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IT park’s troubles just won’t end
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Taking note of the disturbing impact of continuing development of the IT park on infrastructure, ecology and farmers, eminent residents, including Nek Chand, creator-director of Rock Garden, have urged the Union Home Ministry to scrap Phase III of the IT park which was “in violation of the city’s master plan”.

In a representation to P Chidambaram, Union Home Minister, MN Sharma, first chief architect of Chandigarh, Justice SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, ML Sarin, former advocate-general, Punjab and Haryana, and Madhu Sarin, author and urban development planner, questioned the rationale of developing the Phase III when Phases I and II were running several years behind schedule and were yet to function to their potential.

None of the five signatories to the representation have any “vested interest” related to the acquisition of land for Phase III or in any other part of the city. The Tribune had recently highlighted the sorry state of affairs at the IT park.

Terming the development of the IT park as violation of the master plan, the representation, copies of which have also been sent to the Prime Minister, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Bansal, Union Minister for Urban Development S Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Urban Development CP Joshi, Pradip Mehra, adviser to the UT administrator, and B Bhamathi, joint secretary (UT), Ministry of Home Affairs, wanted a review to “ascertain the suitability of the administration’s planning of Phase III.”

The representation wanted the MHA to validate the Phases I and II performance in key areas of IT professional employment, status of construction and occupation of main campus sites, small campus sites, build to suit sites, ready built sites and commercial sites against the published targets of the administration.

The suitability of the Phase III location with respect to the master plan, spirit of the periphery, impact on social and physical infrastructure and ecology of Chandigarh and impact on the ecology of Sukhna Lake must be included in such a review.

The representation wanted that the market value of the commercial land in the IT park area be determined through open auction and allotment price of the land to various IT firms should be taken up during the review.

“The administration’s compliance with the national policy on resettlement for families affected by the project before the initiation of the land acquisition proceedings and the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, during the acquisition proceedings should be considered as an important parameter for reviewing the project,” it stated.

“As no real construction has come up at the IT habitat project (Prideasia) and the developer is seeking to withdraw from the project, the project be terminated to protect the ecology of the lake and the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary,” the representation urged, adding that the commitment of 626 acres of prime land in Chandigarh, a small UT of 111 sq km, of which over 70 per cent was urban, defied logic.

This was a cause of concern when only 5,000-7,000 IT professionals are employed in the IT park against the projections of 25,000 and a majority of the companies in Phases I and II have not even started construction.

The DLF has told the administration that no IT companies were available to lease its ready to built space at the IT park.

“When Phases I and II are fully developed and are beginning to approach their project employment goals, Phase III may then be developed in consonance with the regional master plan which plans and implements the expansion holistically so that the impact on social and physical infrastructure was addressed comprehensively,” the representation added.

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Nari Niketan
Rape Victim: Panel to decide on motherhood status
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
An expert committee of PGI doctors, functioning free from the influence of the Chandigarh administration, will decide the motherhood status of the Nari Niketan rape victim.

In case the committee recommends abortion, but the victim opposes it, the matter will again be placed in front of the Punjab and Haryana High Court before July 1.

For attaching judicial sanctity to the expert body’s verdict, a Division Bench also appointed UT Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg as member-cum-coordinator.

Taking up the administration’s petition, the Bench ruled: “If the expert body forms a bona fide opinion that the pregnancy needs to be medically terminated in the best interest of the victim, we direct the administration to admit the victim in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.”

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Augustine George Masih also directed the constitution of another “team of medical experts, comprising not less than two gynaecologists and the other related associates, who shall then terminate the pregnancy of the victim forthwith and without any delay as soon as the report of the expert body is received. The authorities of the college and hospital are directed to ensure best post-operational medical services to the victim.”

Putting to rest the controversy on the court’s jurisdiction to act as a guardian, the Bench said: “Every court while exercising its parens-patriae jurisdiction is competent to act or appoint guardian ad-litem of a mentally retarded major pregnant woman for the purpose of deciding the retention or termination of her pregnancy in her best interest, though depending upon the individual facts and circumstances of each case.”

Brickbats for admn

The casual approach in running welfare institutes led the Bench to pass strictures on the powers that be for “criminal and administrative negligence”.

The Bench did not terminate the administration’s plea for the victim’s abortion, but observed: “Some of the counsel have accused, and rightly so, the manner in which institutions like Nari Niketan or Ashreya are being run.

“The fact that a hapless mentally retarded inmate of one of the administration’s institutes has been allegedly raped by none else than one of the guards, tells the tale of criminal and administrative negligence, callousness, and an indifferent attitude of those who are at the helm of affairs in these institutions. We strongly deprecate the manner and mechanism with which the state-helped welfare institutions are being run or managed.”

The Bench added: “After she ran away and was brought back, efforts should have been made to persuade the Missionary of Charity at Chandigarh to take her back before putting her amidst altogether new surroundings of Nari Niketan.” Medical surveillance for inmates

Welfare institutes inmates will now be under medical surveillance, with the Bench directing the constitution of a medical board for their fortnightly examination.

The board would be headed by the UT director, health services and the board would submit periodical reports to the Secretary, department of health.

The examination would include their examination as to whether the inmate has been subjected to sexual or digital abuse.

Probe under HC scanner

The High Court made clear its intentions of monitoring the investigations and asked the SSP to place on record the status report.

Fixing July 1 for hearing, the Bench directed in the eventuality of abortion, “the foetus shall be preserved for DNA and other scientific tests, especially for the purposes of the criminal case pending investigation.

No entry for men

The administration was directed not to employ male staff “for the internal functioning of institutions, unless all inmates are males only”. The administration was also asked to explore the feasibility of employing retired women police officers/officials or in the alternative ex-Army personnel for outer security purposes.

