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Film City project ‘flops’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The city's dream of having the state-of-the-art Film City and emerging as the destination of the cinematic tourism in North India is set to be shattered.

With the administration virtually deciding to scrap the project following the application of Parsvnath Developers to withdraw from the ambitious Rs 191-crore project, its curtains for the project. In fact, what could prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the project is the fact that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), probing the controversial mega projects, including the Film City, had reportedly given a go ahead to the administration to decide the fate of the project.

In a recent communication to the administration, the CVC had clarified that the decision on the project would in no way affect the ongoing probe by the commission into the project.

"Trying to revive the project is like flogging the dead horse,"a senior official said. Earlier, Parsvanath had placed an application before the administration requesting withdrawal from the project on the grounds that the administration had failed to provide "encumbrance-free" land to the developers.

Official sources said the Film City file, currently with the CVC for the probe into mega projects, would be called back for taking a decision. According to MoU, 10 per cent could deducted from Rs 47.75 crore deposited by Parsvnath with the administration as the penalty. Earlier, Parsvnath had demanded the refund of Rs 47.75 crore with penal interest for the administration's failure to fulfil its commitments.

A senior official said the termination of the contract with the developer could come about after June 2 when the code of conduct for general elections would come to an end.

Even the UT Adviser, commenting on Parsvanth's request for withdrawal, had recommended a probe by a central agency into the project contending that the benchmark figure of Rs 175 crore was "grossly undervalued".

Film City at a glance

To be developed on 30 acres in Sarangpur, the project was awarded to Parsvnath in partnership with noted actor-director Satish Kaushik for Rs 191 crore in January, 2006. Even after 3 years, the actual work at the site could not begin with the UT failing to provide "encumbrance-free" land to the developers. Now, Parsvnath wanted refund of initial deposit of Rs 47.75 crore with technical director Satish Kaushik crying foul that he was not consulted by the developer while seeking withdrawl from the project.

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Cousin kills 10-year-old boy
Makes him smoke a bidi containing poisonous substance due to family feud, claim family members

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Family members of 10-year-old Sagar, who died here today after allegedly smoking a bidi laced with some poisonous substance at the instance of his 11-year-old cousin, have accused the latter’s parents of conspiring to kill their son.

They alleged that their son was murdered following an old feud between the families. The incident occurred at Hallomajra village yesterday.

The victim’s uncle Shiv told TNS that accused Shinder (named changed), along with other boy Shivam, took Sagar to his house around 3 pm. They locked the door and Shinder gave a drink laced with poisonous substance to Sagar and also made him smoke a bidi, which killed him.

“The incident came to light when Shinder’s aunt Rano told my mother Gurnam Kaur that Shinder was giving something to drink to Sagar and had also locked him in the room. My mother rushed there and on seeing her coming Shinder and Shivam ran away. She found Sagar on the stairs, who fainted before her and did not utter a word thereafter”, said Shiv.

She (Gurnam Kaur) raised an alarm and rushed the victim to the GMCH-32. The police said the victim remained under treatment overnight and breathed his last this morning.

One of the doctors treating Sagar said, “Death was the result of some poisonous substance, which had spread in the body before it could be controlled. However, we couldn’t say what was it and it will only be ascertained following a chemical examination.” Sagar was a Class III student in a private school in the village.

The police said a preliminary probe so far indicated the incident took place during a play. Shinder told the police that they were playing and they asked Sagar to smoke a biri and release the smoke from his ears. He took the burning end of biri in his mouth, dragged a puff and then collapsed.

The victim’s father, Dilbagh Singh, a peon in the UT Secretariat, alleged that his son was killed in a conspiracy. He said Shinder’s father, Surinder Singh, who is also his cousin, had an old dispute with him. Surinder and his wife Paramjit Kaur was not at home as per their evils designs and they had guided their son before going to kill Sagar in their absence. Dilbagh also alleged the Surinder and his family used to beat his son.

Refuting the allegations, Shinder’s mother stated that she was away to meet her daughter and they had not hatched any conspiracy to kill the boy. She also stated that there was no feud between the families and they had never quarrelled.

Meanwhile, the police handed over the body to the family after post-mortem and arrested the accused after registering a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the IPC against him. He was later sent to juvenile home.

ASI Charanjit Singh said the doctors had reserved their opinion on the cause of the death and sent viscera for chemical examination to ascertain the exact cause. But he suspected that the biri might have been laced with correctional fluid. The police has also seized the biri’s stubs from the spot and will send these for examination to the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory to check whether it was laced with poison.

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Nari Niketan inmate raped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Chandigarh police today arrested a watchman of Nari Niketan in Sector 26 here for allegedly repeatedly raping a 16-year-old mentally retarded inmate here. The shocking inicident came to light when the victim complained of vomiting and uneasiness with pain in abdomen on Saturday.

While the accused, identified as Davinder Singh, a youth in mid-twenties, has been arrested, the police said the rape was committed with the connivance of a woman whose role in the crime was being established. According to sources, the victim, an orphan with an IQ of 61, was admitted to Nari Niketan four years ago. She was shifted to Ashrya in Sector47 on March 13.

On Saturday, the victim started complaining of pain in abdomen and vomiting when she was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. At the hospital, the doctors, finding the symptoms of pregnancy, conducted the relevant diagnosis tests and declared her pregnant for more than eight weeks.

Following this, the incident was reported to the police and the victim named Davinder, who was arrested under Sections 376 and 120-B of the IPC, said P K Dhawan, deputy superintendent of police, east.

This is, however, not the first time when the security of inmates in these homes for destitute has come under scanner in the city.

