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Clean chit to Lucky
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The police today gave a clean chit to CTYC president HS Lucky with regard to the passing of castiest remarks against a Dalit youth at Mauli Jagran.

Sources in the police said investigating officials conducted an inquiry into the episode and took statements of eyewitnesses and policemen present on duty when the alleged incident took place. No evidence of Lucky using any derogatory words against Sada Sawan Lehri surfaced.

The police has initiated action against Lucky and his associate Ramandeep for apprehension of breach of peace under Sections 107 and 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The police submitted a “kalandhra” in the court of the DSM (East) requesting to summon Lucky and Ramandeep. The court was requested to obtained bail bonds from both persons, ensuring that they would maintain peace in future.

A police officer said the eyewitnesses and policemen on duty during the padyatra of MP Pawan Kumar Bansal maintained that Lucky had not used any derogatory words against Lehri. However, they corroborated the fact that a minor scuffle had taken place between both parties.

The police had earlier initiated action taking preventive measures against those arrested on Tuesday. When contacted, BSP candidate Harmohan Dhawan said he had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission and was awaiting a reply.

Sticking to his earlier stand, Bhagat Raj Tisawar, convener of NACDOR, said if the police failed to arrest Lucky by tomorrow, they would burn the effigy of Bansal in front of the Congress Bhawan in Sector 35.

Meanwhile, the Scheduled Caste morcha of the BJP today announced that they would organise a protest rally against the Congress on April 5 at Mauli Jagran.

Morcha president Pritam Singh and general secretary Kuldip Mehra alleged in a press statement that the Congress candidate was being helped by people who themselves or their family members had criminal past. Some of them had faced charges of dacoity or tampering with educational certificates and were still facing court proceedings.

The SSP, SS Srivastva, confirmed that he had dispatched the inquiry report for further action to the returning officer.

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Missing Girl: Home Secy orders inquiry
But Aashreya in no mood to oblige
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Even as the Home Secretary ordered an inquiry into the incident of a 13-year-old mentally challenged girl having gone missing from Aashreya-47, the institute authorities seem to be in no mood to cooperate.

While the incident happened 15 days ago, no headway has been made in the case so far. The police is now holding those at the helm of the affairs responsible for it.

“A DDR was registered, but after that they are not forthcoming with the whereabouts of the girl. Where do we search for her?” Bhupinder Singh, SHO of the Sector 31 police station, said.

The girl, Sunita, was shifted to this home for mentally challenged from Nari Niketan on March 13 and she went missing three days later. All that the authorities did was to register a DDR and later refused to even officially acknowledge the incident.

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, has condemned the incident and directed Niharika Rai of the Registration and Licensing Authority to look into the matter. However, an official of the social welfare department said on the condition of anonymity: “It has already been so many days. What if something has happened to that child? She was the responsibility of the institute. Instead of this delayed inquiry, shouldn’t the administration have taken some preliminary action against those responsible?”

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Inter-bank ATM transactions hit
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Though the RBI has directed all banks not to charge fee from ATM users of other banks for cash withdrawals or balance enquiry from April 1, consumers across the region said inter-bank ATM transactions could not be effected.

Rajat Khanna, a lawyer, said he tried three ATMs unsuccessfully before he managed to reach his own bank and collect the cash.

Vivek Sharma of Sector 55 said he could not operate the ATM of the State Bank of Patiala (SBOP) at the Phase 7 branch of Punjab National Bank. Equally harried was Anupam Sharma who tried to used his SBI card at an ATM facility of Allahabad Bank.

Hundreds of others also complained that inter-bank ATM transactions could not be effected for the past two days. Sources in the banking sector said several banks had been unable to synchronise their ATMs. Yesterday, consumers of a leading private sector bank were unable to withdraw more than Rs 5,000 from their accounts though the ceiling for cash withdrawal was Rs 15,000.

Bank officials said the ATM facilities run by the banks with large ATM-using customer base of their own could not cope with the pressure when customers of other banks shifted to their ATMs.