Even the community kitchen, directed to be started, would have women staff for women inmates.

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Where is Kamla?
Cops say she’s absconding, but dept claims otherwise
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The alleged cover-up operation by the police in the Nari Niketan rape case is now more or less official as there seems to be a concerted effort to shield Kamla, a safai karamchari who was named by the victim as an abettor to the crime.

While the police claims that Kamla is absconding and the investigating officer, Uday Pal, made a statement to the effect at the Sessions Court during the hearing of her anticipatory bail application last week, the judge refused to take his word. Inquiries made by The Tribune also revealed that she attended work at Nari Niketan even today.

One wonders why is the police trying to hide her whereabouts by saying she is absconding even when her lawyers do not claim so.

As if this contradictory stand wasn’t enough, the police, for reasons known to it, kept the UT senior standing counsel, Anupam Gupta, in the dark about the anticipatory bail application filed by Kamla and another accused, Kamlesh, at the Sessions Court, which was rejected on June 1. While Gupta refused to comment, it’s learnt that he was deliberately not informed about the proceedings and he came to know about it only when the bail application was filed in the High Court.

In his statement before the additional sessions judge, the investigating officer stated that while “the accused Kamlesh is not required to be arrested in the case … Kamla is absconding and avoiding arrest”. However, to the contrary, the counsel of the petitioners (Kamla and Kamlesh) has submitted that both work at Nari Niketan and are regular with their duty and neither joined the investigation nor were they required to do so.

While rejecting the bail plea, the judge noted that the “assertions of the investigating officer that petitioner Kamla is absconding are debatable in view of the submission of the counsel of the petitioners”.

When contacted, a functionary of the Nari Niketan confirmed that Kamlesh had attended work today and had left at 4.30 pm. She had been coming regularly, except on her offs over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Gupta again castigated the police investigation in court and said he was “dismayed if not ashamed” by the way the probe had been conducted. He said the constitution of the SIT was only “cosmetic”.

Bail plea rejected

Dissatisfied with the way the Nari Niketan rape case was being handled by the police, Justice Ranjit Singh today indicated at passing strictures on powers that be while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of accused staffers Kamla and Kamlesh.

A detailed order has already been passed by the Judge who was of the view that it was unfortunate that a mentally challenged inmate had been raped with the alleged connivance of the two. As such, they did not deserve the concession of anticipatory bail. He was of the opinion that the UT IGP, and the SSP should personally look into the matter.

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Bengali flavour on board
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
What may be a Bengali foodie delight and a gesture of welcome to the new Railway Minister, the menu card of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) now contains favourite Bengali dishes “macha-jhol” and “sandesh”.

At the same price, passengers get more to tingle their taste buds with. A fish dish and curry and a sweet dish would be served instead of a paneer dish and chicken listed earlier on the menu for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other trains connecting Howrah.

It seems a political hue lends itself to the food platter of the railways.

Earlier, the concept of “kullad” (tea cups) and a special Bihari dish, “Litti- chokha”, was introduced when Lalu Prasad Yadav took over as the Railway Minister.

Among the other new inclusions are “avail” (a South Indian dish) for trains bound for South India; “dhokla” and “khaman” for Mumbai trains; special economy meals (Rs 10) for Jammu trains; “rajmah chawal” and “Punjabi chana kulcha”, besides “kadi chawal” for trains moving to and fro from Ambala.

The IRCTC chief regional manager, Aneet Dulat, said: “We have included various regional flavours on our menu card that caters to the demand of that region. The change would come for the same price. It would offer passengers variety.”

Several dishes that had been deleted from the menu card are now back. “Earlier, we had thought that certain dishes like soup were getting wasted, but now we have reversed the decision and those dishes are back,” he said.

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No stopping misuse of water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
A spurt in the population, particularly in the southern sectors of the city, has residents longing for much-vaunted facilities like adequate supply of water.

Water wastage in the city is rampant. During a recce of predictable parts of the city, it was revealed that in the unauthorised colonies water continues to flow all day and night due to absence of tab nozzles.

The occupants of these colonies seem to be least bothered about the wastage because no meters have been installed for checking the consumption of water.

No immediate respite to the plight of residents seems to be in sight, if the lackadaisical attitude of the officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is any indication. Residents, especially those who are living on the upper floors of group housing societies, in sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51 have been facing hard times.

According to chief engineer SK Bansal “The matter is unnecessarily exaggerated as adequate water is being supplied but the wastage of water will be taken seriously.”

It is pertinent to mention that the city is receiving 87 million gallons (mg) of water per day as against 115 million gallons of required consumption.

RK Goyal, SE (public health), said: “The efforts are on to enhance the water quota for the city. It was decided at a meeting to initiate the proposal for implementation of Phase V and VI of Kajauli to augment the water supply. At present, we are getting 67 mgs of water supply from Kajouli and 20 mgs from 200 tubewells for domestic and commercial use.”

However, the MC has urged those societies, which don’t have underground tanks/boosting arrangement, to take action soon, Goyal added.

Harjinder Kaur, former Mayor, admitted that had the wastage of water been capped, over 40 per cent of water problem could have been solved. “There was a proposal to install water meters in all the colonies and markets to put knuckles to the water wastage, but the proposal could never be implemented. We have to set our priorities right,” she said.

According to sources, thousands of persons use water without meter and they tend to waste as they are being billed on an average basis by the civic body.

As per the figures of "Statistical Abstract" released by the Chandigarh administration, the number of unmetered connections in 2004-05 was 26,346 and in 2005-06, it rose to 26,873. However, 2006-08 witnessed a slight decline with 26,322 but in 2007-08, sources told the Tribune that it has touched the figure of over 30,000.

