Thursday, May 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



St Kabir bags top 4 positions in ICSE Class X exams
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, May 23
The first three positions in the Class X examinations of the Indian Council of Secondary Education have gone to boys. Even in the Class XII examinations, boys have done better than girls in the commerce stream.

In the medical and non-medical streams, however, top slots have gone to girls. The pass percentage, too, has improved. Not even a single student has failed in five out of eight schools that are affiliated to the ICSE here. The topper has got 95.16 per cent marks. The student who has stood second, has lost the first position by only 0.33 per cent marks.

For the fourth year in a row, all Class X toppers are of the Sector 26 St Kabir Public School. Out of over 80 students who had taken the examinations this year, 16 got more than 90 per cent marks.

The toppers among the 842 students who had taken the ICSE Class X examinations in the city and its surrounding areas have opted for non-medical streams. Most of them want to study in the IITs and become software professionals. Some of them want to be civil servants afterwards. None of them was interested in taking up arts. “It is boring and there is no future,” they say.

The topper this year is 15-year-old Saurabh Garg of Sector 7, son of a mathematics lecturer. He is followed by Supreet Singh Bagha. The third position has gone to Anil Sofat who has got 94.16 per cent marks. There is a tie for the fourth position. Sneha Arora of St Kabir Public School and Ambri Pukhraj of Yadavindra Public School have received 93.33 per cent marks each.

Yadavindra Public School of SAS Nagar had 126 candidates for the examination, all of whom have been able to clear it. The topper of the school, Ambri Pukhraj, is followed by Anurag Singla who has got 93.16 per cent marks. The third position has gone to Divyanshu Sachdeva who has received 93.16 per cent marks. The fourth and fifth positions have gone to Ramandeep Kaur (93 per cent marks) and Harpreet Singh Grewal (91.5 per cent), respectively.

Tender Heart School of Sector 33 had 16 candidates for the examination. Mandeep Sehgal is the topper of the school with 89.7 per cent marks, followed by Nonita Prashar with 84.3 per cent marks and Nidhi with 81.2 per cent marks. Rohan with 80.8 per cent marks and Ishit with 80.7 per cent marks have stood fourth and fifth in the school, respectively.

St Joseph’s Convent School had 80 candidates for the examination, out of which eight have more than 90 per cent marks. Amanjot Singh it the topper of the school with 93.05 per cent marks. The second position has gone to Jatin Arora who has 91.33 per cent marks. He is followed by Neha Sharma with 90.83 per cent marks, Surbhi Mehta with 90.83 per cent marks and Gautam Mehra with 90.05 per cent marks.

Panchkula’s Little Flower Convent had 47 candidates for the examination. Smriti Kataria has stood first in the school with 91.07 per cent marks, followed by Tanvi Gupta with 91.07 per cent marks. Manpreet Charan is third position with 90.08 per cent marks and Radhika Manocha is fourth with 89.07 per cent marks. The fifth position goes to Shivam Goel who has 87.07 per cent marks.

The Sector 45 St Stephen’s School here had 179 canditates for the examination, out of which, 177 have got first divisions and two have got second divisions. About 55 students of the school have got more than 80 per cent marks and five students have received more than 90 per cent marks.

Shveta Gupta is on top in the school with 92 per cent marks, followed by Sahil Jain with 92 per cent marks, and Satinder Pal Singh with 90 per cent marks. Nikhil Batra is fourth with 90 per cent marks and Harshvir Singh is fifth with 90 per cent marks.

St Xavier’s School had 306 candidates for the examination, out of which, 293 have passed. Sai Pooja is first in the school with 92.8 per cent marks and the second position goes to Loveleen Kaur who has 92.6 per cent marks.

Seven students of Minerva Public School of Doan in the Ropar district had taken the examination, out of which, four have passed the test. There was no candidate for the examination from DAV School at Dera Bassi.

The results of the board’s Class XII examinations were also declared here today. Only three schools affiliated to the ICSE here have Class XII students. In the non-medical stream, Sharan Bains is the topper of Yadavindra Public School with 83.20 per cent marks. Puneet Sandhu is the school topper in the medical stream with 81.40 per cent marks. In the commerce stream, Gagandeep Singh Sahni is the school topper with 78.40 per cent marks.

Among the 12 Class XII commerce students of St Stephen’s School, Shilpi Garg has topped with 77 percent marks. The second position has gone to Meenal Thakur who has 76 per cent marks.

