Friday, April 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Karisma leaves fans wanting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — She looked composed and radiant, with her white drapery reflecting back on her already spotless skin. As the hottest cine actress Karisma Kapoor staged an entry into the Majlis hall of Hotel Shivalikview this evening, everyone around went berserk to catch a glimpse of her. Earlier in the day also, Hotel Mountview (where the actress is staying) was flooded with fans who, however, had to return disappointed with the actress not making an appearance.

Karisma was in town today as an ambassador of the Sri Adkikari Brothers TV channel which is going to be launched formally in Mumbai on April 23. "I want your best wishes so that the channel, which will exclusively cater to the requirements of a family, gets on to a big start and succeeds," said Karisma, even as the crowd was busy cheering her.

The occasion this time was rather formal and the actress was kept at bay from the media with the organisers clear about the purpose of her visit to the city. "She is here to interact with cable operators who will matter the most in future. We don't want to expose her much. She has come simply to introduce the new channel to viewers. She is not here for a show," said Ms Leena Sharma, Vice-President (Distribution) of the Sri Adhikari Brothers. No wonder the photographers had a hard time clicking Karisma who kept shying away from the flickering flashes. Today's programme was attended by over 200 operators who were more keen on receiving gifts from Karisma who later took out the lucky draws.

Karisma's tour comes as part of her promotional campaign for the new 24-hour channel. She has already toured Kolhapur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Kanpur in this campaign. The SAB channel, according to Ms Sharma, will not have news programmes as such. "The effort will be to include programmes where current events come up for discussion. Otherwise, the focus will be on sitcoms, operas, murder mysteries, stuff for children and music. The point is to create more business," she said.Back


Entertaining till her last breath
From Bipin Bhardwaj

CHHAT BIR, April 13 — She is a cute animal with lots of sad stories in her eyes. Sitting in the corner of an enclosure of Chhat Bir Zoo with her face in her lap, she resembles a widow deserted by God as she has lost her husband. She is close to the jaws of death. Rita is suffering from cancer, which can claim her life any time.

Lots of people from various parts of the country visit the zoo daily, especially to see Rita, a female chimpanzee. Visitors generally gather around the boundary wall of her enclosure and ask the keeper to wake her up so that they can have a look at her. The keeper hustles to wake her up.

She gently wakes up and walks like a model who has once been famous on the ramp and with the passage of time, as she has grown older, she is of no use on ramp shows. But even then the ‘model’ has not lost her agility and practice of cat-walk on the ramp.

She comes up to the wooden logs which are kept in the enclosure for her. Then she comes towards the onlookers as the crowd cheers at seeing the cute animal. She nods her head to appreciate their visit, clasps her hands and touches them to her chest, showing her gratitude about their visit and pays her thanks.

Though it seems that Rita wants to say something but as she is unable to speak, her deep beautiful eyes say every word of the pity, anxiety and pain she is going through. Rita is thankful to the keepers and people who care for her and adore her. She also shows her teeth to the onlookers in a grin, as if she wants to say they are lucky enough to have their family members with them.

Earlier, the couple was discarded by the Delhi Zoo authorities and was sent to Chhat Bir Zoological Park in 1990. Since Goga, the male chimpanzee, had a brain tumour, Rita had vaginal cancer. The couple was unable to breed and was sent here because the Delhi Zoo authorities were not exhibiting the pair to the public. Moreover, their life there had become cumbersome as the pair was kept in a small cage inside the enclosure.

Dr Vinod Sharma, Director of Chhat Bir Zoo, said the pair was sent here without any exchange or charges. Goga was 45 years old and survived for above one year here. Since then Rita is alone and shares her memories with her keeper and onlookers.

The zoo authorities are taking great care of this animal. Regular anti-cancer drugs are being injected at repeated equal intervals to prolong the life of this beast. The enclosure in which she has been kept is spacious and comfortable for her. In her early days, when Goga left her alone, she was finding it difficult to adjust here but with the passage of time, she adjusted to the circumstances, said Mr Sukhdev Singh, Wildlife Inspector and Inspector of Animal Management Range.