However, the statistics shows that the wastage of water has been witnessed at a time when there has been a continuous rise in the water consumption. The domestic water consumption, which stood at 5.48 crore kilolitres in 2004-05, jumped to 5.80 crore kilolitres the next year.

In 2006-07, the consumption increased touching a figure of 5.81 crore kilolitres and in 2007-08, it amounted to over 6.11 crore kilolitres.

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Tribune Impact
Blocked choe: Admn acts swiftly, but MC takes it easy
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Taking cognisance of the chocking of N-Choe, highlighted by The Tribune yesterday, the administration rolled up its sleeves to remove all the blockages in the choe, today.

On the other hand, the Municipal Corporation is yet to wake up from the deep slumber to take notice of the chocked drainages in the city.

While, The Tribune team found that a JCB was put on a job to clear the N-Choe of all the obstruction at Sector 16 point but a drainage at roundabout of sectors 36, 37, 23 and 24 was found to be clogged with leaves, polythene and other waste material.

It is pertinent to mention that besides other spots, majority of roundabouts on the city roads are the most predictable trouble points.

A probe into the issue revealed that the problem lies with the proper disposal of leaves. The norms demand that the safai karamcharis, after sweeping the roads, have to transport the waste through rehris to the Sehaj Safai Kendras, designated for each sector. But, they seldom do this. Instead, they either pile the waste on the roadside or sweep it into the nearby drainage.

The Health and Sanitation department, responsible for conducting the drainage cleaning through these karamcharis cry for funds and lack of proper vigil for implementation of the drainage-cleaning programme. There are over 800 karamcharis employed with the MC and over 45 with the Sehaj Safai Kendras, where the whole garbage is supposed to be dumped before being transported to the Dadu Majra-based garbage processing plant.

The otherwise foolproof programmes designed by the MC remains only on papers due to lack of proper implementation and supervision.

KD Walia of Sector 28 rued: “The safai karamcharis hardly bother to listen. The leaves dirty the roads and block the drains here and no efforts are being made to dispose them.” Another karamchari was spotted at Sector 30 while sweeping the whole garbage into the roadside drains this morning.

However, Medical officer (health) Dr G Diwan could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, but supervisor (health) PK Pushkarna told The Tribune that though instruction have been given to the karamcharis to transport the waste to the designated kendras they seldom adhere to.

“Those safai karamcharis who are regular don’t listen because they don’t fear losing job. Even, the carriage rehris are broken down by them for making excuse of performing their duties”, he added while disclosing that due to lack of funds, the department finds it difficult to repair the damaged rehris. “We don’t have space for parking the carriage rehris. That’s why we have to get them parked in the nearby markets at night. Consequently, most of the rehris either get stolen or damaged by the miscreant,” said Pushkarna.

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Mohali roads to be beautified
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 9
Mohali will be among the five cities in Punjab, where special beautification of roads will be undertaken with landscaping features and facilities for pedestrians.

The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) has appointed Dickson Rothschild India Pvt Ltd for the beautification project, which will also be undertaken in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda.

The mid-term report in this regard has been presented to the authorities concerned.

The idea behind the beautification project for Mohali is to give it an image similar to that of Chandigarh, yet with an international visual appeal, mainly to attract development in the city, especially Sector 62, and “create material palate for future and new urban corridor for newly developing sectors to the south of the existing area.”

Seven main roads of Mohali will be covered under the beautification project. These are shopping centre road, NIPER road, roads dividing Phases IX and X, X and XI, III and VII, YPS road and PCL- Madanpur road. Under the project, the roads will be widened, designated public transport corridor provided, traffic control points and public domains will be upgraded, pedestrian pathways created, and landscaping will be done.

Additional features will be provided on various roads depending on the requirement of that particular area. There is also a plan to set up two entry gates, one of these near the airport area as part of the beautification project.

The key design principles given in the mid-term report state that roads will be widened according to the requirement, upgradation of existing road corridor and public domain interface will be done along with improvement in services and drainage, which will be laid under pedestrian way and roads will be well lighted.

Bus shelters will be put up for various route buses within 300 metres or 12 minutes walking radius and low maintenance and vandalism proof elements, modules (sign posts and traffic lights etc) be provided. Well-lit and tree-lined pathways will be made for pedestrians and signage and city maps will be introduced at junctions, institution areas and entry points of parks.

The central verges (0.75 m wide) will be landscaped to create characteristic boulevard effect with low-lined planter beds and limited tree plantations. Selected vegetation will be a visual asset and help in avoiding to block streetlight from lighting pedestrian and cycle paths.

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Army-Fortis standoff continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
A meeting between the Army authorities and the management of Fortis, Mohali, to end the impasse over the re-empanelment of the hospital for the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) ended without reaching any decision today.

Ashish Banerjee, director of Fortis, said all issues were discussed at the meeting and they were yet to know the decision of the Army. An Army spokesman also claimed that no final decision had been reached yet.

On the issue of pending bills with the ECHS, the Army spokesman admitted that some money was outstanding towards Fortis, but it was due to certain inflated and disputed bills. While all bills submitted by the Fortis authorities were cleared in routine, there was a dispute on charges in some bills, he said.

The impasse, which has caused problems to ailing ex-servicemen, has come under criticism from the All India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association. The chairman of the association, Bhim Sen Sehgal, in a statement to the Press, has contradicted the claim of the Army authorities that members of the ECHS were maltreated at Fortis.

