Monday, September 10, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


House burgled in Sec 34
Rs 1 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 6 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Cash and jewellery worth over Rs 7 lakh was reportedly stolen from a house in Sector 34-C last night.

The burglar (s) struck at the residence of a businessman, Mr K.K. Mahajan, in Sector 34- C last night and decamped with Rs 1 lakh in cash and jewellery valued at Rs 6 lakh. All the while the two sons of the complainant, staying with their families on the first and second floors of the house, sensed nothing wrong as the miscreants went about breaking doors and lockers inside the house.

The incident took place when Mr K.K. Mahajan and his wife were away for the kirya ceremony of a relative in Delhi. They were to return back to the city last night, but were held up because of urgent work. In fact, one of the daughters- in-law of the victim, Ms Anita Mahajan, was sitting in the porch of the house on the ground floor till about 9: 30 p.m.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ms Anita Mahajan said she was sitting in the porch along with two of her neighbours and everything was fine. "I went to fetch my husband home and the neighbours were sitting in the porch till we returned," she said. She added that even at 7 a.m. the next morning, when she came to open the front gate, she did not realise that their house had been burgled.

Mr Naresh Mahajan, a son of the complainant, said it was only later in the morning that the maidservant working on the ground floor of the house came and saw that the lock of the main entrance had been broken.

"She called us and when we entered the house we saw that the television was on and only the dressing room adjacent to our parents' bedroom, where all the cash and jewellery was kept, had been ransacked.

He alleged that this was the job of an insider who knew that the old couple was away. The fact that the miscreant had ransacked only one almirah where the valuables were kept showed that he knew the family.

Mr Naresh further said while the locks of the main entrance and the bedroom had been broken, the miscreant had known where the key of the lock of the dressing room was kept. The accused had opened the lock of the dressing room and then broken the steel almirah and the locker of the almirah in order to fetch the cash and jewellery.

The police was questioning the three maids working in Mr K.K. Mahajan's house and a former watchman.

This incident follows the burglary of over Rs 4.15 lakh in the house of a doctor in Sector 16 yesterday. Last week, a house of another doctor in Sector 20 was burgled and thieves had decamped with cash and jewellery worth thousands of rupees.


Few takers for extension across the Ghaggar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
Despite best efforts by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to present its across-the-Ghaggar extension of Panchkula township in a positive light, not many seem to be willing to come forward to take up residence there.

There are a total of 148 cooperative group housing societies with a membership of nearly 10,000 in Panchkula. Most of the societies have been allotted land in newly-carved sectors across the Ghaggar. But, of these, 80 cooperative group housing societies have already surrendered land allotted to them in various sectors and sought a refund from the HUDA, according to Mr B.K. Sanghi, president of the Haryana Group Housing Promoters and Builders Federation. Many of the remaining societies too are taking a close look at the situation before deciding their next course of action.

A general slump in the real estate sector, a surfeit of cooperative flats available in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar as also in certain areas of Panchkula together with the cracks which appeared in the earth near Nada Sahib in Sector 23 of Panchkula seem to be keeping buyers at bay. One of the biggest ‘put-off factors’ for the potential buyers has been the failure by the HUDA to develop proper infrastructure in the new sectors.

The other factor is the Nada fissure. Despite best efforts by the HUDA to emphasise that the fissure that appeared in the earth near Nada Sahib shortly after the Gujarat earthquake earlier this year does not pose any threat to future colonisation in the area, it has not fully convinced people so far.

Of the 21 group housing societies allotted land in the fissure-affected Sector 23, five have already surrendered land and taken refund from the HUDA. Many of the remaining societies are in two minds.

According to Mr Sanghi, if the HUDA wants to make a success of its group housing societies scheme and to attract buyers for land in across-the-Ghaggar sectors, then it should think in terms of issuing a certificate to the buyers that the area is safe for habitation and that it is fit for constructing multi-storey buildings. Otherwise, people will continue to shy away from Panchkula township which is otherwise one of the best urban settlements in this part of the country.

Meanwhile, in a significant development, the Haryana Group Housing Promoters and Builders Federation, at a meeting held here today, decided to form a Joint Action Committee to resolve the problems being faced by the Cooperative Group Housing Societies which have been allotted land by the HUDA in Sector 23.

This move has been necessitated by the ‘ïnsensitivity’ displayed by the HUDA towards the needs of the housing societies which have been in a state of turmoil because of the general impression about the tectonic instability of the land in Sector 23.

This has been brought out by the geological assessments carried out by different outfits and highlighted in newspapers. This impression has been reinforced by the presence of large fissures that have appeared in this area. It is suspected that this is either due to tectonic movements or there is a major fault along this geographical line.

The members of the JAC include Mr J.L. Bakshi of the Bhai Mati Dass Cooperative GHS; Mr Madhusudan Sharma of the New Libra Cooperative GHS; Mr B.K. Sanghi of the S.S. Cooperative GHS, Mr S.K. Goyal of Aarti Cooperative GHS and Mr S.R. Khatri of State Bank of India Cooperative GHS and Dr Ranjit Sharma, the Creative Cooperative GHS.

The federation said,‘‘It is hopeful of sensitising the officials of HUDA to the urgent demands of the group housing societies as regards the suitability of the piece of land for housing and development projects’’.


Iqbal wrote poems on Rama: Dutta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet, was opposed to the concept of territorial nationalism. While giving the seventh P.N. Haksar memorial lecture at the CRRID here today, Prof V.N. Datta also argued that Iqbal was of the view that the Muslims of India had a separate cultural identity and advocated the creation of a loose federation in the north-west for the Muslims of that area.

Professor Datta, who gave a lecture analysing Iqbal’s poetry to understand the poet’s role vis-a-vis Partition, also questioned the authenticity of some of Iqbal’s letters written to M.A. Jinnah during 1937 and 1938. These letters were used by the Muslim League to claim that Iqbal was in favour of the two-nation theory which paved the way for the creation of Pakistan.

Professor Datta, historian, who is currently working on a book on Partition, said it was surprising that the original copies of these letters were not available. The speaker was of the opinion that some of the words in these letters were tampered with to suit the two-nation theory of the Muslim League.

Narrating Iqbal’s transformation from a liberal poet to a passionate Muslim, Professor Datta said that at one stage Iqbal was even found to be an admirer of Lord Krishna and the Bhagwadgita and penned poems eulogising Lord Rama. It was at that phase of his life that he wrote poems such as Taranaa-e-Hind.

However, all that changed after Iqbal’s return from Europe in 1908. Subsequently, he, as well as many other Muslim intellectuals, became followers Jalaluddin Afghani, a Muslim communalist leader. Iqbal’s new incarnation at that phase was that of a firebrand poet who was a propagator of pan Islamism. In that phase he wrote poems about Muslims taking over China, India and other countries.

When Iqbal got involved in active politics after 1924, his sympathies were not with Jinnah, who was Western educated and had secular ideals at that point of time. Iqbal was rather inclined to support the more orthodox group within the Muslim League.

To conclude, Professor Datta said that Iqbal was not in favour of territorial nationalism and, secondly, he supported the idea of a theocratic state. However, Jinnah, like an astute politician, misrepresented the poet’s ideas and used his poetry for creating support for the two-nation theory among the Muslims.

The lecture session, presided over by Prof Matin Zuberi, was enlivened by some insightful comments by Prof P.N. Dhar and the veteran parliamentarian from Kashmir, Mr Saifuddin Soz.


‘With more powers, I could have done better’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Ms Kamala Sharma, councillor of Ward 8 that includes Sectors 41, 42 and 43, besides three villages and four colonies, headed the women’s wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party for five terms, remained the vice-president of the city unit of the party and became the first Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh in 1996.

Question: What have been your achievements in this term?

Answer: My achievements include recarpeting and strengthening of the V-6 roads in Sectors 41-A, 41-B, 41-C, 41-D, 42-B, 42-C, 43-A and 43-B, the V-4 roads in Sectors 41-A, 41-B, 42-A, 43-A and 43-B, the V-5 roads in Sectors 41 and 42 and the V-3 road dividing Sector 41 and 42 and Sectors 51 and 52. Internal roads of Attawa, Butrela and Badheri villages and the rehabilitation colony of Kajheri have also been strengthened.

The other development works include the construction of community centres in Sector 41-C, the rehabilitation colony of Kajheri; parking lots in Sectors 41-D, 42-C, 43-B and in front of the booths on the V-4 roads. Pathways in the green belts of Sectors 41 and 43 have also been constructed.

Railing and the other material have also been provided in various locality parks of Sectors 41, 42 , 43.

Storm-water-drianage system has been set up and improved in Sectors 41-A, 41-B, 42-C and Kajheri. Public-toilet blocks have been built in shopping centre of Sector 41-C and 41-D. Pumps and boosters have been provided for government houses of Sectors 41-B and 42-C.

Estimates for digging deep-bore tubewells for improving drinking-water supply in Sector 43, Kajheri, Attawa, Butrela and Badheri have been approved.

I have been able to do a lot for the welfare of slum dwellers, residents of villages and the urban electorate.

Question: What have you failed to do for the electorate and why?

Answer: Though the expectations of the electorate from the first MC were high, a lot could not be accomplished due to the overlapping of powers of the MC and the Administration. The Electrical Wing and the Town and Country Planning and Architecture Department are now under the control of the MC, so, things will improve now.

I wanted to develop three villages (Attawa, Butrela and Burail) of my ward as model villages, but, in the absence of building bylaws, I was unable to do so. I could have accomplished much more if I had more powers as the Mayor.

Question: How did you use the MC to redress the grievances of people?

Answer: People were free to get in touch with me anywhere and anytime. In case of any major problem, I would visit the area. For redressing minor grievances, I would call up officials concerned. I tried to be organised and maintained a daily diary for this purpose. In many cases, I would take officials concerned to the site.

Question: What were your election promises?

Answer: I made no tall promises, but did a lot for providing the people with a clean administration and a beautiful city. In the election campaign, I had assure voters that I would provide them with better roads and parking areas, proper drinking water and sewerage facilities and parks. I had promised them that pending development works would be completed.

Question: How has been the response of your party?

Answer: The party left it to councillors to implement the party manifesto.

Question: How much support have you received from the bureaucracy as a councillor?

Answer: Officials of the MC and the Administration have been cooperative and supportive.

Question: Would you like to recontest the election in view of your performance?

Answer: If party directs me to do so, I shall honour its decision.

Question: What advice would you have for your successor, in case you do not contest?

Answer: I will always be available to help my successor and the people. I shall share my experiences with him or her as and when he or she desires.

Question: Why should voters vote for you?

Answer: I have strived hard for the overall development of my ward. Voters should judge me on the basis of my performance.

Question: What have you gained by being a councillor?

Answer: The love and affection of the people. I derive my satisfaction out of working for the people, especially women and the poor.

  • To improve the condition of internal V-6 roads and parking areas in the ward.
  • To provide residents with better sewerage and storm-water-drainage facilities.
  • To provide them with clean administration and green surroundings.
  • To make community centres functional.
  • To work for the overall development of the ward.


  • A large number of roads were repaired, but some are still left and parking lots also need attention.
  • Drainage has improved, but problem persists in some areas.
  • Efforts were made and green belts and parks were developed.
  • New community centres have come up in Sector 41-C and rehabilitation colony of Kajheri. The Sector 42-C centre is under construction.
  • Lot of development, horticulture and public health works were undertaken.



PUDA administration ‘top heavy’ despite rules
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 9
‘Mindless’ over-staffing at the top administrative level seems to be the latest slogan in the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

After having employed a retired Chief Engineer, Mr NS Sodhi, as Technical Adviser — on a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 — to advise the authority on all engineering aspects, a retired Chief Engineer from CPWD has been engaged as Technical Adviser ( Electrical). The authority was reportedly going ahead to engage another retired technocrat from sewerage board as Technical Adviser (Public Health).

Both the technocrats, being engaged on the advise of Mr Sodhi, would reportedly be paid on the basis of their visits. They would be advising the engineering wing of the authority on matters relating to Public Health and Electrical for which the PUDA has already eight Superintending Engineers, besides a Chief Engineer and a strong force of Executive Engineers.

The authority, in the past, had created two posts of Additional Chief Engineer (ACA) at the head office and had created certain posts at the top level by circumventing its rules and regulations. Sources in the department said that this all had happened despite buzz word by the Punjab Government to right-size its departments.

A official in the authority said making the top administration heavy would mean extra financial burden on the authorities.

Engineers in the department lamented that the department had already enough technical skills and staff to handle the projects being currently undertaken by the authority in various cities of Punjab. Another decision to appoint separate staff for new projects had created resentment among the lower rung officials, who lamented that it was leading to overlapping of jurisdiction.

A Executive Engineer from PWD (B and R) was brought on deputation as SE (projects ) two months ago to handle the PUDA head office complex at SAS Nagar, District Administrative Complex (DAC’s) at Moga and Hoshiarpur. Whereas there was already enough staff within the existing circles. The earlier SE (projects) from PWD (B and R) had gone back to his parent department after the controversy at MIMT complex at Malout.

Sources said there were eight SEs, around 30 Executive Engineer in the Public Health and Electrical wing of the PUDA. The issue of taking SDOs and JEs on deputation was likely to attract strong resentment from the employees union.


Thermometer removed from stomach
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A city gastroenterologist, Dr Neeraj Nagpal, today removed a clinical thermometer by a nonsurgically procedure from the stomach of a 19-year-old boy in Sector 35.

According to Dr Nagpal, Vimal, a mentally challanged person, who had been suffering from fever, had swallowed the thermometer.

“His mother was naturally in complete panic when she realised that he had swallowed the thermometer. After checking his mouth for glass or mercury residues, he was immediately rushed to their family doctor,” said Dr Nagpal.

Vimal was referred to Dr Nagpal. Using videoscopy, he examined the upper gastrointestinal tract of the patient, following which the thermometer was caught in a snare and gently removed in a procedure lasting four to five minutes.



HCS and PCS officers from the two neighbouring states are said to be reluctant to seek deputation with the Chandigarh Administration.

On condition of anonymity, certain officers reveal that recently the administration had sought a panel of HCS officers. Interestingly, none of the officers wrote to the state governments for sponsoring his or her name for deputation.

The main reason for the apparent reluctance of HCS officers to come on deputation with the administration is said to be that they do not find congenial work culture in Chandigarh. They are of the opinion that people of the Union Territory are a “pampered” lot. No wonder for trivial matters they approach the press for voicing their grievance.

Another reason cited for the reluctance of the officers is that earlier the administration used to specify the post for which the panel was sought. And whosoever came on deputation was posted against it and stayed here for the duration of his deputation only against that post. Some time ago the administration had introduced the system of inter-transfer within Chandigarh. Therefore, at the time of coming on deputation with the Administration, no officer knows where he would be posted.

Target audience

People who agitate on one issue or the other nowadays realise the need to get things published in the media for wider exposure. The strike by school bus operators in Chandigarh from September 1 to 4 was no different.

Though each party wanted to have its word, the best request came from Mr Manjit Singh, President of the Private School Bus Operators Association and spearhead of the agitation. In his typical style he would call up the reporter covering the strike and stress his point: “Sir jee Punjabi Tribune vich zaroor chaap deo”. ( Sir, please ensure the news is published in the Punjabi edition of the Tribune)

Intrigued, the reporter asked him the reason and he said: “Oh jee sade transporter taan sare Punjabi hi parhde hann’’ ( Our community of transporters reads only Punjabi ). This episode made a colleague realise what was meant by the oftrepeated phrase ‘‘ target audiences ’’ in media. And also the importance of publishing news in the language of the region.

Right word

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), is a stickler for correct English usage.

On a visit to Kalagram he asked an officer where the open air theatre would be located. ? The officer replied: “At the back side, Sir”. The general quickly corrected him saying ‘‘ it is the rear side and not the back side ’’ . The officer must have certainly remembered what the back side meant.

On another occasion General Jacob asked a senior officer why wrought iron furniture was required ? The officer trying to show that austerity measures were being taken replied: “It is cheap.” To this the Governor said: “I think economical would be a better word.”

And once an officer was corrected by the Governor for remarking that such and such persons were close to each other. The Governor explained the connotation of close.

But, says a little bird, the officers do not mind the piece of fatherly advice from the General. All this prepares them for bigger tasks in the future when at every ministry level each word is weighed before spoken.

A matter of concern

This year’s Neerja Bhanot award winner Yasoda was quite overwhelmed by one particular gesture of Adviser to UT Administrator Ms Neeru Nanda on the day of the award ceremony. While Yasoda spoke in Tamil about how good she felt to be in the city and receive the great honour, her words were translated into English for the gathering.

But all this while, Yasoda was found struggling hard to understand what was being spoken and cited in her honour. Yasoda’s problem ended only when Adviser Ms Nanda came on to the dais and declared: “Let us please translate all that is being said into Tamil also, so that Yasoda, who is the real chief guest for the day, can understand it.”

The entire hall welcomed the statement with an applause.

Vegetation in concrete?

Notwithstanding the fanfare with which Le Corbusier’s symbolic open hand structure was installed in Manimajra (close to Panchkula), the same structure is today crying for attention. The engineering wing has, as usual, been caught napping over the issue of maintaining historically significant spots in the city.

A close glance at the structure reveals that great care needs to be taken in order to restore it to its original grandeur. As of now, bushes of peepal have found their way into the crevices of the open hand. If not anything else, we will sure have a big peepal tree at this spot some day!

The French sweetness

The French language seems to be gaining popularity with every passing year. That is perhaps why the French Nightingale regional finals for this year, attracted a large number of singers from places other than Chandigarh (about seven from Amritsar alone) where the Alliance Francaise centres do not exist.

In fact, on the day of contest, many participants were heard comparing the sweetness of French with that of Bangla. One comment heard on the occasion was: “If there is anything that matches the sweetness of India’s Bengali language, it is Europe’s French!”

Staggered bills

At last there is some good news for the telephone subscribers. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL) has decided to stagger the last dates for the payment of bills to avoid last-minute rush at the collection centres.

Under the new proposal, the bills will be distributed in four phases on a bi-monthly basis instead of the current two phases. This would mean that the bills would be accepted on four different dates as compared to two.

Well, we hope over 1.8 lakh subscribers in the city, half of which deposit the bill every month, will heave a sigh of relief when the new scheme is in place.


Mr P.C. Markanda, a senior advocate, has been elected member of the Governing Body of the Indian Council of Arbitration, the apex body on arbitration in the country, from the individual members’ constituency for a record sixth consecutive term. He is the senior most elected member of the council. Election to the governing body is held every three years. Mr Markanda is an expert on arbitration matter and has appeared in various high courts, the Supreme Court and arbitral tribunal.

The electoral college consists of retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges, advocates, engineers, architects, high ranking officers of the defence services, chartered accountants and shipping executives. The other elected member is Mr O.P. Goel, Director General (retd), Central PWD.

Mr Markanda has written two books on arbitration and conciliation with forewards by Justice M.M. Punchhi and Justice A.M. Ahmadi, both former Chief Justices of India. He has authored several papers and delivered lectures both home and abroad.

Investment advice

Recessionary market trend has made the investors even more cautious regarding investment decisions. More people these days are opting for the investment advisory services which several institutions and banks have recently started providing.

HDFC Bank, the only bank in the region to provide investment advisory services, has already managed to get 40 customers within this financial year. The service is available either on a complimentary basis, that is, where the customer has a “healthy relationship” of Rs 25 lakh with the bank, or on payment of fee.

A savings account and a D-mat account is also required to avail this service. In case one does not have this relationship, the bank charges 1 per cent of the portfolio (market) value or Rs 25,000 for a year.

The personalised services include wealth management design where the customer is provided with tailormade solutions as per his requirements. Institutions like InvestSmart are also offering such services where as per the customer’s requirement, investment solutions are provided.

Pass pass

Most of the non-IAS officials on deputation with the Chandigarh Administration are sore. They receive endless telephone calls from their bosses in their parents states seeking passes for any function organised by the administration or any cultural organisation.

And if any employee expresses his inability to arrange the passes, the prompt comment he receives from the boss is:”Kya fayada hai hum ko tumhare Chandigarh mein jane kaa.” And if no free passes are available, not many people come forward to see the function by buying tickets . This shows that this is a city of freeloaders.

At times politicians come to the Director of Public Relation complaining that they have not received invitation cards for a particular function. This is not because they wanted to attend the function but because they consider it a status symbol.

Drip water

The scheme to give drip water through plastic bottles to young saplings introduced by the Environment Society of India (ESI) in some areas in Chandigarh and Panchkula is becoming popular in schools.

This method is simple. Two small holes are made by a pin at the neck for the air to pass and at the bottom of the empty plastic bottles. A small thread is introduced in the bottom hole. The bottle is filled with water and a cock is screwed. The bottle is placed below the sapling and top hole kept open. By this way the sapling will get water drop by drop and bloom.

With the aim to conserving water and reuse the plastic water bottles, Mr D.S. Dhesi, Commissioner and Secretary Environment, Haryana said that all the school eco-clubs under the National Green Corps (NGC) in Haryana state have been advised to launch this drip water system in the schools campus.

Mr Sarban Singh, Director, Environment, said that this system will provide water to thirsty plants specially when schools are closed during summer vacation. Mr D.R. Schokand, Director, Secondary Education, said that teachers are being given training on this exercise at district headquarters.




Police team sent to look for Rattu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The crime branch of the city police has sent a team to Ramowal village in Mehatpur, Nakodar, to look for Manjit Singh Rattu, a small-time scribe, who has assumed a new identity as R. Ahmed.

According to sources, police parties have also been dispatched to several other places in Punjab and neighbouring states . The local police is also contacting various persons working with him and his former aides and associates in order to get information about his whereabouts. His kin, including his brother, a senior functionary with the Punjab Government, will be questioned.

Manjit Singh Rattu, a small-time scribe, based in SAS Nagar during the peak of terrorism in the 1980s, had allegedly resurfaced in the city three months back under the new identity of R. Ahmed. He had claimed to be the chairman of the board of the international weekly bilingual newspapers, Pardes and News Of Punjab.

He had set up office here for publishing a newspaper, Pardes International Weekly, launched about a month back. The printline of the publication mentioned R. Ahmed as the chairman of the board of the newspaper and M.S. Rattu as the editor-in-chief and managing director.

Police sources informed that Rattu had close links with some of the top ultras in the state. He was also allegedly used by the Punjab Police to get information about terrorists.

He had reportedly been smuggled into Pakistan by the intelligence agencies to gather information. Once in Pakistan, he got married to a daughter of a senior functionary in Pakistan . However, when his identity became clear, he fled to England.

He reportedly stayed on in England for a couple of years and made a lot of money through illicit means. He had to flee England when his past caught up with him. He then came back to India.


In praise of courage & fortitude
Tribune News Service

This week mostly celebrated courage and fortitude, two elements which the Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust seeks to search. The week started with the arrival of this year’s awardee, Yasoda, who attracted a large amount of appreciation from all quarters. From the day she arrived in hotel Mount View till the day she received the award, Yasoda must have had not less than 100 visitors, who stood in awe of her.

The day she was presented the award by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, some people went up to the stage to touch her feet in the midst of the ceremony.

A painting contest was also a part of the Trust’s function. Close to 300 entries were received on women’s liberation and environmental concern. Three prizes were awarded in two categories of Class V to VIII and another of Class IX to XII.

As the week passed by, some good news was received from CITCO which seems to be in the process of uplifting its hotels and other joints. The latest project is that of providing pubs in Park View hotel, as also in the baithak at Kala Gram along the Chandigarh-Shimla Highway. Enquiries have already started flowing in about the date of inauguration.

Meanwhile, Studio 17 is looking up with a brand new art gallery. Despite being housed in a commercial studio, the gallery will offer space to budding artists free of cost. So all those who are interested in something novel and fresh (apart from what is offered by Indus Ind art gallery, Art Folio et al) can now try their hands at Teji’s art gallery which will soon be operational.

The Punjab Tourism Development Corporation has earned appreciation for its Food and Crafts Mela which will begin on September 14. The festival will have, apart from the food and crafts, a musical extravaganza. The Punjab Government has compromised at nothing less than Puran Chand Wadali for sufi gayaki. They have also roped in Hans Raj Hans’s guru, Puran Shahkoti, for another sufi recital. Apart from that there will be other cultural troupes to add zing to the function.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has also become active these days. In the past two weeks, they have organised two main functions — one by Ustad Salim Iqbal at Pracheen Kala Kendra and the other at Punjab Kala Bhawan by Malwa Sabhyacharak Samiti.


Short circuit in DD Kendra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 9
A short circuit in the Sector 37 Doordarshan Kendra here disrupted the transmission of the DD Metro programmes in the region for about 15 minutes today. The regional transmission, however, remained un-affected because it is from 4 pm to 8 pm only. No damage to equipment was reported. Sources said it was the third short circuit in the centre in past one month.

Sources said the short-circuit occurred in the cables that supply power to the DD Metro low-power transmitter (LPT) at about 7.15 am. However, an official of the Prasar Bharati said the transmission had been stopped to avoid any major fault and restored immediately after the wires had been tapped.

The sources said a similar short-circuit had occurred a couple of days ago in a distribution board.


Seminar marks Literacy Day celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A seminar was organised jointly by Lions Clubs of Region IV to mark World Literacy Day at Gem Public School Mohali yesterday. The seminar was presided over by Mr S.P. Singh and Mr H.S. Midda, presidents of the Lions Club Mohali. The seminar dealing with the problems of adolescence was organised as part of the quest programme of the Lions Clubs.

The keynote speaker, Mr Kamal Arora, stressed upon the need to accelerate the literacy drive and taking it to the slums and villages. Mr Surjeet Patheja, District Chairman, quest programme, touched upon the various issues relating to adolescence and solution for the problem. Mr Renu Bali, Region Coordinator, pointed out that parents, teachers and quest councillors had to work together for solving the problems facing the young minds.


2 held for threatening girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Ishu Das and Charan Pal Singh were arrested yesterday on charges of threatening a young girl and using abusive language over the telephone.

According to an FIR registered under sections 506 and 509 of the IPC, Mr Jai Pal Singh has alleged that the accused threatened his daughter yesterday at about 10 a.m.

Two cases of theft: A LML Vespa scooter (CH-01W-0128) was stolen from Sector 39 last night. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

In another case, Kamal Kant was caught red-handed while stealing a purse containing Rs 200 from near the ISBT, Sector 17.

PO arrested: The police has arrested Puran Masih, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony yesterday. He was wanted in a case of rioting and assault.

Liquor seized: The Crime Branch personnel arrested Heera Lal from Colony No. 5 late this evening and seized 13 bottles of liquor from him. He has been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.


Car stolen: A Maruti Car was stolen from the courtyard of a house in Sector 11 on Saturday night.

Mr S.N. Dhiman, owner of the car (HR-03E-4737), complained that the car was stolen from outside of his house. A case has been registered by the police.


12-year-old boy missing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Mr Rajesh Kumar (12), a resident of Sector 33, Chandigarh, has not been traced so far.

He went missing after he left his house on July 3, 2001.

A report in this connection has been filed in the Sector 34 police station.

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