Saturday, June 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Swimming pools: problems galore
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 16 — Last year during the All India Inter-University Swimming Meet, competitors protested that the 50 metre pool in Panjab University was so dirty that it was impossible to swim in it.

This pool is the only one in the city which subscribes to competitive standards. Therefore, swimmers, seriously preparing for competitions in the city, never had any other choice. The two pools in Sector 23, which belong to the Directorate of Sports, Chandigarh Administration, are practicing pools measuring only 25 metres in length.

However, the problems faced by the swimming pools in the university extend much beyond the usual cleanliness and maintenance.

Sports Department of Panjab University has three pools in the campus. Despite being situated well inside the university and quite far off for outsiders to use it, the authorities complain of overcrowding. But as the Director of the Sports Department, Dr Ajmer Singh, puts it, “They are public property and anyone fulfilling the terms and conditions can use them.”

But the major problem, which has arisen this very summer is the fact that the 50 metres pool is now out of order, at least for this season. According to swimmers practising for competitions, “we waste six crucial months every year because there is no all-weather pool in the city. This time, the summers too have been wasted because of the pool could not be used.”

What is certain is the fact that there is virtually no hope of this pool being repaired, for at least this season.

The coaches at the pool, however, claim that youngsters are practicing in the learner’s pool. “If a swimmer can practice in a 25-metres pool in Sector 23, and reach to national level, there is no reason why anybody else cannot do it. It is not the length of the pool which matters, but good sincere practice that makes all the difference,” they say. At present, the only pool operational is the beginner’s pool.

The diving pool continues to be out of order, now for more than one and a half decades. In fact, people have actually forgotten the last time it was put to use. The problem started when due to some inherent construction fault, which magnified later as sewage backflow in the pool started.

This summer the 50-metres pool has also developed defects. According to Dr Ajmer Singh, the pool has developed leakage and requires some major repair work.

The authorities say that over the years, due to regular brushing and cleaning up, the floor has worn out. “It requires a major overhaul. We have asked the XEN to get it repaired,” says Dr Singh. “They want to break it and rebuild it. However, that means an expense of around Rs 35 lakh. Since University doesn’t have these kinds of funds, we have asked the Ministry for Youth Affairs.”

Insiders, though, blame it on university politics. They say that ever since the Sports Director has been reappointed, he has been facing non-cooperation from others.” After all Rs 35 lakh is not a very big amount,” they say.

As far as the diving pool is concerned the authorities have a rather commendable explanation for not trying to get it repaired for all these years “Up North there are hardly any divers to speak of, Most of them come from the South,” they say.

Adding to the problems galore, the level in the tubewell supplying water to the pool has gone down considerably over the years. Presently, the water supply, for the pool, comes from the one in the nursery.

The good part is that general cleanliness of the pool, surrounding areas and the toilets seem quite satisfactory. “The filtration plant works for eight hours every day, according to the duty hours of the pool staff,” says Dr M.S. Dalal, swimming coach at the pool.Back


SAI girls ‘work hard’ on 400-m track
By Harpreet Kaur

CHANDIGARH, June 16 — Work is worship. Girls at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre, Sector-18, along with their coaches, can be seen in the evening translating these words into action.

Earlier, there was a 200-metre running track in the centre premises. Work on a 400-metre track is in progress. The girls proposed to volunteer their services. The coaches also expressed their willingness to join them.

Half an hour before their practice session in the evening, they work together. One can see teachers digging out earth with spade, the students removing lumps and levelling the track using a roller.

Not only the athletic players, but also the hockey, the basketball and the volleyball players are contributing their bit enthusiastically. “We have been working for the past three days and hope to finish the job by tomorrow,” informs Amandeep, a basketball player.

The track has been prepared around the basketball ground. There was too much of grass all around but it is because of the sincere team effort of all of them that, the much needed track will be ready to use in a day or two. After all, sportsmanship is reflected in team spirit.

Fruits of labour are sweet!



SAI function on July 8
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, June 16 — The Sports Authority of India, Netaji Subhash Northern Centre, Sector 42, will hold its annual function on July 8 at Skating Rink, Sector 10, at 4 p.m. The aspects to be covered in this function include cash awards to SAI coaches, release of software for monitoring the performance of SAI coaches in northern region, launching national physical fitness programme.

According to a press release sent by Dr P.C. Kashyap, Director in charge SAI, Sector 42, a sports awardees arena will be set up at Sector 42, which will house photographs of eminent sportspersons.

Carrom tourney: The Chandigarh Carrom Association has decided to organise the Raj Kumar Baboota memorial prize money carrom tournament on June 24 and 25 at St Stephen’s School, Sector 45. During this two-day meet, the events in men and women singles will be conducted. Entries close on June 21 with Mr K.S. patwal, Assistant General Secretary, CCA, at 639-B, Sector 32.

Garry Walia XI win: Garry Walia XI entered the final of the under 14 summer cricket tournament, which was played here today at the Sector 15 grounds. it beat Rohit XI of Tribune Colony by 16 runs.

Brief scores: Garry Walia XI —183 runs for six in 18 overs (Nikhil 81 - 11 boundaries, Damanpreet 26, Rajan 4 for 12)

Rohit XI: 167 runs all out in 17.5 overs (Akram 41, Nitesh 20, Rajan 18, Umesh 2 for 24, Damanpreet 2 for 30).

Tribune XI and Garry Walia XI will meet in the final to be played on Sunday.

Uttrakhand trophy: In the first match of the Uttrakhand trophy cricket tournament played here today, Market XI defeated Chetrapal XI by 108 runs. In the second match of the day, ASC XI beat Eleven star XI by 120 runs, while in the last match of the day, Garhwal CC got the better of Tehelka XI by 40 runs.

Wrestling trials: The Chandigarh UT Wrestling Association will hold the selection trials on June 18 at the Wrestling Coaching Centre, Sector 30, at 9 a.m. The trials will be conducted to select the UT junior wrestling team in juniors (under 20) in boys and girls section for Greco Roman and free style. The players thus selected will take part in the junior national wrestling championship to be held at Bangalore from June 23 to 27.



Prakash’s resignation upsets many
By Arvind Katyal

CHANDIGARH, June 16 — Prakash Padukone, who a few days ago submitted his resignation from the coveted post of the executive president of the Badminton Association of India, has sent shock waves everywhere. The ‘gem’ of Indian badminton, who was considered too much of a gentleman and a tireless but silent worker, never wanted publicity. Now he does not want to remain at the helm of affairs.

It may be recalled that in 1997, various Indian players pressurised Prakash to come forward to take over the reigns. At present, BAI is headed by Mr V.K. Verma as president, along with seven vice-presidents, two general secretaries, five joint secretaries and fourteen executive members.

Mr D.K. Mukerjee, Chairman of the Chandigarh Badminton Association, who knew Prakash since his younger days, felt that though he was a better player, but at his high post, one always gets enveloped by criticism. So might be Prakash was not able to bear pressure from his detractors.

Mr Gian Chand Gupta, vice-president of the CBA and a keen badminton player, said Prakash’s services should be utilised at every level. May be, some misunderstandings might have cropped in.

TPS Puri, secretary of CBA, said it was really sad that Prakash will not be available for active guidance within the BAI if the resignation tendered by him was accepted by President and executive committee.

Mr Virinder Mehta, joint secretary of the association, said Prakash’s resignation news was a big shock, as in February last at Thomas-Uber cup final league, it was hot news that he had developed differences and might resign. But people told that after the final of the Thomas-Uber cup tie at Kuala Lumpur, he will tender resignation. But now the ball was in the court of BAI President and the other top officials who might put pressure on Prakash to reconsider his resignation.Back



25 lakh for Kharar Municipal Committee
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, June 16 — The Punjab Government has sanctioned a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the Municipal Committee Kharar, as announced by the Chief Minister recently.

This was announced by Mrs Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, a former MP from the Ropar Lok Sabha constituency, while addressing a meeting of workers of the SAD and the BJP here today. She said the Chief Minister had fulfilled his promise.

Mrs Dhaliwal said the repair of roads would be given priority. She said she would soon meet the Chief Minister for the development of historical and religious tank known as Maharaja Ajj Sarovar at Kharar. She announced that a 21-member development committee for Kharar would be formed soon and she would extend all type of help to this committee for various development works.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Prem Singh (President, SAD, Kharar unit); Mr Om Parkash Aggarwal (President, BJP, Kharar unit); Principal Harjit Singh ; Mr Khushwant Rai Giga; Mr Tilk Raj Chadda; Mr Gita Ram Chaudhry; and Mr Bhag Singh.


Engineering Wing clarifies stand 
on purchase of tiles
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 16 — The much-publicised irregularities in the purchase and fixing of the chequered tiles in Sector 11 virtually disappeared in thin air with the Engineering Wing clarifying its position at a meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) here today.

Raising the issue through a short notice query, a former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta (BJP), alleged that while the tender specified that the tiles should be ISI-marked, the firm did not have the ISI certificate.

Demanding an inquiry by an independent agency, Mr Gupta also objected to the contents of the report by the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, which had been sent to senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Administration and the civic body.

However, attempts by Mr Gupta to highlight the issue in a section of the press even before the matter was brought to the notice of the Mayor and the Commissioner came in for severe criticism at the hands of his party colleague, Mr Prem Sagar Jain. The Commissioner, Mr MP Singh, was seized off the matter and there should not be any independent inquiry as there had not been a fraud, he added.

Participating in the discussion, a former Deputy Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur (SAD), while objecting to the manner in which Mr Gupta highlighted issue in the press, wanted the issue should have been discussed in the Roads Committee, of which Mr Gupta is the Chairman.

Another BJP member, Air Marshal RS Bedi (Retd), said the act of Mr Gupta had tarnished the image of the Chief Engineer in public.

Mr Puranjit Singh, while admitting that though there had a slight mistake in the text of the tender, said yet it was given to the firm which had quoted the lowest rates. In fact, the rate had been brought from Rs 4.80 per tile to Rs 3.3 per tile through negotiations.

Terming the allegations of irregularities as “without any facts”, he clarified samples of the tiles were of standard ISI type as had been proved after the laboratory tests.

The purchase of trunk radio sets for the nodal officers also generated a lot of the discussion. Mr Harish Bhanot (Nominated) wanted that whole of the city should be treated as one unit for the removal of encroachments. The house was informed that in the fist phase nine sectors would be taken up for the appointment of nodal officer to remove encroachments and check various permissions.

On the issue of paying consultancy fee for the value enhancement and improvement of Sector 17 to a Delhi-based firm amounting to Rs 4.75 lakh and 5% service tax, several members including, Mr RK Aggarwal, Maj-Gen Rajinder Nath (Retd) ,both nominated, wanted that eminent local architects such as Mr MN Sharma should also be involved in the project.

While clearing the estimates for the installation of a tubewell for Pocket Nos 2 and 3 in Mani Majra, the house decided to refer back to the administration the issue of levy of parking charges on private buses. Several members, including Air Marshal Bedi, Mr Jain and Ms Harjinder Kaur, wanted the administration should notify the parking sites in northern sectors also as a majority of the present parking sites were in the southern sectors, which were already over-populated.

The issue of the construction of a multi-purpose complex in Dhanas and a community centre in Sector 42 was referred to the Arts Culture and Sports Committee. Similarly, agenda item concerning provision of basic services to Colony No 4 and Sanjay Labour Colony in Ward No 15 was referred to the Slum Development Committee.

The issue of certain councillors rushing to a section of the press with policy statements was raised by Mr OP Goyal(BJP), who wanted that the authorised statements should be sent through the Public Relations Department.

Air Marshal Bedi wanted that the decisions of Finance and Contract Committee(F&CC) should not be conveyed to the Press till they were approved by the House. This was strongly resented by Mr Bhanot, who said that it took considerable efforts to dig out the stories and the House had no authority to infringe upon the rights of the mediapersons

Earlier, several members expressed concern at yesterday’s incident in which a Sector 17 trader, Subhash Kataria, allegedly misbehaved with a BJP councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi, on the civic body’ s premises.

Sanitation drive: The civic body will start a special sanitation drive from Sector 47 from tomorrow. The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob will inaugurate the drive

Encroachments removed: The Enforcement Wing removed over 125 encroachments from the internal roads of Sector 20(A and B) here.

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