“The action of the authorities has put a large number of ECHS members in extreme difficulty as they are now being deprived of the services of one of the best hospitals in the region,” he said. He claimed that the association had never received any complaint regarding maltreatment, harassment or overcharging by the hospital from ECHS members or their families.

The allegations were entirely baseless and contrary to the factual position, he claimed, adding that the association had received a good feedback from the members about all private empanelled hospitals.

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Art lovers mourn Habib Tanvir’s death
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 9
The couplet, ‘Bichhra kuchh iss tarah se ke rutt hi badal gyi, Ikk shaks saare shehar ko veeran ker gya’ veritably reflects the magnitude of poignant feelings expressed by city art-lovers while mourning the demise of legendary thespian Padma Bhushan Habib Tanvir at an assembly organised by Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy here today.

The artist fraternity in the region paid tributes to theatre man Habib Tanvir who expired at Bhopal on Sunday night.

The Akademy chairperson, Kamal Tewari, recalling his association with Habib Saheb admired him as the epitome of uprightness and sincerity towards meaningful theatre. His stalwart presence spanning over seven decades in the literary and theatre world was an epoch-making era in the resurrection of folk and tribal theatre in India, he added.

He virtually unlearned his experiences at London’s Old Vic Theatre, Germany and European centres and fell in love with the folk and tribal theatre, he said.

“Working with uneducated people, Habib Saheb groomed these real life actors and the new theatre form, which blossomed with an aesthetic excellence, acclaimed director Neelam Man Singh said, recalling her 35 years of family association with the maestro.

Paying tributes to him, Kamal Arora lauded his theatrical wonders like Agra Bazar and Charan Das Chor winning laurels at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Director GS Channi eulogising him as son of the soil and Indian theatre, said we must keep his glorious legacy in the region by dedicating theatre in his memory. Director Harish Bhatia observed that Habib had pioneered a new genre of classics in the theatre by employing the soul of Indian philosophy and cultural traditions.

I was amazed to see the dedication and energy level of Habib Saheb at 85 during his latest shows for Spic-Macay, Dr S Lavasa said while his daughter Nageen was under his treatment here.

S Gursharan Singh said Habib worked on his terms and he unlearned all European studies to embellish the theatre with folk life and traditions.

Well known directors Julfiqar Khan, Dr Saheb Singh and others paid tributes to Habib Saheb. Akademy Vice-chairman Kamal Aroa conducted the proceedings.

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Gallantry allowance enhanced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Chandigarh administration has enhanced the monthly allowance for various decorations. While the revised allowance would be Rs 10,000 for Paramvir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees, for Sarvotam Yudh Seva Medal, it would be Rs 2,500; for Mahavir Chakra and Kirti Chakra, Rs 7,500 each; Uttam Yudh Seva Medal Rs 2,000; Vir Chakra and Shauriya Chakra Rs 3,500 each; Yudh Seva Medal Rs 1,500; and Sena Medal (Gallantry) Rs 2,000.

For Mention-in-Dispatches it would now be Rs 1,000; for PVSM Rs 2,000; AVSM Rs 1,500; and VSM and Sena Medal (Distinguished Service) Rs 1,000 each.

The administration has also fixed lump sum one-time monetary grants to future gallantry awardees of Paramvir Chakra at Rs 25,00,000; for Ashok Chakra Rs 25,00,000; Mahavir Chakra and Kirti Chakra Rs 15,00,000 each; Vir Chakra and Shauriya Chakra Rs 10,00,000 each; Sena Medal (Gallantry) and Sarvotam Yudh Seva Medal Rs 5,00,000; and Yudh Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Sewa Medal Rs 3,00,000.

For Mention-in-Dispatches and Ati Vishisht Sewa Medal it would be Rs 2,50,000 each and Rs 4,00,000 for Uttam Yudh Seva Medal.

For Vishisht Sewa Medal and Sena Medal (Distinguished Service) it would be Rs 2,00,000. The lump sum rates would apply only to future winners of the awards and the previous cases would not be reopened. These amounts would be given in lump sum to future awardees only once and they would not be entitled to any other benefit. The rates would be applicable from the date of issuance of the notification that is June 5, 2009.

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Admn urged to undertake welfare projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) expressed concern at the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to not give the green signal to the Chandigarh administration to go ahead with people-oriented schemes like rehabilitation of slum-dwellers, setting up of a cattle village at Maloya, construction of a modern terminal market at Sector 39 and public utility services at Dadu Majra.

At its executive meeting held under the chairmanship of PC Sanghi, the federation decided to make a request to the MHA to allow the acquisition of small chunks of land for these projects as delay would upset development programmes meant for common people.

The members were of the view that the administration should move fast in implementing the ambitious agenda of the Central Government with regards to providing health and medical services, education facilities and affordable housing.

The administration should also revive its medicity and education city projects to give boost to these programmes.

The incidents of rape of a mentally-challenged teenage girl at the Nari Niketan and highway kidnapping and robbery of industrialist Lalit Behl were criticised by the members.

The members appreciated people-oriented partnership initiative programmes like female foeticide and eradicating drug abuse, literacy, environment, sanitation and rehabilitation of differently-abled persons launched by the administration.

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Dental implant centre opened at polyclinic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Punjab Governor and UT administrator SF Rodrigues yesterday inaugurated the dental implant centre at the Government Polyclinic, Sector 45, as part of its initiative to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in southern part of the city.

The centre equipped with advanced techniques of replacement of missing teeth with a nickel titanium screw fixture, will provide the facility at one-third price i.e. Rs 6,400 as compared to the rates prevalent in the private sector or other dental colleges.

Interacting with dentists managing this facility, Rodrigues asked them to establish a linkage with the PGI to exchange expertise and knowledge for benefiting society at large.