Among the candidates of St Xavier’s School, Suhani P. Kumar has topped with 78.6 per cent marks in the medical stream. Sandeep K. Ravala has got the second position with 76.6 per cent marks. In the commerce stream, Mehak Jonjua has got 73 per cent marks and Sahara Khanna is second with 68.4 per cent marks. Swati Sharma has topped in the school with 65.4 per cent marks in the non-medical stream.

The ICSE Class X topper, Saurabh Garg, said being regular in studies had brought him success. His used to follow a rigorous nine-hour study schedule everyday. He said he has a good concentration and clear objectives in life. He said he wanted to be in the IIT and become a software engineer. “That is where the money is. An IAS officer has administrative powers, but little money,” he said.

Amarjot Bhullar of St Joseph’s School, said, “I used to study for 10 hours a day. I would like to be in an IIT and the IAS afterwards.”

The Principal of St Kabir Public School, Mr J.P. Singh, said he was proud that four top positions had gone to his school. Besides, 16 of his students have got more than 90 per cent marks. He said, “It is the hard work put in by teachers and these students which has brought this honour to the institution.”


Cost of CHB flats doubles in five years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The prices of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) middle income group (MIG) flats have seen an almost 100 per cent increase in the past five years, though the covered area for each flat is same what was five years ago.

Interestingly , the cost of the three main components of the home construction — cement, steel and bricks — has not doubled in this period. But the cost of land allotted to the CHB by the Chandigarh Administration has gone up by nearly 300 per cent. The cost of labour has also increased, but has not doubled.

The recently advertised each MIG flat in Sector 51-A will cost Rs 10. 84 lakh to the allottee whose covered area is just 874 feet.

When compared to the flats in Sector 61 (Kajheri), the cost is more than double. In 1996 the CHB advertised that 504 dwelling units would be built and the cost was pegged at Rs 4.90 lakh for a dwelling unit having a covered area of 896 sq feet.

One of the major factors for the price increase is the increase in the prices of land.

The Chandigarh Administration had allotted land at the rate of Rs 750 per square yard. For the latest project the land has been allotted at Rs 2,500 per sq yard.

Sources in the construction sector say bricks cost between Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,500 per 1000 compared to Rs 1,300 about five years ago. The cost of cement is about Rs 160 per bag up from the Rs 100 to Rs 105 about five years ago.

Each metric tonne of steel costs between Rs 14,000 and Rs 16,000 depending on the thickness. Five years ago the prices were between Rs 11,000 and Rs 12,000.

The cost of labour has risen from Rs 75 per day for unskilled worker to Rs 100 and in case of skilled workers like masons the daily wage is up from about Rs 150 to Rs 250.

Sources attribute the reason for such a hike to the delay which occurs in these projects. Also the cost of development has to be incorporated. This includes laying of sewerage and storm water lines, water supply lines, roads and erection of streetlights, besides making provision for distribution of power supply.



Tribune survey

Zooming up the hills, hobby classes

Adventurous-cum-pilgrimage trips, hobby classes, vocational courses and entrance tests are the main vacational choices for both students and their teachers in Punjab.

From May 14 to 16, all flights to Bangalore were heavily booked by students taking entrances tests for admission to various professional courses in South Indian institutes. Even though most of the entrance tests are over, some students, especially of the plus 2 class and also those seeking admission to professional courses like MBBS, BDS, LLB, MBA and BEd will still remain busy for most part of the rest of their summer vacation the dates for some of these entrance tests are yet to be notified.

Academic compulsions apart, most of the college and university students in Punjab have planned trips to nearby hill stations. The focus is on group travel to places of religious interest.

For example, the rush for Vaishno Devi, Amarnath in Kashmir, and Hemkunt Sahib has started. Not only that, there is a long and unending queue of enterprising young men who want to go to Leh on mobikes. All flights of Indian Airlines to Leh, both from here and New Delhi, have been booked until the middle of July. Jet Airways, which proposes to introduce a daily flight on the Delhi-Leh sector from June 15, has adequate booking till the end of June.

“There is a heavy rush for almost all destinations,” says Mr B.P. Nautiyal, Station Manager, Indian Airlines, here. He said the rush of students going for entrance tests was almost over now.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, who represents Jet Airways here, says that besides air bookings, the demand for special holiday packages for various destinations, including western and southern India, is heavy.

For students, especially those in their early 20s, the programmes for the summer vacation include adventure trips. They plan to visit nearby hill stations on their two-wheelers or in four-wheelers. The favourite destinations, as in previous years, are Leh, Manali, Khardung La, the Rohtang Pass, Kufri and Narkanda, and also Kasauli, Chail and Dalhousie for shorter trips.

Those who have no fascination to travel are joining professional courses, mostly in computers, while a few others will try their hand at sports, especially swimming, besides yoga classes. For girls, courses relating to bridal make-up, hair dressing, music, dancing, cooking, housekeeping and interior design have been the major attractions.

The Tribune undertook a random survey to find out how youngsters want to spend their vacation. Here are the findings:

In Amritsar, the Principal of DAV Public School, Mrs V. Puri, feels that children should get involved in various activities to hone their skills in cocurricular activities during the summer holidays.

The school has planned three excursion-cum-study tours to the South for 15 days and also to Mussoorie as well as Manali. The response to these trips has been overwhelming with about 200 students getting enrolled. The school will organise a special workshop on theatre and drama besides starting vocational courses in computers, fine arts, dance and cooking.

Springdale Senior School has planned special yoga camps for boys and girls to tackle obesity and asthma. The Principal, Mrs Manveen Sandhu, says that children should be physically healthy to face the hard life ahead. A number of students have already enrolled themselves for these camps. Mrs Sandhu says that the institution is also organising specially designed short-term courses in art and craft, computers, writing and reciting poetry and public speaking.

Government schools in Amritsar have limited choices to offer as these are not fully equipped to provide new vocational and short-term courses due to the lack of resources.

The Principal of a government senior secondary school for Girls, preferring anonymity, says that though she is keen in introducing meaningful courses, including those in embroidery and even computers, it is not possible due to policy constraints. Students, especially those from the medical and non-medical streams in the +1 and +2 classes, are busy preparing for their competitive examinations and are unlikely to take even a few days off.

Some of the enterprising school principals have opted for swimming, dancing and other hobby classes for students. These institutions are charging between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 for 15 days to one month summer classes. A large number of students are also enrolling themselves in various cricket clubs and joining swimming classes besides badminton and table tennis clubs.

In Bathinda, the number of girls and women joining hobby classes during the summer vacation has been on the rise, says Ms Uma Chadha, a painting expert. She says she has started short and long-duration courses in painting as per the convenience of those who join her hobby classes.

Most of the boys said that they wanted to learn computers. A few of them wanted to learn how to swim but in Bathinda city they had been finding it difficult to do this as there was only one swimming pool.

Most of the college lecturers said that during the vacation they hardly got any time for their hobbies as they remained busy checking the answersheets of various examinations. Some of the lecturers even run coaching centres during the vacation. However, Mrs Raj Gupta, a lecturer in English at SSD Girls College, Bathinda, said that she would use her vacation to organise literacy classes, blood donation camps and an AIDS awareness programme. Joining hobby classes in painting, stitching, fashion designing, embroidery, dancing and music is becoming popular even among youth belonging to middle class families.

With Inputs from Prabhjot Singh (Chandigarh), Ashok Sethi (Amritsar) and Gayatri Rai (Bathinda).

To be concluded


‘Children should not be given corporal punishment’
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, May 23
Parvinder, a 10-year-old boy of Sarva Bharti Model Middle School, Manimajra, was brutally beaten up the school’s Principal for a mischief the boy reportedly committed during school hours. The boy was later hospitalised. The UT Administration did not take any action against the Principal because the school was not a recogonised school. However, Ms Padmini Dhiman, Principal, was booked by the police for illegal confinement and causing minor injuries to Parvinder.

Chandigarh Tribune spoke to a large number of city residents, including students today. They were of the view that children should not be subjected to corporal punishment. All of them were of the view that ‘softer’ punishment methods should be used by the school authorities to punish children and that, too, if necessary. They suggested that if punishment becomes necessary, the teacher should make the child stand for the whole period or not allow him to go out during the recess period.

Ms Rekha, a housewife said, ‘‘I am a mother and I cannot ever think of beating my children’’. Criticising the principal’s ‘‘brutal’’ beating, she said that beating a child means making him stubborn.

Ms Anupkiran, a teacher at the Shivalik Public School, SAS Nagar, was of the view that a Principal should be a ‘‘level-headed person’’. She said that there are other ways to make a child understand his mistake. ‘‘Beating a child will not solve any problem’’, said Ms Kiran. On being asked what else the Principal could have done to make Parvinder understand his mistake, she said: ‘‘If he had hit a fellow student, she (Principal) should have called a doctor and this would have had a deeper impact on Parvinder, and he would have understand his mistake’’.

