C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Despite tight security, cops fail to shield Rathore
Sanjay Bumbroo & Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

People gathered at the spot, where SPS Rathore was attacked outside the District Courts in Chandigarh on Monday.
People gathered at the spot, where SPS Rathore was attacked outside the District Courts in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, February 8
The UT police failed miserably to protect ex-Haryana DIG SPS Rathore, convicted in the Ruchika molestation case, from being stabbed in the face with a pocket knife by a youth outside the district court complex here today despite the expected high security cordon around the former senior police officer.

A lawyer at the court, requesting anonymity, said: “I was sitting with my client when my wife called me up from home to say Rathore had been murdered in the court complex. I was shocked and rushed outside. I’m amazed by the fact an attempt on his life could be made in presence of a swarm of onlookers, mediapersons and police personnel”.

“Going by the massive public reaction to the incident I can only say various motives will now be ascribed to the attack with some even suspecting Rathore of having stage managed the incident”.

Avaninder Singh, a visitor to the courts, said, “It’ll be interesting to find out the real motive behind the attack. Could it possibly be just a case of some one giving vent to his pent-up anger? Only time will tell”.

While leaving the court Rathore covered his wound with a handkerchief before boarding his car. His face did not show any fear as he walked straight.

Some lawyers said on the condition of anonymity that as Rathore was passing through a “bad phase” many people would view this incident as another ploy by him to keep the media away from him besides garnering public sympathy.

SSP SS Srivastava said the assailant appeared to be psychologically unbalanced and was undergoing treatment in Ahmedabad, adding the police is trying to ascertain the motive behind the youth’s action.

It is learned the suspect had been camping in Panchkula for the past month. Posing as a “journalist” he claimed to be working on a documentary on female feticide.

The Girhotra family, who were also present in the court in connection with the case, condemned the attack. Ruchika’s father said, “Such attacks are to be condemned as the court is independently looking into the case to decide it on merit”, adding he had full faith in the judiciary.



Light rain brings mercury down in city
Tribune News Service

A spectacular view of the reflection of trees in water after the showers in Chandigarh on Monday.
A spectacular view of the reflection of trees in water after the showers in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan and Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, February 8
The scattered rainfall and continuously cloudy skies today brought temperatures down in the city after a long dry spell, with minimum temperature recorded at 13.8 degrees Celsius and the maximum at 20.1 degrees. The weather remained pleasant for the whole day due to cloud cover.

The met department has predicted similar weather conditions for tomorrow with a generally cloudy sky with a few spells of rain or thundershowers. The maximum temperature is likely to be around 21 degrees C.

"We’re expecting isolated spells of rainfall and thunderstorms in the city in the next 24 to 48 hours. This is due to the fast approaching western disturbances over this part of the northern plains," said Chattar Singh, director of the meteorological department.

"There’s also a possibility of fast blowing cold waves to prevail in the region. It would certainly bring about a sharp plunge in both day and night temperatures," he added.

Vehicle drivers, especially two-wheeler riders were seen driving carefully on the streets strewn with leaves to avoid skidding.

Yesterday the maximum temperature had touched 25.8 degrees C, two degrees above normal.



Registry of Property
Admn increases collectors’ rates

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 8
To check the registry of property at under-value rates, Mohali district administration today hiked the collectors’ rate, a benchmark for the sale and purchase of property.

The increase, varying from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, is effective from today. The rates have been hiked after two years, confirmed Mohali Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand.

While the urban property dealers have been given a 10 per cent hike in the collector rates, the rural areas where there have been land acquisitions for various projects and the agricultural land along the main roads, the rate has been hiked by 15 per cent.

Sources in the administration said, the collector rate in urban areas had been increased from Rs 10,000 per sq yard to Rs 11,000 per sq yard. The collector rate to calculate the stamp duty on the old and new construction in urban area had been increased by Rs 50 per sq ft as compared to previous rates.

For commercial and industrial property, the collector rate has been increased from Rs 50,000 per sq yard to Rs 55,000 per sq yard and Rs 5,000 per sq yard to Rs 5,500 per sq yard.

