Saturday, February 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Colourful start to Festival of Gardens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 25 — The city’s own Festival of Gardens got off to a colourful start at the sector 16 Zakir Rose Garden and Shanti Kunj here this morning after the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), formally inaugurated it.

Accompanied by senior functionaries of the Administration, including Mrs Vineeta Rai, Mr Rakesh Singh, Mr N.K. Jain, Mr Sarabjit Singh Sandhu, Mr R.K. Jain, Mr M. Ramsekhar, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Satish Chandra and Mr KAP Sinha, the Administrator had a look at the flower arrangements and potted plants display.

He also inaugurated the band competition and watched a brief but impressive cultural programme presented by the Sector 11 Government College for Girls students.

The response to the competitions, though usual, saw fewer entries in various categories of roses. Of late participation in roses category has been gradually on the decline.

The Administrator was greeted by some folk dancers from other states before he formally opened a flower-bedecked tunnel where an exhibition of blow-ups of Roses was organised.

Brass and pipe bands from Punjab Police, Chandigarh Police, Haryana Home Guards, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and others played Basant Bahar raga and also some popular numbers to the great admiration of the audience.

Folk dancers and artistes from various states entertained the revellers with their programme throughout the day. The flower arrangements and display also were a major attraction for the visitors.

A photography competition was also held.

In the exhibition-cum-stalls section, the Income Tax Department has also set up a stall — “File, Smile and Go”. According to Mr S.L. Pardesi, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, the visitors to the festival, if they not assessees already and satisfy one of six criteria, they would be provided assistance at the stall in filing their returns in the prescribed form and the department officials would guide them on tax matters relating to new assessees. The officials would remain available on all three days of the Festival of Gardens.

Later in the afternoon, the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, inaugurated the Sector 23 Bulbous Garden. She was received by Mr Raghbir Lal Arora, a Councillor, and President of the Sector 23 Residents Welfare Association, Mr Gurdev Ram other members of the association, besides senior functionaries of the Administrator.

Members of the association also highlighted some of their long-pending problems and grievances. Mrs Rai assured the association that the Administration would look into their problems sympathetically.


Chander Mohan wins from Kalka
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 25 — The Congress candidate, Mr Chander Mohan, was declared elected from the Kalka assembly segment with a lead of 14,843 votes though celebrations of the victory began well in advance outside the BEL colony where the counting took place.

Ecstatic over his win, Mr Chander Mohan said he was thankful to the voters for the comfortable win and added that he was grateful to the “gumnaam supporters’’ who helped him in his campaign.

“I will keep my promises with the public and will strive for all-round development of the constituency. Also, I have decided to go to the public to find out their problems unlike previous terms when there were fewer interaction sessions,’’ he said. He, however, contended that he was never doubtful of winning from the constituency though his link with the public was on a lean wicket. This is the third consecutive win for him from the Kalka seat.

He emerged from the community centre amidst slogans of ``Chander Mohan zindabad’’ even as the supporters gathered outside the gates of the colony danced in jubilation to the beat of the dhol. The hero of the day was surrounded on all sides by excited supporters and party workers waving Congress flags as the gates were unbolted before he got on to the Gypsy.

Then the entourage started its onward journey as it went to the Congress office in Sector 15 as hundreds joined in on two-wheelers, four-wheelers and the over-enthusiastic ones running alongside, waving their flags frantically as the procession moved ahead.

While there was gaiety and joy in the Congress camp and especially at his house because his father, too, had won at his seat, the BJP candidate along with his team were a disillusioned lot. They left the venue an hour before the final results came in. Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, General Secretary of the INLD, led them out of the building.

A dejected Mr Sham Lal Bansal said that the Congress had used unfair means to pull voters to their side and that the free plots and jobs given to voters by his father during his tenure as Chief Minister paid dividends in this election also. However, he refused to comment on factors which contributed to his defeat in the elections.