The RBI had said from April 1, customers using inter-bank ATMs would not be charged any fee. Customers had to pay Rs 20-Rs 50 per transaction and Rs 10-Rs 20 for making balance enquiries. The use of ATM of a bank where one is a customer was made free April last.

Earlier, the Indian Banks Association had suggested that the number of free transactions to be allowed to customers using other ATMs be restricted to two per month. It had also suggested that the minimum cash withdrawal should be Rs 500 and a cap should be fixed for balance enquiry. However, the RBI had rejected these suggestions.

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Citco wakes up to hospitality
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
After sprucing up its facade, Citco is finally sparing a thought for its men and planning to train them in something which probably they should have learnt by now -- hospitality.

Incidentally, this effort has been initiated not by Citco, but by the union ministry of tourism which has issued a grant-in-aid worth Rs 38.30 lakh in this regard. For the first time, a government corporation has received such a grant for “capacity building for service providers” and also to improve manpower interface.

According to official sources, around 1,100 staff members, including supplementary manpower provided by private agencies, would undergo training. The employees would be divided into three groups: operational level (most important and largest group with approximately 900 staff), top level and middle level.

The training programme would include expert speakers from other parts of the country and abroad.

“The idea is to make clients experience ‘guest delightedness’ and to brace up the staff for competition,” AK Malhotra, GM, Tourism, said.

Even officers and higher-ups would undergo training for strategic management and spot analysis. The training programme, which is due to start this month, would be in batches of 40 persons each. Most of the training would be taken care of by Dr BR Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management-42.

Though the officials are upbeat about the training aimed at giving a boost to the industry during the meltdown, regular guests feel why this was not been done for all these years.

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EC seeks Talwar’s comments on extension
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Election Commission today asked for comments from the PGI Director, Dr KK Talwar, who had been given two-year extension after the imposition of the code of conduct.

He has been asked to reply within 24 hours so that his comments could be forwarded to the Chief Election Commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission is still awaiting the reply of Panjab University VC, RC Sobti, on the show-cause notice sent to him for the violation of the code of conduct in connection with his extension letter, he is yet to receive a copy of the notice.

The EC office claims to have sent the notice to the VC two days ago, in which it had asked him to submit a reply how his extension did not come under the ambit of the code of conduct as he had received the extension letter on March 3.

Officials stated that the notice had been sent to the VC and the Chancellor’s office.

Sobti said he had not received the notice yet.

Meanwhile, the RJD has filed a complaint with the EC against Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla for using his official vehicle during campaigning.

According to the complaint, Babla, who is the chairman of the marketing committee, has been using his official vehicle to campaign for the Congress.

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Irregularities
Admn seeks details from PEC
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Taking cognizance of fresh complaints against alleged irregularities in the appointment and management of funds in Punjab Engineering College (PEC), UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas has sought relevant details from the authorities.

In a notice issued to PEC Director Manoj Dutta today, the institute has been asked to clarify if advertisement for filling vacancy has been issued or appointment has been made either on regular, contract or ad hoc basis so far.

Objections have also been raised on the alleged unilateral removal of Sameer Goyal, a member of board of governing body, from the selection committee of Registrar.

The administration has sought clarification on if the chairman was competent under the bylaws to appoint or change board’s nominee in the selection committee.

Authorities have also been asked to clarify if the annual account statements were approved by the board, in addition to the competency of the institute to change the eligibility criteria for the post of Registrar.

While the Ram Niwas could not be contacted for his comments, Manoj Dutta refused to comment on the issue saying that he had not received the letter so far.

Meanwhile, their silence has triggered rumours. While the administration claims it to be part of action against the alleged irregularities, many in PEC consider it to the aftermath of the legal notice served on an official.

According to a PEC professor: “He is doing this because we moved court against cancellation of the appointment of SK Suman as PEC Registrar.”

However, administration officials say every single complaint so far has been furnished with requisite documents that proves PEC guilty and thus the action is being taken.

