C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rodrigues plays it safe
Avoids contentious issue of Medicity in his I-Day speech
Tribune News Service

Schools closed

CHANDIGARH: All government as well as private schools in Chandigarh will remain closed on Monday following the Independence Day celebrations. However, in Panchkula, only the participating government schools will remain closed. — TNS

Chandigarh, August 15
In what appears to be the last minute change, UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) today dropped reference to the controversial Medicity project, now under the CVC scanner, which was part of his Independence Day message circulated to the press two days back.

The “embargoed message of HE” with instructions to be published on the Independence Day sent on email to all newspapers on Friday referred to the Medicity project as part of the UT administration’s efforts to upgrading health infrastructure in the city. It said, “Special measures have been taken for upgrading education, health and social infrastructure in the city by introducing innovative programmes and conceiving projects like the Education City and the Medicity”.

However, his ceremonial speech at the Parade Ground had no mention of these projects. While senior officials of the administration refused to comment on it and even claimed that “there was nothing wrong in the message and the speech being different”, the usual practice is that they are the same.

The Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park, where most of the mega projects were planned, however, found a mention in the speech and was touted as a project that would create more job opportunities in the city. However, several right activists in the city have disputed these claims.

The mention of providing almost 24 hours of power and water supply while upgrading the infrastructure to the tune of Rs 100 crore in southern sectors, too, appeared to fall flat, if the frequent unscheduled power and water cuts, especially in these sectors is any indication.

However, following the unfurling of the National Flag and taking the salute from an impressive march past, the UT administrator spelled out an “ambitious roadmap” for the “inclusive growth” on making Chandigarh a truly dynamic city, with a success story. Giving a detailed account of the tempo of development in recent years, the UT administrator said that the administration had adopted a proactive and participate approach in every field of endeavour and acted as a facilitator and catalyst for change.

A few programmes like establishment of Ashreya, a home for the mentally challenged, Snehalaya, a vocational training centre for the street children, Aasha Kiran, another vocational training centre for the differently-abled citizens, and booths for physically and mentally challenged persons and double pension benefits payable to the differently-abled, widows, destitute women and senior citizens were elaborately acquainted with, he said.

The Government of India has ranked Chandigarh as the first, amongst all the Union Territories of the country, in the implementation of the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. Various initiatives, like “Apni Beti Apna Dhan” and “Balika Samridhi Yojana”, have been launched, for the benefit of the girl child, said the Administrator.

Three new government schools are being built in Sectors 50, 53 and 54, besides upgrading six secondary schools to senior secondary school levels and five primary schools to middle schools, said Rodrigues.

Similarly, in the health sector, Chandigarh has been adjudged amongst the top five performing states/UTs in the country under the National Tuberculosis Control Programme, he said.

To improve the quality of the public transport system, the Administrator said that the most ambitious regional project of Mass Rapid Transport System and Metro Rail for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali were in advanced stage of planning.

Besides, 40 AC buses and 60 non-AC buses under the JNNURM are also being added, said the Administrator.

“Metro project of Chandigarh will be a milestone in providing quality transport to the people and will also reduce traffic congestion and vehicular pollution,” he added.

Meanwhile, contingents of the police civil defence took part in the march past. A colourful cultural programme was also presented by schoolchildren.



Gallantry award for city IAF officer
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter pilot from the city has been decorated with the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry for undertaking a daring mission to evacuate a stranded family during flash floods in Assam last year. The award was announced on the occasion of the Independence Day today.

On August 31, 2008, the Air Force received an emergency call from the state government that embankments of one of the tributaries of Brahmaputra river had breached due to heavy rains, causing flash floods in and around Rangia town, about 50 kilometres from Guwahati. A number of people were caught unawares and there was imminent danger to their lives.

The IAF scrambled a Mi-17 helicopter under the command of Wg Cdr Rajan Puri from its Guwahati base. A quick aerial recce was carried out and the most sensitive areas were identified. At one of the places, a family, including children, was marooned atop a broken rooftop and with the rapidly rising water level, the structure was in danger of being washed away.

Realising the gravity of the situation, Wg Cdr Puri quickly brought his helicopter to hover over the spot and prepared for live winching. Since there were children among the marooned people, the gunner of the helicopter, JWO Thapliyal was winched down to the rooftop to assist them. Under adverse weather conditions of low clouds and high wind speeds over raging waters, the helicopter evacuated the people, with the gunner, the last to be winched up, making it with just minutes to spare.

Thapliyal, who was knee-deep in the gushing waters atop the structure by the time he was winched up, was also decorated with the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry.

