C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nursery form fee fixed at Rs 100
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
In a bid to tighten the noose on the city schools charging exorbitant application fee in the ongoing nursery admissions, the UT administration has decided to limit it to Rs 100.

The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Home Secretary Ram Niwas aimed at devising policies to bar various schools from using the ongoing admission season to mint money.

“It was brought to our notice that various schools were selling their application forms and prospectus at Rs 600. Since the number of seats in all schools is limited, parents are forced to buy the application forms of various schools to get their wards admitted. These schools are indirectly fleecing parents and it’s unethical on the part of the school authorities to extract money by charging overpriced forms,” asserted a senior official.

The administration also took a serious note of fact that most of the schools are selling the application forms along with the brochures, which results in the escalation of application form fee. It was, therefore, decided that brouchures would only be sold to the students selected in the final selection.

“The brochure has the detailed information and highlights the achievements of schools. Therefore it has been decided in the meeting that the school authorities can either put the information about the schools on their website or can also display the information on the notice board of their schools so that when parents visit the premises, they can go through the information,” added another official.

It may also be noted that the administration has forbidden the schools from forcing parents to buy uniforms, books, bags etc from any specific shop or vendor.

As per the new directive, a list of books shall be displayed on notice board in addition to dress and a parent will be free to buy it from anywhere.

The circular though has been issued to schools, but it is yet to be made clear if this comes into action with immediate effect, how will those be paid back who have already bought the brochures.

Interestingly, while it has been declared that those schools not complying with the directives will lose recognition from the UT Education Department and will also be recommended for cancellation of affiliation from the CBSE, private school owners are surprised by the move.

Questioned about the decision, HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association, said they would meet tomorrow and decide the further course of action.



‘Mission admission’ tough for tiny tots
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, December 17
With nursery registrations almost over in many schools, it appears that more than half the applicants will not be able to make it to the schools of their choice, while around 25 per cent might have to go even without admission.

Given that the most “sought after” schools received applications five times more than the available seats, “mission admission” is going to be much tougher for tiny tots. With more than 17,000 kids applying for 5,000 seats, things are going to be much difficult compared to last year, when the total applicants were somewhere around 15,000.

While most of the city’s “top-notch” schools have something around 80-100 seats at nursery or pre-nursery levels, the applications received everywhere are not less than 400.

“This is a regular feature with us. The point is there are five to six schools which top the preference charts and every parent applies there. On what basis can we deny anybody an admission form?” said a city principal.

“Everybody wants to get their child in our school, but we have limited seats with us. Despite our trying the best, we are not able to accommodate everybody. Many kids have to be left out, who go in for other options or try another year,” adds another.

In the entire admission season, it’s generally the registration period which has the parents on tenterhooks, as in addition to running from pillar to post, they also have to shell out huge amounts of money.

With a prospectus priced at a minimum of Rs 300, several parents end up spending thousands even before the admissions.

“What choice do I have? I know that we have to compete with five others to secure a single seat. For safer side, I as a parent am forced to apply everywhere. The prospectus rates are exorbitant but we have no choice,” said a parent.



Illegal occupancy of govt houses by retired officials
Admn notifies policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
There is bad news for the VIP squatters illegally retaining prime government accommodation in the city after retirement from service.

The Chandigarh Administration today notified a policy aimed at checking extended "illegal stay" of senior bureaucrats and other senior functionaries, who manage plum postings even after retirement and continue to retain government bungalows.

The rules - Government Residences(Chandigarh Administration General Pool Allotment (Amendment) Rules, 2009 - make it mandatory for the retired officials to vacate their official accommodations upon superannuation and apply afresh for allotment if re-employed by any state government.

"The priority date in respect of a retired employee shall be reckoned from the date of his/her re-employment in an eligible office for allotment of government residences as per his/her entitlement/eligibility for the said purpose. Such retired employee had to apply afresh and also to vacate the house, if any, already under his occupation immediately on the expiry of permissible period of retention," the notification issued by Ram Niwas, Home Secretary-cum-secretary house allotment committee (upper), said.

