and around the venue.

Metal detectors will be put up at entry points. Parking facility will be provided at four different points around the Rose Garden. About the diversions, a police officer said certain diversions would be imposed during the peak traffic hours in the morning and evening.

HS Doon, SP Traffic and Security said, “The security of the visitors is of paramount importance to us. We have created police machans (view-towers) for an overall view of the garden. Our officials will be there in the public in civil clothes to keep an eye on any anti-social activity.”

Artistes like Alka Yagnik, Labh Janjua and Sanober Kabir will be performing during the festival.

Emphasising on the need of public to assist police in making it a smooth affair he added, “We urge the public to report any suspicious object or activity to police authorities immediately to help us make this festival a success.”

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CAT holds appointment of three lecturers illegal
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Terming the appointment of three dance lecturers “illegal and unsustainable”, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed director, public relations, DPI, to consider the case of an applicant for relaxation in age and give appointment to her on contractual basis.

The applicant, Sunita Sharma, had been working as lecturer in dance as guest faculty since 1999 in Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

She stated in the application that she applied for the post in response to an advertisement and was interviewed before being appointed at Government College for Girls, Sector 42. There she worked up to 2000.

In August, 2003 she joined Government College for Girls, Sector 11. She worked there till academic session 2007-’08 and was not allowed to continue after September 20, 2008, in spite of the fact that no regular selection or appointment was made for academic session 2008-’09.

The applicant stated that she did MA in dance in 1995 and passed NET accredited by the UGC.

She alleged that she was appointed as lecturer in dance on contract on fixed pay of Rs 8,000 in 2005-’06.

In response to an advertisement issued on June 10, 2008 she applied for the post, while requesting for the grant of age relaxation and was the only selected candidate.

As per the direction of the principal, she started taking classes from July 18. However, another advertisement for interview appeared in newspaper on September 13, 2008 to fill three posts of lecturer in dance at Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

She mentioned in the application that she had already applied for the academic session 2008-2009 and was selected and had started taking classes.

The principal agreed that the applicant didn’t need to apply again. Interviews were held and the respondents — Aadi Sharma, Manjot and Amar — were appointed on contract.

Thereafter, the applicant was terminated from services on grounds that she was not qualified for the post, which she challenged before the tribunal.

Pronouncing the orders, the tribunal held: “The action of the respondent in making appointment of candidates who do not fulfil the requisite educational qualifications is also illegal arbitrary and discriminatory as respondents have not taken any decision to give age relaxation to the applicant but easily gave relaxation in educational qualification to private respondent that too on contract. They have acted contrary to the mandatory norms of the UGC while giving relaxation in educational qualification.”

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Plea for job on compassionate grounds quashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Quashing the application of Surinder Kumar, who had sought for appointment on compassionate grounds after lapse of over 21 years, the Central Administrative Tribunal has specified that applicant is not entitled to it.

Pronouncing the orders, the tribunal held that on age of attaining maturity, the applicant made a number of written requests to the respondents for giving him appointment on compassionate grounds.

When no response was received by the applicant, the applicant served a justice demand notice settled under Section 21 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

Under the notice, the litigant can approach the tribunal within one year and in this case the applicant approached the tribunal after a lapse of over 21 years.

The tribunal added: “After going through the letter dated April 18, 1985 that was circulated by the Railway Board, there is not an iota of doubt in our minds that the widow/dependent of the deceased employee will not be entitled to any compassionate appointment in case the widow of the deceased employee remarries.”

Surinder stated that his father - Satpal - who was working with the Northern Railway in Patiala died on July 16, 1986 during patrol duty, leaving behind his mother and him.

The mother of the applicant, Mahindro, wrote a letter on March 20, 1987 to the respondent for settlement of dues, compensation for death, payment of insurance and pension as well as for appointment to government service on compassionate grounds.

The mother was offered post of safaiwala with letter August 31, 1988 but she could not join due to compelling family circumstances.

On attaining the age of maturity, the applicant made a number of written requests to the respondents to give him appointment on compassionate grounds. When no response was received, the applicant filed an application with the tribunal.

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Stop acquisition, say farmers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Mani Majra Farmers Welfare and Environment Protection Society has demanded an immediate suspension of land acquisition in Chandigarh, pending formulation of a master plan for the city and its periphery

In a letter to the Union Home Minister, the society has demanded the implementation of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy (NRRP), 2007.

The letter alleged that despite stiff opposition from local MP and Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, Adviser to the Administrator Pradip Mehra, eminent citizens and farmers of Chandigarh, the administration had been pushing mega projects.

The NRRP 2007, which provides for adequate safeguards against involuntary displacement of affected families and protection of environment, is not being implemented by the administration. The society alleged that communication by General Rodrigues to the Home Minister regarding the land compensation to farmers of the city was clear indication of the administration shifting the blame to the Centre.

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Industrial Area
Work on drainage system begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Waking up to the need of having basic amenities in place in Industrial Area, the Chandigarh municipal corporation has started various development works in Phase-II.

Starting with laying of drainage system yesterday, the MC plans to undertake other works, including improving condition of roads and maintaining greenery in the area.

Area councillor Jatinder Bhatia inaugurated the project, while Executive Engineer VK Garg and Yogesh Kumar were also present.

Industrial Sheds Welfare Association president Jagir Singh said: “The demand to initiate development works had been pending for a long time. Previous councillors had hardly visited the area,” he claimed.

Association members rued that preferential treatment had been given to Industrial Area, Phase-I, in development matters.

Bhatia assured them of no further delay in carrying out of projects.

Meanwhile, four road projects and a sewerage upgrade project have also been sanctioned by the MC. The total cost of projects has been estimated at Rs 6.4 crore.

A sum of Rs 85.3 lakh had been sanctioned for improving and widening roads in front of the fire brigade office while Rs 74.14 lakh had been sanctioned for the road in front of Khandilia Oil Mills up to gurdwara and mandir.

An amount of Rs 127.32 lakh and Rs 253.24 lakh had been allocated for work on roads from plot Nos. 802-843 and 276-440, respectively.

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Water supply panel meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The first meeting of the water supply and sewerage disposal committee of the municipal corporation was held under the chairmanship of Ravinder Pal Singh here today.

It was attended by committee members, including Harjinder Kaur, Chander Mukhi Sharma, Jatinder Bhatia, Dr AP Sanwaria, Reeta Sharma, Anu Chatrath, Sheela Devi, Raj Kumari Mishra and all XENs of Public Health Wing of the corporation. It was decided that action taken report of old meetings be tabled before the next meetings of the committee.

The committee recommended widening of roads by the road wing of the corporation with prior information to the public health wing to avoid damage to sewerage and water supply lines. The committee recommended various important agenda items, including estimate for the work of providing, fixing, testing and commissioning of gas chlorinator system at various tube-wells in various locations under the MC for Rs 5.04 lakh, estimate for construction of public toilet block (men and women) opposite mosque at Mani Majra for Rs 11.42 lakh, rough cost estimate for providing additional SWD in Sector 32 and construction of new gullies in Sector 46-D for Rs 7.25 lakh besides others.

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Admn mulls development panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Chandigarh administration is exploring the possibility of setting up of an 11-member Standing City Development and Reforms Committee (SCDRC) for the integrated development of the city.

A committee constituted by the administration comprising Home Secretary, Finance Secretary and MC Commissioner would look into the recommendations of the Delhi Finance Commission (DFC). The formation of the SCDRC is part of the DFC recommendations submitted to the UT administration.

To be headed by the UT Adviser, the proposed committee will have among others Finance Secretary, Chandigarh Housing Board Chairman, CITCO Managing Director, CTU Director, MC Commissioner, Mayor, representatives of the zila parishad, gram panchayat and panchayat samiti, invitees from universities, educational institutions, transport, infrastructure, town planning and the representatives of Punjab and Haryana.

The committee would be tasked with identifying the infrastructure deficits in the UT and its investment needs.

The infrastructure projects of the administration, the MC and the panchayati raj institutions for “achieving the objective of the city beautiful and for meeting infrastructure deficits in this regard, may be cleared and executed by this committee”, the DFC had recommended.

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New building inaugurated at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Constructed at a cost of Rs 21 crore, the building of block D at Government Medical College and Hospital was inaugurated here yesterday. Punjab Governor and Administrator, UT, Gen SF Rodrigues, after inaugurating the building discussed the other functional requirements with the faculty to make the system more efficient and service oriented.

During his visit to the blood bank, he asked the Home Secretary to institutionalise a monitoring system of the blood banks in the city to ensure their proper functioning and better service to the needy and poor patients to meet their blood requirements.

He also enquired about the eye and other organ donation facility in the hospital and the need to popularise this concept through general awareness and motivation.

The five-storey building in a total area of 2,78,000 sq ft will house departments of radiology, blood bank, ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, radiotherapy, dentistry, gynaecology, general medicine, anaesthesiology and psychiatry. General Rodrigues also discussed with the director and other faculty members the shortcomings and other problems being faced by them and assured to take up the issues with the Union Ministry of Health.

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Pension for disabled doubled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Chandigarh administration has revised old-age pension, widow pension and pension to the disabled from Rs 250 per month to Rs 500.

According to a press note issued here, the Finance Department today approved the proposal put forward by the Social Welfare Department.

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Property Dispute
Probe into sisters’ allegations begins
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
The district administration has started investigating into the allegations of two sisters against their maternal uncle.

The two girls, Ilmaz and Kusum, who were rescued by the officials from the social welfare department with the help of district administration, refused to stay with their father. Their father, Hasan Murtaza, who killed their mother 16 years ago, was released from jail in 2004.

The project officer of the Integrated Child and Women Welfare visited the schools of the girls and inquired about their performance during their stay at schools. The project officer also visited the locality of Sector 2 where the girls were staying with their uncle Babban Zaidi.

The girls alleged that they had to discontinue the study as their guardian Zaidi did not pay their tuition fee even as they had millions of rupees in their bank account.

Even a part of their money was squandered by the guardian, alleged the girls demanding the cancellation of the guardianship rights with Zaidi claiming that they have become adults now and need no guardian.

The project officer is said to have reported to the Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula that while the school authorities were satisfied with the girls as far as the studies were concerned, the payment of fee by the family was not regular.

The project officer has collected some documents in this regard from the schools.

The two were students of Saint Soldier and Sutlej Public School at Panchkula.

Zaidi, however, denied the allegations and said the schools did not allow them to continue as their attendance was not regular. “The money spent by me was for the preparations of their marriages,” he said.

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MES employee killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
A 59-year-old man was found dead in his car near Nadha Sahib Gurdwara here today.

The deceased, who was identified as Jaspal Singh, was an employee of Military Engineering Services (MES) at Chandi Mandir.

He had gone to drop one of his friends at Ramgarh when his car was hit by an unidentified vehicle reportedly and he died on the spot. His car was reportedly found lying overturned.

The deceased was about to retire on February 28 and had thrown a party for his friend yesterday night when the incident took place.

The family memebers in a state of shock said: “Earlier also, he used to come home late sometimes so we did not try to locate him.” But, when he did not reach home till morning, we started inquiring about him following which his car was found on the Panchkula-Ramgarh road where he was lying dead inside”.

The police said the body was handed over to the family after the postmortem and a case had been registered in this regard.

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Seminar on agriculture challenges ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A national seminar organised by the department of geography, Panjab University, on ‘emerging challenges for agriculture’ concluded today.

The plight of agriculture, its implications on the economy, environment and future development in India was discussed.

In the valedictory address delivered by Prof RS Ghuman, economist from Punjabi University, Patiala, outlined several challenges for agriculture. Paramount amongst these was the issue of insufficient food and food insecurity, the roots of which lay in environmental degradation, declining man-land ratio, lack of remunerative prices, growing marginalisation of farmers and farm lands, systematic destruction of the institutional setup in the states and a corrupt and myopic development agenda.

Prof Ghuman posed the issue of agriculture facing one challenge after another over human history. “We need to move out of the complacence associated with the glory of the green revolution and develop answers to the current challenges,” he said.

Prof Majid Husain, a geographer from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, lamented the fact that youth is not attracted to the fields any more. Conversion of prime agricultural land to other uses, division of rural society into haves and have-nots, changing soil chemistry are added factors to the dilemma of being self-sufficient in food.

In the technical sessions, the themes that were deliberated upon included, rural indebtedness, agro-processing industry, crop combinations in Punjab, sustainable agricultural developments, safe drinking water and contract farming.

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Travel exhibition from Feb 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
India Travel Mart will organise a three-day travel exhibition at Hotel Shivalik View from February 21-23. The exhibition will focus on outbound, inbound and domestic tourism.

Chandigarh Tourism (CITCO) is the state host while there will be about 55 participants from all over the world. Malaysia is the partner country and Uttarakhand is the partner state. Singapore and Jammu and Kashmir will be feature countries and states respectively.

The mart will come up with variety of special and affordable hotel, travel and tour holiday, honeymoon/beach packages and destinations. The main highlight, however, would be pilgrimage, adventure and health tourism across the world.

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Consumer Courts
Insurance co told to pay Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to a resident of Sector 44 for wrongly repudiating claim.

The forum further directed the company to pay approximately Rs 2.70 lakh as the insurance claim as per the surveyor's report.

The complainant, Kamini Sharma, stated in the complaint that she had got her new Hyundai Accent Verna insured from the company after making a cash payment of Rs 25,822.

The insurance was valid for a period of one year, which was from October 31, 2006. The sum insured of the car was approximately Rs 7 lakh. The car met with an accident in January 2007.

The insurance company replied that the complainant had never paid the premium by cash. She has issued the cheque to the agent and requested the agent to whom she has contacted for getting the insurance to pay the premium of Rs 25,822 on her behalf.

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Sufi soiree enthrals audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 19
Mystical fervour pervaded the otherwise calmly Kalagram complex as the Paasle Waale qawalli group comprising 10 artistes led by BS Pali presented soulful Sufiana kalaams of Sufi saint poets here today.

The Sufiana musical soiree organised by the regional chapter of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in association with NZCC witnessed a low presence of audience.

The ICCR is committed to promote folk and classical arts through their horizon series but the scant audience is a matter of concern, said Gyan Chand, regional officer.

The lead vocalist BS Pali, a disciple of Ustad Gurdas Sufi, commenced the programme with Sufi kalaams of Bulleh Shah “Ni meion jaana jogi de naal” and “Mera eh charkah” expressing Bulleh Shah’s complete surrender to his preceptor.

After kalaams by Bari Nizami and others the mehfil concluded with the boisterous “Dama dam mast qalandar”.

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Placement cell at PU only on paper
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 19
The central placement cell of Panjab University is merely an eyewash for the students of the campus. While there are 60 departments in the university, the authorities have appointed only two professors for the cell.

The authorities are least concerned to have a proper infrastructure and manpower for the placement cell of the campus. Even two professors, which have been appointed for the cell, belong to the teaching faculty.

Sources revealed the main reason behind the failure of the central placement cell was lack of coordination between the departments and the cell; also lack of proper infrastructure was a major problem. Moreover, the cell does not have any counsellor to guide the students.

“We are collecting Rs 150 from every student to invite the companies in our department for placing us. There is no benefit of having a placement cell on the campus,” a student of environment sciences said.

The honorary director, Central Placement Cell, V R Sinha, said the cell worked for those departments, which did not have their placement cells, but there wa s no interference in the working of those departments that had their placement cells.

Sinha further said he had sent the notices to all departments on January 20 to submit the bio-data of the students, but no department had submitted the details except the dental sciences department.

The placement cell is only conducting workshops on soft skills i.e. how to prepare curriculum vitae and how to participate in an interview. “We have provided the facility to make STD calls to the students free of cost,” an official of placement cell said.

On the contrary, a law student, Deepak, said the cell had never functioned properly. It had never taken any initiatives to help students find jobs, he added.

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From Schools & Colleges
Desh Bhagat College celebrates founder's day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes celebrated its founder's day with fervour and fanfare on the campus.

Dedicated to the sacred memories of the group chairman, Dr Zora Singh's revered father, the late Sardar Lal Singh, a veteran freedom fighter and a close associate of Netaji Subhash Chander Bose, the day turned out to be an occasion for reviewing the past, jubilation over the present and rededication to the future.

Farewell

Students of Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, hosted a farewell party to wish luck to the outgoing Class X students. Students of Class IX endeavoured to make this evening a most memorable one by presenting a spectrum of fun and entertainment.

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