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Disaster Management
Plan spells out risk areas, preparedness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Punjab, Haryana and UT secretariats, Punjab and Haryana High Court, residences of Chief Ministers, Governors and other VIPs, police headquarters, hospitals, bus stands and railway station are some of the areas prone to terrorist attacks here. In fact, these along with Sukhna Lake, Sector 17, cinema halls, educational institutions and hospitals, where a large number of people congregate, have been classified as areas vulnerable to terrorist attacks, according to the Chandigarh multi-hazard disaster management plan.

“The main vision of the plan is to initiate coordinated efforts to have an effective disaster management strategy for the city, which will minimise the impact of future disasters. The other main focus area is to have an extremely quick, efficient and coordinated response and recovery plans in place with a mechanism that will ensure increasing community participation in all disaster preparedness activities,” the plan document says.

Underlining the objectives of the plan, officials say it will optimally utilise men, material and resources to prevent loss of life and minimise loss to property. It will also ensure fastest approach to rescue and rehabilitation.

Among the key objectives of the plan are to improve the preparedness for disaster through risk assessment and vulnerability analysis of the city.

Besides, a suitable mitigation strategy to minimise the impact of disaster in terms of men and material loss will be evolved. Creation of awareness among the community for facing disaster in case of an eventuality, involvement of voluntary organisations and NGOs in awareness creation and relief operations, quick restoration of public service system affected by disaster and prevention of the spread of post-disaster epidemics are the other key objectives of the plans, sources say. The plan gives a proper identification and prioritisation of the hazards as earthquake, terrorist attack, fire, chemical hazards, flood, accidents and road blockade.

The creation of the disaster control room under the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Director, Civil Defence Organisation, will be highlight of the plan under which all activities of relief and rescue will be coordinated.

All major departments of the municipal corporation and the administration will assist the control room in relief and rescue operations.

And with a view to effectively implement the plan, a detailed advisory has been incorporated for relief and rescue during various calamities, including earthquake, terrorist attack, fire, chemical hazard, flood, accidents and road blockades.

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IT
Use city as lab for change: Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
UT Administrator SF Rodrigues today suggested to the Chandigarh IT Cluster of the CII delegation that they used city as a laboratory for change and experimentation with new innovative technologies.

Interacting with a delegation led by Partap K Aggarwal at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here today, Rodrigues told its members that a sound IT infrastructure had been created in the city in the form of Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park along with the Entrepreneurship Development Centre and the need now was to coordinate efforts for optimal utilisation of the facilities.

He suggested the need for setting up a core group of IT officials of Chandigarh administration and members of Chandigarh IT Cluster to identify innovative programmes to expand reach to all segments of society so that the gap between haves and have-nots could be bridged.

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Private crèches in growing demand
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
With the number of working couples on the rise in the city, crèches has not only seen a growth in numbers but also their outlook and services provided by them.

Increase in household expenses and changing lifestyle has made working couples feel the need of quality crèches.

Even as there are 60-daycare centres run by the Indian Council of Child Welfare (ICCW) in the city, there is apprehension among parents about their condition and environs.

“Crèches opened by the state mostly have children from families belonging economically weaker section. I do not wish to send my child to such a place so I have put my two-year-old son in a nearby private daycare centre,” says Ritu Verma, a working mother.

Notably, daycare centres run by the ICCW are located at 53 different places across the city, including IT Park, PGI, CSIO, GMCH-16, Panjab Engineering College (PEC), Dhanas, Palsora, Burial Jail, Sector 29 and 30 colonies and Bapu Dhaam Colony.

To meet the expenses, around 90 per cent grant is given by the department of social welfare of the UT administration for 39 centres and by the Rajiv Gandhi Creche Worker Scheme for working mothers for the rest 21 centres.

However, the need to open more such centres with better facilities is now being felt as the existing ones are only catering primarily to children belonging to economically weaker section.

Says Atul Khanna of the Durga Das Foundation: “There is a growing need for good crèches in the city, as the number of working couples has seen an upswing. We run three crèches at Hallo Majra, Dadu Majra and Dhanas for children belonging to economically weaker section and also a special daycare centre in Sector 24.”

Even as homemakers are now opting to baby-sit children to earn some income, the number of such private crèches cannot be determined.

