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Soaring temperatures; Sukhna drying up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The hot and dry weather seems to have taken its toll on the city’s most famous landmark, Sukhna Lake. In fact, bad days are awaiting the lake, with the meteorological department forecasting a “below normal” monsoon in the region.

The lake is bearing the brunt of the receding water table. Besides rising temperature and delayed monsoon, the large-scale silt deposition in the bed, with each passing year, is a matter of concern for the Chandigarh administration.

In Jul, 2008, the water level touched 1,158 ft due to rains in the catchment area of the lake, which was 5 ft below the capacity of 1,163 ft.

However, the level had been coming down since then. While it went down about 8 ft in May, this year, it had gone down further in last few days.

As the Rs 73-crore desiltation project of the administration is stuck at the Centre, there seems to be no solution to the silt in the lake, which has significantly reduced the water storage capacity and area.

The records showed that the average flow of water in the lake from 1958 to 1978 was 7,370 acre ft while in 1999, it was 1,870 acre ft, which was 25 per cent of the average of the past 20 years. In 2006, it was 736 acre ft, which was 10 per cent.

Wet patches on the dry area today indicated the recent receding of the lake waters from the regulator end.

Thrown open to the public by Chandigarh’s creator Le Corbusier in 1958, the lake had been drying up, allegedly on account of lack of proper maintenance and silt deposition. Its water storage capacity is going down at the rate of around 5 per cent per year, with experts claiming that 70-80 per cent lake bed was covered with silt.

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Erratic water supply irks residents
Gaurav Sharma

Chandigarh, June 25
What is the most sought after thing at Adarsh Nagar Colony, Naya Gaon? It is nothing but a bucket of water. While merciless sun and elusive monsoon have left no stone unturned to make the city parched, Adarsh Nagar Colony’s residents are scrambling for even a single bucket of water as erratic water supply has severely affected their day-to-day life.

Ironically, their miserable plight has not been able to sensitise the sluggish Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

Water supply, having reduced from twice in a day to one, that too for half-an-hour, has made the residents’ life a virtual hell. Running after water tankers, squabbling over bucketful of water and living in the dark have become a routine for the residents.

On the other hand this problem has proven to be a boon for owners of water tankers, as they are charging a lot of money for a small amount of water.

“We have been facing huge problems since we barely get water supply in the area. We tried to raise our concerns with the department concerned. However, the authorities have turned a deaf ear to us. It’s a heyday for us if we get three buckets of water. Even after having paid the electricity bill, we are living without electricity and water,” said Anil, a resident. “The water supply in the area is absolutely erratic as you can never be sure of its timing. With the soaring mercury the problem is getting worse. When we asked HS Bajwa, chairman Notified Area Committee, to look into the matter he completely washed his hands of the matter.

When asked, HS Bhola, assistant engineer, water supply and sanitation department, said, “We are trying our best to resolve this crisis. We have also made and announced a schedule of water supply to the residents. We are falling short of electricity supply to provide adequate water supply to the residents.”

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PU diverts quota funds
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Panjab University’s move to “divert” funds (for constructing two hostels) received as advance from the Centre to implement the OBC quota has raised many eyebrows, putting university officials in the dock.

The university reportedly was to get Rs 146 crore to implement the OBC reservation from this academic year and had even received an advance of Rs 5 crore last December. However, while no such reservation was implemented, the money, according to university officials, was utilised in building two hostels.

“How can they do it? If the university didn’t have to implement the quota, why did it demand the funds? And if its implementation was stalled midway, why wasn’t the advance returned? We want a clarification on how the funds were shifted from one head to another and while most funds are returned after the expiry of the duration, on what grounds has Panjab University got the extension to use these funds?” a professor asked.

“The Vice-Chancellor had claimed that it was after February that he learnt he was not supposed to implement any quota. How did he then start building the hostels in January itself? The funds could have not been used for any other purpose,” another professor added.

However, RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, rubbished the claims, saying that the money was being used for the welfare of students with due permission of the authorities concerned.

“We had got the advance and even initiated the process of implementing the reservation as per the directions, but in a subsequent notice, we were told that we did not come in the list of universities that had to implement this quota. After this, we started using the fund for hostels, but it was with the due permission of the authorities. We have got an extension till September to spend the money. All expenses have been approved by the syndicate, senate and the UGC,” he clarified.

Though he said the relevant papers would arrive shortly, sources in the UGC said the transfer of such funds was usually not possible.