Officials said the notification would help the administration in making available suitable accommodation to the eligible officials, who had been staying in accommodation below their entitlement.

Several commissions and other government bodies had become favourite "rehabilitation places" for retired senior government functionaries. The retired officials, in turn, retain the palatial government accommodation by virtue of their new postings.



Leasehold policy dampens commercial property sale
Admn nets only Rs 72.77 cr at 2.74 lakh per sq yd

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The city’s mushrooming shopping malls, declining rentals and - perhaps most importantly - the UT administration's lopsided policy of selling property on leasehold appears to have taken their toll on the auction of commercial sites by the estate office today with only 12 of the 103 sites being sold, netting Rs 72.77 crore.

However, what has set the alarm bells ringing for the administration, basking in the success of yesterday's residential property auction, is the fact that the average price per square yard has come down substantially to Rs 2.74 lakh from Rs 3.18 lakh in the last auction on October 23, 2008. Even the highest per square yard rate of Rs 3.14 lakh for a hotel site in Sector 43B (site Nos 101-02) was less than that in last year's auction.

Sources said the “locational disadvantage" was also to be blamed for the "poor" response to the auction as a majority of the sites were in the southern sectors, where the rental value was not commensurate with the investment. In today's auction two SCOs in Sector 32 fetched Rs 2.73 crore and Rs 3.10 crore respectively whereas in the last auction an SCO in Sector 32 went for Rs 4.75 crore.

The hotel sites were the pick of the day with the UT estate office disposing of six of the 15 sites that were put under the hammer. The maximum price fetched by a hotel site in Sector 43 along the Chandigarh-Mohali road was Rs 12.21 crore as against a minimum price of Rs 8.5 crore.

The Sector 39D market where 60 booths were on sale did not catch the fancy of buyers with an SCO located there netting the minimum price of Rs 2.41 crore. It may be recalled that the administration had decided to auction the booths and SCOs in Sector 39D following a PIL filed by social worker, Balwinder Singh Bhinder.

Commenting on the poor response, JD Singh, a local property consultant, said the declining rentals in the wake of the ongoing recession was the primary reason for the "lukewarm" response to today's auction.

“Since the commercial property was auctioned on leasehold basis as against freehold in the case of residential property, investors were wary of putting their money in commercial property”, he added.



Another swine flu death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The H1N1 influenza claimed one more life in the city today, taking the death toll to 29. The pandemic has so far claimed five lives in the city itself.

Meanwhile, five more persons, including a nine-month-old baby boy, an eight-year-old student and a 24-year-old PGI doctor tested positive for H1N1. Other positive cases were reported, one each from Punjab and Haryana.

According to the UT health officials, 32-year-old Seema from Fatehabad, Haryana succumbed to the virus at PGI this morning. She was brought to the hospital in a critical condition. The doctors took throat swab samples immediately after her arrival yesterday, but before reports confirmed that samples were tested positive for H1N1, she died. Her report came today evening, added doctors at the PGI.

The condition of all positive patients is stable now, said the UT health department, adding that all are admitted in hospitals. The Health department has quarantined the victim’s family members.

So far, over 570 suspected cases of swine flu have been detected. Out of this, more than 210 cases have been confirmed for swine flu, including today’s positive cases, in which 50 cases were reported from schools.


Proper sanitation in Mohali a far cry
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 17
Even though councillors have been making a hue and cry over the dismal state of sanitation in the town at almost every monthly meeting of the municipal council, there has been little improvement despite work being allotted to contactors on stricter terms and conditions.

Heaps of garbage, dry leaves and garden refuse can be seen lying in different areas of the town with most road berms in a state of neglect.

In the industrial area no containers have been provided for garbage collection as the locations where these were to be placed have not been identified so far. People still dump garbage wherever they feel like.