It was on March 18 when a 13-year-old mentally challenged girl had escaped from Aashreya. Earlier, an inmate from another such home, Snehalya, had been found missing.

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Military Hospital commandant indicted
Procured medicines worth Rs 10 crore illegally
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
An Army court of inquiry (COI) has found large-scale irregularities in the procurement of medical supplies by a Brigadier posted earlier as the Commandant of the Military Hospital in Jalandhar, it is learnt.

Sources in Western Command said the COI had prima facie established that medical supplies worth about Rs 10 crore were purchased from unregistered vendors over more than a year, in violation of regulations.

Based upon findings and opinion of the COI, the General Officer Commanding 11 Corps, Lt Gen VS Tonk has recommended disciplinary action against the officer. Disciplinary action implies that the officer could face a possible trial by a general court martial subject to the outcome of subsequent proceedings.

The recommendation of the GOC 11 Corps has been forwarded to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen T K Sapru for his directions, sources said.

The COI, presided over by the General Officer Commanding 7 Infantry Division, Maj Gen TS Gill, was ordered by Headquarters 11 Corps, on the directions of the GOC-in-C, Western Command, after the Army received complaints regarding the procurement of medical supplies at the hospital.

The commandant against whom the allegations were levelled has been approved for promotion to the rank of Major General. At present he is posted on a staff appointment. He claimed during the COI that he was being implicated and that boards of officers were held to register vendors.

The terms of reference of the COI included investigation into the procurement of medical supplies worth several crores of rupees from unregistered vendors during the tenure of the Brigadier as the hospital commandant.

Further, procurement for the Field Medical Stores Depot, Jalandhar, were alleged to have been made when the officer commanding the depot was on leave and a non-technical officer was officiating. Non-technical officers, sources said, did not have the power to make purchases.

It was also alleged that the Brigadier kept the writing of the annual confidential reports of some of his subordinate officers in the hospital pending for a few months after relinquishing charge as the commandant. The COI also investigated into alleged lapses into the purchase of orthopaedic equipment, collection and use of funds generated through sponsorships for fashion shows and award of contract for a wet canteen in the hospital.

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Freedom fighter returns to ward without treatment
Confusion over privileges at PGI

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
An 87-year-old freedom fighter suffering from heart problem had to return to his ward after waiting for 3 hours outside the operation theatre owing to confusion over the privileges provided by the Chandigarh Administration to freedom fighters.

While a circular issued on January 21 by the Chandigarh Administration said the freedom fighters were entitled to free treatment at the government hospitals in the city, the PGI authorities claimed that such patients would be provided with medical services of the PGI, but the implants required for a surgery would be purchased by the patient himself.

Joginder Singh, an Indian National Army soldier, was admitted at the emergency ward of the PGI and doctors prescribed him the implantation of pacemaker as he was suffering from full cardiac blockage, said Sukhchain Singh, the grandson of the freedom fighter.

“Today when the patient was taken to the catheter laboratory for the procedure at 8.45 am, we were asked to get the pacemaker worth Rs 70,000,” said Sukhchain. Surprised over the development we contacted several departments in the PGI, mentioning about the circular issued by the Chandigarh Administration, but to no avail, alleged Sukhchain.

“That the treatment is not delayed we decided to make the payment for the pacemaker, the doctors on duty refused to issue an indent or prescription for the implant ,” said Sukhchain who claimed that it was required for the reimbursement, if any, from the Chandigarh Administration.

Acting medical superintendent Dr S K Jindal when contacted explained that the PGI was to bear the expenses of treatment. However, it did not keep any implant with it and the patients themselves were required to procure these from dealers.

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Gurdwara Brawl
Ex-preacher booked for murder bid
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 18
Tension prevailed at Sacha Dhan Gurdwara in Phase 3B2 here at around 8:30 am when former head preacher of the gurdwara Amrik Singh Sallomajra took out a loaded pistol and aimed it at one of the devotees on its premises.

Before the shot could be fired, devotees present there thrashed him.

A strong posse led by Superintendent of Police city SS Gill reached the spot to control the flaring tempers. The police described it as a tussle between two groups of the gurdwara management. Amrik Singh was removed from his post, a week ago, after he was found allegedly consuming liquor in Phase VII market.

He has been booked under the Arms Act on the charges of attempted murder. According to sources, the police was investigating about how the licenced weapon was released by the Chamkaur Sahib police two days ago, when the coder of conduct was in force. Around eight live cartridges were seized from his possession, they added.

Since the preacher was still in the hospital, cops had been deployed there.

Basically, the tussle started when Amrik was called to the gurdwara to explain his position, where he started speaking against certain persons. Thereafter, he was asked to go to the hall, where he took out his pistol and allegedly aimed at chief of the Akhand Kirti Jatha RP Singh.

The police is looking for an accomplice of Amrik, AS Shergill.

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7-yr jail for rape

Chandigarh, May 18
Additional District and Sessions Judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi sentenced Hari Lal to imprisonment of seven years for raping a minor girl. According to the prosecution, the victim used to work as a domestic help. On February 27, 2008, the victim was working in a house when her family friend, Hari Lal, lured her to the house where he used to work.

He took her to the servant quarter when he committed the crime. The victim informed her parents following which an FIR was registered against the accused. — TNS

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COMMUNITY

Commuters cold to mini AC buses
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Making public transport more commuter friendly is on the priority in the agenda of Chandigarh Administration, but the lukewarm response to the recently introduced mini AC buses tend to pose certain questions about the proper implementation of the scheme.

While communicating with the people at the PGI bus stop today, it was found that they were reluctant to board the mini AC bus and the reason being none of the bus carries the route chart or its fare.

Ironically, at the ISBT -17 and ISBT-43, no route chart or any intimation about the timings and fare of the AC mini bus was available.

Director Chandigarh Transport Undertaking MN Sharma, when apprised about the situation, admitted that the lapses remained on their part. “This is a relevant point which was overlooked. I will direct to put the bus route and the fare at the front panel of each and every bus immediately. I can understand that the people might hesitate to board the AC bus because of ignorance about its route and the rate. All relevant information will be available at the bus stand sheds too,” he said.

“The service is essential and we cannot discontinue it. During noon, some buses run with five or six passengers only, but during the evening hours, I have been intimated that the occupancy rate gets enhanced upto 75 per cent,” he added.

It is important to mention that the administration has introduced 17 AC mini buses (37-seater) to ply on eight different routes at Rs 10 each.

Route:

Bus No. 201: Airport to PGI, via ISBT-17

First bus: 7.25 am from Airport and

PGI

Last bus: 5.25 pm from Airport and PGI

Bus No: 202: ISBT-43 to High Court

First bus: 7.45 am from ISBT -4 and High Court

Last bus: 5.05 pm ISBT -43 and

High Court

Bus No: 203: Railway Station to ISBT 17

First bus: 7.40 am from Railway Station and ISBT 17

Last bus: 5.10 pm from Railway Station and ISBT 17

Bus No. 204: Mani Majra to PGI

First bus: 7 am from Mani Majra and PGI

Last bus: 5.00 pm from Mani Majra and PGI

Bus No 205: ISBT-43 to PGI

First bus: 7.25 am from ISBT 43 and PGI

Last bus: 5.25 pm from ISBT 43 and PGI

Bus No 206: ISBT-43 to IT Park

First Bus: 7.45 am from ISBT-43 and IT Park

Last bus: 5.45 pm from ISBT-43 and

IT Park

Bus No 207: Sector 48 to High Court via Sukhna Lake

First bus: 7 am from Sector 48 and 8 am from High Court

Last bus: 5.30 pm from Sector 48 and 17.30 am from High Court

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Trader’s Murder
Cops examine details of mobile calls
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Unable to get any solid clue in the murder of Amarjit Singh, owner of Sham Fashion Mall, the police has started examining mobile call details of employees and the people associated with the victim.

Sources in the police said as the victim’s family had not provided any clues about his business rivalry and enmity and had not expressed suspicions on anyone so far, the investigators were exploring other angles to crack the case.

The police had transferred the probe of the sensational murder to the Special Crime Investigation Cell on Friday. A police officer said the family was tightlipped and was not forthcoming to part information, if any, they had. He, however, added that they might have been apprehensive about their security and might take time to come out of the state of shock.

The police, meanwhile, is making efforts to get the mobile call details along with tower location of all employees and other associates of Amarjit Singh. A police officer said they would try to find out the location of each and every person at the time of the murder and find out who was talking to whom before and during the time of murder.

The police would also write to the police of the adjoining states to get details about the criminals, who were involved in crime of the similar nature.

About the role of Raj Kamal, the driver-cum-guard of Amarjit Singh, who is yet to be traced, the police said his absence was creating doubts against him. Even if he was not directly involved in the murder, he could provide vital clues about the persons against whom Amarjit Singh used to instruct him to keep a watch. There was less likelihood that he was not aware of the persons from whom Amarjit Singh was apprehensive of his life.

The UT SSP SS Srivastva told TNS that the police was busy in election duty. “As the elections are over now, we will work on this case on a priority basis”, he said.

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BJP's nationwide rout replicated in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The nationwide rout of the BJP was replicated in the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency elections which saw minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal scoring a hat trick, defeating his nearest rival Satya Pal Jain by a whopping margin of 58,967 votes.

In fact, the final official figures showed that the Congress polled 1,61,042(46.88 per cent) votes, while the BJP 1,02,075 (29.71 per cent ) votes in the elections which saw the BSP and the RJD emerging as other political forces in the city.The BSP and the RJD polled 61,434 (17.88 per cent) and 11,549 (3.36 per cent) votes, respectively.The other 10 candidates, including Independents, had to content with a mere 2 per cent of the total votes polled.

While the voting percentage share of Bansal came down from 52 per cent in 2004 to 46.88 per cent, BJP candidate Jain's voting share slipped from 35 per cent to a dismal 29.71 per cent, indicating the saffron party's downward slide in the city politics.In fact, the rampant factionalism in the saffron party ensured that the party's aggressive poor show continued in all three major segments -- urban, rural and colonies.

As expected, the Congress was the major gainer in the urban and the rural areas(villages) which led to its handsome winning margin. In urban areas, the Congress took a lion's share of the total votes securing 55 per cent of the total votes followed by the BJP(35 per cent) and the BSP(8 per cent).

The situation in villages was no different with the Congress securing 41 per cent votes and BJP 31 per cent. However, the BSP improved its tally to 20 per cent in the villages followed by the RJD which pocketed about 5 per cent of the votes.

However, in the colonies the Congress and the BSP competed closely polling 36 per cent and 34 per cent votes respectively.The BJP was a poor third with a share of 20 per cent . Surprisingly, the RJD scored 6 per cent votes followed by others who scored about 4 per cent votes.

Observers stated that the voting pattern in Chandigarh was no different than the rest of the country with Manmohan magic working to the advantage of Congress. In fact, a close look at the results showed Bansal took unassailable lead in the urban areas.