With eight per cent stamp duty, registering the sale deed of one kanal plot would now cost Rs 4.40 lakh against Rs 4 lakh, earlier. For a 10 marla plot, the hike would be around Rs 20,000. Similarly, a 121 sq yard commercial plot would now cost the purchaser dearer by Rs 50,000.

An official in the revenue department said, the collector rates in rural areas under acquisition were less than the land acquisition compensation of Rs 1.50 crore an acre being paid by the state government.

Meanwhile, a number of persons who approached the sub-registrar’s office to get their sale deed registered were surprised about the hike.

Amit Marwaha, who had gone to sub-registrar’s office, said: “We have purchased the stamp papers and got the required papers printed as per the old rates.”



Cheaper liquor from UT flooding other states
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, February 8
With liquor prices in Chandigarh lower than those prevailing in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have made the union territory a haven for liquor smugglers and the most sought-after destination for booze lovers.

Smuggling across the interstate Shambhu barrier has steadily increased over the past few years with the number of cases of illicit liquor being confiscated at this point having skyrocketed. Excise duty imposed on liquor in Chandigarh is much lower than in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with the difference being at least Rs 15. Due to the varying levies liquor in smuggled in huge quantities from the UT to neighboring states.

“People smuggling liquor from Chandigarh to Punjab are earning three to four times more than its actual cost in Chandigarh. For instance, if some one smuggles liquor worth Rs 1 lakh from Chandigarh he ends up earning more than Rs 4 lakh in Punjab”, says a senior excise department official in Patiala.

Sources said most of the smuggled liquor is taken to the Samana area of Patiala from where the smugglers distribute it to other areas of Punjab. Similarly, liquor is smuggled into Panchkula in Haryana and adjoining Himachal Pradesh.

Police officials said Chandigarh residents consume less alcohol and most of the liquor in retail stores is smuggled to nearby states to be sold at higher prices. “Though Chandigarh has a population of about a million, the liquor consumption per capita is only 27 proof liters”, they added.

Residents of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal prefer to purchase liquor in Chandigarh instead of their home states as there is a substantial price difference for each brand. Most of the cheaper brands are sold illegally in Punjab after being smuggled from Chandigarh, according to the police officials.

“The supply of liquor to Chandigarh is much more than the actual demand, and there is no check over the inflow of liquor to the UT. Taking advantage of this situation smugglers are minting money,” said excise department officials.

Patiala SP (D) Gurdeep Singh Pannu said the police seized illicit liquor worth Rs 1 crore in the recent past. “Most of the liquor confiscated was meant for smuggling into Haryana, Punjab, Himachal and Gujarat, a ‘dry’ state”, he added.

Liquor smuggling shoots up during festivals and elections when trucks loaded with as many as 800 to 1,000 cases of liquor are routinely seized, with the truckers themselves making a lot of money.


Ruchika never intended to join back: Father Thomas
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Sacred Heart School claims to be all set to furnish the CBSE with ‘strong’ documentary evidence proving that Ruchika was not the sole child whose name had been struck off from the school’s attendance register for the fee default.

The school, which is busy preparing a reply to the CBSE’s notice demanding an explanation on UT administration report declaring it guilty of arbitrarily expelling Ruchika Girhotra, claims to have enough documentary proof to counter administration allegation of having singled out Ruchika, while applying rules.

Speaking to The Tribune Father Thomas, The official spokesperson of Chandigarh DIOCES said, “In the reply we shall be giving enough documentary proof to the CBSE proving that there were many other children whose name was struck off from the register for not paying fees but everybody except Ruchika paid it and joined back. So far, there is no proof of Ruchika having ever tried to pay the delayed fee. These documents will prove that it was a voluntary withdrawal and not an under pressure expulsion as alleged by the administration.”

“If they had all this proof then why didn’t they put it across to the enquiry committee?” questions a senior UT official.

However, it may be noted that the school authorities claim that majority of the evidences being supplied to the CBSE had already been put forth in the administration’s enquiry but were never taken cognizance of.

“The administration just took cognizance of Girhotra’s version and the attendance register but we are sure that the CBSE will consider everything,” added Father Thomas.

The CBSE taking cognizance of the UT administration Report had recently asked the school as to why it should not be disaffiliated for ‘expelling’ Ruchika Girhotra in an arbitrary manner just a month after being molested by SPS Rathore.



