C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HS role as CVO under cloud
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Bringing under a cloud his role as the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), Ram Niwas, the Home Secretary (HS), has forwarded the proposal of Jolly, the main accused in the recent recruitment scam, for a tourism project in the city.

Highlights of Jolly Good Consumables project

n Display of objective of Chandigarh Tourism/pictures at important locations at Sector 17, Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden, Rock Garden and Botanical Garden, besides other places.
n Having road show once a month for promotion of tourism.
n Providing manpower facilities at tourist places as and when required by the Chandigarh Administration.
n All expenses for installation of LED screens at site and expenses for operator and security guards will be borne by firm.
n The mobile LED screen will be electrically operated if mounted on wall. Power back-up to be provided in case of failure of electricity through silent operator.
n The aim to promote Chandigarh tourism and have their branding. If any other facility is needed, to be done.

Papers in the possession of The Tribune reveal that Ram Niwas forwarded a proposal on March 18 of Jolly Good Consumables to the Director Tourism, Samwarthak Singh, to “please examine” a project on “promotion of Chandigarh tourism”.

The Home Secretary said “the issue of considering the proposal of Jolly for a tourism project holds no relevance in the recruitment scam. It was, in my capacity as the CVO, who got telephones of the accused tapped immediately after I got the information. The phones remained under survelliance for three days. Records will speak about the case.”

The Home Secretary said “I might have met Jolly as a part of my routine office job. I get scores of papers daily that are forwarded to the departments concerned and his proposal might have sounded interesting enough to be forwarded for examination. I do not remember having seen him. The matter of the fact is that the investigations will soon divulge all details”.

Reliable sources in the administration, however, reacted differently. “If the HS had forwarded the papers, there are chances of the two having met. In routine, a proposal is moved from the bottom to the top. He should have forwarded papers for examination only when the party concerned convinced him. Only Jolly can speak the truth.”

The sources said “the HS is likely to have made a detailed study of the project because it was an interesting free-service offer. There are chances of the party having met him for the proposal of information centres at different places, road shows and LED facilities. All costs were to be borne by the company.”

Another officer said “it will also be interesting to find out the background on experience of Jolly in tourism because preliminary enquiries have not given any details of any commendable experience. We learnt that Jolly had earlier dealt with SIM cards of a private telecom operator and was now into the readymade garments business.”

The police, meanwhile, has not submitted the enquiry report on the involvement of the DPI, Samwarthak Singh, in the recruitment scam.

Madhur Verma, the SP, said “we have not finalised the report and will not be able to comment on the issue, at the moment”. At the same time, it is reliably learnt that the police had found nothing substantiating against the DPI, particularly related to the issue of telephonic conversations or SMSes with Jolly.

It is also learnt that despite a move to repatriate the DPI, the Governor wants to give him a fair chance till the probe is over.



Contractors unwilling to take up MC works
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
No contractors are coming up to take up projects of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation due to which the projects approved two years ago by the general house have yet to see the light of the day.

Sources revealed that there was a controversy between the contractors and the corporation on the issue of following the central schedule of rates for the works rather than daily schedule rates. Due to this, most of the tenders floated by the corporation of any department got negligible response from the contractors.

Sources stated that also the increased rates of the material and its short supply also became a big hurdle in undertaking the projects.Till September, no material was available with the corporation to take up works in the city.

Referring to the project of plaza in Sector 17, officials revealed that they had invited tenders four times and every time they ended up with no response from the contractors for it. Most of the contractors who approached the authorities were not suitable as per the norms or they were quoting very high price for it.

Officials said in the last tendering, they had got a suitable contractor for this work and soon this work would be allotted to that company.

In another work, about the widening of roads and shifting of streetlights in Sector 33, tenders were called and 16 contractors purchased the tenders documents, but no tender was received till due date and the authorities are planning to re-invite the tenders.

Officials revealed that a project of multi play system was approved last year for various green belts and gardens of the city. The corporation has been inviting its tenders since January 2008 but till date, the work has not been allotted, as the authorities had not been able to get a qualified and suitable contractor for this work.

It may be recalled that a number of times, councillors had pointed out in the house that the MC officials were not following the norms of giving sufficient time gap between the date on which detail notice inviting tender (DNIT) was finally approved and tenders opened.

They also alleged that something fishy was going on in following the procedure for the allotment of the work and in some cases, officials had already decided about the contractor to whom the work would be allocated.

Even MC Mayor Kamlesh had pointed out at the house meeting held in September last as to why the officials do not put DNIT on corporation website so that more contractors could apply for the works and the departments would get more options.

MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria said to solve this problem, the corporation had formulated a standardised norm for preparing the estimates and tendering from this year so that more qualified contractors could apply for the contract.



Nari Niketan Case
War of words between admn, Trust hots up
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The war of letters between the UT administration and Delhi-based National Trust does not seem to end. Five days after the UT administration had spurned the trust’s offer of financial package, convener of the Disabled Rights Group (DRG) Javed Abidi has shot a fresh missive, questioning this decision and accusing the officials here of behaving as if being above the law.

In a letter sent to the UT Administrator Abidi, who is also a member of the committee formed by the Delhi-based National Trust to chalk out a road map for securing the future of the girl and her to-be-born-child, said, the “assistance package” is not for the Chandigarh administration. It is for the girl. He further said, “The National Trust is meant for the welfare of people not the administration. How can the Chandigarh administration take the decision to refuse any aid being offered to the girl?”

Maintaining that they had given no assurance to the apex court about adopting the victim, Abidi said, “We had only stated that the Trust is willing to look after the interests of the woman, including assistance with child care.”

He said the UT administration was wrongly interpreting this assurance and unnecessarily creating a deceptive scenario by saying that the Trust had promised to adopt the girl and now they refused all help and advice.

“The apex court had categorically mandated that best medical care facilities should be provided to the girl, but nowhere it has been said that this should be done by the Trust,” he said, adding that it’s obvious that this responsibility lay on the administration since the victim was here. Only in the event of any grievance, the Punjab and Haryana High Court needs to be approached, he added.

He questioned the administration’s move of approaching the High Court. He further asked why this grievance had not been communicated to either the National Trust or the sub-committee formed to look into this case.

Reacting sharply to the Chandigarh Administration’s stand for refusing all help and advice by the National Trust, Abidi said, Home Secretary Ram Niwas and UT Senior Standing Counsel Anupam Gupta are not above the law of the land. “This is not a standalone case. It will set a big precedent for all times to come. Not only the country but also the entire world is watching this case and watching it keenly.”



Cold store raided, samples collected
Tribune News Service

Members of the local health authority and others take samples of sweets during a raid at Khukhrain cold storage and ice factory in Industrial Area, Chandigarh, on Saturday.
Members of the local health authority and others take samples of sweets during a raid at Khukhrain cold storage and ice factory in Industrial Area, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, October 10
In an apparent delayed action that may yield no positive result, the UT health department today conducted a raid at the Khukhrain cold store and collected over 18 samples of khoya and other products to check adulteration.

The report would be out after the festive season. A joint team of the Chandigarh police, the SDM (east) and the UT health department raided the Khukhrain cold storage opposite the Centra Mall.

The health officials took samples of khoya and other products from cold storage, storing the products of around 15 sweetmeat shops, including Gopal Sweets, Sector 8, Govind Sweets, Sector 46, Fauji Sweets and Dhaba, Mani Majra, New Krishna Sweets, Sector 23, Kailash Hotel and Sweets, Adarsh Sweets, Sector 29, Rakesh Bhawra Sweets, Ram Darbar, Chandigarh Sweets House, Daria, Dildar Sweets, Sector 47, Mohan Sweets, Sector 29, Kamal Sweets, Daria, Talwar Brothers, Sector 15, New Class Sweets and Diary, Sector 30, New Delhi Sweets, Phase II, and Chand Sweets Private Limited.

The samples were sent to the Punjab and Haryana laboratory, Sector 11, for checking. Officials said strict action would be taken against those found involved in selling adulterated items.