From a total of 1,19, 939 votes polled in the constituency, Mr Chander Mohan got 61,581, Mr Sham Lal Bansal got 46, 738 and Mr Jagdeep Chaudhary of the Bahujan Samaj Party managed to get 5034 votes. The candidate of the Haryana Vikas Party, Mr KP Singh, polled 1441 votes.

Among the Independents, Mr Harminder Singh pocketed 1147 votes, Mr BK Sarwan got 1116 votes, Mr Prithvi Singh Ravish got 522 votes, Mr Satbir Singh had 417 votes and Mr Sadhu Singh got 667 votes.


Pankaj Udhas weaves magical moments
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 25 — It was in front of a modest gathering that ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas belted out soft melodies at the Leisure Valley this evening. His show was a part of the musical evening on the occasion of the three-day Festival of Gardens organised by the Chandigarh Administration and CITCO which started today.

Singing in his soulful voice his much-heard and popular numbers like Aur ahista kijiye batey, Aap jinke karib rahete hain and Patti-patti, Pankaj Udhas did weave some magical moments, though an open stage for a musical evening like this does fail to stir emotions or even create an ambience of a mehfil, so apt for a singer like him.

His anecdotes and jokes did manage to break the ice with his audience. And to think that earlier in the day, in an exclusive interview with the TNS, he said that some of his most "loyal fans" came from this region.

In fact the city crowd seems so used to maniac pop nights that something like ghazals and geets obviously have very few takers. Apparently, lack of action, opportunities to scream, shout and holler do keep many an audience away from such programmes.

But there were certainly times when even this modest city crowd rose to the occasion to give thunderous applause to this singer. It was with a cheer that they welcomed Pankaj Udhas' Chandi jaisa rang hai tera, soney jaise baaal, one of his very popular ghazals that has lyrics by Qateel Shefai. And the singer then went on to insist that this was the ghazal to be used by all husbands for their "sulking wives" and by young men for their "girlfriends and sweethearts".

Among those in the crowd who sat waiting patiently to sing the much awaited number, Chitthi ayee hai from the film Naam, were the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, and the Home Secretary, Mr N.K. Jain.

And when he sang this number, there were few in the audience who were not touched by this song or without tears in their eyes.

Pankaj Udhas then went on to sing his other popular numbers, both filmi and non-filmi.

Tomorrow, on the second day of this festival, the brother-sister duo of Shaan and Sagarika would perform in the city. A hasya kavi sammelan has been organised for the last day of this festival.


‘I am now looking for creative satisfaction’
By Sonoo Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 25 — “I have reached a phase in my life where I look much beyond fame, name and money. I’m basically looking for creative satisfaction”. This from an affable ghazal singer whose “Chitti Ayee Hai” can produce frenzied emotions and misty eyes even today. The singer Pankaj Udhas was in the city today to perform at the musical evening on the occasion of Rose Festival.

In an exclusive interview with the TNS, he talked of some of his forthcoming ambitious projects and his dream and passion of carrying ghazals into the next generation. And about the city, which he was visiting for the sixth time now, Udhas said that some of his most “loyal fans” came from this region.

“No artist can recreate magic over and over again. And that was what ‘chitti ayee hai’ was all about — a once in a lifetime magic”, said Udhas, while contending that though he had given many hits in the recent years nothing could have matched the running success of this ghazal from the film ‘Naam’. He later also recounted how he was pleasantly shocked when the late Raj Kapoor saw the film much before its release and had said that the song would be “song of my career”.

For someone who is not only recognised as a ghazal singer but also a successful playback singer, who has lent his voice for films like ‘Milan’, ‘Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aye’, ‘Mohra’, ‘Sajan’, ‘Yeh Dillagi’ and many more, a plain-spoken Udhas had no qualms admitting that he liked singing for both films as well as his own albums. “I cannot be a hypocrite and say otherwise, because I do recognise that cinema singing has been a part of our culture for a long time now. In fact cinema music has its own kind of magic and certainly greater exposure, because it positively caters to the masses”.

