Saturday, November 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



VIP encroachers ‘too hot to handle’
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 2
Though ‘armed’ with the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to remove encroachments on public land yet dealing with the VIP violators still seems to be tough task for the enforcement staff of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

During the seventh day of the anti-encroachment drive in Phase 3B1 here, cases of the enforcement squad adopting double standards in removing the unauthorised structures raised by resourceful persons came to light. When the enforcement staff moved to a block of one kanal houses, it was observed that after the JCB’s uprooted unauthorised structures, the workers physically removed fencing and mangled iron grills and loaded them on to waiting trucks.

However, when the JCB moved towards House No 840, it took some time for the officials to decide whether to remove structures raised on both sides of road berm in front of the house. The owner of the house, Mr Kanwaljeet Singh Walia produced a letter from the Principal Secretary, Local Government directing the Executive Officer of the local civic body not to remove the structures as it was meant for “beautifying” the area. However, after hesitating initially the PUDA officials checked up with their “seniors” and left after partially removing the encroachment. All the while residents of the area kept on urging the officials to remove the structures completely as had been done in other cases.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of the area, said, “PUDA officials were adopting a pick-and-choose policy in removing the tow walls and concrete floor in front of the boundary walls”. A similar scene was witnessed in front of House no. 815, residence of Mr Hardeep Singh Bamra, OSD to the Chief Minister, Punjab. After gathering courage to remove a portion of the iron railing raised on green belt the officials at the site received a phone call from a “senior” in PUDA and the demolition squad made a hasty retreat. When The Tribune team asked the reason for leaving the unauthorised structures intact, the demolition staff evaded the question. It is learnt that officials wanted to give enough time to the VIP to remove the structures on his own.

Residents of the area raised doubts over the uniform approach of PUDA in axing the structures. When the demolition squad moved to Phase 3B 2, a JCB while removing the tow wall damaged the driveway leading to the house. An agitated occupant of the house, Mrs Rattan on requesting the PUDA officials to give her some time to remove the minor encroachments was told that enough time had already been given. “ Why is time being given to the VIP’s?” asked a resident of Phase 3B 2 standing nearby.

Meanwhile, the demolition squad surveyed at least 661 houses and demolished at least 38 structures in Phase 3B I — rest of the encroachments had been removed voluntarily. In Phase 3B 2, at least 661 houses were surveyed and 39 structures were demolished. At least six encroachments in the rear of the SCF’s and single-storey shops were also removed in Phase 3B 2. Officials said few houses in Phase 3B 2 had been left.

Notice served to remove ‘malba’
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 2
The Anti-Encroachment Committee today served a 15-day notice upon the President of the local civic body to remove the ‘malba’ generated during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the town. Mr NS Minhas, president of the committee, said if the ‘malba’ was not removed, the matter would be brought to the notice of the division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Mr justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, who are already hearing the case. The next date of hearing was fixed for November 20.

Mr I.S. Waraich, patron of the committee said the civic body had been asked to check the menace of stray cattle and pigs.Back


Administration warns MC
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Chandigarh Administration has warned the Municipal Corporation of “action under the law” if the corporation failed to inform it about the date and time when “annulment” of a resolution could be brought before the House.

The Administration in a communication issued on October 29 to the corporation said that UT Administration had “annuled” its resolution of August 30, 2000, to approve putting up boards of councillors on the facilities created from the councillor’s development fund.

The resolution was again passed by the House after the Administration disapproved it.

Issuing a show-cause notice to the Municipal Corporation under Section 423 of the MC Act, the Administration had asked for a reply by November 7, failing which the Administration would take action as per law.

The terse language of the notice forwarded to the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, for informing the time and date of an adjourned meeting of the House was received by her today.

The notice had been served on the Commissioner on October 31.

The notice said that the reply of the notice should be sent to the Local Bodies Secretary.

Realising the urgency and strict wording of the notice, Ms Kaur telephonically contacted the Home and Local Bodies Secretary, Mr R. S. Gujral, and objected to the language. She said ten days’ period was not sufficient.

The Mayor was in a fix today as the Municipal Commissioner was said to be out of station.

The Mayor urged Mr Gujral that she was not able decide the matter in a day considering that a communication which was meant to be replied by November 7 was delivered to her after five days.

The Mayor said she would at least require 72 hours to issue a notice to call the House meeting.

