Monday, March 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Heart dances with Saroja and mind plays with Bhatt
Tribune News Service

Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and his son, Salil Bhatt, present a jugalbandi on Mohan veena
Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and his son, Salil Bhatt, present a jugalbandi on Mohan veena at the 31st All-India Bhaskar Rao Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan in Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh March 25
The 31st All-India Bhaskar Rao Bhakhle Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan reached its grand finale in Tagore Theatre here today with a memorable performance by Saroja Vaidyanathan, one of the top ‘bharatnatyam’ dancers of the country.

Saroja is not only a danseuse of exceptional talent, but also a singer and choreographer. Accompanying her today was her troupe comprising her five students, whose performances today would make Saroja proud of them.

Saroja has learnt the art from Lalitha of Saraswathy Gana Nilayam of Chennai. Today, she presented ‘Nagendra Haraya’, a prayer to Lord Shiva based on His description. 

Saroja brought this composition of Adishankara to life with her expressive performance.

Saroja also performed on a composition of Tyagaraja, where the poet wishes to meet Lord Rama and expresses his anger when he is unable to do so. The third item by Saroja was from Mahabharata, where Draupadi prays to Lord Krishna to save her honour. Saroja beautifully illustrated in her dance how Yudhishthira lost his kingdom, his brothers and his wife to the Kauravas in a game of dice.

Rest of the items of the ballet were presented by students of Saroja. Aarti Shankar and Bulgarian dancer, Lilia Toneva, performed on a composition of Dayanand Saraswati, ‘Bho Shambho Swayambho’, in which, Lord Shiva, the dancer, holds the Ganges in his tresses.

This was followed by ‘Mahishasur Mardini’ presented by Neha Venkataraman, Janvi Rajaraman and Izumi Sato, a Japanese who is receiving training from Saroja.

The final ballet by five dancers was extremely delightful. Rhythmic movements of the dancers kept the audience impressed. This item — the ‘Tarana’ — depicted the joy of freedom and combined the ‘swaras’ and the ‘tillana’.

Saroja and her troupe were accompanied by vocalist O.S. Sridhar, violinist V.S. Chakrapani and Kailash Pawar on harmonium.

After this, Saroja handed over the stage to the Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who presented a ‘jugalbandi’ with his son Salil. The two presented a composition in ‘raag gavti’. Pandit Bhatt, was accompanied by Mahendra Shankar and Ram Kumar Mishra on tabla. They kept the audience spellbound. Salil displayed his immense power and control over the instrument.

Using the 19-string Mohan veena with total control, Pandit Bhatt dazzled the audience. Mohan veena is an instrument which the Grammy-Award-winner musician has created himself.


Navratra melas from today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
The Mansa Devi shrine here has been decked up for the navratra melas which begin tomorrow even as the district administration made a last-minute review of the arrangements.

The mela will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, at 8:30 a.m. He will perform puja and havan at the havankund in the shrine.

The programme, besides the regular prayer and a arti scheduled for the mornings, has performances which will include an evening of religious Haryanavi folk songs by a group led by Jyoti, Prem Dihati and Sattbir at 6:30 pm on March 28.

Next day a folk dance presentation by Sudeshna Mullick, Nimbodita Mahapatra and Aruradha Venkataraman will be presented, while the Wadali brothers will sing devotional songs on March 30. A bhagwati jagran on March 31 will mark the end of the evening programmes.

The Chief Administrator, Mr SK Monga, informed that 25 special buses of the CTU would be started from the Sector 17 and 43 bus stands in Chandigarh as well as those of Haryana Roadways from Ambala, Kalka, Naraingarh, Pinjore and nearby towns. A temporary bus stand would be established near Swastik Vihar.

In a significant direction to officials, Mr Monga said that roadside vendors should not be allowed to set up shops along the road leading to the shrine for the convenience of the devotees.

A spokesman of the Public Health Department said that 70 taps had been installed around the shrine to ensure 24-hour water supply for the devotees. Four tankers of water had also been posted at the venue to meet any extra demand.

Over 30 doctors would be on duty round the clock, and two ambulances and a mobile van would also be engaged besides a retail price shop by Confed and the Food and Supplies Department.


MLAs’ land might affect acquisition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Purchase of about 20 acres in Kansal village by the Punjab Cooperative Housing Society, a body of members of the Punjab Assembly, might affect the acquisition process for the Anandgarh project.

Will the government denotify the village or will it release the land owned by influential persons? Senior politicians and government functionaries deny that there is any move by the government to exclude the village from the project. However, sources in the Punjab Government said intense lobbying was on to get this land exempted from the Periphery Act and acquisition. The sources said influential persons who hold land in the area had been assured by a senior member of the MLAs’ society that they had nothing to worry.

The sources said these persons were waiting for the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this area. The sources said it would take a few more months before notices under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act were issued to villagers of Kansal.


Panjab University Senate clears budget
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The collapsing financial stability of Panjab University and the crumbling support of Punjab and the UT Administration remained central to the Senate meeting here today.