Wg Cdr Puri’s father, OK Puri, a resident of Sector 37, said that Rajan was an alumnus of the DAV College, Sector 10, and had joined the National Defence Academy in 1998. He was commissioned into the flying branch in 1992 and is currently posted in New Delhi. He is the only one in the family to join the armed forces and though he was selected to join the Punjab Engineering College, he opted for the IAF.



PC Jeweller Heist
Court nod to trial through video conferencing
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
Accepting a request of the police, a local court has decided to hold the trial of the accused involved in the PC Jeweller heist through video conferencing.

The facility has already been installed in the court and was under a trial run. If everything goes as planned, it would be for the first time that a trial would be held through video conferencing.

Applying for the video conferencing in the case, the police had pleaded before the court that the accused were of notorious nature and were involved in several murder cases. Their frequent shifting to the court from various jails of the state could be a security threat as their accomplices were yet to be arrested.

The accused, Amit Yadav, Pawan Saini, Samir Nain, Kala and Sunil Malik, are lodged in Ambala and Rohtak jails.



Head constable ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
A Chandigarh Police head constable, Paramjit Singh (49), committed suicide by hanging himself at his Sector 40 residence this morning.

No suicide note was found from the spot. However, Paramjit’s family told the police that he was under depression. He was on deputation with the Chandigarh Housing Board.

According to the police, the incident came to light when Paramjit’s wife, Dalvinder Kaur, came back from a gurdwara at around 6.15 am and saw him hanging from a ceiling fan. She raised an alarm after which both of her sons came to the room.

The family rushed Paramjit to the PGI where he was declared brought dead. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



Another dies mysteriously
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
A head constable deputed at the police headquarters as driver of an Inspector-General of Police died under mysterious circumstances in Uttar Pradesh.

The deceased, identified as Anil Kumar, a resident of Sonepat district, was accompanying IG RC Mishra to Fatehpur district.

Azad Singh, a relative of Anil said the family received the information about his death yesterday late night. They were told that Anil was sleeping on the roof of a temple and fell down, leading to his death, he said.



Kites losing strings in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Some years back one could easily spot thousands of kites in the sky on the Independence Day. Though kite flying was never a craze in the city, but things were much more colourful then, said Sanjay Jain, who has been selling kites in the city for the past 25 years.

There were times when the Independence Day celebrations were incomplete without kite flying. This Independence Day, one could hardly see any kite in the sky. Kite flying is more than 500 years old, which is fast losing its appeal in the city.

“The charm has vanished altogether now. There were times when we managed to sell 10,000 kites on the Independence Day. And now, even selling a few hundreds is a big task,” added Sanjay.

It seems that kite flying couldn’t take off as a tradition in the city.

On being asked why kite flying has lost its charm, another kite maker said, “Life is hectic in the city. Everyone prefers staying inside and watching the Independence Day function on their television sets. “Kagaz ki patang ka ab kya mole (these paper kites have no worth now).”

The city does not have a lot of kite makers now. Many have migrated to other cities seeking better business opportunities. However, some like Sanjay have stayed back as they cannot part with the city easily. All those who are left argue that business had dipped drastically since the past few years.

Kite flying as a tradition goes strong in the cities like Delhi and Mumbai, with the younger generation more drawn towards “colourful patangs” and their different styles of “manja”.

“It’s mostly children in the age group of 7 to 12 who buy kites now. There used to be a time when even grandparents would buy kites to enjoy with kids. But now things have changed.

That magic is gone. People prefer convenience. They will buy a small “tiranga” and put it on their cars, but not buy an Rs 2 or Rs 5 kite,” added Jain.

Vineeta, a mother of two, said, “When we were young, kite flying was one of the essentialities on the Independence Day. Kids today rather ask parents for video games rather than kites.”


Admn forms cell to protect NRIs’ rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Chandigarh administration today set up an NRI cell on the premises of Deputy Commissioner’s office, Sector 17, here.

The cell aims at helping NRIs protect their rights in the UT, especially in property-related matters and those related to matrimonial and financial disputes.

Besides, the Chandigarh administration is planning to organise a convention, “NRIs are ambassadors and our guests”, on the invitation of NRIs from the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.

NRIs in India have properties worth around $ 200 million and the administration has assured to cooperate, preserve and grant property rights to them.

“The major issue of concern regarding matrimonial disputes is delay in visa for bride and bridegrooms. We will ensure all possible assistance in facilitating necessary documentation from the offices concerned and expediting the process for new NRIs to meet their respective relatives abroad,” said Home Secretary Ram Niwas.

In another significant move, the administration is in the process of putting up a fast-track legitimate system to solve financial disputes involving business, commerce and investment.

Meanwhile, Vikram Bajwa, an NRI from Vancouver, on behalf of the NRI fraternity thanked the administration for setting up the cell in the city and assured of all possible coordination.