Since the colony votes were divided among all four major political parties the Congress' lead in the city areas went a long way in improving the victory margin of Bansal,who won by over 45,000 votes in 2004 elections.

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Arms Seizure
Cop forged papers to steal case property
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Investigations into the seizure of arms from a Chandigarh Police head constable’s official residence on April 27 have indicated that the accused had forged documents to steal the firearms and ammunition.

Police sources say the investigating of the record pertaining to the disposal of the case property weapons indicate that the accused, head constable Balbir Singh, used forged receipts showing that the case property weapons were submitted with the district “najar”.

“The investigation so far indicated that the accused, who was in-charge of the police station-17 malkhana, got the permission of the SHO for disposing of the weapons. Instead of depositing the weapons with district ‘najar’, he forged documents and kept the weapons with him. He kept his superiors in the dark about his act by showing them the forged receipts,” said a police officer preferring anonymity.

On the role of station house officers under whom the accused carried out the illegal act, police station-17 SHO Ramesh Chander Sharma said investigation so far did not point toward the involvement of any other officer or negligence on their part in executing their duties. The accused tempered with records and forged documents to take away the weapons.

DSP Satbir Singh, DSP Vijay Kumar and DSP BS Negi were the SHOs of the police Station and the accused misappropriated the firearms by tempering with the record under their posting at the police station.

Initially, it was suspected that the accused might have connived with other officials to steal weapons from the malkhana.

Balbir Singh remained in-charge of the malkhana from 2001 to 2004 under the supervision of the three officials.

UT SSP SS Srivastva said the investigations into the case were under way.

No evidence regarding the involvement or negligence of the three officials had so far emerged in the probe.

He, however, denied that any report pertaining to the negligence on part of the three officials was submitted to him.

The police had arrested Balbir Singh after his wife Kamlesh had lodged a complaint against him alleging that he had kept firearms and ammunition at his Sector 23-B official residence.

The police had seized three revolvers and three pistols of various bores and calibers and 83 live cartridges, including six empty ones, five cameras, two camera flashes, three ceiling fans and 70 other sundry items, which were case properties kept at the malkhana, from him. He had misappropriated around 80 case properties during his tenure.

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Complete projects soon, says Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues today directed the Municipal Corporation (MC) and the Engineering Department of the administration to undertake a coordinated drive for cleaning drains, choes and nullahs in the UT to check floods in view of the coming monsoon.

Presiding over a public hearing session here, Rodrigues also asked the Commissioner of the MC to hold a meeting with representatives of shopkeepers and NGOs to chalk out a strategy for the balanced and harmonious development of all sections of Sector 17.

He also stressed the need to institute a system of granting necessary permission for the use of open spaces in the city to performing groups to promote art and culture and thus also providing a source of entertainment.

Emphasising that schools, aaganwaris and community centres must benefit stakeholders to the maximum, the Administrator asked the Home Secretary to constitute a task force to take a look at the specific problems of these public utilities projects and tackle them in a time-bound manner.

He also asked for taking steps for setting up a suitable settlement for families of HIV/AIDS-affected people so that the sufferers could have a comfortable stay as a family unit.

Asking the officers to speed up the ongoing development projects after the code of conduct is over, Rodrigues emphasised the need to analyse the bottlenecks coming in the way for their speedy completion for benefiting the society.

He constituted a committee of the Home Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Secretary to the Governor for chalking out the details of strategies. He also called for early meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council by taking a clarification from the Ministry of Home Affairs about its defined role in the process of development in view of the Urban Arts Commission. He also asked the officers to revive anti-encroachment measures as per orders of the courts.

Responding to a delegation of the Chandigarh Autorickshaw Union, Rodrigues asked the Home Secretary and the Finance Secretary to hold further discussions with representatives of the union to find a solution to the issue.

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Malba on the road, MC snores
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has become helpless again to redress the grievances of hundreds of people living in at least 10 group-housing societies located in Sector 50.

The Chandigarh Administration has earmarked the open space, adjoining Sector 50 road, as “authorised malba dumping site”. Nevertheless, due to absence of any vigil, vehicles offload the malba on the roadside. As a result, the discarded construction material spills on the road causing traffic hazard despite posing a threat to the lives of commuters, especially, two-wheeler riders.

“We are helpless, there is no solution and this grave problem is there in other parts of the city too,” said chief engineer SK Bansal.

Yogesh Gupta, superintending engineer Road Division, said a JCB and a tipper had already been pressed into the service on V4, V5 and V6 roads of the city to put the spread over malba back to its place.

“This is not a permanent solution. Considering the staff crunch, a proposal was mooted out to hire private firms to tackle the menace. It was proposed that these firms should be deputed to monitor the vehicles and penalised the offenders, who do not offload the malba at selected places. Till date, it could not be materialised,” he said.

MC had to spend lakhs of rupees to put back this spilled over malba lying on the roads in many parts of the city.

“The defaulters fearing that they are being watched, will refrain from dumping the malba at designated places and will dump the malba elsewhere, posing another problem,” opined the chief engineer.

Kamla Bains, retired district education officer, who lives in Sargodha Society-50, said due to spilling of malba, a serious accident was about to occur this morning. To make things worst, residents of a nearby Colony No 5 have even damaged the electric poles.

Amrit Nagpal, a UT health department employee, finds it hard during the night hours to reach home. “I come during the night hours on my scooter. Since I commute daily, so I know that this stretch is full of pebbles. But imagine the fate of a stranger, especially, if he is riding a two-wheeler,” he added.

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City on leprosy-free state list
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Union Territory has got rid of the scourge of leprosy. The report compiled by the Health Ministry, Government of India, for 2008-09, ranks the city among the states and union territories, which have been successful in eliminating leprosy.

“Any state or UT is declared leprosy free on the basis of the prevalence rate (PR) of the disease. The benchmark PR of less than one per 10,000 population has been set by the Union Health Ministry to qualify for the elimination stage. The PR in the city in 2008-09 came down to 0.28 per 10,000 population, much lower than the benchmark,” Ram Niwas, Secretary Health, said here today.

According to the report, the PR came down to 0.28 per 10,000 population in 2008-09 from 1.63 in 2006-07 and 1.23 in 2007-08. While, 171 new leprosy cases were detected in 2006-07, 140 in 2007-08 and 32 were detected in 2008-09. The annual new case detection rate (ANCDR) in the city came down to 3.25 per lakh from 20.27 per lakh in 2006-07, and 16.70 in 2007-08, SD Mehta, state leprosy officer, revealed.

Manjit Singh Bains, director, Health and Family Welfare, said: “GMCH-32 is doing free reconstructive surgeries (RCS). More than 25 such surgeries are performed till date.”

The Chandigarh Administration had formed the State Health Society (SHS) under the National Rural Health Mission in 2005 for eradication of leprosy. The city has three specialised leprosy treatment centres-at the PGI, in GMSH Sector 16, and GMCH Sector 32. Lending thrust to the eradication leprosy campaign, four more reporting centres equipped with trained leprosy staff have been functioning, Dr Bains added.

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No rain in sight yet, say weathermen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Those expecting a sudden spell of rain this week may have to wait a little longer as the meteorological department has predicted no rain till this weekend.

According to the department, there are chances of western disturbances causing rain in Himacahal Pradesh after 48 hours. If that happens, the city may receive thundershowers by the end of this week.

“Though we are not expecting rainfall in the city in the next 24 hours, the conditions are becoming favorable for rain in the adjoining areas. The temperature will remain around 41 °C for the next two days, said an official of meteorological department.

The maximum temperature recorded on Monday was 41.2 °C, which was three degrees above normal. The minimum was 29.0 °C. Weathermen said there were no signs of the mercury dipping before the end of the week.

Officials said the average maximum temperature recorded in the month of May in the previous years was 38 °C and minimum 23 °C. However, this year it has already touched 40 °C due to less rain in the city.

Heat wave swept the city today, forcing residents to stay indoor.

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Zirakpur residents reel under power cuts
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, May 18
Unscheduled power cuts have made the life miserable for residents of Zirakpur and its surrounding areas.

Residents of various housing colonies, apartments and villages falling under the municipal limits have been facing a severe power crisis.

With tube-wells becoming non-operational during power cuts, the water supply to the area has also been affected.

Consequently, residents have been forced to spend sleepless nights for the past few days.

A Dhakoli resident, ML Gulati, rued that they were never informed about the cuts in advance.

Kamal Kapoor, a resident of New Generation Apartment, said food stored in refrigerators got stale as a result of the outage.

The PSEB officials, however, claimed that there were no power cuts in the area. He said the disruption of power could be due to overloading.

With summer at its peak, people had started using air-conditioners, which increases the load on transformers causing power breakdown, he added.

“We have been carrying out maintenance work like diverting load and repairing cables.” The power situation would be better in the coming days, he added.

Residents of Saini Vihar, Ravindra Enclave, Harmilap Nagar and Lakshmi enclave have been reeling under acute water shortage and have been forced to call private water tankers to meet their demand.

In Zirakpur, out of 24 tube wells, 10 run on diesel engines. The rest of the tube wells run on electric motors and remain non-functional due to power cuts.

Water supply and sewerage board SDO Ramesh Chawala said the demand of water supply had gone up. He said: “Work on six new tube wells is in progress and these will start working in the coming days.”

Residents block traffic

Irate residents of Harmilap Nagar raised slogans against the Punjab State Electricity Board for erratic power supply and blocked vehicular traffic for over three hours here this evening. Residents claimed that there had been no power supply in the locality for the past three days.The protest was triggered by 10-hour power cuts for the past three days. The residents alleged that the power supply was suspended in the morning, restored in the afternoon but again disrupted in the evening.The police reached the scene after but could not pacify the protesters. CTU buses and other vehicles were caught in the jam caused by the blockade. Till the filing of the report, no official from the PSEB had visited the scene. The power supply was, however, restored at 10 pm.

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Power Failure
Residents attack electricity board workers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 18
Irked over erratic power supply for the last nine months in the Rathpur area of Pinjore, residents allegedly attacked employees of the electricity board who had gone there to restore the power supply yesterday.

Following the incident, the employees of the board had resorted to strike leading to the disruption of the power supply throughout the day.

While the employees were demanding the arrest of the accused, including former president of municipal committee Sucha Singh, supporters of Sucha Singh protesting against it had offered their arrests.

According to Pushpinder Sharma, president of Electricity Board Employees Union, it was around 10.30 pm when Kashmira Singh, a superviser along with three others, went to restore the power supply in Ratthput village when around 50 people gheroed them and beat them up. In the morning hundreds of people from the village also reached the electricity board office in Pinjore following which the police was called to control the situation, said SDO RK Rohilla.

On the other hand, Sucha Singh denying his hand in the attack said the transformer in the village was lying unrepaired for the last nine months.

However, no breakthrough could be achieved to diffuse the tension and the employees of the electricity board were still on strike till the filing of the report.

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Acute water shortage plagues Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali , May 18
Shortage of water plagues Mohali every summer forcing residents to face inconvenience with the authorities concerned failing to provide the basic requirement over the years.

According to information, the Municipal Council, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Public Health Department had failed to provide adequate supply of water.

On the other hand, the position on the power front is not particularly bad. While sources of the Punjab State Electricity Board claimed there had been no power cuts, residents had been complaining about low voltage and unannounced power shutdowns.

The residents said if power cuts were introduced, it would hit the water supply network that would aggravate difficulties for consumers.

While the water is mainly supplied here by the public health department, the civic body takes care of the supply to Phases VI to IX and the GMADA to Sectors 66 to 69.

Former municipal councillor Manjit Singh Sethi, who lives in Phase III A, said the situation was grim. Those who had constructed underground water tanks had to pump up water to fill overhead tanks. The problem had become acute for the past two weeks as there was low water pressure and water was available at the first floor level only till about 6:30 am.

The same problem has been witnessed in Phase X also for about last four days.

Whereas, executive engineer of the public health department Inderjit Singh Kang said there was a fault in the water pipeline from Kajauli that had been set right and the supply would normalise in a day or so.

According to officials of the department concerned, there was a huge gap between the demand and the supply of water. The demand was 23 mgd ( million gallons a day) against the availability of only 13.4 mgd in last few months.

Mohali was getting only 10 mgd water from Kajauli waterworks while the rest was coming from tubewells.

Executive officer of the council Amna Kumar Goyal said estimates for five tubewells were lying with the government. The work could not be executed, as an administrative approval was not given because the model code of conduct was enforced in connection with the Lok Sabha elections.

He added that the work of four tubewells in the Industrial Area and one in Matour village would be started at the earliest. The problem of water shortage in the town would be solved only after a pipeline from Kajauli was provided to Mohali.

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Sufiana spirit pervades arena
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 18
The duo of accomplished Sufiana singers of the region, Anup Kumar and Hemant Kumar, popularly known as Kumar Bandhus, enraptured audience with a spell of Sufiana kalaams at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

The concert aptly titled “Bandgi” organised by regional chapter of ICCR under their Horizon series in association with the State Bank of India and Punjab Arts Council was dedicated to senior citizens of the tricity, disclosed Gyan Chand, regional officer.

After a mundane beginning marked with frequent audio system failures, Kumar Bandhus commenced the recital with a traditional Ganesh Vandna before spelling the Sufiana fervour with Amir Khusro’s classic kaul “Chhap tilak sab chheeni”.

The divine utterances of spiritual saint poet Mirabai “Mein toh sanvre ke rang rachi” and “Saawan ki bheegi raaton mein” were well received.

Displaying their potential for excellence, the singers brought alive the mysticism of Baba Farid and Baba Bulle Shah in “Saade val mukhda moad” and “Jis tan lagya ishaq kamaal”.

Kumar Bandhus maintained the element of devotion, submission and surrender by a devout Sufi while doling out more verses of Bulle Shah like “Ni mein kamli haan”, “Charkhe di hathi” and “Nit kahir manga”.

In between Kumar Bandhus kept interacting with the audience by explaining the significance of Sufiana verses. The conclusion was marked with the evergreen boisterous number “Damadam mast qalander”.

Chief guest NK Talwar, AGM State Bank of India, and Gyan Chand, regional officer ICCR, honoured the artistes.

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NHAI notice to 242 Kalka shopkeepers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 18
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) issued notice to 242 shopkeepers for alleged encroachment at Kalka here today.

The NHAI in its notice has asked the respondents to file their replies by May 22, informing them that they will be provided with an opportunity of hearing before the speaking orders are issued over their properties standing on the encroached land.

On May 15, a Division Bench of the High Court gave shopkeepers time till May 17 to remove encroachment after which the NHAI was to step in. As the case came up for hearing before Justice JS Khehar and Justice Uma Nath Singh on May 15, NHAI project director Anil Kumar Dahiya said some encroachment was yet to be removed.

The Bench ruled: “In the first instance, we consider it just and appropriate to allow the petitioners two days further time to remove remaining encroachment. In case there is any encroachment still remaining after May 17, the NHAI shall further make arrangements to remove the same.” 

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Low water supply on May 21
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 18
Water will be supplied at low pressure to most parts of the town on May 21 courtesy Kajauli waterworks will be repaired by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

According to information, no water would be supplied in the afternoon while water would be available at low pressure in the evening also in Phases I to XI, Industrial Phases I to V, Sectors 70, 71, Matour and Shahi Majra village.

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Fire breaks out in Aroma Hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
A minor fire broke out at the Indian kitchen of Aroma Hotel at about 4 am here today.

According to fire officials, they received information at 3.55 in the morning. Following which two fire tenders were pressed into the service and the fire was brought under control in 10 minutes of the incident.

Short circuit was cited to be the reason behind the fire.

The fire officials added that most of the fire was doused by staff of the hotel with the help of fire extinguishers.

Hardyal Singh Bains, manager of hotel, said it was a minor incident, however, the total loss was yet to be ascertained.

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SOPU activist picked up, freed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Tight security and rigorous checking greeted visitors at Panjab University today.

Other than being just a routine affair, it was attributed to an incident involving Harpreet Singh Multani, a SOPU activist. According to sources, the police control room got a call wherein the caller claimed that Multani was on the campus carrying arms.

Based on the complaint, the police allegedly picked him up, along with his car. However, according to university officials and Multani’s supporters, nothing was recovered from him.

“It is true that he was picked up but nothing was recovered from him,” said Naval Kishore, Dean, Student’s Welfare, PU.