The council spends over Rs 1.5 crore on sanitation in residential areas for which it has hired two contractors. The town has been divided into four zones and each contractor takes care of sanitation work in two zones. Though the terms of the agreement state the contractors have to get the streets cleaned very day, this was not being done.

Sanitation work in the industrial area is being done by ‘safai karamcharis’ (sweepers) of the civic body.

Kuljit Singh Bedi, a municipal councillor living in Phase III B2, said, “Though some improvement has been noticed recently in our area it is far from being satisfactory. The contractor concerned doesn’t have adequate infrastructure to carry out sanitation work in a proper manner. Although the main streets are now being swept daily the same is not the case on the internal streets”.

Harpal Singh, a councillor residing in Matour village, said there was some improvement in the village’s outer area but the work was unsatisfactory inside the locality. “One particular street has not been cleaned for an entire month and I had to personally intervene today to get the work done”, he added.

Mohali Industries Association president BS Anand said repeated requests to the civic body to provide garbage containers in the area over the past two years had proved futile.

“An assurance was given by the MC some months ago that garbage bins would be provided but so far nothing has been done. Proper sanitation has become a problem because people dump garbage in vacant areas. Only one of the main streets is being cleaned and that too after the deputy commissioner order a ‘cleanliness drive’ to be launched”, added Anand.



Poor Cousin- IV
Construction of Mansa Devi gate hangs fire
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

The work on the Singh Dwar of Mata Mansa Devi temple has not be completed since its foundation stone was laid by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on January 4, 2007
The work on the Singh Dwar of Mata Mansa Devi temple has not be completed since its foundation stone was laid by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on January 4, 2007. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, December 17
It was not only the development in the residential or commercial areas of the town which was given a go-by by the state government, even the God was not spared when the projects in the town were scrapped merely because these were mooted by the previous government of the INLD.

Two foundation stones, one meant for a Mansa Devi museum and another for Sanaskrit Bhavan in Mansa Devi Temple Complex, laid down by the then Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Murli Manohar Joshi, with inscription dated January 27, 2003, can be seen today also while nobody knows the fate of the two projects.

Many officials in the district administration as well as Mansa Devi Shrine staff confirmed that the two projects could not see the light of the day due to political reasons.

Even the work at ceremonial gate of Mansa Devi temple had been halted for the want of funds and nobody knows its date of completion despite the fact that it was proposed to be completed in a period of six months from the date of actual commencement and tender for the work was awarded in April 2007.

During a meeting of the Mansa Devi Shrine Board, chaired by the Chief Minister on August 8, 2006, it was proposed to construct a huge entrance gate conforming to the architect of the temple at main approach road as done at the entrance of Kurukshetra .A token budget of Rs 25 lakh was also made available for the financial year 2006-07.

Later, foundation stone of the gate was laid by the Chief Minister of Haryana, who happened to be the chairman of the shrine board, on January 4, 2007. HUDA submitted an estimate of the construction amounting to Rs 53.70 lakh.

The contract was awarded to M/S Shakti Construction on March 30, 2007. However, on February 4, last year, half of the portion of the gate collapsed resulting in the death of a labourer. Since then the estimate of the construction had been revised twice touching the total cost of gate to Rs 1 crore.

However, the funds for the latest revision of the construction cost were yet to be released by the government and it was sure that the work on the gate could not be started till then, said an official in HUDA, which is looking after the construction on the site.



Youth not joining police: Haryana DGP
Tribune News Service

Haryana Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal (extreme right) and other participants at a seminar in Panchkula
Haryana Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal (extreme right) and other participants at a seminar in Panchkula on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, December 17
Haryana Director General of Police Rajiv Dalal said the basic policing in the state was suffering as educated youth or those from the urban areas were not interested to join the police force on lower ranks, including constables and assistant sub-inspectors.