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ASI attacked at rly station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A group of railway station vendors and autorickshaw drivers attacked an ASI at the railway police post after he rounded up a tea seller following his altercation with an Armyman. The ASI sustained severe head injuries and was admitted to the General Hospital at Panchkula.

ASI Naresh Kumar said an Armyman who had got down from Kalka Mail and Rakesh, a tea seller, were quarrelling over some issue. He asked both of them to come with him to the police booth for interrogation. When they were on their way, a group of about 15-20 persons carrying rods and sticks attacked him.

The Armyman while he was badly hurt in the attack. Homeguards and policemen standing there saved him and arrested five of the attackers.

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Over 10 PGI doctors down with hepatitis-A
Quality of water at mess suspect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A dozen resident doctors of the PGI have contacted hepatitis-A (jaundice), an acute water-borne infectious disease of the liver caused by a virus (HAV). This news comes close on the heels of the recent outbreak of cholera, also a water-borne disease, at Mohali village.

The blood tests of the doctors, all residing in the Old Doctor Hostel, have confirmed the disease, raising serious questions about the quality of water being supplied to the hostel mess.

While PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar claimed that the water samples collected from the hostel and the mess had tested negative for the HAV virus, the 200-odd doctors who have their meals at mess III, are unwilling to accept this and have already started taking precautions.

According to information, the infected doctors are from various departments, including department of medicine, anaesthesia, gastroenterology, cardiology and ENT, and the only common link between them is that they all were eating meals in the mess.

A doctor from the hepatology department, requesting anonymity, said since the disease was water borne and could spread by the use of contaminated water for even cooking and washing vegetables, the genesis of the disease was bound to be in the quality of the water being supplied at the hostel.

Though the infection was common in all developing countries, it was rare among adults and could have serious repercussions if not treated in time, he said.

The initial symptoms of the disease include diarrhoea and if unconfirmed reports are to be believed, several other doctors have also complained of an upset stomach.

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Safai karamcharis litter ward
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
In a bizarre way of registering protest against the alleged sacking of a safai karamchari by the GMCH authorities, members of the hospital’s safai karamchari association threw garbage in the visitors’ hall of the emergency ward this morning.

It showed their apathy toward ailing and critical patients who are admitted to the emergency every day. The hall, where patients and their attendants wait, was stinking of garbage and there was disgust on the faces of those present there.

The incident happened at around 10 am when about a dozen safai karamcharis landed up in the emergency ward and emptied the bins there.

They were protesting against the alleged sacking of an employee without a valid reason.

Visitors at the ward said the protesters had a problem with the management and they should not take it out on people visiting the hospital.

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Property dispute: Four injured in brawl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A property dispute took a violent turn in Burail yesterday night when two parties clashed over the issue and indulged in stone pelting.

Four members of a family were injured in the assault and were admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and were discharged later. The injured have been identified as Hari Singh, his sister Paramjit Kaur, son Charanjit Singh and Prem Singh.

According to eyewitnesses, the tussle started when Sahib Singh along with his sons and others began constructing a wall on the disputed land. The other party, Hari Singh, objected to it and both parties had a debate. Both the parties turned violent and indulged in stone pelting.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Sudarshan Thakur, and DFSDP (South), Jaswant Khaira, reached the spot and tried to placate both parties.

It was alleged that the assailants continued with the clash and the police failed to nab any one of them on the spot. The police said it would call both parties to verify the issue.

The in charge of the Burail police post sub inspector, Harminderjit Singh, said a case of rioting causing injuries had been registered against Sahib Singh, Avtar Singh and others on a complaint lodged by Hari Singh. Sahib Singh and Avtar Singh had been arrested. 

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Night shelter for homeless
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Nishad, barely 15-year-old, ran away from his house in Uttar Pradesh after stealing Rs 500 from his home just to pay a visit to the city beautiful. Other than Nishad, as many as 17 other children under 18 years of age are living in the night shelter for poor children in Sector 17, named Vineet-17.

Nishad, who is working at Kohinoor Plaza, serves water there, excitedly shared with the adventure of running away from his house. Elaborating the details, he said, “My father is a farmer and I wanted to try new things in life. Thus, just to have a look at city beautiful, I, with seven other children, after stealing money from our house, caught the train to the Northern India. I had come here to roam around, but liked the place.”

An illiterate, Nishad, further narrating his story, added, “Then I started working at the plaza, where I serve water. Every month, I send a major portion of my salary to my family. I am paid Rs 2,700 per month, out of which Rs 1,500 I send to my house.”

Most of the children living here are illiterate and are taught by the caretaker appointed by the NGO running the institute. These children cook their food and live in a tiny room.

Despite the poor living conditions, humidity and overcrowded room, these children are a happy lot here. For their entertainment, these children have a television set running, which is turned on to hear music early in the morning. By 9 am, all these children are ready for their morning drill and remain on their toes till 9 pm. A working shift of ten hours does not bother them. Sanjeevan, who is working at a fruit shop in Sector 17, smiled, “All the children here are paid from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per month and are very happy. In fact, most of us had come here just to roam around and are enjoying earning a living here.”

Most of the children living here are below 18 years of age, illiterate and are working at some food stall, some roadside vendor or a shop. 

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Contract teachers form human chain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
As a part of the ongoing agitation of the contractual government school teachers of Chandigarh, a human chain comprising teachers and their families was formed today from Matka Chowk towards cricket stadium for pursuing their demand of regularisation.

It is recalled that the contractual teachers are demanding regularisation of their services on the plea that by now, they have experience of about 13 years of teaching the students in government schools of Chandigarh. In a related development, Pawan Kumar Bansal, after hearing the deputation of the teachers, has written a detailed letter on June 23, 2009, to the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, whereby he strongly recommended the regularisations of contractual teachers.

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Highway experts discuss quality control
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A two-day northern region workshop on quality control in roads and bridges was inaugurated by Kulbir Singh, Secretary PWD (Bridges and Road), at the CII headquarters here today.

The sessions were chaired by RP Indoria, Secretary General, Indian Road Congress (IRC); RP Singh, Chief Engineer (PMGSY); and MS Nijjar, Joint Secretary, Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board, who is also the local organising secretary for the workshop.

The workshop is being jointly hosted by the IRC and the Punjab government. In this workshop, 200 experts, including highway experts, policy makers, consultants, contractors and engineers from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, are participating.

The IRC, a premier technical body of highway engineers in the country, provides a forum for discussion and dissemination of knowledge to road engineers across the country.

A presentation on quality assurance system and quality management in road and bridge projects was made by Ninan Koshi, former DG (RD) and additional secretary, Ministry of Surface Transport, while a talk on quality control in flexible pavement was made by Sunil Bose, head of Flexible Pavement Division, CRRI. Another presentation was on quality control in rigid pavement made by R.K. Jain, former chief engineer, Haryana PWD (B&R).

Among the important presentations expected tomorrow are those on quality control in bridges and structures (flyovers) and on equipment selection, operation and management. 

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SMEs get tips on IT benefits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Dell India today addressed the needs of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at PHDCC House, Chandigarh, through a seminar on ‘Information Technology - Advantage for SMEs’.

The consortium of SME owners, Dell as well as PHDCC representatives came together at this platform to share knowledge, discuss and address key IT issues so that IT implementation could help them expand their businesses.

Through this initiative, PHDCC and Dell India reached out to SMEs operational in the fled of pharmaceuticals, IT, ITES and manufacturing from Chandigarh, Mohali, Dera Bassi, Nalagarh, Baddi and the Barotiwala belt.

“In an age where technology is being used as a differentiating factor, an ever increasing number of small and medium businesses are realising the value that technology adoption has to offer.

However, more often than not they don’t always know where to seek guidance.

Dell started as a small business and understands unique small businesses’ needs. With India among its key markets, Dell intends to help small and medium businesses in the country to grow with a suite of specific products and simplified IT solutions geared for their needs,” said Ravi Bharadwaj, general manager - SMB, Dell India.

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Inside Babudom
City youth is private secy to Commerce Minister
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
As most of the members of the Union Council of Ministers have settled down in their new departments, many of them have got civil servants of their choice posted on their personal staff.

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has chosen Asish Kundra, a Chandigarh boy, to be his Private Secretary. Kundra, who belongs to the 1994 batch of the AGMUT cadre, has worked in the union territory of Chandigarh as a Subdivisional Magistrate.

His father, Ashok Kundra, a 1966 batch Punjab cadre IAS officer, retired in 2001. He is now settled in Sector 44-B here.

Rohit Kansal, a 1995 batch IAS officer belonging to Jammu and Kashmir, has been made Private Secretary to Dr Farooq Abdullah in the New and Renewable Energy Ministry. Both Asish Kundra and Rohit Kansal are holding positions equivalent to Deputy Secretary.

Ravi Kota, a 1993 batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, has been appointed Private Secretary to the Union Minister for Mines. He will, however, hold a rank equivalent to a Director.

Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, has chosen a 1987 Indian Forest Service civil servant, A James Kurian, to be his Private Secretary. Kurian belongs to the AGMUT cadre and will also be in the rank equivalent to a Director in the Union government.

Similarly, the Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister has chosen a civil servant from his own state, Tamil Nadu.

Pradeep Yadav, who belongs to the 1992 batch of IAS, will be his private secretary.

Another senior civil servant to be chosen for the Private Secretary’s job is Sadhna Shankar, an IRS (Income Tax) civil servant belonging to the 1987 batch. Shankar, too, will be in the rank of a Director.

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Curbing Fraud
Police, bank officials discuss strategies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
The Chandigarh police yesterday held a meeting with 56 officers of various nationalised and private banks from the city to take steps to prevent banking related frauds.

The meeting organised at the police headquarters in Sector 9 here chaired by DIG (headquarters) Mahabir Singh was attended by 56 bank officials of assistant general manager rank, besides Chandigarh police officials.

A UT police spokesperson said it was decided at the meeting that the field investigation agency employed by the banks should be made liable for the reports submitted by it to the bank.

An official of the bank should countersign the formal investigation report and be responsible for the same.

The officials instructed that bank officials should personally verify the documents of a walk-in-customer opening an account.

Antecedent of bank representative, franchises or DMA must be verified in order to confirm their involvement in any cheating case in the past, it was added.

In addition to this, the police told the bank officials to make their customers aware about the growing menace of phishing, hacking and skimming to prevent electronics frauds.

On security arrangements, the police asked the officials to ensure that only trained persons be appointed as guards and CCTV cameras be installed at all 
vital points.

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VAT: Eating at dhabas to cost more
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Digging into your favourite dish at a dhaba in Chandigarh is going to cost more with the Chandigarh Administration bringing these eating joints under the purview of the value added tax (VAT).

In fact, if recent notices to scores of city dhaba owners by the department of excise and taxation are any indications, the foodies can expect a 15-20 per cent increase in the food budget in the near future.

“A sharp increase in the costs of inputs and the payment of VAT would certainly push up the prices of the eatables,” a dhaba owner said.

Sources said decks for the levy of VAT on local dhabas were cleared following a clarification from the Central government on the deemed assessment of pending VAT cases recently.

Following the clarification, the department went into an overdrive and shot off notices to the dhaba owners for the payment of the VAT.

Under the Punjab Value Added Tax Act, 2005, the cash-strapped Punjab government had imposed a lump sum tax on the dhabas in 2008. While earlier the government wanted the dhaba owners to maintain account books for the payment of tax but practical problems forced it to opt for the lump sum VAT depending on the total turnover of the eating joints.

The lowest lump sum annual VAT for the dhabas having the turnover from Rs 5 lakh to less than Rs 15 lakh was Rs 10,000. For the turnover of Rs 1.5 crore to less than Rs 2 crore it was Rs 1.75 lakh. And for the dhabas having the turnover of over Rs 2 crore actual rate of the VAT will have to be paid.

Though Chandigarh boasts of several high-end dhabas, including Sher-e-Punjab and Pal Dhaba, the dhaba business was by a large "disorganised". A senior official said the administration was also studying Punjab model for the payment of lump sum tax as it would save the dhaba owners and department from the "botheration" of paper work.

Meanwhile, Sudhir Talwar, a Sector-17 dhaba owner, urged the administration to follow Punjab pattern, as a majority of the dhaba owners would find it difficult to maintain the account books for the calculation of the VAT amount.

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Epidemic Threat
DC tells authorities to take preventive measures
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
Waking up to the epidemic threats in the slums of the town, Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Yadav has directed the officials concerned from different agencies to gear up the preventive measures while coordinating with each other.

Convening a meeting of officials from the Haryana Urban Development Authority, the Municipal Committee and the health department, Yadav told them to visit all areas with potential threat and take appropriate measures.

Though it was observed that all departments had started taking steps in this direction, things were not working out due to a lack of coordination between the three departments. Yadav also asked the public health department to explain that why the pipes going through the nullah could not be elevated for the last one year.

The XEN, public health, apprised the Deputy Commissioner that the new main water supply pipeline from the tubewell had been laid and work on replacing old pipes carrying water to public taps installed at Rajiv colony was under process.

The orders of inspection of the slums and fumigation had been issued to MC officials and the civic body had been asked to put in more manpower in these areas before the onset of monsoon to bring things in order, said Yadav.

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More cases of cholera in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 25
Even as the authorities concerned have so far failed to detect the source of cholera after an outbreak of the disease had struck Mohali village on Saturday, more patients poured in at the Civil Hospital here today for treatment.

Civil surgeon Dr Avtar Singh said only four patients suffering from gastroenteritis were admitted in the hospital today. At the camp medicines were given to 23 patients who suffered from minor infections.

A total of 235 patients had reached the hospital since Saturday out of which 173 were admitted. At present there were only 36 admissions in the hospital, the rest have been discharged.

A camp set up in the village by the health department to help patients who suffered minor infections will remain functional till Saturday. Officials also tried to create awareness in Mohali and Madanpur villages using mikes. People were told about the do’s and don’t’s to prevent themselves from water-borne infections.

Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand had yesterday set up a committee to probe the reasons that led to the spread of cholera and diarrhoea among residents of Mohali village. Six water samples collected by health officials had failed potability test. These samples were collected from water taps, hand pumps and illegal tubewells functioning at Mohali village.

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Martyr remembered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
Rich tributes were paid to Major Sandeep Sagar, the martyr of Operation Vijay, on his tenth anniversary, here today. While the families of martyrs from Panchkula accompanied Harbans Lal Sagar, father of Major Sandeep, to pay homage at Major Sandeep Sagar Memorial Chowk, the district administration was represented by Rajpal, SDM, Panchkula.

Major Sandeep Sagar, who was commissioned in the Army in June 1995 after graduating from DAV College, Chandigarh, was martyred on June 25, 1999, in a mine blast at Naushera Sector.

As a tribute to the war hero, the state government named Sectors 7, 8, 17 and 18 roundabout as Major Sandeep Sagar Memorial Chowk and also built a platform in his memory in the park of Sector 8, adjacent to the chowk.

The officials from JAK regiment and JAK Light Infantry Battalion were also present on the occasion.

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Woman dies in mishap

Mohali, June 25
A resident of Chandigarh was killed in an accident after a truck collided with a motorcycle near PCL Chowk here late last night.

According to the police, Vipin Kumar, a resident of Sector 44, Chandigarh, was coming on a motorcycle with his wife, Aarti Rana, on the road coming from Sector 71, and when he reached the chowk, he was hit by a truck coming from the side of Spice Chowk. Vipin Kumar sustained minor injuries. His wife got seriously injured and later succumbed to her injuries. — OC

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Centre for mentally challenged kids
Rodrigues wants work speeded up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Setting a deadline for completing the first phase of Regional Centre for Mentally Challenged Children, Sector 31, and making it operational by August 1, 2009, UT Administrator SF Rodrigues today asked the Home Secretary and Finance Secretary to start the process of arranging equipment, trained manpower along with participation of NGOs to run various programmes.

During his visit to the site, Rodrigues discussed strategies to make the place friendly for mentally challenged with a provision of educational and vocational training as per their abilities.

The Chandigarh Administration, keeping in view the special needs of 1,000 mentally challenged children of North, conceptualised the project. The centre would be completed in three phases and the first phase would accommodate 300 children, he said. He added that they would be provided education, vocational training and therapeutic intervention.

The centre being set up on an 8.5-acre area would have a covered area of 1,80,000 sq ft with three blocks. The four-storey building had nearly been completed and around Rs 5.5 crore had been spent on this block. 

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Selja to visit city on June 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
With Chandigarh acting as a gateway to Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and nearby hill sojourns, the Union Minister of Tourism, Selja, would visit the city on June 29 to review its tourism potential and to promote it further as a tourism destination.

Sources said the minister would be meeting the UT officials to discuss issues pertaining to the tourism sector like revenue collection, tourists’ spots, infrastructure and development, hospitality sector and hotel industry. The minister would be visiting the city for the first time after her inclusion in the Cabinet.

As Chandigarh is a halt destination for domestic tourists en route various hill destinations, the booming tourism sector has a lot of scope further, an official said.

The city, defacto, has become a transit destination for the nearby tourists’ spots in other states, which holds true, particularly in the backdrop of about 7 lakh domestic tourists and around 40,000 foreigners visiting the city last year. As more than 30,000 foreigners visit the city per year, there is a lot of scope of expansion, especially in the hospitality industry. The administration will chalk out a strategy to explore the same, the UT Home Secretary, Ram Niwas, said.