Dr MS Bains, director health services, and Dr RS Mann, dentist in-charge, said Chandigarh was the first state/UT in the country to start the facility in civil dental services.

The centre has two dental chairs, equipped with latest gadgets, costing Rs 4 lakh each.

Dental implant is an expensive procedure, costing thousands of rupees just for a single implant. The rates of dental implant in the private sector/autonomous bodies/dental colleges vary from Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000. However, the centre offers the facility at one-third the price, around Rs 6,400.

Similarly, the cost of correction of root damage and cavity in the market is between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000, but it is done at the centre for only Rs 200 to Rs 400.

“The administration has made its foray into the domain of the private sector not to fulfil any norms but to make available the costly implant facility to the common man at affordable price,” Ram Niwas, UT Home-cum-Health Secretary, said.

The dental implant provided at the centre has been designed and produced by an Israel-based firm, AlphaBiotec Limited.

It is not only approved by the Food and Drug Authority of America but is also certified by the CE (Community of Europe).

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, and Dr NK Arora, medical superintendent, were also present.

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City Scope Letters
Citizens, too, should be responsible

Raveen Thukral is right when he quoted the self question-answer in his thought-provoking article. “We can’t be everywhere and people have to also take preventive steps for their own safety in their defence.”

It is not uncommon that in a democracy the police is to maintain law and order and protect its citizens. However, the real challenge seems to be the concept of policing. For citizens, especially for senior citizens, it is the security that matters, not endless debates over who is responsible for providing security and safety and who seals our sectors by installing gates. Undoubtedly, there have been several instances where the well-led police organisations while discharging their duties, have played a crucial role in preventing riots and checking uncontrollable law and order situations in India.

They have also brought laurels for the entire force as the police personnel on occasions made supreme sacrifices. But, as and when there establishes a nexus between criminals-cops-politicians, the state and central authorities have done little to reorient their forces to meet the demands of the times. Over the years, the list of those needing security has grown longer and longer. At present, there are over 300 persons in Delhi alone who get one kind of security or other keeping nearly 9,000 personnel busy. Corruption and criminalisation of policing is another reason why heinous crimes are frequented in our daily life. All these are not registered at the first instance despite the fact that the apex court has directed to register every case. More than technology, what is needed is a policing philosophy based on the need to protect the rights of all citizens irrespective of for Hindus, Muslims, rich or down trodden. There is a need for reforming the Indian police to overcome the colonial mindset and organisational pattern that it follows even to this day.

SK Khosla
Chandigarh

I

It has been deftly pointed out in the article that the basic policing has taken a back seat. The traditional beat system of the policing has almost vanished. The rampant corruption and the unholy criminal-police nexus have eroded the credibility of the police force as a whole. The beat system is still there but in a different form to commit crimes and not to prevent crimes. It would not be out to place to say that the khaki becomes wise after the event here. There is no denying the otherwise bitter reality but fact that the people too are not interested in the traditional beat system of policing by the present styled khaki because of the strong criminal-cop nexus. Besides, these days many a glaring incidents of cops themselves being involved in and caught up in all sorts of illegal, unlawful and shameful acts have eroded their image from custodians of law to culprits of law. They are no longer viewed as law enforcers but as wrong doers and informers to criminals because of the nexus.

Rampant corruption is another glaring known fact. This is why the fear of the khaki is generally on the wane. The less said the better about the traffic police where the idiom money makes the mare go has its full relevance, exceptions of course are always there. It seems that the authorities have not learnt any lesson from their past experiences and mistake if Suchdev and Behl cases are viewed.

Let there be a stringent, strenuous and corruption free police postings and recruitment system so that honest, competent men of integrity are posted and recruited to lay sound foundations to build sound public faith in the police institutions as law abiding and enforcing institutions. Can we expect a cop to be honest after paying say Rs 5 to 10 lakh for his recruitment? Let public and the media join hands to expose the wrong doers so as to build confidence of the public in the police force.

Harbans Singh Chopra
SAS Nagar

II

The tricity has seen a number of incidents of highway robberies. The criminals are fearless and did never care for the police and law. Rather, they have increased their network and courage. The recent kidnapping and the subsequent robbery of Sector-33 businessman is the most daring act. The Haryana police has arrested the National Highways criminals but the people have no confidence to live with peace. The lax policing and the strong criminal-cop nexus should be blamed.

ML Garg

III

Fear is a psychological issue. Ours is democratic governance where everybody has equal rights, be it criminals or a civilised person. There is a lot of awareness about rules and working of the police. With the advent of electronic media and Internet, etc. the world is open and close. With endless information available, a few youngsters have become hardcore criminals. The police being modern but it is not able to control the law and order situation.

In the system where a criminal has political patronage and get a ticket to fight elections, why the fear of khakhi? The police has immense power and once it is given free hands without any political interference than fear of Khakhi would come back. For peaceful society it is not only the presence of uniformed forces, which is necessary but the police be ready to face them with heavy handedness.

Immediate action and fast trial will certainly infuse a sense of confidence amongst public and fear in the minds of criminals.

Kumar Gaurav

IV

Waning fear of khakhi speaks of present state of affairs in the police. The uniformed force is usually controlled by white-collared civil servants. And officers choosing to term the most sordid events a part of society and for them every matter is a routine work, what do you expect from the police or vigilance controlled by such officers? The CBI recommendations are lost in the corridors of law ministry and policemen are told to work in houses of the civil officers. Why people will be afraid of the police forces. If lawbreakers are caught instantly and punished on the spot for petty things and in a time bound manner for other punishable offences.

In foreign countries for traffic rule breakers, licence is punched by the traffic constable himself on the spot, and every wrong parking gets a ticket of hefty amount.

In a democratic set up where there is a law /rule/system for everything than why people be afraid they better be made to learn to abide by law on their own. To me fear is something medieval thing but we must follow the law as a matter of habit and the police should be omnipresent to check as soon as the law is broken without any interference.

Keshav

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Railway police helpline doesn’t work
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

A display board at the Chandigarh railway station with the toll-free number of the government railway police which does not exist
A display board at the Chandigarh railway station with the toll-free number of the government railway police which does not exist. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, June 9
Signboards displaying the toll-free helpline number (0171-135) of the government railway police (GRP) at the railway station here has proved to be a futile effort.

The signboards displayed (in Hindi) at various places warn the public of the consequences of any unidentified object in the surroundings, but ironically, the toll-free number is not even in service.

A wrong number displayed in a public area would not be of any help to passengers. When questioned about it, the IGP, Northern Railways, KK Mishra, said: “ I have already given instructions to my staff to look into the matter and we will check the faulty number.”

Meanwhile, the railway police has initiated efforts in public interest to track down any alarming incident on board. It has been deputing special wardens since October. These wardens are people who are daily passengers on that particular route and their job is to keep the police updated on any untoward incident.

The IG claimed that the effort had been effective and had now been extended to the entire Haryana state.

Such an attempt, he claimed, involved massive public participation and the “thana” functioning came directly under the scanner of the public. These wardens were not just a source of information and a force multiplier for the police, but also proved useful in cases pertaining to eve teasing, he added.

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Police Recruitment
2,000 clear fitness test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
As many as 2,000 candidates, including 400 women, have cleared the physical efficiency tests conducted by the UT police for 210 posts of constables and wireless operators.

Sources said around 34,000 applications were received by the police out of which 27,000 were accepted. 20,000 candidates appeared for the tests, in which they were required to clear a distance of one mile in 5:340 minutes, besides, passing the high and long jump tests.

The police said, the candidates who had cleared the physical efficiency test would have to take a written test on June 14 and those who cleared the test would be interviewed later. The final results would be declared on June 16.

Meanwhile, 11 persons were arrested for indulging in unfair means, including impersonation.

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Amendment to VAT Act

Chandigarh, June 9
The Ministry of Home Affairs has approved the amendment to the Punjab Value Added Tax Act. This amendment would facilitate the implementation of deemed assessment scheme in city, which would help dealers in getting their pending tax assessment cases cleared through deemed assessment at their own option. The scheme covers the summary assessment of pending sales assessment cases prior to December 14, 2005, before VAT came into existence. The administration will now initiate the process of framing rules for the scheme at the earliest. The copy of the notification is on www.chandigarh.gov.in. — TNS

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Peace march against racial attacks

Chandigarh, June 9
The All-India Human Rights Watch staged a candle march today, condemning the attacks on Indians in Australia and considered it as black days.

Members of the body demanded that the newly elected UPA government should constitute some high-level team to ensure the safety of Indian residents in Australia.

Over 50 members of the association participated in the peaceful candle light prayer. — TNS

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Sufiana soiree pervades
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 9
The information and public relations department, Haryana, organised a Sufiana musical soiree to mark the Kabir Jayanti celebrations at the Tagore theatre here yesterday.

As many as five troupes from Haryana led by Sufi singers Balraj, Ram Chander, Sandeep, Sant Raj and Balbir presented Kabir Baani on a Tambura.

However, special presentations of Kabir bhajans by Prof Vivek Ranga drew applause. He doled out bhajans, jag mein rehbar sant Kabira, ghat ghat mein panchhui bolta, man tohe kehi vidhi and more, concluding with Kabir Dohas. Earlier, project director Bhal Singh Balhara welcomed chief guest Raj Pal Singh, SDM, Panchkula.

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Defence Quota in PU
Eligibility criteria irks serving personnel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Eligibility criteria laid down by Panjab University (PU) authorities for admission to engineering courses may have resulted in a large number of wards of serving armed forces and paramilitary forces being deprived of the benefit of reservation of seats under the defence quota.

PU has placed wards of serving personnel below those of ex-servicemen in the order of preference while preparing the merit list. Wards of personnel killed in action tops the preference list followed by wards of those disabled in action, died in harness and gallantry award winners.

Speaking to The Tribune, several officers said while martyrs and gallantry award winners should always be given top priority, the balance seats should be shared amongst wards of serving personnel and ex-servicemen.

“As it happens, there are just a handful of seats under the defence quota and the number of ex-servicemen is just never-ending,” an officer said. “According to information collected by us, no child of serving personnel posted in and around Chandigarh has been granted admission under the defence quota in the Punjab Engineering College over the past 2-3 years,” he claimed.

Officers pointed out that rules and regulations issued by the Department of Technical Education, Punjab, had bracketed serving personnel and ex-servicemen in the same category whereas PU had placed them at different levels.

An officer contended that by virtue of their service conditions, serving personnel are “stateless” and cannot claim domicile status of the place of their current residence, whereas ex-servicemen, after retiring, are settled at a particular place and can avail the benefit of domicile of that state.

According to an officer, the issue was also raised with the Punjab government, through the Department of Sainik Welfare, few months ago, but they had not received any response so far.

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Processing Fee
GCG-42 — No dues, no savings
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
If one goes by the documents provided by the Sector-42 Government College for Girls in response to an RTI application, it seems that city colleges could have learnt a bit about ‘managing’ the processing fee.

During the interviews for the post of contract lecturers held in two phases from June 27, 2008, to July 2, 2008, and July 12, 2008, the college claims to have earned Rs 1,20,500 from the 482 applicants at the rate of Rs 250 per application.