Dalal, who was addressing a gathering at a seminar on “Role of NGOs for prevention of crimes”, organised by Global Human Rights Protection Organisation, said though there was no dearth of good officials in the force, training the youth recruited on lower ranks from rural areas was a difficult task as they were not exposed to the world outside their villages.

However, many projects were being launched to groom them, though it would take some time to make them to come to the expectations of public, he added.

Speaking on the increasing trend of crime in Panchkula, Dalal said the town was developing rapidly and the participation of public in the community policing could make a sea change in the situation. Thought it was the responsibility of sate police to provide protection to the life and property to the residents, merely 10 per cent of contribution by public in the shape of alertness towards their surroundings would prove a big help in preventing crimes, he added.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, DR Chaudhary, a member of the Haryana State Administrative Reforms Committee, said things could prove disastrous in case steps were not taken to control the increasing crime.

Professor Basant Kumar, a former head of the law department, Panjab University, and Randhir Singh Badhran, president of the Global Human Rights Association, also spoke on the occasion.

Famous playback singer Vinod Sehgal and Panchkula medical superintendent VK Bansal were also honoured on the occasion.



Delegates discuss Indo-Canadian cooperation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
A two-day seminar on “ Cooperative development, peace and security: Indo-Canadian cooperation” was organised as part of activities of the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) to promote connectivity between India and other friendly countries, on the CRRID premises here today. The seminar was organised in collaboration with the University of Fraser Valley, Canada.

It was inaugurated by Vikas Pratap, NRI Commissioner, Punjab Government, who spoke on the need of cooperation between India and Canada in the field of development skills and food technology.

Earlier, Rashpal Malhotra, Executive Vice-Chairman, CRRID, welcomed the delegates, while Dr DJ Sandhu and Ambassador Paramjit Sahai (retd) gave background of the seminar, highlighting the importance of promoting connectivity between India and Canada.

The first two sessions were devoted to international organised crime. Speakers gave different views and perceptions based on their own experiences and research. One view was that there was no need to overplay the mythical link between organised international crime and terrorism. On the other hand, the experience was that there was a linkage between organised crime and terrorism.

The experts spoke on the timely handling of the problem, as neglect and inadequate understanding had given strength to miscreants. Another perspective dwelled on whether a democratic polity suited to handle organised and terrorism? All speakers highlighted the need for international cooperation in fighting the menace of organised crime and terrorism. It was, however, agreed that any lasting success would have to be through winning the hearts and minds of the people.

In the afternoon session, discussion focused on food security, food diversification, sustainable rural development (both in Canada and India). The emphasis was on ensuring human security through adequate facilities in the field of health and education in Punjab. Similarly, for food diversification, remunerative prices for diversifying crops had to be assured along with appropriate technology ensuring high yield. Speakers were of the view that cooperation between the two countries in the areas of agriculture, health, education, small and medium industries would be a way forward.



Car goes up in flames at petrol station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
A major tragedy was averted when a car caught fire at a Sector 39 petrol station today morning while it was being refueled. There was no provision of the fire extinguishers in the patrol station.

The car caught fire as soon as Suresh Kumar Goel, a resident of Kharar, started his Ford Ikon car (CH 03 S 1060) after getting it refueled. His mother along with an elderly woman was sitting in the rear while Goel was driving the car with his brother sitting besides him.

“As soon as I started the engine, the attendant at the petrol station raised an alarm that the car has caught fire. We got panicky and came out of the car. It went up in flames within seconds,” Goel added.

The attendants tried to push the car away from the petrol station, but it went towards the underground tank in which huge volume of petrol was stored. Then, they pushed the burning car away from the tank while pouring waters on it. They took the help of fire extinguishers as well, but these were not of much help.

The fire department was informed about the incident. Soon, cops of the police control room reached the spot on seeing the smoke rising from the petrol station, Goel added.

