Friday, September 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Prakriti’ makes progress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
‘Prakriti’ is making progress and gradually embracing one and all in its folds at Government College for Girls, Sector 11. This is no student who has infused new life in the curriculum but the environment society of the college which has earned an enthusiastic response for its vermiculture project.

Beginning with clearing thick undergrowth in the backyard of the college to transforming it into an “environmental field laboratory”, the society has started producing chemical-free compost in a short span of five months.

“We had dug six compost pits to collect kitchen wastes from hostels and other food and fruit stalls which comes to nearly 4 kg daily. To this, we added worms and guarded it against moisture, birds and overloading for 40 days to get this manure free of pests and unwanted weeds,” says Dr Kum Kum Kohli, co-ordinator of the project.

This high-quality odour-free manure being produced in sheds under the supervision of a handful of teachers and first-year students would also be sold at very reasonable prices to students and teachers of the college once the bulk production starts.

However, for now, six test plots have been made to study the effect of the manure on of growth of plants. Also, another pit has been dug to collect dry leaves to which wastes is added and left for composting rather than vermi-composting.

The members of the society have been made key resource persons for establishing similar vermi-compost units in the other colleges of the city and have even got a grant of Rs 10,000 from the administration.

In addition to this, the CAWEDS (Chandigarh Animal Welfare and Eco-Development Society) presented two carts apart from other facilities and incentives for the solid waste management to the college.

“Our aim is to manage the waste and educate students to do the same in their homes. They are thoroughly involved in the process right from preparing of the beds for vermi-composting to adding this manure to pots and plants,” says the Principal of the college, Ms Usha Waie.

Such has been the response from the teaching faculty that most of them are bringing kitchen waste and dumping it at the laboratory where it is segregated by two additional hands employed by the college. The students, too, have attempted starting small vermi-compost units in their homes, thus discouraging burning of the leaves.

Under the guidance of the Department of Environment, Panjab University, the college plans to expand its project and manage it with greater efficiency to produce manure in bulk.


New student body formed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
A new student body, “Association of Panjab University Students” was today floated at the PU campus and the party’s activists claimed that it had been formed by a breakaway group of both SOPU and PUSU.

In press note issued here this evening, Mr Varinderjit Singh Cheema, president of the new outfit, alleged that the agitation launched by both SOPU and PUSU over the past few months was not for the benefit of the student community. He also protested against the alleged “illegitimate” demands of these organisation for their vested interests, which included the agitation for the removal of the Sarojini Hall warden.

The aim of the new student’s body is to provide a ‘peaceful atmosphere at the campus’. The release further reads: The party’s ideology is to work for the upliftment and betterment of student community.


Workshop opens
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 19
Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, Principal Secretary, Education, Punjab, today inaugurated a three-day training workshop on GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) at CEDTI.

The main objective of the workshop is to train the teachers in environment learning components of Environment Education in School System project being implemented in hundreds of schools of Punjab. Fourtyfive teachers from three districts of the state are participating in the workshop.

Mr R. Mehta, Director, MOEF, Government of India, appreciated the progress in implementation of Environment Education System in School System by Education Department, Punjab.


Ensure engineers’ pay parity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant judgement, has ruled that the state government cannot justify discrimination between two classes of engineers on the ground of workload after equating their pay scales.

Delivering the verdict on a petition filed by two Class-I Agriculture Engineers, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice V.M. Jain and Mr Justice Viney Mittal, also quashed the orders denying them the benefit of higher increment.

In their detailed order, the Bench ruled: “It is clear that once the state government had decided to equate the pay scales of all the engineers, including those of the petitioners, it could not justify discrimination between one class of engineers and the other on the ground that the workload or responsibility of one class of engineers was more than the other. The stand taken by the respondents in this regard is totally untenable and, therefore, we direct that the impugned orders cannot be legally sustained and are hereby quashed.

Speaking for the Bench, Mr Justice Mittal added: “The petitioners shall be entitled to the benefit of higher pay scales at par with the engineers working in the Public Works Department. The petitioners shall also be entitled to arrears of pay and will also be entitled to revision of pay scales admissible from time to time.

Orders reserved on MLA’s bail plea

Mr Justice R. C. Kathuria of the High Court on Thursday reserved orders on a petition filed by Punjab MLA Balwinder Singh Bhunder seeking grant of anticipatory bail.