However, not only the college failed to submit the same under any government account and file the form No.16, it also adopted the ‘no dues no savings’ policy, as it claims to have spent every single penny earned. Though if the sources are to be believed, the college has failed to disclose the income raised from the candidates sponsored through the employment exchange.

“It is strange that the expenditure is exactly equal to the income. It is surprising that how the officials could not foresee the income but also the number of candidates who came at the lunch time, the order for which needs to placed in advance. As per the rules, you cannot charge this fee from the candidates sponsored through the employment exchange but they did, that too, did not account that income,” RTI activist VB Khanna said.

As per the rules, the college was allowed to provide refreshments to the applicants. When asked, the authorities concerned said: “Refreshment and lunch were served to those students who were present at the time of lunch and tea and not to all candidates who attended the interview. And the amount was paid as per the rates fixed by the department.”

The claim seems to be a cover up, as the department had not specified any such rate and surprisingly, seven candidates appeared for the interview on July 12, 2008, and the committee had 11 members, but the bill has an entry of 29 instead of 18.

When contacted, principal Nindru Bal said the interviews were not held in her tenure but she would still look into the matter.

VB Khanna has also raised concern over the members nominated in the committee as according to him, “The higher education department had nominated assistant controller, Finance and Accounts, as a member of this committee. I want to know what role does an account personnel have in selecting lecturers? Didn’t they find any apt educationist?”

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MCM College, Sector 36
College Admissions-2009
Tribune News Service

Gone are the times when a Bachelors Degree in Science was opted by students who could not get into their dream engineering college. If the experts in the field of pure sciences are to be believed, the stream is all set to witness a major revolution in coming years.

With more incentives being offered to research scholars by Universities across the country and also by the U.G.C., the students are bound to give these subjects a second thought.

Terming it as a global crisis and not a phenomenon restricted to India, the teachers blame it on the mad race to contest engineering exams.

“ The race to compete in professional courses, especially for engineering entrance exams, has lessened the importance of pure sciences over the years. Irrespective of what is the caliber of the student, he is led to appearing in these exams.” Says Dr. Renu Bedi, Physics Lecturer, M.C.M. DAV College for women.

“Looking at the need to understand science in daily life, be it nuclear deal or the global meltdown, in the coming 1-2 years there will be a huge demand of pure sciences. The stream is likely to come back as a preferred stream for sure.” She added.

Also quoting that the cut-offs in the science stream is likely to shoot up this year, the educationists believe there are an array of options for the students opting for science stream.

Foe one, there is an array of courses available for the students after bachelors in Sciences. From mass communication to law, research, environment science, teaching, besides appearing for competitive exams like M.B.A. and M.C.A., all options are open after a B.Sc. Degree.

As observed by educationists in this field, pure sciences also require a lot of hard work. The students get trained for their future and the stream opens many dimensions to a better and safe career.

Yet another upcoming area of interest for the students of pure sciences is space technology. “ Recently there was science conference in Kolkata regarding the space technology as an upcoming option for students in pure sciences. The field certainly had a lot of potential, given the present circumstances.” Says another science faculty member.

Courses offered at the bachelor and postgraduate levels:

1. BCom (210 seats, duration - 3 yrs)

2. BSc (Non-Medical)

3. BSc (Medical)

4. BSc Vocational (Computer Application, Food Science and Quality Control)

5. Bachelor of Science (Microbial and Food Technology) (30 seats, duration - 3 yrs)

6. BCA (40 seats, duration - 3 yrs)

7. BA (800 seats, duration - 3 yrs) Streams: BA (Pass course) BA (Honours) BA (Vocational) -- Office Management and Secretarial Practice

8. MA (Sociology) (60 seats, duration - 2 yrs)

9. MA English (40 seats, duration - 2 yrs)

10. MA IT (30 seats, duration - 4 semesters, 2 yrs)

11. PG Diploma in Computer Application (30 seats, duration - 1 year)

12. PG Diploma in Mass Communication (30 seats, duration - 1 year)

What new?

Innovative courses include Bachelor of Science (Microbial and Food Technology). The college has now introduced new degrees, diploma and advance diploma courses from 2009-2010.

The add-on courses now include:

1. Communicative English

2. Cosmetology and Beauty Care

3. Video Reporting

4. Interior Designing and Decoration

5. Web-designing and Multi-media

Important Dates

* Prospectus available

* Application period ends on June 30, 2009

*The merit list of first year of BCom, BCA, BSc (Microbial and Food Technology) and BA (Functional English) will be displayed on July 8, 2009, on the college notice board.

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No meeting of promotion committee in two years
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Due to lackadaisical attitude of the Chandigarh education department, the hope of staff of the department to get any promotion has faded, as many of them had retired waiting for that auspicious day.

Strangely, in the last two years, the department has not convened any meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC), which decides the issue of employees’ promotion at various levels.

Resultantly, a number of employees have retired while acting as principals or heads in the schools of the city.

Sources in the department revealed that on May 27, 2009, the education secretary, Ram Niwas, in a communiqué to the DPI, Samwartak Singh, had directed him to call a meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) within a week so as to finalise all the promotion and recruitment cases. Interestingly, till date, the education department has not fixed any schedule for the meeting.

Niwas said he had given directions to the education department to convene the meeting of DPC soon so as to decide all the pending cases of promotions and recruitment.

Sources said as no DPC meeting was held in the last two years, three principals retired with acting charges of schools as lecturers only, despite performing the duties of principals.

Whereas six headmasters and headmistresses retired as masters and mistresses of the schools.