Rita enjoys the visits of onlookers and sometimes makes faces. This has become her routine. Her day begins with one litre of milk, eggs, bread, bananas and other fruits, says Mr Karnail Singh, a zoo keeper, who has been looking after the animal for the past ten years.

Onlookers sometimes throw eatables, bottles of soft drinks and juice packets at her. Anything thrown at her is being kept by her with care. She is keen on collecting and placing them within her den. If someone misbehaves with her, she tries to take revenge. The guards of the enclosure say though the people are advised not to do such things, they throw such articles towards her.

Mr Jagdev Sharma, a visitor from Himachal Pradesh, said these animals were not part of a picture gallery as they had their own rights and life-styles. People should take care of such beautiful animals, he suggested. He added that all non-government organisations working for animals should come forward to help such animals. Mr Sandeep Maudgil, another visitor, said as the cost of medication of such dreaded diseases was very expensive, it was their duty to contribute some amount so that these rare species could be saved.Back


Staff torture milk plant workers
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, April 13 — Two workers of a milk plant on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road were allegedly brutally beaten up and tortured by the management staff of the plant past night.

According to sources, Deepak, a resident of Panchkula, and Sushil Kumar of Lalru, were tortured by the management staff for selling milk which had, reportedly, been stolen from the unit.

Narrating the sequence of events, 26-year-old Deepak said the management had implicated them in a false case. Certain managers of the unit allegedly stripped them naked and beat them with iron rods. They were then paraded in the same condition within the unit premises in the presence of other workers.

Besides this, they were allegedly repeatedly held under water in a tank by Mukhtiar Singh and Balwant Singh, security guards, on the direction of Balwinder Singh alias Bhola, Project Manager and Gagan Sharma, according to Deepak.

Also, 29-year-old Sushil alleged that the officers not only compelled them to write a suicide note and wear garlands of shoes but also forced other factory workers to thrash them. ‘‘Both managers also placed wooden logs on our legs and this torture continued till today morning,’’ he added.

Balwinder Singh, Mukhtiar Singh and Gagan Sharma have confessed to the crime. They claimed that the duo were reportedly selling 4,000 to 5,000 litres of milk stolen from the supply trucks daily. They said they had noticed the theft on Wednesday and had tried to teach the duo a lesson.

DSP, Mr H.S. Bhullar, said the medical check-up of the victims confirmed that they had been beaten up. "There are injury marks on various parts of their bodies," he added.

A case under Sections 330, 342, 355 and 34 of the IPC has been registered in this regard.Back


Manna Dey to perform in city
By Mohit Goswami
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — A doyen of Hindi playback and classical singing, Manna Dey, will perform at Tagore Theatre next month. Upcoming local talent will get an opportunity to share the stage with one of the living legends of the film industry.

This programme is being organised by The Harmony, an event management group. Formed by artistes and music-minded persons, the group is the brain-child of Sushant Sharma. Mr P.S. Gill is its patron.

Sushant comes from a known musical family. A guitarist and music director, he is irked by the falling standards in music. The music being dished out nowadays is hardly worth remembering, he says. This has spurred him to form the group which will bring Manna Dey to perform in the city.

He is currently shooting for a music album here. Beginning as a guitarist around seven years back in Mumbai, he has been a music director since 1996. Sushant is the son of Mr M.R. Sharma, a lecturer of music at Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

Compositions of this musician from the city have been sung by Manhar Udhas and Peenaz Masani on television. He has performed with ghazal greats like Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh. He has also worked with top singers like Abhijeet and Roop Kumar Rathod.

Sushant believes that exposure provided by performing with greats is unlimited. Their rendition is a soothing and exhilarating experience, he says. He also has a liking for Punjabi folk music.

The Harmony is also planning to bring Suresh Wadkar to perform in the city in the near future. An evening with bhajan maestro Hari Om Sharan is also on the cards.

This will be the first nite being organised by the group in the city.Back


Big rush at rail reservation counters
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — Come summer season and the approach of vacations, the rail reservation counters begin feeling the heat. Eager to play it safe and avoid disappointment later, people are making a beeline for getting reservation for their proposed destinations as early as possible. Railway sources here say that even in the beginning of April, trains are heavily booked.