The budget was cleared under anxiety of a serious threat to the staff regarding payment of salaries after a few months if the current scenario continues. The Senate passed the university deficit ( non-plan) of Rs 7880.88 lakh for 2001-2002. This includes the new and additional demands.The revised budget estimate deficit for 2000-2001 is Rs 6,987.54 lakh.

The budget discussion lasted over five hours. There were, however, rare references to the actual amounts in most discussions.

Mr Satya Pal Jain highlighted the “financial and legal crises that faced the university”. The UT Administration and the Punjab Government assured sharing the funds in the ratio of 60: 40.

Dr S.S. Kumar said the general feeling of over-staffing was true in several cases. There was no university which paid a nominal charge for the accommodation. The pension scheme was passed by the Syndicate and even notified by the Punjab Government, but the benefit still eluded teachers.

Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath said the university faced the danger of closure in case the government shirked its duty of funding higher education.

Prof P.P.Arya said Punjab Government and the UT aid was decreasing. Charging more fee from students was not fair. At least care should be taken of students from the lower economic classes. There had been bungling worth lakhs which needed to be probed.

There was also a difference of opinion over the cancellation of seats for university staff’s wards in the NRI quota. Dr Keshav Malhotra said certain seats should be reserved for the wards of the university staff.

Mr S.S.Virdi said the tussle between the UT Administration and the Punjab Government could be avoided if the PU was upgraded as a central university. This also got support from certain other quarters. Principal H.R.Gandhar said the university needed to rationalise the workforce under the existing finances. Dr A.C. Vaid said the non-plan budget figures were alarming. The government assured 6 per cent expenditure on education, but less than 3 per cent was being spent currently which was a matter of concern.

Mr Hari Jaisingh said, “The finances of any university hold the key for its academic excellence and smooth running. We have to think on new lines in terms of courses we would like to take up for research to achieve quality. How to raise resources needs to be deliberated. He recommended a centre for defence studies with particular reference to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries which had gained immense international attention during recent times.”

Prof Charanjit Chawla said misappropriation of funds needed to be probed. 


City-Panchkula bridge opens today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will inaugurate a new bridge connecting Chandigarh to Panchkula tomorrow.

Commuters are using this bridge for the past three weeks and it has helped ease the traffic congestion on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road.

The old bridge is being used by residents of Panchkula to reach Chandigarh.

The Chandigarh Administration has kept the road divider intact. One sides of the road will probably be used for slow-moving traffic or for traffic from the railway station.

The old bridge had two lanes on each side and was major traffic bottleneck.

With the coming up of the new bridge, there are four lanes on each side of the road now.

Today, the railing of the old bridge was getting a fresh coat of paint and the roads are being recarpeted.

The bridge has also got new electrical fittings.


Neighbourhood watch scheme launched in Sector 15-A
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The UT Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, inaugurated the neighbourhood watch scheme in Sector 15- A, here this morning. This scheme will cover about 521 private houses. It will be jointly coordinated between the police officers concerned and the Residents Welfare Association.

It may be recalled that the police had embarked upon this scheme to combat the rising crime, and first launched it in the HIG Independent Houses in Sector, 38 West on January 28 this year. Around 250 houses of the Chandigarh Housing Board are included in the scheme which covers those residents who are members of the Residents Welfare Association.

It was after the three murders that took place in the city within a span of 12 days (from February 14 to February 26) that created a panic reaction, and a large number of residents welfare associations began considering this scheme for their respective areas.

The police is planning to extend the scheme in each and every sub-division of the city. The NWS will now be launched in Sector 19 next month.

Mr Sat Pal Sewak has been nominated the president of the executive committee that would be managing the affairs of the scheme and Mr M.S. Aulakh has been appointed the vice-president of the scheme.

From the police side, the division officer and the beat officer concerned would be the ex-officio coordinators.

The Station House Officer of Sector 11 police station would be attending one meeting of the committee each month, while the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Central, would be attending the meeting once in three months. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bassi said the scheme would go a long way in increasing the police community interface. Mr Parag Jain, Senior Superintendent of Police, said that the police would provide for a vehicle in each scheme. Meanwhile, an exhibition of security gadgets like burglar alarms, lights, cats eyes, door chains etc was also organised.


Balwant out of hospital, back in jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Balwant Singh, main accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, was discharged from the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital here today. A surgery has been performed on him for a prolapsed intervertebral disc.

According to the information available, the accused was shifted back to the Burail jail under tight security after a team of doctors led by Dr Raj Bahadur, who had operated upon him on March 19, gave him the discharge.

Dr Raj Bahadur said the accused was able to walk properly the fever that he had developed after the operation was only normal. The accused had been diagnosed as having a prolapsed disc earlier this month.

The accused’s stay in the GMCH was rather exhausting for the local police. The court had earlier denied permission to the local police to handcuff him as long as he was in the hospital. The hospital has been cordoned off with policemen at each floor. The entry to the private ward of the hospital, where the accused was put up, was highly restricted. 


Dept hopes good response to electronic clearance scheme
Payment of power bills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The local Electricity Department is hoping that several of the city’s 1.85-lakh power consumers will opt for paying their bills through electronic clearance scheme via banks.

The success of the scheme depends upon transparency and quick delivery of bills besides accurate cash deposits and issue of receipts against these. About three months ago the Telecom Department started a similiar system by which the bills could be paid automatically through banks.

In case of power and water bills, the bills will be delivered to the consumer’s billing address as well as the bank from where the payment has to be collected by the department.

Two days ago the department announced its scheme that power consumers in the city would be able to deposit their power and water bills automatically through their respective bank accounts and without standing in queues outside cash counters. The service has been made available at a small charge of about Rs 4 per transaction and has the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.

The Chandigarh Administration will be sending pro formas along with bills. On the pro formas, the consumers can send their approval for the payment of bills through electronic transfer in banks. On the pro forma the consumer will be asked to mention the bank, his account number and an assurance from the bank concerned.

The scheme will be beneficial for people who are out travelling, for working couples, besides many others.

The move is likely to reduce paper work for the Electricity Department including handling of lakhs of rupees of cash at the counters on a daily basis. Under the scheme the banks will be transferring the money straight from the consumer’s account to the electricity departments account. This means no handling of cash, no issuance of drafts or bankers cheques.

Mr Jagdev Singh, who has touring job, says “I am very happy with the scheme as either I had to take an off to deposit the bill by standing in long queues or my wife had to do it.” Long queues are also an open invitation to touts who claim to deposit the bills, out of turn for a small fee.

A total of 16 banks, including private banks, which have the facility for electronic clearance, have been identified for this purpose.

One good aspect of the scheme will be that tenants, power of attorney holders will also be in a position to get bills cleared through their bankers against their accounts, for which they will have to submit the relevant details in the consumers will be in a position to take advantage of this scheme irrespective of the bill being in the name of the owner of the residential or commercial property.


Spring Fest-2001 concludes
Tribune News Service

Dr Nandita DeoChandigarh, March 25
Spring Fest-2001 culminated today with a valedictory function followed by solo singing and dance performances by young doctors and medical students and a glittering fashion show.

The week-long festival had been organised by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) and the Institute Cultural Society and had various competitions, including fun games, twisted movies, solo singing, dance party and other cultural events and programmes. The highlight of the evening was an enthralling bharatnatyam performance by Dr Nandita Deo.

Evoking an overwhelming response from doctors, paramedical students and staff members of the PGI, the valedictory function of the annual cultural and literary festival of the institute was presided over by the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Sharma congratulated the winners, adding that spring was a season of light heartedness and festivity. He, however, exhorted the gathering to forget the devastating earthquake that had recently hit a major part of the country and stressed upon the need for providing all help in rebuilding the area. He added that the PGI had already contributed about Rs 12.43 lakh for the cause and will be soon giving a second instalment to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.

Those who received the prizes included: solo singing —Renu (I), Anu (2) and Indu (3); Hindi film song — David and Gagandeep (I), Shelly Kapoor (2) and Ela Bhatt (3); Indian duet — Gangesh and Virender (I), Veena and Indu (2) and Gagan and Poonam (3); Western solo singing — Monica (I), Ela Bhatt (2) and Anu (3); group singing (Indian) — Gagandeep, Navjot and group (I), Inderpreet and group (2) and Mani and group (3); Western group singing — Leena and group (I), Anu and Gangesh (2) and Navjot and group (3); Indian solo dancing — Sarika (I), Deepti (2) and Neeru (3); Western solo dancing — Mandeep (I), Anu (2) and Nidhi (3); Western group dancing — Gurav and group (I) and Navjot and group (2); Indian group dancing — Neeti and group (I), Balvinder and group (2) and Deepti and group (3); poetry — Anand Vinekar (I), Trisha (2) and Ela Bhatt (3); prose writing — Savan (I), Anand (2) and Trsiha (3). 


City club inauguration by councillor stirs hornet’s nest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
After the inauguration of a library room at a community centre by a BJP Councillor, now it is the turn of a city club in the community centre by a Congress councillor that is getting embroiled in a controversy. The BJP councillor, Mr Raghubir Lal Arora, who was the chairman of the Arts and Culture Committee last year plans to take up the issue in the House.

Congress Councillor, Ms Satinder Dhawan had only yesterday thrown open the city club in Sector 8 community centre to members and other residents of the sector and nearby areas. The club, which is located near the Sector 8 market, was re-opened after a gap of five years following rennovation and furnishing of the same by Ms Dhawan from her ward development fund.