Similar views were expressed by Ms Renu Chug, a teacher at St. Kabir School, Sector 26. ‘‘Beating makes children repulsive’’, said Ms Chug. She was of the opinion that instead of beating a child, teachers should be polite and loving. She said that by this way a child will not repeat mistakes.

Mr Atul Suri, a student said that the Principal’s beating Parvinder was nothing but ‘‘ridiculous’’. He demanded that the Administration should take necessary action against the Principal.

Similar were the views of Mr Rajinder Khosla, a PU employee. ‘‘Merely an FIR against the principal does not mean anything. Newspapers say that the boy was brutally beaten up, So the Administration too should take action against the Principal’’.

Mr Lalit Kumar, a student of Government Model School, Sector 32, was strictly against any corporal punishment. He was of the view that a teacher has hundreds of other ways to punish children who create problems.


Shanta defends sale of grain abroad
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, today defended the proposed policy of the Central Government regarding withdrawal of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) from procurement operations in the states.

Talking to reporters at the Haryana Tourism complex at Panchkula, the Union Minister said that only five states (including Haryana and Punjab) had infrastructure for procurement operations. He said the decentralisation of the procurement operations would enable the Central Government to save a lot of money which could be used for the benefit of the poorer sections. The decentralisation of procurement in West Bengal, UP and MP had saved Rs 141crore from the Union kitty in a single year, Mr Shanta Kumar said, adding that Rs 32,000 crore was spent by the Centre last year on the procurement of agricultural produce.

The Union Minister admitted there was no consensus among the states as yet on decentralisation, and added that a committee had been formed to go into the issue. The panel would urge the states to evolve a consensus on the proposed policy of the Central Government, he said.

On the reported rejection of Indian wheat by Iraq, because of its poor quality, Mr Shanta Kumar said he was not aware of all details of this affair as the produce was sent by a private party from Bombay port. He said a delegation had gone to Iraq to examine the matter.

He denied that foodgrains were being sold to other countries at low prices. These were being sold at the prices prevailing in the international market. “A sum of Rs 2200 is needed in one year for the storage of one tonne of grain, we are not selling grain at a subsidised rate. Rather, we are saving money by offering foodgrains to other countries at international prices”, he said.

Earlier, the Food Minister inaugurated the Antyodaya Anna Yojana in Haryana at a function at Aggarwal Bhavan at Panchkula by giving wheat to representatives of 19 poorest of the poor families. The function was also attended by the Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr Ananth Kumar, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and senior state government officials.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Shanta Kumar said that the Centre would consider Mr Chautala’s request to give free grain to the state for the food-for-work scheme. He said the Union Government was considering schemes such as food for water recharging and other similar projects.

While stating that the WTO threat to agriculture in India had been taken care of by imposing duties on sugar, wheat and rice, Mr Shanta Kumar claimed that in a recent report India was ranked seventh among the food exporting states. He said the target was to export 50 lakh tonnes of wheat and 30 lakh tonnes of sugar during the current year.

He, however, appealed to the farmers of Punjab and Haryana to herald the “yellow revolution” in agriculture by growing more pulses and oilseeds. “ Last year edible oil worth Rs 9,000 crore was imported by India,” Mr Shanta Kumar said. A group formed by the Central Government was also working on how to diversify agriculture, he said.

Mr Shanta Kumar said Haryana was the 13th state in the country to come under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana. The families concerned would be given 25 kg of wheat, or the same amount of rice at Rs 2 per kg and Rs 3 per kg, respectively, under the scheme, he said.

Mr Chautala urged the Union Minister to take steps for recharging the ground water in Haryana. Mr Chautala said 115 lakh tonnes of grains (more than 20 per cent of the total stock of foodgrains in the country) were at present stored in Haryana, and urged the Central Minister to speed up the movement of grains from the state.

Mr Ananth Kumar, who was a special guest at the function, inaugurated a website of the Food and Supplies Department of the state government.

Mr Dharam Vir, Financial Commissioner, Food and Supplies Department, said more than one lakh families of Haryana would gain from the Antyodaya Anna Yojana.


Dhawan seeks Mayor’s resignation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Serving a two-week ultimatum on the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, the president of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, today demanded the resignation of Mr Goyal if he failed the run the affairs of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) in an effective way.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Dhawan threatened to approach the UT Administrator for the dissolution of the civic body in case the proceedings of the corporation continued to be disrupted. He reiterated his demand that the elections to MCC should be held on ‘non-party’ basis so that the persons, who were really interested in the development of the city, were elected.

To warn the councillors against turning the MCC in a ‘political battlefield’, the manch would organise a ‘scooter rally’ on May 26, he said, adding the manch was not against the democratic institution but only wanted that it should work for the development of the city. He also demanded that the councillors should not paid any allowances for the past about five months since the House of the MCC had failed to transact any business.

Claiming ‘unprecedented support’ to his ongoing ‘jan jagran abhiyan’, Mr Dhawan said there was anger among the people towards the MCC and the Chandigarh Administration. Erratic water supply, power cuts, insanitary conditions and non-functional streetlights had caused resentment among people.

Demanding basic amenities for the houses outside the ‘lal dora’ , Mr Dhawan regretted that the administration had not taken ground realities into account while announcing amendments to the building bylaws. Similarly, notification allowing changes in the Chandigarh Housing Board flats left much to be desired.

Alleging irregularities into the issuing of yellow ration cards for the poorer sections of society, he demanded that a fresh survey should be undertaken so that the deserving persons were issued these ration cards.


Fire-fighting equipment inadequate in PGI
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
In the event of a possible fire, the PGI — the premier health institution in this part of the country — does not even have a complete or adequate fire-fighting equipment. And for thousands of patients, their relatives and attendants, the PGI buildings, could turn into infernos — virtual death traps. “None of the fire-safety measures installed in any of the PGI buildings is complete or even functional,” remarks a senior official of the UT Fire Department.

The list of these buildings also includes the state-of-the-art, new OPD of the hospital. PGI sources add that the building has been inaugurated and put to use without even getting the mandatory “no objection certificate” (NOC) from the Fire Department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

To top it all, the Engineering Department has installed transformer in the basement of the five-storey building without even taking necessary precautions to avert any accident. Incidentally, a transformer, as a strict safety measure, should be kept outside, at a safe distance from the building. If at all it has to be kept inside the basement, walls have to be treated with fire-resistant material besides other precautionary measures.

But then majority of the fire-safety measures in the PGI have been blatantly flouted or are incomplete. Most of the pipes of the hydrants from underground or overhead water tanks either leak or are not in a working order. At times there is also no hose or branches in the hydrants to throw water in the event of a fire, add sources.

It is learnt that safety measures like automatic fire and alarm detection system, public address system, illuminated exit way marking signs, alternative source of electric supply, fire lift with fireman switch are either incomplete or do not exist at all. ‘‘Even the emergency doors have been kept locked on the pretext of safety,’’ say the Fire Department officials.

Strangely, the PGI authorities have not taken an NOC for its other buildings as well, whether it is the Advanced Paediatric Centre (APC), research blocks, A and B, library building or the Nehru hospital. The institute has its own fire department headed by a competent trained person is the argument given by the PGI authorities. Sources, however, allege that the PGI fire officer himself is unaware of the nitty gritties of how the fire-fighting system has been installed. The Engineering Department has done most of the planning, or lack of it, add PGI sources, saying that only the fire exstinguishers are in working order.

Interestingly, the company which had been awarded the contract to install a fire-fighting system had backed out even before the APC was made operational four years ago. Sources add that a couple of days back, the APC basement was flooded when one of the hydrants broke down during maintenance work.

All this despite the fact that the PGI has witnessed fire incidents in the past. In 1984, a major fire had broken out on the fourth floor of the PGI library due to an electric short-circuit. Although no casualties were reported, many valuable books and journals were gutted in the fire.

While sources within the PGI reveal that the Engineering Department of the institute has spent crores of rupees on the installation of the fire-fighting equipment in the buildings, “most of these are useless as they have been installed either in wrong places, and in case of fire, they may not be of any use as at no stage, either during the planning or commissioning of the building, the PGI authorities had sought permission regarding installation of fire safety measures,” they add.

Hydrants, costing thousands of rupees, have been installed in residential and even in open areas, which is of little use in the new OPD, three sets have been put, without maintaining the required distance between them. Moreover, hydrants should be placed at least five metres away from the wall of the building. In Nehru hospital, these have been installed adjacent to the building. In the event of a fire, it would be virtually impossible to even use these, say the Fire Department officials.

Repeated requests to the PGI to take adequate fire safety measures have fallen on deaf ears. Officials of the UT Fire Department paid a surprise visit to the institute and in a letter addressed to the Director, PGI, on Wednesday apprised him of the fact that none of the fire-safety measures in the institute is functional. The letter further warns that in the event of a fire, the institute will be solely responsible. The Fire Department has also urged the PGI to complete its fire safety system as soon as possible. 


A dream come true for slum kids 
Jacob inaugurates Mermaid
Tribune News Service

The dream of 15 slum children came true with Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) releasing their mural painting on Chandigarh, at the inaugural function of CITCO’s restaurant, Mermaid, at Sukhna Lake on Wednesday.
The dream of 15 slum children came true with Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) releasing their mural painting on Chandigarh, at the inaugural function of CITCO’s restaurant, Mermaid, at Sukhna Lake on Wednesday.

Chandigarh, May 23
The inauguration of multi-cuisine restaurant at Sukhna Lake was saved from being a routine affair today. The razzmatazz of the inaugural function apart, what really caught the eye of those in the gathering was the 8” by 12” mural created by a group of 15 slum children over a period of about two months, which was the object of appreciation of UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

Today when the mural adorned the interiors of Mermaid, the new CITCO restaurant with an extended pub, the joy of slum children knew no bounds. And for reasons not far to seek. For the visitors, the mural capturing the spirit of City Beautiful might have been just another beautiful feature of the restaurant, but for the children who spent two laborious months doing the mural up, it was nothing less than a dream come true. Said Johnny: “We are very thankful to Ms Neeru Nanda who gave us this golden chance. Now that our effort has been recognised, we feel like working better.”

Zulfikar Khan, the member of Theatre Age, the group which trains these slum children, was equally contented with the effort and its reward. That these children would now form a part of the future CITCO projects was the major statement of the day which came from CITCO MD, Mr S.P. Singh, who mentioned: “This is just the beginning. We plan to associate them in our future endeavours. These children are very bright.”

As a gesture of love, the Administrator also presented a set of books to each child. CITCO also joined in by presenting Rs 11,000 which would go into the revolving fund of Theatre Age.

Coming back to the real occasion — the affair wound up well in time. He inaugurated the restaurant, which has been constructed at a cost of Rs 4 lakh (Rs 3 lakh on other works and Rs 1 lakh on furniture). Mermaid has a seating capacity of over 40 persons. The CITCO MD further informed that the toy train was to be shifted in the front portion, because of paucity of space at the back.

With the closed seating now, Sukhna will surely attract more tourists now. The quality of the place has further been enhanced by the stain glass paintings done up for Mermaid by Harvinder Kaur, a professional artist based at SAS Nagar. She has created glass paintings of anthuriums on the service windows in the open air restaurant, apart from some more in the pub. Another mural at the entrance to the Lake, executed by Narander Thakur, is equally arresting in appeal.

Also present on the occasion were Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, Finance Secretary Rakesh Singh, Chairman, CITCO, Mr G.K. Marwah, Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh and some other senior officers. 


SAS Nagar gets musical fountain
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 23
A musical fountain in the Neighbourhood Park in Sector 70 was inaugurated here today by Mrs Surinder Kaur Badal, Pro-Vice President of the Punjab branch of the Indian Red Cross Society.

Mrs Badal, who the chief guest and reached more than an hour late for the function, said Punjab had made big progress in the past four years. Large projects were being taken up by PUDA in various towns of the state. But not much was being done to develop small townships. She urged the PUDA authorities to develop small parks and eating joints in such areas also.

She said eight community centres with all facilities had been planned for SAS Nagar. Other development works had also been carried out in the town, but a proper environment on the Chandigarh pattern had also to be created. She wished that all towns in Punjab would be developed on the lines of Chandigarh.

Mrs Badal said that some type of ‘fun games” should also be introduced in SAS Nagar and more clubs opened as these were essential for the proper development of the residents.

She said Mr Parkash Singh Badal had a dream of making Punjab into California but it was unfortunate that he remained in power only for short periods earlier. It was only now that he could bring about overall development in the state. “Sangat darshan” was being organised to get to know the real difficulties being faced by the people of the state. He was bent upon to redressing all grievances of the people.

Mrs Upinderjit Kaur, Housing and Urban Development Minister, who presided over the function, said in a short time SAS Nagar would be made as beautiful as Chandigarh. About 1,350 acres had been acquired for five new sectors in the town. These would have 100-foot wide roads and a proper landscape. An 18-acre city park was being developed where an amphitheatre and a open-air theatre would be provided.

The Neighbourhood Park had been developed in 10 acres and Rs 70 lakh had been spent on developing it.

Mr Ranjit Singh Ballian, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, said the Thein Dam, which had been held up for the past 35 years, had been completed under the Badal government.

The new musical fountain is situated in a 15 metres by 10 metres water body. The park has tall trees along the boundary abutting the approach road to create a natural environment in the park, cutting off the sight of three/four-storeyed structures across the road.

Among those present were Mr A.K. Dubey, Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development-cum-Vice-Chairman, PUDA, and Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator, PUDA.


Sample Gaurav’s wit and Peeya’s charms
Divya Kaushik

Chandigarh, May 23
Channel V VJs are in the city and it seems everyone wants a piece of them! They interacted with students at the Sector 8 National Institute of Fashion Design. Gaurav and Peeya are here for the promotion of the Channel’s rock concert in the city on Saturday. After distributing free passes to everyone around, Gaurav mesmerised girls with his wit.

Neither of the two wanted to be a VJ. Peeya wanted to be a different sort of an artiste and Gaurav wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Peeya is still a student and wishes to join theatre after obtaining a degree in English literature. Her television debut was at the age of 17 in ‘Hip Hip Hurray’, a serial based on a school life. She had attended a 6-month acting workshop for that before reporting for the Channel V audition one day. Gaurav was picked up without an audition because he had already established himself in radio (Times FM) and theatre in Delhi.

When asked what did they like the best about their work, they said, “Meeting great persons.” Travel and parties don’t hurt them at all. Their shows, POV by Peeya and V Hotline by Gaurav, are interactive — the kind that appeals the most to teenagers. Those who phone in their video requests to Gaurav, get a free dose of his special brand of humour and Peeya gets to be a genie and an agony aunt to viewers.

They also have bad days. Peeya says, “One has to put one’s personal life aside.” Gaurav beats fatigue by being ever cheerful. One wonders what are these VJs paid for. Gaurav said, “For my looks and my legs.” Peeya says that it is her ‘girl next door’ appeal that makes her approachable and her show popular.

Their popularity is evident from the big crowd of students that turned up to meet them today. There were autographs and photographs galore between questions that were shot at them from all sides. For more than just a taste of their charm, check them out in action and in control at the concert.


Teaching music free of cost
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Minister for Education, Punjab, Mr Tota Singh, visited a unique music academy in the city, which has been teaching classical music, free of cost, to hundreds of people for the past six months. It is now planning to install 100 computers for imparting training in Information Technology.

Located in a private building in Sector 40-B, the academy is known as Sri Guru Ram Das Ji (free) Gurmat Sangeet Academy and is being run by three ragi brothers -- Bhai Balwinder Singh Rangila, Bhai Bhupinder Singh Rangila and Bhai Surinder Singh Rangila. The academy is funded by a part of the earnings of the three brothers from shabad kirtan performed by them at religious gatherings all over the region.

“We are spending about Rs 60,000 a month on the sangeet academy and we feel that at least a part of our earnings from singing praises of the guru is being spent properly”, said Bhai Bhupinder Singh Rangila while talking to TNS here today. “The doors of our academy are open to people belonging to all religions — Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians — there is no discrimination. And we sing wherever we are invited, be it a gurdwara or a temple. Only recently, we performed shabad kirtan at a Shiv temple in our area”.

Rangila brothers believe that Guru Nanak Dev’s divine gift of kirtan is for the welfare of the humanity. People who remain engaged in an unbridled race for worldly possessions throughout their lives can achieve spiritual solace by performing bhajan kirtan. It is hence their desire to train as many people as possible in kirtan.

Bhai Rangila says the academy began functioning only six months ago and it now has more than 600 students belonging to all age groups. He has no doubt that within a year, the number of students will become double. The students are given lessons in shabad kirtan as well as classical music.

The academy also organises weddings of girls belonging to weaker sections of the society. So far, it has organised the wedding of 45 girls. All expenditure is borne by the academy.

Bhai Rangila says that the academy will soon install computers so as to give training, free of cost, in IT to children from the weaker sections of the society.

The academy will soon apply for affiliation with a Kolkata-based music university. “Once we get the affiliation, we will be able to run recognised courses in vocal and instrumental music. The students clearing these courses will be able to apply for government jobs or start their own music centres”.


Income tax camp at Secretariat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Income Tax Department today decided to organise a camp at the Haryana Civil Secretariat on June 7 and 8 to guide the employees how to fill their income tax returns in Form 2-D.

A Haryana Government spokesman said the Income Tax Department had observed that a number of employees did not submit their income tax returns in time. He advised all the employees working in the Civil Secretariat to attend the camp. He urged the employees to bring with them the detail of their income drawn during the last financial year and any other documents required for the purpose. He said that the last date for filing the income tax returns was July 31.


Lake shramdan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Director-Principal of the GMCH, Prof S.B.S. Mann, and Prof Raj Bahadur and Mr Sunil Bhatia, Medical Superintendent, and Administrative Officer, respectively, along with 180 students, participated in the shramdan at the Sukhna Lake here today.

Besides, 150 NCC cadets from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, and Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 also took part in the shramdan.

Meanwhile, Mr H.S. Talwar of Talwar Dairy, Sector 15, announced that he would supply 200 kg of sweetened milk for the shramdanis on a day when there was a rush of volunteers.

The others who removed silt from the lake were 25 girl volunteers from Moti Ram Secondary School and 20 volunteers from the Government Central Craft Institute.


MC efforts lauded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Residents of Ward No. 14 have expressed gratitude to the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P Singh, and the Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, at a meeting held yesterday for initiating development works in the area. In a resolution passed at the meeting, the residents have thanked them, in particular for recarpeting the roads and providing tiles in the road gullies of Madrasi and Bapu Dham colonies in Phases I, II and III at the cost of Rs 15.22 lakh. 


Flowers in the house 

Fresh flowers are full of energy, vibrant colours and life. Their presence in a room makes it smell fresh and look nice. In the living room, fresh flowers create refreshing Yang energies which bring good vibes into the home.

Flowers are useful in creating good Feng Shui, but there are some general principles at one should observe. Flowers should be thrown out as soon as they begin to wilt as anything dead or decaying creates excessive Yin energy. This is one of the prime reason why Feng Shui advises against-dead or dried flowers.

Artificial or fake flowers can still be put but, again, they should be thrown out as they start fading. Flowers are used to enhance the Yang energy of a room. They are suited only to the dining rooms.

In Feng Shui, flowers are not supposed to be kept in the bedroom at all. Even plants should not be kept in the bedrooms. This is because flowers and plants bring Yang energy in the bedrooms, making the room Yang and unsuitable for good sleep. However, it is better to keep fresh flowers in the rooms of ill and sick people as they give some Yang energy to the person.


Address your Feng Shui queries to:
Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



Injured cop succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
A head constable of the Chandigarh police, Mahavir Singh, who was injured in a road accident on May 13, died here this evening.

The cop was posted with the Police Control room and was injured in an accident while he was crossing a road in Sector 43. He was hit by a car.

Cables stolen: Three miscreants are alleged to have locked the operator of tubewell No. 77 in Sector 26 on May 11 and decamped with the electric cables worth Rs 9,000. The police had registered an FIR under Sections 342, 379 and 34 of the IPC yesterday.

It is learnt that the operator was locked in the room on the night of May 11 by three unidentified persons. The police has registered a complaint on the statement of the MCPH, Subdivision No. 3, Waterworks, Sector 32, Mr V.K. Tuli.

Theft cases: Mr Nabandu Roy's car was stolen from outside a hotel in Sector 26 at about 11 pm on May 11. The police registered an FIR under Section 379 of the IPC yesterday.

In another incident of theft, a resident of Palsora, Bhajan Singh, has been accused of stealing a bag belonging to Mr Surinder Sharma at about 11.30 last night. The accused was caught by the public and the police beat staff. The stolen property has been recovered from the accused and he has been booked under sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Six injured: Five persons were injured in separate road accidents during the past 24 hours.

A scooterist, Arun Kumar Sharma, was injured when he was hit by a truck (HR-37-1367) near the Sector 44 and 45 dividing road. He has been admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32.

A resident of Sector 15, Abhishek Kalra, was injured when his scooter skidded near his residence this afternoon. In another accident, Sohan Lal and Amandeep were injured when their scooters collided near Piccadily chowk this afternoon.

Police sources also inform that a 13-year-old resident of Palsora, Hardeep Singh, was injured when he fell off a tree today. He was injured and has been admitted to the PGI.

Amandeep (10) sustained severe head injuries when she fell from the roof of her house in Badheri village late on Tuesday evening.

Sources said the girl was rushed to the PGI where her condition was said to be serious.


35 rounded up: The local police yesterday rounded up over 35 persons moving under suspicious circumstances during its drive to check day-time thefts in the town. According to police officials, some of the persons, including migrant laborers, were released after being questioned.

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