The raids were conducted to check the supply of adulterated edible commodities a few day before Diwali. “But the testing will require at least three weeks, and therefore, results will be known after Diwali,” said health officials.

According to health officials, nearly 60 per cent of the demand of khoya in Chandigarh was met from Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh.

Khoya required cold storage till utilisation, otherwise its shelf life was between 24 and 36 hours, but when mixed with sweetener, this increased to 10 days. In a deep refrigerator, the product might last for two months.


Forum summons GMADA chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 10
The Mohali Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Chief Administrator, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), to appear before the forum on October 12 for failing to comply with its orders to reimburse Rs 69,664 to a complainant.

In May this year, the forum had held GMADA responsible for forcing an allottee to pay an additional stamp duty of Rs 69,664 towards the registration charges of conveyance deed of his property. GMADA officials delayed the processing of the complainant’s application by over six months, forcing him to pay the additional stamp duty.

Holding GMADA responsible for deficiency in service, the forum directed it to reimburse Rs 69,664 and levied Rs 5,000 on it.

The order was passed after Manmohan Singh, a resident of Sector 65, moved an application before the forum, stating that he was a retired government servant and constructed a house in 2001.

To get the property registered, he moved an application with GMADA to get a conveyance deed on June 1, 2007. He was asked to take his documents twice, but GMADA failed to provide the same. He had to make at least 15 visits to the GMADA office to track his case. The papers were finally handed over to him on February 25, 2008.

When he went to the office of the registrar to get the conveyance deed registered, he was told to deposit an additional stamp duty of Rs 69,664, in addition to the due stamp duty of Rs 1,45,000. The additional cost was demanded on account of the enhancement of land price.

“If the papers had been given before September 2007, the additional stamp duty would not have been charged,” he said.



IT Raids
Business house  surrenders Rs 4 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The search and seizure operations conducted by the Income Tax Department on the premises of Kumar Brothers yesterday yielded rich dividends, as the owner of the business house made a voluntary surrender of concealed income to the extent of Rs 4 crore.

According to an official spokesperson of the department (Investigation), Kumar brothers surrendered the concealed income and gave an undertaking to pay the due tax before the end of the financial year.

IT sleuths conducted the search and seizure operations at seven business premises including residence of the Kumar brothers in Sector 2, and 15 in Chandigarh. According to information, the group runs a chain of chemist shops in PGI and Sector 11, besides a number of several other businesses including Kumar Mega Mall, Sector 26, liquor vends in Sector 10, 17, 48 and 49.

According to sources, papers revealing huge discrepancies in stocks have also been allegedly discovered along with unaccounted investment documents running into crores of rupees.

Several teams of the Income Tax Department, comprising more than 150 officials and supporting staff, were deployed for carrying out the raids on various premises located in various sectors. The raid was conducted under the supervision of MS Rai, Director-General of Income Tax (Investigation). A team led by deputy director (investigation) started the survey around 7 am yesterday and continued till late evening today.



Govt plans NAC for Lalru 
Rajmeet Singh & Rajiv Bhatia

Mohali, October 10
After Zirakpur and Derabassi, the state government is all set to announce notified area committee (NAC) in Lalru. An announcement in this regard is expected in the coming days.

“The NAC would ensure planned development in the sleepy village-turned-township on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway. Since it is one of the gateways to Punjab, it’s location along the national highway could turn out to be an asset for the area,” said an official in the Local Government Department, while confirming that the department had planned NAC for Lalru and its adjoining 11 villages for regulated urban growth in Chandigarh’s periphery.

Though the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department has not come out with a master plan of Lalru, the regional plan outlines the land use pattern. While Zirakpur and Dera Bassi have municipal councils, Lalru currently has a gram panchayat.

Official sources said the proposal has been hanging fire since four years. During elections, both he Congress and the Akalis had been making promises for NAC in Lalru. The proposed areas, including population, to be included in the NAC has reportedly been worked out.