About the fire safety features, Goel said there were wasn’t pressure in the water supply taps and not a single bucket of sand and water at the petrol station. The attendants tried to douse the flames with the help of small containers. The fire tenders reached the spot after 15 to 20 minutes and it took almost 40 minutes to douse the flames.

Goel said he along with his family was going to Delhi after an ailing neighbour had died there last night. The car was completely damaged in the fire. “I am not aware how the car caught fire. It was 2005 model and was in good condition.” Goel added.

The fire department said it received an information at 7.42 am and dispatched two fire tenders. The entire operation lasted for over 40 minutes. The fire officials said it was premature to divulge the reason behind the fire at this stage.



Mohali DC warns officials
Attend meetings or face action
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 17
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand has warned the officials to attend the monthly meetings to assess the progress of the ongoing works or face action.

Presiding over the meeting of the District Development Committee, the DC said the officials who had failed to submit the certificates of utilisation of funds would have to submit them within a week, as more funds could not be issued till the utilisation certificates were presented to the authorities concerned. He asked the officials to keep a proper record of various works being undertaken by them. Mand said people in villages were not aware of social welfare schemes of the government and directed senior officials of various departments to personally supervise the work and ensure that people availed the benefits under various welfare schemes. There was a need for departments to have proper coordination so that developments works did not suffer, he said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Iqbal Singh Brar directed officials to involve elected representatives and people in executing various development works.



Mood swings due to chill, a myth: Docs
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Winter blues may be a reality in Alaska but certainly not in the City Beautiful. Contrary to the perception that chilly weather, misty mornings and overcast skies are generally a cause of heightened depression and mood swings among people across the world, studies reveal that this is merely a myth, particularly in places like this city, which occasionally and that too for brief spell, witnesses such weather.

Recent studies conducted by the psychiatry department of the PGI and the GMCH-32 has revealed that the aptly named acronym- SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or more commonly known as winter depression - has no connection with season. The two studies, “Seasonality in Affective Disorders” by the PGI and “Seasonal pattern of psychiatry service utilization in a tertiary care hospital” by GMCH-32, which have been published in Indian Journal of Psychiatry conclude that sign of an affective disorder is not necessarily associated with seasonal change.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr BS Chawan, head of psychiatry department, GMCH-32, said: The peak incidence of mood disorders was found in the months of June and July and high number of suicide cases was also reported in the same period. In contrast, very few incidences of mood disorder as well as suicide were reported in the months of November, December and January during the past six years from 1999 to 2004.

He said, SAD denotes a condition, which arises primarily out of lack of sunlight, curtailment of social as well as personal activities due to the dip in the mercury but such type of conditions didn’t occur in Asian countries. “Our study was unique in the way that it has attempted to investigate the seasonal influence on service utilization by patients with these types of mood disorders. No national or international study has studied the seasonality pattern in patients’ visits with neurotic stress-related and somatoform disorders,” said Dr Chawan.

Finding similar results during the study, Dr Ajit Awasthi from the psychiatry department of the PGI, in a publication stated: “Majority of patients in the PGI did not report any variation in mood, behaviour, sleep pattern and weight fluctuations. Therefore, it is difficult to relate seasonal changes to the processes underlying the development of affective disorder.

”Even though this study has a few limitations (relatively small number of patients), the findings, as such, cannot be ignored. The group comprised patients with all types of affective disorders; not solely being restricted to major depression,” stated Dr Awasthi adding that there is need to carry out more studies on larger group. So next time when you feel blue, don’t blame it on the weather.



Spine injury centre to be opened in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
In view of the rapid rise in the cases of spine-related ailments among software and marketing professionals, senior citizens and others, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has decided to start “post of spine fellowship” in the institute.

The aim of upgrading one of the posts of GMCH-32 into spine fellowship post is to appoint more trained professionals, so they can take care of those suffering from such problems as spinal injury care centre is not available in the government and private hospitals of the region and local patients are forced to go to the All India Spinal Centre in Delhi, said Dr Raj Bahadur, director of the institute.