Railway sources say that about 3,300 persons approached the computerised counters at the Sector 17 rail reservation centre yesterday, with over 2,200 requisitions being recorded for the day.

As per available information, berths in trains to major southern cities are already booked for the next few weeks. As of today, the earliest available berth on the Rajdhani Express to Mumbai is on June 13, though some seats are available on April 14 and 19.

For Calcutta, trains are already booked through June, though berths are available in three trains — Rajdhani Express, Himgiri Express and the Poorva Express — under the Tatkal scheme.

While berths against RAC tickets for Chennai may be available after May 19, the earliest confirmed reservation is not available till June 7.

For Bangalore, berths against RAC tickets are not available before June 5, with reservation not being available throughout May. However, Railway sources say that on May 3, a special Bangalore-bound train is being run to cater to requirements of students who are to appear for certain examinations.

The situation on the Kalka-Shimla route, which witnesses heavy passenger traffic during summer months, is comfortable as of now. Of the four trains which depart Kalka in the morning, seats are available in two, with passengers being put on the waiting list for the other two.

There is no problem concerning reservation for the two Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express trains.

Meanwhile, a special Chandigarh-Mumbai direct train has been pressed into service from April 10 to cope with the summer rush. Reservation is available in this train, which runs four days a week. Railway sources point out that till mid-May, there is relatively more rush on trains arriving here from Mumbai rather than those proceeding South. This trend is reversed by the end of May, when there is more Mumbai-bound passenger traffic

Besides, on two days in a week when the Rajdhani Express for Mumbai does not run as per its schedule, two special trains are made available, for which reservation is available.

To cope with the holiday rush for Shimla during peak summer, special trains for the country’s erstwhile summer capital will also be started in mid-May, officials add.Back


Gurdwaras, gardens thronged on Baisakhi
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 13—Traditional fervour and gaiety marked the Baisakhi celebrations at Nada Sahib while a Baisakhi mela in Pinjore proved to be a major attraction for visitors thronging the Yadavindra Gardens.

The gardens wore a festive look as visitors continued to pour in during the entire day. Snack-stalls lined one side of the garden and puppeteers and snake-charmers went through their age-old routines. The thump of the dhols could be heard all over the garden; even the cassettes of Punjabi folk music played over the loudspeakers couldn't drown them out.

The children's party got going as soon the camels arrived on the scene. Camel-rides were a hot favourite, as were the madaaris with their brightly dressed monkeys. Most visitors chose to spend the holiday picnicking and sought spots as far from the crowd as possible. Hampers yielded dish after dish to set out on sheets spread on the grass and small music systems provided the entertainment.

As the sun went down the lights came on in the garden's fountains that rose and fell to music. The lighted Sheesh Mahal, the Jal Mahal and the Rang Mahal were sights to behold. Adding to the charm of the evening in the garden was a bhangra performance by a 10-member troupe from the Punjab Civil Secretariat Cultural Society. The vivacious performance began with a boli on Baisakhi and the artists danced into the hearts of the packed audience right into the night.

Punjabi singer, Hakam Sufi, presented ghazals and folk songs; among them the popular Saade charkhe di tut gayee nal, dus main kathan ke na.

The Yadavaindra Gardens DM S.K. Sharma, said that though the crowd was slow to pick up in the morning, by evening there was a gathering like never before. He informed that the Baisakhi Fair would also be held tomorrow.

Meanwhile, at the historic Nada Sahib Gurdwara, kirtan and langar went on throughout the day. The day began with a katha on the Baisakhi shabad and bhog and akhand path were held as usual. Ragis and dhadis from all over the region participated in the kirtan.

Though most devotees came in during the morning and evening, their visits began as early as 4 a.m. After that a steady stream continued till about 11:30 a.m. and later in the evening, devotees began coming in large numbers around 5:30 p.m. till about 10 p.m.

On the occasion, 23 rooms of the 130-room dharamshala constructed at the venue were opened to the public. With attached bathrooms, these rooms will cater to devotees coming to pay obeisance at the gurdwara from far-flung areas.

Similar programmes of langar and kirtan were organised in gurdwaras in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru and others in the periphery. Devotees thronged the places of worship in large numbers all through the day.


Special congregations at all gurdwaras marked the Baisakhi celebrations here today.

After the bhog of Sri Akhand Path, eminent raagi jathas, school students, members of various istri sabhas and others participated in special kirtan darbars held at gurdwaras. Discourses on the birth of the Khalsa and teachings of Sri Guru Gobind Singh by eminent Sikh scholars were also organised.

Community kitchens were held. In the evening, all gurdwaras in the city and several houses of Sikhs were illuminated to mark the birth anniversary of the Khalsa.

"Jattz do it", a live performance of bhangra and jhumar dance stole the show at a local departmental store. The customers enjoyed chilled lassi lunch on the purchase of certain items.

Bashaki celebrations were also held at a petrol station by organising ardas which every customer enjoyed.

At different places in the city, cultural events were held to mark the beginning of the new Punjabi year. Back


‘Regularise need-based alterations’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — The Sector 44-D Residents Welfare Association has has urged the Chandigarh Administration to regularise all need-based alterations made in the marla houses to facilitate early conversion of leasehold properties into freehold properties. Back


3 hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — Three persons were injured when a truck hit a rickshaw near a factory in Phase I of Industrial Area here today.

According to police sources, Ram Bahadur, the rickshaw-puller, and two passengers — K.K. Bhasin and Sumit — were injured and were admitted to the Sector 32 General Hospital. The truck driver, Baldev Singh, has been arrested. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

One injured: Nishad of Gwala Colony reported that Sanjay, whose address he did not know, injured him following a quarrel. A case under Section 324 of the IPC has been registered.

Four arrested: The police arrested four persons from the Attawa market for consuming liquor at a public place. A case under the excise act has been registered.

Scooter stolen: A Sector 30 resident reported that someone had stolen his scooter (CH-OI-B-6603) from his house. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


Ill-treatment alleged: Ms Neetu Chug of Sector 7 reported that she was being ill-treated by her in-laws for bringing inadequate dowry. Her in-laws and her husband, Yati, have been named by her in the complaint.

Fire breaks out: A small fire broke out in the transformer room of Red Bishop. Caused due to a spark from a generator, no damage was reported.Back


Over Rs 1 lakh in fake notes recovered
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 13—Local police busted a two-member gang involved in passing fake currency and recovered notes worth Rs 1,79,500 of various dimensions from them here today. Later, the two were remanded to police custody for 10 days.

Acting on a tip off, police went through the entire area around the Kalka taxi stand "with a fine-tooth comb"; they set up nakas and checked people until they and finally nabbed one Ramesh, hailing from Nalagarh, with fake notes in his possession.

He was immediately arrested and fake currency worth Rs 49,500 was recovered from him. His accomplice was later arrested and currency worth Rs 1,30,000 was recovered from him. However, the man's could not be known.

Meanwhile, the police is conducting raids in Nalagarh and Baddi on the basis of information given by the two accused. They expect to recover more fake currency, police sources said. Also, a case under Section 489 B and C has been registered by the Kalka police station. Back


Bulk material market to come up at Maloya
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — The Chandigarh Administration has decided to set up a bulk material market at Maloya so as to rehabilitate marble dealers, junk merchants and furniture manufacturers who have been running their businesses from unauthorised places in the proposed Phase III sectors here.

Though the Administration has already made its intentions known of developing Phase III Sectors in a systematic and planned manner, it had been facing a major problem of removing unauthorised structures which exist on the land the Administration proposes to acquire.

For example, the road dividing Sectors 43 and 44 and going towards SAS Nagar has been the city's main marble market. Similarly, the road dividing Sectors 42 and 43 and heading towards SAS Nagar is full of furniture shops. It is this furniture market which witnessed a devastating fire some time ago.

Though the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had undertaken a major drive on the eve of visit of Pakistanis to the city for a one-day international fixture at the PCA stadium in SAS Nagar by asking marble dealers and furniture shop owners to move back to provide 20 ft clear berms on either side of the road, nothing has been done to check further encroachments on these important roads linking the city with SAS Nagar.

The situation has worsened to the extent that the portion of the road between the marble market intersection and YPS School intersection has virtually become a death trap with marble dealers reaching up to the edge of the road. The situation has been further aggravated because of some construction work leading to laying of a stormwater pipeline.

The Administration now plans to shift all marble dealers and furniture shop manufacturers to the bulk material market zone at Maloya. A piece of land measuring 81.675 acres has already been identified for the proposed market.

As a first step in setting up this market, the Administration has initiated proceedings for the acquisition of this chunk of land. A notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act has already been issued. Objections, if any, can be filed under Section 5-A of the Act within 30 days of the issuance of the notification.

The Administration plans to provide plots of varying sizes to marble dealers, furniture manufacturers and junk merchants besides providing the basic infrastructure, including roads, street lights, sewerage, drainage of storm water.

Sources pointed out that a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for these beneficiaries would be drafted soon and the land price would be fixed accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Administration has also made some amendments to the building bylaws governing the construction of basements in residential premises. According to the amended bylaws, residential premises measuring up to 420 square metres can have a basement up to 50 per cent of the site coverage of the building of which it forms a part. In case of residential premises bigger than 420 square metres, the basement can measure up to 50 per cent of the site coverage up to 420 square metres and 25 per cent of the site coverage of the building permissible in excess of 420 square metres of which it forms a part. Back


Ferrous fashion overtakes furniture
By Akanksha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 12 - " The iron, the wood on the floor, who is the strongest of them all" seems like futurity of the furniture industry. One has heard about the designer -wear, footwear, watches, doors, sanitary wear. The designers, the creative people enter every field - now its the furniture sector. Yes, indeed we are talking about the new kinds of designer furniture in the market.

When it comes to furniture, wood, especially teak, has been the traditional material for ages -- elegant, durable, easily worked. But in these days of dwindling forest resources and environmental consciousness, wood has, so to speak, come under a cloud. Plastic is one alternative but it is not elegant. Brass is another choice but it too is costly and requires constant maintenance. Or for a really exotic material there is the "bean" ... as in "bean-bag", that huge sack stuffed with God-knows-what and used for plunking down on.

A fourth alternative that combines malleability, durability, transportability, is environmentally correct and relatively inexpensive is iron. Here is a material that is modern, trendy and different.

Iron furniture is of two types: wrought and cast. Wrought iron is a comparatively soft pig-iron that is heated and beaten into shape -- like the shoes on a horse. Cast iron furniture is also available but it is much heavier, more brittle and as the name implies, it is poured into a mould -- that is "cast". Cast iron breaks easily and cannot be mended without a visible seam. While cast iron was in vogue back in the 19th century (and is still popular for garden benches and school tables), the iron of fashionable choice today is wrought iron. Swanky shops all over town are full of it.

According to a local manufacturer: "Wood limits the designing process but in iron we have only to heat it and bend it into any shape. The market for this kind of furniture is vast."

Every sort of furniture is now turned out in wrought iron: beds, sofas, dining tables, chairs, dressing tables, bathroom fittings, magazine holder, plate-holders and cup stands, and stands for candles and lamp. Wrought iron furniture also finds favour in restaurants and cafes, hotel lobbies and trendy departmental stores. The furniture is powder coated to give it a nice shiny look, which does not require maintenance.

This furniture looks sleek and unfussy, it appears to take up little space and doesn't give rooms that congested look. This is important given the size of most flats and houses these days.

Designs in wrought iron tend toward art deco styles -- spare, minimalist and highly geometric with their pronounced curves and straight, clean lines set off by the occasional curly-cue. A good example is the "heart bed" with its centralised heart-shaped motifs. Not difficult to guess why its a hot favourite with newly weds -- provided they are willing and able to fork over Rs 13,500. Well made wrought iron furniture is not cheap.Back


Factory suffers big loss in fire
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, April 13 — Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a fire which broke out in a shocks-making factory on the Dera Bassi - Barwala road near Saidpura here this noon.

According to sources, fire tenders form Dera Bassi had a tough time putting out the blaze; the fire was controlled after about five hours. In the absence of any major water source nearby, fire tenders had to travel a long distance to refill . The cause of the fire and the exact loss could not be ascertained.Back

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