Says KD Batra, SDO (buildings): “ There is no way to check the number of such centres in the city. If a housewife decides to take care of two or more children at her place, it cannot be checked. Moreover, it benefits both working couples who send their children to such centres and housewives who take care of these kids.”

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Polling stations to be disabled friendly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Election Commission has issued guidelines for providing assistance to the special voters especially the visually challenged ones. This was stated by a spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration.

He said the polling staff would ensure that the physically challenged voters were given priority in entering the polling stations without having to wait for hours in the long queues.

Such voters would be allowed to take wheelchair inside the polling station with the help of a polling staff. It’s mandatory for all polling booths to be on the ground floor.

These booths should also have ramps for the physically challenged persons. Temporary ramps would be provided for facilitating the elderly and physically challenged persons, wherever these were not available, he added.

Spokesperson further revealed that the election commission had also decided to use Braille signage for the visually impaired voters in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the 2009 poll.

The name of the candidates would also be printed in Braille and all EVMs would be carrying this strip to be pasted along with the normal ballot paper, he added.

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April 7 last date for getting voter ID cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The election wing of the UT administration has fixed April 7 as the last date for applying for the voter identity cards. Those applying after this date won’t be able to cast their votes in the forthcoming parliamentary election scheduled to be held on May 13.

Official sources claimed that the applications of those applying after April 7 would, however, be accepted but they would not be able to cast their votes.

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Poll diary
BJP spokesman takes a dig at Cong

Humour and elections go hand in hand. The other day when BJP spokesman Balbir Punj’s attention was drawn to the fact that the “marriage” of various constituents of the Congress-led UPA government had lasted its five-year term, he remarked: The marriage might have lasted five years, yet there were no “issues”. Mediapersons joined him in a hearty laugh.

BJP ‘massage’

Little knowledge, particularly of English, could be a dangerous thing. Wrong usage of a word could convey an entirely different meaning,. This is especially true of our desi netas and their PR managers. The BJP will target each voter with “vote BJP massage”, an otherwise well-written BJP press note on April 2 claimed. Though the announcement may sound music to the ears of massage-loving voters, the conservative fundamentalist party, whose sympathisers are against the pub culture (remember the recent Mangalore vandalism by Pramod Muthalik’s Sri Ram Sene), conveys a rather explicit message. Time for the party PR managers to take some lessons in English.

Candid acronyms

Election time is acronym-coining time. Political adversaries work overtime to coin offending, yet funny acronyms to let their opponents down. The first salvo has been fired by the Congress against its saffron rival. The BJP has become the Bharatiya Jhoothi Party. The BJP’s “jhoothe” promises have landed the party into its current “sorry state”, a senior Congress leader quipped. Leaders of the saffron party may not take these allegations lying down. Watch this space for more acronyms and quotable quotes. — Pradeep Sharma

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Judges pedal for a cause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Paddling towards water and oil conservation, the Punjab and Haryana High Court judges today rode cycles all the way from the open hand monument to the cricket stadium, and back.

The lawyers too joined the judges in their endeavor to turn the wheels of change for bringing about a “go green” movement. The entire exercise was carried out under the banner of Asia Pacific Jurists Association (APJA), along with volunteers of social organisation Yuvsatta.

In all, 18 senior judges and over 200 advocates of the Punjab and Haryana High Court participated in the bicycle rally for the cause.

The chief guest, Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur flagged-off the bicycle rally.

He said the high court was actively taking up matters related to environmental protection and conservation.

He also advocated rational use of vehicles and laid more stress on walking and cycling for shorter distances.

APJA president Justice Surya Kant Court also laid stress on the need for car-pooling and weekly-off for vehicles in the city, besides saying “no” to honking on the roads and motivating more and more people to use bicycle in the city.

Justice Permod Kohli said Chandigarh had more than 7.5 lakh vehicles for 10 lakh people, which was creating environmental problem.

APJA senior vice-president Justice Rajesh Bindal also advocated judicious use of water. APJA spokesman Kapil Kakkar said the members were also in favour of introducing water conservation topic in school syllabus.

