C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Death at PGI Gate
Police ties up all loose ends
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The local authorities successfully accomplished “operation cover up” as the family members of Sumit Parkash Verma, who held security personnel responsible for his death at the PGI, withdrew their complaint and settled for a compensation.

Though they retreated from their earlier stance, they stated that the authorities played on their emotions and “blackmailed” them to manipulate the situation in their favour. It is learnt that the DC of Ambala went to them to hand over a cheque for Rs 2 lakh and promised free education for his minor sons up to plus two.

While the PMO admits that the death may have been caused due to traffic restrictions, the police in its statement maintained that “normal traffic was not disturbed”.

The family, however, returned the cheque terming it as inadequate compensation for the loss of the only breadwinner of the family and demanded a job for Verma’s wife.

Regarding the withdrawal of the complaint, Verma’s brother-in-law Vikas alleged that the authorities blackmailed them. He alleged that policemen held them back when the Prime Minister’s cavalcade was passing and did not allow them entry from Gate No 1. They shuttled them from point to another for over an hour.

“The police and the PGI authorities swung into action after the death was highlighted by the media. The police told us that if we lodge a complaint, it would have to conduct a postmortem, to which my sister refused. The police said if we took back the complaint, it would complete the formalities and hand over the body within two hours, but it was not to be,” he told The Tribune on the phone.

“Instead of guiding us, they exploited our ignorance. The statements were dictated and we signed. The police videographed the proceedings at the PGI police post. But they did not keep their word and made us wait for 26 hours just to get the body, that too after the postmortem,” he lamented.

The police handed over the body to the family today. The DSP (Central), Jagbir Singh, said doctors had reserved their opinion about the cause of death.

The doctors had taken samples, which would be sent for examination to ascertain the exact cause of death. The authorities provided a free ambulance service to the family to take the body to Ambala, the DSP said.

The haste with which the authorities worked on the issue was obvious as the PGI claimed in its statements that Verma was brought dead while the police stated that he was attended to promptly by the doctors and advised an ECG and was declared dead during treatment.

The haste with which the authorities worked on the issue was obvious as the PGI claimed in its statements that Verma was brought dead while the police stated that he was attended to promptly by the doctors and advised an ECG and was declared dead during treatment

PM disturbed

PM Manmohan Singh’s condolence letter to Verma’s wife reads: “I am writing to you to express my profound sense of sadness at the death of your husband Shri Sumit Verma yesterday. I understand that he could not get access to the PGIMER in time because of restrictions in place for my visit there. This is something I deeply regret. I have issued instructions so that in future the authorities are more sensitive to the concerns of the common man while imposing such restrictions for reasons of security.”



3 killed, 30 injured in accidents 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
It was a day of road accidents in the area that left three persons dead and at least 30, including 28 school children, seriously injured.

While two persons were crushed to death by a truck on the NH-73 near Panchkula, a trolley carrying students of Government Senior Secondary School Lodhi Majra, Ropar, overturned, injuring 28 students, many of whom sustained serious head injuries.

ROPAR: The incident took place at around 11 am when the students were returning after watching the children’s film festival at a cinema hall in Ropar.

Sant Swaran Singh, driver of the trolley, failed to negotiate a sharp turn near the Boat Club area, causing the vehicle to overturn.

Those seriously injured have been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, and have been identified as Pardeep Singh of Katli village, Gurjinder Singh and Harpreet Singh of Lohgarh Phidde village and Gurvinder Singh and Jyoti Singh of Daburji village.

Parents of the injured children alleged that they were not informed about the visit to the cinema hall. The police has arrested the driver for rash driving.

PANCHKULA: Two persons, including a woman, were killed while another was injured when they fell off their scooter near Ramgarh. The deceased have been identified as Prem Singh (60) and Swarna Devi (40), both residents of Mankyan village. The injured scooterist, Kuldeep, a farmer from same village, has been admitted to the General hospital at Sector 6 here.

According to the police, Prem Singh and Swarna Devi took a lift from Kuldeep. They had hardly covered some distance when a person driving a mobike hit the scooter while overtaking it.

All three fell down. While Kuldeep fell on the side, the others fell in the middle of the road and were crushed under the tyres of a truck coming from the opposite side.

CHANDIGARH: A woman in her mid-40s, who was injured in a road accident, died at the PGI today.

