Monday, October 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Hi-tech blood centre for city soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The days of patients dying due to non-availability of blood at local government hospitals or because attendants at the PGI’s blood bank have locked it up and gone home at the end of the day may be over sooner than expected.

If everything goes according to plan, a full-fledged blood centre based on voluntary donations and managed by the Chandigarh Blood Bank Society may become operational by April next. Blood at this centre will be safe, easily accessible and available round-the-clock, says Ms Kanta Saroop Krishan, honorary secretary of the society. A Padam Shri winner, she is among the pioneers of the voluntary blood donation movement in the country.

This NGO has been providing safe blood through voluntary donors for the past 36 years. It has spearheaded a movement which has motivated thousands of donors. Some have donated blood more than 100 times. The society is a non-profit organisation of honorary members who have devoted their life to this cause and won recognition at the state and national levels.

The project has made considerable progress towards realisation. The society has purchased a 3-kanal plot in Sector 37 at a cost of Rs 60 lakh, of which Rs 30 lakh has been paid to the UT Administration. It is trying to raise the remainder through grants from the Punjab and Haryana Governments and the UT Administration.

It began with a donation of Rs 50 lakh by Ms Krishan’s brother, Mr Sudhir Bhagwan of Portland, USA, to the society in memory of his late father, Vishnu Bhagwan. “This donation means the realisation of the dream of setting up a state-of-the-art blood centre in Chandigarh jointly with Rotary Club of Chandigarh,” says Mr Saroop Krishan. Mr R.K.Saboo, a local Rotarian, has promised to arrange for medical equipment worth Rs 1.90 crore from the Rotary International for the proposed blood centre.

“We have now approached the UT Administration for waiving of the remaining Rs 30 lakh and the lease money outstanding against us. Ms Gurbrinder Kaur Brar, wife of Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, is pursuing the case with the UT Administration and the Punjab Government. Haryana has failed to come up with anything so far,” says Ms Krishan.

According to the society, Chandigarh faces a recurring shortage of blood almost to the extent of 50 per cent at times, which has denied many a patient the basic right to live. It recognises the urgent need for setting up an ultramodern blood resource centre, where all shortages in the field of blood transfusion will be overcome.

Architectural plans for the proposed blood centre have been prepared by Ms Anu Ganju and Mr Charanjit Singh. Tenders for the building, expected to cost nearly Rs 5 crore, have been floated and construction is likely to start soon. The centre will have covered area of about 12,000 square feet, with research laboratories equipped with latest technical equipment.

The centre, which will provide 24-hour access to the public, will include facilities like preparation of blood components, mobile blood service to tap outlying donor pools, intensive training for motivators, doctors and technicians and resource centre to disseminate information about blood and AIDS.

The society has appealed to citizens of Chandigarh to come forward and donate liberally for the blood bank.



PU bends attendance norms for 5 more
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Panjab University has cleared probably the last lot of students who have attended lectures far less than the 66 per cent required to be eligible for appearing in the university examination.

These students do not fulfil the criterion of stipulated lectures despite concessions by the Board of Control of the departments concerned and the Vice-Chancellor. The university Syndicate, at a meeting during the tenure of the previous Vice-Chancellor, had given permission to allow even students who had attended only 40 per cent lectures.

The university has now granted the special chance to five students of the Geology Department. Two of them have less than 50 per cent lecture attendance. One student has managed a total of 41 per cent lectures on record with virtue of 75 lectures allowed on his attending a cycle expedition to Kargil and back. The other two have attended less than 60 per cent lectures. Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, says these five students have been given the concession because of an earlier Syndicate decision.

This time the university has cleared the minimum attendance criterion of 66 per cent, which will be mandatory for appearing in the examination. With this decision, the earlier order of considering cases with as low as 40 per cent attendance for appearing the annual examination stands cancelled. The university is considering a proposal of the University Grants Commission on a minimum attendance of 75 per cent being mandatory to be eligible to appear in the annual examination.

In case of the Geology Department, the department’s board has given relaxation of lectures varying between 10 and 75 lectures. In addition to these, shortage of 10 lectures each have been condoned by the Vice-Chancellor. Students still short of lectures have been granted concession of between 3 and 65 lectures.

Prof R.K.Kakkar, chairman of the Geology Department, has confirmed the university relaxation. “The chance given to these five students is not a special case. There existed a university provision of helping students who had attended as less as 40 per cent lectures under special circumstances. I am in favour of ensuring the minimum required attendance of 66 per cent. The Senate has taken a positive step by asking for the minimum stipulated attendance of 66 per cent. Since cases of many departments were cleared at the Senate meeting in May, why should students of only one department suffer,” he says.

The Senate had cleared shortage of lectures of nearly 50 students at its earlier meeting. These include students of the Departments of Anthropology, Laws, Zoology, Physical Education, Psychology, Political Science and Sociology. While different reasons have been given for condoning of shortage of lectures, there are several cases without mention of reasons.