The areas likely to be included in the NAC are Lalru, Lalru Mandi, Samalhedi, Magra, Bassi, Dappar, Jalalpur, Hasanpur, Lehli, Dehar, Alamgir and Chauhndedi.

Under the plan, an area of around 3,000 acres is likely to form a part of the NAC. The Lalru-Dera Bassi belt had a huge potential to raise resources for planned development. With major industrial units setting up plants here, the constitution of the NAC was the need of the hour as factory workers, executives and residents would prefer to live in planned colonies. Besides, real estate players are already eyeing land in and around the township along the highway for housing projects. The four-laning of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway has also enhanced the importance of the area. 



PEC students launch modified rickshaw
Tribune News Service

The re-designed rickshaw model launched by PEC students.
The re-designed rickshaw model launched by PEC students. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, October 10
Students of PEC University of Technology today unveiled a re-designed rickshaw which promises to score over the old one in comfort, style and durability.

The PEC students were challenged by the Chandigarh administration to improve the existing design of the rickshaw.

A team of nine students of the institute designed and manufactured the rikshaw. They are currently testing the modified design.


l Weight reduction of 25 kg
l Low foot board
l Ample space for luggage
l Spacious seat
l Complete back rest
l Easily retractable canopy

“We took the issue seriously. The existing design is highly uncomfortable for both passengers and pullers. We have added comfort and increased the seating and luggage capacity, while significant weight has been reduced,” said a student.

“The modified design will also last longer, as it is made by an all tubular frame. We believe that the design, which uses minimal wood, can save trees,” said a member of the team.

Students, who have put effort are Sahib Singh, Chandra Mohan Jakhar, Ankit Rampuria, Jaspreet Singh, Abhishek Kausahal, Sahil Bansal, Bhisham Mittal, Ankit Munjal and Ishank Sharma.



Body to help victims like me, says Fiza
Tribune News Service

Fiza, the former wife of Chander Mohan, at a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club on Saturday.
Fiza, the former wife of Chander Mohan, at a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club on Saturday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, October 10
Claiming to be a victim of male chauvinism at the hands of Chander Mohan, former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, his ex-wife Fiza Mohammed has announced that she will set up a body to help such victims.

The work on the formation of the body has already been initiated with the help of the president of the Indian Overseas Congress, California, US.

Addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club here, Fiza said the organisation, which was already finding patrons among Saudi Arabian, Australian and US NRIs, would take up the matter of women left behind to struggle after their exploitation at the hands of their husbands.

Vikram Bajwa, president of the Indian Overseas Congress, California, who was accompanying Fiza, said there were 5,000 matrimonial disputes pending in courts of Punjab, out of which 60 per cent pertained to women deserted by their NRI husbands. The organisation would take steps in helping them, he added.



Zirakpur MC may get another village
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 10
While the Zirakpur MC has failed to provide basic amenities in all 13 villages falling within its jurisdiction, the local government is contemplating to include yet another village -- Ramgarh Phudha -- in MC limits.

The village falls along the Zirakpur-Patiala road. With around 500 acres, the MC was eyeing the revenue from leasing the land in the village. The gram panchayat of the village has also been insisting upon the local government department to include it within the MC limits.

With shortage of funds, the MC is finding it hard to maintain the villages already included in the MC limits.

Taking up the proposal, the Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, has called a meeting tomorrow of the departments concerned to decide upon the matter. The proposal has come from the deputy director, local government, Patiala.

In 2006, the municipal limits of the township had been extended with the inclusion of two more villages -- Nabha and Singhpura.

The Punjab government at that time had extended the limits for the “development of the area in a planned manner” and to check haphazard urban growth.

Earlier, the government had asked the Nagar Panchayat to send a “proposal for including those areas of Nabha and Singhpura, which have the potential for generating revenue and urbanisation to the Punjab Government”.



Forum penalises bank Rs 20,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The District Consumer and Disputes Forum has directed IDBI Bank to pay a compensation of Rs 20,000 to a complainant and to refund a sum of Rs 43, 875 to the complainant received by it as interest in excess to the interest due to him.

The forum has also directed to pay Rs 5000 to the aggrieved party as litigation expenses.

Rajesh Kumar of Sector 50, on October 29, 2004, took a loan of Rs10 lakh for a fully built-up flat. The loan was sanctioned at an interest @ 7% p.a. It was specifically mentioned that the interest rate would be reviewed at the end of three years from the date of final disbursement under the facility. The final disbursement of the loan was made on January 10, 2005.

According to the complainant, the bank increased the rate of interest through a letter dated January 10, 2005, from 7% to 7.5% p.a, which was against the agreement.

According to the complainant, the bank illegally charged in excess a sum of Rs 43875 as interest from them. It was further averred that the complainant made representation to the bank from time to time to refund the amount taken as interest in excess but to no effect. In the reply filed by the bank, it was admitted that the complainant took a loan of Rs 10 lakh @ 7% p.a. to purchase a built-up flat.

According to the bank, the rate of interest was floating and it was to be reviewed after every quarter i.e. April 10th, July 10th, October 10th and January 10th of every year. There was some mistake in the letter of sanction, which was rectified, and the complainant was accordingly intimated. 



Bansal releases book on cancer
Tribune News Service

Pawan Bansal, Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, and Perneet Kaur, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, release a book on cancer by Prof SM Bose at Bhargava Auditorium, PGI, Chandigarh, on Saturday.
Pawan Bansal, Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, and Perneet Kaur, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, release a book on cancer by Prof SM Bose at Bhargava Auditorium, PGI, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, October 10
Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal released a book “Cancer”, authored by Dr SM Bose, former head of the department of surgery, PGI, during a cancer awareness function organised at the PGI today.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur was the guest of honour, while PGI Director Prof KK Talwar presided over the function.

Delivering a lecture on cancer awareness and early diagnosis, Dr SM Bose said: “When cancer invades body, it produces some response. This can be observed by the patient and symptoms like change in bowel or bladder habit, a sore that does not heal, unusual bleeding or discharge from any source, swelling in any part of the body, indigestion or difficulty in swallowing, obvious change in wart or mole, nagging cough or hoarseness of voice are signals of cancer.”

Dr Bose said biopsy was the only sure test for diagnosing cancer. It is not always fatal as 33 per cent of cancer patients can be cured, 33 per cent of the cases could be controlled in early stage and 80 per cent can be cured. “The rate of progression of cancer may vary and it can be slow growing or very rapid in progression,” he added.

On this occasion, a group of cancer survivors also shared their experiences. 



Mobile library for senior citizens a hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Library at the doorstep for senior citizens and disabled has become a hit with more people coming forward to register themselves as member of the special library.

Suraj P Nagpal, state librarian, said the staff had been receiving four to five calls every day and most of the queries came from those residing in sectors located at a distance from the library such as sectors 38, 40 and 49 and Mani Majra.

Bikram Rana, state liaison officer, NSS Cell, said the scheme might have some grey spots in implementation but they were determined to remove them.



No joy beckons them this Diwali
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
This festive season, while all city outlets are out to woo customers through exhibitions and shopping festivals, several kids who have toiled the year round under the ‘kind’ patronage of the UT Administration preparing diyas, candles etc, are struggling to sell their work.

With the UT Education Department discontinuing initiatives like Diwali melas etc in government schools, hundreds of street kids who are a part of various programs being run by NGOs in schools are yet to find a platform to sell their work.

“For these street kids, it is non-scholastic activities which prove to be more exciting rather than books. All the year round, we teach them various things like making diyas, candles or Diwali-specific items and they are very hopeful of selling them and earning some money.

Though the administration has been kind enough to give us space in their schools, this year, we are yet to get any proper place, wherein we can sell handicrafts of these kids,” said an NGO coordinator.

“For these kids, earning Rs 3 by selling a diya is a very big thing. Prior to this, we had some fest or Diwali melas in schools, wherein these kids will present and sell their work but now we have no place to go except at a coordinator’s house.

The Administration needs to understand that while all schoolchildren have their annual functions fests etc, these kids just have occasions like this to reap the true fruit of their labour,” added another.



Gau gram yatra reaches city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The Vishv Mangal Gau Gram Yatra, which commenced from Kurukshetra on September 30, reached the city yesterday and organised a function on the Ramlila ground in Sector 27.

The yatra will conclude at Nagpur on January 17, 2010. The rally was addressed by Shankararcharya Rageshwar Bharti and Mahant Ram Prakash Das.

The main aim of the yatra is to seek national animal status for cow and to have law against cow slaughter. 



Industrial Area Heist
Police still clueless
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 10
A day after the Industrial Area robbery of around Rs 23 lakh, the police has failed to identify the 18 suspects involved in the heist.

The cops, however, claimed that they were conducting raids in the tricity and Mandi Gobindgarh, Fateghgarh Sahib and Ambala.

Even as the police is suspecting involvement of some employees of the factory, it has not been able to establish their link with the robbers.

JS Cheema, DSP (East), said, “We are investigating the matter. We will soon be able to nab the accused.”

However, Cheema refused to divulge further details as it would hamper the investigation.

Meanwhile, the factory owner has announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for a person who informs about the robbers. 



Residents upset at taxi menace
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, October 10
A section of residents in Adarsh Colony in Rajpura complained about the taxi menace for the past many months, due to which the number of accidents were on the increase.

The residents alleged that a large number of taxis had been parked at various points of the colony, due to which an increase in traffic was witnessed, besides a rise in the number of accidents.

Kartar Singh, a resident of the colony, said there had been two unauthorised taxi stands in the colony, wherein a large number of taxi’s remain parked at both the entrances of the colony.

“Both the outlets in colony have become parking places of unauthorised taxis. As a matter of fact, these vehicles are privately owned by people, who use them as taxis by employing drivers,” he said.

They used those for business in residential areas. The drivers and owners crowded the main outlet, due to which old men, women, schoolchildren and college-going girls faced difficulty in crossing this point.

“It is a great hazard for the residents of Adarsh Colony. An unwanted incident cannot be ruled out,” said the residents.

Some residents of Adarsh Colony also met the SDM in this regard for some initiative in this regard, but to no avail.

The residents, accompanied by the municipal council president, submitted a memorandum to Raj Khurana, MLA-cum-Chief Parliamentory Secretary, but no action had been taken.

Demanding the immediate removal of taxi stands from the residential area, residents of the colony said they would not hesitate to launch a protest against taxi owners.



‘Cash-for-job’ scam
CAT issues notice to admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
A division bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued notice to the Chandigarh administration for October 23 following a petition filed by Karamjit Singh, challenging the ongoing recruitment process for the selection of 536 teachers by the UT Education Department.

The process is already embroiled in controversy following the “cash-for-job” scam unearthed recently. In the petition, the petitioner alleged that since the preliminary investigations of the police revealed involvement of DPI (S) Samwarthak Singh in the scam, the involvement of other high-ups could not be ruled out.

The petitioner has also questioned the move of the education department to hush-up the recruitment process without even waiting for the final outcome of the investigation. Pointing out several other irregularities in the recruitment process, the petitioner sought scrapping of the ongoing recruitment process.

On September 8, two candidates had moved the CAT accusing the DPI (S) of issuing interview letters to some applicants even before the declaration of the results. This was just a day after the call records of one of two accused, Jolly, had established his links with the DPI (S).

The candidates had moved the tribunal for quashing the written test held for the posts of masters/mistresses in music and for setting aside the selection process till the outcome of the present application.

The CAT had sought all the records pertaining to the matter. The application is still pending before CAT and the UT has not filed a reply as yet.



UT to be developed as city of gardens 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The Chandigarh Tourism has taken the initiative to develop new gardens in the city to attract more tourists and also to enhance the image of Chandigarh as the “City of Gardens and Greens”.

