C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Reticulated LPG supply comes to city
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

A typical kitchen with a reticulated LPG connection
A typical kitchen with a reticulated LPG connection.

Mohali, February 15
With two cooperative housing societies here having applied to Bharat Gas for cooking gas connections in individual flats through pipes (called the reticulated LPG supply system), the time has come to say goodbye to LPG cylinders.

The first sample house to have cooking gas coming into the kitchen through a pipe connected to a common cylinder storage facility is ready to be inaugurated at the New Light Society in Sector 51B, Chandigarh, the first housing society in the region to shift to the reticulated LPG supply scheme. Mohali's Army Welfare Housing Society and the Pancham Society in Sector 68 are next in line.

Telling TNS that the reticulated supply of LPG has many advantages over traditional cylinders, Mr M.N. Rao Territory Manager, Bharat Gas, pointed out that the system had been a great success in Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. ‘‘To improve the quality of life and offer a convenience to the users, particularly in densely populated areas, BPCL launched the LPG reticulated system by which the supply of gas can be made through a centralised system in a housing complex instead of sending cylinders to each home. This is an old practice in many developed countries and the technology is proven, ’’said Mr Rao.

Listing the advantages of the system, Mr Rao said that the system lends itself to easy operation and increased convenience. ‘‘Increased safety in the kitchen due to supply of gas at low pressure and more security in the housing complex as delivery boys will not be required to enter the flats and valuable space saving in the kitchen by not having any cylinders.’’

‘‘With regard to the billing procedure, individual meters are provided for volumetric reading based on which the actual consumption in kg would be worked out for billing. The cost would be like the normal domestic LPG cylinder rate and the consumer had the choice of being billed on a monthly basis. Notably, under Reticulated LPG concept, the payment for the cooking gas consumption could be done after consumption unlike in the present arrangement, 'he added.

Explaining the process of LPG supply, Mr. Rao said that cylinder banks are created within the complex which consist of a large number of cylinders and are connected to a common manifold. ‘‘Number of cylinders in each bank is decided based on the peak hour consumption and the number of houses connected from the manifold. Once the active cylinder bank gets exhausted, an automatic change over regulator switches over to the stand by bank 'he said. Specially built pipes will carry LPG to individual kitchens which will end in taps. ‘‘An isolation valve is provided at the inlet of the kitchen to attend to any maintenance and in the event of any emergency, 'he said.

The type and size of storage depends on the number of flats to be connected through the system in a housing complex. Where the no of flats is large and the monthly consumption of gas is high it is preferable to install fixed bulk storage tanks. In other cases, a cylinder bank of suitable capacity is adequate to supply gas to the households.



Bansal likely to be UT Cong nominee again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Congress today virtually declared re-nomination of MP Pawan Bansal as party candidate at its maiden election public meeting in Colony No 5.
A party press released issued by the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president, Mr B. B. Bahl, said, “Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament, is likely to be nominated once again for the lone constituency of Chandigarh.”

Addressing the meeting, Mr Bansal urged the voters to be vigilant against the “evil designs of the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).” He said the NDA had nothing to offer to the people as it had done nothing in the past four years.

Mr Bahl lashed out at Mr Bansal’s traditional BJP rival Satyapal Jain, saying that the BJP leader was in the habit of giving false statements. He said Mr Jain had done nothing for the people of the city during his terms as MP.

Mr Bahl accused Mr Jain of being instrumental in the demolition of slum dwellings and not making any efforts to regularise them.

Mr Bahl said the Congress-led Municipal Corporation had done development work in the city. Party vice-president Rampal Sharma launched a scathing attack on the BJP and asked the people to throw the NDA government out of power. 



Deer escapes from zoo enclosure, disappears in swamp
Bipin Bhardwaj

A female swamp deer that escaped after jumping over the wall of its enclosure at Chhat Bir Zoo
A female swamp deer that escaped after jumping over the wall of its enclosure at Chhat Bir Zoo, near Chandigarh, on Sunday.

Chhat Bir (Patiala), February 15
A female swamp deer today caught wildlife experts in the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, located on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway, on the wrong foot after jumping over its enclosure.