The list of reasons in also interesting. These include class trip, office work, field job, freshers’ party, university function, examination of lower class, practice at the court and preparation for civil services examination. Professor Pathak says the university has streamlined old cases before any new steps are taken. Barring these cases, the university will be more strict on compliance of attendance rules.



Sambhar ‘tranquilised’ to death
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, October 14
‘‘Gross negligence’’ on the part of Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park authorities had led to the death of an adult male sambhar due to overdose of tranquilising drug.

The healthy animal was tranquilised in violation of the guidelines of the Veterinary Council of India’s Act. As per the Act, only a qualified degree holder veterinary doctor is authorised to use the tranquilising drug. The act further states that the defaulter may be prosecuted under the provisions of the act.

The animal was tranquilised (two shots) in the presence of Mr Sukhdev Singh, Zoo Inspector, on Thursday evening when it was rambling near the enclosure of Indian ducks and rosy pelicans, sources said.

Sources in the park revealed that an unskilled veterinary pharmacist, Mr Ram Dev, administered tranquilising drug three times more than the prescribed limit which proved fatal for the mute animal.

Five to six employees of the zoo tried to net the semi-unconscious animal but it escaped and sprawled in the jungle. They further followed and fired three more tranquilising shots at the animal. The animal was finally overpowered and kept in a house inside the Deer Safari.

The animal could not regain its consciousness completely even after being given the anti-tranquilising drug and breathed his last on Friday night. The animal was buried in the wee hours of Friday without conducting post-mortem examination, sources confirmed.

The matter came to light when some other zoo employees noticed Mr Ram Dev and Mr Sukhdev Singh along with two other employees as they were burying the animal in the Deer Safari.

When contacted Mr R. K. Luna, Zoo Director, expressed his ignorance over the death of animal due to overdose of the tranquilising drug. He, however, said he had not issued such directions to any of his subordinates.

After the death of a black buck while it was being shifted from one enclosure to another, Mr Luna, disclosed that he had directed the zoo employees to discontinue the process.

It may be recalled that The Tribune has carried a story on rambling of over two dozen inhabitants of over six species in the zoo. The animals had escaped from different enclosures in the past over 10 years.

Apart from a civet-cat, sources in the zoo disclosed that sambhars, chinkaras, neelgai, pangolins, porcupines and monkeys had escaped from their enclosures.



CBSE’s move gets lukewarm response
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, October 14
The latest move of the CBSE to introduce the grading system in evaluating the answersheets of Class X students has drawn a lukewarm response from various quarters. The CBSE Chairman, Mr Ashok Ganguly, who visited the city recently, said the CBSE had taken up this step in order to reduce stress among students.

However, the grading system has not appealed much to parents, academicians and the student community of this region. “The grading system is going to create problems at the time of getting admission in professional courses where even a fraction of a mark matters,” said Mr D.S. Saroya, Director, Public Instructions (School), Chandigarh. The whole system is irrelevant in the light that in a country like India where there are hundreds of candidates for a single post, students will never be completely free from stress and tension.

Looking at the high competitive level for admission to any professional course, even after the introduction of the grading system , the stress level among the students will remain the same, said Mr Brahmjeet Kalia, District Education Officer, UT. Moreover, with hundreds of different state boards following different systems of education it will be hard for the CBSE to follow the grading system , without losing the universality in the education system, said Mr Saroya .

Moderate thinkers, however, feel that the grading system can be effective in reducing stress, but the culture is not yet receptive of such a bold step. “Once the system is implemented, it is likely to reduce the students’ burden which has been generated over the years due to the mad rush for marks, but the problem lies in it’s effective implementation” said Ms Sarita Manuja, Principal of DAV School in Sector 8.

“The implementation has to be done in totality at the national level,” explained Ms Manuja. “Even if the system is introduced at the plus-two level and if some unified system for entrance exam is not introduced after plus-two, the whole grading system will be an utter failure,” she added.

“The system is going to be a total failure,” said Mr S. Jain, a parent from the city. “It is simply not fair to put a student scoring 51 marks and another scoring 59 , under the same grade,” he added. “The grading system will kill the tenacity to improve as far as the students are concerned and it will ultimately curb their competitive zeal,” said Mr Prakash Mehra, another parent.



Paswan to take up SC/ST certificates issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Lok Janshakti Party President and Union Coal and Mines Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, here today assured the people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that he would take up the issue of caste certificate with the Union Home Ministry and Advisor.

‘’I will talk to the Union Home Ministry and the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator to make the system of issuing these certificates suitable to the people and their speed issuance,’’ Mr Paswan said at the National Valmiki Conference.

The conference was called by the Rashtriya Valmiki Dharma Samaj and its chief organiser was Mr Chander Pal Anarya who requested Mr Paswan to solve the problem of these certificates.

Mr Anarya complained that the Administration had been dragging its feet on the issue. Even the cases of those who had been residents of the city for three decades had not been given these certificates, he added.

Mr Paswan later told reporters that the issue of contesting the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) elections, and whether with alliance or not, had been left to the local unit for consideration.

Mr Paswan’s party, if it decided to contest the elections, would be the second party after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) representing the Dalits to fight the Municipal Corporation elections. Mr Paswan during his speech appealed to the Valmiki Samaj to quit drinking, educate children, ensure cleanliness and educate especially girl children.

He urged the Dalit Samaj to become ‘’untouchables’’ on the pattern of live electric wire meaning that there should not be any body who could do injustice on them and also urged them not to indulge in injustice in any manner. The gathering was addressed by LJP vice-president Ramvir Singh Vidhuri and general secretary Lalit Kumar Gautam who said Mr Paswan would become Prime Minister one day. He was close to becoming one in 1996 when he was leader of the Janata Dal Parliamentary Party.

The massive gathering had a festive mood with Mr Paswan being brought in a procession.

Mr Paswan also took a round of several Dalit colonies in the city.

The programme witnessed the Sufi pop singer Hanraj Hans lavishing praise on Mr Paswan. He said interests of the poor and Dalits were secure in the hands of leaders like Mr Paswan.

The samaj stressed that they were trying to bring together different sects under the samaj.

The Valmiki religious figure Viresh Shrikal was also present on the dais. He honoured Mr Paswan and Hansraj Hans by offering them shawls.



Transported to land of architectural might
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Let my breath merge with cosmic breath...let my body be done to dust....let self-consciousness lose all meaning and the soul reign supreme ....

Liberated, she stood against time and space ...her physical form radiating divine sparks. The feet, the hands, the eyes — all tools of a sacred mission — floated along with the rhythms which filled the ambience of Shantikunj completely, so completely that even applause appeared and sounded misplaced in the gamut of rhythm.

Seldom though, but clapping disturbs the meditating soul, as it did today when the sound of claps seemed to occasionally mar the powerful vibrations left behind by the dancers. As Odissi exponent Madhavi Mudagal and her disciples drew themes from mythology to create sculpturesque forms on the stage today, one was transported to the land of architectural might. Within moments, the format of the dance form, which owes origin to the temple dances of the devdasis, stood bared in all its elegance and style. It was brought before the eyes just as it is :”a form mentioned in inscriptions, depicted on sculptures of Orissa, like the sculpture of the Brahmeswara and others in the dancing hall of the Sun Temple at Konark.”

For Madhavi, Odissi is a way of life, which needs to be nurtured with sensitivity and discipline. “There is no freedom without restriction,” declares Madhavi, who is teaching the dance form at Gandharva Mahavidyala in Delhi. In fact, the doe-eyed beauty did not learn music, she was literally born into it. Her father Vinay Chandra Maudgalya was the founder of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.

Trained in Kathak and Bharatanatyam, Madhavi later found her interests inclining towards Odissi, a form revitalised in the 1950s, courtesy Abhinaya Chandrika. Today Madhavi talked about the significance of Odissi as an aesthetic art. “The sculpturesque sequences of this form come from iconography. The form is highly influenced by paintings and sculptures,” she said.

The form is highly curvaceous, requiring concentration on the tribhang (division of the body into head, bust and torso). The themes are replete with lores of the eight incarnations of Lord Vishnu, and Lord Krishna. Madhavi is, however, experimenting with themes other than the cliched ones. She added, “Mythology is all important as a medium of expression. The feelings are always universal.”

Madhavi today reflected the purest form of Odissi, which is a soft and lyrical dance depicting the ambience of Orissa and the philosophy of its most popular deity Lord Jagannath. She commenced her recital with Jagannath Ashtakam, an invocation to Lord Jagannath. Then came the Battu, a musical worship of Batukeshwar Shiva, presented by Madhavi’s disciples Somali Sharma and Sunanda Banerjee.

The Shankarvarnam in Raga Aditaal reflected the beautiful patterns of the dance form, with Madhavi and Pyali De closely trailing time. The next abhinaya sequence by Madhavi bared the intricate format of Odissi, with the dancer concentrating on the mimetic expression of the “virah nayika”, languishing for her beloved.

Pallavi in Raga Arabi, presented by all four accompanying disciples, Piyali, Somali, Sunanda and Moumita, was delightful. It was all about the extreme variation in ragas, the rhythmic patterns and the sophisticated footwork of Odissi. The dancers worked to create an amazing synchronisation. The final presentation titled “Moksha” underlined the urge of the dancer seeking salvation. This was presented by Madhavi, Piyali and Moumita.

Accompanists included Sri Gangadhar Malik on the pakhawaj, Manikuntala Bhoumik and Puranchandra Mahji for vocal support, Kiran Kumar on flute, Diwan Singh on the tanpura. Gautam Bhattacharya has been especially called in from Delhi for the lighting arrangement.



‘Need to create awareness about Copyright Act’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
There is a need to generate more awareness among people regarding the implications of the breach of the provisions of the Copyright Act which can lead to heavy fines and also imprisonment.

These views were expressed by Mr D.N Malhotra, chairman of the Copyright Council of the Federation of Indian Publishers, while addressing a press conference here today. The press conference was called to announce a seminar on the Copyright Act by the federation at Panjab University on October 16 and 17.

‘‘After being published, the ideas of an author become intellectual rights’’. Mr Malhotra said law in India had ‘‘inconsequential implications’’ till the eighties. Now a breach of the Copyright Act was an offense of cognisance which meant that the police could take direct action without a formal complaint. The punishment for the first offense amounted to a fine of Rs 50,000 and six month imprisonment. If the offense committed a second time it could lead to a fine of Rs 1,00,000 and imprisonment up to one year.

He said certain publishers were indulging in copying the material from original works and selling cheaper copies. Pirating was ‘‘morally and legally wrong’’.

At least 30 police officers are expected to participate in the two-day seminar. He said there were several areas of operational part of the Act which needed to be stressed among the law-keeping authorities.

A writer enjoys the privileges of the copyright for his entire life and his family enjoys the benefits for 60 years after his death, Then the published work enters the public domain, it was informed.

The seminar will be inaugurated by Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor of The Tribune.

Mr Malhotra said people were more informed about their physical rights. In the changing global scenario, the copyrights had gained immense importance. There was need for disseminating more information among the general public. The federation has organised similar seminars in several parts of the country, including Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Prof Satya Pal Gautam, while introducing the theme of the seminar said,‘‘ In the West when a student quoted lines from some other author he had to use inverted comas and mention the source of the text. This was followed very strictly with strict penalties incase of violations. The matter needed a close study in the Indian context’’.

He said besides publishers, concerns of the authors and academicians lay more in plagiarism of the text.


Badal’s promise fails to ‘light’ up hope
Nishikant Dwivedi

Mullanpur-Garibdas, October 14
Despite promises by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal, during a sangat darshan programme about a month ago here, over 30,000 residents of the area continue to live in darkness as unscheduled power cuts, running into hours, have made their life miserable.

The Chief Minister had directed PSEB officials during the sangat darshan to improve the power scenario in the area, but residents in the 30 villages who get supply from the 66-KV substation at Mullanpur- Garibdas village, complain that every day at least a 5-hour cut is imposed on them. The officials claim that the duration of the power cuts have significantly decreased since the last month but the villagers are not ready to buy the argument.

Mr Ashwinder Singh, a resident of Kansal village said, ‘‘Without exception, the cut starts at around 10 or 11 in the morning and the supply is restored only after 5 pm.”

Almost similar complaints were made by the residents of Naya Gaon, one of the largest villages in the area. Mr Surinder Jolly, a shopkeeper in the village, said they often faced day long cuts.

On the other hand, despite being eligible for supply on urban pattern Mullanpur-Garibdas faces unscheduled power cuts and low voltage problem. The village has a population of 15,000 and about 1,500 households have electricity meters. The villagers complained that for the past two months, the power supply remains suspended for six to eight hours daily.

Mr Arvind Puri, a resident of the village said, they had to face power cut dailies for hours. ‘‘The village is entitled to 24-hour supply as we had given land free of cost to the department for setting up of the sub-station’’, claimed Mr Puri.

However, the PSEB officials claim that the power scenario in the area had significantly improved in the past month. An official said cuts were because of the less supply in comparison to the demand.

According to sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), a large number of unauthorised connections in the villages especially in those adjacent to Chandigarh had increased load and this was one of the causes behind the cuts.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has refused to give no objection certificate (NOC) to those who had constructed houses after December, 9, 1998, and hundreds of houses have come up after the cut off date. And most of them are forced to depend on unauthorised power connection. However, senior PSEB officials deny the presence of large number of kundi connections as ‘‘a thorough check’’ is kept.

The Chief Minister had also made certain announcements regarding the grant of NOCs during his “sangat darshan” programme last month. ‘‘But it was a mere announcement and hundreds of people are in queue to obtain NOC’’, said Mr Manjeet Singh Kamboj, president of the Joint Action Committee, Naya Gaon.



Minister appeals for donating eyes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Punjab Local Government Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, yesterday made a fervent appeal to people to donate their eyes after death.

Speaking at a function organised by Shishu Niketan Modern Senior Secondary School, he told the gathering that there was no better gift one could give to the humankind.

He announced a grant of Rs 50,000 out of his discretionary funds for the purpose.

Dr Jagjit S. Saini, Additional Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, PGI, said there were 45 million blind people and 135 million people with serious visual impairment in the world today. If urgent action was not taken, these number would double over the next 20 years.

Dr Saini announced amidst cheers that solution vision 2020 — an international partnership between those working for blindness prevention — had been formed. “This is a new initiative to raise awareness, mobilise resources and develop national blindness prevention programmes.

On the persuasion of Dr Saini and Mrs S. Khorana, director principal of the school, a large number of people filled in forms for donating their eyes.

The Director of Health Services, Chandigarh, Dr Rameshwar Chand, dwelt at length on various causes of blindness, He suggested that parents should get the eyes of their children checked when they feel that their eyesight was decreasing.

The Tribune was appreciated for popularising the health column.



Seminar on human resources held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 14
The Chandigarh Panchkula Chapter of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) organised a seminar titled “Human Resources in Changing Business Scenario,” here today.

Sharing his experiences about different kinds of human leadership, Mr P.K. Verma, chief guest, and the Executive Director (HR), PTL Group, emphasised the need for change in the mindset to move faster so that we are able to create an atmosphere conducive to economic growth.

Dr Meenakshi Malhotra, Professor in University Business School, PU, who was the guest of honour on the occasion, discussed the role of Emotional Intelligence in involving the work force in the achievement of organisational goals.

Mr D.C. Arya, secretary, NIRC of the ICWAI, highlighted the importance of human brain in managing industrial affairs.



CTCC directive to party cadres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) here today directed its cadres to be vigilant against any attempt from the BJP to delete names of minorities from voter lists on the pattern of Uttar Pradesh.

“The CTCC has directed its workers to be vigilant in this regard in the Municipal Corporation elections,” party president B.B. Bahal said.

The party has referred to the Election Commission of India’s recommendation of action against officials of Uttar Pradesh, who were allegedly found to be guilty of deleting names of 15,800 minority community voters of Rampur parliamentary constituency held by Congress member Begum Noor Bano.

The CTCC has also decided to observe the 17th death anniversary of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31 and directed block and district committees to prepare for the occasion.

The party also congratulated Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul for bringing glory to Indians.



Employees’ union holds rally
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 14
Employees of PUNWIRE, SAS Nagar, under the banner of the Punjab Wireless Systems Employees Union, marched in a procession here today and held a rally, near bus stop, in support of their demands, including the revival of PUNWIRE and payment of the salary of 30 months to the employees.

The employees raised anti-Punjab Government and anti-management slogans. While addressing the gathering, union leaders alleged that the Punjab Government had unduly closed the unit.

They alleged that the embezzlement in the unit was to the tune of Rs 354 crore. It was alleged that in spite of such a big amount involved, the government was not handing over the inquiry to the CBI. They alleged that the Punjab Government was not serious about the future of the employees.

The leaders said if their demands were not accepted, they would oppose the SAD-BJP candidates in the forthcoming state Assembly elections.



Conference on electronics design concludes
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 14
A two-day national conference-cum-exhibition on “Emerging trends in electronics design and technology” concluded at the CEDTI here yesterday.

More than 100 delegates attended the conference and a number of speakers from India and abroad spoke on various emerging technology trends. They included Mr Bernd Hackmann from Laser Electronics Applications-Germany, Mr Marcus Schwarz from Posalux, Switzerland, Mr Sael Sanoy from Isola Philippines and Dr Krishna Kumar, Director, MIT, Government of India.

The PCB lab of the CEDTI was kept open for visitors. Laser Electronics Applications-Germany exhibited PCB manufacturing machinery and tools for the repair of PCBs. A number of students from various engineering colleges visited the exhibition.



‘Meditate to keep stress at bay’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
“Meditation is the greatest source of stress and tension-free life. It is the single most powerful medicine. All states of disease of the body and mind are dispelled through meditation”, said Swami Vishvas today after the conclusion of the three-day Vishvas Meditation camp held here.

A press note issued by the Vishvas Foundation said Vishvas equates most illnesses with stress. “In this age, stress is the greatest source of sickness and disease”. It is true that in countless studies a co-relation has been established between the two physiologically. When the body is in a state of stress, it is tightened and contracted. This has a highly negative effect on the organs and arteries, which cease to perform their eliminative function properly. Thus, the body begins to store toxins, and the result is an onslaught of ailments: high blood pressure, hypertension, heart attacks, migraine headaches and more. All these conditions can be prevented and cured through meditation. It connects one with the infinite reservoir of calm, radiance and equanimity that is the natural state of each human being.

“Meditation puts one in a place of misidentification from the mind which is the main cause of stress and hence illness, one learns to become an observer of the moods and circumstances of the mind, remaining in a place of balance and effortless health, which is filled with bliss”, remarked Swami Vishvas.



Durga Puja functions
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, October 14
The Bangiya Parishad, a socio-cultural organisation, will celebrate Durga Puja from October 22 at Gauri Shankar Mandir, Sector 17 here.

Women members of the organisation have planned ‘Anand Mela’, for the first day where home made dishes will be served. The celebrations will conclude with the immersion of Durga’s idol and Vijaya Sammilani on October 26. 


300 astrologers attend conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Akhil Bhartiya Saraswati Jyotish Manch organised the 17th Jyotish Sammelan at Gulati Bhavan, Sector 33, here today.

Nearly 300 delegates from North India took part in it. Astrologers gave a free advice to the public about their problems. They told the people how to rehabilitate drug addicts and alcoholics.

Mr Gurpratap Singh and Mr Radhey Shyam, astrologers from Nabha and Ludhiana, respectively, the chief organiser of the sammelan, Mr Chaman Lal Khera, and the president of the manch, Mr G.C. Bharagav, spoke on the occasion.


Bhog of akhand paths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Bhog of 101 akhand paths being organised under the supervision of Baba Gurdev Singh of Nanaksar and patronage of Sant Baba Sadhu Singh of Kaleranwale will be held on October 17 from 9 am to 1.30 pm at 69, Sector 28.



2 die in mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 14
Two men died on the spot when their scooter was hit by a speeding Tata Sumo near Raipur Kalan village last evening. The victims, Hardeep Singh and Palvinder Singh, both residents of Raipur Kalan village, were coming from the village when the mishap took place. The driver of the Sumo fled from the scene.



Never before has the city seen three big cultural events taking place simultaneously. Much to the delight of art lovers, who had a lot to choose from, Chandigarh had the Theatre Festival at Tagore Theatre, the light and sound programme of the Song and Drama division titled Shatroopa at the Circus Grounds and the Jhankar series of dance recitals at Shantikunj going on at the same time (7 pm).

Where on the one hand it was an occasion to be happy, on the other a lot of confusion was also created. There was particular appreciation for the plays brought to the city by the Haryana Cultural Welfare Department and the recitals of celebrated dancers like Bharti Shivaji, Leela Samson, Rajendra Gangani and Madhavi Mudagal, organised by UT Administration. They wanted to see both which were scheduled to be held at 7 pm. While the dance recitals were going on at Shantikunj, the plays were being staged at Tagore Theatre.

People were caught wondering as to why the UT Administration could not have postponed the series in view of the Theatre Festival. Well, perhaps they were unaware of the fact that the programme for Jhankar was planned three months in advance. Dates from the dance exponents had obviously been sought long time back. So the series could not have been postponed. Perhaps, The Haryana Cultural Department also had the same reason for scheduling the festival at this time.

Virasat going great

SPIC MACAY’s Virasat series is really going great. It’s heartening to see school students relating with the concept of Indian classical music and dance. But out of all the performances organised till date, the best has been the one by Puran Chand and Pyare Lal Wadali, who have this knack of striking an immediate rapport with the audience, despite their age. So when they performed Sufi gayaki at St Stephen’s on October 12, the students would not let them go. Where the schedule said that there were to be three songs, the Wadalis ended up singing five. That is what Virasat is doing to kids.

Waiting for food?

One had heard of waiting line outside government offices. But now the trend seems to be changing. There are now long lines of people waiting outside a popular Italian food joint in Sector 26. About 10 chairs have been placed outside the joint to offer convenient waiting to the food lovers. Interestingly no one minds waiting. Perhaps that is least they can do to enjoy a good meal!

Riot prone ?

Has the situation on the Panjab University Campus so deteriorated that the Chandigarh Police has to push in its riot control vehicle?

On Friday, a meeting of a PU student body was taking place at the Student Centre. A large number of police personnel were deployed for the meeting.

The most surprising thing to be seen there was “Vajra”, a riot control vehicle, equipped with water cannon and tear gas shelling gun. The city residents normally see the vehicle parked somewhere near the Matka Chowk when rallies and dharnas are in progress. The police uses the vehicle to control the agitators if they go violent.

It must be mentioned here that in recent times, there has not been a single incident of violence where the student mob on the campus went berserk and the police had to use “major force”.

Computer age

Another glittering hope of our lawmakers coming of age has been shattered by the information that they do not even want to be IT savvy. The other day when the Department of IT in Haryana organised a training programme for the MLAs, only one responded, that too a PhD, former Vice-Chancellor, Dr Ranga.

Readers would recall that last year the Haryana Government had launched a media blitzkrieg about the legislators hooking on to computers. In fact, the Chief Minister and a former Junior Engineer-turned-legislator — self proclaimed expert on power — had struck a lovely pose jabbing at the keyboard of a Pentium III.

MLAs had even demanded a laptop each from the government to hone their web skills and to probably impress their constituents back home with their newly “unacquired skills”. Some enthusiastic bureaucrats involved in the training process had even heralded a change in the “image” of the neta. However, the legion of Secretaries/PSs in the Secretariat who serve the political masters day in and day out had smiled, knowing fully well that the netas will once again flatter to deceive. Perhaps, the smile was also in view of the surety that the laptops and the other gizmos will fall in their hands only.

Air Force Day

While major units of the Air Force based here observed the 69th Air Force Day this week with the usual fanfare, similar, though unusual, functions organised by the Chandigarh Squadron of the NCC went largely unnoticed. On the occasion, the unit’s Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr R K Sharma administered the air force pledge to all personnel of the squadron.

Later, a tea party was hosted by the squadron for officers, JCOs and civilians of other NCC units based here. The NCC Group Commander, Chandigarh, Col Deepak Sharma, who was the chief guest on the occasion, cut the anniversary cake.

Hitch-hiking cops

The entire traffic on the Ambala Highway, bang opposite Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, came to a standstill late in the evening on Tuesday last as a police Gypsy swerved in front of a speeding Punjab Roadways bus.

As the bus came to a screeching halt, the wideeyed commuters waited impatiently, not for the traffic to clear, but for some kind of action. They expected gun-toting cops to jump out of the Gypsy in typical bollywood style and pull out the culprits from the bus. But only one cop stepped down, and boarded the bus after waving to his colleagues in the Gypsy. Nice way of hitch-hiking, indeed.

Postal blues

If you want to buy postal stamps, do not go to the Sector 18 post office, please. For, instead of the stamps, you will be offered a bland smile from the lady sitting behind the counter. “We have only 50 paise stamps and that also just 20,” she told a businessman on Saturday. “Actually, we are not getting them from Nasik”.

So dear residents, if you want to write letters to your near and dear ones, who do not have access to computer, wait patiently till the postal department gets the stamps. Happy waiting till then!

Occasional File

The Punjab IAS Officers’ Association Newsletter, rightly named as The Occasional File for its irregular periodicity, indeed unfolds various hidden talents. The latest issue of the newsletter is thought provoking and has been cast in the known editorial style of its editor, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal.

Opening with a businesslike message from the association president, Mr B.R. Bajaj, and followed by an editorial on an intensely debated controversy of bureaucrats gunning for each other in the name of purity and probity in service, the newsletter has much more to offer. While Mr P.S. Aujla has contributed a well documented legal essay on Media Trials and Law of Defamation, the Occasional File also reproduces the famous article on Contempt Power authored by a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Mr V.R. Krishna Iyer. Another article of contemporary relevance, Managing Changes in Social Services Sector, has been penned by Dr Dinesh Chandra. The newsletter also carries the final recommendations of the E-Governance Seminar organised by the association on August 10.

While the newsletter reports the strong views of the Association against the induction of deputationists from other states in Punjab; it also has a word of gratitude for the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for announcing, while presiding over Seminar on E-Governance, a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the association to promote its public spirited efforts.

The Occasional File also contains an interview with the new Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr N.K. Arora, who emphasises the need for the officers “to continuously grow along the right lines in their personal inner lives” and expresses a realisation of the need to correct distortions in cadre management in view of visible manifestations of “unethical cynicism, bureaucratic sulking and frustration.”

For a shoot

The Student Centre was overcrowded on Tuesday afternoon. Reason: Shooting of a Punjabi music album. Most of the students did not know (didn’t bother to inquire either) which album was being shot and when it will be released.

There were reflectors and loud music. The director was busy taking shots after shots.

The crowd was seen laughing when the director ordered re-takes, much to the embarrassment of the young heroine.

A student was heard shouting: “Director sahab, you should have taken an experienced lead actress”.

Modified seal

For years together, the seal affixed on the judgements and orders issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court here was without “Satyameva Jayate” inscribed in Devanagari script under the “Ashoka Capital” even though the same was mandatory under the provisions of the High Courts (Seals) Act, 1950.

As soon as the matter was brought to the notice of the High Court authorities, a notification was issued by a deputy registrar on behalf of the Chief Justice and the Judges of the High Court. According to the notification, the seal has been modified in consonance with the Act. The words “Satyameva Jayate” have now been included. Fast action, indeed.

Unique area

The Environment Society of India (ESI) has spotted another unique area in the city which supports wildlife. The campus of Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) has developed into a biodiversity rich patch of a natural forest, a fruit garden, beautiful grassland, and flowerbeds enriching the landscape of Chandigarh.

Located in Sector 30-D, the CSIO campus is spread in 200 x 600 metres, 1/4 of a sector. The diversity of thick growth of trees and shrubs attract a host of species by providing suitable places to inhabit, food and water the year around. One can see a variety of birds frolicking, singing, chirping and hopping around. These include two species of Parakeet, Hornbill, Mynah, Cuckoo, Bushcat, Starling, Hoopoe, Doves, Flower Packers, Owl, Magpie, Sun bird, Bulbul etc. In the natural forest one can see reptiles, hares, rats, bats, butterflies, glowworms etc.

Dr R.P. Bajpai, Director, CSIO, has assured the ESI that a pond will be created and a folder “checklist of flora and fauna” in the campus will be published soon.




Vehicle stolen from parking lot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Two cases of theft were reported in different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. A moped (CH-01W- 1835) was stolen from Sahib Singh parking lot in Sector 17 yesterday. Also, a scooter (CH-01J-1976) was reportedly stolen from Sector 46.

In both cases, an FIR under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Chain snatching: Two scooter-borne youths reportedly snatched a gold chain from Ms Rajni Lohia in front of her residence on Saturday. A case under Section 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered. Meanwhile, Anil Kumar has been arrested on the charge of snatching Rs 60 and a cinema ticket from Shiv Lal on Sunday near Sanjay Public School. A case under Section 92, 341 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized: Fifty pouches of liquor were seized from Rajinder Singh near Gurdial Singh Petrol station. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

One Arrested: Surjit Singh was arrested on the charge of hitting a motor cyclist near Sector 11 rehri market on Saturday. He was driving a tractor (CH-01M-3658) when the incident took place. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC has been registered.

Police Raid: The city police, in association with the Cine Copy- right Protection, today raided audio- video cassette parlours and a cable operator’s premises in Sector 11 for using pirated cassettes and CDs.

According to information Mr Deepak Tandon, Chief Executive of the Cine Copyright Protection, had complained that several establishments were using pirated cassettes and CDs.

Raids were conducted at Sethi Video Parlour, Audio-Video Technology and CNS Cable Network. The cable operator was booked for showing Hindi movie Gadar. A movie cannot be shown on a cable network without proper permission. The police has arrested three employees — Khem Chand, Ranjit Prasad and Anil, while the proprietor of the concern, Anil Mehta is still at large. As many as 13 CDs of latest releases were seized.

Ashwani Sethi of Sethi Video and Chunni Lal of Audio Video Network have also been arrested. A case under Sections 51, 52-A, 63, 68- A of the Copyright Act has been registered.

Injured: A pedestrian, Balbir, was seriously injured after he was hit by a speeding scooter on the Sector 22-23 intersection on Sunday. He received a fracture on his leg.



Double murder case: proceedings on
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, October 14
Evidence in the shop double murder case has started in a local court a year after the incident, even as the two prime accused are still at large. Accused Laxman and Mewa Singh had been declared proclaimed offenders by the court last year. The murder took place at a liquor vend of Lada Group in Sector 24 in which— two salesmen were murdered and the accused had decamped with cash worth Rs 54 lakh.

The statement of one of the witness working as a salesman was recorded before the court on October 9. The statement of witness Tilak Raj was recorded before the UT Additional Sessions Judge, Ms Sneh Prashar. The witness stated that the shop used to close at 11 p.m and reopen at 6.30 a.m.

The witness informed that on August 16 he closed the shop at 11. 30 p.m and opened the shop at 6.30 a.m. on August 17 and found that one body was lying in the toilet adjacent to the stairs.

The witness also added that some cash was missing and some currency notes were lying scattered in the shop. He informed that the two employees who were murdered used to sleep in the shop at night. He said that the body of Roop Lal, the other salesman, was found in front of the counter.

The witness also revealed that the telephone had been disconnected. The police had recovered Rs 6 lakh from one of the accused — Sobh Nath — later arrested by the police, on August 18 and that he was a witness of this incident.

The incident took place on August 17 had sent a shock wave in the city as it was the largest dacoity ever reported and had happened in a well-protected and peaceful sector of the city.

It was alleged that the five persons had entered a liquor vend in Sector 24, and brutally murdered two employees — 34-year-old Roop Lal and 28 year old Nand Kishore — who were sleeping inside the shop. The two had reportedly been hacked with a sharp-edged weapon. The entire floor, both in the front, and the toilet was completely covered with blood.

The two co-accused — Jhia Lal and Sobh Nath — were arrested by the Special Crime staff of the local police on August 22,in a case of theft and criminal conspiracy under Section 420,120b of the IPC and recovered Rs 54 lakh. The challan against the accused had also been filed before the court. The city police had conducted raids at different places many times. But the police had failed to arrest the main accused.

There was also some confusion over the recovery of the money as the city police had claimed that they had recovered the money from the accused. On the other hand the Amethi police had refuted their statement and claimed that they had recovered the money from the accused. Later, the dispute was solved amicably.



Two gas agency employees held
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, October 14
The police has arrested two workers of a Sector 7-based gas agency for pilfering gas from LPG cylinders in Sector 2, here this morning.

According to police sources, the duo, Hari Om and Nath Babu, were caught red-handed while refilling an LPG cylinder by Mr M.L. Sharma, president of the Sector 2 Residents Welfare Association.

Mr Sharma said the duo came to deliver the cylinder at his house today. Being suspicious of gas leakage, he went outside the house to ask them to check the cylinder. As soon as he approached them, he heard the noise of gas leakage there.

Following which he noticed that they were pilfering gas from one cylinder to another cylinder with the help of a refilling equipment. Mr Sharma then called the police and they were arrested. A case has been registered against them.


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