And as if to reiterate the same, this ghazal singer mentioned that not only are a couple of films in the pipeline, including ‘Ghaat’ and ‘Meri Jung’, other projects that he was really looking forward to include composing film music for a film titled ‘Chura Key Dil Kahan Chaley’, being directed by Neeraj Pathak. “This is a project I am really excited about, because I have always composed for my own albums. And for films also I would ensure that there are no lyrics like ‘Aja Meri Gadi Mein Baith Ja’, but something more meaningful”.

Last year, Pankaj Udhas had released two more successful cassettes titled ‘Mehak’ and ‘Stolen Moments’.

But then how does he justify featuring in his music videos? “I feel that every artiste needs to move with time, and television does help singers like us in conveying our songs and emotions to our fans. And I do not have any fear in admitting that a good song and a good video both do make an album a greater success. And this does not change my identity both as Pankaj Udhas and as a ghazal singer”. In fact, Udhas was one of the first ghazal singers to appear in a video album, for his album ‘Aman’.

About the emerging trends of the new generation of ghazal singers, he said that he was happy that this form of singing was reaching the younger generation, a reason why he was associated with ‘Adab Arz Hai’ a ghazal programme on Sony Television, which would be now revived sometime in May this year “with a new look”.

Pankaj Udhas’ forthcoming albums include a Sufi album “with a contemporary approach” and an album of ghazals with Asha Bhonsle.


Hike-free Rail Budget makes all happy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 25 — Terming it as populist, residents of the city have hailed the Railway Budget, presented by the first-ever woman Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, in the Lok Sabha today.

A majority of the residents The Tribune talked to, however, feared that the non-revision of the fare for all classes of railway passengers might lead to a resource crunch, with the result that the development and the expansion of the railway network would suffer. As there had been a slight increase of 5 per cent in the freight rates, with a number of essential commodities like foodgrain, sugar, salt, vegetables, fruits, kerosene and LPG exempted from it, the Railway Ministry would have an uphill task to come to expectations of the railway users, they felt.

"All classes would be happy since the government had resorted to populism while formulating the Budget," said Mr V. K. Gupta, a banker. However, the maintenance of the railway network and the safety of the passengers would be severely hampered on account of the shortage of funds, he added.

Terming the Budget as a "bonanza" for Ms Banerjee's home state, West Bengal, where seven of the 24 of the new and extended trains either terminate or begin, Mr Gupta welcomed the the introduction of a new Amritsar-Sealdah superfast express, which he opined would benefit a large number of people from Bihar and UP.

Hailing the hike-free Budget, Mr Ramesh Kapur, a prominent Sector 17 trader, was of the opinion that since the Railways was the major means of transport for a vast majority of the population, the government had taken the right step in not effecting a fare hike. If the government plugged the loopholes and saved on the wasteful expenditure, it could generate the requisite resources for modernisation of the railway network.

Supporting Mr Kapur's viewpoint, Mr Man Mohan Singh Kohli, Chief Executive of a prominent hotel, termed it as a "first positive step to control inflation because in the Asian context, one hike leads to multiple hikes." The 5 per cent freight hike was perhaps the lowest anywhere in the world, he said, adding that the ministry must work out a mechanism in which a slight increase in the fare was affected every year instead of massive hike every two years or so.

Regarding the resource generation, Mr Kohli added that the ministry should learn from the corporate sector and use its locational advantage and sell more of its "ideal assets" and be innovative and use its data base.

A commuter to the city from Ambala and PGI employee, Mr Parveen Kumar, said the non-revision of the fares was a welcome step since travelling daily by bus had virtually gone out of the reach of the salaried class. The hike in the freight rate was inevitable in view of the hike in the prices of diesel and coal.