The female deer escaped from captivity as it jumped over a nine-and-a-half feet high wall of the enclosure and went into the swamp area within the zoo. Four employees have been put on a duty to catch the animal without harming it. The zoo authorities had brought a pair of swamp deer from Kanpur zoo in exchange of a pair of panther and a sars crane on February 5. The escaped deer is one of this pair.

This happened when two zoo employees had entered the enclosure to take some samples of the antelope this morning.

When asked, Zoo Director Kuldeep Kumar told the Chandigarh Tribune that a round-the-clock vigil had been ordered in the zoo to carry out a hunt of the antlered animal as it could not be tranquilised due to health reasons. The animal had been tranquilised earlier this week before being shifted to the Chhat Bir zoo from Kanpur zoo.

The Director has suspended laboratory technician John Daniel and labourer Seo Ram for mishandling the rare animal. Mr Kuldeep Kumar revealed that the antelope lives in swampy areas. 



Giani Tarlochan Singh defends Sikh clergy’s edict
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Jathedar of Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh, has supported the decision of the Akal Takht Jathedar to declare the Editor of a monthly magazine, Mr Joginder Singh, as “tankhaiya”.

He said the edict had been passed as per the Sikh tenets and was in the interest of the Panth. The jathedar was in the town to lay the foundation stone of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Sector 7 here today.

“The decision, taken after consulting the Sikh high priests, had not been taken under any political pressure. The Sikh clergy has been passing such edicts for years in the interest of the Sikh rehat maryada (Sikh code of conduct)” , said the jathadar.

Led by Akal Takht, Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vendati, the Sikh clergy has asked the Editor to appear before the Sikh high priests by March 10, failing which he would be excommunicated from the Sikh community. The World Sikh Convention had said that it did not recognise Vendati as jathedar because he had been appointed by the SAD headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Earlier, Giani Tarlochan Singh performed the ardas and laid the foundation stone of the gurdwara building and praised the efforts of the Sikhs in taking the initiative. Mr Pawan Bansal, MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former MP, Mr G.S.Riar, president of the Chandigarh unit of the SAD unit, Mr Joginder Sahni, a former SGPC member were among those who were honoured by the jathedar.

Mr Rajinder Singh Sahni, president, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, said a medical camp was organised at the function. 



The master of 100 strings...and more
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Had it not been for the love of God, Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma would not have created history with his santoor. For 50 years now, he has been enriching the Indian classical music with melodies soothing enough to cure stress. That various yoga centres play Pt Sharma’s classical compositions during meditation sessions is testimony to his phenomenal contribution that makes him the undisputed master of 100 strings...and more.

Arriving in Chandigarh for a recital during the Bhaskar Rao Sangeet Sammelan, Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma attributed his achievements to God. In an interview with The Tribune, the maestro, whose life story has been recently published by Penguin in “Journey with a Hundred Strings”, clarified misunderstandings regarding santoor, that is invariably referred to as a Kashmiri folk instrument.

“Like myself, my instrument has roots in the Kashmir valley. But it is not a folk instrument. It was played during “Sufiana mousiqi”, which is essentially a classical genre that blends Persian, Turkish and Indian classical influences,” informed Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, who transformed santoor from a 100 string instrument to a full-fledged solo concert instrument worthy of as much acclaim as sarod or sitar.

His path was naturally strewn with hurdles, as he recalls, “After learning tabla from my father, I dedicated myself to santoor, with which I evolved as a musician. Soon after I played in Swami Hari Das Sammelan in Bombay, Vasant Desai asked me to compose a background score for V. Shantaram’s film “Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje”. In no time, V Shantaram offered me twin roles in his forthcoming film — that of a music director and a hero. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas wanted me to star in Saat Hindustani. But my resolve was firm. I overlooked temptations to attain my goals.”

It was only later that he, along with Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, began composing film music, with “Silsila”. Then came the association with Yash Chopra, who roped in the famous Shiv-Hari duo to compose music for films like Chandni and Vijay. He adds, “Yash Chopra used to adjust his schedules according to our needs. Recently it became difficult to keep pace. Otherwise we were to make music for “Dil to Pagal Hai” also.”

Although he has composed for films, he does not look upon himself as an entertainer. “Whenever I am on stage, I am there not as an entertainer but as a devotee. I am fortunate that people have accepted my offerings. I have also created and recorded a new raga, Antar Dhvani, which is being extensively used for meditation,” says Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma.

All praise for SPIC MACAY that has enlarged the canvas of classical music, he feels today’s youngsters are discerning. “They enjoy classical and pop music and they know where the balance lies. Also more youngsters are singing, assimilating the best from every gharana. No wonder the boundaries of gharanas are diluting,” adds the santoor player, whose legacy is safe in son Rahul’s hands.

He may now return to Kashmir, where most of his inspiration lies. “I am yearning to go back to those ethereal surroundings. The Chief Minister is planning a concert in Shamilar Gardens in Kashmir. If God wills, I will perform in my valley, with Rahul and Zakir Hussain. May be I can get some waterfalls back with me.”



Pandit Sharma’s santoor exudes melody
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Great musicians reflect themselves through their instruments. No wonder Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma’s santoor sounded so very melodic, so very polite this evening. As the maestro sat in concert at Tagore Theatre on the third day of Bhaskar Rao Sangeet Sammelan, he laid out a literal feast for the lovers of Indian classical music.

The only interruption that the evening saw was towards the beginning of Pt Sharma’s recital that followed Kumkum Mohanty’s delightful presentation of the nuances of odissi. Trying to bring the scales to the most melodic level, Pt Sharma took about 20 minutes to adjust the sound of the mikes, so that the rhythms could flow smoothly from his instrument.

Once the right sound was achieved, there was nothing to curb the maestro or his spirit of creation. Commencing his exceptionally imaginative santoor recital in raag Gawati, the musician followed the true classical tradition, presenting alaap, jod , jhala, followed by three compositions in matt taal and teen taal.

The beauty of Pt Sharma’s recital lay not just in the delightful solo melodic improvisations during the concert but also in the complete exposition of the piece being presented. Towards the beginning of the recital, he explained why it was essential to take a traditional route during a classical music presentation.

“In alaap the musician explores the possibilities within the raga, sketching its structure in his mind. As he performs jod, he leads the listeners into the beauty of the raga. Once jod is over, an aura of the raga has already been created. It is within this aura that the beauty of music lies,” he explained.

After presenting the initial piece and the three compositions, the musician concluded the recital with a beautiful light classical music composition in raag Pahari.

In this piece, he lent a vocal expression to santoor, experimenting within the raag, sometimes even moving out of its parameters to the domains of other ragas. He was ably supported by the tabla player.

Earlier, the show began with the odissi presentation by Kumkum Mohanty, the disciple of renowned guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She began her performance with Mangalcharan, dedicated to the Creator of the universe. Next in the line came “Pallavi” set to raag Hansadhwani. The dancer mesmerised the audience with her elegance and perfection of technique.

This piece was followed by an abhinaya-based composition in raag Anand Bhairavi. The abhinaya piece from Jaidev’s Geeta Govinda — Yahi Madhav, Yahi Keshav — was extremely well presented. This item marked the conclusion of Kumkum Mohanty’s recital.



Most cancer patients approach doctor too late, says expert
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, February 15
About 90 per cent of the patients suffering from cancer in India reach the doctor too late — at a stage when cure is a distant dream — as against 50 per cent in America. The situation is likely to worsen as the number of cancer deaths in the country is likely to double by 2020. Lack of health education and cancer awareness among the citizens are the reasons, says Dr Robert Twycross of Oxford International Centre for Palliative care.

He is attending a three-day international conference on palliative care being organised at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

Talking to The Tribune on Friday, Dr Twycross adds that pharmacological properties of drugs used for other medical complications are currently being examined to see if they can be beneficial for the terminally ill patients.

Commenting on the global scenario, he says that deaths from cancer worldwide now exceed 6 million per annum. As per an estimate 10 million new cases of cancer were reported in 2000.

The cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), will increase to 16 million per year by 2020. The increase will be unequally distributed throughout the world.

As such palliative care for end-stage patients is essential. "People who are dying often need more care than those who are curable. They need a form of care which considers not only physical, but also psychological, social and spiritual concerns. Professional skills of a high order are required to provide expert care that is individual to each patient, detailed and sensitive", he says.

For this reason the subject should be introduced in curriculum of medical colleges, nursing colleges and nursing schools. Health workers should also be trained in health education and early detection of the disease.

The doctor adds, "Given the ever changing boundaries of what is achievable in terms of cure or prolonged survival, it will never be possible to be precise about the cut-off between a cure oriented approach and a care-centered approach. However, unless doctors and patients maintain an awareness that ultimately death in inevitable, the right balance is unlikely to be achieved".

He concludes, "Indeed, part of the skill of medicine is to decide when to allow death to occur without further medical impediment. Although the possibility of unexpected improvement or recovery should not be totally ignored, there are many occasions when it is appropriate to 'give death a chance'. Further, as death draws near, interest in hydration and nutrition often becomes minimal, and it is inappropriate to force someone to accept food and fluid". 



Health scheme benefits elude ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh February 15
With the much-talked about Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) still not fully operational, retired soldiers in the region continue to face problems as far as medicare is concerned.

Though they have paid the requisite contributions, the benefits they are entitled to under the scheme continue to elude them. Treatment for a number of medical disorders are still off-limits to them under the scheme.

Speaking to The Tribune here yesterday, ex-servicemen revealed that the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) was the only hospital empanelled under the scheme to provide specialist treatment which was not available in military hospitals. Further, the tie-up between the Defence Ministry and the PGI was only for renal and heart treatment and not for other disorders.

To cite an instance, a retired officer suffering from Parkinson’s disease is running from pillar to post to avail medical treatment that he is entitled to. He has paid his share of contribution and is entitled to free treatment under the scheme, but his case has not been referred to the medical institutes concerned as the mechanism for the same is still not fully in place.

“The scheme is now well entrenched in Delhi, but here things are just about taking off,” a senior officer associated with the scheme at Western Command Headquarters said. “The kinks have been ironed out,” he added. A poly-clinic for veterans has become operational at Chandimandir.

Till the ECHS was launched last year, ex-servicemen and their dependents were entitled to free medical treatment at military hospitals only. The scheme requires contributions from retired armed forces personnel based on the scale of their pension. Those contributing towards the scheme are entitled to free medical treatment at military hospitals and designated civilian medical institutions.

Doctors at the Command Hospital said presently ex-servicemen could not be fully catered to under the scheme because of non-empanelment of medical institutes to cater to certain diseases. “More work still needs to be done and additional hospitals, including private institutes, need to be brought with in the ambit of the scheme,” an AMC officer said.

Veterans are still awaiting their smart cards, which would contain their personal medical details.



Now ex-soldiers want to visit Pak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
A proposal for government-sponsored visits of delegations of ex-servicemen from India and Pakistan has been mooted by some retired defence personnel here.
A letter written by the All India Defence Brotherhood to the External Affairs Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, today stated that since relations between the two countries had started improving, there had been an exchange of delegations from almost all walks of life have except ex-servicemen.

Stating that ex-servicemen could contribute manifold in creating mutual goodwill conducive to the ongoing peace process, the letter added that no other section of society could come to a better understanding than ex-servicemen on either side of the border as they share a common service ethos. March 23, Pakistan’s national day has been suggested for the visit of the first Indian delegation.

Pointing out that no one had seen and experienced the horrors of war more than armed forces personnel, the letter added that being the victims of wars and conflicts, they understood the value of peace. Further, as the Army played a predominant role in Pakistan, their ex-servicemen could act as real opinion makers and opinion moulders by influencing their army’s leadership in favour of the peace process.




A presentation accompanying the launch of a new pre-paid mobile service by a leading CDMA-based cellphone company last week at Chandigarh has raised many an eyebrow.

While the presentation itself was slick and attractive, it was the use of an “Indian Army officer” in full uniform extolling the virtues of the company and its cellphone and asking people to buy the phones which many in the media found to be highly objectionable. The Indian Army is a professional body and why should the company involve it in what is essentially a promotional campaign for a cellphone service is a mystery waiting to be solved.

The video clip which accompanied the presentation also contained “action shots” borrowed from different Indian and western movies. But it was not clear if the company had obtained permission from the makers of these movies to use them in its own promotional campaign.

As one scribe put it, this may be company’s own interpretation of its slogan “Karlo Dunia Mutthi Mein”.

Idol worship

Certain police officers keep their offices decorated with their photographs without realising that their subordinates will start idol worship.

One of the Station House Officers of the Chandigarh Police was astonished to see his photographs garlanded in the office.

The police officer enquired who has garlanded his portrait and found out one of the constables did so. The officer called the person and shouted at him asking him whether he had died for his photograph to be garlanded.

Tunnel tourism

The city has been struggling to get tourists. However, the tunnel dug in the Burail jail for the escape of three terrorists has prompted certain persons in the city to use it as a tourist place.

The people are discussing that the mystery tunnel should be acquired by the Chandigarh Administration to promote as a tourist spot.

The people say the jail could be shifted somewhere else and the place should be used as a spot to see a wonder of the failure of the entire government machinery and unnoticed planning of terrorists.

There is so much of interest of the people in tunnel that they had been asking reporters questions as to how a tunnel could have been dug from a barrack and where the loose earth went.

Actress in the making

Eight-year-old Pragarti Trikha is an actress in the making. Having acted in six Punjabi and Hindi television serials and two films, she is aiming for a role in Bollywood.

Banking on director Yash Chopra’s assurance, Pragarti says she is all set to rub shoulders with the top actors of Bollywood. “I have been offered a role in a film with Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta. I want to pursue acting though I don’t want it to be at the cost of my studies,” she says. Though Pragarti has not learnt acting from any institution, her interest in films and serials had helped her in the field.

“Chori ki car”

Lying in complete disuse in a vacant plot in Phase XI Mohali is the once famous car used by comedian Jaspal Bhatti in his various TV shows. The car painted a bright yellow and red is a hilarious prop in itself. At one place it is painted on the car: Chori ki car and at another place it says Eh gaddi sharab te chaldi hai.

Some neighbours said that the car was used by Mr Bhatti’s group when they had rented a house in Phase XI but did not take it along when they left the place. The car which is said to be in working condition was first shifted by the police from near the house to a plot on the outskirts of the sector but later shifted to this empty plot in Phase XI.

Flower show

Mohali residents are in a for a treat. Come end February and the township will host its own flower show. Already preparing for the competitions are the various institutions for the best lawn prize.

Starting with the large MNC offices, the government office gardeners too have decided to put in their best effort to ensure that the prize is theirs. Other than the best lawn prize in the institutional category, individual residents will also be applying for entry into the best home garden competition.


English is not our mother tongue. This often results in a tendency of spelling a word according to its “Indianised” pronouncement.

Government Medical College is spelled as “Collage” at least two different points on Dakshin Marg. The signboards of the administration near Dev Samaj College, Sector 36 and near Batra Cinema, Sector 37, spell College as Collage.

The local Congress also contributed its mite. The function to honour newly elected sarpanches and panches at Congress Bhavan recently spelt the panches as “punches”. “Asi Punjabi University te Panjab University de do vakhre vakhre spelling karde haan, taan eh bhi theek hai (If Punjabi and Panjab universities are spelt differently so can be the panches),” a Congress worker said.

Ground for protest

With the Panjab University authorities having failed to set the sports ground in order after the conclusion of the Indian Science Congress, the students are on a warpath.

Claiming that the ground is their laboratory, the students of the Sports Department have intensified their protest by boycotting their classes. Holding that meeting the authorities and pressing for action has done no good to them, they are threatening to involve students of other departments of the university to make themselves heard.

— Sentinel



Mohali teacher enters LS poll fray
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 15
Mrs Paramjit Kaur, Principal of the Government Model Senior Secondary School here for the past five years, is standing in the Lok Sabha elections from the Bathinda reserved constituency as a Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate.

She has given up over three years of her remaining service to enter politics. She resigned from the school on February 11 after putting in 29 years of service

The school has been taken over by the Vice-Principal, Mr Parshottam Lal. ‘‘She never told anything to any one of us. She just came and handed over charge to the Vice Principal,’’ informed a schoolteacher.

Daughter of former Union Minister for State Dhanna Singh Gulshan, Mrs Paramjit Kaur joined as in the ‘master’ cadre in a school in Bathinda in 1974 where she worked till 1979. Then, she joined the Government Senior Secondary School here as master and continued to serve till 1983 when she was promoted as head mistress of Government High School, Chunni Kalan. In 1986, she joined Putlighar Government School in Amritsar as headmistress and had additional charge as the deputy district education officer. She was promoted as principal of the Government Senior Secondary School at Ferozepore in March 1996 from where she was transferred to Mohali on August 5, 1998.

Her school colleagues, wishing for her victory, said, ‘‘Though she never seemed to be interested in politics, she has it in her to make it. Her father’s name commands a lot of respect in Bathinda.’’ Dhanna Singh had represented the Bathinda constituency in 1977.

Married to a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, 54-year-old Paramjit Kaur has two daughters, one of whom is a doctor and the other an advocate. 



Panthic board to contest 20 LS seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The newly constituted Panthic Parliamentary Board today decided to contest 20 Lok Sabha seats and work for the defeat of the Congress and the Akali-BJP alliance. Of the 20 seats 13 are in Punjab, one in Chandigarh, two each in Haryana, UP and Delhi.

Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, Secretary-General of the board, said the meeting at which this decision was taken was attended by six of the nine members, including Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, Mr Jagjit Singh Chohan and Mr Kashmir Singh Patti.



Indian family system comes under microscope
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The changing role of families and need for building character rather than career of children were discussed at a three-day national seminar on “Family in contemporary India: changes and challenges” at Panjab University today.

Prof K.L. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, delivered the inaugural address. Prof Sharma underlined the changes that had occurred in Indian family system. These included blood relations, rules of mate selection, especially in large towns and cities, growing industrialisation within the family, etc.

Extended family being the thing of the past, today’s small nuclear families were confronted with numerous tensions between husband and wife, parents and children, and also within siblings. Contemporary family, according to Prof Sharma, was based upon the pragmatism of a relationship rather than emotional support.

A specialist in family studies, Prof A.M. Shah, expressed concern over the paucity of empirical studies on the changing dimensions of modern family. Bringing out the significance of household, which is the nucleus of family life, Prof Shah underlined the need for grasping the inter-household familial relationship without looking for spatial boundaries.

He said it was futile to talk in terms of nuclear versus joint family, which is only an academic construction to understand Indian family. “We must get out of this framework in order to grapple with the contemporary family composition,” he added.

Prof M.K. Teja, director of the seminar, highlighted the changing contours of family in terms of conjugal relations as well as parent-child relationship, in the wake of information revolution and industrialisation.

An eminent sociologist and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Panjab University, Prof S.L. Sharma, spoke on the role of sociology in debunking common sense assumptions concerning family forms in India. In order to understand contemporary family, Prof Sharma argued: “It must be placed in the context of globalisation, changed working patterns of members, bio-technological changes and the increased level of militancy and terrorism. Family today stands threatened by the strong waves of information revolution, and hence needs to be studied in these contexts. Also, the family needs to focus on building character rather than the career of the children,” he stated.\



NRI’s pocket picked in homeland
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 15
For a Punjabi living abroad and visiting his state after 20 years it should have been an experience to remember when he returned to his home in Punjab. But for Sarandar Singh Sandhu, his first visit to his home state after 20 years in the UK began with a rather “unholy” experience.

Mr Sarandar Singh lost Rs 1 lakh worth of foreign currency when someone picked his pocket within the precincts of the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

Staying with his brother in Phase X here, Mr Sarandar Singh said today that the incident took place on February 1 and a complaint had been lodged with the Brahmbatta police station. But for a week it was not converted into an FIR. Mr Sarandar Singh then thrice contacted the SSP, Amritsar, Mr Kultar Singh, who directed the SHO to register a case and take follow up action.

He said he along with his brother and parents went to visit the Golden Temple. While he was bowing his head in the sanctum sanctoram he felt a push and realised that his pocket had been picked. “We immediately informed the sevadars present there about what had happened, but they told us to contact the SGPC office. We went there and registered a complaint but no one could help us but listen to our problem and sympathise,” he said. The family then registered a complaint with the Brahm Buta police station.

“My purse had pounds, euros, credit cards, etc,” he said.

Mr Sarandar Singh is a property developer in the UK. “One cannot expect to be pick-pocketed at a holy place. It’s sad. I have also written a letter to the SGPC chief Mr G.S. Tohra asking him to take action on this,” he added.

“Why cannot the SGPC install cameras within the temple to monitor these things? We are told that there are policemen inside in plain clothes. Why did they not come forward to help us,” he asked. 



Corps of Signals men celebrate anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Corps of Signals of the Western Army today celebrated the 93rd anniversary of the corps with enthusiasm and festivity. Several functions were also organised on the occasion, a statement issued here said.

At the Western Command headquarters, Chandi Mandir, the day started with the Chief Signal Officer, Maj-Gen A.S. Bakshi, laying a wreath at the Command War Memorial, Veer Smriti and paying tributes to the martyrs.

A Signals Nite was hosted by serving corps officers for their retired comrades-in-arms as well as other guests. The GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt-Gen J.J. Singh, accompanied by his wife Anupama Singh graced the occasion as the chief guest. The function was also attended by Lt-Gen P.K. Grover and his wife Neelam.

During the span of 93 years since its raising, the Corps of Signals has witnessed several generations of development in the field of signalling. The journey from the days of pigeons, lamps, flags, helio and semaphore to the start-of-the-art electronic exchanges, satellite communication and modern convergence technologies has been long and arduous. 



Missing girl had left the house in ‘anger’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 15
The teenage girl, Soni, who had recently gone missing from Shahi Majra village here, yesterday returned home after four days. According to her family members she had ‘left’ home in anger after a fight with her sister with whom she was living.

She went to stay with her brother in Delhi. But did not tell him that she had come there without informing anyone at her sister’s place. She came back to her sister’s house in Shahi Majra here today.

Seventeen-year-old Soni had come from a village in Farukkhabad, Uttar Pradesh, five months ago to live with her sister here.



Rose shrubs planted at petrol station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Bharat Petroleum embarked upon a novel way to celebrate St Valentine’s Day, with young and old couples planting rose shrubs in the 250 mudholes dug at company’s Sector 21 outlet.

“It is great to have something different being organised on the Valentine’s Day. This is something that is meaningful and also ecologically friendly. As we plant shrubs, we also get an enhanced feeling of bonding,” said a couple in their 50s.

Mr Watts, territory manager, Bharat Petroleum, said: “Our aim is to provide added value to our customers and at the same time deliver quality products. The happiness on the faces of children, parents and elders clearly showed that we have successfully attained the desired response from the Valentine’s Day festivity.”



Journalist assaulted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 15
A journalist working for Siti Channel, Chandigarh, today alleged that he was manhandled and his money snatched by the police last night while he was covering a cultural show at the Phase VIII dasehra grounds here.

The complainant, Sudeep Rawat, said two policemen, who were allegedly drunk, cornered him while he went to listen to a phone call on his mobile phone during the show. “I showed them my identity card, but they roughed me up. They also snatched my purse and took out all the money and threw back the purse towards me,” he said. He was covering the show ‘Mubarkan’ for Siti Channel. The show continued till midnight and by that time, many people present at the show, including the policemen, were drunk and rowdy.

He complained about it to the SDM, Mohali, Mr M.L. Sharma. The SDM reportedly told him that the organisers had the permission to hold the show only till 10 pm.

He also complained to the DSP, Mohali, Mr Daljit Rana. He has also lodged a complaint with the SSP, Ropar, Mr S.P. Singh.



School bus runs over man
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, February 15
An unidentified turbaned man was run over by a school bus in Sector 5 this afternoon.
According to the police, a bus belonging to Stepping Stone School, Panchkula, run over the man killing him on the spot. The driver of the bus reportedly fled from the scene. The body has been sent to the General Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Assault case: A boy and his sister, residents of Sector 20, were thrashed by three women in Sector 7 market on Sunday.

The police said Ankit and his sister were beaten up by the mother and two sisters of his classmate, Divanshu, a resident of Sector 9, in the market. They were taken to the General Hospital for medical examination.



Car stolen
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 15
Mr Gurbachan Singh, a resident of Sector 37, Chandigarh, complained to the police here that his white Maruti car (CHO1-V-3578) was stolen from the Phase VII parking space on Friday.
He said that he came to his restaurant, Hungry Hunter, at about 10 am and parked the car in the parking place, but by 11.15 am the car was missing.


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