The police said the victim was pillion riding a motorcycle along with her son when a Maruti Alto (DL-4-CM-1972) rammed into the motorcycle from behind at Sector 45 on October 31. She sustained head injuries and was admitted to the PGI.



Teacher accused of promoting porn
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
St John’s School, Sector 26, is in troubled waters once again, with one of its teachers being accused of not only instigating students to visit and join “adult” sites, but also encouraging them to bring mobile phones to schools.

In a written complaint by a parent, who happens to be a senior PCS officer, it has been alleged that the art teacher, in the course of his lessons, would encourage students to visit adult sites and become members of social networking sites, besides being his “friends”.

“Such sites generally don’t register children below 18 years of age. The teacher suggested Class VII students to become members by registering a fake date of birth and then join his friends’ group. The sites ‘recommended’ by him included regular social networking sites, and some others which allowed children access to adult material, specially videos,” the complainant alleged.

The three-page complaint also stated that though the use of mobiles is prohibited in school, the teacher would use it in class and encourage students to also get mobiles, which they could use with his permission.

“In order become popular with students, he asked them to keep all their mobiles in his custody and take them as and when they needed to make a call. The students would spend the day in school sharing MMSes or downloading games,” he said.

His children study in Class VII. “This is not the first time that the role of this teacher has come under scanner, but the school authorities have never paid any heed to complaints.

This time also when I submitted a written complaint, the principal asked me for evidence. I have the evidence to prove the charges, but will produce it only once an inquiry is initiated by the school authorities,” he claimed.

When contacted, principal Kavita Das refused to meet the correspondent on the pretext of being at a meeting and never got back even after a visiting card was left for her. Instead of taking several calls and messages left at her reception counter, the school asked a SJOBA member to be the spokesperson. He said: “There is procedure that needs to be followed in such a case and we have started it.

The final decision will be that of the management.” Meanwhile, the complainant said he would meet the Home Secretary tomorrow in this regard. 

St John’s in soup again

It has been alleged that the art teacher, during the course of his lessons, would encourage students to visit adult sites and become members of social networking sites, besides being his “friends”



Despite kitchens, food still cooked in classrooms
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 4
The permanent kitchens recently constructed in various government schools of the district serve no purpose in preparation of mid-day meal as the food is either prepared in open or in the classrooms.

The government had spent Rs 60,000 on each permanent shed, which is to be used as kitchen in these village schools.

However, a visit to some of these schools revealed that either these kitchens were lying open without any window or doors or they were doubled up as storerooms. Children were seen assisting school employees while preparing meal in open or in the classrooms.

The school teachers, however, said that Rs 60,000 released by the government got wasted as these sheds were still incomplete.

They revealed that though in papers the construction work of school kitchen was complete, in actual these were still bereft of water taps, doors, window and other basic facilities, including a sink for washing utensils.

The government must release more funds to get it completed or else these sheds would remain useless forever, they added.

However, DEO (primary) Surinder Singh said out of 440 primary schools, only 57 schools were bereft of these kitchens or sheds and all other schools were now equipped with this facility. The DEO further said work was on in those schools which were upgraded. Internal problems of schools with village panchayat’s had been delaying the construction of some of the kitchens, but would be completed soon. He said the school teachers had been told to prepare mid-day meal in these kitchens and not in the open or classrooms.

Though the government had released Rs 60,000 for constructing these kitchens, they are doubled up as storerooms. Children are seen assisting school employees while preparing meal in open or in the classrooms 



Police unearths fraud, smuggling network
Bureaucrats, bankers, cops hand-in-glove with gang
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
With the arrest of Lovelesh Aggarwal and Amardeep Singh Thakur, accused of selling vehicles already mortgaged with lending agencies, last month, the district police has unearthed a bank fraud and a liquor smuggling network involving police officials from Panchkula as well as Punjab.

Entries worth lakhs were found in the name of many police stations and DTO offices in the documents seized from their premises, said sources.

Preliminary inquiries revealed that there were indications of certain bureaucrats and bankers being hand-in-glove with the accused.

In a new turn of events, the police was trying to play down the entire episode, the sources said. SP Amitabh Dhillon, when contacted, denied that there was any move to hush up the case.

The police was on the way to unravel their all links and income tax officials had been informed about assets of the accused, he said.