He added that NRIs abroad would donate for charitable projects undertaken by the administration, including adopting village schools under the education department, and offer scholarships for rural children.

He said for the next three years, the NRIs had set a target of donating $ 25 million for the cause.



Housing complex for slum-dwellers inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
As part of the slum rehabilitation programme of the UT administration for the disadvantaged, UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues inaugurated a housing complex comprising 320 small flats and 288 EWS flats under general housing scheme at Sector 38 (West), here today.

The 320 flats will accommodate slum-dwellers staying at prefab shelters Sector 52 (transit accommodation).

An allottee, Rita, who got the keys to her new flat from General Rodrigues, said: “Her dreams have come true.”

To make the project environmentally friendly, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) chairman Mohanjeet Singh said a team of officers and social activists had been formed to educate the beneficiaries about healthy and harmonious living.

Of the proposed construction of 25,728 small flats under the scheme, the CHB has also started the construction of 11,168 small flats in Sectors 38 (West), 49, Ram Darbar and Dhanas.

“The construction of 1,696 small flats at Mauli Jagran and 3,648 at Maloya-II are going to start soon,” he added.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Home Secretary Ram Niwas and other senior officers of UT administration and the CHB were present.



Independence Day celebrated on HC premises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The 63rd Independence Day of the nation was celebrated on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana High Court with great zeal and gaiety. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar hoisted the national flag as Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur was away to the national Capital to attend the Conference of the Chief Justices and Chief Ministers.

While speaking on the occasion, besides paying tributes to the martyrs, Justice Khehar exhorted Judicial Officers of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to rise to the occasion and meet the challenges of disposing off cases expediously. He exhorted the officers to make Samadhaan-2009 a success by quick disposition of old cases within a stipulated time frame thereby minimising the miseries and harassment of the general public.



MC moots markets for UT villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
To lend a modern outlook to UT villages, the municipal corporation has mooted a proposal to construct new markets and playgrounds on land available in those areas.

Sources said Mayor Kamlesh had written a letter to MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria suggesting that the authorities should identify places in villages to construct booths and develop market, as there were no proper markets in the any of the nine villages under the corporation.

Sources said the MC Commissioner had asked Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka to identify places where there was a possibility of developing markets in villages.

Sources said currently shops were being run from residential areas in most of the villages and there was no proper arrangement of markets there. Official said the corporation was planning to construct planned concrete markets in villages.

Another proposal, which is in the pipeline, is to develop stadiums in villages to promote rural sports.

Sources added that an agenda would be tabled in the finance and contract committee meeting to set up stadiums in villages by the corporation.

Kamlesh said as she had received many complaints from residents of villages about haphazard development, proposals were being formulated to give them a modern look.



Rodrigues hosts ‘At Home’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
As part of 62nd anniversary of the Independence Day celebrations, the Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, and Governor, Punjab, Gen (Retd) SF Rodrigues hosted an “At Home” this evening on the lush green lawns of Punjab Raj Bhavan.

Despite inclement weather and intermittent rain, people from various walks of life started converging on Punjab Raj Bhavan, before the start of the ceremony to greet the Governor. The “At Home” function began as the Punjab Police and the Chandigarh Police bands played the National Anthem.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Cabinet colleagues, including Manpreet Singh Badal, finance minister, and Parminder Singh Dhindsa, PWD Minister, Advocate General HS Mattewal were also present.

Others attending the ceremony included Punjab Chief Secretary SC Agrawal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, DS Guru, Financial Commissioner, Development, NS Kang, Secretary to Governor, MP Singh, GoC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen TK Sapru, Lt Gen MS Buttar, Chief of Staff, Western Command, Adviser to Administrator Pradip Mehra, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Commission RK Rao and senior civil and police officers serving and retired of various ranks of the Punjab Government, freedom fighters, members of legal fraternity, senior journalists and eminent personalities from art and literature, leaders of various political parties and members of the Red Cross Society also attended the event.

The Governor and his wife, Jean Rodrigues, shared their joy with the gathering. Gen Rodrigues interacted with the guests on the special day and emphasised the need of working together for fulfilling the goals of the Freedom Movement cherished by stalwarts of the movement.

Meanwhile, responding to the invitation, farmers from various parts of the state also came in strength to greet the Governor.



Housing scheme back on track
GS Paul
Tribune News Service


The 304 allottees of three bedroom flats have paid Rs 3,63,085 each as initial amount, 836 allottees for the two bedroom set had deposited Rs 2,67,358 each, while 532 allottees of one bedroom and 304 of one room (EWS) categories had already paid Rs 1.71 lakh and Rs 56,625, respectively

Chandigarh, August 15
After being off track for a long time, the Chandigarh Housing Board’s Sector 63 Housing Scheme seems to be back on track.

Hopes of this much-publicised housing scheme has risen once again with the latest communication between the Ministry of Environment and the board.

If the officials of the CHB are to be believed, the possibility of attaining the much sought-after “environment clearance” for the scheme is there in the first week of September.

“We have received a communication from the Ministry of Environment to schedule a meeting in the third week of this month. By this, it can be expected that in the first week of September, the next course of action for Sector 63 flats’ scheme, which is “floorwise draw”, would be proceeded”, said Mohanjeet Singh, chairman of the CHB.

It is evident to mention that nine months have passed since the final draw of lots for 1,976 flats in various categories under this scheme was conducted and the CHB officials had earlier confessed to hold the “floorwise draws” in the mid of March, but the wait for allottees had never been to end for want of environment clearance.

Though they had already deposited 10 per cent of the cost of flat as earnest money with the CHB, it was the “official formalities”, which did not let it go as per the scheduled time.

Agreeing that the project had been getting delayed, Mohanjeet clarified that environment clearance was a binding clause, it had to be obtained from the ministry. “Yes, the delay is inordinate, but the clearance needs to be sought. We are through with the formalities from our side. We have already prepared a report to be presented before the environment ministry,” he assured.

The “environment clearance” pertains to certain formalities, where the ministry has to be intimated about the lay-out plan, the density of population to be accommodated in the plan, the feasibility of water, sewage and electricity connections for them.

“Once we get this certification from Government of India, our priority will definitely be to conduct the floorwise draw for the scheme,” told Mohanjeet.

Nevertheless, the allottees resented that the CHB had collected over Rs 50 crore by the way of getting initial deposits on the flats. Logically, the board should pay them back the interests in the same quantum on this deposit for the delayed period, as it charges for delayed payment from the allottees.

Reena Singh, a banker, said, “Scores of applicants are salaried class. On one side, the CHB is earning interest on the amount it received as earnest money, on the other hand, allottees like us have withdrawn huge amounts from our Provident Funds and taken loans from banks. We are losing interest on both sides. The CHB, which brags about being rationale for “Aam Aadmi”, should think about compensating us”.

The allottees resented that the board had been clearly indicated in the brochure that the draw for allocation of floors would be held after six months from the date of closing of scheme, which was April 30, 2008, but it has been almost a lapse of one year and they are still clueless about getting the allotment cum acceptance letter.

One such couple, Sanjay and Ritu, living in a rental accommodation, said as per schedule announced by the CHB, they took loans from sources in May last year. “We are suffering double blow. We raised a loan amount of Rs 5 lakh from a bank to avoid delay in payment from our side, little knowing that we would have to pay through our nose the undue interest on this amount and rent.”



Swine Flu
Three more suspected cases at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The number of suspected swine flu cases continues to rise as more people turned up at the government hospitals citing symptoms of the disease. Three suspected cases of swine flu were reported today at the PGI.

HC Gera, UT nodal officer for swine flu, said, “Samples from all of them were collected and sent to National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi”. As the symptoms noticed in these suspected patients were mild, they were given the option to remain at home, said a health official.

“One of the patients is from Chandigarh, whereas the others were from Punjab,” said Gera. Till Saturday, 100 patients had been registered on suspicion of swine flu across the city hospitals. Of these eight have tested positive.

Meanwhile, the UT health officials informed that the two suspected swine flu patients, who were admitted to the GMCH-32 and the PGI, respectively, were discharged today as their samples were found negative.

According to sources, out of the 33 samples that had been sent for testing to the NICD, Delhi, in the past one week, 32 had turned out to be negative. The one sample that had been found positive was that of a Panchkula-based Pune student. The student was on the road to recovery after receiving treatment.



Disappearance of wife, child
Labourer’s pleas fail to move police
Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
A migrant labourer has been running from pillar to post to trace his wife and a minor child, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances recently. The police is, however, paying no heed to his pleas, he has alleged.

Twenty-five-year-old Hari Ram, a resident of Kishangarh, alleged that the police had failed to initiate action on his complaint or interrogate those whom he suspected of being behind the disappearance of his kin.

He alleged that his statements were not being taken seriously whenever he went to the police station.

On August 7, he found his wife and child missing from his home after returning from work. After making some inquiries with his neighbours, friends and relatives in Bihar, he lodged a complaint with the police.

Joona, an acquaintance, had seen his wife, Monika, last near a bridge. Hari, who works as a labourer with a Samsung showroom in Sector 22, said he suspected employees of a local club of abducting his wife.

He said: “I have told the police about the people whom I suspect of abducting my wife and child but the police, even after a lapse of a week, has not bothered to visit the club.”

The owner of Samsung showroom, Vijesh, said: “I went with him to the police station twice but the police officials laughed off the issue saying that his wife was a major and must have gone of her own will. The persons I suspect are missing from the club after the incident but the police is silent over the issue.”

On the contrary, additional mushi at the Mani Majra police station Ajmer Singh said the complainant was suspecting a 14-year-old boy of abducting his wife, which was impossible.

The policeman confirmed that they hadn’t inquired with the club about the suspects.

Mani Majra police station SHO Partap Singh said everything had been done in a fair manner in the case.

Meanwhile, investigating officer Skatar Singh was unavailable for comments.



Consumer Courts
Bijli nigam’s plea quashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The levy of Rs 10,000 as sundry charges in a consumer’s electricity bill has cost Uttari Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN) dear with the UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission upholding the orders of the District Consumers Redressal Forum, Yamuna Nagar, while quashing the appeal filed by the UHBVN against the forum orders.

Following the orders of the forum to refund the penalty amount to the consumer against wrong bill, the UHBVN had filed an appeal in this case before the Haryana State Commission, which was later transferred to the UT State Commission as per the orders of the National Commission.

According to the complainant, Jai Prakash, a resident of Yamuna Nagar, he had been wrongly billed vide bill dated October 5, 2001 wherein a sum of Rs 10,308.65 had been added under the heading “sundry charges”, which was illegal and arbitrary. Since the bill was not corrected, the complainant filed a complaint.

On the other hand, UHBVN replied that the meter of the complainant was defective and the same was replaced vide MCO No.3/4992.

The defective meter was sent to M&T Lab and it was found that M&T seals of the meter had been tempered with.

Consequently, the account of the complainant was overhauled as per sales circular No.31/98 and a sum of Rs 10,504 had been levied on the complainant on August 14, 2001.

The district forum had recorded in the impugned order that UHBVN had not given any details of sundry charges amounting to Rs 10,308.65 and furthermore observed that in view of the case law settled by the Haryana State Commission in the case titled “Superintending Engineer (OP), HSEB and another vs Mrs Shammi Paul, 1998 (2) CPC 135”, tempering of seals of the meter did not prove that there was theft of electricity.

Consequently, the district forum quashed the penalty amount of Rs 10,308.65 and directed the OPs to refund the amount, if already deposited by him along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of deposit.

An appeal was then filed by the UHBVN in Haryana State Commission against the orders.

It was pleaded by the UHBVN that the meter had been duly checked after removal of the premises of the complainant and as per the report of M&T Lab, the seals had been found tempered with and accordingly, the account of the complainant was overhauled under the instructions.

The commission observed that record indicated that there was no document indicating the condition of the meter at the time of its removal from the premises of the complainant.

There was also nothing to indicate that after the removal of the meter, the same was duly packed, sealed and signed by the representative of department and the consumer, as required by the law.

Since, the mandatory procedure had not been followed and since there was nothing on record to indicate that the checking of the meter had been done in the presence of the complainant, the report of M&T Lab had lost all evidentiary value, it added.



Talwar unfurls Tricolour at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Prof KK Talwar, director, PGIMER, unfurled the national flag at the institute and celebrated the Independence Day, along with faculty, nursing, administrative and other staff.

While addressing the faculty, Prof Talwar said while working in a hospital, it had been our responsibility to contribute more to the society and humanity in general. Regarding swine flu, he said, “I appeal to the public in general not to panic as the disease is fully curable and there are arrangements in the PGI and other hospitals for its treatment.”

Prof Tawar said, “The PGIMER has been chosen as one of the super-speciality institutes for implementation of tele-medicine programme in SAARC countries, which is a matter of pride for us. The MoU has been signed and telemedicine services have begun this year in Bhutan and Sri Lanka through the PGI.”

“With the help of ISRO, the PGI has launched the telemedicine initiative and is the first medical institute to launch tele-education and e-health programmes in remote areas of the country. Thus, a medical database is being established, which would help in framing the health policies at the Centre,” he added.

He said the Advanced Cardiac Centre had started functioning now. He said, “The number of cardiac surgeries per day has been increased considerably. Beside, the PET Scan, 3-T MRI and Gamma Knife have become fully functional.”

Earlier, while addressing the staff, Prof Talwar said, “The World Health Organisation has designated the department of pulmonary medicine and the division of mycology of department of medical microbiology as WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Fungi of Medical Importance of the PGI as the WHO collaborating the Centre for the South-East Asia Region.”

Also, in 2009 session, new courses, like DM in Paediatric Critical Care, DM in Paediatric Haematology Oncology, DM in Neuro Radiology and MSc in Anatomy have begun.



Woman wing of Hry police first in march past
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
The Independence Day was observed at a district-level function held on parade ground here today.

Minister of state for forests, tourism and sports Kiran Chaudhary unfurled the national flag. A march past and a cultural programme was also held on the occasion.

Rs 40 crore were being spent on the mini stadiums in the village, herbal gardens were being set up in the districts, she said.

She also announced the grant of Rs 51,000 for the sweets meant for the schoolchildren, who participated in the Independence Day function.

A holiday was also announced for schools and colleges, whose children participated in the function on Monday.

Along with 21 persons, who excelled in education, sports and other fields, she honoured freedom fighter Desraj Pardesi and the widows of martyrs.

The contingent of woman wing of Haryana police was adjudged first for its best march past. However, the second place was grabbed by Government College, Sector 1.

Similary, among contingent of NCC junior wing, Haryana Model School stood first, the team from Bhavan Vidyalaya stood second.

The troupe from Manav Mnagal School and Gurukul, Madanpur, were adjudged first and second, respectively, for presenting cultural programme. The third place was got by Shishu Niketan School.



UT Police gets overall trophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Chandigarh Police clinched the overall trophy during its magnificent performance in the march past events in various categories during the celebrations of Independence Day held on Sector 17 parade ground here today.

The UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues distributed the awards to the winners. In cultural programmes presented by various schools, Punjab bhangra team of

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, bagged first place, while the dance performance on patriotic songs by the teams of KB-DAV School, Sector 7, and Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41-A, went home with second and third places, respectively.



Manpreet arrives in private vehicle for I-Day function
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 15
Used to seeing gun-welding security personnel accompanying politicians, spectators at the district-level Independence Day function has delight for their eyes when they saw the chief guest of the day, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, driving to the venue in his private vehicle, minus the security cover.

Few minutes before the scheduled timings for unfurling the national flag, the seasoned politician arrived at the Government College, Phase VI in his Toyota Qualis. Sources in the police said he had even refused a police escort to reach the venue of the function.

Officials handling the security of the VIP said there had been clear-cut instructions by the minister not to attach any police vehicle. “ He moves around with no security and drives his own car. Other politicians should learn lessons as it would reduce the burden on the state exchequer”, said an official.



Students present evils of foeticide
Tribune News Service

Confusion created by police

A traffic police tableau depicting a motorcyclist driving without helmet created confusion in the mind of the spectators. Though police officials claimed that a cop at a traffic light was shown signalling the motorcyclist to stop, spectators took it the other way: A driver without helmet at a traffic junction as policemen stand as mute spectators

Mohali, August 15
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today urged the Punjabis to weed out social evils like female foeticide, drug addiction, unemployment, poverty and corruption from society. He stated this after unfurling the national flag at the Independence Day function at Government College, Phase VI, here today.

After taking salute from a contingent of the Punjab Police, led by DSP Swarandeep Singh, the Finance Minister paid homage to all great freedom fighters. He recalled the unparalleled contribution of Punjabis in bringing out the independence of the country.

The highlight of the day was a dramatic presentation on female foeticide by girls of Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir, Ratwara Sahib. Then contingents of the Punjab Police, traffic police, home guard, Govt College, Mohali, Shivalik Public School, Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Sohana, Government Model Senior Secondary School, III-B1 and Government High Schools, Landran, Kumbra, and Mataur also performed.

The students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, III-B1, Lawrence Public School, Guru Gobind Singh Vidhya Mandir, Ratwara Sahib, Shivalik Public School, Gem Public School, Shashtri Model School, Saint Soldier International Convent School, Yadvindra Public School, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sohana, Gian Joyti Public School and Government College, Mohali, presented a colourful cultural programme. The theme of the cultural programme was national integration, female foeticide and preservation of Punjabi culture.

The Mohali district administration also honoured Gurdial Kaur, Kartar Singh, Dhanwant Singh, Gurnam Kaur Mutho Sangtia and Amar Kaur, all freedom fighter of the district. Parvinder Kaur, head cashier, Bank of Maharashtra, Phase XI, was honoured for foiling a robbery attempt at the bank; Harinder Pal Singh Harry and Ramnik Singh for their social services; Dr Navneet Kaur, Dr Balbir Singh Malhi and Dr Manjeet Singh Bhatia for their contribution towards society and the health department.

The students who were honoured were Neha Bansal, who stood first in Class VIII examination in the district, Nishant Sood, who stood first in the district in Class X examination and Harpreet Kaur from Manauli, who stood first in Class 10+2 examination.

Besides, the minister also distributed 11 sewing machines and eight tricycles to the needy from the Red Cross fund. Mementoes were given to students and officials who had participated in the function. Among those present were NK Sharma, chairman, District Planning Board, Mohali, Jasjeet Singh Bunny, MLA, Banur, Ujagar Singh Badali, MLA, Morinda, Prabhjot Singh Mand, Deputy Commissioner and JS Aulakh, SSP.



