Friday, February 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youths confess to murdering Brar
By Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — “He was struggling to free himself as we had nailed him to the bed. In the scuffle, the knife accidently slashed his hand and blood oozed out of it. The sight of blood made me delirious and I lost control. He ran out of the room screaming for help, but both of us caught him. Amid scared cries of those who had gathered outside the house, we stabbed him at least six times. His body went limp and after removing the gold bracelet and ring, we fled from the place.”

This was the confession of 21-year-old Rohit Makkar, one of the two persons who have been accused of killing H.S. Brar at his Sector 44-C residence yesterday.

Rohit and the other accused, Inderjit Singh, were arrested today by a team of the local police that included the DSP, Mr S.C. Sagar, and Inspector K.I.P. Singh, in less than 24 hours after the murder. The police got a lead when they found a filled application form for obtaining the SBI card at the place of murder. The daughter of H.S. Brar, Manbina, had said, though her father had signed the form, it had been filled by someone else. The police then approached the SBI officials and zeroed in on the accused.

The accused, who are bosom friends for the past three years, confessed to committing the murder and said their intention was not to kill.

The accused said they were fond of living a good life and desperately needed money to repay their debts to the tune of more than Rs 30,000. To obtain this money, they even decided to turn against the law.

“We had gone there only to rob Brar and though we were armed, the weapons were only to scare him. We market credit cards and had visited his house thrice before the past afternoon to assess his income, to know whether Brar was rich enough to be robbed,” said 22-year-old Inderjit Singh.

The accused are from well-to-do families. While Rohit’s father is a dealer for the products of various companies, Inderjit’s father is a retired Army Major who runs a private security firm. Rohit was preparing to take the second-year BA examinations.

Inderjit had strained relations with his family and stayed in a separate room in his house. Inderjit said he was unhappy with his life and had turned against law as no one cared for him.

He said he had never been much into studies, due to which his parents disliked him and showered their love on his brother and sister alone. “I decided to fend for myself and took up work in a popular fast-food joint in Sector 26. Rohit became my friend and we liked playing pool, besides buying latest clothes and accessories,” he said.

The police said it to hunt for easy and rich preys to loot that these men had taken up marketing job in Sentac Sales, a joint venture of the SBI and the GE that deals in the SBI cards. “As part of this job, they met Brar’s wife, Dalbir Kaur, in the Sector 43 Government Model School, where she was a teacher. After she expressed her willingness to become an SBI card subscriber, they visited her house and found Brar to be a perfect prey as he used to be home alone for most of the day,” said Mr Parag Jain, Senior Superintendent of Police.

Yesterday these men visited the house again at about 10.30 am after parking their car outside a park. They saw a car outside the house and entered only when it had left.

The police has recovered the gold bracelet and the ring from them. A case under Sections 302 and 382 of the IPC has also been registered against them.


Youth intrudes into PU girls hostel
Bid to outrage girl’s modesty
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — Close on the heels of hooliganism on February 7 on the Panjab University campus, a youth intruded into one of the PU girls hostels and reportedly tried to outrage the modesty of an inmate using a “chloroform”-stained handkerchief after midnight yesterday. The incident has sent a shock wave among girl hostel residents on the campus.

The incident took place on the first floor of block C at the Laxmibai Hostel (hostel no. 8) at around 1.15 am. The girl reportedly kicked the youth in his stomach at least two times, before raising an alarm. Other inmates of the hostel came out of their rooms. However, the youth managed to escape. The police and PU security staff are reportedly baffled as to how the intruder managed an entry and an easy escape.

Girls claim that there were at least two guys but the police maintains that there was only one youth. According to the inmates and police sources, the intruder was aged between 18 and 25, short statured with a dark complexion.

According to the inmates, the intruder knocked at the doors of some of the rooms but being late hours, no one opened the door. However, this particular girl, an M.Phil student in the Punjabi Department who was listening music at that time, responded to the knock.