Talking to mediapersons on the eve of the three days international conference on spine and spinal injuries, which will start from tomorrow, he said the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre (RSIC), Mohali, would cater to the needs of patients from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh. It is expected to become fully operational with in a few days. Giving details about the centre, he said, initially, it would have 20 beds, which would later be increased to 50. As the centre would be close to paraplegic centre being run by Army, it would also be of great help to soldiers who sustain injuries during counter- insurgency and anti-terrorist operations, he added.

At present, only physiotherapy facility is being provided to the patients here, but after its formal inauguration, specialised surgery would be made available at the centre, said Dr Raj Bahdur, who is also its project director.

Main focus of the centre would be on spinal injuries, he added. Treatment would be subsidized as it is a joint venture between Punjab and the Union governments. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the UT administration to make technical support available through GMCH-32.



AIDS: Workshop to sensitise UT cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
While continuing efforts regarding spreading of awareness for prevention of HIV/AIDS, the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society organised a one-day sensitisation workshop for Chandigarh Police personnel yesterday.

The workshop was conducted at the Recruitment Training Centre, Sector 26. The theme of the workshop was to disseminate HIV/AIDS awareness messages to the police personnel.

According to experts, HIV/AIDS and STI rates among the Armed Forces are generally two to five times higher than the civilian population and in the time of conflict, the difference can be much higher.

“The police come more in contact with the high-risk group in whom there are higher chances of HIV/AIDS. It is, therefore, important that the police is aware of these groups, their behaviour patterns and risk factors,” said the experts.

They should know how to deal with this group. Also, since the police and paramilitary forces are a mobile group of population, they can be at the higher risk of acquiring the HIV infection. Hence, it is important that they are also taught prevention and management of HIV/AIDS.

The workshop was inaugurated by TS Rana, chief law instructor, Recruitment Training Centre, Sector 26, Chandigarh. In the workshop, around 180 trainee constables, 125 trainees of upper school course, 15 home guard volunteers and 25 investigating officers of the police were participating.

In his inaugural speech, Rana emphasised on the importance of awareness about the menace of HIV/AIDS. He added that a lot of myths and misconceptions are prevailing among the masses regarding HIV/AIDS, so the message of HIV/AIDS awareness must be addressed in a scientific manner. He urged the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society for organising such workshops in the future also.

In the first session of the workshop, Sandeep Mittal, DD (TI) CSACS, brought home the different aspects of HIV/AIDS. He pointed out that in the present scenario, the role of police was crucial to check the menace of HIV/AIDS. He also spoke on how could the police personnel handle this sensitive issue of HIV/AIDS and how could they evolve a strategy while dealing with men having sex with men (MSMs), female sex workers (FSWs) and intravenous drug users (IDUs).

The next session was taken up by Dr Vandana Dewan, consultant (VBD) CSACS. She described the different aspects of blood donation and how blood donation was an important element for preventing HIV/AIDS. She told while in need, one should take blood only from the licenced blood banks.

She asked the trainees to motivate people of the high-risk behaviour to get themselves tested. She made the participants aware about the basic blood related services available in UT.

In the next session, Dr Jitender Dahiya, consultant (CSM) CSACS, threw light on the issue that why should the police personnel be a channel partner in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

He requested the higher rank officers in the police to adopt sympathetic approach while dealing with the high-risk groups.

The last session was an open session. During the session, police staff put up their queries on HIV/AIDS before the panelist. All queries were addressed on the spot. An exhibition was also put up and IEC material was distributed.



Aviation sector needs bright scientists: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Stating that aviation and space were among the fastest growing sectors in India, a former top scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation has said that more human resources need to be chanelised into this area to meet the future requirements.

Delivering an inaugural address at the Fourth National Aerospace Olympiad organised by the Aeronautical Society of India here today, M Balakrishnan, former Director, Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, said at present there was a drop in the number of aspiring scientists and engineers opting for these sectors.