Mr Gujral said the language was not terse and it was as per the provisions of the Act.

Mr Gujral also gave her a leverage, saying that she was free to reply within 10 days of the receipt of the communication.

Earlier also, on the issue of framing bylaws for polythene use, the Administration had only given a period of ten days, which also had to be extended.

Ten days were considered to be too short to frame a policy and get it approved from the House, resulting in the polythene bylaws still remaining lying with the House without being passed.


Auction notice for parking lots soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) is likely to issue a notice for the auction of parking lots in sectors 17, 9 and 8 next week.

The decision comes in the wake of the Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to impose parking fee at various parking lots in order to de-congest the area.

The rates for parking could more or less be the same as passed earlier by the Municipal Corporation, sources said. The notice is likely to be issued either on Monday or Tuesday. The interested parties would be given a ten-day period to respond to the notice.

The corporation had initiated an exercise to take views of residents on the parking arrangements. The Sector-17 traders had recorded their opposition to any parking fee and had met the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M. P. Singh, this regard.

The new parking arrangement may have provisions of free parking lots and exemption to those who visit a market for a brief period.

The corporation before deciding the modalities had studied the parking arrangements in Delhi.

The parking charges levied earlier by the House had to be kept in abeyance in the wake of opposition from traders and the House had been refusing to pass amended parking rates since then.


HUDA, Housing Board standoff resolved
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
The standoff between the Haryana Housing Board and Haryana Urban Development Authority over the removal of encroachments in Housing Board colonies has finally been resolved.

Sources in Haryana Housing Board today informed that HUDA had agreed in principle to remove encroachments in these houses. In fact, notices have already been issued to residents by HUDA officials for violations of all kinds, after a list of allotees was sent to them by the Housing Board officials.

It has also been decided that the staff from the Housing Board will accompany HUDA officials whenever an anti- encroachment drive is launched in the colonies developed by Housing Board. The issue was finally resolved in a meeting of officials of both the departments held recently.

The Estate Officer, Ms Geeta Bharti, confirmed that HUDA would now be removing encroachments in Housing Board colonies. “This issue is on top of our priority list. However, the modalities are yet to be worked out ”, she assured. Housing Board colonies are located in Sector 18, 10, 11, 15, 8, 6, 19 and 26 in the township and construction of unauthorised structures, encroachment of road berms and opening of commercial establishments had continued in these colonies.

A visit to these places revealed that at several places even electricity poles had been “encompassed” by encroachers in gross violation of Indian Electricity Rules and the Indian Electricity Act, 1910.

At places where people have set up businesses in their residential quarters, businesses have “flourished” right up to the road berm leaving no space for parking of vehicles or for pedestrians.

Interestingly, a number of times when the Enforcement Staff of HUDA conducts raids on encroachers, violators allegedly manage to escape action by immediately shifting their establishment ( rehris and pharies) towards Housing Board side.

A senior official of the Haryana Housing Board said, on the condition of anonymity,” Housing Board gets the land from HUDA, develops housing societies and then returns these to HUDA for allotment. Only the powers of eviction rest with Housing Board, while their maintenance is the responsibility of HUDA.” 


Despite ban, plastic bags are useful
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
*A six-year-old child suffocates to death while playfully wrapping a polybag around her head. She couldn’t get it off in time.

*Amit’s pet dog succumbed to severe stomach ache and the vet said it happened because it had swallowed a polybag.

*Anu had to spend a day in the ICU after she had chow mein home-delivered in a recycled coloured polybag.

*It rains for barely an hour and the drains get clogged by discarded polybags.

*Perhaps our grand-children won’t know the meaning of groundwater because polybags buried in the soil prevent the seepage of rainwater into the water table.

That polybags are a serious hazard to human health and environment is now universally recognised. The ban imposed on their use by the Punjab and Haryana High Court is, therefore, most timely. Yet, the fact remains that polybags have turned out to be useful packing material for packing all kinds of product.

When a new product comes in the market, people really like to have it for its novelty value as well as usefulness. The lightweight polythene bags are ideal carrybags for general use, says a study conducted by two Delhi-based scientists, Dr Madhu Saxena and Dr Roopa Vajpayi. The polybags have strength, security and lightness. To use them with ease an anti-blocking agent is also used to open or unfold them. They protect your products from moisture, dirt and sun and practically for that matter from any undesirable agent. Today polythene bags, sacks, carriers, sheets and reels are produced as per individual’s needs and specifications in various sizes, colours and shapes.

How are they produced?

In short, the manufacturing of polybags include, firstly, the melting of low density poly-ethylene granules to form a moving tube which is then squashed flat by rotating nip rollers and then wound up on to a roll. The next stage is to print the film as per requirement. Then comes the final stage or the bag-making process through basic three types of machines. The process is very simple and in a way reason for a mind-boggling number of polybags produced round the world.

Hazards and the nuisance of polythene bags

The study, however, emphasies that the single fact that polythene or plastic bags are non-biodegradable make them unfit for usage on account of their difficult or rather impossible disposal problem.

The term non-biodegradable means that they cannot be degraded over a period of time. They remain as such causing nuisance of a high order. The used and discarded bags thrown and dumped carelessly anywhere cause umpteen number of pollution problems in the environment. These include:

(a) They degrade soil, which becomes contaminated with the toxic chemicals present in them. Soil as a resource is widely getting contaminated due to polybags.

(b) They choke sewer lines and clog drains resulting into waterlogging and disruption of the entire drainage system in an area or cities. Polybags buried in the soil prevent the seepage of rainwater into the water table.

(c) These bags are many times eaten up by cattle that die after consuming them.

(d) They pose danger to humans. A six-year-old child was suffocated to death because she had playfully wrapped the polybag around her head. Food carried in recycled coloured polybags can be very toxic.

(e) When they are burnt they release toxic gases into the environment

(f) Plastic waste management will become increasingly expensive.


In India, recycling is the basis of waste management but plastic cannot be recycled infinitely. Three components of polythene bags — polymer, stabilisers and colours — each add up to make the recycled variety quite toxic, says the study. The polymer — PVC is the chief toxic agent to which a stabiliser is added which gives a dirty colour to the plastic sheet. Further, to hide this dirty colour another colour is added so that it may become acceptable.

Opaque black bags are the most displeasing of the recycled varieties with the surface still rough and bubbly from dirt, which has got firmly stuck to it. They are most hazardous to food but even these have found special utility to men for hiding non-vegetarian foodstuff such as mutton or chicken, which one may not like to show off while going home.

Efforts are going on to minimise production of a large number of polybags. Therefore, a larger supply of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polythene (HDPE) plastics are being produced. They are also approved for food use.

PVC elimination

A Swiss retailer Migros has been an innovator in promoting green products in the 1970s. Migros has been successful in eliminating PVC from packaging, reducing its use from 2,200 tonnes in 1984 to less than 500 tonnes in 1990. This was accomplished by finding less-damaging alternative plastics and by reducing the volume of packaging material. Today PVC is used only for such products as meat produce, for which other plastics would not be safe.

Alternative of polybags

There are many useful alternatives —jute bags, cloth bags and paper bags that can be used in place of polybags. Through research, biodegradable plastics are now in the pipeline. Sweden is a leader in plastic waste management. Many European countries have evolved an efficient plastic waste management system. India can also do it provided the government, manufacturers and people have a will to do so. 


Ranjit Singh set the trend in administration: Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a broad-minded leader and could not be bracketed of as a theocratic or secularist alone.

This was stated by Babu Parmanand, Governor, Haryana, in his inaugural address at the national seminar on Maharaja Ranjit Singh: state and society’ being organised by the Department of History at Panjab University.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s period was preceded by an era of social and religious anarchy. He, however, changed the trends in terms of administration. He set examples of fair personal conduct. He called his government ‘ Khalsa’ with stress on purity and transparency.

Babu Parmanand said Maharaja Ranjit Singh was capable of quick decision making, ensured fair dealings, was a liberal army commander and people trusted him for his work.

The Governor said the Maharaja did not have any written law books to decide cases, but fair play was ensured in the final decisions. Babu Parmanand made a dig at the current political set-up where crores were gobbled up but no one could be brought to book because of loopholes in the system.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s era is particularly mentionable for his secular feelings. Chieftains from all religions were part of his army. He presented a real life example of following preaching of the Gurus

Prof Jean Marie Lafont, a French historian, in his keynote, address said “Punjab is a place where people and culture meet, where original synthesis are elaborated. Greek elements were always present in Gandhara and Punjab since the 6th century.” Prosperity of Maharaja’s Kingdom owed, a great deal to the exertions and competence of the local people”, he said.

Dr Naresh, in his paper on Punjabi literature in Ranjit Singh’s era’ said enough evidence was available to prove that the illiterate king had an ear for music and an eye for beauty. One major contribution of this period was that Punjabi shed its engulfing influence of Braj and Sanskrit. It started establishing its own identity as a language. Spoken Punjabi started converting itself into literary Punjabi.

Prof G.S. Dhillon said, “Sikhism is a ‘whole-life religion’. One of the note worthy features of Sikhism is the uniting of the spiritual and the temporal realisms of human existence. Maharaja’s rule was a characteristic product of the Sikh traditio.

Dr Kirpal Singh in his paper on ‘ military organisation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’ said the military organisation of the Maharaja played a significant role in unification of Punjab. With his military prowess, he was able to create a big kingdom. Dr Kirpal Singh gave the details of the Maharaja's set-up.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice- Chancellor, welcomed the guests. Other speakers on the scheduled included Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, Prof Dilbagh Singh, Prof A.C. Arora and Prof Prithipal S. Kapoor.


Three booked for forging MP’s signature
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A Sector 32 resident, Sandeep Bhardwaj, has reportedly lodged a complaint with the police that three persons had forged the signature of local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and issued a false press note to the media.

According to police sources, three persons namely, Anshu Gupta, Sandeep Singh and O.P. Verma have been accused of issuing a press note containing false information. The press note allegedly stated that relief material collected for victims of earthquake which hit Bhuj, earlier this year, was still lying in a Sector 35 office.

The complaint was submitted to Senior Superintendent of Police, who marked it to Superintendent of Police, Baldev Singh for inquiry. On basis of the report, the local police today registered a case under Sections 463, 469, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.


Cub dies at Chhat Bir Zoo
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, November 2
One cub of a litter of three, which was delivered by a lioness in a house of the Lion Safari on Wednesday, died here today.

Sources in the zoo said the 2-day-old cub died due to non-acceptance by its mother. The lioness did not feed the cub, following which the animal lost its life.

The cub was cremated after conducting a post-mortem examination in the zoo this evening. The number of lions in the zoo now stands at 83. 


Tearful farewell to Sant Waryam Singh
Tribune News Service

Followers of Sant Waryam Singh bid farewell to him at his cremation at Ratwara Sahib on Friday. — Tribune photo Parvesh Chauhan

Ratwara, November 2
Lakhs of followers of Sant Waryam Singh, founder President of the Vishav Gurmat Ruhani Mission, who died on October 31, bade a tearful farewell to the spiritual leader near the Ratwara Sahib Gurdwara amidst chanting of shlokas and recitation of Gurbani. They came from various parts of the country and also from abroad.

The pyre was lit by Baba Lakhbir Singh, one of his disciples. His two sons, Mr Manjit Gill and Mr Naripjeet Gill, who are in the USA, could not reach in time for the cremation. His two daughters, Ms Rubina Sidhu and Ms Baldev Kaur, were, however, present.

The body was taken to the cremation ground in a flower-bedecked tractor-trailer, accompanied by an Army band.

According to Dr Jagjit Singh, Chief Editor, who brings out a publication of the Ratwara Sahib Gurdwara titled “A Glimpse of His Holiness” on behalf of the Ratwara Sahib Gurdwara, told The Tribune that the sons of the deceased were expected here on November 5 for the immersion of the ashes in the Sutlej at Bhambor Sahib Gurdwara near Anandpur Sahib.

He said the saint propagated contentment in life and after death. He told his disciples some time before his death that his pyre should be made of simple traditional wood and not of chandan wood as was suggested some of his followers.

Lakhs of his devotees had the last glimpse of their departed Guru. The disciples had come from the USA, Canada, UK and several other countries. There were also hundreds of disciples from the Terai area in Uttar Pradesh where the saint did his farming. Disciples also descended on the gurdwara from Bombay, Tarn Taran, Phagwara, Paunta Sahib, Faridkot, Patna, Rajpura, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Karnal and Shahbad Markanda, apart from a large number of other cities and towns.

Devotees present at the cremation ground said Sant Waryam Singh was a Sikh mystic par excellence who has devoted his whole life to make humanity conscious of the fact that this life is the rarest of the rare opportunity to realise God, and this God-gifted human birth should not be wasted in indulgence.


Soaring spirits in the confines of Nari Niketan
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, November 2
“We are as good as anybody else and may be even better. What we need is an opportunity to prove ourselves. I aspire to become a police officer, so that I can help other girls who are deserted by their families.

I was left alone and admitted here as my parents died when I was child and my relatives refused to provide for me. “said Robina, an inmate of Nari Niketan, who is driven by an ambition to do something useful in life despite all odds.

At present, there are 21 inmates, including 12 mentally retarded ones, in Nari Niketan, Sector 26, who are willing to do their best in life despite the odds.

Robina has been living in Nari Niketan for the past five years. She is a student of class VIII in a government high school in city. Narrating her story to Chandigarh Tribune, Robina said it was unfortunate that people had misconceptions about them. But the fact is that all of them have been victims of the society and left all alone, she said.

“I am lucky that I have joined school and have an opportunity to fulfil my ambition. I am getting full cooperation from officials of the institute and also from my schoolteachers” said Robina.

Another inmate, Puja, who has been staying in Nari Niketan for more than 10 years and wished to become a musician, said she was too small when she was brought here and was not aware of her family. She said the institute had arranged a music teacher for her training and had thus given a new meaning to her life.

Pinky, another inmate, said she was learning stitching and tailoring and aspired to start her own boutique. She said she was confident about her future.

Renu, who has been staying here for the past six months said it was very difficult for her to stay here initially but things had changed now. “I am learning embroidery work, pot painting and soft toys making”, she said.

Superintendent of the Nari Niketan, Ms Anu Sharma, said “I faced a lot of problems when I joined but soon I developed a good relationship with inmates here. They are now part of my family”.

She said the institute had recently started adult education programme, stitching and tailoring course, embroidery and musical classes.

She said she had to take some hard decisions to promote the interests of her wards. When I decided to send Robina to school, most of the people here were not hopeful. But I have faith in my girls and she is now doing her best.

Ms Sharma said the Social Welfare Department had been funding the institute for various programmes, but added that help from NGOs and others was wanting.

Director of the Song and Drama Division, Ms Madhu Dalela, who organised a musial and song programme for the inmates said there was a need to develop self-confidence and to make them feel part of the society. 


Nek Chand’s May Day message heard
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The seven-day long mess created in the prestigious Rock Garden on account of stalled water supply was finally cleared today, with the UT Engineering Department reacting to the impending problem.

Following a report on the problem being faced by Mr Nek Chand in preserving the grand environmental heritage in view of lack of adequate water, the UT Administration today dispatched its repair team. At about 12 noon there were at least three men at work to repair the water pipe in the parking area of the world-famous garden. The water supply had been blocked due to a fissure in the main water supply pipe. Mr Nek Chand today said that for the past seven days he had been repeatedly sending messages to the Department to repair the fault, but to no avail.

Reacting to the statement by the Engineering Department that Rock Garden was equipped for an emergency situation like this in view of the tubewell installed on its premises, Mr Nek Chand categorically remarked, “If we had a tubewell why would we have bothered the Administration. The fact is that there is no such arrangement.”

Meanwhile, he said that the fault would soon be repaired and routine work resumed in the Garden. 


Eat Chinese food the Chinese way
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

The first restaurant that comes to mind when Chinese taste grips you, is Chop Sticks. Their two outlets — Chop Sticks 1 in Sector 22 (near Piccadily Hotel) and Chop Sticks 2 in Sector 7 (Madhya Marg) — offer a vast range of Chinese meals. Set up in 1990 and 1991, respectively, they are one of the first specialty eateries to have come up in the city.

As you walk up to the first floor joint in Sector 7, Satwant Singh’s dragon paintings on the walls of the staircase, and in the dining hall strike you. Dim lights further heighten the ambience. And what makes the experience worth your bill is the music of The Rodrigues. They have been performing here for the past 10 years at dinner time (8 to 11). So, the noodles acquire an extra flavour as you savour them with your “farmaishi” song. The Rodrigue brothers have rarely turned down a request from a customer.

Another unique point of this eating place is the boutique. Yes, a segment of the place has been reserved for designer salwar kameezes and night suits. So, while you wait for the order, just stroll in. You might find an apparel that you had been wanting. As one busy working woman said: “It is a great time-saver for me. I had been putting off shopping for quite some time.”

“The concept began with my Delhi-based sister putting up an annual exhibition of suits. Seeing the good response, my wife decided to have it on a permanent basis,” says Mr Sarv Mittar, partner with brothers Vishva Mittar and Desh Mittar.

And how did they diversify to food from their original business of furniture? Well, the idea germinated when they picked up some tricks of the trade while they were furnishing hotels and restaurants of the Chandigarh Administration and the Haryana Government.

It is natural that this exclusive Chinese eatery offers a large variety of starters, soups, snacks, noodles(chowmein, chilli garlic), rice (szechuan shrimp, fried, ginger and garlic), chopsuey(American, Chinese, veg), vegetables (veg basket is a concoction of seasonal vegetables cooked with baby corn and served in a crunchy potato basket), lamb, pork, seafood (seasonal prawns, pomfret), poultry, mini meals and dessert along with homemade sauces. But remember, Chop Sticks is closed after lunch and before dinner, from 3 to 7. You may even opt for home delivery (phone 778946) and outdoor catering.

Their chef, as is essential in Chinese cooking, makes it a point to dice and cut the vegetables, chicken and other raw material into small pieces in sizes that can easily be picked with chop sticks and popped into the mouth at one go. And of course, if you prefer not to use forks and spoons, you can ask for chop sticks. You need not despair, the manager will help you master the skill of eating with the sticks if you don’t know. It just looks difficult. It is not. The menu card also explains how to use the sticks. So, go and discover the Chinese way of eating.


Intelligence Corps’ Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 2
A army’s Intelligence Corps celebrated its 59th Raising Day at Chandimandir Cantonment today. To mark the occasion, a get-together was organised at Headquarters Western Command, which was attended by the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen Surjit Singh, Chief of Staff, Lt Gen H.S. Kanwar, as well as other senior functionaries and officers of local units. A barakhana was also organised for all ranks of the Intelligence Corps, both serving and retired.

Chief of Army Staff, Gen S. Padmanabhan, Western Army Commander, Lt Gen Surjit Singh, Director General Military Intelligence, Lt Gen O.S. Lohchab and Colonel Commandant of the Corps, Maj Gen S.T. Manimala have, in their respective messages, commended the corps role in meeting the requirements of the Army and felicitated all ranks and their families on the occasion.


Air Commodore Prashar takes over
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Air Commodore S B Prashar has taken over as the Air Officer Commanding, No.3 Base Repair Depot, here. Earlier, he was serving as Command Engineering Officer at the Central Air Command, Allahabad.

Air Cmde Prashar succeeds Air Cmde Ambrish Kumar, who has been posted as the Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Eastern Air Command, on his promotion as Air Vice-Marshal.

An alumnus of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, Air Cmde Prashar had also served as Senior Engineering Officer at the Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, where he was personally involved with VVIP flights. Having logged over 2,000 hours of flying as a flight engineer, he has rich experience on varied weapon systems and aircraft. He is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal and the Chief of Air Staff’s Commendation Card.

Meanwhile, Ms Santosh Prashar has taken over as President, Air Force Wives Welfare Association, (Local).


Ranjana Shahi may be denied party ticket
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The BJP Councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi, may be denied the party ticket for her dharna against the proposal of the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, to spend Rs 74,000 on organising functions for dedicating two facilities funded from the MPs and Councillors development fund.

This was communicated by the BJP adhoc committee Convener, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, to Ms Harjinder Kaur, sources close to the Mayor said here today.

Ms Harjinder Kaur was told that Ms Shahi’s opposition to an alliance Mayor was detrimental to the alliance’s interests, ahead of the Municipal Corporation elections and Mr Mahajan would ask the high command to deny her party nomination.

According to sources, Ms Shahi should also consider expenditure under the same head for dedicating a community centre in her ward by the Union Minister, Ms Uma Bharati.

They said the Mayor brought the matter before the Finance and Contract Committee only as per tradition.

However, the Mayor sought to score a victory by getting a BJP Councillor, Mr Bachan Singh, to fund the dedication of the community centre privately.

She said the programme of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, the Union Minister and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) General Secretary, incharge Chandigarh, still stands, but has been deferred to the fourth of this month, instead of being held on November 2.

Ms Harjinder Kaur said the programme had to be postponed as Mr Dhindsa was to accompany the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, in Amritsar, where the BJP national executive committee meeting began today.

The reported alacrity of Mr Mahajan to initiate action against Ms Shahi comes in the wake of two identifiable factions in the BJP, with Ms Shahi being seen with one and Mr Mahajan with the other.

The two BJP factions have loyalties to different factions of the SAD, one led by local SAD President, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, and the other by Ms Harjinder Kaur.

Mr Riar claims that Ms Harjinder Kaur was not a member of the party, while Ms Harjinder Kaur argues that the high command never said that she was not the party member.

Mr Riar was seen associated with a BJP faction led by Gyanchand Gupta-Dharam Gupta duo.


Drive against encroachments
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
The local Enforcement Staff has launched an anti-encroachment drive in all sectors of the township to check the growth of slums.

According to reports, the drive was launched in Sectors 8 and 9 on October 30. After a number of shanties were removed on October 30 and 31, HUDA officials were on watch duty for two days to check that these do not come up again.

The Estate Officer, Ms Geeta Bharti, said the drive would be launched in other sectors, particularly Sectors 10, 11 and 12. “Over the past few months, a number of these hutments had sprung up in all sectors of the township. These encroachments have to be removed from HUDA land on a priority basis to prevent these from becoming settlement,” she said.Back


Bandh fails to evoke response
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
The statewide call for ‘Bazaar bandh’ by the Haryana Congress today failed to get response here. Work continued as usual and all markets were busy.

The city is generally regarded as a strong Congress base. Elder son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, Mr Chader Mohan, has been returned to the state Assembly thrice from the Kalka subdivision of the district.

Markets in Sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and also in other sectors remained open. Even industrial houses in the township carried on with their work. The Congress had called the bandh in protest against the state government’s new tax policy. Back


Don’t let your pet crack under crackers

WITH Divali round the corner, many dog owners find their pets hiding under sofa sets on hearing crackers go off. This is a tough time for those who love their pets and cannot stand the sight of the poor thing shaking with fear. The fear in the eyes of the pet, which cannot understand what is going wrong with the world, may make you want to comfort to.

Not all pets get upset and may not even notice the noise and lights. Some are gratified by your sole presence. Animals that are frightened or stressed can hurt themselves. For these animals, it is best to provide a safe place inside while the fireworks last. This alone may be enough of a comfort to soothe some pets.

If the safe abode is not enough to calm it, medication may be warranted. Talk to your vet about medical options. Phobia of loud noise in your pet is nothing to feel ashamed of. It is natural for animals to fear what these are not accustomed to. Shaking, excessive salivation, howling, refusing to eat food and diarrhoea may result from the exsessive stress the animal is under during this time.

Keep pets indoors. It is advisable to close the curtains and turn on the television or radio to provide some distraction. A quiet place may provide your pet with a sense of security and comfort.

You may be able to condition your dog to these thunderclaps by getting recordings of these and playing these at low volume on the stereo, gradually increasing the volume until your dog becomes accustomed to the noises This technique requires time and patience. Do short sessions at first. Praising the pet for remaining calm is important. Be careful not to overdo praising.

A very nervous dog is likely to do better if anti-anxiety medication is used in tandem with training. You should talk to your vet about this as these are prescription medications.

Jaspreet Singh


Anti-cracker rally by students
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
Students of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 38, along with their teachers, marched through the streets carrying banners with slogans “Say no to crackers”. The rally, which was flagged off by Principal Ms Prem Malik, aimed at spreading the message of ill-effects of crackers.

Earlier, Mr Jagdish Kumar , Coordinator of the Children’s alliance for Protection of Environment administered a pledge to students that instead of bursting crackers, they would celebrate Divali by lighting lamps only. The Environment Society of India president, Mr S.K. Sharma, said the campaign against crackers would continue up to November13.

Another such rally was led by Mr Jagdish Kumar, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, in which about 1000 students participated and raised slogans against cracker bursting.

Mr Vishwa Bandhu, Principal of Sanatan Dharam High School, Sector 24, in a separate function, urged about 500 students not to burst crackers on Divali.


Jain trying to create rift in SAD: Riar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The President of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, has complained to the BJP president, Mr Jana Krishnamurthy, against BJP leader and former Member of Parliament, Mr Satyapal Jain.

In a letter to the BJP president, Mr Riar accused Mr Jain of trying to spoil BJP’s alliance partner party by projecting a ‘’rebel’’ party woman as a Mayor of the alliance.

He said the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, was reportedly introduced to the BJP Chief and the Home Minister, Mr L.K Advani, as a Mayor having support of the alliance.

Ms Harjinder Kaur had won with support from the Congress defeating the official Akali candidate, Mr Mohinder Singh, he said.

He said she had floated her own party after she was expelled from the party two years back.

She allegedly voted against the BJP candidate in the Finance and Contract Committee and again against official BJP candidate, Ms Ranjana Shahi, to support the Congress Mayor, the letter said.

Mr Riar said she had initiated an inquiry against BJP Mayors recently. He said after dividing the BJP Mr Jain was now trying to split the SAD also.


Body found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The body of an unidentified woman was found hanging from a tree in the Industrial Area, Phase-II, here this evening, police said. 

The woman seemed to be aged between 25 and 27 years. The body was found hanging from a tree with a dupatta near a liquor vend.


Arrested for making suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The police has arrested Puran, a resident of Khuda Lahora, for making an attempt to commit suicide by hanging himself. A complaint was lodged by Manju, a resident of the same colony. Puran was arrested and later left on bail. A case under Section 309 of the IPC has been registered.

Assault case: The police has reportedly registered a cross case of assault against two residents of Sector 21. Anil Kumar Sharma alleged that he was assaulted and injured by several persons identified as Ajay Kumar, Prem Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Usha, Indu and Kusum. On the other hand, Vijay Kumar Sharma alleged that he was injured after being assaulted by Anil Kumar, Arun Kumar, Anita and Nisha. The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC.


Bank launches scheme for housewives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The State Bank of Patiala today launched its Greh Lakshmi Scheme for housewives. The scheme is aimed at extending financial help to housewives to meet their household requirements and social obligations. The maximum amount of loan will be Rs 40,000.

Ms Sushma Purwar, wife of the Managing director of the bank, launched the scheme and distributed loans among 50 women under the scheme at a function at Hotel Piccadily.

Mr A.K. Purwar, managing director, of the bank, termed State Bank of Patiala as a prime bank, driven by the state-of-the-art technology for “Customer delight” in banking. About 150 women attended the function.

Beer launched

Having received good response in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi, Foster’s today announced the launch of Australia’s favourite beer in Chandigarh.

Beer lovers in this spirited city can now savour the crisp, refreshing taste of Foster’s all over Chandigarh across prime pubs, ahatas and restaurants. A premium beer, Foster’s is a light colored, full - bodied lager. Available in convenient amber single-serve 330 ml bottles (pints) and 650 ml bottles (quarts), the beer will be retailed at Rs 45 and Rs 60, respectively.

Says Mr Pradeep Gidwani, managing director, Foster’s India, “We are glad to bring Foster’s to a city which truly personifies the spirit of Foster’s. The growing popularity of the brand has been a constant source of encouragement to us. Bringing International brewing standards to India and offering one of the world’s best lagers and premium quality beers to consumers in India, continues to be a driving force behind our efforts.”

Foster’s prides itself on its patented brewing technology and impeccable quality standards. Not surprisingly its plant in Aurangabad is the only brewery in India to have received the ISO 9001:2000 certification.Raw materils used and in the final samples of the beer are sent to Australia for testing on a regular basis.The malt used is from a single source and the quality is in line with international standards.

Brand shop

Philips India Limited, one of the largest players in the consumer electronics sector, today inaugurated its futuristic ‘state-of-the-art’ brand shop, called Philips Arena— Vision of the future , its First in North India, in Chandigarh. The Philips Arena, part of a chain of exclusive Philips retail outlets, will showcase the entire range of Philips consumer electronics products. Philips plans to extend these brand shops to 21 cities across the country in the next two years.

The aesthetically designed 1,000 sqft showroom will offer all Philips high-end audio and video products under one roof. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rajeev Karwal, senior vice-president, Philips India Limited, said,” We aim to set a benchmark and start a trend in consumer electronics retailing with the launch of the Arena— the first showroom of its kind. We will take this concept across India. Giving our consumers international quality products and service is what we as company aspires to achieve.

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