Water Supply
GMADA told to sink 10 tubewells
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 8
In a bid to augment the water supply position in the town in view of the coming summers, the Water Supply and Sanitation Wing has requested the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to sink 10 tubewells in various parts of the town and also release funds for the provision of a hotline power connection to an underground storage reservoir (UGSR).

The request was made at a meeting held here today with the Chief Administrator (CA) of GMADA VP Singh, which was also attended by the Mohali Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand.

Sources said the Water Supply and Sanitation Wing requested GMADA to issue funds to the tune of Rs 47 lakh for providing a hotline power connection to the UGSR in Phase X. It was pointed out that both waterworks in Phase VI and Sector 57 were equipped with hotline power connections for uninterrupted power supply but the UGSR in Phase X faced problems due to power cuts or power failures as water could not be supplied at the required pressure to Phases IX to XI. Since the UGSR received regular supply of water from Sector 57, a hotline power connection was essential for supplying adequate water to residents.

The CA was told that Phases VII, III A, III B 1, III B 2, V, IX, X , XI , Sector 71 and Mohali village faced shortage of water.

Since the Municipal Council was short of funds, it would not be in a position to sink new tubewells to meet water shortage. As such GMADA will have to provide help to the residents of the town by sinking 10 tubewells in the areas, which face shortage of water. It is learnt that GMADA had already sunk one tubewell in Phase VIII.

It was also pointed out at the meeting that Mohali faced shortage of water as it was not getting adequate share from the four pipelines coming from Kajauli waterworks and water discharge from the tubewells had also decreased over the years.

The shortage between the demand and supply of water at present was about 10 mgd. GMADA was requested to expedite the work in connection with the Phase V and VI of Kajauli waterworks, which was the only solution to meet the shortage of water in Mohali.

The Deputy Commissioner said both GMADA and the civic body were asked to have a proper coordination so that works in the town did not suffer. There was also a need to clearly spell out the responsibilities of both the departments so that residents knew, which agency to approach, whenever and wherever required. He said GMADA was also asked to give some portion to the “naksha fee” it collected to the civic body as the latter faced shortage of funds.



38 illegal kiosks razed
Tribune News Service

A demolition drive in progress at the Phase-XI rehri market in Mohali on Monday.
A demolition drive in progress at the Phase-XI rehri market in Mohali on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 8
The enforcement staff of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today removed at least 38 unauthorised kiosks in the Phase-XI rehri markets.

Seven other structures, against which the occupants produced stay orders, were left out.

Facing opposition from the illegal occupants, the enforcement staff removed the kiosks with help of a JCB.

Balbir Singh, estate officer, GMADA, said the kiosks existed on the public land for the past nine years. In 1987, some illegal occupants were allotted booths after removing the illegal structures, but the kiosks came up again.

The land vacated had been earmarked for a petrol pump.

According to sources, GMADA plans to carry out a similar drive in other city markets.



Levying of entry tax on diesel, cement condemned
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 8
The Consumers Protection Federation has condemned the Punjab Government for levying entry tax on diesel, cement and various other items because such a decision will put an additional burden on the people, who are already hit by the exorbitant prices of essential commodities.

The federation said such a tax would not only lead to rise in prices of few items but also of essential commodities, the prices of which were already far too high.

It said the price rise had badly affected the people and any further increase would be unacceptable.

The federation also said the proposal to increase the power tariff by 51 per cent, if accepted, would further burden consumers.

The state power board instead of increasing the power tariff should take effective steps to stop power theft, reduce transmission and distribution losses and recover outstanding payments, the federation said.

The federation called for a withdrawal of increase in prices as well as the proposal on power tariff. 



Purchase of Fire Extinguishers
Army welfare society comes under scanner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The purchase of fire extinguishers by the Army Welfare Housing Cooperative and Maintenance Society in Sector 47 C has come under the scrutiny of the Registrar of Societies.

The Office of the Registrar has directed the president of the society to produce the record pertaining to the purchase on February 9.

The probe is ordered after some members of the society complained alleged irregularities in the purchase of extinguishers to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies in October 2009.