Mr Bhunder was apprehending implication in case registered against him allegedly due to political vendetta. Giving details, Mr Bhunder, in an earlier petition, had submitted that Mr Ajit Inder Singh Moffar of the Congress had been defeated by him during the elections. Seeking the grant of bail, his counsel had added that Mr Bhunder had remained a Cabinet Minister from 1977 to 1980, besides being Rajya Sabha member and MLA five times.

Contempt notice to Chief Secy

Issuing notice, Mr Justice M. M. Kumar of the High Court today asked Punjab Chief Secretary and other respondents to show cause why proceedings for contempt should not be initiated against them for alleged violation of orders passed by the court on a petition filed by a social organisation.

In its petition, the Punjab Services Anti Corruption Council had sought directions for holding an inquiry into the alleged non-completion of the Thien dam within the stipulated time.

Notice on bail plea of ex-Jathedar

Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the High Court today issued notice of motion on a bail petition filed by former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh, in a case registered after his daughter-in-law’s death in May 1997.

A first information report was registered under Sections 304-B, 498-A and 34 of the Indian Penal Code on October 31, 1999, on the High Court directions. The alleged victim’s brother, Amarjit Singh, had claimed that his sister was Sharanjit Kaur was killed for dowry, while the ex-Jathedar’s family had described it as an accidental death. Saranjit Kaur’s body was found in a tank opposite the Jathedar’s residence.

Seeking grant of bail, the ex-Jathedar contended that he was being implicated in a false case. Giving details of the events that had taken place on the fateful day, he had added that Sharanjit Kaur, along with his son, had gone to take a dip in the pond, but the victim had to be taken out of the tank.


Beant Singh case: witness turns hostile
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
One of the witnesses in the Beant Singh assassination case today turned hostile and did not recognise the accused in the case at a special court room in Burail Jail. While giving statement before the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, the witness, Amarjit Kaur, said she did not know Navjot Singh, one of the accused in the case.

The witness, who is a resident of SAS Nagar, said she had rented a room out to Jagrup Singh (who had been declared Proclaimed Offender in the case) for Rs 500 per month in 1994. She added that number of persons used to visit his room during his stay. She added that later another person had started living with Jagrup Singh.

The witness was asked to identify the accused who was sitting along with others behind the bars in the court room. But the witness refused to recognise the accused and stated before the judge that she did not know Navjot Singh.

The statement of Anil Kumar, the then constable posted in the north police station, has also been recorded in the case. Anil Kumar said after getting the news that a bomb blast had taken place in front of the Punjab Secretariat, he had visited the scene and thereafter the PGI. He added that he prepared the first information report (FIR) on the complaint of Pala Ram, who was deployed at the Punjab Secretariat. He then submitted the report to the SHO concerned.

1-yr probation for juvenile

A juvenile who had been arrested by the UT police for kidnapping a girl on his bicycle was today convicted and released on a one-year probation by a local court. The accused was ordered to be released after furnishing a surety bond for Rs 10,000. The case against the accused was registered by the police on January 1, 1995 under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC.

The complainant, the father of the girl, in the complaint had alleged that his daughter had been abducted by the accused on his bicycle. Later, the girl had been kept in a house in Sector 27 by the accused.

Hearing adjourned

The hearing on the bail plea moved by three suspects — M.K. Jain, Ram Lal and Baldev — in the rape of a Shimla-based girl and the victim’s plea was today adjourned for tomorrow by a local court. Ram Lal and Baldev had moved a regular bail plea in the court while M.K. Jain and the victim had moved an anticipatory bail plea in the case. The bail plea of the four will come for hearing tomorrow in the court of the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh.

Notice issued

A local court today issued a notice to the state to file a reply on the bail plea moved by a student of Panjab University, Devinder, for September 21 in a case of attempt to murder. The student had surrendered in a local court yesterday and was remanded in judicial custody.


Favouritism by Judges denied
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Allegations by lawyers regarding a soft corner of some Judges for certain advocates, and clarification by another, marked the general house meeting of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association this afternoon.

At the onset, a number advocates got up to allege that the certain Judges were showing favouritism towards certain advocates and had prejudice against the others.

Addressing the gathering, one of the members, Mr Madan Dev Sharma, said relief was not granted to him even though a favourable order was passed on a similar petition filed by another lawyer clearly establishing the fact that certain advocates were being favoured.

Denying the allegations, senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram said the charges had no credence. Giving details, he revealed that stay orders had not been passed even on his petition. In an attempt to substantiate his contention, he distributed copies of the orders passed by the Judge on his petition. The lawyer further claimed that he was neither related, nor close, to any Judge.

Coming down heavily on lawyers levelling “baseless” allegations, Mr Atma Ram added that they all were law graduates and should adopt the proper course for redressal of their grievances which was submission of a complaint in black and white before the Lok Pal.

Earlier during the day, the advocates asserted that the Judges should declare their assets before taking oath. Others reiterated their earlier stand regarding the transfer of all local judges, particularly the ones with their relatives practising in the High Court.


Engineer remanded

Kharar, September 19
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded Executive Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Mr R.P. Singla, who was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Department yesterday while accepting a bribe of Rs 20000, in police custody till September 21.

Mr Jatinderjit Singh Punn, Public Prosecutor, pleaded for police remand of the accused as more information was yet to be collected from him about various properties bought by him and the lockers he had in banks. OC


Karisma back with ‘Shakti — The Power’

SOUTH Indian writer-director Krishna Vamsi and debutant director Amol Shetge films ‘Shakti-The Power’ and ‘Gunaah’ are releasing tomorrow.

After ‘Fiza’ and ‘Zubeida’, it has been along gap for Krishma Kapoor. And with ‘Shakti’, Krishma may well be back with a bang in this Surinder Kapoor and Boney Kapoor presentation. Film pundits say the film is inspired from the Hollywood hit ‘Not without My Daughter’. ‘Shakti-The Power is a remake of south film ‘Anthapuram’ directed by Krishna Vamsi who has also directed the Hindi version. The film opens at Batra, Chandigarh, and KC, Panchkula, Friday.

Sridevi was first selected to perform the lead role. Kajol was also consulted out later Boney Kapoor opted for Karisma and Sridevi Kapoor turned producer with this film.

‘Shakti-The Power’ is an emotional and issue-based story of a woman whose child is taken away. Karisma Kapoor, the film features Nana Patekar, Sanjay Kapoor, Dipti Naval, Anupam Shyam, Prabhu Deva and Vijay Raj. Boney Kapoor has also managed to get Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai, for guest appearance for the song ‘Ishq Kameena’, on the beats of Anu Malik. Those who have seen the rushes of ‘Shakti’ say the film has shaped well. The film is among Karisma Kapoor’s best performances till date.

Music director Ismail Darbar has come up with soul-soothing compositions along with a flute theme by Chennai’s Naveen. Mehboob and Sameer have penned the lyrics.

Bipasha, Dino and ‘Gunaah’

Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea pair have become a hot favourite after the success of ‘Raaz’. Both stars have been roped in to play lead roles in Mahesh Bhatt presentation ‘Gunaah’ which opens at Neelam, Chandigarh, Suraj, Panchkula, and Bassi, Mohali, on Friday. Mukesh Bhatt is the producer and Amol Shetge makes his debut as director with this prestigious Mahesh Batt banner. ‘Gunaah’, is a thriller, full of action and romance.

After the success of ‘Raaz’, Mahesh Bhatt camp is all set to prove their worth with ‘Gunaah’. Besides, Bipasha and Dino Morea, Irfan, Ashutosh Rana and Yash Pal Sharma also star in the film.

Late Anand Bakhshi and Pravin Bhardwaj have penned the lyrics and Anand Raaj Anand and Sajid-Wajid have scored the music. 


Fusing music with painting
Our Correspondent

M. K. PuriChandigarh, September 19
When the rhythm of music is combined with colours of nature, the effect is spellbound. M. K. Puri, a senior artist from New Delhi, has brought a series of paintings, expressing “swar” and rhythm by juxtaposing different gestures of hand and body movement in perfect brush strokes.

The artist, who is in town to organise his solo exhibition at Art Folio scheduled to be inaugurated tomorrow, has a passion for music and paintings. Though the rejection he faced in pursuing music as a career forced him to adopt painting and sculpturing as a career, his love for music never remained dormant. And hence came the series of musical paintings.

“I have been attending major music concerts and the facial and body movements of the artistes have been a major source of inspiration for me,” says M. K. Puri. By infusing life and movement in his inert paintings by juxtaposing figures, Puri has done full justice to his theme.

The majority of his paintings depict various human forms playing different musical instruments — flute, drums, harmonium and piano. Breaking the monotony are “Feeling of freedom” where a man takes a flight of fancy by severing all ties from worldly boundaries, “Awaiting the new era”, which the artist completed in a single night to capture the euphoria of mankind. A few others like “Adoration of the unknown” and “Human temptation” are equally interesting to look at.

Puri as an artist has come a long way since his first solo exhibition in 1956. “That was the time I used to paint mostly in oil and all these years of experimentation with human figure has given me an expertise to transform their emotions on paper,” says the artist. Puri has finally switched over to mixed media, as “there is much scope of expression in this”.

A teacher at the National Gallery of Modern Art, M.K. Puri is also one of the pioneer ceramic sculptors in India. “My creative life has been revolving in cycles — going through painting phase followed by sculpturing phase — thus relieving monotony and deriving inspiration from each other,” he says. As a sculptor, Puri likes working with ceramics and clay to create three-dimensional figures. “I am toying with the idea of creating figurative pots as decoration pieces that will combine the essence of painting and sculpture,” he added.

As a painter with insight into the human situation, he has created a special place for himself in the Indian contemporary art. As a recognition of his work, he has been awarded with National Akademi Award in 2001 and also by the AIFCS, New Delhi, in the 1975, ‘76 and ‘82 and Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi. Besides having a number of solo and group shows to his credit, Puri has also been regularly writing art related features for Hindi dailies and journals.


Mann aims to promote Punjabi culture
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
“My main motive to work in a Punjabi movie, despite offers from the Hindi film industry, is to promote Punjabi culture and get Punjabi movies international recognition,’’ said Harbhajan Mann who is in city for the release of the music of his debut film “Jee Aayaan Nu’’.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mann said, “Through this movie, I have made an effort to make Punjabis proud of their culture. You see, I always wanted to contribute to Punjabi cinema and ensure that Punjabi movies received the same acclamation internationally as Punjabi music’’.

Giving details of the storyline, he said, “The movie is all about a comparison between two different cultures of Canada and Punjab. But right now, we do not want to disclose the details of the movie. As far as my role is concerned, I can relate well with it as I am doing the role of a non-resident Indian.’’

Standing next to him, movie producer Bhushan Kumar added, “This is the first high-budget Punjabi movie. Our movie is among the few Punjabi films whose 100 prints have been released all over. Encouraged by the response, we might dub the movie in Hindi ’’.

Director Manmohan Singh said, “The movie is not less than any other Hindi movie. It is expected to be release after a month. As far as the cassette is concerned, it contains 10 melodious tracks with music by Jaidev Kumar. The album is a blend of mixed songs including love numbers, folk songs, and even a song in the praise of motherland’’.


‘Theatre’s strength lies in simplicity’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
Actor-turned-play director Alok Chakravarty is moved by reality, and it is the sense of realism which underlines the story of “Court Marshal”. The play was staged at the ongoing National Natya Festival, organised by the North Central Zone Cultural Centre, Allahabad, in collaboration with the Haryana Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department at Tagore Theatre here today.

“Court Marshal is an intense emotional play that helps one to go through a self post-mortem,” says Alok, maintaining that even though the play has been staged by too many theatre groups in the recent past, he did not hesitate to stage it once again as “this is one of the most original Hindi plays we have ever enacted since Adhe Adhure”.

Alok says the greatest strength of theatre lies in simplicity, which makes it unique. “Within limited projection of light and sound, an actor emotes, which is unparalleled compared to other media”. It is this satisfaction that has brought many a great artiste of Bollywood to theatre, he added.

Alok, who has his own theatre group called Dost in Bhopal, has had the opportunity to work with many renowned theatre artistes, including Utpal Dutt, Badal Sirkar, since he completed his diploma from the National School of Drama in 1986. “I was a classmate of Mita Bashist, one of the finest artistes from this region,” said Alok while interacting with the mediapersons during the rehearsals of the play.

It was his long association with B.V. Karanth which inspired him to step into the realistic kind of theatre. “It is my brush with realistic theatre that gave me an insight into various social issues.”

“Court Marshal”, written by Swadesh Deepak, tears apart the social fabric of the army life, its governance system, narrow angularities and caste system.

The play revolves around a court marshal scene where Ram Chandar, a jawan who kills one of his senior officers and wounds another, is indicted for his crime. The plot thickens as the court drama proceeds with the defence council Vikash Ray bringing out the naked truth of hatred and dominance of the upper-class over the low-caste people.

Farukh Seikh Khan as Colonel Surat Singh did justice to his role while Alok Chatterjee as Vikas Rai captivated the audience.


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