“Also, the cosmopolitan culture works for Chandigarh and makes it a tourist-friendly city. Meanwhile, after meeting the UT officials, the minister will be addressing the media on promoting Chandigarh on the country’s tourism map.

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Home Secy meets welfare body

Chandigarh, June 25
UT Home Secretary today held a meeting with the chairman and office-bearers of FOSWAC to discuss various issues here yesterday.

Deputy Commissioner; UT Commissioner; MC Chief Engineer; Chief Executive Officer, Chandigarh Housing Board; and Chief Architect were also present at the meeting.

It was decided to examine and clear 52 amendments to CHB flats within four months.

He also directed the Chief Architect to examine the problem of industrial workers’ houses in Sector 30-B in consultation with the Assistant Estate Officer.

The problem of conversion of cheap houses from lease to free-hold was also directed to be examined by the Deputy Commissioner. 

It was decided to provide civic amenities in southern sectors, including bus queue shelters, in Sectors 7, 32, 48 and 51. — TNS

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Counselling slips hard to come by, still
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
It seems that Chandigarh education department’s tall claims of simple and less time-consuming receipt of admission forms for Class XI has been exposed. While visiting various centres today, it was found that the students were facing difficulty in getting their final counselling date slips after the submission of admission forms. The students were asked to come after two days to get their final counselling slip, which is main requirement on the day of counselling.

Rajiv Verma, father of one of the student, a resident of Zirakpur, who came to submit his sons’ admission form, revealed that it was sheer harassment of the students and parents to revisit the centre to get their final counselling slips.

He said why the authorities could not appoint sufficient staff for issuing counselling slip on the day of submission of form by the students. Rather than deputing just two computer operators, authorities could engage more staff to smoothen the work of submission of admission forms and issuing of counselling slips.

Another student, Shenam, who had visited the centre thrice to get her final counselling date, was in confusion, as she had not able to trace the responsible person whom she should approach to get her work done.

Officials in the education department accepted that they had received complaints from the centres about the shortage of staff for receiving the forms.

They said the additional staff was being appointed at the centres to streamline the functioning there.

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Career options in English
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 25
English has entrenched so much in the roots of Indian sub-continent that every student wants to acquire an expertise when it comes to writing and speaking it.

A graduate in English may start his career as a translator or interpreter in media houses, research institutes, industrial houses and government agencies, like Ministry of External Affairs and embassies of foreign countries. They can also work as tourist guides in tour and travel agencies or can work independently. There are also ample opportunities for linguists as online content writer, technical translators and decoders. They can also join various jobs available in the field of entertainment, public relations, mass communication, BPOs and KPOs. However, English language graduates and postgraduates can take up teaching in schools, colleges and universities. They also can start private tutorials and coaching institutes.

BA functional English, as a major subject, has emerged as one of the demanding subjects at bachelor’s level. The subject is quite different from English honours as it deals with the practical aspects of the subject. In general English, you have to lay your hands on the literature ranging from Victorian to Postmodernism era, whereas functional English is a blend of business writing, journalistic writing, script writing, content writing, speech skills, linguistics and many more.

Vidula Sahajpal, senior lecturer at MCM DAV College, says, “English, being a popular mode of communication, has attracted many students. English has become indispensable part of every student. It is one of the keys to success. Functional English is oriented towards journalism as it involves journalistic writing, intonation, modulation of speech. It is more of a practical aspect of the subject.

Emphasising the importance of the course, Shelley Walia, head of the English department, PU, said, “The subject is more based on the communication skills. In today’s globalised world, you have to survive and excel in your profession, for which command over language is must. When the cultures know no boundary, English has proved to be an effective tool to exchange notes between distinct cultures.”

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CBSE Class X Results
Student gets 95 marks, shown 45
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
It seems that CBSE authorities are least bothered while preparing the correct result of board examination. In one of the cases, result of a Chandigarh student, Mehak Narang, who appeared in Class X examinations, she got 90 plus marks in every subject expected in English, in which she got only 45 marks.

Narang said she could not believe as when she had performed so well in all the subjects, how her marks in English were so low.

On the advice of her teachers, she applied for re-evaluation in English subject.

Narang said she was shocked when she received a letter from the Central Board of Secondary Education, regional office, Sector 5, Panchkula. The result pointed out that after verification, a mistake had been detected, and her revised mark sheet showed 95 marks in English.

Narang said it was sheer harassment for the students. She said if her teacher had not guided her about rechecking of the paper, she would not have been able to know her actual marks and make her trust come true about the paper.

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