The direction for producing the record was issued after the president of the society Col GS Sandhu (retired), did not reply to a notice issued on January 15 to him by the authorities for comments on the complaints.

The authorities have also initiated probe into one of its savings account maintained by the society at a branch of Canara Bank in Sector 47 C. The complainants alleged that the society executive did not get the account audited and reflected transactions in the society’s annual financial report.

In the complaints to the cooperative authorities, the members said the expenditure on purchasing extinguishers did not reflect in the balance sheet for the year 2008-09 distributed by the society’s governing body during the general house meeting for approval. The extinguishers were purchased in February 2009.

The members had earlier written to the president of the society asking him to clarify if the purchase was transparent and the society obtained proper bills against the purchase. They also wanted to know from Sandhu if the seller paid VAT on the sale and the payment was made by cheque. The president did not care to reply to their request.

The complaint said that one member of the society’s executive body had told the general house that the firm supplying the extinguishers did not exist at the address mentioned on the quotation. The general house of the society had also not sanctioned the purchase of the extinguishers.

The complainants alleged that the present executive body connived to cover up the irregularities of the previous executive body and save the Fire Department officials from trouble, who had issued the NOC before the installation of fire extinguishers outside all households. The previous executive body was headed by Col HS Dev (retired).

Major H S Dilawari (retired), one of the complainants, said the members wanted the society to reveal the details of the purchase. “The society executive is led by a former Army officer, who did not appreciate our demand for transparency. We moved the registrar office for inquiry after he failed to provide us the information about the purchases to the general house or members,” Dilawari said.



Budget Meeting
Only 4 councillors submit suggestions
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Out of 35 councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, only four councillors have submitted their suggestions regarding the proposals of development projects of the city to be discussed at the budget meeting.

Mayor Anu Chatrath had written a letter to the councillors asking them to submit development projects to be taken up in the next financial year budget by February 8.

The Mayor convened a meeting with finance and contract committee members today to discuss the proposals submitted by the councillors. The main discussion would be finalised tomorrow.

According to sources, the decision has been taken after a recent House Meeting in which the councillors had raised the issue of priority projects, benefiting people at large, to be included in the budget. Councillors had objected that mostly the budget presented did not cover important aspects of development. They had asked for taking suggestions from the councillors before presenting the budget, but the interest shown by the councillors shows a different picture.

On the basis of anonymity some of the nominated councillors opined that since they were not invited for any of the ward meetings so there was no point of suggestions.

A few councillors said as most of them had submitted their proposed projects to the authorities earlier, so there was no need to submit them again.

The Mayor said the budget would be discussed on February 10 and development projects on February 11.

Similarly, budget would be tabled in the House on February 15 and development agendas on February 19, she added.



AIIMS to turn to ayurveda to treat heart patients
Clinical trials to begin soon
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Experts at AIIMS are to start clinical trials on heart patients with the properties of Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna tree) as it can play vital role in treating the disease.This was stated by Professor SK Maulik, pharmacology, AIIMS, who is the member of a team, which is involved in studying the medicinal value of the bark of the Arjuna tree.

In fact a great emphasis is laid on the medicinal value of Arjuna tree in the Atharv Veda and Charak Samhita. It says it is beneficial in treating heart diseases, Maulik said. To give scientific credence to it, the investigations began 6 years ago. It is found that the bark has two novel properties, like augmentation of endogenous cardiac antioxidants and induction of heat-shock protein. The results on rats showed that the water extract of the bark of Arjuna tree could reduce the doses of standard drugs given to the patients of heart disease, reduce the side effects of such drugs and improve quality of life of patients.

Though trials on animals have been completed successfully and the ethical approval has also been obtained for trials on human beings, it will be premature to claim a success till the clinical trials are completed, he added. Maulik said there were many varieties of the tree that were found all over the country and trees of all types looked similar and under such circumstances, there was every possibility that one could use the bark of a wrong variety of tree, which could prove detrimental for one’s health.

Moreover, the tree, which was less than 50 years old, was of no use, he said.

There was no cure for heart disease till now and the treatments available in medical world were only to delay the complications and the same could be said about Arjuna tree as well, he said. 