Sources revealed that the last DPC meeting was held in 2007, when few lecturers were promoted as principals. Before that, a meeting was held in 2003, when few masters were promoted as headmasters and headmistresses.

One of the seniors officials said as per administration’s guidelines on DPC, the meeting has to be convened at regular intervals to draw panel, which could be utilised, on making promotions against the vacancies occurring during the course of a year. Officials said according to the DPC clause, the departments should initiate the meeting of the committee at least two months prior to the date of vacancy.

Singh said the delay in convening the meeting has been due to the attachment of the results of the teachers, who are to be considered for promotions.

He said soon the DPC meeting would be called and on the basis of results of the individuals, promotions would be decided.

Meanwhile, the Government Teachers’ Union president, Vinod Sharma, said the representatives of the union would submit a memorandum for convening a DPC meeting soon. He said the department had assured them of timely action on the promotion and recruitment of the employees.

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Selection of Principals
PU mulls giving power to teacher-senators
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
If all goes well in the coming Senate, Panjab University “teacher” Senators will now select college principals.

According to sources, the university is all set to moot a proposal of confining the membership of principal selection committees for those senators only who are into teaching.

The proposal according to many is a fallout of Former Senator Tasrem Bahia’s complaint to the vice-chancellor. Tasrem, based on the information under the RTI, had objected the selection of principals of several Punjab-based colleges by non-teaching employees and senators without the required minimum qualifications.

It may be noted that according to norms, the selection panel for a college principal comprises five members- two from the governing body of college, a college principal, a professor and an eminent educationist. Their qualifications should not be less than that of a professor. In case of a college seeking government aid, two additional nominees from the DPI office are also present.

However, in his complaint to the vice-chancellor’s office, Bahia had accused the university of violating the norms by including “incompetent” Senators in the selection committees.

At that time, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti had justified that all senators are equivalent to professors and they must be nominees, not experts, however, he seems to think otherwise now.

Meanwhile, reacting to the proposal, Bahia asserted, “Strange are the ways of their working. They want to discuss in the Senate that whether they should follow the UGC norms? The members should have minimum qualifications of a professor.”

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Don draws flak for inviting politicians as chief guests
PU panel to take up matter today
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Prof Rupinder Tiwari of the biotechnology department, Panjab University, has allegedly invited the university’s wrath for objecting to frequent inclusions of Punjab politicians in the list of chief guests on various functions.

According to sources, a high power committee comprising the Registrar and Dean, University Instruction, along with other Senators is believed to have been constituted to discuss the implications of an e-mail sent to the Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti by Tiwari. Tiwari, in an e-mail had questioned the fact that when the Punjab government was allegedly not supporting the cause of central status grant to the university then why two ministers were invited as guests to the Rose Festival?

Though Rupinder Tiwari has chosen to be silent on the issue according to one of the Senators, “This is nothing but infringing upon his freedom of speech and expression. As part of the university, he felt something was wrong and objected to it by direct correspondence to the vice-chancellor. What shall this committee discuss that whether any body should object to the university’s actions or not?”

According to many, the matter is not just of an e-mail. Though this mail was sent on February 15, the committee is believed to have been constituted on May 20, the date when Tiwari filed an RTI application seeking information about total number of practical classes taken by Prof Sobti in the last academic year.

“Why did they wake up after almost two months of the e-mail? If the committee has been constituted on the same day, it is nothing but a sheer case of obstructing the flow of information,” one of the professors said. While the committee is all set to meet tomorrow, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti could not be contacted for his comments.

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Govt schools to get facelift
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
A joint meeting of the education and the engineering department was convened under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Ram Niwas here today for renovation and repair work of the government school buildings.

Niwas directed the engineering wing to ensure that all government schools should be provided potable water and a special renovation campaign should be launched during the summer vacation. The chief engineer said the renovation in 40 schools had started.

The Home Secretary also directed the DPI(S) to convene a meeting with the engineering department to speed up the process.

Officials of the engineering department said the renovation had started in the schools during this financial year. The work at 12 schools located in villages had completed and the renovation in 31 schools would be completed during the vacation, they added.

The work on toilets in 62 schools had completed and work in 12 schools was in progress, the officials said.

To get rid of problem of water shortage in schools and to regulate the supply of drinking water during school hours, the engineering department would be constructing underground water reservoirs and sumps, they said.

They added that the work on 34 sumps had completed and rest would be done within two months. The engineering department would also install water coolers in all schools.

The department had initiated the recarpeting work in 12 schools. To provide fresh food under the midday meal scheme, the work on seven cooking sheds had started and they would be handed over to the education department in July, 2009, by the engineering department.

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NIIT varsity to start session from September
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
NIIT University is all set to start its first academic session in September, 2009, at Neemrana in Rajasthan. It aims at developing a new breed of professionals who have deeper industry linkages, a research mindset and whose education is multi-faceted and enabled by the latest technology.

Application forms for the admission would be submitted by June 18, 2009. The university has been developed as an institute of excellence to provide exceptional education based on the four founding principles of learning: industry linked, technology based, research driven and seamless.

Rajendra S Pawar, pro-chancellor NIIT University and chairman, NIIT, said the university was organizing a series of seminars on engineering: To help students who are at the threshold of making career-related decisions, the university is taking these seminars to schools to create awareness for building a successful career in engineering.

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Orientation programme begins at Landran
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 9
A one-month orientation programme for introducing the students of PGDM course to management and its scope started at Chandigarh Business School, Landran, here today.

During the programme, the students would be provided with training in team building, motivation, decision-making, leadership skills, problem solving exercises and total personality development to help shape them according to the needs of the industry. Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman, and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, welcomed the students. They further promised the students for assistance in providing them the best of placements.

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