The judges, who participated, included Justice TPS Mann, Justice KS Ahluwalia, Justice Rakesh Garg, Justice AG Masih, Justice Sabina, Justice Vinod K. Sharma, Justice Rakesh Jain, Justice MMS Bedi, Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice SS Saron, Justice Jatinder Chauhan, Justice Jaswant Singh, Justice Mohinder Pal and others.

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Capt court martialled for assaulting wife
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
In an unusual case, a General Court Martial (GCM) has booted out a captain known to be a psychiatric patient for allegedly assaulting his wife who is also a serving officer in the army, Besides gross misdemeanor including, attempt to murder, the officer was also charged with attempt to suicide.

While the trial of a person under such circumstances has raised the issue of the legality of the GCM, the fact that the lady had written to Army authorities that she had no complaint against her husband has added a twist to the tale.

The GCM held the captain, posted with an artillery regiment, guilty of five charges and dismissed him from service, sources said. Convened on the orders of the General Officer Commanding 4 Infantry Division the GCM was presided over by Col A K Gosh, deputy commander of an artillery brigade. The GCM’s verdict is subject to confirmation by higher authorities. Sources revealed that the captain’s medical records state that he is a psychiatric patient. As such only a psychiatrist could have certified him fit to undergo trial. Medical certification of an accused is mandatory before commencement of GCM proceedings each day.

Besides the aforementioned two charges, the captain was accused on two counts of causing grievous injury severe misconduct. The case came to light after the lady was taken to a military hospital by neighbours and a medico-legal report was made out.

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Hero Honda workers hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Workers of Hero Honda Motor Limited today held a rally at Sector 25 rally ground for abolishing the contract system and fulfillment of their other demands.

The workers have been staging a dharna in front of the Labour Commissioner Haryana in Sector 17 since March 24. The police today picked them up and released them in Sector 25.

The protesting workers are demanding registration of their union and implementation of tripiratite agreement reached among workers, management and the Labour department on November 28, 2008. They began their march from the factory on March 12 and entered the city on March 23.

President of the Hero Honda Mazdoor Sangathan Ganesh Singh Jodha said today that they had been waging their struggle against the contract system under which the exploitation of the workers had reached new heights. No labour law was applicable on the workers of the Hero Honda factory, which had turned into a colony of the foreigners in the independent India.

The leaders announced that they would organise a mass rally in Chandigarh against the local police for assaulting the peaceful protesters.

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Milkfed pays heavily for laxity
Coughs up Rs 2.6 cr for land worth Rs 28 lakh
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
After 37 years of allotting 37 acre for a milk plant at Phase VI here, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has transferred the land in name of the plant. The site was cancelled after the authorities concerned did not pay the allotment price.

Now, the authority has decided to condone the delay in payment of allotment price and the penalty amount. Though the site was allotted for Rs 28 lakh, delay in payment lead to the total amount touching Rs 2.60 crore.

The allotment was cancelled in February 2005, after the milk plant of the Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Ltd (MILKFED) failed to deposit the allotment price even after 33 years of allotment. Though different quasi-judicial authorities rejected the review petitions of the federation, the executive of GMADA decided to restore the site.

This is an exception in light of the public interest and the same benefit cannot be extended to others. “GMADA seldom gives the benefit to others,” remarked an official. The Mohali plant caters to the needs of consumers in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Paonta Sahib, Shimla, Solan and other towns in the periphery.

Sources said the land was allotted at Phase VI to Milkfed at a price of Rs 28 lakh in 1972. But after the land price was not deposited, the site was resumed in 2005. A review petition before the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) was rejected in 2006 and orders were passed to resume the site. Against the orders of ACA, the petitioner went to the court of Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, and it was again dismissed.

In September 2008, the matter was referred to GMADA after the then financial commissioner, cooperative, took up the case with the Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, and agreed to deposit the pending amount. The amount of Rs 2,60,81,031 was deposited with GMADA, subject to restoration of site by the executive of GMADA.

The chairman of Mohali plant, Parmider Singh, told The Tribune that after consistent efforts, the land was transferred in the name of Ropar Milk Union and an amount of Rs 2,60,81,031 was deposited with GMADA.