A meeting regarding reviewing of tourism projects for upgrading and beautification of various tourists places in Chandigarh was held recently under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Ram Niwas. During the meeting, the ongoing projects were discussed and it was apprised that the work regarding parking of vehicles near the regulatory end of the Sukhna Lake would be completed by November-end.

It has been decided that the island at the Sukhna Lake will now be adorned by planting extra flowers so as to give a look of flowerbed floating in the lake.

The Home Secretary-cum-Tourism-Secretary said the Government of India had sanctioned Rs 451 lakh to develop another two gardens in the city. These gardens will be known as Garden of Palms and Adventure Park and Valley of Animals and Sunken Garden. 



Awareness camp on HIV/AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
An awareness-cum-medical camp was organised by the Indian Public Health Association, PGI, in collaboration with the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) at Indira Colony here recently.

The camp was aimed at motivating public to improve their healthcare and behaviour, especially with regard to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The occasion was also utilised for generating awareness among community regarding HIV/AIDS and their reproductive rights and responsibilities.

Around 300 people visited the camp. More than 106 patients were given free medicines and check-up. Out of these, 18 patients having symptomatic STIs symptoms were given free treatment.

Tapan Singh, project manager, stressed on reproductive rights. He further clarified myths and misconceptions of people regarding HIV/AIDS and sex/sexuality. He said many STSs are curable but for this the patients should follow treatment compliance and complete partner treatment should also be taken.

It was suggested that a couple must resort to safe sexual practice. If required couples should seek counselling and avoid quacks.

He spoke on the utility of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Group counselling and individual counselling further followed it.



‘In-house R&D need of the hour’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
In today’s world, it is vital for industries to enhance their competitive advantage by developing their in-house research and development (R&D) facilities.

This was stated by advisor to Ministry of Environment and Forests GV Subrahmanyam, while speaking at a workshop organised by the CII in association with the Cleantech International Foundation here today.

He also listed out opportunities in strategic research to achieve environmental excellence and competitive advantage in the present-day scenario.

Deliberating on the concept of Cleantech, Dr Ashok Sharma, CEO, Cleantech International Foundation, briefed that it was a strategic eco-management tool aimed at zero-emission through minor process modifications and low cost innovations, i.e., pollution control beyond compliance levels at profit rather than at cost.

The concept focuses on “source reduction” and segregation of effluent streams for in-process recycling and by-product manufacturing of disposal as usable raw material for other processes.

The workshop focused on the latest initiatives by the government to promote industrial research at corporate level.



Students seek NIT status for PEC
Submit memo to Rodrigues; PEC management unaware 
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Seeking the National Institute of Technology (NIT) status for PEC University of Technology, fourth-year students of the institute today submitted a memorandum to Punjab Governor and UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues on his visit to the campus here today.

The fervent move by the students was further strengthened when some old students of PEC supported their demand for NIT status to PEC. The alumni of the institute were present to attend the 39th annual convocation of PEC today.

When asked what stimulated them to seek NIT status for the institute, the students replied: “The primary reason is that NIT is a brand name. Though the same holds true for PEC also, the change will make a lot of difference in placements and give us other privileges. The coming of PSU will become easier.”

Meanwhile, the alumni gave thumbs up to the efforts of the fourth-year students. “It is obvious the NIT name works in the industry. Though PEC enjoys an excellent status and is above many NITs, the move will benefit the institute,” said Mayank Raina, a pass out working with Bharat Petroleum.

“There are some NITs which are not as good as the placements they manage to bag just because they have the name tag. The efforts of the students is significant,” Piyush Gosawan, an alumni working with Indian Oil, said.

“The move will attract PSUs for campus placements,” said Sahil, who is working with Maruti Suzuki.

When contacted, PEC Director Dr Manoj Dutta expressed ignorance over the move. “I am not aware of the demand and I do not have a copy of the memorandum. The students did not approach the institute management on the issue,” said Dr Manoj.

Maintaining that the position that PEC enjoys is far above that of many NITs in the country, the Director added: “PEC is surely above many NITs and enjoys a good place, hence, I am not able to appreciate the whole situation.”



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