“It’s nothing but harassment. The police, on an anonymous complaint, subjected him to such an inconvenience and nothing was recovered. Was a planned mischief?,” asserted Brinder Dhillon, president, SOPU. Meanwhile, the police officials denied any such incident.

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Haryanvi saang fest begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 18
A 10-day Haryanvi saang festival organised by the department of information and culture affairs in collaboration with the NCZCC, Allahabad, commenced at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The folklore culture starved aficionados thronged the theatre as noted Haryanvi folk theatre director Suraj Bedi and his artistes took the centre stage to present a saang, “Amar Singh Rajbala”.

The saang is a saga of sacrifice and lovelorn prince Amar Singh and his beloved Rajbala.

Earlier project director BS Balhara welcomed chief guest Dr Mahendra, chairperson of department of Indian theatre, PU.

Another saang “Lal Bahar” will be staged tomorrow under the direction of Suraj Bedi.

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Yoga meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Chandigarh Sixth Sense is organising a Chandigarh Open Surya Namaskar Yoga Championship-2009 at Kundan International School, Sector 36, on May 19 and May 20.

Around 400 participants from different schools and colleges are participating in the championship.

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Nurses Week concludes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 18
International Nurses Week (May 12 to 18), which was organised by nurses of the PGI to mark the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing profession, concluded here today.

With the theme of “Delivering quality, serving communities: Nurses leading care innovations”, rich tributes were paid to the great nursing leader through various activities performed during the week.

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Those who could not vote

Name Address

Brij Mohini 1603, Sec 33-D

Sudha Jain 1553, Sec 34-D

Anshuman Jain ”

Pallavi Jain “

Joginder Singh 94, Sec 33-A

Surinder Kaur “

Surjit Singh Bawa 532, Sec 8-B

Harpreet Bawa “

Prof Naval Kishore G-9, Sec 14

Veena Rani E-24, Sec-14

Jagdish Kumar “

Ranjana 146/20-A

Mandeep Rani 1142-A Sec 41-B

Kusum Bhardwaj 3918/1, Sec 47

Deepshikha Bhardwaj “

Kuldeep Singh 74, Power House

Mandhera Colony, Industrial Area, Phase-1

Davinder Singh 3191\3 Sec 44-D

Arora

Satnam Kaur “

Gurmeet Kaur “

Subhash Bhatia 3421\2 Sec 45-D

Savita Bhatia “

Jasbeer Singh 1104, Sec 36-C

Chander Mohan Sharma 148, Sec 28-A

Vinod Sharma ,,

Vishal Sharma ,,

Vani Sharma ,,

Anuradha Wah 767, Sec 22-A

Prital Singh 3098, Sec 37- D,

Balwinder Kaur ,,

Varinder Sharma 343, Sec-20-A

Krishan Kumar 1417, Sec 44-B

Attri

Vijay Attri ,,

Rajnish Kumar Attri ,,

Shiveta Attri ,,

Rohit Attri ,,

KN Gosain 101, Sec 27-A

Ravinder Gosain ,,

Neena Gosain ,,

Chander Moha 148, Sec 28A

Sharma

Vinod Sharma ,,

Vishal Sharma ,,

Vani Sharma ,,

Chamanjit Rekhi 1381, Sec 33-C

Bandeep Rekhi ,,

Dr Sarabjit Kaur 1160, Sec 36-C

Ramesh Chand 1218/B, Sec 41/B

Tripta Kumari ,,

Baljit Singh 759, Sec 8-B

Dhamanjeet B Singh ,,

Surinder Pal Singh 24, Sec 8-A

Anita Singh ,,

Tani Sahgal 60, Sec 5

Palvinder Singh HIG161, Sec 71

Jaswinder Kaur ,,

Harvinder Singh ,,

Satvir Kaur ,,

Narinderjit Singh 1418, Sec 42-B

Jatinder Kaur "

Manjit Kaur "

Gagandeep Singh "

Karan Singh "