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Clean chit to Tytler
Riot victims protest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh/Mohali, April 2
There was a widespread protest in Chandigarh and Mohali against former Congress minister Jagdish Tytler being given a clean chit by the CBI in connection with the 1984 riots.

While the members of different riot affected bodies staged a protest in front of the CBI office in Sector 30, riot victims in Mohali registered their protest at Phase XI gurdwara.

Kashmir Kaur, president of the Danga Peerit Welfare Society, said, “We had been demanding justice for the past 25 years, but the CBI decision had rubbed salt into the wounds of the Sikhs.”

She said that riot-affected persons would organise hunger strikes, go in for self-immolation and also gherao the office of the Prime Minister to get justice.

President of Kalghidhar Sewak Jatha JP Singh alleged that Sikhs had been denied justice once again by the CBI. He said the CBI was one of the important agencies of the Central Government and if it started giving such decisions whom would the common man trust.

He alleged that anti-Sikh riots were held in 1984, but those allegedly involved in these had not been punished even after 25 years.

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May Fair Society Flats
Authorities fail to provide water
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 2
The water supply and sanitation wing of the Department of Public Health has expressed its inability to supply drinking water to newly constructed flats at Sector 70 here as the area was already facing shortage.

Executive engineer of the wing Inderjit Singh Kang has asked the Municipal Council authorities to sink a new tubewell in the area to meet the shortage of water.

In a letter sent to the executive officer of the civic body on March 18, Kang stated that May Fair Society had built 117 flats at Sector 70 and the construction activity was almost over. The society had made its own arrangements for the availability of water for the construction work. But when these flats get occupied the Public Health Department would not be able to supply drinking water to the occupants as the area was already facing shortage.

The letter further stated that the water supply and sanitation wing had already sent an estimate for the sinking of a new tubewell at Sector 70 to the civic body but nothing had been done so far.

Amna Kumar Goyal, executive officer of the council, said estimates for a number of tubewells had been cleared by the general house after which these were sent for administrative approval. But the required sanction had so far not been received from the authorities concerned. One of these tubewells had to be sunk at Matour village which was part of Sector 70. Work on sinking new tubewells would start only after the estimates got sanctioned, she added.

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Sports body joins stir by blind
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The National Federation of the Blind today got a shot in the arm with the Neterheen Jagriti Sangh and the Punjab Sports Association of the Blind joining hands to put up a united forum for the cause of the visually-challenged.

Rajesh Mohan, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the federation, said the federation would organise a march to Chief Minister’s residence to submit a memorandum in support of their demands.

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Book on genitourinary imaging released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The two-day Genitourinary Imaging Course Series, organised by the radiodiagnosis department of PGI, was inaugurated by director of the institute Prof KK Talwar here today.

Guest of honour dean PGI Prof VK Sakhuja released the course book on genitourinary imaging. The book has been compiled by the faculty members of the radiodiagnosis department, PGIMER, along with contributions from All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi.

It has been edited by the head of the departments of these institutes, Prof N Khandelwal, PGIMER, Prof AK Gupta, AIIMS, and Prof Veena Chowdhury, MAMC.

The role of modern techniques like CT Scan and MRI used for evaluation of the kidney and genital tract diseases were discussed by speakers.

The role of conventional techniques like plain X-rays and contrast studies was also discussed. The diagnosis and imaging features of various kidney infections, including tuberculosis, were highlighted in the scientific sessions.

Various cases like diagnostic dilemmas were displayed for educating the postgraduates and practicing radiologists who were attending the course.

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Rotary team heads for US
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
A team of four young professionals from different stratas have been selected by the Rotary Foundation for a month-long visit to Mississippi, USA, for a Group Study Exchange programme.

The team is reportedly leaving the city on Wednesday night to attend the District Conference of Rotary (District 6820).

The team includes Surbhi Kalra, ICICI Zonal Manager from Chandigarh, Harnek Singh, software professional who established two academic computer centres at Ladwa, Dr Prabhdip Brar, head of knitwear design and technology department in NIFT and primary school teacher from Dehra Dun Shalini Rawat who is working for the underprivileged children with an NGO Muskaan. The programme aims at cultural and vocational exchange of opportunities for business and professionals between 25 and 40 years of age.

The four members along with team leader Manmohan Singh will stay at the residence of rotators in USA.

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Gamma Knife Therapy
PGI waives Rs 50,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
PGI authorities have decided to sort out the issue of huge difference of fee for the patients going under gamma knife therapy while availing the private room facility. While a patient who protested against this illogical difference was extended a waiver of Rs 50,000 the authorities said today that a proposal had been mooted for removing the discrepancy.

Sarojini Devi, a resident of Dehra Dun, who was admitted in the private ward of the PGI for the open surgery of the brain tumour, was informed that the procedure could be done through gamma knife surgery, which was introduced at the PGI recently. The cost of operation was Rs 1 lakh. Later on March 28 patients were told to pay Rs 1.5 lakh on the pretext that patient was admitted in the private ward.

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Zirakpur flyover closed for an hour
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 2
Barely two weeks after a snag resulted in partial closing of the Zirakpur flyover for over a week, a similar snag was detected on the flyover late this evening. Though the bridge was closed to traffic for about an hour, sources said a supporter had been provided beneath slab No. 40 so that it takes the load of the traffic.

Last time the officials had mentioned that a displacement of bearing supporting slab No. 90 had resulted in the snag. Though no official was available for comments, sources said the snag would have to be rectified in the daytime. No senior official of the district administration had inspected the sight till late night.

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Five laptops stolen from PU hostels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Theft of five laptops in a single day from the boys’ hostel no. 1 and 7 of Panjab University has shocked both the students and authorities.

The incident that reportedly took place last afternoon has brought the security arrangements of the hostel under scanner. It has left many amused at the thief ‘handwork’ who opened the locks and then while leaving replaced them with a sophisticated 10 lever lock.

“We were out to attend our classes when this happened. The laptops were stolen from different rooms of the hostel no. 1 and 7 occupied by the students of UIET. The thief not only stole the laptops but also wallet and some important papers,” said Kunal one of the victims.

The authorities’ failure to track the culprits has enraged students.

“Now, even our staff is not safe in hostels. It’s the work of some insider and if they fail to track him what is the guarantee of our security?” asserted a student.

Meanwhile, Naval Kishore, Dean Student Welfare, could not be contacted for his comments.

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Hotel management students get prizes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Amidst colourful cultural items, including the Rajasthani pastoral dance and the blend of bhangra, prizes were given away to students at the annual prize distribution of the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, here on Thursday.

Nidhi Gaur of BSc 3rd year received the All-Rounder Bet student of the year award. While Dharamanjot Kaur and Punit Kumar were given the lady and gentleman of the year award. Ganesh of the food production received the most dedicated student of the year award. Akshat Mallick and Leena were the sportspersons of the year.

Raji PShrivastava, IAS, was the chief guest and Samwartak Singh, director Tourism and Public Instructions was the guest of honour.

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Exhibition at Mata Sahib Kaur Nursing College
Tribune News Service

Mohali,April 2
The first and third year students of the Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing organised an exhibition today after visiting the Milk Plant pasteurising unit, Biogas Plant, Sewage Plant, Water Treatment Plant, School for Blinds and Old Age Home.

Various groups were formed to prepare models of the above-mentioned projects.

Under the Community Health Nursing Programme, these projects were exhibited to explore their functioning.

Each class was divided into groups and every group prepared models, charts, pictures and other visual aids.

MD Charanjeet Singh Walia and college director Jaswinder Kaur Walia distributed the prizes to the winners.

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From Schools & Colleges
Blood donation camp at engg institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
To spread the message of “save blood movement” among the masses, the Panjab University non-teaching employees federation in co-ordination with the University Institute of Engineering and Technology organised XVI blood donation camp at University Institute of Engineering and Technology here today.

Honoured

Hamari Kaksha, a dropout prevention programme honoured schoolchildren and dropouts who are first generation learners and displayed rare grit and determination when they joined the mainstream and passed with flying colours. Dr SS Dahiya, director State Institute of Education Sector-32, Chandigarh, honoured the student volunteers.

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