ISKCON celebrates ‘appearance day’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The local unit of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated the “appearance day” of its founder spiritual master A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Sril Prabhupada at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, today. A large number of devotees thronged the temple on the occasion.

An ambassador of ancient Indian Vedic culture, he was a Sanskrit scholar and had written a running commentary on Srimad Bhagwadgita and Srimad Bhagwatam. These scriptures were also translated into as many as 29 languages. Government of India has also released a postal stamp for his contribution in upholding ancient Indian Vedic culture and its values.

Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, president of the local unit, appealed to the people to adopt the path of spiritualism shown by Sril Prabhupada if they wanted to attain real peace and prosperity in life. As many as 108 food items were prepared and offered to Shri Prabhupada as bhog and distributed among the devotees.



Former securitymen seek reinstatement
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
A large number of the disbanded Haryana Industrial Security Force jawans, whose services were terminated in 2005, removed their shirts in protest against the move here on Thursday. They would present a memorandum in this regard to Haryana Governor Jagannanth Pahadia.

They alleged that they were being victimised because they were recruited during the Chautala regime.



Journalists pedal for nature
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Around 25 journalists from leading national dailies and All-India Radio, Chandigarh, representing the Chandigarh Press Club joined volunteers of Yuvsatta, an NGO, in their Greentire bicycle promotion programme by taking part in a cycling expedition here today. The expedition was flagged-off by Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice Surya Kant from Karuna Sadan, Sector 11.

The members pedalled to Saketri via Sectors 10, 3, 4, 5 and 6, Kaimbwala, Kansal villages. Conservator of forests and director, department of environment, Chandigarh administration, Ishwar Singh was also present at the flagging-off ceremony.



Sikh body chief dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Rashtriya Sikh Sangat chief, Rulda Singh died at the PGI, late last night. Singh was seriously wounded at his shop in Patiala.

He was shot by three unidentified persons on July 28.

60-year-old Rulda, is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.



Domestic help suffers burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
A 30-year-old domestic help, Anju Bala, suffered 60 per cent burns after she accidentally caught fire while working in a kitchen in her servant quarters in Sector 9 this evening.

The police said she was putting kerosene in a stove when the incident happened. The kerosene accidentally spilled on her and while lighting the stove caught fire.

She raised the alarm following which neighbours came for help and tried to douse the fire.

They called the police, which later took her to the PGI.



Youth’s body found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 15
The body of a youth, Sahil Sharma (21), was found from the main Bhakra canal, near Ghanaur, on the Rajpura-Patiala highway, yesterday.

A police officer said the body of was handed over to the family after conducting a post-mortem examination. The body was cremated at the cremation ground here today.

On August 12, Sahil, a student of SD College, had reportedly slipped into the canal when he had gone for an excursion with his six friends. The police said some passersby noticed the body floating in the canal at Lachhru village and called divers, who retrieved the body from the canal.



Patriotic fervour marks Independence Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Aryans Group of Institutes (AGOI) today celebrated Independence Day on its premises with enthusiasm and patriotic fervour. Members of management and faculty sang patriotic songs. Aryans Group chairman Anshu Kataria talked about the sacrifices made by the national heroes for the freedom.


Independence Day was celebrated at KBDAV, Sector 7, with the welcome of school principal Madhu Bahl on the patriotic tune supported by the school band. After paying tributes to the martyrs of the nation, Madhu Bahl hoisted the national flag and national song “Vande Matram” added to the spirit of patriotism.


AKSIPS, Sector 44, celebrated Independence Day with patriotic zeal and fervour.

The celebrations began with the parade and unfurling of the Tricolour by AKSIPS group of schools’ executive director Jasdeep Kalra followed by the national anthem.

The school buzzed with plethora of activities and competitions like poems, singing and dance competitions based on the theme, “National integration: Depicting true reflection of the secular India”. Antakshri on songs based on patriotism by the teachers enthralled one and all.

Guru Teg Bahadur School

Independence Day was celebrated on the premises of Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, with the true spirit of patriotism. The chief guest and chairman of school Jathedar Gurpartap Singh Riar unfurled the Tricolour.


Gaiety and fervour marked the Independence Day celebrations in GGMSSS-18. The programme kick started with the traditional hoisting of the flag by principal Nirupma Kush. There was a soulful rendering of patriotic songs by the students followed by a zestful dance on “Bharat hamko jaan se pyara hai”. The function concluded with a short speech by Dr Vinod Shastri, a teacher of the school.

Guru Nanak school

Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36-D, celebrated Independence Day with great enthusiasm today. The programme began with shabad recital followed by flag hoisting by principal Gurnam Kaur Grewal. NCC cadets, scouts and guides took part in the parade. Children of junior and senior wing danced to the tunes of various patriotic songs and also presented qawali to spread the message of universal brotherhood.

Mount Carmel

Independence Day was celebrated at Mount Carmel School, Sector 47-B, today. The principal hoisted the national flag. The principal took salute of the march past in which the school cabinet members, girls’ contingent comprising girls of classes VIII to X and the scouts and guides contingents led by the school band took part.

St Anne’s School

The students and staff of St Anne’s Convent School celebrated Independence Day with great fervour today. The students presented speeches, dances and poems depicting the freedom struggle. Manager Fr Ambrose hoisted the flag and encouraged the students to read history of India.

DAV-8, 39

The Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in DAV Public School, Sector 8-C and 39-D, Chandigarh. School principal Jaskiran Harika unfurled the flag. A cultural programme, including dance, group songs, play on “Veer Savarkar- a freedom fighter”, was presented by the students.

SD School

The Independence Day was celebrated in SD Public School, Sector 32, with a lot of enthusiasm today. The senior students gave impressive speeches on the importance of the day and the freedom struggle of the leaders. Principal Manju Bhardwaj addressed the students and motivated them to work hard and understand the importance of freedom.

Dev Samaj school-21

The Independence Day was celebrated with full zeal and enthusiasm in IS Dev Samaj Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Sector 21. Principal Sumati Kanwar hoisted the flag while the NSS students carried out the march past.

Shivalik School

Shivalik Public School, Sector 41 B, celebrated the Independence Day with enthusiasm and patriotic fervour. Director of school DS Bedi unfurled the national flag.

Sri Guru Gobind School

The Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervour in Sri Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 35-B, Chandigarh. Principal Tarsem Bains unfurled the national flag and students presented a colourful programme to mark the occasion.

Govt College-46

The 63rd Independence Day was celebrated in Government College, Sector 46, with great fervour and enthusiasm. The function began with the unfurling of the national flag by college principal, Dr KS Saluja, with a salutation given by NCC cadets. The NCC cadets (Air Force, Army and Navy wing) and NSS students demonstrated their skills through a march past in front of a large number of audience consisting the principal, vice-principal, Dr Gurjit Kaur, and staff of the college.

Satluj School

PANCHKULA: Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, celebrated the Independence Day with great patriotic fervour. The programme started with the flag hoisting ceremony followed by the national anthem.

KV No 1

The Independence Day was celebrated with great zeal and fervour at Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) No 1, Chandimandir Cantonment, today.

Principal Bhupinder Kaur hoisted the national flag and paid reverence to the martyrs.

Blue Bird School

The Independence Day was celebrated in Blue Bird School with patriotic fervour. The programme started with the hoisting of the national flag by principal Bhatnagar. Speeches were delivered highlighting the importance of the day.

DAV School

MOHALI: The Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm at DAV Senior Secondary School here today where champions at the Rajiv Gandhi National Memorial Table Soccer Championship were also honoured during the celebrations.

Principal D Rosy Sharma hoisted the national flag and students presented a cultural show focusing on patriotism.

Millennium School

Students and staff members of The Millennium School paid tributes to freedom fighters and martyrs of India’s struggle for freedom on the occasion of the Independence Day here today.

Principal Komal Singh said celebrating the Independence Day was crucial in bringing the children closer to the history and heritage of their country.

Small Wonders School

Small Wonders School celebrated the Independence Day by organising an inter-house patriotic group song contest. Besides, the students came dressed up like various freedom fighters.

Shivalik School

To mark the Independence Day, Shivalik Public School, Mohali, was decked up with colourful buntings and balloons. DS Bedi, director of the school, hoisted the Tricolour amidst the strains of the national anthem and took the salute at an impressive march past.

St Soldier’s School

The 63rd Independence Day celebrations at St Soldier’s School began with the hoisting of the national flag by principal V Tiwana.

A skit was presented by class VI students, which showcased that the freedom had no meaning if the hearts of the people were not at peace.

Sri Sukhmani School

The Independence Day was celebrated at Sri Sukhmani International School, Dera Bassi, to remember those martyrs, soldiers and thousands of unknown persons, who devoted their lives for the well being of the nation. Director Kanwaljeet Kaur appreciated the efforts by all staff members and students in putting up a memorable show.

Gian Jyoti

At Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali, chairman JS Bedi hoisted the national flag to mark the occasion.


The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, celebrated the Independence Day with great fervour. NIPER director, Prof P Ramarao, unfurled the national flag and took the salute.

Jan Sansthan

At Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Mohali, 300 persons, including students, staff and rural men and women participated in a programme organised to mark the day.

Narain School

PATIALA: Prep wing of Narain Public School (NPS) celebrated the Independence Day with great pomp and show.



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