The investigation cell had been flooded with telephone calls, asking for pushing the case under the carpet.

Naveen, an accomplice of the main accused, is learnt to have threatened cops with dire consequences at the hands of his high connections in the Haryana state judiciary.

Following the arrest of Amarjeet and Lovelesh last month, the police alleged that they used to purchase the vehicles, including cars and SUVs, under finance schemes of different banks.

Following the delivery of the vehicle, the accused used to put a fluid on letters filled in the column of the invoice meant for mortgaged vehicles.

On the basis of these documents, the vehicle registration authorities used to issue registration certificates bearing no inscription, which was compulsory for financed vehicles.

They either used to sell the vehicles or get those refinanced from other banks, claimed the police.

They, in fact, chose this modus operandi after knowing all loopholes in the system as they used to work as recovery agents for finance companies and banks earlier.

Following this, they never refunded any loan to banks and the bank personnel who used to visit them were thrashed and threatened in the name of police officers.

The documents seized from the premises of the accused indicated that certain police officers at the district level from Punjab had been in regular touch with the gang. The list also included names of an SHO presently posted in Panchkula and a DSP posted out of the city recently.

They used to keep the telephone speaker on the loudspeaker mode so that their victim would come to know that they had patronage of high-ups in the police, said the sources. A bank manager narrated his tale of woes at hands of the gangsters, emphasising how he had been threatened.



Picnic Fiasco
School to get notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Reacting to the high drama at Shishu Niketan, Sector 43, on Saturday when at least 370 students, who had gone to a picnic to Morni, did not return hours after the scheduled arrival time, the UT education department is out to serve a show-cause notice on the school.

The department would ask the school to furnish its reply within a week. “It was nothing but callousness on the part of the school that caused inconvenience to parents and led to embarrassment.

While the school authorities have reportedly clarified that buses broke down while returning, we will ask them to explain media reports that wondered how all five buses could break down and why parents were not given a satisfactory answer about the true location even though all staff members had mobile phones,” a senior official revealed.

The students had gone to Morni hills and had not returned even after five hours of the scheduled time. Parents had gathered at the school and raised slogans.

The situation worsened when the school authorities failed to satisfy the queries of the parents about the exact whereabouts of the children. 


Overflowing sewage chokes Sector 52 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Residents of Sector 52 are forced to live under unhealthy conditions for the past fortnight with sewerage water overflowing on the streets and water entering their houses due to blocked pipes.

Residents alleged that they had brought the matter to the notice of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and even the UT administration, but to no avail. The stink in the area is intolerable.

They said that due to overflowing sewerage water, accidents were common in the area due to skidding. Stagnated sewerage water had created craters and potholes on the road. Commuters cannot see the potholes because of sewerage water.

President of the Social Welfare Association, Sector 52, Satpal said not only the area residents, but those residing in the adjoining localities were also suffering as they had to cross the area to reach their destinations. The worst affected were the school children, he added. He also expressed fear of an epidemic breakout in the locality. 



Spreading awareness on provident fund
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A five-day vigilance awareness week is being organised by the Regional Office of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) here from November 3 to create awareness among employees about the services rendered by the EPFO.

SK Aggarwal, regional PF commissioner-I, exhorted the officers and staff members to rededicate themselves and to reaffirm their commitment to see that public service they provide to their EPF members is rendered with dedication, sincerity and honesty.

A drop box was also installed on the occasion in the regional office here for receiving the complaints from the EPF members. Besides, an essay writing competition was also organised.



Emphasis on better communication
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
SOCH ’09, media festival of School of Communication Studies (SCS), was inaugurated at law auditorium here today.

Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti was the guest of honour. He praised the students of the department and also laid emphasis on the importance of communication.

“Communication plays a vital role in every activity of our life. Even in our classes, sometimes, the communication gap hinders the development of students,” said Prof Sobti underlining the need of better communication skills.

The events of the first day included graffiti making, copycat, creative writing, talk jock, ad mad, etc while dancing shoes enthralled the evening with Bollywood numbers.



Workshop on direct taxes code
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A workshop on “Implications of new direct taxes code” was organised by the PHD Chamber today to enable its members to understand the Direct Taxes Code (DTC).

Dr Girish Ahuja termed the New Direct Taxes Code to be highly impinging in nature. He urged the industry to study and understand provisions of the code and submit their feedback or suggestions at the earliest to the Central Board of Direct Taxes. He was of the opinion that the DTC does not have much to offer. It needs to be grossly amended.

Gopal K Agarwal gave a detailed presentation on the new terms, concepts and provisions. He said the draft code needed to be reconsidered.



Role of optics, photonics highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Underlining that optics and photonics were critical technologies, widespread in every aspect of day-to-day life, Dr Pawan Kapur, director, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), observed that today’s optics were bringing home high-speed communication like video streaming and broadband applications.

Delivering the 20th Gian Chand Jain Memorial Lecture here, Dr Kapur said with advance in photonics, new avenues were being opened in the fields of information technology, agriculture, healthcare and public safety.

Their impact on all spheres of society from agriculture, safety, education and entertainment to healthcare would continue to grow.

Pointing out that agricultural research sought generation of new technologies like precision and optical farming to complement traditional methods for enhancing productivity and making “green revolution into an evergreen revolution”, Dr Kapur added that photonics played an important role in food safety.

UV radiation was the only way to disinfect packages without using additives and without modifying the contents. Quality control of food as well as contaminant control of top soil and air could be achieved with laser spectroscopic methods.

He also described various safety measures for human population such as health monitoring of civil structures, mines, dams and nuclear reactors involving optical sensing techniques.

Several technologies currently being deployed to prevent and detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear terrorist attacks made use of optics and photonics.

Modern healthcare had been revolutionised by optics applications in examination, diagnosis, therapy, surgery and imaging equipment used for CAT, MRI and PET scans, as well as mammography.

Further innovations like micro, nano-probes and remote diagnosis seemed to be within reach. In the span of few years, lasers had progressed from a “solution in search of problem” to the most versatile, economical and ecological tool in manufacturing and minimally invasive surgery, he added.



Consultants from Chandigarh to set up museums in Gujarat
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The Gujarat government, in collaboration with Chandigarh Science and History Museum, plans to set up three mega and mini museums in their state, which would depict rocks and fossils of their area.

For designing and setting up these museums, the Gujarat government has sought the services of two officials of the Chandigarh Science and History Museum and Panjab University, Chairman, Geology Department as their private consultants in their seven-member committee.

Director of the Chandigarh Museum, Sector 10, N P S Randhawa has been appointed as chief executive, Dr P C Sharma as principal consultant for technical aspects and museumology and Dr A D Ahluwalia as chief consultant for reference and documentation of the museums.

As per the plan of the Gujarat government, three mega museums would be set up at Ahmedabad, Bujh and Vadodra and three mini-museums at the headquarters of the district. The government has fixed a seven-month deadline for the completion of the six projects allotted to the committee.

While talking to The Tribune, Dr P C Sharma, principal consultant for technical and museum logy of the committee said that as the Gujarat have huge treasures of the minerals, rocks and fossils of the dinosaurs in various parts of the state. For the preservation of these precious treasures, Gujarat geology and mining department plan to set up these museums in different parts of the state.

Sharma revealed that few months ago when a team from Gujarat visited Chandigarh museum they were highly impressed by the display and upkeep of the museum. After seeing the preservations of the rocks and minerals along with dinosaurs special sections they requested three of us to guide them in setting up such museums in their state also.

Sharma said that on their visit to Gujarat they found that minerals including agate, asbestos, calcite fluoride, silica, marble, limestone, gypsum, graphite and lignite were commonly found there. Even the fossils of rare species of dinosaurs and their eggs were also available in Gujarat. As they have found that the state is rich in their fossils and rocks, the team of consultants is planning to suggest the Gujarat government to set up the mega museums on the pattern of the museum at Washington DC which have 4-D effects also.

Sharma said that as the authorities have already allotted government buildings for setting up mini museums. He said that the team has already started consulting international architects for collecting information about the latest techniques to give better effects to the museums. He said that team is going to visit Bujh soon to finalise the site for the museum. 



Man who sees many worlds 
Roopinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
‘Daddyji’. The word became familiar to the literary world of the West because it was the title of Ved Mehta’s 1972 book on his father. ‘Mamaji’ followed in 1979 because his sisters protested that he had been partial towards their father and had been unfair to the mother.

Much before Indian writers hit the international scene, Ved Mehta had already made his mark in the USA and in England, both as a writer and a journalist. He started with a vocabulary of 280 words in English when he left India to attend the Arkansas School for the Blind. He, however, had many stories to tell, and he adapted to the changed circumstances. Even as he was studying, he went on to write an autobiographical book, which later became ‘Daddyji’.

Not many Indians are familiar with this writer who lived in Lahore before making America his home, but the 75-year-old Ved Mehta has formidable credentials, as a writer, scholar and journalist. He has studied and taught in the top universities of the US and UK, worked as a journalist with the ‘New Yorker’ from 1961-1994, and has published around two dozen books, including a series of 12 autobiographical books, the first two of which are ‘Daddyji’ and ‘Mamaji’.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti released both the books at the university today, at a function organised by the Panjab University Teachers Association and the publisher Roli Books, while the author spoke on how he ended up as a writer.

The visually challenged author spoke with transparent honesty and sincerity to an audience that comprised students and teachers.

He revealed how he started writing to be with his amanuensis, which literally means “one who takes dictation”. He revises his work as many as 150 times, in search of the “essential” word, and it is obvious that he puts in long hours.

Responding to Prof Rana Nayar, Head, Department of English, Ved Mehta said he did not change or revise his books after they had been published. “The process of writing is a journey in itself, once a book is born, it has its own karma and dharma. I can’t change a hair”

Ved Mehta’s gentle story-telling style took the audience on a journey into his many worlds-India, America, England, blindness, ‘New Yorker’, and psychoanalysis. He was frank and incisive during the question and answer session that followed, and as he left the auditorium, his hand on the shoulder of his wife Linn Cary Mehta, a professor at Barnard College, New York, one unanswered query remained: When would ‘Lynji’ be published? 



Annual flight safety meeting held at Air Force station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Around 180 officers, including base commanders, squadron commanders, engineering officers and flight safety officers, from various stations and units under the Western Air Command attended the annual flight safety council meeting held at the Chandigarh Air Force Station today.

The meeting was chaired by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal NAK Browne. Officers from the Air Headquarters, the Army, the Navy and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) also attended the meeting. The Institute of Flight Safety gave a presentation on human factor analysis and classification system.

After the daylong discussions on flight safety issues, Air Marshal Browne addressed the officers and airmen, stressing upon flight safety through professional leadership. Officers from different stations discussed flight safety aspects through presentations. This was followed by interactive sessions.

The Western Air Command is the largest command of the IAF and also has the largest number of aircraft and helicopters operating in the area spreading from the icy glaciers and peaks of the Himalayas to the scorching deserts of Rajasthan. Air assets of this command are called upon for multifarious tasks ranging from protecting our western borders to air maintenance of northern frontiers in the inhospitable terrain and disaster relief during natural calamities.



‘Allow free entry to emergency’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Ajay Jagga, president of the local unit of the Janata Party, expressed shock on the death of Sumeet Parkash Verma, an Ambala resident, who allegedly died in a traffic jam at the PGI during Prime Minister's visit here yesterday.

Jagga demanded that the access of emergency and other departments of the PGI should be free for all times. In case of VVIPs visit, the PGI authorities and security officials should allow a separate entry and exit.

He also demanded an inquiry by an independent agency into the matter.



Asthma cases up due to stubble burning

Lax implementation of laws restraining farmers from burning paddy stubble, the region is reeling under the perennial problem of smoke which poses a serious environmental and health hazard. There is 40-50 per cent increase in the number of children and adults at urban hospitals and rural dispensaries suffering from asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis followed by distress and difficulty in breathing.

Paddy stubble being burnt in a field.
Paddy stubble being burnt in a field. A Tribune photograph

Stated Dr Rishi Bhardwaj working in a village dispensary near Phillaur, "Allergic bronchitis and allergic asthma are affecting children more than anything else followed by allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and eye allergies."

He claimed that doctors after visiting schools during health check-up have observed that on an average around 30 to 40 per cent students in the class showed symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, frequent nasal symptoms, wheezing and asthma during this period of time .The physical condition of the children has an adverse effect on their ability to study and play. But it is the "repeated chest infections that decrease the immunity of children, leading to failure of child to thrive and tolerate stress which has become the major cause of worry among doctors, claimed Dr Bhardwaj.

The warnings by agricultural experts and environmentalists that the process ruins the soil health and plays havoc with the health of residents besides creating environmental hazards have gone completely unheeded.

A thick blanket of smoke engulfs the environs of Ludhiana and its peripheries as people burn paddy stubble in evenings. Weary of going to doctors, a large number of people go in for self-medication going by their previous prescriptions. Cetirizine is a class of allergy relief drugs called antihistamines that works by blocking histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. It provides relief from hay fever, seasonal allergy and allergy to other substances and is also used for treating running nose, sneezing, itchy and teary eyes but it has harmful affects if not taken under medical supervision. Physicians have to treat allergic patients who after consuming large doses of cetirizine complain of drowsiness, dry mouth , headache, sore throat , diarrohea, stomach pain , the side effects caused by the medicine.



Tips on how to protect skin in winter

When the weather starts getting colder, skin starts becoming dry and irritated. Cold weather can cause many skin problems as dry and cold air drains away essential moisture from the skin.

In an advisory on the skin problems during the cold weather, Dr Alka Dogra, head, skin and VD department at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here says that the most common condition in these weather conditions is dry skin which often gets worse when environmental humidity is low. The dry skin very commonly produces itching, which can be severe and interfere with sleep and daily activities.

The mainstay of management is attention to proper bathing techniques and liberal use of moisturisers. A short bath or shower of not more than 10 minutes once in a day is advised. The bath should be warm rather than hot water. Soaps should be used minimally and only when and where required (under the arms, groins, genitals, feet and face). Milder and less-drying soaps like moisturising soaps should be preferred.

"Further, cleansing lotions which are soap-free are also available. After bathing, one should gently pat the skin and partially dry with a towel (do not rub). Within three minutes, a moisturiser should be applied to seal the water in skin before it evaporates. Moisturisers should be reapplied liberally during day and evening, especially to areas prone to dryness like hands, arms and legs," she advised.

Giving more tips on warding off the affects of dryness, Dr Dogra said greasing the hands, feet and lips is very important to keep the limbs soft and moisturised. "Apply petroleum jelly containing creams and lotions regularly to feet and hands. Use exfoliants to remove dead skin from feet as this further helps in penetration of creams and lotions. Whenever going out, always wear gloves and socks, if using woolen stuff, slip in cotton gloves first as these prevent itching which rubber can sometimes cause. Use of petroleum jelly or Vaseline for dry and chapped lips is a must in winters."

She added that water intake should not only be encouraged in summers, but also in winters. The habit of consuming 2 to 3 litres of water daily should be encouraged.

At the same time, a broad spectrum sunscreen lotion should be applied over face, neck and other exposed parts about 30 minutes before going into sun daily and should be repeated after every two or three hours to prevent sun damage. Feet can be kept in sun. Face must be protected.

Among other steps to take proper care of skin and winter-related ailments, Dr Dogra advised follow-up at the dermatology clinic for skin problems like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, chilblains, perniosis and dandruff which tend to flare up during winters. 

 Take a short bath of not more than 10 minutes

Water should be warm not hot

Soaps should be used minimally

 Moisturising soaps and cleansing lotions should be preferred

 After bathing, gently pat the skin with a towel

 Within three minutes, a moisturiser should be applied

 Moisturisers should be reapplied liberally during day, especially to areas prone to dryness like hands, arms and legs



Cyprus eyes Punjabi tourists
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
After the visit of President of India Pratibha Patil to the Republic of Cyprus, it has become the favourite destination for tourists. Cyprus is awaiting the maximum Indian tourists this year and tourists from Punjab are going to form the major chunk. Punjabis being experimental in testing new destinations, there are great expectations from them.

The strong bonds of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of Cyprus and India and is expected after the President’s visit. The Cyprus Tourism targets Indian tourists by launching a series of promotions. Cyprus, a year-round Mediterranean island destination with a population of close to 8,00,000, is eyeing the lucrative Indian market.

Vassilis Theocharides, director, Middle East and Gulf, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, said, “Cyprus is the closest European destination for Indian travellers. Though a modern island nation, it retains an essentially Mediterranean character.”

He further adds, “English is widely spoken in Cyprus as it was a former British colony and it has more than 19 Indian restaurants, which makes it even more comfortable for the Indian traveller.’’

Cyprus is part of the European Union and Indians need a visa to visit Cyprus. They can also visit on a Schengan visa provided they have entered a Schengan country preceding a visit to Cyprus.

Ashutosh Mehere, vice-president, Cox and Kings India Ltd (CKIL), said: “Punjab is a very important market for us and we have noticed that people from this state like to experiment with new destinations. Cyprus is one such destination that they would love for its clean beaches, great cuisine-19 Indian restaurants serving authentic Indian cuisine and it is the closest European destination from India.’’ He further adds, “We believe that Cyprus will be well-received in Punjab and north Indian markets and demand will exceed expectations.’’ 



Relief to marla house owners near, yet so far
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Officials propose, babus dispose -- that seems to sum up the working of the Chandigarh administration. Certain “people-friendly” decisions of the administration to grant relief to thousands of marla house owners regarding need-based changes in their dwelling units in the city seem to have hit a stumbling block at the hands of the lower bureaucracy at the estate office (EO).

This is even after two notifications -- October 28, 2008, and September 25, 2009 -- have already been issued by the administration, approving the decisions.

After exhausting all channels, office-bearers of the Chandigarh marlas/flats houses residents welfare association today urged administrator SF Rodrigues to intervene in the matter and get the notifications implemented. He apparently directed officials concerned to redress their grievances in a time-bound manner.

Association president Surinder Pal Chauhan said the administrator was urged to instruct the authorities to “comply with the clarifications/decisions already made by the Finance Secretary so that the pending revised building plans already submitted by the residents to the EO could be passed.”

The EO has been dragging its feet on the regularisation of the need-based changes already done in the houses before the notifications. The administration had come out with a notification on need-based additions last year. Some decisions included access to terrace/rooftop through a cat ladder, projection at the second floor level and cantilever beyond the zoning line of residential buildings.

Chauhan said despite the orders having been circulated to the EO and members of the plan approval committee (lower), the house owners, who had already made the changes, were facing problems in getting the plans sanctioned.

The Finance Secretary said the EO would be directed to implement the decisions and any hindrance would be dealt with sternly.



From Schools & Colleges
Seminar on moral education for students
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 4
Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School, Phase IV, Mohali, has introduced moral education for students to help them distinguish between wrong and right.

According to a press release, a conscious effort to develop a morally integrated personality to enable a child to think right, to feel right kind of emotions and to act in a desirable manner was being made through moral education.

Some parents had shown their concern about a decline in moral values among children.

In today’s world, conflicting values and moral dilemmas had become common. With a dangerous downward trend in the moral attitudes, there was a sustained and impassioned plea from every quarter to restore the moral values.

Meanwhile, students of Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School here brought laurels to the school by winning silver and bronze medals in the All-India Invitational Sardar Sewa Singh Memorial Roller Skating Championship, 2009, held at Banyan Tree School.

Various schools from tricity participated in the competition. Khushi Dutt won silver medal while Diksha Singh and Salman Haider won bronze medals.

Placement drive

Under the “Earn While You Learn” scheme being run at Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC), Landran, Tata Business Support Services (TBSS) selected over 50 students from different streams.

These students will be offered part time jobs for about four hours per day after the normal working hours of the college.

They will be paid about half the salary of a regular employee.

The management of CGC further informed that Indian Army will be holding a two-day camp for engineering and computer application students who would be selected for posts of commissioned officers.



Students’ rally against corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Accompanied by their teachers, as many as 150 students of Government Middle School, Sector 46, took out a rally on the occasion of “Vigilance Awareness Week” here today.

Schoolchildren wrote slogans and pledged to fight against corruption. The school headmaster Ram Singh Sandhu, who flagged off the rally, encouraged students to be honest and fight against corruption related issues.



Delegates from St. Kabir visit govt school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In what may be termed as the practical beginning of the much-professed partnership initiative programme for quality education in government schools, a delegation from St. Kabir Public School, Sector 26, visited Government High School, Mauli Jagran, to analyse the academic and infrastructural position of the school.

The programme aims to have private schools virtually adopting some of their government counterparts to bring their standards on par with them. The team took a round of all classes, play fields and laboratories.

A batch of 50 students from the Mauli Jagran school will visit St. Kabir tomorrow.



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