The moment the door was opened, the intruder moved his hand with a handkerchief — a “wet one” — towards the face of the girl. The girl repulsed this move. The inmates claim that the intruder reportedly pushed her on the bed but he met with resistance. He reportedly pushed her on the bed for the second time.

It is learnt that the girl got hysterical and kicked hard at least twice in his stomach. The inmates claim that the kicks were enough to send the youth into pain. He reportedly ran for an escape using the stairs. While running he kept screaming, probably “to keep the girls out of his way”, and before the girls could understand anything, the intruder escaped.

The girl involved in the incident could not be contacted because she was said to be in a state of shock. However, Ms Manju Jaideka, warden of the hostel, claimed that the girl’s relatives had been informed and she was now okay.

Meanwhile, PU authorities and senior police officials visited the spot and a case under Section 452 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered. Police sources claim that the intruder was apparently versed with the interiors of the hostel and did not rule out the possibility of the intruder being a “mess boy”.

According to police sources, photographs of all mess workers and few other suspects would be shown to the girl concerned. If she identifies the culprit strict action would be initiated.

Mr R K Singh, Chief Security Officer of the PU, confirmed the incident. However, he maintains that the incident was not a result of security lapse on part of his staff.

Meanwhile, it may be mentioned here that the university authorities had directed all girl residents having mobile phones in the hostels to immediately report about these to the respective hostel offices or they would be fined.

The move reportedly under came severe criticism from girls. A resident of Kasturba Hall, who has a mobile, asked, “It is a very personal thing, why should I tell them about it”. However, she said she would have no problem if the authorities assign any genuine reason for it.

Mr R.K. Singh, Chief Security Officer, confirmed the move. When asked why only girl residents have been asked to submit the details, he said, “The girls need more protection”.


Chandigarh Tribune is 2-year old
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — For all those at The Tribune, this day brought in its fold a packful of hopes — hopes of living up to the great expectations of the readers. The occasion was the second birth anniversary of Chandigarh Tribune, which was launched two years ago on this very day with a one-point strategy of guiding the people through the changing times.

That Chandigarh Tribune has occupied a pride of place in the heart of readers was clear from a very sensitive message from one of the readers, who shares her birthday with that of the paper. In the host of colours which Shraddha Warman spilled on the birthday card, which she very laboriously made for Chandigarh Tribune, there lies a message of trust, an emotion which we, at The Tribune, value with all our hearts. The card by Shraddha reads: Rivers can dry, clouds can fly, you can forget me but how can I!

The entire Chandigarh Tribune team celebrated the birthday of the paper in the traditional manner by cutting a cake. The informal get together was graced by all senior journalists who have been a guiding force behind the city paper — not to miss the mention of The Tribune Editor, Mr Hari Jaisingh, who reciprocated the feelings of all readers on the day.

It was just another day, but was still very distinct in the sense that it left a strong message of conviction on the hearts of those who comprise the team of Chandigarh Tribune. The message read: “Strive, seek, and never yield.”


Fire safety equipment in high-risk buildings
Fire dept to launch special drive
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — With a view to ensuring that high-risk buildings in the city are equipped with the required fire safety equipment, the Fire Department of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh (MCC), has decided to launch a special drive.

During the drive, which will begin from tomorrow, all high-rise buildings will be inspected and notices will be issued to the defaulters, who are not complying with the fire safety norms contained in the Fire Safety Act.

Giving this information, the Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S Bajwa, said two teams would be sent to inspect the standard of fire safety equipment installed in these buildings and whether the same is in working condition or not. Those found guilty will be served notices asking them to fulfil the fire safety norms within a specified time. If they fail to do so, the officials of the Fire Department under the Act are empowered to declare them unsafe and can even seal them.

Mr Bajwa further disclosed that after the completion of the drive, the authorities would undertake the task of installing fire equipment in these buildings, though the cost of installing the same would be recovered from the owners of these buildings. He pointed out that as per the Act, the onus of keeping the fire safety systems in working order lay with the owners. But since they were found wanting on various fronts, the Fire Department had decided to intervene and ensure that the norms of the Act were not flouted.

The drive assumes significance as, according to sources, a large number of buildings in the city were without the required safety equipment or in few others it was non-functional, thereby posing a hazard to the lives of visitors. Sources further disclosed that the owners of most of the high-rise buildings in the city complete the process of installing the necessary fire safety equipment at the time of seeking building completion certificates. But soon after, once the certificate is issued after inspection by the Fire Department officials, nearly 50 per cent of the equipment is removed or the owners do not look after its maintenance and in some cases it continues to remain out of order for months. All these violations collectively only make these buildings more fire-prone and loss of life and property in case of major fires can be colossal.

Among the possible defaulters are INSCOL Hospital, Sector 34, where only a part of the equipment installed is there and also the Telephone Exchange building next to it, where the system is lying non-functional for the past few months.

Mr Bajwa has appealed to all such building owners to take corrective measures at the earliest, failing which necessary action will be initiated against them.Back


Celina to visit city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — The City Beautiful manages to attract beauty somehow or the other. So after playing host to crowned beauties like the enrapturing reigning Ms Universe Lara Dutta, the charming Ms World Priyanka Chopra and the glamorous Aditi Govitrikar (apart from several other beauty queens), the city is now all set to welcome the Millennium’s new Femina Miss India (Universe) 2001, Celina Jaitley.

Courtesy National Institute of Fashion Design, the ravishing Kolkata girl, who walked away with the Ms India title, will be in the city on February 20 on the occasion of the annual convocation function of NIFD. The occasion will also be taken to honour the beauty queen who is more accomplished and reputed for her ramp skills. Celina, who is already busy attending a host of felicitation ceremonies, is visiting the city for the first time after winning the title.

It needs to be mentioned here that Celina has been integrally associated with NIFD (Eastern Zone). She has also displayed designer creations of NIFD students in various NIFD shows including the ones held at Kolkata, Jamshedpur and Rourkela. Informing about the visit of Celina to the city, GM (Corporate), NIFD, Chandigarh, Aditi Srivastava, said: “Taking the NIFD tradition further we have decided to honour Celina at a civic reception being organised in her honour when she will be in town for awardinng diplomas to NIFD graduates.”

The recently-crowned beauty is specially coming down from Mumbai to hand over diplomas to NIFD students of the Class of 2001. Among those to be awarded diplomas are the students who have successfully completed their course in the streams of fashion, textile and interior design.

At the convocation ceremony, the toppers of all the streams from various NIFD centres all across the country will be especially honoured by the visiting beauty queen. Also on the occasion, the Jaipur centre of NIFD will be presented with a special trophy for winning the title of Best NIFD Centre of the Year. 


An academy for the soul
by A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — The philosophy of Vedanta is timeless. It may be ancient but it transcends the barriers of time and space. Therefore, it continues to be relevant even in this age of crass commercialism where “MTV Bakra”, Amitabh Bachchan’s “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and Govinda’s “Chhappar Phad Ke” appear more appealing to youngsters than anything else. Vedanta Academy
A view of the Vedanta Academy, near Pune.

And as if to prove this point, Gautam Jain, disciple of an internationally eminent philosopher and writer, Swami Parthsarathy, will visit Punjab and Chandigarh next week to deliver a series of lectures on the Bhagavadgita. The first series will be delivered by him at Bal Bhavan, Chandigarh, from February 22 to 25 between 7 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. every day. The second series will be in Ludhiana. These will be conducted at the Lakshmi Ladies Club from February 28 to March 3.

Gautamji completed a brilliant academic career in the USA, where he graduated with a number of prestigious scholarships and awards. He held the distinction of being listed in the “Who’s Who in American Universities.” Upon graduation, he declined lucrative offers from leading multinational corporations and returned to India to dedicate his life to the research and propagation of Vedanta.

Gautamji is from the Vedanta Academy, which is situated amidst the picturesque hills of Malavli, near Pune, 108 km from Mumbai. The academy conducts a three-year residential course on Vedanta. Vedanta is the ancient system of philosophy which unravels the mysteries of life. It bridges the gulf between the known universe and the unknown Reality. The students go through a systematic programme of study, contemplation and practice of Vedanta. It imparts the technique of living which promotes progressive action with inner peace.

The course is open to boys and girls between the age of 16 and 30. To join the course, they need a knowledge of English only. Sanskrit is taught from the beginning. In three years, they gain a thorough knowledge of the Vedanta treatise, the Bhagavadgita, Upanishads, Prakriyas, Shakespearean plays and English poetry. The academy awards a diploma in Vedanta philosophy on the completion of the course.

The academy also offers short-term courses on practical Vedanta for businessmen, professionals and families. And special courses for youth to inspire them towards a positive way of living.

The academy has been founded by Swami Parthsarathy who is acclaimed as one of the greatest exponents of Vedanta. Swamji has a multi-disciplinary academic base which includes postgraduation from London University. He has devoted over 40 years to the study of Vedanta and its practical application to life.

Swamiji is a scientist, philosopher and spiritual guide. And a thought-provoking speaker and writer. His incisive logic and clear presentation have inspired and captivated audiences around the world. He motivates them to recognise the Reality beyond their superficial life.

Swamiji’s discourses on the Bhagvad Gita and Upanishads have earned him international eminence. His lecture-tours have covered India and other countries as well. He is the author of many books. “Vedanta Treatise” is an exhaustive literary composition on the highest tenets of Vedantic philosophy.

The commentary on the Bhagavadgita is precise and practical. “The symbolism of Hindu Gods and Rituals” has earned him the best-selling status. His “Atmabodha” serves as a preliminary text to the study of Vedanta.

Swamiji has a scholarly command of the English language. His ability to translate subtle philosophical concepts into simple themes is unique. His ready wit and humour make his talks entertaining while remaining deeply meaningful.

Swamiji also conducts seminars and workshops for senior executives and professionals on “Reduce stress through self-management”, “Increase productivity”, etc.These have earned the patronage of reputed management institutions and corporations in India and abroad.


Spring Fest from March 3
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 15 — The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will organise a two-day Spring Fest from March 3 at Town Park, Sector 5.

Mr Shrikant Walgad, Administrator, HUDA, disclosed that there would be flower competition divided into six classes for individuals, institutions and others. Besides this, other competitions like rangoli, painting, mehandi, and fancy dress, would be organised.

The DC said, a special competition among schools for maintaining best lawns and gardens would also be held first time.


Corps of Signal celebrates 90th anniversary
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — The Corps of Signals, celebrated the 90th anniversary of its raising at Western Command Headquarters today. As a part of the celebrations, Brig R K Malik laid a wreath on behalf of all ranks of the corps at the Veer Smriti War Memorial in Chandi Mandir. The occasion, the Chief Signal Officer, Western Command, Major Gen D. K. Bewtra, greeted all ranks and their families at the occasion.

Signals provide information technology support to the Army to enhance its combat effectiveness. Kargil operation and the low intensity conflict operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the north eastern region have highlighted the relevance of the timely information. The corps has made commendable progress to induct state-of-the-art technology and build up a nationwide IT infrastructure for the Army.

Resilience of the Army telecommunication infrastructure was proved in the quake-hit Gujarat recently.

The corps provided telecommunication support to the civil administration at Bhuj, Kutch and Ahmedabad and provision of trunk communications from the affected areas to Pune and Delhi to enable coordination of relief measures. Signals established a VSAT link between Bhuj and Ahmedabad.

Raised on February 15, 1911, as a part of sappers and miners, the Corps of Signals have always kept pace with the developments around the world. Having the motto “Teevra Chaukas”, the men of the Corps have won laurels many a time in providing communication support to the Army, both during peace and war, as well as during natural calamities.

In peace time, whenever Army is called upon to assist the civil administration, Signals are an integral part of the contingent. Signals are also responsible for providing operational line communication to IAF and Indian Navy.

Past decades have seen rapid developmental strides in the field of electronics and electro-optical technology. In order to provide the Armed forces with the state-of-the-art communications the signals have quickly adapted to the new developments and entered the new century. The efforts are also on to provide fully mobile network based on the WDM techniques.

In addition to the communication management and operation, Corps of Signals is also responsible for electronic warfare. The corps not only provides communications but also excels in sports and adventure activities.

Signalers have participated in motorcycle rally to the highest road in the world and have a team of despatch riders, aptly called as dare devils who find a place in the Guiness Book of Records for forming a human pyramid of 140 men on 11 motor cycles over a distance of 200 meters.Back


Conference on disaster management
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — Preparation of disaster management plans at the district level will be the central issue at a two-day conference-cum-workshop to be held at the Sector 19 Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here from tomorrow.

According to Mr J.C. Pant, Chairman of the High-Powered Committee on District Disaster Management Plans, Government of India, the conference-cum-workshop would be attended by leading experts from different parts of the country as well as the Union Government.

Mr Pant said the emphasis would be on preparing for the prevention of disasters and mitigating their impact whenever and wherever they occurred.

Preparing people to cope with the disasters would be an essential component of the plan to be prepared during the conference.

According to Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director, CRRID, who was in Bhuj to oversee a community kitchen being run by the Ratwara Sahib-based Vishav Gurmat Ruhani Mission besides overseeing other relief and rehabilitation measures, said most of the Deputy Commissioners from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh would attend the conference-cum-workshop.


Most PGI public phones do not function
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — This is part of those surprising-but-true-series — in the superspeciality PGI, having world-class doctors and facilities, catering to as many as 10 lakh outdoor and 40,000 indoor patients annually — only two out of 13 coin-collecting type public phones are in working order.

Notwithstanding the reasons behind this, the fact remains that for thousands of patients, making a simple phone call from the hospital is much more difficult than it actually sounds.

The PGI, in all, has 13 PCOs installed by the local office of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) at different locations. These include main reception (2), emergency OPD (1), ground floor A Block (1), first floor D Block (1), third floor C Block (2), fourth floor A Block (1), fifth floor A Block (1), APC main gate(1), APC Emergency (1) and the Working Women’s Hostel (1).

Out of these, as of today, only two PCOs are in working condition — one in the Working Women’s Hostel and the other in the APC Emergency.

Interestingly, sources add that most of these telephones have remained out of order from the day they were installed.

Sources say connivance between BSNL linesmen and private PCO operators in the institute was the reason behind the permanently out-of-order telephones. This seems plausible or how could it be possible that the four privately owned PCOs — at the main reception, behind Kairon Block, in the APC basement and shopping complex — continue to run smoothly and efficiently day after day despite long queues.

The PGI authorities say despite being aware about the plight of the people, they were helpless as maintenance and upkeep of these PCOs are with the BSNL. “All we can do is complain to the department,” they lament.

The MS office had sent a complaint to the Principal General Manager, Mr R.S. Vaish, to sort out various problems related to telephone services in the institute . Following this, telecom officials visited the institute on January 16 to assess the situation. “Considering the harassment to the common man, we had thought the PGI would be on priority list of the BSNL,” they mused.

Meanwhile, the PGI authorities have asked the Telecom Department to shift the existing PCOs to the areas where they can be under direct supervision of the security staff of the institute.

Besides asking for the number of PCOs to be increased, the PGI authorities have asked for sanction of four free-call PCOs in the emergency area, in addition to the one already existing in the new OPD Block, gynaecology ward in Nehru Hospital and the APC. In addition, installation of 20 coin-collecting PCOs with a provision of 50 lines in the new OPD Block is also on the anvil.


Police becomes a freeloader
By Bipin Bhardwaj

PANCHKULA, Feb 15 — The Panchkula police has impounded dozens of trucks, trailers and other transport vehicles in the past four days without any valid reason, causing losses to owners of these vehicles.

Sources said the vehicles had been impounded to bring material from various places for the forthcoming Janta-Police Sammelan that is to be held in Sector 5 here on February 20.

Transporters said the police had stopped their vehicles at various checkpoints and drivers had been asked to drive these vehicles to nearby police stations. The drivers had all documents in order, sources said.

Mr Krishan Kumar Abrol, President of the Transport Association of Chandigarh, said, six months earlier as well, the Panchkula police had harassed transporters by impounding their vehicles for weeks together. He said this was not only affecting their business, but also deteriorating their relations with customers.

An SAS Nagar transporter, Mr Gurdev Singh, said his trailer had been picked up by the police from the Zirakpur-Panchkula road on Monday. The police stopped the trailer at a checkpoint and directed the driver to show documents of the vehicle. Though he had all the required documents, he was asked to take the vehicle to the Sector 19 police station. He was told that he would have to bring iron structures from the Sector 16 stadium, besides other items for the decoration of the temporary structure that would be erected on the Sector 5 ground.

The police had also impounded three other trailers and these, too, had been parked in front of the police station since Monday. Sources said transporters were ready to provide free service, but only on the day of the function.

A truck driver said, police officials had told him today that he would have to wait for the orders of top officials to bring the goods when required. Transporters said they would have to oblige the police or face heavy challans.

Dr C.S. Rao, Superintendent of the Panchkula police, was not available for comments.


CTYC men shave heads in protest
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — To express their resentment over the alleged failure of the Union Government to check violence against minorities in Jammu and Kashmir, 21 activists of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress shaved their heads today in the Sector 17 piazza here.

A press note issued here today by Mr Rajesh Sharma, A CTYC leader, said shaving of heads symbolised sorrow at the death of an elder person. “The government, like our elders, should have ensured peace and security for us. The release of terrorists for the release of hostages, declaration of ceasefire and killings of personnel of security forces by terrorists have prompted us to presume that the government is dead. We are mourning its death,” said Mr Rajesh Sharma.

He said the Kashmir issue had exposed the Centre’s inefficiency as, everyday, innocent people of the minority community were being killed in Jammu and Kashmir, while the BJP government was carrying on with ceasefire. “There has been no Kashmir policy. We fail to understand why the government has tied the hands of the Army and the police,” he said.

Mr Sharma said the government had also failed to provide timely relief to those hit by the earthquake in Gujarat.


Contributions to quake fund
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — Responding to the appeal of the Punjab Governor and Administrator of UT, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.), contributions continued to pour in to the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund-Gujarat.

The Citizens Welfare Committee, Sector 23-D, handed over a cheque for Rs 5.13 lakh. The Principal of Sishu Niketan Senior Secondary School presented a cheque for Rs 71,000, whereas the Principal of Moti Ram Arya School presented a cheque for Rs 55,000.

The Indian Council of Social Welfare presented a draft for Rs 15,000 and the Jesus Social Welfare Committee presented a cheque for Rs 5,400. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsehkhar, made a personal contribution of Rs 10,000. The staff of Assistant Collector (F&A) presented a cheque for Rs 10,800, whereas staff of the Finance and Planning office presented a cheque for Rs 10,000.

The Kerala Sastra Kala Manch presented a cheque for Rs 5,000. Various people deposited Rs 95,900 cash at the counter established at Karuna Sadan, Sector 11. The Central Cooperative Committee of all gurdwaras presented a cheque for Rs 65,000 and the Welfare Society, Sector 27-D, presented a cheque for Rs 37,500. The Press Site Owners Association has contributed Rs 31,000.

Till date Rs 1.75 crore has been collected in Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund-Gujarat.

The Haryana Government sent the fourth instalment of relief material for the earthquake victims in Gujarat by two Indian Air Force aircraft on Wednesday night.

Mr S.K. Monga, Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula, said that 17 truckloads of relief material were sent to Gujarat last night. Apart from it, 200 tents from Panchkula, 633 from Ambala, 122 from Yamunanagar, 100 from Kurukshetra, 102 from Rohtak, 325 from Sonepat, 150 from Panipat, 250 from Karnal and 200 each from Jhajjar and Fridabad, Narula and Sirsa had been sent.


135 board employees donate blood
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 15 — As many as 135 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the Punjab School Education Board Employees Blood Donors Society here today.