He, however, felt that the Northern region, including Chandigarh, had been ignored by the Railway Minister. He appreciated the government's gesture of extending 75 per cent concession to the widows of Kargil martyrs in the second class.

Ms Mini Bhasin, an entrepreneur, said she was a little scared as the soft Railway Budget might lead to a harsh general Budget. It was a "short-term happiness" as you never know when the Railways hiked the fare in case there was increase in the prices of diesel during the year, she feared.

Without adequate resources how would the ministry create infrastructural facilities, she asked, while reacting to the Ms Banerjee's bonanza to her home state. In fact, it takes years for the facilities to be in place even after announcements by the successive Railway Ministers.

Calling it a "befooling Budget", a former member of the Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, Mr J. S. Bhogal, expressed the view that fare hike was a must as without adequate money, the infrastructural facilities would not be in place.

The minister had not been fair to the region as the decisions already taken such as the the starting of the Kalka-Mumbai train had not been implemented. Similarly, the senior citizens had little to cheer about as no further benefits had been extended to them, he felt.


Seven SHOs shuffled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feb 25 — The UT IGP, Mr S.K. Singh, has reshuffled seven Station House Officers (SHOs) in the city late this evening.

Mr K.I.P. Singh, SHO, Central, will be the SHO, Sector 31 Police Station, in place of Mr Dhan Raj, who will be the SHO, Sector 39 Police Station.

Mr Satbir Singh, SHO, Sector 39 Police Station, will take charge as SHO, Central.

Mr Tirath Singh, posted with the Police Lines, will be the SHO, Sector 36 Police Station, in place of Mr B.S. Chadha, who has been shifted to the Crime Branch.

Mr Ram Gopal, in charge of the Cops Cell, will be the new SHO, Sector 11 Police Station, in place of Mr Vijay Kumar, who will now head the EOW Cell.


Lawyers raise slogans against govt
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 25 — Members of the District Bar Association today suspended work and condemned the cane charge on protesting lawyers in Delhi in which nearly 100 persons were hurt.

Mr R.S. Bhadhran, President of the association, said the proposed changes in the CrPC and the Advocates Act were unconstitutional and arbitrary and would not serve the interests of justice.

Members of the association later took out a procession through the city and raised slogans against the government.


Without power for a fortnight
Tribune News Service

MANAULI (SAS NAGAR), Feb 25 — Frequent power cuts have forced the residents of Manauli and its surrounding villages to remain virtually without electricity in the past fortnight.

The villagers complain of suspension of power supply for hours together without any intimation. Mrs Surinder Kaur, Sarpanch of Manauli, said that the present power crisis in the area had persisted for a fortnight and despite numerous complaints, the authorities had done nothing to correct the situation.

The residents point out that the poor power supply has severely affected the students at this time when they are preparing for their examinations. They also complain that frequent trippings can damage their electrical gadgets.

Another common complaint of the consumers concerns the attitude of the maintenance staff. A resident of Manauli said that they have to visit the power station personally to register a complaint since the staff did not entertain complaints on the telephone.

Frequent failures of power supply have forced the villagers to install generators. They question the relevance of taking electricity connections if they have to depend upon gen sets.

Poor power supply has also affected water supply in several areas. A number of villages in this area are not connected with the rural water supply system and have to rely upon their own pump sets. When the electricity goes off, they have to carry water from handpumps where they have to wait in long queues.


Special drive by cops
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 25 — Scene of traffic cops managing traffic on the roads, who were conspicuous “by there absence in the past today appeared all of sudden the reason was that a team deputed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to check the implementation of directions on traffic, hoardings and encroachments issued by the court was visiting the town.

Earlier, the team had visited the town on February 3. The workers of the Municipal Council could be seen giving a fresh coat of paint — enough to last for a few days — on the zebra crossings. Strong presence of police at various points confused the residents, making them believe that some VVIP was in the town.