Sushila Bhatia 111, Sec 33-A

Krishan Lal Narang 957,Sec 40-A

Kailash Rani ,,

Sukhbir Singh Bhandula 90,Sec 21-A

SN Kohli 394, Sec 30-A

Kamal Kumar 3233/3 Sec 44/D

Nangia

Veena Nangia ,,

Sharda Kapur 2119 Sec 22-C

Priyanka Dhanda 228, Punjab Engg College Sec 12

Pramod Batra ,,

Sanjeev Goyal 5967 ,,

Rajinder S Gill 259, Sec 11-A

Verinder Gill ,,

Manmohan 483, Sec 43

Krishan Bhardwaj

Nalini Mrignaina ,,

Bhardwaj

Shobhna Chojar 317, Sec 21-A

Sandeep Chojar ,,

Santosh Kumar 4129-B Sec- 37-C

Sarla Thakur ,,

Asha Sood 309, Sec 15-A

Amit Sood ,,

Shivani Sood ,,

Kewal Krishan 157, Sec 15-A

Santosh Kumari ,,

Ajay Sharma ,,

Vijay Malia 494-B, Sec 61,

Kajehri

Sohan Inder 2522, Sec 37-C

Singh

Vineet Mahajan 928, Sec 7-A

Asha Mahajn ,,

Sushil Chander 766, Sec 22-A, Ist foor

Khurshid Ansari A-8/A, PU Campus, Sec 14

Shahnaz Fatima ,,

Surinder Singh 1305 Sec18- C

Dr Rohit Grover 301, Sec 35-A

Dr Sujata Grover ,,

Rishabh Grover ,,

Harbans Lal 1640, Sec 7-C

Krishna Devi ,,

Bipin Sher Singh ,,

Amandeep Kaur ,,

Rajesh Pal Singh ,,

Rakesh Bahadur Singh ,,

Madhu Bala ,,

Pushpa Rani ,,

Dr Nirmal Jaswal 140, 35-A

Vijay Jaswal ,,

Renu Jaswal ,,

Satpal Singh 3297, Sec 21-D

Satpal Kaur ,,

HN Kaul 455, Sec 15-A

Sarla Kaul ,,

Renu Kaul ,,

Dr Pankaj Kaul ,,

Meera Sodhi 1013, Sec 36-C

JP Sareen 3198, Sec 44-D

Ramesh Kanta ,,

Yogesh Sareen ,,

Brijesh Sareen ,,

Surinder Mohan 149, Sec 31-A

Goyal

Ravinder Goyal “

Sangeeta Kaushal 730,Sec 10 P’kula

Meenu Kaushal “

Mahima Kaushal “

Amar Nath Ahuja 563, Sec 12

Chander Ahuja ,,

Kamal Ahuja ,,

Geetu Ahuja ,,

Neeraj Ahuja ,,

Ritu Ahuja ,,

Rajnish Kumar A-302, Rail Vihar MDC

Indira Sharma ,,

Rahul Sharma ,,

Lalit Mohan Batra 5155 GF, MHC, Manimajra

Col JB Singh 5762, Modern Residential Complex

Gurmeet Singh 250 Sec 71, Mohali

Harneet Kaur ,,

(To be continued)

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EDUCATION
 

Change in exam centre puts students in a spin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
In yet another display of callousness, Panjab University authorities allegedly subjected at least 90 students to inconvenience by changing their examination centre at the last moment today.

The students, majority of whom were from the mass communication department, claimed that though their roll numbers mentioned UILS as their examination centre, they were taken by surprise when they found that their centre had been changed to the zoology department.

According to the students, while most of them wandered from floor to floor in the UILS searching for their roll numbers in the seating plan, a few of them rushed to their respective departments only to find zoology as their new examination centre.

“Our paper was to start at 9.15 am. When we reached the UILS, we didn’t find our roll numbers there. We tried calling up the authorities concerned but nobody answered. A student then rushed back to the university. The list at our department showed zoology department as our centre. We got to know this around 9 am and had to rush there. The paper started around 9.35 pm.” said a student.

“This is utter callousness. It’s our first examination today. If the UILS was not our centre, why did the authorities mention it on over 100 roll numbers? And if it was shifted later, it was university’s responsibility to inform us about it. They have subjected us to unnecessary inconvenience and anxiety,” asserted another student.

Confirming this, a UILS official, on the condition of anonymity, said: “We were equally surprised seeing these students wander from floor to floor. Even we were perturbed for a moment seeing the our department on their roll numbers. However, once we checked our records, we found that they were not to appear here.” PU controller (examination) AK Bhandari could not be contacted for his comments.

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BSc in Hotel Administration
New courses in PU

The course is available at University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism Panjab University

Requisite Qualifications: Students who have qualified 10+2 examination with any subject combination can apply. Admission will be on merit basis for this year only after which there will be an aptitude test.

Professional Edge: The course opens the job opportunities at the administration level in the hotel industry. The course is first of its kinds and gives an edge over various options of postgraduate diplomas. With a large number of hotels coming up across the country, opting for this graduation giving vocational training apt to the industry may increase job prospects after graduation.

Directors take: “The hotel industry is growing and this course is designed keeping in mind it’s administrative needs. The fact that it’s a graduation-level course that sets it apart from others, as the applicants shall be way ahead from their counterparts going in for such courses after graduation. It’s probably the first of its kind dealing specifically with administrative aspects. Admissions to this course to be started from this academic year shall be on basis of Class 12 marks,” said Prof Lalit K Bansal, director-in charge (UIHMT)

For details contact:

Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT), operating through office of CIIPP (near SBI) Panjab University Telephone No. 0172-2779426. — TNS

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From Schools
Class XII (ICSE) results likely tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Results of classes X and XII of the ICSE and CBSE Board are expected soon. According to an official website, the results of classes XII and X examinations conducted by the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination (ICSE) is expected on May 20.

They will be available on the website <http://www.cisce.org>. Whereas CBSE officials revealed that the result of Class XII is expected by this week and Class X result will be out by May end.

Red birthday

Tiny tots of AKSIPS 45 celebrated red birthday today. Children born in the month of May got together from all sections of pre nursery and celebrated their “birthday in red.”

All students and teachers came dressed in red clothes. They wore red caps, blew red candles, cut cake, enjoyed watermelon, tasted cherries and strawberries, had a red drink and met red riding hood.

Swim ‘n’ splash

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, has applied a unique method to get respite from the intense heat and channelise energy of growing buds and involve them in a useful pursuit that is to make them swim ‘n’ splash in the swimming pool of the school.

In this way, the students feel relaxed and utilise their time as well as have fun in a pleasant manner. This is the best method to enhance their physical and mental development and to beat the scorching heat. This facility is being provided under the guidance and supervision of experts.

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Haryana Judiciary Services Examination
Students’ protest at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Students who appeared in the Haryana Judiciary Services Examination- 2009 protested in front of Gandhi Bhawan, Panjab University, here today.

Demanding revaluation of their papers, these candidates alleged certain discrepancies in the result. According to their representation, “more than 850 candidates appeared for the exam for 78 posts and only six were declared successful. The pass percentage of 0.697 was way too less than the pass percentage of competitive exams of similar status. Moreover, those who failed have faired quite decent in other similar exams.”

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