Tuesday, September 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Water seepage endangers Mansa Devi frescoes
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
Hundreds of years old frescoes in the parikrama and sanctum sanctorum of Sri Mata Mansa Devi shrine here are getting destroyed because of underground water seepage.

The frescoes, belonging to the Kangra School of Art, are also being damaged by the tripping of fresh wall paint from the canopy of the sanctum sanctorum. The canopy was recently repainted by the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board (SMMDSB) but carelessness on the part of painters resulted in the paint tripping on the walls, thus spoiling the frescoes.

The sanctum sanctorum of the temple as well as Singh Dwaar has as many as 10 panels of these Kangra style frescoes. These frescoes, in different colours, adorn the upper walls and ceilings of the parikrama of the sanctum sanctorum. These depict Hindu mythological legends, mainly those of Mother Goddess in her various manifestations.

While legends on Mother Durga as Asur Vardhini are depicted in a majority of frescoes, paintings depicting legends related to Goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi can also be seen in addition to geometric patterns, floral designs and paintings of animals.

Mansa Devi is one of holy shrines situated on the foothills of the Shivaliks. It is a Shakti Peeth, which is thronged by lakhs of devotees each year. The main temple was built by Raja Gopal Dass of Mani Majra, while the Patiala temple was built later by Rani Raj Kaur of Patiala.

Eversince a board was constituted by the state government for its maintenance, extensive work on its maintenance has been carried out. However, the exquisite frescoes here have decayed over the years.

Long neglect, detachment of plaster, cracks, human vandalism (in case of paintings at the head level), defacement, dust, soot and salt and loss of pigment have led to decay of these exquisite paintings over the years. It was, thus, that the SMMDSB had asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in January last for carrying out restoration work of these frescoes. After the board had deposited a sum of Rs 1.21 lakh with the ASI for carrying out restoration, the work began in May last year.

The ASI team had then completed restoration work of frescoes on the Singh Dwar and partially completed work on the walls and ceiling of the parikrama. It was then that the water seepage began from underground and even restored frescoes were destroyed because of the dampness.

It was at subsequent meetings of the board that the fact of a kuhl once flowing beneath the Shakti peeth ( sanctum sanctorum) came to light. Also, the construction of the temple has been done using limestone which tends to soak water, be it groundwater or rainwater.

Says the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Executive Officer of SMMDSB, Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat: “We have asked the Public Works Department to find a solution for solving the problem of dampness in the walls and ceiling. We are looking for a party which can provide chemical treatment against dampness so that the restoration work on the frescoes can begin again.”



Youth kidnapped, beaten up
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 8
A teenager was kidnapped from Phase VI here and later released after being beaten up today.

According to reports, some youths who were in an Indica car kidnapped Rajbir from near a government primary school in the area.

Rajbir (17), who is a student of the Plus Two class, was going with a friend, Sarabjit, when the crime took place. When the car approached Rajbir, a few youths came out of the vehicle and tried to force him into it. When sarabjit tried to rescue his friend, the kidnappers threatened him with a knife.

Sarabjit went back to his home and later went to Rajbir’s house along with a friend. The police was then informed.

It is reported that Rajbir was taken to the Daon area, near, here where he was beaten up. He sustained injuries. He was released after being confined for two or three hours.

The police suspects that revenge was the motive behind the crime. Rajbir had a fight with another youth, Saspal, in June and the police had registered a case in this connection. Youths from the latter’s group may have been involved in today’s incident.

A case has been registered by the police under Sections 365, 323, 341, 148 and 149 of the IPC.



Student bodies announce candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
While canvassing and campaigning for the elections to the Panjab University Students Council went on, most parties spent the day finalising the names of candidates and making formal announcements of their panels.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) took the lead and announced the name of Saurabh Joshi as its presidential candidate. Annapurna would contest the post of vice-president, while Diwakar and Depash Ranta would fight for the posts of general secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

While Khushbaz Singh Jatama of the Law Department has been declared as the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) candidate for the post of president of the students’ council, the name of Satinder Pal Sidhu of the Anthropology Department has been chosen for the post of general secretary, Narinder Singh Negi of MBA for the post of joint secretary. Meanwhile, an election office of SOPU was inaugurated by its former president, Mr Santokhwinder Singh Nabha, earlier in the day.

The PUSU also announced its candidates for the student council elections of the Panjab University. M.S. Kang from Department of Laws will stand for the post of president, Vijay Karan of the Department of English will be its candidate for the post of general secretary.

Sharanjit Bains of the Department of Mathematics will stand for the post of Joint Secretary. However, the name of the candidate standing for the post of vice-president will be declared later. The manifesto of the PUSU will be released tomorrow.



A string of examinations in the offing for college students
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Students gear up for a rally at election to the Panjab University Campus Student Council in Chandigarh.
Students gear up for a rally at election to the Panjab University Campus Student Council in Chandigarh.

STUDENTS of colleges affiliated to Panjab University are in for another season of examinations later this month. One of the scheduled programmes is the supplementary examinations affecting hundreds of students wanting to improve their previous results. The other is the mandatory September examinations whose marks will be added to the annual examination results.

The supplementary examinations will be conducted between September 27 and October 5, reliable sources in the examination branch said. Colleges are individually working out the dates of the house examinations which are scheduled for the third week of the month.

Principal A.C.Vaid, Principal of the GGDSD College, said the house examinations are scheduled to be conducted between September 22 and September 27. Principal S.C. Marriya, DAV College, said the examinations will be conducted between September 20 and 27. Principal P.S. Sangha, SGGS College, said the college had fixed dates between September 18 and 25 for the house examinations. Principal Balwinder Singh, Government College for Men, Sector 11, said the dates were yet to be finalised. However, the exams will be around the third week of the month.

The examinations are conducted for the first and second year students of arts, science and commerce streams in colleges. Credit for internal examination had begun last year.

It may be remembered that out of a total 10 per cent marks for the internal evaluation, 4 per cent marks are for the September tests and the remaining 6 per cent will be for the December test.

Defence studies

Panjab University will introduce Defence Studies as an option for undergraduate students in the arts stream. A decision to this regard has been taken by a committee.

There were certain reservations in starting the courses for private candidates on account of the compulsory practicals, which would have been difficult for them. The committee has recommended special classes for private candidates which will likely be held in the month of January.

The coordinator of the Defence Studies Centre will be required to give the participation certificate to candidates. The matter requires a formal clearance from the university governing bodies, including the Syndicate and the Senate, reliable sources said.

Refresher course

The second refresher course in physical education on the theme “Physical Education and Sports in Modern Society” began at the university on Thursday. The course concludes on September 24, official sources said.

The course was inaugurated by Prof Ajmer Singh, an Arjuna awardee and a former chairman. Eminent scholars in the field of sports, including Dronacharya Karan Singh, Dr Ajmer Singh, Prof M.L. Kamlesh (a former Principal of LNCPE, Trivendrum), Prof R.N. Dey (LNIPE, Gwalior) and Dr Hardayal Singh (NIS, Patiala) will deliver the key addresses.


The Indian Association of Physics Teachers will hold the National Standard Examination in Physics (NSEP) in Chemistry (NSEC) and Biology (NSEB) on November 23, an official press note said.

Students of plus one and plus two under the age of 19 years qualify for the examination. The last date of enrolment is September 20. A student can appear in more than one paper on payment of a fee of Rs 50 for every paper.

The examination is the first step towards participation in the Indian National Olympiad and International Olympiad in the respective subjects which is supported by the Centre.

Students can enroll in their own schools. Any school with 20 candidates can apply to be a centre. Students have the option of enrolling in other institutions in case their institution does not have a centre.

Dr Ambedkar Students Association

The Ambedkar Students’ Association, a non-political students’ association “striving for social justice”, held its fifth annual general body meeting earlier this week.

The meeting was presided over by Dr Ram Mehar (patron) and convened by Chand Singh Madaan. The association decided to organise functions of academic interest to portray the real issues facing the student community.

Elections await colours

Elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council are yet to catch the frenzy of the traditional hype. One of the main reasons is that there has been no major tie-up for the elections. This means lesser visibility of the combined strength in each of the camps.

The Panjab University Students Union and the Haryana Students Association were traditional allies. This time, however, there has been no tie-up because both parties want to field their candidates for the post of president. Similarly, the Students Organisation of Panjab University also is yet without an ally.

One development on the front of electioneering has been the presence of outsiders, largely college students in the rallies. The police has tightened its noose and ensured minimal outside participation, which has reduced the rush in the camps.

There has also been a lot of internal politics in all the groups, excluding SOPU, which reduced the external show of strength. PUSU has seen emergence of the PUSU (Sandhu) group. The Himachal Pradesh students who were united under a common banner of the Himachal Pradesh Students Union now have the HPSU, the Himachal Pradesh Students Association and the Himachal Students Union (HIMSA).

Another striking absence on the election scene this time has been the girl campaigners. PUSU and SOPU camps, which were witness to sizeable girls’ strength in the rallies, this time gives a hollow look.



MC washes hands of garbage disposal
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, September 8
Passing on the buck regarding the disposal of “garbage and horticulture waste” to the residents, the Municipal Corporation here has ruled that the same would not be collected by their staff “from domestic dustbins, haudies and open points, even back lanes”, with immediate effect in at least some of the sectors.

The residents were “required to arrange for the disposal of the waste”, says a public notice. The officials have further directed that the waste “may be collectively gathered and disposed off with the help of privately organised door-to-door collection system or through the residents’ welfare associations”.

The help of non-government organisations can also be taken. The garbage can be “disposed off” individually. In other words, the corporation has now officially washed its hands of the responsibility.

The corporation has asked the residents to contact representatives of welfare associations “for any assistance or clarification”. They have also earmarked sites for the disposal of waste in Sectors 9, 18, 40 and 47.

“Any person found depositing garbage or horticulture waste at any other location in these sectors shall be proceeded against under Section 323 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act of 1976 as extended to the Union Territory of Chandigarh and be liable to a fine of Rs 500 for each instance of violation,” the authorities have said.

As per the corporation officials, the residents putting up in Sector 9 were required to deposit the waste in the open space near the CITCO petrol station. Those residing in Sector 18 A and B were required to dispose off the garbage in the park in front of New Public School.

Residents of Sector 18-C and D were required to throw the waste in park near Lions Club. For the residents of Sector 40-A and B, the garbage was to be disposed off near the mini market. In 40-C and D, the space near the power station had been chosen.

The residents of Sector 47-A and B would deposit the waste in the open near the Kendriya Vidyalaya Public School and those putting up in 47-C and D would throw the waste in the open space opposite house number 2929.

As per the officials, the places “shall remain open for depositing the garbage and horticulture waste from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day”. The officials say that “all garbage containers kept at all other locations in Sector 9, 18, 40 and 47, were being removed”.

The residents have, meanwhile, expressed “resentment” over the decision. “What is the corporation for if we have to carry the garbage ourselves”, chairman of the Chandigarh Parents-Teachers’ Association Bhim Sen Sehgal questioned.

“I fail to understand why the corporation was ever formed and what has their staff been doing all these years? They have not been cleaning the back lanes and have even failed to maintain the street lights”.

“The corporation is an elected body. The representatives should give details of the income and the expenditure, besides the staff and their duties. They are duty-bound to do so”, he added.



Another hike in petrol price in the offing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Petrol prices in the city are going to rise by another Rs 1.50 per litre as the Chandigarh Administration is going to increase the sales tax on petrol to bring it on a par with Punjab. At present, the rate of petrol in Chandigarh is Rs 32.79 per litre. This was revised on September 1, before which the rate was Rs 30.66 per litre. If fresh taxes are imposed then the price will go beyond Rs 34 per litre.

The Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association today said it would go on strike if this hike was affected as it would needlessly add to the woes of the public and “kill” the trade in the city. There is no need to increase the sales tax from the existing 22 per cent to 26 per cent prevailing in Punjab. This was being done to please the powerful lobby of the Punjab petroleum dealers, the association alleged. The move was aimed to bring about price parity with neighbouring SAS Nagar where petrol sells at Rs 35.27. In Panchkula, the rate is Rs 32.45, if the price is increased in the city, it is feared that the trade will shift.

Giving details, the association said it had informed the Administration that such a move would result in decrease in the revenue. Taxation on petroleum products brings in a revenue of Rs 55 crore to the Administration which is the second highest revenue spinner after the liquor trade. If the hike in taxation is affected then sales would drop the association said while questioning the logic behind the hike.

At present the sale in 42 petrol stations is about 7000 kilolitre a month while in neighbouring SAS Nagar the sale is only 500 kilolitres a month. The association also pointed out that this hike will defeat the purpose of setting up a oil depot in Sector 25.



Bhardwaj, Sharma in race for post of Chief Engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
With just three weeks to go for the retirement of the UT Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, the race for the top post is hotting up. Two senior engineers, Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj and Superintending Engineer, Construction Circle-I, Mr K.B. Sharma are vying for the post.

The Administration is in the process of forwarding the cases of both the officials to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for appointment. Sources said the annual confidential reports (ACR’s) of both officials was awaited before the files are sent to the UPSC for selecting a Chief Engineer by holding a Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meeting. Top sources also laid to rest any speculation that Mr Puranjit Singh will get any extension in tenure as an approval was required for this from the Union Government. No case for extension has been forwarded so far.

Meanwhile, questions are being raised if the UPSC can complete the appointment process by September 30 when Mr Puranjit Singh retires. In case such a scenario emerges, the charge of the Chief Engineer may be handed over to one of the senior engineers. Besides Mr Bhardawaj and Mr Sharma the work could also be handed over to Mr S.K. Mehtani, Superintending Engineer, Public Health. However, Mr Mehtani, a deputationist from Haryana cannot continue for long. It can be at best an interim arrangement, sources said a Supreme Court judgement in this case is very clear. The judgement says if an eligible Superintending Engineer is available in the UT cadre then a deputationist cannot be a Chief Engineer on permanent basis. Both Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Sharma are UT cadre engineers.

In official circles, it is being waited as to who will be given charge in case the UPSC fails to make an appointment by September 30. In case of Mr Sharma, who has been under suspension from May 1998 to March 2003, the proceedings of the DPC will be under “sealed cover”. In official language, this means that the proceedings and suggestions made during the DPC in case of Mr Sharma will not be disclosed till he is cleared of his pending case. This will leave the field open for Mr Bhardwaj, said sources. In more than five years of suspension no charge sheet has been filed against Mr Sharma and he was re-instated on the same premises that no charges were being framed. If charges are to be dropped against him this requires clearance as these are vigilance cases dealt by the Vigilance Department.

Interestingly, Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Sharma joined as Subdivisional Engineers on the same date on December 12, 1979. Both were promoted as Executive Engineers on January 20, 1986. However, Mr Sharma became SE ahead of his colleague on August 16, 1995. Mr Bhardwaj was promoted as SE on December 12, 1995. Mr Sharma is also senior to Mr Bhardwaj by age. If two officials join on the same day, seniority of age is taken into account. In the meantime, Mr Bhardwaj was selected for the post of Chief Engineer, MC, on January 15, 2002.

Sources said the only hindrance to Mr Sharma becoming the Chief Engineer was the pending case against him.



Help comes from UK for Shivani
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 8
Acting on a news item published in the Chandigarh Tribune on September 3 under the heading “Minor sent to Savera”, Mr Harpreet Singh Jhinjar, a resident of 48 Camden Avenue, Hayes, UK, has offered to take responsibility for the education of 16-year-old Shivani Khurana.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Kharar, on September 2 handed over the custody of minor Shivani Khurana to a Chandigarh-based semi-government organisation, Savera. Shivani had recorded her statement before the SDM that she was maltreated by her step-parents, forced to do household chores and beaten up.

She was not allowed to continue her education after Class VIII and her hair were cut by her stepfather.

She was produced before the SDM by members of the All-India Human Rights Watch who handed over her to Savera.

Talking to this correspondent from England, Mr Jhinjar, who claims himself to be a member of India Vision Foundation, headed by Dr Kiran Bedi, IPS, promised to do everything possible for the girl.

He lauded the efforts of Mr Gill for coming to the aid of the girl.



Zoo keeps public guessing on names
of contraceptives
Bipan Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), September 8
The Chhat Bir Zoo authorities seems to keep secret the names and nature of oral contraceptives being administered to the female species of lionesses, tigresses and panthers in containing the growth of their population.

Inquiries made by this correspondent from leading veterinary doctors of the region revealed that most popular way of administering the contraceptives to animals is through inter-muscular and intra-veinal. If any other powder or liquid is being used by the Chhat Bir Zoo authorities, that could be one of the contraceptive drug in other form.

When contacted, Dr Nirmaljit Singh, a veterinary doctor with the zoo, admitted, that the contraceptive was being administered to a suspected lioness on trial basis. He claimed that the contraceptive was an injective.

Refusing to disclose the name of the contraceptive, Dr Nirmaljit Singh said the name of the drug would be disclosed after its showed favourable results in a couple of days.

According to a veterinary expert with the UT Animal and Husbandry department, dipopro and prospaglandins are the two main contraceptive administered to female animals. The drugs are intra muscular and are injected through veins and are effective for three year.

Veterinary experts also revealed that chlorhexadine was a contraceptive prescribed for male animals. Being a inter-muscular, the drug is injected in the testiscals veins and is a tedious job. The contraceptive is not commonly by the doctors.

To identify the lions whose vasectomy was unsuccessful and are adding to their population, the zoo authorities will take semen samples from the lions, by opting for artificial ejaculation method.

Zoo Director Kuldeep Kumar, said the zoo authorities had already approached the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, for the purpose.



Farmers’ assurance on fly menace
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
Poultry farmers in Barwala poultry belt have assured the district administration of mixing medicine in the feed served to hens and spraying insecticides in order to curb fly menace.

The assurance was given by the president of the Barwala Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Darshan Kumar, during a meeting of poultry farmers and residents of Barwala and Raipur Rani blocks, which was presided over by the SDM, Panchkula, Mr Inder Singh. The SDM asked the farmers to begin mixing medicine in the feed and said he would take penal action against defaulters.

The sarpanches were asked to accompany poultry farmers and see that the medicine was being mixed in the feed.


An interstate workshop on livestock-related income generating activities was organised here today in which 50 representatives of five states — Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu and Kashmir — would participate.

The Director Agriculture, Mr Rajeev Arora, said the scheme under such projects should be prepared keeping in view the needs of the people. The Project Director, Mr H.S. Lohan, said the workshop would be useful for farmers of Kandi area.

The World Bank consultant, Dr M.P.G. Kurup, said self-help group should lead the way in helping livestock development in villages so that such programmes could become self-sustainable.

Raids conducted

Service tax officials of the Central Excise Commissionerate, Panchkula, raided seven cable operators last week and recovered differential service tax worth Rs 1.33 lakh from them.

A press note of the commissionerate said the amount was in addition to the tax they had already deposited with the department. The cable operators were also made aware of the service tax provisions and their implementation. The drive would continue in the coming weeks also.



Jain speaks up for UT employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A former member of Parliament and a member of the National Executive of the BJP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, today urged the Centre to restore the service conditions of UT employees as applicable on November 1, 1966 — when the Union Territory of Chandigarh was created.

In a letter to the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, and the Union Minister of State for Personnel Department, Mr Haren Pathak, Mr Jain said the demand of the employees be accepted at the earliest.

He said when the union territory was created, the Centre had framed “the condition of service of Union Territory of Chandigarh Employees Rules, 1966,” which provided that the pay and allowances to the UT employees would be applicable as per the employees of State of Punjab.

With the framing of an-other rule called the “condition of services of Union Territory of Chandigarh Rules, 1972”, a strange situation had arisen, creating confusion. Mr Jain said on demand of the UT employees in 1997, the Chandigarh Administration had recommended to the Centre that the situation prevalent in 1966 was much better. He cited letters written by various officers of the administration to the Central Government on the issue.



Nodal preraks awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
City-based Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) should make efforts to make Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan and Adult Education programme a success, said the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Virendra Singh, while inaugurating the International Literacy Day, at a state-level function here this evening.

The Adult Education Department, Chandigarh, had organised the function. The Adviser said the Administration was providing all possible help to educate the illiterate and they must avail of the facilities being provided by the Administration to them.

The Adviser released an eight-paged newsletter “Prerna” and awarded four best Nodal Preraks, four best Preraks, and eight best learners. Earlier, Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, told audience that 400 adult education centres were being run to educate more than 37,000 illiterate people in the city.

He also said 40 Nodal Preraks and four Supervisors were looking after the work at these centres. Where vocational training in stitching, embroidery, tailoring, and knitting were being given.

The Deputy Director, Adult Education, Mrs Sudesh Kalra, presented the detailed report of the activity of the department during the year.

She said 30,000 persons had benefited and 112 self- help groups for women empowerment formed.

The Adult Education Department had organised 23 rallies on the International Literacy Day. Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, flagged off the rally.



BSF to get 40 acres in city
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Border Security Force (BSF) is set to acquire a significant presence in Chandigarh with the UT Administration agreeing to transfer about 40 acres of land in its possession to the BSF for establishing the headquarters of Additional Director-General (West) and two BSF battalions being moved here. The headquarters would be responsible for border management of the entire border with Pakistan from Jammu and Kashmir in the north to the Rann of Kutch in the south, as well as deployment and administration of units in the western region.

"The UT Administration's agreement to transfer land adjoining the Air Force 3 Base Repair Depot was conveyed to us a few days ago," a senior officer told The Tribune.

The BSF would be required to pay the stipulated price for the land to the UT Administration. Since this is a government-to-government transaction, the deal is expected to be executed soon, the officer said.

Sources add that the land being acquired near the Air Force Station would be used to accommodate the headquarters of the ADG (West) and some elements of a battalion. The headquarters of the ADG, which was set up in Chandigarh in September, 2002, is presently functioning from a rented house.

The total land authorisation for a BSF battalion is 100 acres. In addition to the aforementioned land, the BSF is also in the process of acquiring another 60 acres of land in and around the city for accommodate one of the battalions.

The BSF has already acquired land at Landran, near here, for accommodating a battalion. A detachment of a battalion earmarked to be moved here has already arrived at Landran. The battalion is currently deployed on internal security duties.

This is for the first time that BSF establishments have been moved to the city. The Central Reserve Police Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Central Industrial Security Force already have a major presence here.



Western Command has many firsts

THE Western Command, which turns 56 on September 15, can boast of leading all the operational commands of the Army in the tally of gallantry awards. Notably, the first highest gallantry award of the country, Param Vir Chakra, was also won by the Western Command. This was awarded to Major Somnath Sharma of 4 Kumaon (Posthumously). He died in action in the Kashmir valley on November 3, 1947. This command has also made the highest number of sacrifices after Independence.

The Western Command had the largest territorial jurisdiction in comparison with other commands, which included the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir until the Northern Command was raised in 1972. Yet again, the Western Command is the only command in the Army from which 10 Commanders have risen to the rank of General to become Army chiefs.

The command was raised in Delhi on September 15, 1947, and Lieut-Gen Dubley Russel, a British officer, was appointed as its first GOC-in-C. At the time of raising, it was designated as Delhi and Punjab Command. Soon after its raising, it had to push back the intruding Pakistanis from the Kashmir valley. In January 1948, the late Field Marshal (then Lieut-Gen) K.M. Carriappa replaced Lieut-Gen Russel and the command was redesignated as Western Command on January 18, 1948.

Another first achieved by the Western Command was launching of a helpline for the ex-servicemen by the Army Commander, Lieut-Gen S.S. Mehta, on September 15, 2002. The beautiful war memorial called “Veer Smriti” which was raised in 1998, at Chandi Mandir, stands to commemorate the sacrifices of the war heroes from this command.

Utilising Army manpower

Unlike in most other countries, the Army manpower, after retirement, is not utilised to the best advantage of the country. Over 60,000 armed forces personnel retire every year. A majority of them are in their thirties and are highly trained, disciplined and motivated. Another plus point that they have is that they have gone through a strict security clearance and are, therefore, thoroughly reliable.

Today’s Army consists of well-educated manpower in that the minimum basic qualification for an officer is graduation and for a jawan, it is matriculation. Name any trade, any skill or any technical qualification and you get the best from the Army. Add to this, good drivers, vehicle mechanics, electricians, clerks, PT instructors, nursing assistants and ayas, etc. The Army Placement Agency, which is located in the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, is there to help you. Its telephone No. is 589495 and its Deputy Director is Col Harpartap Singh (retd).

The Army drivers for buses and PT instructors will prove to be better for schools. To improve the scope of employment, vocational training has also been started at various stations. For instance, to enable them to switch over from the military vehicles to civil buses, Army drivers, are given reorientation training at Bathinda.

Proxy voting

With the proxy voting bill having been passed in Parliament, the one million strong Army and lakhs of ex-servicemen should make the politicians realise that they cannot be befooled by them (politicians) any more. Since the armed forces will now have a huge vote bank, they can play a dominant role in deciding the fate of the aspiring candidates at the hustings.

That all Army personnel must vote if they want their genuine demands to the accepted by the Government cannot be overemphasised. The detailed instructions for implementation of the procedure for proxy voting are being formulated by the Election Commission in consultation with the Ministry of Law.

IAF recruitment

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had started an intensive recruitment drive in Jammu and Kashmir a few week ago. The recruitment rallies are being held at Jammu, Udhampur, Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

At present about 360 airmen from Jammu and Kashmir are serving in the IAF.

Pritam Bhullar



Air Marshal D.C. Nigam in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal D.C. Nigam, arrived at No. 3 Base Repair Depot (BRD), here today on a three-day inspection visit.

During his stay here, Air Marshal Nigam would inspect various sections and establishments at the depot. He was received by the Air Officer Commanding 3 BRD, Air Cmdr S.B. Prashar, and other senior officers of the BRD. He was also presented a guard of honour.

Ms Kanak Nigam, who is accompanying her husband, will take stock of the welfare ventures run by the local Air Force Women Welfare Association (AFWWA).



Seminar on “Born to win”
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 8
The National Institute of Personal Management organised a one-day seminar on ‘Born to Win’ at hotel Mountview.

Dr M.J. Zarabi, CMD, Semiconductor Complex, who was the chief guest, was of the view that people of any organisation were the most valuable asset and if they were managed well, the machines and material would automatically get managed.

As many as 30 participants from various industries and offices like Air Tel, Ranbaxy, Unichem, Max India, the PNB, the SBI, Dabur and New India Assurance took part.



Punwire staff call on Amarinder
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 8
A deputation of Punwire employees, who have been on a relay fast for the past two years, met Cap Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, in Chandigarh today and apprised him of their problems.

The meeting of the employees with the Chief Minister had been got fixed by Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Chief Minister.

Mrs Garcha apprised the Chief Minister of the problems being faced by employees after the closure of the factory. She demanded that the government should make some effort to rehabilitate the employees who had been rendered jobless.

Mr Sahid Ahmed, president of the Punwire workers union, said the Chief Minister had given an assurance that he would look into the matter and try to do whatever was possible.



Man crushed under Jan Shatabdi
Our Correspondent

Lalru, September 8
Didar Singh (21), a resident of Janetpur village, was crushed to death by Jan Shatabdi Express on the Kalka-Ambala Railway line near the Dappar railway station this morning.

On his way to Jawaharpur village, the deceased was crossing the railway line when he met with the accident at 9.30 am.

His mutilated body was noticed by the residents on the rail line and subsequently the Railway police in Lalru informed.

The GRB police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a post-mortem examination.



Ryan School structures demolished
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The enforcement staff of the Chandigarh Administration today demolished temporary structures built by Ryan School in Sector 49. These structures were not permitted as the building of the school was almost ready as per the building plan. Officials said the school had been given time to remove the structures.

These structures were raised in violation of building bylaws.



4 cases of theft reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 8
The UT police today registered four cases of theft in various parts of the city.

A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered on a complaint by Vinod Kumar, a resident of Sector 42, at Sector 36 police station. He alleged that someone stole his Alto car (CH-03-E-3957).

In the second incident, Shamsher Singh, a resident of Una district, Himachal Pradesh, complained that someone stole two tyres of his Maruti car during the intervening night of September 5 and 6. The car was parked near house No. 3300, Sector 35. The police has registered a case under Section 379, IPC.

In the third case, a resident of Sector-28, Mr Pawan Goyal, complained to the police that his vehicle, which was parked at his residence, was stolen by someone. The police has registered a case under Sections 379, IPC.

In the last case, a resident of Mohali, Phase X, Amandeep, alleged that someone stole his motor cycle from a parking lot in Sector 17.


Two held: The Chandi Mandir police arrested two persons from Bir Ghaggar last night on charges of disrupting public peace. The accused — Gopal and Raj Kumar — have been booked under Section 160, CrPC.

Man held: The police arrested Subhash from Bir Ghaggar on charges of speculation and recovered Rs 430 from him.

Bootlegging: The police recovered 80 pouches of country-made liquor, while being openly sold in Sultanpur, Barwala, here today. The accused — Pawan Kumar — however fled on seeing the police.



Illegal abortion suspected
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 8
The police conducted a raid on a private hospital in Shahi Majra village following a complaint that an illegal abortion was being performed there today. It is learnt that a doctor was picked up by the police for questioning. The woman concerned will also be medically examined later.



Prince’s foray into chocolate business
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
From fashion designing to producing premium class dark chocolates is quite a journey. But a prince charming from Jodhpur, Raghavendra Rathore, has performed it with a relative ease.

Raghavendra Rathore was born in the erstwhile princely family of Jodhpur. He is a cousin of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. He studied at Parsons School of Design in New York. After his graduation in 1992, Rathore gained experience working with prominent Manhattan labels, including Donna Karan, Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta. This exposure enabled him to refine his design knowledge before setting up his own label, 'Rathore' back in India.

"Les Chocolate de Jodhpore" is the brainchild of Raghavendra Rathore who is also the man behind the two designer labels — "Rathore Jodhpur" and "Inde Pret". In the city today in connection with the launch of new product, he recalled that the inspiration to recreate and revive a small part of Indian history came to him from an old hand written menu that he saw in a palace-turned-museum many years ago in Rajasthan.

Interestingly enough, the menu was written in French and even featured chocolates that derived their name from the synergy of their surroundings. This feature was probably the result of various foreign dignitaries and statesmen visiting the princely states that time. Meticulous planning and persistence gave birth to the final concept of "Les Chocolates de Jodhpore." His hotel's bakery at the Ajit Bhavan has been a workshop of thought and stimulation, and as always, Jodhpur, the city he calls his home and holds so closely to his heart, has been the primary source of inspiration for the project.

"Les Chocolates de Jodhpore" is a premium product and is special not only in its concept but also because of Rathore's brand equity and its association with lifestyle.

Mixing old-fashioned workmanship with modern aplomb, Rathore finds newer, subtler ways to evoke the spirit of a by-gone era with a modern approach. He is always on the move working on assignments and projects. Working in various mediums such as Lifestyle and Home, Interior and furnishing design, Outdoor Iron and Wood Furniture Design, Fashion Design and now in gourmet products.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |