Tuesday, December 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Thefts leave UT forest belt thinner
Peacocks disappear from area

Ishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, December 24
Wood is being stolen on a large scale either by felling trees or chopping off branches from the UT forest belt starting from Dadumajra to PGI Campus along the Patiala ki Rao choe during the past several years and the process is still going on unchecked. The Forest Department allegedly could not even maintain any check on the theft of trees as these are unmarked.

Enquiries by this correspondent revealed that the forest belt, which until a few years ago, used to be a thick growth has grown ‘‘thin’’ and is becoming ‘thinner’ with each passing day thanks to the coming up of colonies in the Naya Gaon area of Punjab and villages along the choe in the UT and absence of fencing.

Senior residents of the area said the thinning of forest belt had also adversely effected the peacock population in the area. If the theft is not stopped it could also result in weakening of the choe banks, fear locals. A visit to the forest area revealed that several trees had been axed and the logs had been carted away. The situation has deteriorated so much non that people have starting chopping off trees even along the roadside. A large number of chopped off tree trunks bore testimony to the large scale theft of wood in the area.

Interestingly, their is no ‘‘mafia’’ involved in the illegal felling but it is the people residing in the colonies and villages along the choe who are stealing wood for fire. ‘‘Theft is maximum during the nights but people even dare to chop off trees during broad daylight’’, said sources.

Sources in the UT Forest Department said a proper fencing of the forest belt could go a long way in checking theft and axing of the trees. The belt is partially fenced from the choe side at few places. However, the fencing is broken at most of the places. Locals said the department had not repaired the fencing in the past many years. Interestingly, the forests were never fenced along the road running between the Panjab University campus and forest belt.

Sources also blamed the UT Electricity Department officials for damaging the forest who allegedly haphazardly chop off tree branches in order to protect overhead power cables along the forest belt.



Santa is just a call away!
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, December 24
Watch out, folks! Santa Claus just might drop in at your house with a bundle of gifts on the special occasion of Christmas. If you do not believe it, ask scores of city residents whose houses Santa, clad in his traditional red attire, has visited till date for giving away beautifully wrapped gifts to the children.

This is a dream turned into reality by Dream World — an enterprise being run by three city youngsters whose motto is — “You think, we deliver’.

For Rs 800, Dream World, under its domestic scheme for children, sends Santa to your doorstep with a Christmas-based “Tom and Jerry” cartoon CD at a time which suits you. Along with it, Santa brings along a lot many other gifts including candies, chocolates, sweets, balloons and tatoos. He also parties with your kids for about an hour. Till now Santa has made over 20 visits to different houses in the city and vicinity. On Christmas day itself, Santa would be visiting Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

Santa Claus is also being sent to different departmental stores and petrol stations in the city. For the purpose, Dream World has prepared a team of Santas. College and school students will be playing Santa and would get paid for it too. Believe it or not, students enacting the role are being paid around Rs 500 per day .

The idea has been conceived by marketing executive Umesh Singla, software expert Ajay Kumar and finance executive Deepak Gulati. The three had decided to make Christmas exciting last year but could not finalise it then. It was only in 2001 that they were able to send Santa Claus to different homes and this is not all as the three are planning to come up with a big surprise on Valentine’s Day too.



It’s gifts and candies all the way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The Kapsons Group has come up with a sparkling idea to spread the message of love, unity and peace this Christmas. It was a dream come true for children when Santa Claus, along with his team, rang their doorbells, greeted them and gave gifts. As children danced to the music. Christmas carols could be heard all around. As many as 100 members of the Royale Club were chosen through a draw of lots for special Christmas surprises.

The Santas too were picked up very carefully from an acting school. Both, Manjot and Deepak were very professional and added charm to the whole event. Mr Darpan Kapoor said, “We are in a secular country, so every festival must be celebrated with the same enthusiasm and zest.” It is a festival, which is, enjoyed the most by children.

The chosen children were surprised and excited to see that Santa Claus had come personally to wish them. Rishabh remarked, “ Really wonderful gifts. Thanks a lot. These were one of my most memorable moments.”

They all wanted Santa to stay for a little more time and made him take a leave on the promise that he would be visiting them next year, too.

A well-decorated gypsy decorated with balloons spread the Christmas festivity on the roads of Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh on Saturday and Sunday.

A cultural programme marked Christmas celebrations by foreign students at the office of the Dean, Foreign Students, at Panjab University, here today.

A fellow of the university, Ms Antony Cecilia, presided over the function attended by over 200 students. The Regional Director, ICCR, Mr Vindo Kumar, was present at the function.



Governor sends greetings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, in a press note today, felicitated all Punjabis, especially Christians, on the eve of ‘Christmas’.

The Governor said: “Let this day promote compassion, love and brotherhood among all in ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in the country”.

He called upon all Punjabis to celebrate this festival collectively to strengthen the secular character of the country.

at Amartex showrooms here and in Panchkula, ‘Santa Claus’ visited the retail outlets and distributed sweets and gifts among children. 


Xmas father on mobike with gifts
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Santa, wrapped up in a cozy leather jacket, instead of his time-honoured red cloak, has just arrived in a Sector 9 departmental store. Not on his sleigh, but a macho 350 cc bike. And is looking for presents. Not small insignificant gifts of love for slipping into stockings after sliding down the chimney. But nice expensive ones for filling his college-going baby’s flippant heart with ecstasy.

As he walks out of the store half-an hour later with a heavy heart and a light pocket, lean and lanky Santa of 2001, tightly clutching a gold ring, realises that he has just lost his “ho, ho, ho”, along with Rs 1200.

“Love”, he finally understands, “is an expensive affair, especially if you are going around with a ‘secular’ girl who wants a ‘classy’ gift on all occasions — be it Christmas, Valentine’s or our own Divali”.

For Rahul, today’s realisation has come, but not without paying a price. Last year also, he had spent a ‘good part of his pocket money’ buying gifts. Had even borrowed hard cash from chum Neeraj, Ashish and Deepak for buying an impressive teddy that had sent her into a fit of delight. Had also purchased a set of “tie and dye” salwar-kameez as “she had nothing good to wear at her cousin’s wedding ceremony”.

Under-grad Rahul is, unfortunately, not the only one marooned on the island of love surrounded by an ocean of expenses. His classmate Chetan too is in a fix. Zubina, his girlfriend for four years, has just demanded a ‘silver jewellery set’ and he has no money to buy it.

“Had Zubina cautioned me well in time about her desire to wear a silver set on the Christmas bash being organised at a local hotel, I would have definitely made some arrangements”, he asserts. “For silver necklace and earrings, I am told, are not very expensive. I can get them for less than Rs 800. Right now, I do not even have that much of dough. And if I do not buy her the set, she will get it from someone else, I am sure of that”.

His fears are not “unfounded”. In 2000, Zubina had accepted a “nice black dress” from one of her admirers living in Canada following Chetan’s failure to buy her an evening gown for the New Year’s party at a posh city club.

“If you ask me frankly,” he asserts, after running his frail fingers through his dusty hair, “I am tired of all these gift-shopping sessions, especially when I do not get anything in return. But then, I cannot break free from this rut because I also realise that in this materialistic creation, you do not get love as a gift, you have to purchase it with presents. The expensive, the better. That is the way it is”. Anyway folks, do not let Chetan’s carols of annoyance spoil your mood. Just chant ‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, all the way’ and be merry.



Festivities, glitter say it all
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 24
If the glittering of red and gold stars dazzling under high wattage bulbs in showroom windows on Christmas eve mesmerise you, but you do not know whom to ask about the relevance and background of the occasion, here is everything you wanted to understand.

Christmas is the most popular festival throughout the world and is celebrated as the day of Christ’s birth. It was not celebrated in mid-winter until the 4th century, when Christianity, after becoming the state religion of Rome, adopted aspects of popular pagan cults.

Christmas decorations also appear well in advance of the feast, though some still hold it unlucky to put these up before Christmas eve. The most favoured decoration are holly, ivy and mistletoe — all magical plants bearing fruit in a dead season.



Laudable changes, but miles to go...
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Though it has been a year of laudable changes which have brought about a fresh look to the lives of residents of the city yet several issues still need to be addressed. It is the need of the hour and demand of the members of the public, the sooner the Chandigarh Administration acts the better. Undoubtedly the tasks carried out in the past 12 months had been pending for the past decade.

Some of the major tasks which would affect the day-to-day life of the citizens have been addressed. Property matters stand simplified. The night life is looking up and all this after the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen, J.F.R. Jacob (retd), personally intervened and extended the closure timings for discos, clubs, pubs and restaurants. The Administration has allowed operation of private luxury buses to Punjab while permitting mini buses on internal city roads.

Starting with the needs and aspirations of people, one ticklish issue is of the burgeoning number of slums and the problems linked with them like theft of power, lack of civic amenities and also the security angle as it makes it impossible for the cops to verify each and every migrant coming in from UP or Bihar. Thanks to a controversial policy under which the Chandigarh Administration promises to rehabliatate all illegal and unauthorised slum dwellers by building pucca houses has only aided the influx of such people.

Probably the Administration as well as the Municipal Corporation need to look into non-functional street lights in the southern sectors. On several sector dividing roads which are with the MC there is no streetlight. A visit at night by senior functionaries will help instead of asking the field staff which send fudged reports to pull wool over the eyes of seniors.

A fresh look is also required on several key roads in the southern sectors. The Administration four laned portions of an important road running from sector 39 to 31 in portions. It could have been done from one end to the other. The condition of roads separating Sector 37/38/, 39/40, 38 /38west, 44/51 and 45 /50 is also deplorable.

Records of police have showed that the police deployment is lopsided against the southern belt. The latest census report has indicated that population concentration is dense south of Dakhsin marg. A regular interaction between the Municipal Councillors and officials of the Chandigarh Administration would help solve the problem of communication gap and also meet the demands of members of the public , who do not enjoy easy access to all senior functionaries of the Administration.

Members of the public would want to have more road links to Panchkula. The lone link is heavily congested and is scene of several accidents. The project to have more links has been hanging fire for more than decade now.

On the transport front a long standing demand which has been pending is to six lane the Chandigarh-Ambala highway. It will prevent several accidents. It only needs some co-ordination between UT, Punjab and Haryana. Similarly the Administration approved running of luxury AC buses to select destinations of Punjab. It is a good move as these buses had been plying illegally for more than a decade. The service should also be offered to states like Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

When the Administration started the highly appreciated system of smart card for driving licences and registration of vehicles it was linked to main server thus helping the police detect stolen vehicles speedily. The residents would want the system to be decentralised and to carried out from at least three to four places across the Union Territory than the present centralisation in Sector 17. As the Administration has decided to shift the offices of the SDMs to their respective areas of jurisdiction, the vehicle registration and licencing office can be handled at the SDM level. A proposal in this regard is pending.

Notably, this year, the nine-year-old dispute of who will have control over the Defence Services Officer Institute (DSOI) in Sector 36 has been resolved. The control was handed back to the army fulfilling the decade old demand of ex-servicemen and serving personnel.

Electric trolley bus system in collaboration with BHEL to be operationalised in a year. An MoU signed between Chandigarh Administration and Microsoft Corporation. Health infrastructure was upgraded. Medical college near completion. As many as 100 beds being added to Sector 16 hospital. Dispensaries being upgraded to polyclinics. MRI facilities made available in Sector 16 & Sector 32 hospitals.

A new four-lane bridge was opened for traffic on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road. The government museum was done up and new collection added.

On the tourism front the Yatri Niwas was upgraded and re-named Hotel Park View and given a new look various measures taken to convert into 5-Star resort, first of its kind in India. New restaurant, Mermaid, opened at Lake view. Kalagram was inaugurated making it the hub of cultural activity in the city.

On the official front the new Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, joined during the first month of the year replacing Ms Vineeta Rai. The new Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, replaced Mr Rakesh Singh in July.

What the residents want

  • Better roads and functional streetlights in the southern sectors.
  • More presence of Administration and police in the southern belt.
  • The new system of speedy disposal of work should be instutionalised and not go away with the change at the top.
  • An instutionalised time bound interaction between municipal councillors and officials of the Administration.
  • A serious move to curb mushrooming of slums. Even scrapping of the controversial rehabilitation scheme.
  • More road links to Panchkula. Several lives are lost on the existing road link.
  • Six laning of the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway.
  • A lean mean Chandigarh Administration with less dependence on clerks.

The year 2001

  • UT creates a record of sorts by earning Rs 84 crore more than what it spent during the year ending March 2001.
  • Centre sanctions about Rs 77 crore more for UT to laud good work.
  • Centre sanctions more power to meet the needs of residents.
  • IT park floated. Major IT companies already showing interest.
  • Chandigarh becomes the first city in the country to introduce the smart card system for licences and vehicle registration.
  • 300 posts of teacher sanctioned by the Union Government.
  • DSOI handed over to Western Command after a nine-year struggle.
  • The Punjab Engineering College upgraded to deemed university.
  • Twenty night schools started during the past two years.
  • Extension of closing time for discos clubs and pubs gave a boost to night life in the city.
  • Permission to ply luxury AC buses to selected cities in Punjab.



Sharp increase in road accidents, thefts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
First the good news. Heinous crimes in the city, including murder, rape and abduction, have registered a decline over the last year. The bad news, on the other hand, is that there has been a sharp increase in the cases of road accidents, vehicle thefts, burglary, dacoity, robbery, snatching and assault on public servants.

As per the Chandigarh police’s annual report, released by the IG, Mr B S Bassi, today, a total of 4020 cases have been registered till December 15 this year. This is an increase by 331 cases over the 3709 cases registered last year. The average success rate in working out cases this year has been claimed to be 63.5 per cent. The highest (100 per cent) being that of attempt to murder and rape, while the lowest is that of cases involving burglary (28.4 per cent).

Last year, 19 cases of murder and 20 cases of attempt to murder were registered by the local police, whereas the figures for this year are 15 and 10, respectively. Similarly, cases of rape have also seen a decline. The 16 cases reported this year are seven less than last year.

Incidents of abduction and molestation have also registered a decline. This year 55 cases of kidnapping and abduction were registered as compared to 67 last year, while the number of incidents of eve-teasing and molestations fell from 124 to 93 this year.

Cases of cheating and criminal breach of trust also registered a decline from 173 to 149, and from 31 to 25, respectively.

Major crime activities which have registered an increase over the last year include dacoity, dowry deaths, kidnapping and dealing in narcotics. A significant increase in thefts around the city continue to keep the police on their toes. As many as 1473 cases of theft — 402 more than last year were reported, while the cases of burglary shot up from 239 last year to 348 this year.

Road accidents continue to be a major worry for the police. Though there has been a slight decline in the number of fatal road accidents in the city, non-fatal accidents are showing an increasing trend. This is despite the fact that special traffic drives have become the hall mark of the Chandigarh police.

While there were 118 fatal accidents on city roads last year, the number this year is down slightly to 107. As far as non-fatal accidents are concerned, the 363 accidents reported this year are an increase over last year by 26 accidents.

As far as the rate of conviction is concerned, a total of 2041 cases have been decided by different courts from January to November this year. Out of these, 1187 cases have resulted in convictions, while the remaining 854 ended in acquittals.

According to the report, the Chandigarh police has also instituted an Administrator’s Medal for Meritorious Services and Distinguished Services for those personnel who have completed 15 years of unblemished service. On the other hand, 87 police personnel were awarded major punishments during the year, which includes nine dismissals. Another 452 personnel were awarded minor punishments.

Comparison of cases registered by Chandigarh police

2000 2001 Variation
Total cases registered  3709  4020  + 331
Murder  19  15  - 4
Attempt to murder  20  10  - 10
Dacoity  5  + 4
Dowry death  + 1
Fatal accidents  118  107  - 11
Other accidents  337  3363  + 26
Rape  23  16  - 7
Kidnapping  67  55  - 12
Snatching  46  58  + 12
Thefts 1071  1473  + 402
Burglary  239  348  + 109
Cheating  173  149  - 24
Breach of trust  31  25  - 6
Riots  75  86  + 12



Self-help scheme for the aged
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
HelpAge India, a national level organisation working for the cause and care of the elderly, plans to launch a new scheme aimed at promoting the concept of home care for the aged.

“We want that instead of dependingly solely on us for care, they should learn to look after themselves”, said Air Marshal Vinod Patney (retd), Director-General of HelpAge India, during the course of an interview with TNS here today. Air Marshal Patney who took over the past two months ago, visited some of the projects being run by the local unit of Helpage in and around Chandigarh.

“It is important that the elderly should be educated about important aspects like sanitation, cleanliness, hygiene,” he said, adding that they also needed to be guided as regards their hobbies which could help them earn money. A little money, he points out, will improve their status and dignity. This concept of homecare will be promoted through social workers.

Air Marshal Patney was confident that the scheme would be successful. “Öur job is to set alight the potential”, he says. “Önce the movement starts, there would be no looking back...”.

He points out that the problem as regards the elderly is enormous. It is a limitless endeavour. There is a dark side of the problem: with industrialisation, urbanisation and the advent of nuclear families, the traditional Indian value system has disintegrated and a majority of the elderly are left shattered, lonely.... & hurting

Of the 77 million elderly in India, over 40 per cent are below the poverty line, 55 per cent widows, 80 per cent from the rural areas, 90 per cent from the unorganised sector with no social security, 73 per cent are illiterate and dependent on physical labour.

Their problems are further compounded by the fact that the welfare of the aged has generally been low on priority. This is attributed to the myth that the elderly have outlived their utility and are now a liability on the liability.

The brighter side of the problem is that longevity is an achievement of the 20th century and could well be the single largest influence on the 21st century. Today’s grey population of 77 million is likely to rise to 177 million by 2025 ! Older people have a tremendous potential. Their dreams do not die nor do their hopes shrivel. If their bodies sometimes fail, the spirit is invincible. They hope for a peaceful and happy life where they can contribute positively to their families, with dignity, if they have to, and have their own identity.

HelpAge India is a leading registered non government voluntary organisation dedicated to the cause of the elderly. It is a national level, secular, apolitical & non profit organisation. It is one of the founder members of Helpage International which represents the cause of the elderly at the United Nations and is also closely associated with Help the Aged, UK.

HelpAge India provides consultancy, training, & financial support to voluntary agencies which have high credibility ratings, and run service projects for the elderly.

HelpAge India’s credibility and selfless service has earned it the proud patronage of President K.R. Narayanan and former President R. Venkataraman. The governing body consists of many eminent personalities who tirelessly work for this noble cause.

It has 26 regional and area offices across the country. In its quest to add life to years, Helpage India has various programmes spread all across the nation. Over the last two decades, it has supported over 1900 projects at a cost of more than Rs 160 crore and changed the course of life for millions. In the face of indifference and growing neglect, Helpage India-supported old age homes are like a haven for the poor elderly who have no family or other support to fall back on. Nearly half the old age homes in India are supported by it.

A seemingly minor condition like cataract robs millions of elderly of their sight making them dependent. HelpAge India organises lakhs of cataract operations every year giving older people a new lease of life, enabling them to earn their livelihood and live a dignified life once again.

Being relegated to the fringes of society, old people suffer from loneliness and depression. HelpAge India answers their need for companionship and friendship, through 130 daycare centres throughout the country.

Nothing can be as satisfying as restoring dignity, pride and self dependence to the elderly by providing him\her with a source of income and livelihood. Helpage India’s income generation activities including micro credit, aim to do just that — nearly 300 such projects have been undertaken and more are being added constantly.

There are many aged persons who have no family, financial or social support. HelpAge India links them with sponsors who take care of their basic, financial and medical needs under the “ädopt a gran” scheme. Over 17000 grannies are being supported at present under this scheme. To the thousands of elderly, its mobile medicare units are the only hope of treatment and medical facility made available at their doorstep. Currently, 100 of these are running through the country while many more are planned.


Xmas celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), joined in the Christmas celebrations and dedicated the Sai Darshan Hall to mankind at the Sri Sathya Sai Old Age Home-cum-Seva Centre in Sector 30-B here today.

The Governor distributed presents among the inmates of the old age home. He also gave away certificates to the children who had completed a six-month course in computer applications at the centre.

Mr A.K. Ummat, convenor of the Sri Sathya Sai Trust, gave details about the organisation and the services being undertaken by it. The hall was being used to organise prayers, bhajans, yoga sessions, discussions, get-togethers and blood donation camps.

Panchkula: It was celebration time at Amartex showrooms here and in Chandigarh, where ‘Santa Claus’ visited the retail outlets and distributed sweets and gifts among children.

Children of Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 5, also celebrated Christmas, with one of the students, Vidharshu Ray, dressed up as Santa Claus and greeting the students. Students sang Christmas carols, which was followed by a grand party.

The Shamrock Fort in Sector 12-A was also beautifully decorated to mark Christmas. A scene depicting the birth of Christ in Bethleham adorned the school building.



Johnians have ball of time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
St John’s wore a festive look. It was the winter ball for old boys of the school. The school ground was turned into a dance floor and the boys jived though the night as the music played on.

In the chilly night, the music, a fusion of peppy western and Punjabi beats, was an entertainer all the way as the crowd swayed under colourful lights.

Dressed in their winter best, while youngsters could not help but take to the dance floor almost at once, the older lot they took some time off to stroll around the school premises, catch up with their batchmates and update one another on how life had treated them.

Complete with special effects, the right ambience for a warm get-together was created

With the winter ball, the curtains came down on the three-day events organised by the St John’s Old Boys Association which began with Sham-e-ghazal on December 22.



Help of BJP not needed: Shiv Sena
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 24
Mr Pawan Kumar Gupta, president of the Punjab unit of the Shiv Sena, today said the party had an independent entity and did not require the help of the BJP to contest elections. Mr Gupta, who was addressing a press conference, said the party would field its candidates on 30 seats in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections in Punjab.

He said though the Panthic Morcha had contacted the party for an alliance in the ensuing elections, some leaders of the Morcha were opposed to the ideology of the Shiv Sena. He opined that India should destroy terrorist training camps being run in the occupied Kashmir (PoK). The terrorists stood encouraged due to soft approach of the Indian regime, he added.



BJP sees politics in demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has deplored the demolition of jhuggies in Kaimbwala village near Guru Sagarsar Colony have been demolished by the UT Administration.

Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president and convener of the local unit of the BJP, in a press note demanded a high-level probe into this “heinous act of officers and opposition leaders and stringent action against the guilty”. He criticised the Municipal Corporation.



Consumers warned against misleading ads
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 24
National Consumer Day was observed at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, by the Food and Supply Department in collaboration with the District Consumer Forum here today.

Mr M.S. Yadav, SDM, Panchkula, while speaking on the occasion, warned the consumers against getting lured by advertisements that promised the world to the consumer. “If the consumer is not vigilant towards his rights, he will be exploited. One should always be sure of the quality of the product, potency, purity, standard and price of goods,” he said.



Family planning camp
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 24
A family planning operation camp was organised by the Family Planning Association of India in collaboration with the Upkaar Society here today.

A total of 26 persons underwent laparoscopic tuballigation. Volunteers of the society distributed shawls among the family planning acceptors who underwent tubectomy operations.



young voice
Helping others is her mission

Preeti Singh, a young bubbly girl who is a postgraduate in Mass Communication from Panjab University, is an upcoming human rights activist. ‘‘With my background in mass communications, I have been able to acquire enough confidence to be able to interact with people confidently.’’ she says. She is doing another Master’s in Human Rights from an institute in Delhi. ‘‘I feel sad at the state people are taken for granted in the world. And till more and more young and educated people come forward to fight for the cause of those who either do not have enough resources or are too unaware to fight for themselves, the nation is not going to develop.’’ she says. TNS



Residents seek police post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Members of the Chandigarh Housing Board HIG Group Agency, Sector 38 West, have sought the setting up of a police post in their locality. A statement issued here today said keeping in view the conditions in the area, a beat box was not sufficient. The statement added that members also had a meeting with the SHO of the Sector 39 police station in this regard.



Boy untraced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Over five months after 15-year-old Nitin Arora went missing, the police has not been able to trace his whereabouts. A resident of Sector 44, he went missing on July 19.

According to the FIR registered with the Sector 34 police station, Nitin had been roughed up the previous evening by some students. The next day he came home from school as usual, finished his home work and then went for tuition at 3.15 pm. His whereabouts since then are not known.



Fresh taxes no solution: MP
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 24
“ Adequate finances have not been given to the Municipal Corporation by the Administration proportionate to the functions transferred” said Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, M.P in his address at a seminar on municipal services organised by the Consumers Forum on the eve of National Consumer Day at Karuna Sadan, Sector-11 here.



Held for carrying revolver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
A resident of Mani Majra, Rajinder Singh, has been arrested by the police for allegedly carrying his licenced revolver without permission in violation of prohibitory orders.

Theft cases
A resident of Tapan village in Orrisa, Lakhwinder Shiv Chandan, was arrested at the Mansa Devi road for stealing a bicycle from a Sector 17 parking lot. The stolen cycle, belonging to Mohan Lal, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, was recovered from his possession. A case has been registered.

A Sector 23 resident, Varinder Singh, reported that his Yamaha motor cycle (CHJ-5329) has been stolen from Sector 22. The police has registered a case.

A resident of Ludhiana, Rajiv Kumar reported that his Vespa scooter (PB-56-4521) had been stolen from Sector 17. The police has registered a case.



Barber shop burgled
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 24
Burglars broke into a barber’s shop in Sector 71 and decamped with Rs 12,000 cash, a TV, an audio player and cosmetics worth Rs 500 in the wee hours here today. Before breaking open the booth, the burglars made an unsuccessful attempt at a neighbouring electronics shop.



Guidance cell for investors at tourism exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The Tamil Nadu Tourism inaugurated a three-day exhibition at Junction 22 in Sector 22 here today.

Tourism destinations of the state have been showcased at the exhibition. “The idea is to promote domestic tourism, now that the state has increased the tourism budget from Rs 4 crore in the previous year to Rs 17 crore for this year”, said Mr S Bhakthavatchalam, Department of Tourism, Tamil Nadu.

The state is also focussing on promoting private investment in tourism projects is providing guidance to private entrepreneurs. Interested investors are provided guidance on how to undertake projects and the formalities involved. The department will help them find ways to meet financial requirements for the proposed projects.

An investment feasibility and guidance cell has also been opened by the Tourism Department for projects like building golf courses, amusement parks and other tourism-related ventures.

A meeting with people from different sectors, including the hospitality industry, corporate investors, travel agents and writers was also organised today.

The state expects an increase of more than five lakh tourists following this exhibition. During this campaign the department is offering instant reservation for the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation.

“Apart from economical packages which are being offered, we also offer a package with assured ‘Balaji darshan’ at Thirumala whenever a Tirupathi tour of the TTDC is taken up,” said Mr Bakthavatchalam. The TTDC provides a chain of over 30 hotels.

The state planned to appoint authorised agents from this region, informed Mr Bakthavatchalam.

Tamil Nadu will participate in various international travel marts in the coming year and more domestic campaigns are also on the cards. Overseas campaigns by the state Tourism Department in Japan, Thailand and the World Trade Mart (WTM), London, evoked an encouraging response.

The state received around 2 crore and 30 lakh domestic tourists last year, one-fourth of which were from this part of the country. He said the campaign has been organised in Chandigarh keeping in view the dance festival at Mamallapuram to begin a Pongal (mid-January), the Natyanjali festival at Chidambram (February-March) and the Chitrai festival at Madurai (April) and summer festivals at hill stations in May, 2002.



Jewellery, modern yet ethnic
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 24
Famous jewellery designer Asha Komal Modi has come out with a spectacular range in floral patterns, a slice of which has been brought to the city by Nirmal Mahesh Chandra in collaboration with Art Karat at Kider’s Gallery in Sector 7 here today.

The gem-studded necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of precious and semi precious stones set in gold plated silver epitomise international trends, while still preserving the ethnic influence. The exhibition also has a good collection of necklaces to go with western outfits.

The most striking among the exhibits is a range of necklaces done only with thin wires adorned with a single pendant available in a range between Rs 1,800 to Rs 3,400 are unique and graceful. The desginer has used stones like amethyst, topaz, jade, garnet, emeralds , zircons and rubies in setting of silver, some of them plated with gold.

Though the price range of the jewellery seems to be a bit steep, but the uniqueness and fine craftsmanship that every single piece reflects justifies the price. Though the stones have longitivity, yet Art Karat maintains an exchange policy which entitles one to return their jewellery and pick up something new for a deduction of 25 per cent of the original price.

The price range starts from Rs 1,000 and goes upto Rs 25,000 depending upon the size and craftsmanship of the pieces.




Literacy camp

The State Bank of India’s Punjab Engineering College branch in association with NSS volunteers of Punjab Engineering College organised a two-week Adult Literacy Camp at Janata Colony which concluded here on Monday. Bank staff conducted classes and distributed stationery to the participants. TNS


The Central Bank of India has launched an online Maestro Deposit Access Programme with Mastercard International, for its customers. It has been launched to mark the founder’s day of the bank. This was stated by Mr R.K. Puri, senior manager (P and D) in a press note. TNS

Showroom inaugurated

Manmohan Auto Stores have opened their newly renovated showroom in Sector 26 here. The showroom was inaugurated by Mr Vikram Lal of Eicher Group. Royal Enfield Motor cycles will be retailed in the showroom. “This showroom depicts a style and image that adds further to the classy looking range of Bullet motorcycles, said Mr Balwinder Singh, proprietor of the showroom, in a press note. TNS


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