C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fiza still my wife: Chand
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 23
Former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and MLA from Kalka Chander Mohan aka Chand Mohammed has denied the allegations levelled by his estranged ladylove and second wife Anuradha Bali (now Fiza).

In a brief fax message sent to the Mohali police today, the MLA categorically pointed that he had never changed his faith and was still Chand Mohammed and had not left Fiza.

The allegedly on-the-run MLA said he had not broken the marriage and Fiza was still his wife. The fax reply has come three days after the Mohali police has served an ultimatum on the MLA to send his reply failing which it will be compelled to proceed with its one-sided inquiry.

However, he said he was taking treatment and would return in April to reply to each and every query. SP (City) Varinder Pal said the fax was being accepted as his version. The statement of Chand and Fiza were being sent to the DA for legal opinion.

Sources in the police said the MLA had contradicted the allegations levelled by Fiza. He had tried to contradict the criminal offences pointed out by his wife.

Citing violation of human rights, the Global Human Rights Council had moved a petition before the Punjab Human Rights Commission, stating that the SSP had failed to act on the criminal complaint filed by Fiza. She earlier claimed that Chand Mohammad was not ill.

She alleged that former Haryana CM Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldeep Bishnoi were instrumental in managing “safe exit” for Chand. “A few days ago, he was saying that he had lost everything and had no money. Now, he has money to go abroad and get treatment there,” she said.



Seeking removal of Mehra as CEO
Rodrigues plea stirs up hornet’s nest
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The reported move by UT Administrator SF Rodrigues to seek the removal of his Adviser Pradip Mehra from the post of chief electoral officer (CEO) on the plea that he cannot be posted in his home district has stirred up a hornet's nest with many dubbing the Administrator's move as yet another step to corner Mehra.

In fact, eyebrows are being raised at the locus standi of Rodrigues in seeking Mehra's removal as the CEO from the Election Commission(EC) as the Rodrigues is in no way the affected party.

"Ideally, the request for the removal of any officer from poll duties should come from the affected parties, including political parties and candidates contesting elections," ML Sareen, senior advocate, who had been a standing counsel for the EC for over 20 years now, told The Tribune.

"The EC is the highest electoral authority under the Constitution and it was within its right to appoint and transfer any officer in the run-up to the elections and even during the elections," Sareen said, questioning the very locus standi of Rodrigues' request to the EC.

It was in July last year that the EC had appointed Mehra as the CEO. Under the Representation of People's Act, 1951, the CEO is appointed in consultation with the state government concerned.

Even if the Administrator was not "consulted" at the time of the appointment of Mehra, an intimation was sent to Rodrigues about the appointment.

Raking up such issue when the election process for the Lok Sabha elections set to begin is impracticable and constitionally improper, a senior official said.

Meanwhile, a constitutional expert sees nothing improper in Mehra's appointment as the CEO did not have direct role in the election process like the returning officers, assistant returning officers and presiding officers.

"There is no constitutional hitch in the appointment of Mehra as the CEO on the grounds that he is the resident of Chandigarh," former Punjab advocate-general Harbhagwan Singh said.

Rodrigues' request to the EC to transfer Mehra seems to be an offshoot of the commission's guidelines that the officers connected with elections in the state should not serve in their home districts.

However, the EC had made it clear that "these instructions do not apply to the officers posted at state headquarters".

Whether Chandigarh should be considered as a state or district for electoral purposes comes under the jurisdiction of the commission.

Rodrigues and Mehra are locked in an intense tug of war over the former's pet but controversial mega project, including Medicity, Film City and Amusement park, which are currently under the scanner of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).



Threat to Architectural Legacy
Capitol Complex being tampered with
City might lose its stake to be nominated for the
UNESCO’s World Heritage status
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The basic character of the Capitol Complex may soon fade out, so it seems if the alterations being done on this “core zone” are any indication.

Cocking a snook at the Chandigarh Heritage regulations, the rooftops of all the three main architectural masterpieces, designed by Le Corbusier in Sector 1 Capitol Complex - the Secretariat, the Legislative Assembly and the High Court - are being “tempered” with by applying paint on them.

If experts are to be believed, Chandigarh might lose its stake to be nominated for the UNESCO’s World Heritage status.

When the Tribune team visited the spot, it was observed that the silver-white paint was applied on the cupola parabola extending above the roofline of the Legislative Assembly.

Former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and Doctorate of Architectural Legacy of Chandigarh S.S. Bhatti criticised the “irresponsible” act of the authorities.

“All the creations of Le Corbusier have been developed with instructions to use settled concrete. He had stressed that the building should not be touched up with any external material to maintain architectural finesse. Using any other material such as paint is to clearly ruin the unique architectural legacy of modern times,” he said.

To preserve the tinge of Le Corbusier touch, the Chandigarh Heritage rules demand that no intervention of any sort will be allowed in areas and buildings included in the core zones, but efforts would be made to conserve them without changing its basic character.

All interventions in the core zones, like Capitol Complex, is monitored by the Heritage Committee which, besides key functionaries of the administration, including representatives from the Archaeological Survey of India, Le Corbusier Foundation and the office of UNESCO in India.

Chief Engineer Krishanjit Singh, when contacted, expressed ignorance about this development at Capitol Complex. “It’s not in my knowledge. I am out of the city. I will inquire into the matter when I return,” said Krishanjit, before referring to ask the XEN, CP Division No 6, Balwan Singh.

But Balwan Singh preferred keep mum on the issue. He assured to speak later but did not pick the phone despite repeated attempts.

The lackadaisical attitude of the administration could well be imagined from the fact that after failing to submit the nomination for this coveted status on time, the administration, apparently, is still leaving no stone unturned to walk off the race for World Heritage status.

It is pertinent to mention that only those countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention and pledged to protect their original cultural heritage would be eligible to submit nomination proposals for properties on their province to be considered for UNESCO’s world heritage list.

Chandigarh is the only place where a complete plan of urban settlement was implemented as envisioned by Le Corbusier. “Nowhere else in the world are such hallowed shrines as in Chandigarh, and it is the duty of the administration to preserve their sanctity,” said Bhatti.



Spurious milk floods markets
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur/Panchkula, February 23
Kishan Garg, a resident of Zirakpur, was in for a shock when he bought a milk packet bearing the brand name “Vedeka” instead of Verka.

On checking, the aware resident found that the packet did not bear any manufacturing date, no address and packet was without a batch number.

The worried Zirakpur residents met the authorities concerned, who promised them to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, in Panchkula, Amit Kumar, a local resident, said that he was surprised on seeing the duplicate packet that look like an original one. The Health Department, Panchkula, also collected samples of the milk.


Mayor not invited in inaugural functions
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
It seems that the oneupmanship between Municipal Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria and Mayor Kamlesh is still continuing.

This fact came to light today as in two inaugural functions of installation of fountains in Sector 27 and 28, the name of the Mayor was missing in the invitation cards of the corporation.

Interestingly, the Mayor was ignored at the functions organised by Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla in his area and Dr Sunkaria was invited as the chief guest.

Similar incident took place last year also when the name of the Mayor was not printed on invitation cards during the inaugural function of the garbage-processing plant, a mega project of the MC.

Sources in the party revealed that the party had taken up the issue with Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister of State of Finance, who had directed Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla to invite Mayor Kamlesh in both functions.

The sources said Babla promised that he would amicably settle her differences with Kamlesh and invite her at both the functions.

The sources in the party expressed surprise at the absence of the Mayor from both the inaugural functions.

Congress councillor Jagjit Singh Kang stated that he would take up the issue with Bansal again as Babla was flouting the directions of his party. He said the members of the party were also upset at such his attitude.

Recently Babla had a tiff and heated arguments with the MC Commissioner in the finance and contract committee meeting, on which inquiry was going on.

The sources in the party felt surprise that on the one side Babla and Sunkaria had tussle with each other and now Babla had invited the commissioner for inaugurations in his area.

They believed that it might be a step towards patch up between both of them but ignoring the Mayor was not in good taste.

Sources in the corporation revealed that similar incidents occurred during the tenures of Surinder Singh and Harjinder Kaur when their names as Mayors were missing on the invitation cards.

But at that time, the cards were got reprinted by the authorities, as the Mayors denied to attend the functions without their names on the cards.



Paswan opens cheaper drug store
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 23
In order to make quality generic drugs available at cheaper rates, a 24-hour drug store, Jan Aushadhi, was inaugurated by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers and Steel, Ram Vilas Paswan, at the civil hospital here today.

Paswan said there was a plan to set up similar drug stores in every district by December and later the facility would be extended to the block level. By the end of February, stores would be opened in Bathinda, Jalandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana also.

He further said an initiative to provide medicines at cheaper rates had to be taken, as in some people died just because medicines were out of their reach.

Majority of the drugs were manufactured by private companies and the government had no control over their prices.

The turnover of the private sector was Rs 72, 000 crore whereas five public sector undertakings produced medicines only worth Rs 300 crore.

The state governments should direct doctors of government hospitals to prescribe only those medicines that were available at Jan Aushadhi stores. These stores should be run by specialised persons, because wrong medicines were sold in about 15 per cent cases, as persons in the shops were not qualified, Paswan added.

He also said the government was drawing up plans to provide free dugs to those below the poverty line and health insurance for the poor.

About 75 per cent of the expenditure would be borne by the Central government while the state governments would have to contribute the remaining 25 per cent. Around Rs 1.20 lakh families would be covered under the plan.

Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla thanked Paswan for taking an initiative that would make life saving drugs available to the poor at reasonable rates.

She urged the minister to issue necessary directions to check the sale of habit- forming drugs in the country, as the youth were getting addicted to these. Drugs worth Rs 5 crore were seized by the Punjab government in the past two years.

The drug store at the civil hospital is being looked after the INDCO Hitech Agro Rural Development of Women Welfare Society, Chandigarh.

Store manager Varun said the government had provided a list of 350 medicines out of which about 150 were available at present and medicines would be supplied directly by the Central Government. She said medicines would be sold to those who had the prescription slip with them.

SMO in charge of the civil hospital HS Sarang said the government had not given any directions to instruct doctors to prescribe only those medicines that were available at the newly-opened drug store.



Govt to provide free medicines
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 23
Financial Commissioner, Health, Haryana, Anuradha Gupta said the state was taking steps to provide medicines free of cost at its hospitals.

Speaking on the occasion of inauguration of a” Jan Aushdhi” store by Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan at General Hospital. Sector 6, today, she said the budget for providing free medicines has been enhanced from Rs 7 crore to Rs 30 crore.

The authorities have been trying to ensure that the patient visiting the OPDs get all the medicines free of cost and patients at gynaecology section during surgery are provided the medicines free of cost as well, she said.

However, still their were gaps in the system and in order to fill theses gaps “Jan Aushdhi” store would be opened throughout the state so that people get quality medicines at affordable prices, she said.

Haryana has taken led in three ‘Ds’ doctors, drugs and deliveries remained the main concern of the government and the process to recruit doctors in the state is already on the medicines have been made available free of cost at all state hospitals.

Moreover, the rate of deliveries at state-run huts has also shown a remarkable improvement, she added.



‘Jai Ho’, say students at Mad Arts
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Chandigarh, February 23
The students of Mad Arts, Jaspal Bhatti’s Film School at Mohali, today celebrated the spectacular success of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Smile Pinki’ at the Oscars by cutting a cake.

On the occasion, children from the adjacent slums were invited to attend the cake-cutting ceremony. “It’s heartening that for the first time, India has done so well at the Oscars. It is encouraging for the budding students of cinema,” said Savita Bhatti, CEO of the school.

The students of Mad Arts congratulated music maestro AR Rehman for winning two Oscars and Rasul Pookutty for one Oscar.

They enacted the famous dialogue from the film “Deewar”: “Mere Paas Maa Hai” by rephrasing it as “Hamare Paas Rehman Hai”.

On the occasion, Jaspal Bhatti said all should do something to do away with slums in India. The next Oscar should be on the brighter and development side of India.

He said: “Now we have won an award on the film based on slums doesn’t mean that we should increase slums to gather more awards. We should increase our creativity and decrease the slums.”

The idea to invite the slum dwellers was to highlight the indifferent attitude of the government and to improve their economic condition.

The foreign filmmakers should be attracted to our ideas, talent, scripts and not our slums. The students sang “Jai Ho” to success of Slumdog, saying “no-no to slums”.



City celebrates Slumdog’s clean sweep at Oscars
Neha Miglani

Chandigarh, February 23
It was undoubtedly a dream run at the Oscars as filmmaker Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ won eight Oscar awards for the best feature film, direction, original song, original score, sound mixing, editing, adapted screenplay and cinematography.

The city celebrated the success to the fullest. “We all are proud of the cast and crew of Slumdog.

The whole Indian music fraternity is feeling on the top of the world and the entire credit goes to AR Rahman,” renowned singer Alka Yagnik said who was here for the Rose Festival.

“The entire industry is in a mood to celebrate. The winning of Oscars has brought the Indian filmmakers at a different level,” quips Kulraj Randhawa, a TV actress.

As the Slumdog Millionaire team picked up the best movie award at Oscars, the celebrations in the city had already begun.

Remarked Kamal Tewari, an actor, “It is a great achievement for Indian Cinema, the shoot is in India and the entire cast is from India. The creativity and truth is appreciated always. Most important, Indian Cinema is recognised at global level.”

The movie beat The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and The Reader and the movie fanatics in the city had a reason to celebrate, adds Shakti, a research scholar in PU and a movie lover, “This was long overdue and finally India’s talent has been recognised by the international fraternity. I am proud to be an Indian.”

While most of the residents were elated, there were some who begged to differ. An MBA student, Kunal, said: “The movie has shown India in poor light. It looks like a politically motivated concept. It seems as if the whole ideahad been made in English for the international audience.”



Slump: Retail stores shut operations
Amit Khanna & Chhavi Garg

Chandigarh, February 23
After the initial euphoria, global meltdown has forced retail entrepreneurs to rethink their strategy. When the sun was shining on the venture market, retail seemed to be everybody’s favourite investment proposition.

However, with the global recession setting in, companies like Reliance and Aditya Birla group are now rethinking on their projects in city retail marketing sector.

Various retail chains like Reliance Fresh, Choupal, 6TEN, Spencer’s, More and Subhiksha were opened here with an aim to capturing the growing consumer segment by offering specialised services.

With Subhiksha, a food and grocery retail chain, shutting down majority of its convenience stores in the region last month, there were fears of other major retail stores following the suit.

“After Subhiksha closed down its operations, other companies have reduced their working area by closing some branches. Due to the slump in the market, there are serious concerns as most of us are running into losses,” a store retail manager said.

“We are not attracting as many customers as we used to, resulting in the low profit margin. The overall situation is grim and many retail stores will be forced to shut their operations if the situation persists,” another employee said while showing the partially-filled shelves.

These shops face a stiff competition from the traditional sellers, who provide the facility of credit selling to the customers. Moreover, the overhead expenses further put a burden on their margins.

“We are paying a rent of more than Rs 1 lakh per month for our store, whereas most of the shopkeepers do not pay any rent. In addition to it, we have to keep atleast ten attendants also,” said Gaurav, a store manager at Spencer’s.

In contrast, the grocery stores are doing a brisk business as usual. “We have not noticed any downfall in our sales. Moreover, we deal with the customers in a personalised manner and have started special services like home delivery too,” local shopkeeper Raman Gupta said.

However, experts do not find anything wrong with the trend. “Retail is a nascent industry in India. There is nothing wrong with retailing per se or consumption per se. These are financially challenging times and it is sensible to see entrepreneurs rationalising their business spread. Why should they continue with the unprofitable stores? This will augur well for the future,” opined Pranay Sinha, MD Stars Shopping Centres.



MC to celebrate Holi
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) is all set to tread on a new path and explore possibilities in realms of entertainment and celebration.

To start with, the MC will organise a grand Holi celebrations in Sector 17 plaza next month. According to MC sources, in a recently held meeting of the Art and Culture Committee of the MC, including chairperson Neelam Malik, MPS Chawla, Harjinder Kaur, Ram Lal, Sarita, Brig KS Chandpuri (retd) and others, it was decided to allocate around Rs 1 lakh to organise the event.

To give a traditional flavour to the event, talks are also on between the MC officials and North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) to rope in artists to perform “ras lila”. School children will be there to do the “teeka” ceremony. A day before Holi, the traditional “Holika dahan” will also be organised.

Giving details of the event, one of the members of the committee said that they were making efforts to make it a big event and it would be a public-oriented celebration. There will be separate enclosures for public, officials and members of the media, said the member.

The committee is coming up with a list of other festivals and events to be organised throughout the year. The committee is also planning to organise a marathon soon.



Foundation stone of Labour Bureau laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Under the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI)Corporation Act, the Union government has extended double benefit to the employees of organised sector.

This was stated by Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, here today.

He said about the recent amendment in the Act, during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Labour Bureau at Sector 38-West.

“In the wake of global meltdown, the registered employees of the organised sector, under the health insurance scheme of the ESI Act, will be entitled to get six months’ salary in 12 installments. Earlier, it used to be three-month salary in six installments,” he said.

About the rate of interest on the provident fund, the minister disclosed that the Provident Fund Board had been constituted to give the final verdict on the issue.

“Probably, it will be 8.5 per cent. But the final decision is awaited any moment. Nothing has been officially announced by the board yet.”

He said an effective social security network for labour class had been created by the government, under which various benefits including pension for the below poverty line is being given.

Describing the evolution of the Labour Bureau, he said, “When inflation set to rise due to the World War II, the workers raised demand for neutralisation of price rise, which led to setting up of Directorate of Cost of Living at Simla in 1941, which was later renamed as Labour Bureau in 1946 with added functions.”

Meanwhile, the UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (Retd), laid the foundation stone of the Labour Bureau complex. The building, with an estimated cost of Rs 34 crore, will be constructed on 1.5-acre land, and will accommodate 400 officials.

The air-conditioned building will have a conference hall, a library and also a support structure for registering earthquake.

Pawan Bansal, Minister of State for Finance, said it was through statistics only that the government framed its policies.

“There is about 1.28 crore labour force in our country, but the government provides support system in the form of health insurance benefits, training institutes or skill development courses for only 31 lakh people. This difference has to be eliminated.”

Discouraging the trend of migrant labour, Bansal said more and more opportunities should be made available at their own states.

About the contract labour, he said the policies should be made keeping in mind the benefit of both labour as well as the contractor.

Showing his concern over the global meltdown, he said there was a need for a performance audit, analysis of labour policies and also to restructure our strategies for instituting a more responsive and accountable system to meet the changing needs of our socio-economic scenario.

Sudha Pillai, secretary, Central Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Ashok Sahu, Labour and Employment Adviser, Government of India, also spoke on the occasion. Pradip Mehra, Adviser, UT, and Dr KSRVS Chalam, Director General, Labour Bureau, were also present on the occasion.



Shivratri celebrated with religious fervour
Tribune Reporters

Devotees offer milk and fruits to Lord Shiva on the occasion of Maha Shivratri at a temple in Chandigarh on Monday.
Devotees offer milk and fruits to Lord Shiva on the occasion of Maha Shivratri at a temple in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 23
It was the day of festivity for Shiva devotees in the city. Maha Shivratri was celebrated with religious fervour at all places in the city.

Temples in the city were opened in the wee hours for the devotees, who thronged the temples in huge numbers.

Shiva temples across the city were decorated with lights and flowers. Security was tightened and barricades were put in front of most of the temples.

Pt Kishori Lal, a priest at the Sector 20 temple, said, “The celebration started at 4 am and will continue till early next morning. Pooja is done four times in the late night hours by the devotees. The rush will continue the whole day and even at night.”

Milk and fruits were offered to Lord Shiva by the devotees and chants of ‘Om Namah Shivay’ could be heard throughout the day in the temples.”

Shukla, a devotee, who stood in the queue for almost one hour at the Shiv mandir said, “There is no great joy than to offer Lord Shiva milk and fruits on this great day.”

While elders and womenfolk had their own way of celebrating the day, students of Panjab Univeristy celebrated Shivratri in their own special way. Youngsters from different departments had gathered early morning at the Staff Club to listen to Rudra pooja.

“The pooja was great and meditation was much deeper today. We chanted a few shalokas and we feel energised for the day,” remarked Rohit Yadav, a student of PU.

Bassi Pathana: The festival of Maha Shivratri was celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour in the town. Almost all temples were well decorated and religious ceremonies were on since morning.

Devotees thronged the temples in large number to worship Lord Shiva. The managing committees of Prachin Ram temple, Shiv Mandir, Brahmghat Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Kila Chowk, and Sati Mata Mandir had organised bhajans and kirtans.

Long queues of devotees were witnessed in the temples from early morning. Community kitchens especially for those keeping fast were arranged.

Panchkula: More than two lakh devotees from all over the region gathered at the Sri Shiv Mandir, Mahadevpur in Saketri, to pay obeisance on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival here today.

As devotion spilled over to the roads, the entire temple premises resounded with slogans of "Om Namah Shivay". Devotees began thronging the temple from the last night. As the doors of the ancient temple were opened at midnight, the devotees poured in to offer milk and fruit to the deity.

Since the wee hours, serpentine queues were witnessed outside the temple and by the morning, people could be seen standing in 2-km long queues.

Other than the devotees, a large number of Kawarias, who bring the holy water of the Ganga and offer it to Shiva, today converged at the temple, and offered it to the deity. A community kitchen was organised, and devotees were offered milk and fruit.

The district police had deployed 200 personnel and at least seven nakas had been set up at various points en route the temple.

A special counter for making announcements had been set up. Around 150 volunteers were also deputed.

The temple was decked up with flowers and colourful blinking lights to celebrate the marriage of Shiva with Parvati. Prabhat pheris, havans, nagar kirtans and cultural programmes were organised all over the city. A huge rush was also witnessed at Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Sector 9.



Insurance firm told to pay Rs 3.78 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Taking note of repudiation of claim by Oriental Insurance Company Limited on frivolous grounds, the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the company to pay the claim to Gurcharan Singh.

The forum has directed the insurance company to pay him Rs 3.78 lakh along with interest of 9 per cent per annum from October, 2008.

Meanwhile, the forum has also given the insurance company the discretion of recovering the said amount from their employee due to whose fault the case was repudiated or the settlement was delayed.

The complainant, Gurcharan Singh, a resident of Ropar, stated in the petition that he had purchased a new TATA Indica car for his personal use in 2007 and got the same insured with the insurance company. He said he had gone to Delhi to meet his relatives from where his vehicle was stolen.

Subsequently, the complainant submitted his claim with the insurance company. The company asked him to furnish the documents for settlement of his claim, which were submitted.

Though the complainant had submitted all necessary documents, the insurance company rejected the claim on the grounds that the policy of the vehicle does not cover its use for any purpose other than hire or reward.

The insurance company denied all allegations of deficiency in services and said the vehicle was being used as a taxi and the complainant was trying to extract money from them. The insurance company maintained since the vehicle was being used as a taxi in violation of terms and condition of policy, the claim has rightly been repudiated.

The forum observed the insurance company had asked Singh to produce the untraced report from the police and later asked him to bring the untraced report from the court. The forum pointed out that there was no such duty cast on the complainant to produce any such report.



First judicial academy by April-end
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Le Corbusier's architectural masterpiece will have another landmark soon. Come April, the city will house the first state judicial academy in the northern region in Sector 43 to provide training to judicial officers of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

A project of the Punjab and Haryana High Court being executed by the UT Engineering Department, the sprawling complex on 8.5 acres of land adjoining the new district courts will go a long way in imparting highest standards of judicial education with a view to improving the professional expertise of the judicial officers.

In fact, proximity to the ISBT-43 will provide convenient access to the academy, besides giving a boost to the development activity in the southern parts of the city.

While the five-storey academic would house lecture halls, conference room, computer room, research wing, offices of the director and senior faculty, the residential zone would have two hostels comprising 110 rooms for trainees and 10 suites for the resource persons.

As sitting and retired judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, university professors, eminent jurists and experts from different fields would be on faculty, guest accommodation keeping in view their status had been provided in the residential block.

Meanwhile, the architecture character of the city had been retained. The straight bands punctuated by vaults and arches in a low profile would lend dynamism and modulation in the skyline keeping in view the built-environment of the academy, an officials said.

UT Chief Engineer Krishanjit Singh said the work on the project was in progress on a war-footing and it would be completed by April-end.

The project has been designed by the department of architecture, Punjab. In fact, Sumit Kaur, who was a senior architect in the department of architecture, Punjab, when the project was conceptualised, is now the UT Chief Architect providing continuity to the execution of the project.



Shoulder surgeries less painful now: Surgeons
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 23
Surgeons throughout the world are now conducting shoulder surgeries in the same manner in which intelligent hip surgeries are being done, said senior surgeons from France-Francois Chalencon and Remi Philippot.

The duo said this had resulted in a paradigm shift in making surgeries less painful for the patients, accelerating their recovery time and enabling them to resume their physical activities, including participating in sports like tennis.

The surgeons were here to participate in an international workshop on “Latest advancements in hip replacement” held at Fortis Hospital here yesterday.

The two surgeons were also part of a team of doctors who conducted a live intelligent hip replacement surgery on a British national Rosa A. Kucharskyj during the workshop.

Giving details of the surgery, the surgeons said a minimal invasive surgical technique was used in which only a three to five inch incision was required as compared to 10 to 12 inch incision used in a conventional surgery.

“The benefit to the patient is that he will have an easier and less painful recovery, spend less time in the hospital and have fewer complications. This technique offers tremendous benefits to patients, especially to those with rheumatoid arthritis,” the duo said.

Talking about the worldwide trends in joint replacements, they said till recently, hip replacement used to be an option primarily for people over 60 years of age. However, scientists and engineers have been studying the science of joint replacements to find the best options for improving movement and flexibility, they added.

Course director and senior consultant orthopaedics, Fortis, Dr Manuj Wadhwa said, “Intelligent hip surgery is an approach in which minimally invasive surgery techniques are used to precisely position clinically established implants and high performance bearings. The focus of the patient treatment is on maximising survivorship, optimising functions and accelerating recovery.”



Pirated CDs on sale, but in different way
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, February 23
The sale of pirated CDs is on full swing here and surrounding areas, right under the nose of the police.

The pirated CDs of latest movies are being sold
across the town, but the shopkeepers dealing in them have changed their modus operandi after the recent raids in Mohali.

Though the shopkeepers have stopped selling the pirated CDs and DVDs from their shops to get away from police action, they still manage to sell them not from shops but arrange to get them if ordered.

Recently in Mohali, the police raided some places and seized around 2,000 pirated CDs from various places. Sources revealed that the sellers, video parlours and cyber-cafe owners operated in various markets of the town either placed the pirated CDs and DVDs in their vehicles or nearby shops, not selling publicly, sources added.

While this correspondent asked for the pirated DVDs of new movies from one of the shopkeepers, without wanting to be named, he said, "If you want to purchase pirated DVDs, I can get them for you even if the whole pirated market is closed."

He added: “We get these pirated CDs and DVDs from Chandigarh and Panchkula based dealers.” Now, he sold stationery items and started other work also.

Another shopkeeper said, "Why the government does not ban the websites from where the new movies have been downloaded?"

He added that all the pirated CD-makers’ need was a computer and a CD-writer to operate the business, now Internet made more easy, from where they downloaded the movie and copied it in CDs for sale in the market.



Disparity in pay scales
Engineers on casual leave from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 23
Protesting against the disparity in their pay scales, engineers in the state have decided to abstain from their offices from February 25 and proceed on casual leave.

During a meeting of the executive committee of the Haryana Federation of Engineers held here today, it was also decided that all engineers would wear black badges from tomorrow and should not use their mobile phones for the purpose of government work.

The federation, including engineers from the PWD (B&R), public health, irrigation, HUDA, HSAMB, Panchyati Raj and all boards and corporation, claimed to have 2,200 members.

A general body meeting of the federation is scheduled to be held in Karnal to decide the further course of action.

Earlier the federation had decided not to draw pay in the revised scale following which none of the engineer had accepted the revised scale for the month of January.

Explaining the disparity Dr Satbir Kadiyan, general secretary of the federation, said placing HCMS in a different pay category had disturbed the parity decided in 1989 and pay band 4 must be given to the SDOs after 15 years service also.

According to new scales, a great disparity has been created among the scales of engineers, HCS officers, doctors, lecturers and DSPs, said Kadiyan.

According to the new pay scales, an engineer who completed his 15-year service on December 31,2005 is to get a salary of Rs 32,020 while a doctor with the same period of service is entitled to draw Rs 57,600, he said.

Similarly the HCS officers, DSPs and lecturers are also kept at much higher slab of Rs 46,000, he said.

The federation has also demanded that superintending engineer must be given PB-4 as functional scale like chief medical officer.



Road named after former AG
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 23
The municipal council has named a road in the memory of UD Gour, a former advocate general. This is the first time that a road in the town would be known with the name of a personality.

The road from Suraj Cinema to Sector 2, going through district courts, will now be known as U D Gour Road.

Gour had been appointed as Advocate General, Haryana, in 1979, and volunteered to take a salary of just Re1. He was known for his morals during his legal practice at Rohtak and later at Chandigarh.

Born on January 1, 1923, at Kosli village in Rohtak district, Gour was from a family with ordinary means.

After graduation, he completed his law degree from Delhi University. Thereafter, he became a senate member of the university and participated in the Quit India Movement. He was a prolific writer and an orator also.



Savita, Sahiba win paper-reading contest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 23
Savita, Amandeep and Sahiba were adjudged the winners in their respective categories at Parkash Memorial paper reading contest at Model Senior Secondary School, Manimajra, here today.

Similarly Pallavi, Shweta, Deepak were declared second and third prize was claimed by Javika, Aayushi, and Sahil, respectively.

The contest was organised by the Lions Club Panchkula Premier. Consolation prize was given to Diksha, Aarti, Poornima, Deepika, Sakshi and Anjali.



e-book reader for bibliophiles
Anil Maheshwari

Kindle is an e-book reader, an embedded system for reading electronic books (e-books)), launched in the US by prominent online bookseller Amazon.com in November 2007. It can be used without a computer.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, named his e-commerce company after the world’s largest river to suggest a flood of books and other products.

He named Amazon’s e-book reader, the Kindle to suggest that it would spark a fire (and not of the book-burning sort). The Kindle 2, Bezos means to say, is about preserving a great tradition-book reading-and improving it, not about replacing it.

It is bound to fail. That is what people said about the iPod in 2001, at least, and that is what sceptics said about the Kindle.But their apprehensions proved wrong.

Upon the initial launch, the Kindle Store had more than 88,000 digital titles available for download, with the number of titles steadily increasing.

At present Amazon.com claims to have over 230,000 titles available with more being added almost daily.Amazon's first offering of Kindle sold out in five and a half hours and the device remained out of stock until late April 2008.

At launch, the device retailed for $399; Amazon subsequently lowered the price to $359. Initially Amazon did not sell the Kindle outside the United States as the arrangement with the cellular operator worked only in the U.S.

On February 9 this year, Amazon announced the Kindle 2, which will be available for purchase starting February 24. Price of the unit is $359.00 in pre-order.

The new Kindle features improved battery life, 20 percent faster page-refreshing, a text-to-speech option to read the text aloud, and overall thickness reduced to 0.36 inches (9.1 millimetres).

The available memory is limited to 1.4 Gigabytes. Unlike the original Kindle, Kindle 2 does not feature a slot for SD memory cards.

The internal memory of the Amazon Kindle 2 can hold approximately 1500 non-illustrated titles Users can download content from Amazon in the proprietary Kindle format (AZW) and various fonts and types. Users can select reading material through the Kindle or through a computer at the Amazon Kindle store, and can download content through the Kindle Store.

New releases and New York Times bestsellers are offered for approximately $10. The first chapters of many books are offered as a free sample.

Subscriptions to newspapers cost between $5.99 and $14.99 per month, magazines between $1.25 and $3.49 per month, and blogs for $0.99-$1.99 per month.

Users can send documents to a conversion service, which will send a Kindle-formatted file to the device directly for $0.10 or to a personal e-mail account for free.

The device comes with electronic editions of its owner's manual and the New Oxford American Dictionary. The Kindle also contains several free experimental features, including a basic Web browser.

Users can also play music from MP3 files in random order in the background. Operating System updates are received over the air and installed automatically.

The user can bookmark, highlight and look up content. Pages can be dog-eared for reference and notes can be added to relevant content.

While a book is open on the display, menu options allow users to search for synonyms and definitions from the built-in dictionary.

The device also remembers the last page read for each book. Pages can be saved as a “clipping”, or a text file containing the text of the currently displayed page. All clippings are appended to a single file, which can be downloaded over a USB cable.

For electronic bibliophiles, there are some web sites offering titles online. Gutenberg.org contains over 20,000 titles, most of them have no copyrights.

It runs on donations. Freedindlebooks.org offers mostly Gutenberg books, automatically formatted for the Kindle. Worldlibrary.net has approximately 4 lakh titles. Its membership costs US $ 8.95 per annum.

Fictionwise.com is one of the largest independent electronic book sellers in north America with an estimated 1.5 million ebook content units sold in 2008. Mobipocket.com, Fictionpress.com, manybooks.net are also there for e-bibliophiles.

Concurrently with the Kindle device, Amazon launched the Digital Text Platform, a system for authors to self-publish directly to the Kindle. The platform was promoted to established authors by e-mail.

PCWorld magazine has listed six Reasons one will want a Kindle 2 for Business.

1. It takes less space than books.

2. Abandon your laptop: it reads your docs.

3. See clearly on the new screen.

4. Download blogs and browse the web.

5. Look up information in new ways.

6. It reads to you while driving.

<http://www.accelerateresults.com/category/58/article/253 --quick-fixes-for-the-worst-security-nightmares?source=pcw> <http://www.pcworld.com/sc/asus/?tk=mod_article_asus> <http://www.pcworld.com/sc/lenovo/?tk=mod_article_lenovo>

It is now only a matter of time until absolutely all books become available, and properly formatted, for mobile phones.

Google, an Internet giant that has been scanning and digitising books for inclusion in its search engine, now offers thousands of books that are in the public domain free on mobile phones.

It seems that, eventually, only books that have value, as souvenirs, gifts or artefacts will remain bound in paper, says the Economist weekly.

Anil Maheshwari is an Editor with Instablogs.com and can be reached at anilm@instablogs.com.



City roads in a shambles

Decaying road infrastructure in some parts of the City Beautiful exposes the official apathy as well as their “cavalier attitude” playing havoc with the lives of motorists and their vehicles.

While roads in certain parts of the city get a recarpeting every two to three years, there are some which are “shunned” for years.

The road-widening project — from The Tribune chowk to the Transport chowk — is still moving at a snail’s pace despite its start four-five months back.

Also, there are bad stretches that cry for the urgent attention of the Administration. The road from the Hallo Majra chowk to The Indian Express chowk is also due to be relaid.

Also, a part of parallel road along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near the turn leading to Makhanmajra village (a UT village) lies woefully shattered.

The Manimajra Fun Republic light point to the Transport chowk stretch also needs a fresh reconstruction.

The parallel road from the Sector 26 Grain Market chowk to the Transport chowk is also dotted with potholes, depressions and cracks. So is the case with several roads in Industrial Area (Phase I & II).

A drive down the Government College-46 chowk to the Sector 47 rotary is all a bumpy and bone-jerking experience.

For that matter, not to talk of road infrastructure in all the UT villages! But being part of the city, these villages can’t be ignored. The village roads must also be recarpeted in every two-three years.

Moreover, the concrete-road project should be extended to other roads which see a great volume of traffic all day and night and crumble soon.

Tarundeep Aggarwal, 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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