It may be recalled that only three months ago, BJP councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi had in a similar way thrown open a library room in Sector 47 community centre to the public, but the same was strongly opposed by another fellow BJP councillor, Mr R.L Arora, who, in his capacity as the chairman of the then Arts and Culture Committee, had written a letter to the MC Commissioner to inquire as to how the same could be inaugurated by the Area Councillor without seeking necessary permission from the Arts and Culture Committee. According to rules, it is essential to seek permission for such inaugurations from the said committee. Now once again the Congress councillor has done the inauguration without any such permission.

BJP Councillor, Ranjana Shahi, when contacted said that she had also got a library room constructed in Sector 47 community centre from her ward development fund and had asked MC to hold a function to inaugurate the same, but the same was denied and eventually the room was thrown open at a simple function organised by the residents of the area. She is all for any such facility which is meant for the general public and feels that the councillor concerned should definitely make all possible efforts to make the same functional. But she is hassled by the fact that those who raised a hue and cry then and cited rules are now keeping quiet. Even Congress councillor, Mrs Kamlesh, had opposed the same by personally visiting the centre.

Interestingly, at the inauguration of the city club yesterday by Mrs Dhawan, senior MC officials including the Commisioner, Mr M.P. Singh and Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, were present. One wonders how permission in this case was granted and if not, then why no inquiry was being sought this time.

Mr R.L. Arora , however maintains that he had never raised any issue, he simply wanted to know if permission was sought by Ms Shahi from the Arts and Culture Committee or the Commissioner before inaugurating the same. And now that there is no such sub-committee, Mrs Dhawan ought to have sought the approval of the F and CC or the House before inaugurating the same, he adds. He plans to take up the matter in one of the forthcoming meetings of the House for proper clarification and decision. .

Ms Satinder Dhawan, on her part, says, “I have not inaugurated any community centre, I have simply thrown open the city club, functioning from the premises.’’ Moreover, the function was also organised by the members of the club and the residents of the Sector from their money and since the club has been renovated and furnished by Ms Dhawan by spending Rs 3 lakh from her ward development fund, she was asked by the club members to inaugurate the same. the members had called the officials also, so that they could hear the problems being faced by them on various fronts, but had nothing to do with the organisation of the function.

Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, when contacted said that no official function was organised at the venue, it was simply an informal get-together, organised by the Resident Welfare Association of the Sector to tell the members that the club was finally ready for use after the rennovation. He pointed out that the Arts and Culture Committee, last year had decided that the Residents Welfare Association or the club members could hold any such informal meeting free of cost in the premises.

The members had sought a formal permission, but since there is no such provision, we had simply assured them that if they had more than 100 members, they would shortly provide them with some more facilities, such as for tennis and swimming. The club has nearly 150 members, the largest in any community centre so far and the officials went there to motivate them to add to these numbers and listen to their problems, he added.


Kerala food festival a big draw
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 25
For the second consecutive year, the Kerala food festival, organised by the Malayalee Samajam, a socio-cultural organisation of Keralites of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula, at community centre in Phase 3B 1 here was a hit with the local crowd. Throughout the day people thronged the venue to taste mouth-watering dishes of Kerala.

To add more spice and flavour to the dishes, the organisers have invited a team of trained cooks from Kerala. This year two new dishes, Malabar Porotta and Veg Kuruma, were introduced. Mr PK Abdul Kareem, secretary of the samajam, said: “Learning from last year’s festival, this time we have prepared enough quantity to last for the day”. The whole show was managed by around 120 members of the community, he said.

Using the concept of food festival to market Kerala, the organisers provided opportunity for the visitors to taste a variety of cuisines and learn cooking of at least 17 dishes of the state. For the awareness of the visitors, there was a stall displaying various ingredients used in preparation of different cuisines. The organisers had specially brought items like murukka, kozhalappam, halwa, chips made from banana, tapioca, jackfruit and namkeen.

Under the supervision of the experts, several members of the samajam were asked to cook dishes for the festival which they were allowed to sell on a no-profit-no-loss basis. Mr Karim said there were more dishes than idli, dosa, vada sambar, generally known to the people in North. The festival, he said, was organised to provided an insight into the art, culture and beauty of Kerala. Earlier the festival was inaugurated by Mr P.K. Verma, Vice-President of Punjab Tractors Limited.

The Malayalee Samajam in a short span of three years has organised several development programmes. A drawing and painting workshop to train children in water colours and sketching, a seminar on personal taxation, workshop on career guidance, music and dance classes events have been organised by the organisation in the past.


CHB residents’ plea to Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The CHB Residents’ Federation, a body of 33 residents welfare associations, has again urged the Chandigarh Administration to delink the clause of additions and alterations from the ownership rights to the general power of attorney (GPA) holders of the Chandigarh Housing Board flats in the proposed transfer policy.

The demand was raised at the general body meeting of the federation, organised by the Residents Welfare Association of MIG Flats, Sector 39. The meeting also demanded minimum conversion charges on the PUDA pattern.

Early regularisation of the need-based additions and alterations with enhancement in the covered area, charging of stamp duty at the time of registration on the original price of flats instead of the market price were the other demands raised at the meeting.


Mela to promote entrepreneurs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
About 70 women entrepreneurs are taking part in a three-day Can mela which opened at Lajpat Rai Bhavan here today under the auspices of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for Women, Canara Bank.

The mela, which was inaugurated by Mr K. Raghunath, General Manager, Canara Bank, aims at providing marketing support to women entrepreneurs by providing them with a common forum for interaction, display and sale of goods produced by them. Mr Raghunath highlighted the role played by the bank in the development of rural as well as urban women entrepreneurs. He laid emphasis on the need for attitudinal change of society towards women. A cultural programme was also presented.

The items on display include jams, squashes, pickles, chocolates, paintings, mural miniatures, wax models, decorative lights, fancy candles and candle stands, cut flowers, leather purses, linen, cushions, bedcovers, aprons, gloves and table mats.


‘Reconsider compensation’
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 25
Residents of Manauli and Sohana villages have threatened to go to court if the Punjab Government does not remove the disparity in the compensation rates being awarded for the acquisition of their land under a housing scheme for the five new sectors of the town, according to Mr Baldev Singh, sarpanch of the village, and other villagers, here today.

They said as per an amendment to the Financial Commissioner’s standing order relating to the acquisition of land, Section 15 (A) of the Act, before announcing the awards the state government had powers to examine cases where it considered that any irregularity or illegality by the Land Acquisition Collector could lead to announcement of an award for a substantially higher amount.

The disparity in the land rates was also in violation of a Punjab and Haryana High Court order. Mr Balwinder Singh, another villager, said a number of representations in this regard were pending with the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, and the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development. They said the areas of Mauli Baidwan village, near the commercial and industrial area, had been ignored by the District Land Fixation Committee.


250 participate in Darpan-2001
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
As many as 250 members from different Lions Clubs of the region participated in the regional conference, Darpan-2001, which concluded at Bal Bhavan, Sector 23, today. The oustanding Lions Clubs and individuals were awarded prizes for their contribution in the service of humanity at the annual prize distribution function.

The chief guest, District Governor N.K Grover applauded the activities undertaken by the clubs in the region. Mr Dinesh Sood, Vice District Governor, highlighted the role of the Lions Clubs in the uplift of the poor and the downtrodden. The past district governors shared their experiences with the audience. A souvenir highlighting the club activities during the year was released by Dr Grover.

Mass marriages of 21 poor girls by the Lions Club Chandigarh Plaza and the Old Age Home managed by the Lions Club Chandigarh Central were declared the best project for 2000-2001. The extension award was bagged by the Lions Club Chandigarh Central for sponsoring two new clubs.

While Ms Sushma Malhotra, President of the Lions Club Chandigarh Nightingale, was adjudged the best president of categories A and B, Mr B.B. Sethi, President, Lions Club Chandigarh Lotus, was declared the best president in the category C. Mr Varinder Gulati was awarded for being the best secretary in the categories A and B. While Arun Bala Vij, LCC Nightingale, was adjudged the best treasurer in the categories A and B,. Mr P.C. Goyal, Treasurer, LCC Classic, was declared the best treasurer in the category C.

Harwant Gill from the Lions Club Chandigarh Nightingale was given the MJF award. She is the first MJF of Lionistic year 2000-2001 of District 321-F. She has also donated Rs 20,000 towards Gujarat relief fund. The Lions Club Chandigarh Central has contributed Rs 1 lakh.

The guest of honour, Mr D.K. Sood, awarded the second best president award in the categories A and B to Mr Bhaskar Arya, President, Lions Club Chandigarh Plaza. The other prizes given by him were the second best president award in the category C to Mr S.P Kaila, President, Lions Club Chandigarh, Mani Majra. The second best Secretary in the categories A and B was Mr S.K. Gupta, Secretary, LCC Host. While Mr Sudarshan Goyal, LCC Plaza, was adjudged the second best treasurer in the categories A and B, Mr B.S. Mann, Secretary, Lions Club Mohali Daffodil, was declared the second best Secretary in the category C.

The Bal Vidya Mandir run by the LCC Central and the Deaf and Dumb School run by the LCC Host were given appreciation awards for undertaking literacy programme in the district. The Lions Club Chandigarh Plaza was given a prize for adopting seven TB patients as part of the TB prevention and cure programme. The Lions Club Chandigarh Central and the Lions Club Chandigarh Nightingale were awarded awards for organising eye check-up and operation camps and a seminar on eye donation.

The other appreciation awards were bagged by Ashwani Sharma, zonal chairman 1; Sublesh Bansal, zonal chairperson 2; Manmohan Singh Walia, zonal chairman 3; R.K. Sharma, regional secretary, and Sushil Goyal, regional PRO. The other PRO awards were bagged by the Lions Club Chandigarh Nightingale (1); the Lions Club Chandigarh Plaza (2) and the Lions Club Chandigarh Host (3).

However, special appreciation awards for president, secretary and treasurer were not kept in the competition since they happen to be from the home club of the regional chairman, Rajinder Bansal. The awards were bagged by Sanjeev Gupta for president, Sanjay Sardana for secretary and Vinod Chaudhary for treasurer, all from the Lions Club Chandigarh Central.


Another carcass found in town
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 25
Within a week of the death of seven cows in the town, carcass of a another cow was found in Phase XI here today. Though the cause of death of the stray cow is yet to be ascertained, officials of the local administration fear that it might have died of poisoning. They do not suspect any foul play in the death of the animal.

The Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), Mr Jai Pal Singh, said he had directed officials of the Municipal Council to get a post-mortem done on the carcass. According to reports, the post-mortem could not be done in the veterinary hospital of Kumbhra village due to non-availability of the doctor.

Ms Paramjit Kaur, a councillor of the area, said the cow was found dead near the government school and officials had been immediately informed about it. Mr Manjit Sethi, a councillor, demanded that the cause of these deaths should be verified.

When carcasses of seven cows were found in Phase X market on March 17, a team of veterinary doctors had been rushed from Ropar to conduct the post-mortem, the report of which is still awaited. Earlier, these carcasses had been dumped without conducting the autopsy.


Fire in forest area
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 25
A minor fire reportedly destroyed vegetation over two acres of the Bir Dandrala forest area, 1 km from here, today.

Sources said that the fire broke out at about 12 noon and destroyed small plants and shrubs in the forest. Firemen overcome the flames after over two hours.

The cause of fire and loss of property could not be ascertained immediately.


Shobha yatra taken out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
A colourful shobha yatra was taken out here today on the occasion of Palki Utsav, organised by the Shirdi Sai Samaj.

Devotees assembled in front of the Shirdi Sai temple in Sector 29 where “mangal snan” was performed. Later, a procession passed various parts of the city, including Sectors 29,28,20,19,18, Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, Sector 7, Panchkula, before culminating at the temple. The Palki Utsav is organised on the eve of the navratras, organisers said.


A case for Apartment Act

Chandigarh was planned for a limited population but with the passage of time its population has touched nearly one million with the additional dependence on the satellite towns of Mohali, Panchkula and other adjoining areas. The very high cost of land and construction has resulted in high rentals and in the absence of significant and practical rules, frequent fragmentation is giving birth to architectural violations.

It is almost impossible for an individual, trader or professional, to own even 100 sq yards of land in the city. It will cost Rs 1 crore or more to own a commercial property. Almost 80 per cent of the commercial and residential buildings are without completion certificates and over 50 per cent of the residential and commercial buildings have been resumed, with thousands of cases pending in courts. It shows that either most of the building-owners in Chandigarh are violators of the law or there is a fault with the system.

The first and the foremost requirement is an Apartment Act which shall cater to the needs of every section of society. There are small-time traders, technicians, mechanics, a large number of professionals who require small shops, offices and chambers at an affordable price or rent. Similarly the residents require independent floors and apartments instead of the present unaffordable three-stroey independent buildings. The concept of apartments has been adopted by the neighbouring Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi states. The concept of shopping plazas, arcades and offices with escalators can be introduced.

The Punjab and Delhi Apartment Act should be extended to Chandigarh without any distortion and keeping its socio-legal spirit alive.


Safety saves

The roads of Chandigarh are not as safe as these used to be in the past. Hardly a day passes without an accident in one part of the city or the other. The reasons are many — an ever-increasing number of vehicles on the roads, lack of traffic sense, driving by untrained and underage children, rash driving, bad roads, drunken driving, and so on.

A recent accident has claimed two young schoolboys. How the accident occurred is not as important as the point who allowed these underage boys to drive the scooter? Clearly, they were not mature enough to be permitted to drive a scooter.

This should serve as a lesson for the parents. They must not permit their children to drive a vehicle unless they are adequately trained, have attained adulthood, and obtained a driving licence. If the parents are not strict in this regard, we will continue to witness such tragic incidents frequently.


A student’s lament

I am a student of Class IX. The day I heard the news about some political leaders, government officers, and bureaucrats taking bribe, I had my history paper. The whole day I read about how our leaders fought for the freedom of India, sacrificing their lives for the future citizens of India. But, at night as I switched on the TV, I learnt about the bribery. The first thing that came to my mind was: ‘‘Is this why those great men gave their lives?’’ I felt ashamed of the leaders who were selling the freedom of the country. If this continues, India may have to go through another freedom struggle.

Maybe these leaders will realise the value of the country. Maybe, they will realise that if they had done something for the country, the people would have respected them and the sacrifices of our ancestors would not have gone waste. But, all that these politicians have been doing is to make stories and point accusing fingers at one another. They forget that their political parties are not the divisions of the people in India. They are behaving as if the others belong to another country. I was told that they were our leaders and they would frame our future. If this is the kind of future they plan to give me, I would rather have no future. Let our leaders do something for the country’s good and not just keep filling their own coffers. Let them do something to tackle the existing problems, instead of creating new ones. India already has a lot to worry about.




The Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, wore an altogether different look during the week that went by. While in the day time, the OPD block B had the usual hustle and bustle of visiting patients, after the working hours, the place came alive with young undergraduate medicos, as many as 850, competing in various competitions including chess, table tennis and other fun games.

The highlight of Euphoria-2001 however was the lively `zinda dil’ performance by Punjabi pop singer Gurdas Mann and medi-cricket in which the youngsters participated with full gusto. And for the two men behind the show, Prof SBS Mann, Director Principal, and Prof Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent , who is also the chairman of the organising committee of the function, it was a truly satisfying experience. After all it is only once in a while you see so much of fun and frolic in a profession, which always means serious business!

“Challan” time

Calling the Chandigarh Traffic Police as “Challan” Police will not be a misnomer. Whenever a tragedy strikes the city, the traffic cops are ready with the challan books to challan the traffic rule offenders. The latest instance is the tragic death of two youngsters in a road accident in Sector 38 the other day.

Although Sentinel thinks that challaning is one of the deterrents to “force” the youngsters to wearing helmets, yet a better way would be to educate them about the traffic rules. Anyway when was the last awareness camp conducted by the Chandigarh police?

But the problem is too complicated in the VIP city and all concerned — the school authorities, the police and the parents — should put their heads together so that such a tragedy does not happen again.

Badal at his best

The annual function organised by the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi last week was truly a day dedicated to Punjabiat. Adorning the award distribution function were Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann and film star Raj Babbar. The best part of the show was the element of humour in it. The whole evening progressed in a very light fashion, with everyone — from the stars to the Punjab Chief Minister — putting their best element forward. Mr Badal was particularly in a good mood, and kept narrating interesting anecdotes from his life. Himself striking a satire on politics, he said, pointing towards Award winners Gurdas Mann and Shobha Koser: “You are great artists and we are all proud of you. But we are no less. Our field requires the best artistic talent.”

Thanks to the good mood of the CM who was the chief guest for the evening, the Sangeet Natak Akademi will have a grant of Rs 5 lakh by the first week of April.

Amritsari delicacy

Ever since the Amritsari food festival organised at the Lake cafeteria by CITCO ended, people have been asking if such a festival would be held again in the near future. For all those who treated themselves to the kulcha chollas, firni and puri bhaji of the real Amritsari Hall Bazaar flavour, there is some real good news.

With the Kalagram restaurant opening for the public from March 22, Amritsari food will now be available at all times. And there will be no compromise on the quality. The interesting fact is that the Amritsari delight will be prepared at Kalagram restaurant by chefs from CITCO hotels who have been especially trained at Amritsar dhabas to make this venture a success.

Phari wallas

“Under the table” deals with officials of the Estate Office, Panchkula, is what is allegedly keeping the business of numerous phari and rehri wallas in Panchkula thriving.

The fact came to light after the Estate Office Staff came to the Sector 4 Market in Panchkula and after impounding all such rehris, destroyed the temporary structures operating from the pavements and took away the material with them. After the operation clean-up, none of the rehri wallas seemed perturbed. When a concerned bystander tried to express his sympathies with the “poor and harassed” vegetable vendors, he was shocked to know that they could get all their belongings back by shelling out a meagre Rs. 250 to the official concerned. The actual penalty is, however, Rs. 1200.

What a cool way to enforce law, without adding to the government exchequer! The estate office and the rehriwallahs gain in the bargain, but the loss is only of the state government and the poor public as the encroachment goes unabated.

Urdu weekly

The connosieurs of Urdu language in the city can now look forward to reading the news in their favourite language. The newspaper, AL- FAJR, will represent the various social, cultural, political, business and sports activities from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The first edition of the newspaper was distributed amongst Urdu lovers in the city recently. The edition of the newspaper comes out every Sunday.

According to the Editor and Proprietor of the newspaper, Ms. Gulshan Mufti, the main object of the weekly is to promote the language in the region.

From Israel

It is, indeed, heart warming to see the respect people from abroad have for our great leaders. Mr David Aphek, the Israeli Ambassador to India, recently on a visit to the city, while speaking at a session at the CII said even his countrymen had a great regard for Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. Biographies of these great men were available in his country which many people read and appreciated.

After all, it is about great Indian minds and culture. Drawing comparison between the two countries, he said India and Israel were like lovers who were meeting after a long absence and hence were eager to bridge the gap between them. India and Israel have many similarities which would help develop mutual understanding in developing their relationship, he said. In the end, Mr Aphek did not let the appreciative audience down and concluded his speech with “Jai Hind”.

Farmers’ sojourn

Chandigarh turned out to be Paris for hundreds of farmers of various kisan unions, who happened to be in the city for a dharna at Matka Chowk. Many of them had a chance to stay at the abandoned Plaza Hotel and enjoyed bathing in the open at Zakir Hussain Rose Garden.

Despite the fact that they had not been provided with medical facility and were deprived from the public utility services, majority of the farmer activists, were unhappy at the prospect of having to go back at the end day of their agitation.

Kerala food fest

For the Keralites pallet is the best way to reach the heart of Punjabis. After getting encouraging response during a Kerela food festival organised last year, the Malayalee Samajam on a no profit basis is again organising the food fest in SAS Nagar on Sunday.

A unique aspect of the fest is that the local Keralites pool in resources and prepare the dishes at their homes.

This time, however, special cooks are coming from Kerala to prepare the mouth-watering dishes.

BSNL bills

With the financial year coming to a close, BSNL has dug out outstanding bills, some as old as eight years, and sent recovery notices to the subscribers. Nothing wrong with that. But the tone and tenor of the notices, to say the least, is intemperate.

Besides immediate disconnection, the subscriber has been threatened with: (a) lodging of an FIR for legal action. (b) referring the case to the revenue authorities — for being defaulters of government dues. An ultimatum has been given to pay the bills failing which the above threats will be set in motion.

This type of attitude towards clients will certainly do little good to either the goodwill of BSNL or its business, more so when many private companies have entered the telecom field, offering prompt and efficient service. — Sentinel


Woman crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
A 27-year-old woman was crushed to death by a speeding truck near the railway station here this afternoon. The police has arrested the truck driver, Amrit Pal and impounded his truck.

According to information available, the deceased, Kalondi, was pillion riding a moped (CH-01K-2613) with her husband, Subramanium. At around 1 p.m., while the couple was driving near the Garcha chowk, a truck, (PIB- 5654) being driven by Amrit Pal, a resident of Chaheri village near Ropar, that was following the moped, hit it from behind. The woman was crushed under the front wheel of the truck , while Subramanium was thrown off the moped on the other side of the road.

The couple was rushed to the Sector 32 Government College and Hospital, where the woman was declared as brought dead. The driver of the truck has also been booked under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.


A 25-year-old man, antagonised at finding out about his wife's illicit relations, was found hanging in the Sector 29 market toilet this morning. Sushil Kumar, who had been married to a resident of Parwanoo, was found hanging in the toilet at around 7 a.m. The police has also found a suicide note from his possession in which he has stated that he was taking his life as his wife was having illicit relations.

4 thefts reported

Four cases of theft have been reported in the city in the past 24 hours. A woman, Ranjana, was caught redhanded while stealing a wrist watch and Rs 700 cash from a shop-cum-office in Sector 19. A case under Sections 380 and 411 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Mr Lakhwinder Singh.

In another incident, a Maruti car (CH-01Y-7725) was stolen from outside a house in Sector 42 A yesterday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Mr. Amandeep Singh.

Manjit Singh, a resident of Sector 38, has been accused of stealing a water tap from Sector 22 on the intervening night of March 22 and 23. He was later arrested from Sector 23 market yesterday morning. The police has booked him under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Two women, Meena and Roopa, have been accused of stealing three shuttering plates each, from Kala Gram at around 6.20 a.m. on Saturday morning. The watchman, Mr Ram Kumar, complained against them and the two have been arrested under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. The stolen goods were also recovered from their possession.

Two injured

A pedestrian, Ms Amandeep Cheema, was hit by an unidentified car near RK Mandi, Sector 18 on the night of March 23. While, the driver of the car fled from the spot, the victim was admitted to the PGI.

Another unknown cyclist, 12 years of age, was injured when he was hit by a Maruti car (HR-01F-6795) near the Sector 29/30/31/32 chowk on March 20. He has been admitted to the PGI, where he is till undergoing treatment and is unconscious. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the diver of the car, Mr Thankraj M.K.


IBP campaign on petro products ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The special campaign of IBP Company Limited to make consumers aware about their rights while purchasing petroleum products concluded today.

According to a press note, the consumers were given demonstration about making judgement of quality and quantity checks during the campaign which started on March 12. Lucky coupons were distributed among the customers who purchased lubricants.

Today, prizes comprising 10 gram gold coin(first prize), stereo (second prize) and camera (third prize), besides 10 consolation prizes, were also distributed. Senior officials of the company, including Mr N.M. Sharma, Mr S.P. Raj and Mr G.R. Khurana, were present on the occasion.

At the IBP Auto Service, Sector 33, coupon number 5107 won the first prize and coupon number 5215 the second prize. The third prize went to coupon number 5134. Similalrly at the company’s service station in Sector 43, coupon number 15057 and 15054 won the first and second prizes, respectively. The third prize was bagged by coupon number 15081.

At the service station in Sector 52, coupon number 10217 bagged the first prize. Coupon number 10171 and 10003 got the second and the third prizes, respectively.

At the IBP-42 petrol station, the customers were also given demonstration of highly-sophisticated “Italian fuel dispensing system”, which is the first of its kind in the city.

The company has also launched the “online credit card” facility at this petrol station.

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