Children with heart disease get reason to cheer
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 8
A driver living in Banur, Bir Chand, was shattered when his five-year-old son was diagnosed with a hole in the heart.

And no less was the mental turmoil of daily wager, Sant Ram of Samala village, whose nine-year-old daughter, Mandeep Kaur, had a damaged heart valve and a hole in the heart. Manisha (15) daughter of Shami of Ghaziabad, and Daljeet Kaur (15), daughter of another daily wager, Surinder Singh of Sangrur, were similarly diagnosed with a hole in the heart.

But all four of them have got a reason to cheer now, as they have been successfully operated upon by a team of doctors headed by Dr TS Mahant at the Fortis Hospital, Mohali, under the Rotary Club’s “Gift of Life” project, which has been supported by the Rotarians of Jersey and the UK, along with the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

Nearly 41 members of the club from Australia, Argentina, Finland, Norway, the UK and the USA today visited the Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and interacted with children who are being treated under the “Gift of Life” programme, a special project to save lives of poor children.

Lakhmana, president, Rotary Club, Chandigarh, and KK Seth, counsellor, Rotary Club, Chandigarh, accompanied the foreign delegates.

The club members also acknowledged the contribution of the team of cardiologists from the Fortis Hospital who provided a number of free/concessional cardiac surgeries to support the programme.

The club has also announced a new initiative for nearly 35 to 40 more surgeries with the help of members from Jersey. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs 27 lakh. 



Ozone Computers told to pay Rs 1,100
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The District Consumer and Redressal Forum has directed Ozone Computers and P Authorised Service Centre to rectify the defect of touch pad sensitivity without any charge and also to compensate Rs 1,100 as costs of litigation to complainant Inderbir Singh.

It said if the company failed to do so, it would be liable to pay the interest of 9 per cent per annum since the filing of the present complaint i.e. October 28, 2009, till the costs of litigation was paid to the complainant.

Singh, a resident of Gurdaspur, claimed that he had purchased a Compaq Presario laptop 797 VU from Ozone Computers on November 4, 2008, which had a warranty of one year. The laptop started giving problems soon after its purchase. It is averred that its touch pad sensitivity was decreased and it developed some problem in its LAN port as well as DVD writer. Moreover, the laptop was not working up to mark as was assured.

He then took his laptop to the service centre, as advised by Khanna and gave it for repair. The service centre removed the defects in the LAN port and DVD writer but did not remove the problem in the touch pad due to which it stopped functioning properly within its warranty period only. As such, the complainant took the laptop to the shop as well as service centre and requested them to remove the problem but they refused to do so.

In their reply, the service centre admitted that Ozone Computers was an authorised dealer of HP branded laptops manufactured by P Authorised Service Centre owned by Hewlett Packard India Sales Private Limited Company. It also admitted that the laptop of the model purchased by the complainant was given a one-year warranty.

It stated that all defects reported by the complainant in his laptop were rectified to his entire satisfaction and the laptop was working fine and after the lapse of one year warranty period, the laptop cannot be repaired free of cost.

The court also said if any other defect was rectified besides the touch pad sensitivity, the complainant had to pay according to the terms and conditions of the company because the warranty period for the product in question was valid only for one year from the date of purchase i.e. November 4, 2008 to November 3, 2009 and after the lapse of warranty, if any other defect developed in the laptop cannot be repaired free of cost.



Mehra appears before CBI court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Adviser to the UT Administrator Pradeep Mehra appeared before the CBI court as a prosecution witness for proceedings against a case pertaining to corruption here today.

He submitted the same in the court of Darshan Singh.

It may be mentioned that the CBI had arrested Amit Kumar Midha, an assistant engineer of the UT electrical wing, from his car while accepting a bribe of Rs 8,000 from Swaran Singh, a contractor of a project, at the ISBT in Sector 43 on January 11, 2009.

The accused had asked the contractor to give him money if he wanted the pending bill of Rs 13-14 lakh to be passed.



No fee for verifying educational certificate, DoB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The central government has issued a notice to universities and state education boards not to charge any fee for verification of educational certificates and date of birth from central government departments whenever they are sought.