The traffic cops signalling to vehicle drivers in front of PUDA building in Phase 1 and on other busy roads not to park their vehicles wrongly was a delightful scene. A resident wished that if the cops could daily regulate traffic, the number of accidents would be less.

Today special nakas were set up and the transport authorities were challaning the violators of traffic rules. Over 250 persons were challaned for the traffic violations. The Today’s High Court team included Mr Man Singh, a Superintendent of Police from Punjab, Mr S.S.Malik, a AIG of Haryana, Mr H.S.Sethi, an advocate.

The team visited different points in the town. Meanwhile, the enforcement of the local Municipal Council today directed the shopkeepers to remove encroachments from corridors in front of their shops. The guidelines had been issued by the Administrator of the council, Mr O.P.Popli.


200 volunteers donate blood
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb, 25 — More than 200 volunteers donated blood in a camp organised by the Panjab University Non-Teaching Employees Federation at the campus here today.

The camp was inaugurated by Mrs Shanta Abhilashi, Mayor of the city. Prof Ashok Sahni, Dean, University presided over the camp. Donors included students of the campus besides the non- teaching employees.

Employees were given certificates and badges for the donations. Special awardees included Mr Charanjit Singh who has donated blood 126 times. Other special contributors included Mr Harish Chander, who has donated 116 times and Mr Rattan Lal Goel, who had donated 55 times earlier.

This was the sixth camp of the non-employees federation held annually.

Hunder Strike: As a part of the week long protest, Dr P.P. Arya, President of the Panjab University Teachers Union, sat on a 24-hour hunger strike at the campus here today.

Other prominent teachers on the dharna included Dr R.D. Anand, a fellow, Dr Shankarji Jha, Dr Keshav Malhotra and Dr V.K. Singh. Those who sat on a 12-hour protest dharna included Dr Harjinder Singh, Secretary of the PUTA, Dr Ranbir Kaur, Dr B.B. Goyal, Dr Rajan Gour and Dr Akshay Kumar Gupta.

Teachers are resenting non-implementation of a viable pension scheme, career advancement scheme and more seats for university professors in the Senate besides others.

Lecture: Patents provided right to intervene in product production, said Dr P.K. Vasudeva, a member of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, in a lecture meeting on “Intellectual Property Rights” here today.

The lecture was organised by the Department of Public Administration and in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Prof B.S. Ghuman, Prof S.L. Kaushik, Mr M.S. Chibber, Prof V.K. Mahajan and Prof Shital Prakash.

NSS seminar: The NSS Department of Panjab University organised a seminar on ‘Drug Trafficking in the college campus’ at Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today.

Students were informed by Dr C.L. Narang about various varieties of intoxicants and their impacts. Dr (Mrs) Vijay Lakshmi, Principal, said even students who were prey to drugs needed not to fear. There were suitable drug de-addiction centres. She said the college students as a part of NSS camp concentrated on this subject in their camps in adjoining areas. Prof Mrs Patial and Prof G.S. Gill also spoke on the occasion.


Workshop on explosive welding ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feb 25 — The two-day workshop on explosive welding conducted by the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) concluded today.

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr P. U. Deshpande, Controller, Defence Research Organisation. He stressed the need to percolate the benefit of R and D activities to the industry level and expressed happiness that all government R and D organisations, academics and industrial agencies had been brought on one platform at the workshop.

Mr V. S. Sethi, Director, TBRL, welcomed the delegates and expressed confidence that the deliberations would be of immense value to the participants and provide the necessary impetus to realise the full potential of technology.

Dr V. K. Kapoor, Director, Armaments, highlighted the importance of the high-tech use of explosions for various practical applications. Scientists from various prestigious organisation presented their papers on the subject.

Dr S. K. Vasudeva, Joint Director, TBRL, appraised the formation of a core working group for identifying the grey areas in the field of explosive welding and subsequently bringing the technology from R and D laboratory to the industrial production level.


DSC men celebrate corps day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feb 25 — Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel of 359 Platoon celebrated their 53rd corps day at 3 BRD, here today.