The camp was organised in aid of the Gujarat earthquake victims. The General Secretary of the society, Mr Ranjit Singh Mann, donated blood for the 28th time.

A large number of women employees of the board also donated blood.


Festival of Gardens schedule finalised
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — With the three-day Festival of Gardens slated to be held from February 23, the Chandigarh Administration has finalised the schedule of various events and competitions.

The sale of forms for perhaps the most popular event, the Rose Prince and Rose Princess, started yesterday. The contest for these titles will be in three categories in different age groups.

In each categories, the contest will be up to one year, from one year to two years and from two years to three years. February 22 will be the last date for accepting the forms for these contests.

Similarly, February 21 has been fixed as the last date for sending entries for another popular item — flower competitions.

Apart from these competitions, regular features like the antakshri and rose quiz will be an integral part of the festival, official sources said. Back


‘Declare Punjabi as mother tongue’
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 15 — The local Sabhyacharak Sangharsh Committee organised a procession on vehicles here today in support of its demands, including the declaration of Punjabi as the mother tongue in the ongoing census.

Among the participants were prominent writer Santokh Singh Dhir and municipal councillors.

The participants, who were in cars and on scooters, carried placards and banners. The procession started from the Durga Mandir in Phase VI and, after stopping at Madanpur Chowk and the Municipal Council office in Phase VII, culminated in Phase XI.

The convener of the committee, Mr Sanjivan Singh, said the procession was started from a mandir to wipe out the impression that mandirs were linked with the Hindi language and gurdwaras with Punjabi. He said Punjabis should not feel shy of declaring Punjabi as their mother tongue during the census.

He said the other demands of the committee were the construction of an auditorium here.Back


Community awareness programme
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — The police today launched a community awareness programme in Bapu Dham colony.

As many as 150 residents of the colony participated in the programme.Back


Quiz on films on Feb 18
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society, Chandigarh, is organising a quiz on films at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, here on February 18 at 10 a.m.

The programme will be based on old Hindi films. Anybody can participate in the quiz. All questions will be on films and the winners will get attractive prizes.

The society has been holding these type of functions for the past several years.

The anchors of the programme are Mr V. M. Sharma, Ms Leena Mukherje and Ms Latika Sekhija. 


Need for software parks

During her recent visit to Chandigarh, the Vice-President of Infosys, Ms Hema Ravichander, expressed her views on steps to be taken to make Chandigarh and Mohali a hub of software in this region. This region needs software parks to be developed fast as the expansion of the IT sector will create employment for computer professionals and engineering graduates from this region.

Top software companies of India, even the multinationals, will be attracted to Chandigarh, if the infrastructure is built in time. Ms. Ravichander has rightly suggested that Bangalore and Chandigarh should be airlinked.

It will be a big boost to the IT sector if the two major IT centers of Hyderabad and Bangalore are linked with Chandigarh by a direct superfast train, as it was done in the case of Jaipur from where biweekly trains go to Bangalore via Hyderabad. The State Government of the region should request the Railway Ministry to do the needful at the earliest.

Sukhminder Singh

Contaminated water

The residents of Bhindian Street in Patiala are getting water contaminated with sewerage. Complaints to the authorities concerned have failed to remedy the situation. There is a clear possibility of an epidemic breaking out in the area.

If no attention is paid to the situation the people will be left with no option except to knock at the doors of the consumer court.

Jaidev Singh

Road to new bus stand

The bus terminus in Sector 43 is proposed to be put into full operation in February. But no care has been taken to improve the condition of the road from the roundabout of Sector 22, 23 and 35, 36, near Kisan Bhavan to the bus stand. The position is worst from the Ottawa roundabout to the roundabout dividing Sectors 42 and 43. The road is broken with big potholes and stones spread around the roundabout. There is no light on this road even around the roundabout.

For over six months, men and machinery has often been seen here but without any result. Very soon the road will start taking the full flow of heavy traffic which will increase the risk of accidents.

The route also needs one or two bus stops for local buses. At present there is no bus stop between the Attawa roundabout and the bus stand in Sector 43.

KK Talwar

Community centre

A community centre in the vicinity of Sector 46, was inaugurated on Feb 9, by Mrs Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh. On this occasion, none of the residents’ welfare associations and social organisations of this sector were invited. This indifferent attitude of the department is painful. It defeats the purpose of establishing a community centre which is meant for the welfare of the residents.

The Chandigarh Administration should give due importance to the residents and involve them in such functions.

NK Bhatia


Man assaulted, injured 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — Mr Vipin Kumar, a resident of Sector 29, reported to the police that he and his brother, Brij Mohan, were assaulted by Bablu, Vicky, Bantu and a few others last night. In his complaint he said that they were also threatened by them. It is learnt that Brij was injured and was admitted to the PGI, where his condition was reportedly stable.

The complainant reportedly had no knowledge of the addresses of the accused. A case under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Car damaged
Ms Reena Kumari’s Maruti car was damaged when it was hit by another car near the Sector 44 market here yesterday. No one was injured. The driver of the other car sped away from the spot.

A case under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Gold chain stolen
Ms Darshani of Dadu Majra Colony has accused Babli of the same colony of stealing a gold chain from the dressing table on Tuesday night. A case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Mr Narinderjit Singh, a resident of Sector 44, reported that his house was burgled on the night of February 10 here. The details of the theft could not be known. A case has been registered.

The local police arrested two persons, Rakesh and Bholu, both residents of Muzaffarpur district for stealing 40 kg of garlic from Grain Market, Sector 26. Mr Harminder Mohan, a resident of SCF No 25, Grain Market, was the complainant. The two were booked on under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.


Furniture traders’ bandh today 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 — The Sector 34 Furniture Market Association has decided to observe a bandh tomorrow to protest against the anti-encroachment drive undertaken by the staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and the Estate Office today. Members of the association also plan to stage a demonstration in the market before proceeding to the DC's office to submit a memorandum containing their demands.

Giving this information, the Chairman of the association, Mr Sewa Singh, complained of the high-handedness and callousness of the staff during the drive. He alleged that the staff challaned a more than 12 shopkeepers for displaying their furniture items and other related materials in the verandahs and confiscated loads of material, leading to breakage in a few cases. He pointed out that even though the staff had in a drive undertaken few days back asked them not to display their articles on the front side, they today targetted and harassed those who had done so on the rear. He further said that even the unloaded material was also confiscated.

The association members said they had been allotted booths in the market so that they could earn their livelihood. The Sector 17 Traders Association leaders, Mr Subhash Kataria and Mr Kamaljeet Singh Panchhi, and the president of the New Vyapar Mandal, Mr M.P. Verma, also reached the spot and assured them all possible support for pressing their genuine demands.

Meanwhile, as many as 50 challans were issued to shopkeepers in Sectors 22 and 19 for violations on MC land and public places. Undeterred by the protest, officials maintained that drives would continue to take note of such encroachments by shopkeepers.

The drive, which was supervised by the Encroachment Magistrate, Mr Ishwar Singh, along with the Inspector, Enforcement, Mr Kashmira Singh, challaned 10 shopkeepers in the Sector 22 Shastri Market for blocking public corridors by displaying certain items there. Nearly 15 shopkeepers were issued challans in the Bajwara market opposite for encroaching MC land. Besides, 10 shopkeepers transacting business in big showrooms of the outer lane of Hotel Samrat were challaned for displaying their products, both in verandahs and MC land. They took away steel racks, mattresses, plastic chairs and all other material lying in the open.

The staff, which had undertaken the drive to once again target the rehri-phariwalahs who were still selling their goods from their scooters or by carrying them in their hands, were surprised not to find them there. Sources reveal that following a letter written by the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, to the SSP, the local police had for the past five days stepped up vigil and were all out to ensure that they do not transact business from there.

Hue and cry was also raised by fellow shopkeepers when as many as 12 shopkeepers were challaned in the Sector 19 Sadar Bazar.

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