To avoid litigation, educational certificates and date of birth of new entrants are to be verified from the concerned university/education board/district education officer. This step is being taken after it has come to the notice of the home affairs ministry that some of the education boards and institutes are demanding a fee from government departments for the verification.

To ensure the candidate is eligible for appointment, the departments verify the correctness of the documents produced.

The ministry deems it fit that no payment for such verifications should be asked for. This will not only ensure only a genuine candidate gets appointed but will also establish the credibility of the university/board, according to a press note.



Experts warn against misuseof water
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Eminent scholars (from right) Prof SS Johl, Prof SS Gill and PU V-C RC Sobti at the Science Congress in Panjab University on Monday.
Eminent scholars (from right) Prof SS Johl, Prof SS Gill and PU V-C RC Sobti at the Science Congress in Panjab University on Monday. Tribune Photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, February 8
Cautioning the state governments against providing free water and electricity to farmers, agricultural scientists warned at the second day of 13th Punjab Science Congress, being held at Panjab University, that overuse and misuse of resources would convert the state into a desert soon.

With one meter of reduction of ground level each year and almost all hand pumps drying up in the state, the climate change is affecting the land fertility and crop pattern severely, claimed scientists today.

Agricultural researchers and eminent scientists proclaimed that water should be counted as a national asset. “Every drop of water should count” and “Right price should be imposed for water”, were the catchphrase given by Prof SS Johl, renowned agriculture economist and President of Indian Society of Agricultural Economics in an interview to The Tribune.

“The Punjab soil is getting dry with each passing year and the ground reality is that there is no water in the hand pumps. The government must wake up and discontinue the practice of granting free water, if it has to save Punjab,” he added. V-C of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Prof SS Gill said, “The depletion in ozone layer is bound to cause more skin burns, allergies, cardiac problems and fertility in a big way. Research has been done that this would also cause problem in pregnancy and will increase death rate of students below four years of age.”



PGI ex-doc honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Society for Indian Medical Anthropology, Mysore, has honoured
Prof Dr DN Kakar, former assistant professor, community medicines, PGI, for his contribution in the field of anthropology in India.

The society, a professional body of anthropologists and scientists, honoured Dr Kakar during the national conference on “India’s Health Care Challenges” at Vidyaranya, Hampi, on February 1.

Dr Kakar, who retired in 1993, is presently serving as president of the Environment Society of Haryana. 



Increase In Retailer's Stock Limit
Beopar Mandal reaches out to Bansal

Chandigarh, February 8
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) called upon Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliament Affair and Water Resources, to convey him about the resentment of the traders over pending issues of increase in retailer's stock limits of commodities in the city without license.

According to a press note, a limit, fixed in 1991, is insufficient, considering the present requirement, so comparative chart depicting the stock limits in Chandigarh and neighbouring states was presented to him and demand was raised to increase the limits on the Punjab pattern.

Since the Chandigarh administration has already sent recommendation to the Government of India to increase stock limits, the local MP was requested to take up the issue at New Delhi, as approval of the government was required to implement the enhanced limits in the city. The minister had supported the issue at a reception held by the traders for him in the grain market last year, the press note added. — TNS



Insurance company told to pay Rs 3.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Oriental Insurance Co Limited to pay Rs 3,48,000 against the insurance of a car bought by the complainant.

The complainant, Sudha Aggarwal, a resident of Panchkula, alleged that the company was using unfair trade practices and refused to compensate her against her stolen new car before she could get it registered with the transport authorities.

The complainant purchased a Tata Indica V2 (DLG) diesel version mini car on May 14, 2008, for Rs 3,98,713 for which she took a loan of Rs 3,48,000 from the State Bank of Patiala, Sector 8, Chandigarh. The car was stolen on June 21, 2008, and subsequently the matter was reported to the police as well as the company.

A case under Section 173 CrPC in October 2008 was registered. Thereafter, the claim was filed with the company.

It had been alleged that the company deliberately sought registration certificate of the vehicle, as it knew that the same possessed a temporary number and subsequently could not be registered in name of the complainant in the absence of physical presence of the vehicle.

The company, however, denied the charges and claimed that the complainant had submitted the

subrogation bond and letter of undertaking. It had been submitted that the claim had already been settled for Rs 3,97,277 and that the transfer of registration was necessary for the purpose of transfer of ownership from the complainant to company and the same was required before the claim was paid.

The court while delivering the judgment observed that the company could not refuse to make the payment of compensation simply because the vehicle was not registered.

The forum directed the company to compensate the complainant within 30 days of submission of documents.



Camps for implementing smart card scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Chandigarh administration is going to implement the smart card-based public distribution system by the end of February.Camps for the collection of bio-metrics and photographs of family members have already been held in Sectors 25, 26 and Palsora.

During the course of the camps, data has been captured for 1,356 BPL card holders. The biometrics and photographs of 6,522 persons have been recorded during the camps. The area attached to five fair price shops namely Arihant Provision Store (Sector 25), Mool Chand Jagdish Rai Store (Sector 25), Roop Narayan Provision Store (Palsora), Garg Provision Store (Palsora) and Narang Provision Store (Sector 26) has been covered so far.

On-the-spot verification of beneficiaries is being done by inspectors of the Food and Supplies Department. During the verification of card holders, a total of 50 BPL cards and 20 AAY cards have been cancelled and additions/deletions have been made in around 70 cases.

The smart card scheme aims at streamlining the functioning of the Food and Supplies Department by ensuring improvised and efficient service delivery. The smart card system envisions setting up of point of sale (POS) terminals at all fair price shops (FPSs) in the city.

The smart card with a 64 Kb capacity would hold biometric data of the family members of the card holder. The beneficiary would be able to know the ration allocation made so far and also the remaining balance in his account. The administration has selected the HCL System Integrator for the implementation of the project.

For the implementation of the smart card-based public distribution system in Chandigarh, camps are being organised in the city. Another camp in the series will be held from February 9 to 11 from 11 am to 8 pm at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 56, for capturing the biometrics and photographs of all the family members of the card holders.

Meanwhile, checking of the distribution of APL fortified atta to card holders by the fair price shops was carried out by the field staff of the Food and Supplies Department at two fair price shops namely Mool Chand Jagdish Rai, Sector 25, and Misra Provision Store, Labour Colony No.4, Chandigarh. Sale entries of APL fortified atta were checked by the inspectors through door-to-door physical verification. Some irregularities were found upon physical verification for which show cause notices are being issued to the fair price shop owners as per provisions of the Chandigarh Public Distribution System (Licensing and Control) Order, 2002.



Raids to check misusein shops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Raids were conducted by the food and supplies department along with representatives of Indian Oil Corporation to check misuse of domestic LPG cylinders in shops or commercial establishments in Sectors 22 and 35, here today.

During the course of checking, 11 domestic LPG 14.2 kg cylinders were seized from the premises of Hotel Memorable Moments, Sector 35, Chandigarh.

A case was registered against the defaulter as per the provisions of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Regulation of Supply and Distribution Order), 2000, under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.



273 examined at healthcheck-up camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
As many as 273 patients were examined at a free health check-up camp organised by Surya healthcare initiative, “Viva-Your family chemist”, Sector 37, here.

The patients underwent free health tests such as blood sugar level, blood pressure, body mass index and dentalcheck-up.

Hari Om Bhatia, president corporate finance and head retail, informed that the patients were also offered freeconsultations by dental physician, cardiologist, diabetologist, orthopaedician and general consultation.



From Schools & Colleges
Treasure hunt at UIHMT
Tribune News Service

Students of DAV College donate blood on the campus.
Students of DAV College donate blood on the campus. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 8
Students of University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT), Panjab University, organised a treasure hunt here today.

The aim was to develop organising skills and team spirit among students.

Students from the department participated and tried to find out locations by using a series of clues.

Sanjay Thakur, North India sales manager, Carlson Group of Hotels, addressed the students.

He advised budding professionals to develop skills for a better career. He was of the opinion that while increasing theoretical knowledge in the concerned area students should be more techno-savvy. “Even our pedagogy must use more technology, which is the need of hour,” he added.

Blood donation camp

The NSS unit of the college organised a blood donation camp at DAV College, Sector 10, in honour of GP Chopra, president, DAV College managing committee, New Delhi, for being awarded with Padma Bhushan.

The students participated in the camp in large numbers. About 120 units of blood were collected. Deepti Sahai, general manager, State Bank of India, local head office, Chandigarh, inaugurated the camp.

The senior faculty, including Dr BK Vermani, Dr BK Kapila, Dr KC Jain, Prof Rajinder and Dr Manjit worked in organising the event. Dr Vikram Rana, state liaison officer from director higher education visited the camp.

Youth fest

Panjab University won four first prizes in the 21st Inter-University National Youth Festival held at Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak. The festival was sponsored by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi.

PU also bagged second and third prize at the festival in which 61 universities participated. Dr SM Kant, director of the Youth Welfare, PU, said Neha Tomar, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, and Manasvinee, BCM College of Education, Ludhiana, won the first prize in debate.

In semi-classical vocal contest, Mitika Kanwar, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, won the first prize while Naveet Kaur, AS College, Khanna, won the first prize in Rangoli competition.

In the Western vocal solo, the first prize was won by Surinder Singh, SCD Government College for Women, Ludhiana, while the skit team of DAV College, Sector 10, also won the second prize. The skit members included Saurabh Chhabra, Siddharth Kaushal, Rahul Goel, Arshad Iqbal, Simram Singh and Mahak Sharma, students of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, in the classical vocal category, Mitika Kanwar of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, won the third prize.

Tributes paid

The department of Hindi, PU, held a condolence meeting here today to pay homage to Prof Sansar Chand who passed away recently.

Tributes were paid to his services to Hindi literature, scholarship and teaching.

Faculty members, research scholars and students of the department attended the programme said Prof Satyapal Sehgal, chairperson, department of Hindi.



Winter school on pharmaceutical nanotechnolog
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 8
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research director Prof N Sathyamurthy, Mohali, inaugurated a five-day winter school on “Nanotechnology in advance drug delivery” at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) here today.

Prof Sathyamurthy, a known chemist, while delivering the keynote address entitled, “Playing with the bucky ball!”, said there was a lot of opportunity to explore in the field of pharmaceutical nanotechnology.

Welcoming delegates, Prof KK Bhutani, director NIPER, said recently the nanotechnology had become a popular term representing the main efforts of current science and technology. He added that one of the important areas of the nanotechnology was nano medicine.

Prof Saranjit Singh, dean, NIPER, introduced the chief guest to audience, whereas Prof Arvind K Bansal, head, department of pharmaceutics, NIPER, proposed a vote of thanks. Earlier, similar types of winter schools were conducted in 2007 and 2009.

Fifty selected students are participating in the school sponsored by the department of science and technology, Government of India.

Dr Sanyog Jain, convener of the winter school, explicated the objective of the five-day event. He said major emphasis of this school was to encourage and motivate the young talent of the country in the area of nanotechnology applications in drug delivery.y



What’s New on PU Campus
15,000 students opt for Powerjyoti
Programme enables them to deposit fee from any part of country
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Breaking the stereotype and indicating a change in the mindset of people, more than 15,000 students have opted for the newly launched Powerjyoti programme of Panjab University, which enables the students to deposit fee from any part of the country.

The service, which was designed about nine months back, allows the students of PU to deposit the fee at any counter of the State Bank of India in the country. The receipt can subsequently be posted to the university for streamlining the data.

Despite lukewarm response of the online fee deposit facility, Powerjyoti programme has proved to be a certain success in a short span of time. The university plans to expand the awareness about the scheme and facilitate its acceptance.

The system, which was primarily launched for private candidates, has drawn more response in case of re-evaluation and examination fee. Among the departments, the students of correspondence departments have availed the facility the most.

Having managed to cut down the crowd at the fee collection counters in PU, officials said the service was meant to reduce the number of students flocking in the campus to deposit fee.

To avail the scheme, the students can now download the form from Panjab University’s website (puchd.ac.in) and deposit the fee at their nearest SBI counter without visiting the campus.

The only downside of the scheme is the delay in accumulation of the data when the students fail to deposit the receipt, said administrative functionaries.

Meanwhile, the university is exploring more avenues for the tech-savvy students with more such schemes in the pipeline.



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