The occasion was marked by an impressive parade by personnel. Messages received from Air Marshal S. S. Gupta, AOC-in-C, Maintenance Command, Brig Dinesh Mathur, DDG, DSC, and Air Cmdr Arvinda Agrawal, AOC, 3 BRD, were read to them.

A bara khana was also held on the occasion.

Mrs Madhu Agrawal, President, AFWWA, gave away prizes to the winners of various events organised on the occasion. Artistes from the Song and Drama division of the I&B Ministry presented a colourful cultural programme.


Gunman killed over poll
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 25 —A constable, Ram Avtar, has been allegedly shot dead by a colleague, Karamvir Singh, gunman of the BJP candidate, following an argument over who was likely to win elections.

The incident took place at the Police Lines last night. The accused has been arrested and a case under Section 304 of the IPC registered.Back


Sector 71 resident kidnapped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feb 25 — The police has registered a case of kidnapping following a complaint of a Sector 71 resident.

According to police sources, Mr Ashwani Kumar, reported that on February 22 his son Gian Inder had gone to meet his friends Ashish and Manish in Sectors 41 and 38 on his scooter, (PB-60-0076), but did not return. The next day, his wife received a call from his son stating that he was being held at some place.

Further investigations are on.

Truck impounded
The police has impounded a truck which was being plied on a forged registration number.

According to police sources, a vehicle (DL-IG-5523) was impounded by the police in an accident case. The number was sent for verification to Delhi and it was found that the number was allotted to a sanitation truck.

A case under Sections 420, 467, 471, 473, 468 and 120, IPC, has been registered at the Industrial area police station.

Wheels stolen
Mr Pawan Jindal, a resident of Sector 28-A, reported that the front wheels of his car, (CH-OI-4500) have been stolen from his residence. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Car hit
Chaman Lal, a resident of Sector 16, reported that he was hit by a car (CH-OI-X-1669) near the Sector 16 market. A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

As many as three shops were burgled in Sector 7 late last night.

According to police sources, burglars struck at three adjoining shops — Sethia Electronics, Mongia and Co. and Pearl Electronics — some time during the night and made off with a mobile phone, Rs 6,600 in cash besides a yet unknown quantity of material.

The burglars ripped off metal sheets and opened cabins and the godown of the shops. A case under Section 336, IPC, has been registered while further investigations are on.


Workshop on info-technology opens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 25 — A three-day national workshop on information technology organised by the Institution for Secretarial Practices and Development (INSPIRE) was inaugurated by Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, Principal Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister, and Secretary, Industries and Commerce at the CII (Northern Region) here today.

Mr Ramesh Inder Singh laid emphasis on upgrading the professional competency of secretarial manpower, especially in the emerging areas of automation and Internet. With growing emphasis on profitability and competitiveness in business, he called upon the delegates to have a futuristic professional outlook to grow and to harness the vast potential of information technology. He also released the official website of INSPIRE and membership directory.

Mr I.S. Paul, Chairman, CII, Chandigarh Region, in his Presidential address brought out the changing scenario of business and economy with respect to and e.commerce and called upon the delegates to adopt and acquire multi-dimensional skills in line with the concept of “Knowledge bearers”..

In the opening session, Mr N.S. Kalsi, Director-cum-Special Secretary, Information Systems and Administrative Reforms, Punjab, delivered the keynote address. Mr C.M. Bahl from Panjab University presented a SWOT analysis of secretarial profession with respect to it.

Mr Alok Lall, Senior Consultant, Microsoft, made a presentation on Office 2000 with specific reference to the concept of digital dash board and gave hands-on exposure to the participants on the different utilities for job effectiveness.

Earlier, the Chairman of INSPIRE, in his welcome address highlighted the role and activities of the institute. Over 50 delegates from major industries, corporations, academic and technical bodies are participating in the workshop.

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