He said these sectors offer immense opportunities and efforts must be made to induct and nurture bright minds to opt for a career in the space and aviation sectors so that India could continue to be a major player.

Presentations on aviation and space related topics were also made by experts. Teams from 20 schools, short listed from 89 institutes across the country, are participating in the event, which includes project reports and presentations, quizzes and other competitions.

All events are team efforts, which require equal participation by all members.



Panel holds meet on security issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
A state-level security committee meeting on the security issues for the city was held at the Reserve Bank of India building here today as a useful forum for the face-to-face discussions between the Reserve Bank of India and other banks on the one hand and the Chandigarh Administration, police and other government agencies like the Telecom Department and fire services.

The meeting, which was presided over by Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, attended by senior officials from the police, Intelligence Bureau, CBI and banks. Niwas spoke about various initiatives taken by the Home Department for the safety and security of banks. He also informed that the quick reaction team has been constituted to thwart attempts of burglary, thefts, terrorist attacks faced by banks and other public utility service providers in the city. During the meeting, a live demonstration in this regard was held and on an emergency call to ‘100’, the police, medical and fire services, all rushed to the spot within 5 to 7 minutes which was appreciated by senior officers of the administration.



Foundation stone of community centre laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Cabinet minister for education, health, women and child development, Haryana, Geeta Bhukkal, laid the foundation stone of a community centre today. Besides this, she also mooted a plan for developing and beautifying a theme park near a dumping ground with irrigation system in Dadu Majra Colony.

The plan is afoot for constructing an underground reservoir along with a pumping machinery for storing 1 lakh gallon of water for irrigation purposes. A complete network of irrigation lines with hydrants would also be provided for irrigating the dumping ground in 17 acres. The project would approximately cost Rs 33.5 lakh.

While the community centre would be constructed in 0.75 acre with all modern facilities like a conference hall, sampark centre, library, indoor games, and a dormitory. The approximate cost of the production would be Rs 1.11crore.

Mayor Kamlesh, councillors and officers of the municipal corporation were also present on the occasion. Later, Kamlesh laid the foundation stone of a simmering volcanic water feature in the green belt at Sector 35 today. The estimated cost of the project would be around Rs 24.71 lakh. Harjinder Kaur, area councillor, other councillors and officers were also present on the occasion.



Chrysanthemum exhibition begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Prof Vipin Sobti inaugurated the chrysanthemum exhibition at Prof RC Paul Rose Garden at Panjab University here today. More than fifty varieties of chrysanthemum will be displayed at the exhibition. Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti was the guest of honour at the exhibition. The exhibition will conclude on December 24.

Renditions by Suhasini

The music department of Panjab University today arranged a stage performance of eminent vocalist Dr Suhasini Karotkar. A disciple of Pt TD Janorikar of Bhindi Bazar Gharana, she presented three compositions in raga jog and mesmerised participants and listeners. The second resource person was senior Prof Saroj Ghosh. A disciple of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahib, she presented a lecture-cum-demonstration on techniques of sitar.

NSS camp

A seven-day NSS camp was inaugurated by Bikram Singh Rana, state liaison officer (NSS), Chandigarh administration, at Government College of Education, Sector 20-D, today. Principal Dr Harsh Batra presented the welcome address and congratulated the NSS volunteers on coming forward for the cause of social service. Nearly 150 NSS volunteers are taking part in this week-long programme.



Pensioner’s Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Punjab Government Pensioners Welfare Association celebrated the Pensioner’s Day at Shivalik Public School here today.

A seminar was organised to mark the day.

Amar Chandel, Associate Editor, The Tribune, was the key speaker at the seminar. He deliberated upon the topic “Rising Prices and Pensioners.”

“One of the major problem faced by pensioners today is that they have to run from pillar to post to avail the benefits they get,” he added.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |