Monday, March 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ticket-holders fail to gain entry into stadium
Our Correspondent

A little boy in a joyful mood at the second one-day international cricket match between India and Zimbabwe at Mohali on Sunday.
A little boy in a joyful mood at the second one-day international cricket match between India and Zimbabwe at Mohali on Sunday. — Photos Pankaj 

SAS Nagar, March 10
Diehard fans of cricket trying to sneak into the cricket stadium here could not be turned away by baton-wielding cops and those mounted on horseback. This was evident at the PCA cricket stadium this afternoon. The fans kept on trying to enter the stadium till late evening.

Hundreds of cricket aficionados, including girls, most of them with valid passes and tickets, were denied entry into the stadium. Sources in the PCA claimed that the stadium was full to capacity and that was the reason that those standing outside the stadium were denied entry. Interestingly, a good number of them had come to watch the match from places like Patiala and Shimla. The cops had to resort to a mild cane charge a number of times. However, the crowd had thinned significantly by the time Zimbabwains came to bat.

Outside the stadium, it was the crowd of hundreds of people from all age groups hoping to make entry. Long queues of cricket fans were seen at all entry gates of the stadium, including VVIP gates. Whenever the gates were opened to let in the VVIPs or those who wanted to leave the stadium, the fans would run towards the gate only to be “shooed away” by the cops. Later they would raise slogans against the organisers and the VVIPs who were allowed entry.

“India had batted first and we wanted to see our players smashing around the Zimbabwean bowlers all over”, said a group of students from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. When they were not allowed entry, they preferred to return to the common room of their hostel to watch the match on television.

Ms Supinder Kaur from Patiala claimed that she had purchased the ticket in “black” but she was denied entry. Mr Anmol Sharma, a resident of Sector 16, Chandigarh, said, “For the last three hours, I am standing in this queue at the gate number 13 but the line is not moving at all’’.

“Either more tickets were sold than the capacity of the stadium or a large number of non-ticket holders have trespassed into the stadium”, complained Mr G.S Bajwa, a government employee, who had come to watch the match along with this two kids and wife.

The traffic on the roads adjacent to the stadium remained disrupted for about two hours between 1 pm to 3 pm but after that it moved smoothly.



Mobiles go on the blink
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 10
Thousands of mobile phone users sitting inside the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in Phase IX here and even those around the stadium could not dial any number or receive calls for more than hours while the cricket match between India and Zimbabwe was being played from 2 p.m. to around midnight today.

Cricket fans realised that they had been ‘cut off’ as on dialling a number from their mobile they could only get a message “error in connection”. Any one wanting to reach a mobile user in the PCA or even in the vicinity the stadium, where India played Zimbabwe in a day and night game, could either hear “this spice mobile is presently switched off” or a long silence. Several people who were not even watching the match but were in Phase X and IX also faced the same problem.

Later several users called up the Spice office to be told that the phenomenon was occurring due to congestion. Sources clarified that this was not due to a jamming device used for security purposes to keep the mobile phones off. Several people were wanting to either make calls or to receive calls. Mobile phone technology is based on signals a phone catches from the nearest tower. The capacity of the tower is fixed to handle a given number of outgoing or incoming calls.



Permit to fell khair trees suspended
550 trees found uprooted
Nishikant Dwivedi

Mirzapur (Kharar), March 10
The Punjab Forest Department has suspended the permit to fell trees from the Mirzapur forests in the Siswana range after finding that over 550 khair trees had been uprooted. The felling, which started on March 7, was stopped on that very day. The permit for felling trees in the adjoining Khewat (cultivable) land has also been suspended.

After receiving complaints of uprooting of trees, forest officials swung into action and stopped the felling. The officials started counting the uprooted trees, informed a forest official. The contractor was said to be using hundreds of wood-cutters from Nepal, who were camping in temporary huts in the area. However, a Chandigarh Tribune team was told by the villagers that a majority of the wood-cutters had left the place after the felling was stopped.

Residents of the village took the Chandigarh Tribune team to several sites uphill, where the khair trees were lying uprooted. Sources informed that the labourers who fell the trees did not get time to cart these to the wood depot across a rivulet, as the matter immediately came to the notice of the department.

The land which falls under the Kandi Area is divided into Khewat and forests (privately owned). The contract for the two was won by a father-son duo. Sources added that the contractor had already axed khair trees as per provisions of the Forest Act from the forest area and he could not further cut any khair tree.

The forest officials alleged that the contractor was cutting trees in the forest area and also about 550 khair trees were found uprooted. Mr Gurmeet Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden and Conservator Forests, Punjab, said that the uprooting of khair trees is illegal even if the owner of the trees have given permission to do so to the contractor.

Sources in the Forest Department informed that the contractor could have axed other trees (except khair) from the forest area as his contract is valid till March 31. But he was, according to forest officials, instead axing khair trees. The suspension of the permit was done under Section 5 of the Land Preservation Act (LPA).

On the other hand, the contractor claimed that he was not aware that any khair tree had been uprooted. He added that if any khair tree had been uprooted, they must be ‘‘dead, dry and fungus eaten trees, which can be uprooted under the Forest Act’’. The contractor claimed that the Forest department has no jurisdiction accept under Section 5 of the LPA over the forests.

The entire Mirzapur forests are owned by private owners. ‘‘I have entered into agreements with the villagers for even uprooting the khair trees’’, claimed the contractor. He claimed that he had a permanent injunction for felling trees. The contractor alleged that the suspension of permit is illegal. ‘‘At least the department should have give a prior notice before issuing suspension orders’’, said the contractor. However, he claimed that till date, he had not received the copy of suspension orders.

Meanwhile, the permit for felling all types of trees in the Khewat land has also been suspended by the forest official. Otherwise, the permit was to end on March 31. Both suspensions will remain in force till further orders.

The District Forest Officer, Ropar, could not be contacted nor the sarpanch of Mirzapur village.



Father-son duo attacked, Rs 65,000 robbed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
A father-son duo were attacked by unknown miscreants at their residence in Bhainsa Tibba village in the wee hours of the morning today. The accused fled away with cash and gold jewellery worth Rs 65,000.

According to the police, four persons, allegedly converged at the house of Mr Sohan Lal at around 3: 30 am, near Pashupati Nath mandir in Bhainsa Tibba. They first knocked at the door of Ram Niwas, a tenant of Mr Sohan Lal and claimed that they were from the police.

However, Ram Niwas got suspicious and did not open the door of his room. The miscreants, who were armed with iron rods and lathis, then forced themselves inside his room. Ram Niwas was reportedly bashed up by the accused and then forced to accompany them to the quarters of his landlord, Sohan Lal.

They forced Ram Niwas to call out to Sohan Lal and get him to open the door. Once Sohan Lal opened the door, the accused barged in and attacked him and his two sons- Mahesh Kumar and Pawan Kumar. They snatched away the jewellery worn by the three women in the house and decamped with Rs 5,000 cash.

Meanwhile, Pawan Kumar managed to escape and he rushed to the Police Post in Mansa Devi Complex. He alerted the police who rushed to his house. However, by the time they reached there, the accused had already left.

It is learnt that all the accused were between the age group of 21 to 25 years and had reportedly come on foot. Meanwhile, Mahesh Kumar and Sohan Lal who had received minor injuries were discharged after being given first aid.



Focus on vitality of India
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The scepticism seen among intellectuals at the beginning of a two-day brainstorming session on the “Vitality of India” at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here on Saturday, changed into optimism at the closing session today.

The message was succinct—India, an ancient civilisation but a modern nation, must develop capabilities to anticipate crises, learn to cope with them at the earliest and ensure there was no replay. The scale of these multiple crises was as diverse as their complexities due to linguistic, regional, religious, caste, creed, gender and communal divisions.

Because of these intricate dimensions, it was natural for the co-sponsor of the brainstorming session, the Luxembourg Institute for European and International Studies, to come up with the theme of “vitality of India” that made the participants sceptical. But as the speakers introspected to determine vitality as much as identify strengths and weaknesses, there was better appreciation of the theme.

Even the agony of the Gujarat “shame” reverberated at the discussions, which made the participants squirm. They condemned it. As in the past, India must learn lessons to quickly cope with such occurrences, comparable to civil wars, while moving forward.

Prof Matin Zuberi, a former member of the National Security Advisory Board, summed up the overall objective and told TNS that in the past India had faced separatist movements in the name of language and militancy in the name of religion. There were tensions in the name of caste and communal flare-ups, but were overcome while maintaining the democratic system. Even the management of conflicts of a diverse nature since 1947 was an indication of the vitality of the nation.

Mr D.P. Dhar added: “The country is held together by the multiplicity of its diversities. The paradox of apparent weaknesses being its main strength is not fully realised by the outside world. India's main weakness is its inability to anticipate crises. Once upon us, it has the ability to deal with them”.

The participants articulated the view that, unfortunately, there exists a gap between society's aspirations and achievements. The participants discussed the country's failings in the context of its vitality and showed consciousness about the same.

Among the day's distinguished speakers were a former Chief of Army Staff, Gen V.P. Malik, and Dr Raja Ramanna, MP and Member, Atomic Energy Commission. Noted historian V.N. Dutta chaired the session, while, Proffessor Zuberi acted as moderator. Another visitor today was the Ambassador-designate of Luxembourg, Mr Paul Steinmetz.

General Malik dwelt on the performance of the armed forces, despite successive meagre Budgets beginning 1991. That temporarily halted the modernisation of the forces. Nevertheless, the armed forces managed to guard the Indian frontiers and often assisted the civil administration in various parts of the country to cope with natural and manmade crises.

Despite the role of religion in repeatedly creating divisions and tensions, the armed forces still mirrored India's “secular” image. This was one unifying force representing a multicultural, multilinguistic and multireligious society that lived in discipline and harmony, again showing the vitality of India. He also pointed to the political and military “strategic thinking” and the excellent civil-military equation.

General Malik said it was no mere flash in the pan that India, because of its vitality, was able to manage its political, economic and social crises time and again. ''It goes to India's credit in balancing the graph of “butter-gun”.

Dr Ramanna said despite meagre finances, the fusion of science and technology had enabled India to carve a niche in the comity of nations. And not in this field alone. The recent discovery of wooden panels in straight lines under the deep sea dating back to 7,500 years, showed India's vitality.

He also gave the example of mathematical calculations in the Hindustani and Karnataka styles of classical music, adding that until recently the profundity of Indian classical music was not appreciated abroad. Much had changed, a lot more was changing showing the vitality this ancient civilisation cherished as a modern state.


Colonial rule — his forte
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
His knowledge of the cultural and social history of India under colonial rule is encyclopaedic. He lives in the pre-camera age and his books speak volumes for his in depth research into several areas of the British Empire.

He is none other than Pran Nevile, a diplomat-turned-historian, writer and art critic. Besides, he happens to be a one-man crusader in keeping alive K.L. Saigal the doyen of Indian music. Nevile is here to participate in a two-day workshop organised by the CRRID.

Born and brought up in Lahore, Pran Nevile did his first book on his home town, which in pre-partition days was a “great centre of art, culture and literature” and dominated mostly by “non-Muslims”.

The book — “Lahore, A Sentimental Journey” — was widely appreciated by the media, both at home and abroad. So much so that an Urdu version, though unauthorised, also sold well in Pakistan.

Pran Nevile’s strength lies in his ability to scan British Empire records, in England and elsewhere, to extract valuable inputs on paintings, drawings and sketches of India and its people during the 18th and 19th centuries both by Indian and European artists.

It was his book on Lahore that got him an invitation from Coventry University in England last year to make a special presentation on the great “City of Lahore — the Paris of the East”. Among the participants in the university conference were historians from India and Pakistan besides the Punjabi diaspora.

“I was back in Lahore, in 1997, exactly 50 years after Partition. By that time it had changed a lot. I again went there to participate in the Basant celebrations to urge my friends to continue celebrating some of the secular festivals. I learnt there that they no more celebrate even Baisakhi, though in our times it used to be a huge festival on the banks of the Ravi,” he says.

His next book — “Love Stories from the Raj” — is a compilation of 21 true stories based on intensive research on diaries and journals left by the British rulers who served in the East India Company. This was published by Penguin and had a wide circulation.

“In fact, it was my third book which had turned me into a writer. While doing my research on this book — “Nautch Girls of India” — the first two books came out as a pleasant side product. The third book, a coffee table book with 100 illustrations, and printed in Italy, was a pioneer work in this neglected area.

“This is now used as a reference book by most of the dancing schools in the country,” says Nevile, disclosing that because of his research on “Nautch girls”, he has been invited by several universities to deliver lectures on the cultural and social history of India under British rule.

In 1997, when the University of Texas organised a series of lectures and talks to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Indian Independence, the inaugural lecture was delivered by him on “my experiences of Partition”.

His fourth book — “Real Glimpses of the Raj” — covered forgotten aspects of the British regime, including matrimony and the Sahib, Palki travellers and the dreaded snake.

“Beyond the Veil”, the Indian woman and the Raj, has been his fifth book, which again is the first book of its kind and carries 100 illustrations of 100 women of all classes, portrayed true to life by European artists. All pictures in the book are in print for the first time. The book was released by the Union Minister of State for External Affairs in India last year.

“It is not writing books which keeps me occupied,” he says, disclosing that he was a consultant to the BBC when it made a film, “Ruling Passion”, in 1996. He again was a consultant to another BBC production, “Land of Kamasutra”.

“I had been a great fan of K.L. Saigal. I made HMV come out with two exclusive LP records — one of ghazals and one of bhajans — of K.L. Saigal. Every year on January 18, I organise a programme to commemorate this great Indian legendary singer,” says Nevile.

At present, he is working on the cultural and social history of Punjab under colonial rule.



Adolescent health clinics: non-starters?
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
If there is any place in the city’s hospitals where doctors are looking for patients but can find none, it is at the special adolescent health clinics being run at the PGI, the General Hospital, Sector 16 and Government Medical College, Sector 32.These once-a-week clinics have been running for more than six months in the city at three places, but have registered not more than two to three patients per clinic per week.

Started as part of Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare project to concentrate on adolescent health with wide support from the Indian Paediatrics Association, the clinics have yet to become popular.

Those in charge of these clinics agree that the clinics need to be popularised among the general population, but state that there are reasons for these clinics not attracting patients. Lack of awareness among parents, school teachers and the child themselves being one of these reasons.

“These are specialised clinics for children in the teenage group and the problem they face during adolescence. Since many parents do not recognise these problems in their children, there is never a question of finding a solution. Then there are parents who recognise that their children are going through a trying and transformative stage of their lives. But since most of them see these problems as normal, they leave it to the child to cope with them. The parents do not realise that their children can be helped through visits to these clinics in coping with these problems,” says Dr M.P. Manocha, in charge of this clinic in General Hospital, Sector 16.

Other than these two reasons, paediatricians list shyness to talk about these problems as one of the other causes why parents fail to bring their children to these clinics for help. ‘‘Since these clinics are more preventive in nature and are meant to treat problems which do not have distinct clinical symptoms like fever, pain etc, very few people come to the hospital for help,’’ says Dr Munni Ray, in charge of the clinic in PGI.

Doctors also state that clinics of such variety cannot afford to be very crowded. ‘‘These clinics involve a comprehensive assessment of the child who visits regarding his or her diet, growth, psychological bent, social adjustments etc and a lot of people other than the paediatrician are involved in the process. Every child needs individual attention which they get here,” says Dr Ray.

Doctors say that adolescents come with all sorts of problems, but topping the list is anxiety about their careers. ‘‘I need a career counsellor for giving proper hearing to patients in my clinic,’’ says Dr Manocha. ‘‘Cases of depression go up after the child has a fall in grades suddenly when they reach higher classes. That has to be dealt with by a psychologist and we have one in the clinic. Then they are very anxious about looks and personality, specially acne, weight and height problems for which we have a nutritionist to advise them,’’ says Dr Ray.



IT was a typical Indian style of keeping others waiting for hours when the South African delegation did not arrive even one and a half hour after the scheduled time for an interaction between businessmen and the delegation. It happened because Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh arrived late for a meeting with the delegation. The members of the PHDCCI looked disappointed when it was announced that the meeting could be called off as there was no information about the reason of delay. But the one -and-a-half-hour wait did not go waste, as, the South African High Commissioner, Limpopo’s Minister for Arts, Culture and Sports and a few other members of the delegation arrived for the interactive session. Apologising for the delay, the High Commissioner said it was not the South African style of arriving late but the delay had occurred as the CM of Punjab with whom the meeting was scheduled prior to this interaction, got late due to some delay in his flight from Delhi. Relieved though, one of the members didn’t fail to convey it that “it is not the political leaders but the businessmen who help in development and delivering products”. What kept the delegates in a pleasant mood however was their fruitful meeting with the CM of Punjab where the minister had agreed for joint ventures and partnership agreements between South Africa and the state.

Success story

It is a success story that everybody would want to emulate and follow. Educated till only Class VI, Shiv Kumar (32), a former milk vendor, runs a successful cottage industry — manufacturing stereo decks in Industrial Area Phase II in Chandigarh. And this without a background in electronics or financial help from any quarter.

He was among the not so fortunate of the country. With his father being a hawker of pens on local buses, Shiv Kumar, did not have any financial help. The natural path was to ply a rehri. He used to sell milk supplied by Verka. He somehow managed to open a juice-selling outlet in a small flat in Sector 37. And today he runs Music World, which is known supplier of locally made stereo decks and car stereos in this part of the country. All this in a span of just 14 years.

It was in 1987 that he says his life changed. He started tinkering with electronic parts and made out a stereo deck on which he started improving all while selling juice from his shop. My wife, he says egged me on for bigger things in life. The Sector 37 shop was soon converted into a music store. As the shop was restricted on account of space, he opened his own unit manufacturing stereos. So, is he following the footsteps of another juice-vendor-turned-music-baron the late Gulshan Kumar ? Shiv shies away from comparison, but like the late Gulshan Kumar he is also a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi.

His advice to youngsters: avoid drugs or intoxicants and apply yourself to succeed. Shiv Kumar says the government should have units to help people who are unlettered. It was a great task for me to get Sales Tax numbers and also deal with Income Tax forms and all such paper formalities.

Cloudy jitters

A cloudy Saturday morning gave the virtual jitters to Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) officials, who hosted the day and night one-dayer between India and Zimbabwe in SAS Nagar (Mohali) on Sunday. Well, the local met office had said there was possibility of rain on Saturday as a system was moving in from Central Pakistan.

The Indian captain kept an eye open skywards as the team practised. Though the PCA has very good pitch-covering methods and also special machines to quickly dry the ground the worry was evident as the tickets had been sold out and it promised to be a good Sunday outing.

Earlier on Friday when the Zimbabweans practised the hero was Douglas Marillier, who used an innovative scoop to lead the Zims out of trouble in Faridabad on Thursday. Marillier soon learnt that Indians love their cricket and he was the instant hero and suddenly the most photographed of the touring party. Everybody wanted to shake his hand, kids wanted his autographs. Even though his fiery batting had caused an Indian defeat, his style of play had earned him fans overnight.

In full bloom

Mango trees along the roads in Chandigarh have started flowering. And going by the blooming flowers the season promises a good mango crop. The photograph on the top was taken by Karam Singh at one of the gardens along Udyog Path.

Plague fear

Plague is over, the fear is not. No wonder, so many youngsters visiting the canteens in the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research for their afternoon cup of steaming hot coffee have stopped going there.

Until a few months ago, the canteens were “the meeting spots” for the young couples. Proximity to the Panjab University campus, and at the same time the absence of probing eyes of fellow students, had made the canteens the favourite rendezvous for the not-so-innocents. The days are, however, over. Today, only doctors, attendants, or else patients, are the only ones sipping the invigorating drink. Let’s hope things return to normal soon.

Seat belt confusion

There was a time when drunken driving, over-speeding and high-beam driving fell in the category of most serious traffic rule violations. But all this seems to be passé now, especially in view of the fact that the entire traffic police strength of the city is currently concentrating on checking a single traffic violation — driving without the seat belt fastened. With all energies diverted towards a single traffic violation by four-wheel drivers, two-wheel riders are actually having a great time.

While the cops are on a challaning spree, drivers are highly confused over the manner in which to fasten the seat belt. There are two ways — fastening the belt from below the shoulder (which is technically more advisable) or fastening the same from above the shoulder (which obstructs driving a little). The traffic cops have been challaning people who are taking to the former style of wearing the belt. There is, however, no stipulation with regard to the manner of tying the seat belt. Does the law have anything to say on this?

Charity time

With the examination fever reigning high, it is time for most students to please the divine powers. Visit any temple towards the morning hours (7.30 am to 8 am) and children are busy donating and giving alms to beggars in the hope of garnering good wishes. No wonder the number of beggars outside city temples has increased over the past few days.

Not just that, the beggars are having a good deal, thanks to examinations. Any beggar who cares to follow a student shouting "Bhagwan aapka bhala karega; aapko first position dilayega", gets the maximum share of donation. Offerings in temples have also increased considerably due to the examination season.

Musical clinic

Waiting outside a doctor’s clinic can be an agonising experience. Realising this, a city skin specialist has devised a novel method to turn it into a soothing experience. Dr S.D. Mehta, a dermatologist with the Community Health Centre, Sector 22, has installed a music system in his clinic which plays bhajans, kirtans and shabads. Dr Mehta says he got the idea after watching television in the morning and he found it relaxing. He says frayed tempers and heated arguments among the patients are now a things of the past.


Written behind a Maruti car: "They don’t call me a Jat without any reason."

— Sentinel



Of entrance tests, rail tickets and quick bucks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
In view of the forthcoming entrance tests to medical institutions in Karnataka and other southern states, unscrupulous agents have booked railway tickets in bulk, creating an artificial scarcity in the market.

This is forcing anxious parents, wanting to send their children in time for these tests, to approach these agents and get the tickets at a premium. The premium is craftily priced to keep it well within the reach of the parent, while being lower than airfare.

A tutor who coaches students for such entrance tests says the racket has been going on for years. There have been cases of middle-class parents dipping into their savings for rail tickets at a premium or airfare for their wards. Those who can pull a few strings in Delhi get out-of-turn bookings or quota seats for their wards.

Rail tickets are not blocked by the people running coaching classes or by regular travel agents, but by persons specialising in making arrangements for tours like these. It is like a cottage industry, says a source. After tests are over in Karnataka, entrance tests will be conducted for colleges in Maharashtra and the act will be repeated. Each year, thousands of children from Punjab and Chandigarh head for these two states to seek admission to various medical and engineering colleges.

The dates for entrance tests to the colleges are known in advance to educationists and bookings can be made several weeks ahead of the scheduled departure date. Names on booking tickets are fake. The student is told the name on which he or she will travel.

The Railways can do nothing technically as clerks at computerised booking counters cannot stop a person from booking tickets for 6 or 8 children or adults. The Railways can carry out physical checks on board the trains and ask for identification. This is impractical as it will delay or prevent a student from appearing in the tests.

The approximate age of the student appearing in such tests varies between 17 and 19 years and the child is mostly accompanied by an elder person, say father or mother, between 43 and 50 years of age. The end result is that the person who books the ticket and sells it at a premium neatly pockets a few thousand rupees.



Corruption widespread in India: Joginder
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
India is the 69th most corrupt nation in the world, where politicians and bureaucrats collude with each other in an unholy nexus. These views were expressed by the former Chief of Central Bureau of Investigations, Mr Joginder Singh, here today. He was the main speaker during a seminar on Corruption, organised by Arya Samaj, Sector 12, as part of the 178th birth anniversary celebrations of Maharishi Dayanand.

The former cop exhorted people to put up a united front in order to fight the menace. He said even the defense deals in the country were subject to this nexus between politicians and bureaucrats, who were willing to play with the safety of the country in order to make quick buck.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dharamvir Sehgal, Lokpal, Punjab, said Swami Dayanand had professed that education was must to create consciousness. He lamented that even though Article 311 of the Constitution stipulated for making education compulsory, those at the helms of affairs were unable to educate the masses.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Krishan Chander Garg, president of Bhartiya Surajya Manch, Mr Ramesh Chander Jiwan, former Principal, DAV College Chandigarh, and Mr Rajinder Arya, vice-president of Arya Samaj, Sector 12.

Meanwhile, another function was organised by Arya Samaj, Sector 9, as part of the birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand. The BJP leader and former MLA, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, speaking on the occasion, said though Swami Dayanand had worked for the uplift of women, their lot remained discriminated against.

She said female foeticide was a major social evil confronting the society today.



Kerala food festival held
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 10
A large number of persons visited the 3rd Kerala food festival organised by the Malayalee Samajam on the premises of Swami Ram Tiratha Bhavan in Phase IV here today.

Different varieties of Kerala cuisine like ring parotta, biryani (veg, non-veg), palappam, kappa and fish curry, idli and vada sambar and masala dosa were in great demand. In fact, some of the items like idli, vada, dosa and biryani had finished by 2 p.m.

Most of the dishes were prepared and served by the members of the samajam. A number of non-Keralites were seen enjoying the Kerala food. The sale of Kerala fruit and other snack items was also quite heavy.

The festival was inaugurated by Mr B.S. Baidwan, president of the Mohali Industries Association. A souvenir on the occasion was released by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA.

Mr Thomson Mathew, president of the samajam, said at every festival the members of the samajam prepared double the quantity of food that was prepared at the earlier festival but it still fell short. He said arrangements had been made to get special pineapples, bananas, banana chips, jackfruit chops and other snacks all the way from Kerala.

Mr Mathew said a piece of land measuring 1,000 sq yds had been allotted to the samajam by PUDA in Sector 65 here and the organisation planned to hold the next food festival there.



Monkeys pose a threat to commuters
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
Hundreds of monkeys converging on the Panchkula- Naraingarh road from the upper reaches of the Shivaliks are keeping the Haryana Wildlife Department on its toes. Not only has this monkey menace created a traffic hazard on this road, but has also created havoc with the crops of villagers in the foothills.

The generosity of Hanuman devotees, who believe in feeding monkeys for inviting good fortune, more so on Tuesdays and Fridays, has brought these monkeys here from the hills and the road has become a nightmare for commuters. Monkeys have now made it a habit to impede every passing vehicle in order to seek alms. As a result, the stretch of road from Naddha to Madanpur is virtually blocked by monkeys.

The road has witnessed a number of road accidents over the past on account of these monkeys. Also, several times residents of this area have complained of being bitten by these monkeys. While none of the victims have been seriously injured, they allege that they have often complained to the wildlife officials, but to no effect.

Informs Mr Sukhram, former sarpanch of Naddha, “ As many as 300 to 400 monkeys come down from the hills each day, spoil our freshly sown fields as they rush on the sides of the highway. They pounce on each and every vehicle demanding fruits and causing accidents in the process. “

Villagers in this area complain that the army of monkeys, sometimes in groups of 70 to 80 each, rush down the hills in the morning in order to reach the trees along the highway, where they have easy accessibility to food. “In the process, the fields along their way are completely destroyed. During the groundnut and corn growing season, the fields are completely destroyed with the monkeys feeding on the crop, “ rues Mr Devi Lal, a farmer in Chowki village.

Sources in the Forest and Wildlife Department, Haryana, concede that they have received several complaints from the Naddha, Madanpur, Chowki, Ramgarh and Barwala villages.

A senior official on condition of anonymity revealed that they were short of monkey-catching cages. He said that a few years ago a private firm, based at Mathura, had been invited to catch monkeys here . But the scheme did not take off because of the high cost of catching each monkey being demanded by the said firm. As a result , the menace has increased over the years.

However, the wildlife officials are not sitting over the problem. Informs the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr J.P.L. Srivastava, “We have now started planting more fruit trees in the forests so that the monkeys have food available to them. We have also put up hoardings along the highway, requesting commuters not to throw food to monkeys. In order to ensure that people follow these directions, a person has been deputed here to advise them.”

He also informed that the Department was planning to develop a feeding place for monkeys, 100 metres off the highway for Hanuman devotees, for smooth flow of traffic.



Woman alleges assault
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
A woman in Sector 19 was reportedly assaulted by her neighbours here this evening. However, her neighbours, today met the Deputy Commissioner at her residence and alleged that they were being falsely implicated. Surinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 19 today complained to the police that she was assaulted by a man riding a black Bullet motorcycle. When she argued with him, her neighbours came out of their houses and assaulted her. Her clothes were torn in this scuffle.

She has alleged that her neighbours have often abused her and cast aspersions on her character. The police, after receiving her complaint, sent her to the Civil Hospital for a medical examination. Meanwhile, residents of the area, allege that they are being falsely implicated by the woman and accused her of indulging in immoral activities. They met the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora and complained against the police for playing a partisan role. The DC, Ms Jyoti Arora assured them that she would takeup the matter with police authorities.



Dry cleaners to stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 10
Members of the Dry Cleaners and Dyers Association have decided to observe a day's dharna in front of the Parliament, and also observe a day’s ‘bandh’ next week in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to protest against the 5 per cent service tax imposed on the dry cleaning trade, informed the general secretary of the Punjab Dry Cleaners and Dryers association, Mr Prit Pal Singh Khaira, in a press conference here today.

Giving details about their agitation, Mr Khaira, informed that after consulting dry cleaner associations from all over India, members of the association would first submit a memorandum to the President, the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of India. Thereafter, members would observe a dharna before the Parliament.



Tribune employee dies in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Mr Tarsem Kumar Sharma (49), Senior Bromide Paster in the Advertisement Department of The Tribune, died in a road accident here today.

Mr Sharma, after finishing his duty, was on his way home to Baltana village at about 11 last night, when his scooter was hit by some vehicle near Hallomajra Chowk.

He was noticed by some passer-by lying unconscious in a ditch near the road. The police took him to the Sector 32 Hospital, from where he was referred to the PGI. He succumbed to his injuries at about 3 pm today.

Originally belonging to Bhater village in Una district (HP), Mr Sharma joined The Tribune in 1977. He leaves behind a son and a daughter, both teenagers, and his wife. The Tribune Employees HP Helpline Cooperative Society has mourned the demise of Mr Sharma, who was an active member of the society. His cremation will take place tomorrow in Sector 25.



Land allotted for cultural complex
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 10
The PUDA authorities have allotted a two kanal plot in Sector 66 here for the construction of a cultural complex.

The president of the local Sarghi Kala Kendra which has been allotted the land, Mr Sanjivan Singh, said his organisation planned to build, among other facilities, an indoor stadium, an open-air theatre, seminar and rehearsal halls and rooms for the stay of artistes and writers. The complex would be named Sarghi Sansar, he added.



Scribes’ death mourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Chandigarh-based journalists today mourned the deaths of T.K. Ramasamy, editorial consultant to the Tribune, former Dainik Tribune Assistant Editor, Hariom Pandey, former News Editor of Dainik Tribune, Mr Joginder Bhatia, and a Punjab Tribune staffer at Jalandhar, Amarjit Sidhu.

Mourners, led by a former Dainik Tribune Editor and Chandigarh Journalist Association president, Radhey Shyam Sharma, remembered their services to the profession.



Envelope found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
An envelope containing a demand draft drawn on the Bank of India in favour of the Telecom Department, Bangalore, along with two letters was found lying on the road separating Sector 43-44 today by a Maloya resident. The person concerned may contact Mr Karam Singh at 643446 to claim the same.



Tailor held for breach of trust
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The police has arrested a tailor working in Sector 38, Sabudin Ansari, after a resident of Sector 44, Arjan Singh, reported that the accused did not return four ladies’ suits, which had been given to him for stitching in January. The police has booked the tailor for breach of trust.

Cyclist injured
A cyclist, identified as Diwan, was seriously injured after being knocked down by a Punjab Roadways bus near Hotel Sunbeam in Sector 22. He was admitted to the PGI in an unconscious state. The bus driver fled from the spot, leaving behind the vehicle (PB-12-8328). The police has impounded the bus and registered a case.

Knocked down
A cyclist, Krishan Kumar, and his wife, Raksha, who was riding pillion, were knocked down by a scooter near the Labour Chowk. Raksha was injured and admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital. The scooterist sped from the spot. The police has registered a case.

Jeep stolen
A resident of Burail, Shambhu Kumar has reported that his Gypsy (CHK-9644) has been stolen from Sector 35. The police has registered a case.

Car stolen
Sector 44 resident Milap Singh has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-6643) has been stolen from Sector 35. A case has been registered.


Rash driving
The police arrested two persons in two incidents of rash and negligent driving in different parts of the district during the past 24 hours.

A truck driver, Sumendra Singh, was arrested by the police on charges of rash and negligent driving near Kona village. In another incident, the police arrested Jardu Ram , driver of truck tipper ( PB-11C- 2065), for driving rashly on NH- 22 near the Chandimandir police station.

A motor cyclist, Surjit Singh, was injured when he was hit by a private bus ( HR- 37A- 2807) near Kakraliu bus stand on Saturday. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.



Rs 50,000, jewellery stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Cash amounting to Rs 50,000 and jewellery worth Rs 70,000 were stolen from the Sector 12-A residence of Mr Vinod Bansal. The incident came to light when Mr Bansal reached back here from Delhi after four days. He found that the locks had been broken and the entire house ransacked.



Maruti Treasure Trail results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Mr Harshwardhan bagged the first prize in the overall category in the Maruti Treasure Trail organised by Maruti Udyog Limited , here today. In the women category, Ms Sarika Chhabra won the first prize and Mr S.C. Rampal bagged the first prize in the senior citizens category. The event was organised to adjudge the participants on a combination of parameters like navigation skills, safe driving habits and fuel efficiency.

As many as 102 Alto and Wagon R owners participated in the rally which was flagged off from the Lake Club by Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary. Each participant was required to cover a distance of about 75 km in and around the city.

There were six check points where the MUL marshals checked the time taken, distance covered and speed at all check points . The distance covered, speed etc by each participant were compared with the ideal timing.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |