Saturday, March 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 per cent quota for the disabled in educational institutions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
In a major decision the Chandigarh Administration has decided to reserve 3 per cent of all seats for the disabled students in all educational institutions, including engineering colleges, medical colleges and polytechnics and I.T.I.s, from this academic session.

In addition, to this the Chandigarh Housing Board is preparing a special plan to allot over 50 dwelling units of various categories to the disabled. This was announced by the UT Administrator Lieut Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (Retd), while inaugurating a seminar on “Instrumentation and Information Technology for disabled” organised at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here today.

The Administrator said the Administration was sensitive to the needs of disabled and had taken number of steps to ensure their productive participation in public life.

Strict instructions had been issued to ensure 3 per cent reservation for the disabled in all Government jobs.

A special scheme has been chalked out by the Administration to allot 54 kiosks to the disabled. The Architecture Department has issued guidelines that all public buildings should be barrier free to ensure easy access to the disabled. Regarding the problem of access being faced by the physically disabled in the old public buildings, General Jacob said that “we are making a survey to see whether any alterations could be made for ramps or lifts.

General Jacob said that the information technology for the disabled would make the disabled independent.

Stressing the need for programming more disabled friendly software, General Jacob said that voice activated ‘Talk2Desktop’ software already allows the disabled to use computer without a mouse or keyboard.


Special chance for compartment cases
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Panjab University is all set to give a one-time chance to enable students who have exhausted all admissible chances to clear papers in which they got compartment.

The “one-time exception” will be for examinations either in April-May 2002 or September-October 2002. The go ahead for the decision is to come in the next senate meeting according to sources.

There are however certain voices of dissent on the issue. A senior fellow said ‘ to allow a student a chance even after he had exhausted all his admissible chances was ‘anti-academic’. The move only indicated a university move to generate more money in the name of examination”.

The committee had fixed November 2001 as the last date for sending the examination forms with normal fees. The announcement should come fast and the last date of submission of forms needs to be changed, say affected students. The decision will apply to these compartment case classes of BA, B Sc, B.Com, BBA, BCA, MIL, M.Sc, M.Com and MA. Each student is expected to pay a fee of Rs 1000 for the examination.

The university says that “ the special chance be granted to only those students who had exhausted all their permissible chances in still-to-be cleared the compartment paper during the April-May, 1996 examination or afterwards. The university has pointed out when a special chance was granted during 1998-99, a period of six years was covered, starting with the April-May 1992 up to April-May 1998.

It was initially considered by the university to constitute a sub-committee for carrying out the amendments to the relevant regulations as also to add a general clause enabling the senate to take decisions such as providing special chances. Subsequently, it was decided that instead of appointing a sub-committee, this very committee would be asked to do the required job. The VC stated that ‘he would not preside over the meetings of the committee when it meets to do the same kind of a job in future.’

The official note says “in pursuance of the discussions held in the last senate, Vice Chancellor has allowed the additional special chance for those candidates who appeared in their final examination in the year 1995 or afterwards”.


MC officials oppose move on villages
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 22
The SAS Nagar Municipal Council is finding itself in a piquant situation. Already facing a financial crisis after the abolition of octroi, the SAS Nagar Municipal Council has been asked by the Local Government Department to include Balongi and Ballomajra nagar panchayats within its limits.

The two villages, located on the north-east fringe of the town, have a population of around 4000. Officials of the civic body said they were dependent on the government for the monthly financial assistance. Including the areas of the two gram panchayats would burden the MC further. “There is no logic in increasing the limits when there was no octroi”, said a municipal councillor.

A similar move initiated by the government last year was abandoned after the general house of the civic body rejected the proposal. The residents of the two villages have been seeking a separate Notified Area Committee (NAC) on the lines of the Nayagoan NAC.

Sources in the Local Government said a proposal for constituting an NAC in Balongi, comprising nine gram panchayats — Balongi, Balongi colony, Badmajra, Badmajra colony, Raipur, Jhujjhar Nagar, Daun and Balolpur — with an area of around 4000 acres had been shelved after it was objected to by the Punjab Urban Development Authority. A few months back the issue had been discussed at a meeting between officials of the Local Government and the Housing and Urban Development. The proposal was grounded after PUDA officials felt that it would involve huge costs in providing the basic amenities.

A senior official of PUDA said including an area within the limits of the SAS Nagar civic body where planned urbanisation had not taken place could disturb the planning of the region.

The president of the SAS Nagar, MC, Mr Kulwant Singh, said the civic body was not in a position to include more areas in its limits. With the available funds the going had become tough for the civic body, he added.

Officials of the MC said last year when they intended to include about 2000 acres in the limits of the civic body to increase its revenue from octroi, the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department had objected to the move .


Melody and grace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Musical offerings from artistes filled the performance space of Tagore Theatre with divine vibrations. Commanding the attention of an august gathering, made more august by the presence of sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, were Kuchupudi danseuse, Kaushalya Reddy and the torch-bearer of Mewati gharana, vocalist Sanjay Abhyankar.

The mood of the evening took a pleasant turn when Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the special guest for today’s function, recalled his presentation in the Harbhallabh Sangeet Sammelan way back in 1964. As he spoke of Punjabi warmth, he also spoke of an India torn by strife. “I feel the scars of Gujarat all over my heart. I don’t understand why we cannot live the religion of humanity. The principle of ‘kutumb’, is the principle of universal brotherhood. I hope our music is endowing the world with some sense of caring,” said the maestro.

What followed was peace, as if the evening had borne a tranquil look after deriving inspiration from the living legend. The first presentation from Kaushalya Reddy was ‘Ganapati stuti’ in raga ‘revathi’ and ‘gaula’. Delightful from the start, Kaushalya embodied fine elements of Kuchipudi, which she had assimilated from gurus Radha-Raja Reddy. Raja Reddy was the sutradhar. As the entered its second stage, with ‘ashtapadi’, Raja Reddy explained the prominence of ‘shingaar rasa’ in Kuchipudi. His words were reflected in Kaushalya’s grace, as she played the ‘nayika’, imploring Krishna to shower love upon her.

The dancer’s movements were enhanced by her sensitive face, which portrayed each expression of ‘shingaar rasa’ with deep commitment. Kaushalya used her flawless footwork and scintillating grace to spill energy all over the stage. Then came the ‘vachikabhinayam’, which is special to Kuchipudi. Raja Reddy again rose to explain the incident wherein Satyabhama declines to divulge Krishna’s name to her friend. Acting as the enchantress, Kaushalya brought home the beautiful sequence, which was a ‘bhinaya pradhan’. The finale could not have been more delightful than ‘a tillana’, which was based on raga ‘kalyani’ and in the process also reflected the merger of raga ‘Hindoli’. Accompanying the performers were Sai Bhawani for vocal, V.S.K. Annadurai on violin and B. Bhaskar Rao on mridamgam.

Kaushalya’s presentation coupled with Raja Reddy’s informative elaboration of Kuchipudi and its nuances, left the audience spellbound. Pracheen Kala Kendra also conferred the title of ‘Nritya Samrat’ upon Raja Reddy on the occasion.

The spell was kept intact by the most promising vocalist of Mewati gharana, Sanjeev Abhyankar, who mesmerised the audience with the sweetness of his rendition. He began his offering in raga ‘yaman’and went on to present some ‘bandishes’. Throughout the presentation his voice kept the purity of raga alive. The singer lived up to his celebrated tutelage. Sanjeev is the disciple of three gurus, his mother Shobha Abhyankar, Pandit Pimpalkhare ji and Padmavibhushan Pandit Jasraj ji.

All through the presentation, Sanjeev, striking the best of melodies, kept the mood of the evening alive. So much so that Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was also inspired to state, “This boy is promising without doubt. His tutelage shows in his rendition.” Compering for the evening was done by Jainendra Singh who lived upto the occasion by connecting the sequences brilliantly.

Tomorrow’s concert will feature vocal recital by Sugandha Mishra, tabla by Sreekhlol, jugalbandhi by Madhusudan and Gopal Barman and Kathak by Prachee Shah.


NRI’s body found hanging in in-laws’ house
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 22
Body of a 28 year old NRI was found hanging in the house of his in-laws under mysterious circumstances in Phase 2 here today. The police, however, believes it to be a case of suicide.

According to the information, the deceased, Harvinder Singh, had been living in the USA for over eight years before coming to India two years ago to marry Satinder Kaur. He was living with wife, mother-in-law Sukhwinder Kaur and servant Ramu in H No. 821, Phase 2.

Agitated relatives of the deceased said the police did not inform his father, Mr Sital Singh, who lives in the same phase. Relatives alleged that a head constable who came to the house to remove the body was the relative of the victim’s in-laws. They said the circumstantial evidence showed that the victim had been hanged after he died. The latch of the room was also not properly fastened.

The police had to intervene to stop the victim’s relatives who broke flower pots and other household goods at the house where the body was found hanging.

The deceased has left behind a five-month-old son from his marriage with Satinder Kaur. Unconfirmed reports said it was the second marriage of the victim’s wife. A brother of the woman had earlier committed suicide. Two brothers of the victim live in the USA.

The Station House Officer, Mr R.S. Sohal said statement of the family members of the victim were being recorded before any case was registered. He said the cause of death would be known after autopsy on the victim was done at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital here. The rope with which the victim was hanging had been taken as evidence. Some items were lying scattered in the room where the body was found.

Till the filing of this report no case had been registered. The in-laws of the victim were being quizzed by the police. A police official did not rule out the possibility of a property dispute in the case. 


Man found murdered in Sec 36 house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
A 26-year-old man was found murdered in his Sector 36 house this morning. The deceased has been identified as Jagjot Singh, a marketing executive working in a cargo company in Mumbai. The body, found lying face down on the bed, is stated to be 2-3 days old.

Jagjot apparently died from a blow inflicted on his head. According to the police, his right arm was broken while there was another injury on his shin. A wall of his bedroom also bore blood stains. The police has recovered a blood-stained stick from the spot. A team of forensics also visited the spot.

The police came to know about the murder after Jagjot’s servant, who stays in the servant quarters located in the rear portion of the house, informed about a foul smell emanating from the bedroom on the first floor. The servant had last seen Jagjot on Tuesday when he had served him his meal. Remains of a half-eaten meal were still in the deceased’s room.

While the house was not ransacked, an almirah and safe in the room were reportedly broken into. The bolt on front door of the house was forced and the part of the wood around it was found sheared off.

Jagjot had arrived here about three months ago to oversee the renovation and repair work at the house. His father, an architect, was killed in an accident about 13 years ago. His mother, Kamal Kohli, an interior designer, is currently in Mumbai and is expected back soon. Since the repair work had finished, Jagjot was scheduled to return to Mumbai once his mother arrived here.


11 injured as bus overturns
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 22
Eleven persons were injured, some of them seriously, when a Punjab Roadways bus overturned near Mamupur village on the Kharar-Morinda road this evening.

According to information, the incident occurred when a truck hit the bus and it overturned. The injured were brought to Civil Hospital here. Of them two have been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The injured include Gurmit Singh, driver of the bus, Ram Rattan, his son Pardeep Kumar, Munna Lal and Ram Vati of Chamkaur Sahib, Harbhajan Singh of Bassi Pathana, Angat of Mohali, Harjot, Navjot and Kulbir Kaur.

Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Chief Minister, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, Mr Kuljit Singh, president, Block Congress Committee, Mohali, Mr Rupinder Singh DSP, visited the injured.


Jaitley to discuss POTO today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Union Law Minister, Mr Aurn Jaitley, will provide tomorrow the local BJP workers with inputs to preempt the Opposition with regards to the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance ahead of the joint session of Parliament. The Convener of the ad-hoc committee of the Chandigarh BJP, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, held a meeting of party workers and leaders to make preparations for the Union Ministers’ visit here today. Mr Mahajan said the minister would explain the necessity of re-introducing POTO to assert the National Democratic Alliance Government’s resolve to annihilate terrorism in the country. The workers’ rally will be held at the local office of the BJP in Sector 33.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were, former MP, Mr Satyapal Jain; former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta; the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha President, Mr Satinder Singh; former Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Desraj Tandon; former Councillor, Mr Kanhayia Lal Sharma; Ms Nancy Ganju and Mr Paviter Singh Namdhari.


Canada reduces points for immigration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The standing Senate Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, Canada, today recommended the lowering of pass points for immigration to Canada at 70.

The recommendations were announced this afternoon after a thorough study of the contentious regulations. It has also been recommended that all applications of skilled workers received before December 31, 2001 be processed under the existing selection criteria until March 31, 2003.

The committee, in view of the inordinate delays that that take place in processing the applications at various visa posts, has recommended that the staff at each of these posts re-assess their general policies regarding personal interview as and when interviews are essential and when these can be waived. Special teams should be used to clear the backlog at missions with larger inventories to ensure that these are processed expeditiously.

It has also said that the earlier stipulation that an applicant has to complete a specified total number of years of study when assessing educational credentials be eliminated.

The committee has stated that the Federal Government should provide assistance to regulatory bodies that govern admission to skilled trades and professions in Canada to determine foreign equivalences and facilitate their entry into the labour market.


Kebabs that tantalise palate
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

An outing to the Sukhna Lake is always enjoyable. Even if you go there daily. The calm, cool waters seem to dissipate all your woes. And if you are happy and in a sociable mood, just watch the other visitors pass by and see your spirits soar further. If even that does not do the trick, the Chandigarh Administration has come up with a proposition that will definitely change your mood. Mermaid, the pub-cum-restaurant at the Lake Club end, offers a range of snacks and Indian and Chinese fare.

Set up by CITCO last year, Mermaid was an instant success. Not surprising as the lake attracts hundreds of visitors and tourists on week days and thousands on weekends and holidays. There is nothing like a good quality meal to wind up an outing, all will agree.

While there has been a fast food counter for quite a few years and before that, old timers will recall, apart from a rehri market offering snacks at the present parking lot, besides the footpath vendors hawking popcorn, papad and sundry, the famous site lacked a proper restaurant. The idea of Mermaid was conceived by the Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Even the logo imprinted on the crockery is ‘General's creation’, informs Mr Daniel Banerjee, in charge of the restaurant.

The restaurants commands an imposing view of the Lake ringed by the Shivaliks. The green patch outside is tempting, especially during sunny winters and sultry evenings, both for the lovebirds and a group of chattering kitty party girls and women. A bright huge wall painting by slum children dominates the interiors. The aquarium, home to prawns and river sharks, separating the pub and the restaurant keeps wide-eyed kids mesmerised.

Perhaps, light music could be played to complete the ambience.

Another point going in favour of the eatery is its reasonable prices. Except for kadhai chicken (Rs 170), all items are available for less than Rs 100. Prepared by cooks trained by chefs of other CITCO ventures, Mountview and Shivalikview, the food is tempting, dished up promptly by waiters. Mermaid opens at 10 in the morning even as lunch is served from 12.30 pm to 3 pm and dinner from 7.30 pm to 11 pm.

Down draught beer or juice/lime water with tandoori chicken/panir and kalmi kebabs garnished with finely-chopped salad and mint chutney. Some people swear they are one of the best in town.

The excellent quality more than makes up for the absence of a big menu. On offer is a small range of delicacies usually preferred by Punjabis.

So, you have the ever-favourite dal makhni, chicken, seasonal vegetables, raita, salad, chowmein, chopsuey, manchurian, besides some soups and beverages. Their mushroom do piazza looks colourful with a sprinkling of red tomatoes, yellowish lightly cooked onions, green leaves and brown mushrooms. Top with a scoop of ice-cream. And if after that you are feeling too full or guilty about calories, take a walk up to the regulator end and feel your digestive system metabolise the stuff, making you feel lighter and happier.


Film crew hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 22
Nine artists of the forthcoming Punjabi film, ‘Jee Aaya Noon’ were injured, one of them seriously, when the bus in which they were travelling collided head-on with a truck on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here this afternoon.

Sources said Sarwan Sharma, Pushpa Rani, Mahabali, Sanjeev, Gopal, Jagganath, Amarpreet, Mahesh Kumar and Ashok Kumar sustained injuries when their bus (PB-01-2302) collided with a truck (HR-37-A2170) coming from the opposite direction.

The bus driver, Amarpreet, fractured his legs and was rushed to the PGI in Chandigarh while the other injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital Dera Bassi.

After the shooting of the film, the artists were on their way from Chandigarh to Ambala Cantonment and were to board a train for Mumbai.

The vehicles involved in the accident have been impounded and a case has been registered with the Dera Bassi police station.

Meanwhile, a gang of robbers struck at two different farm houses located in Shekhpura and Karkaur villages and decamped with Rs 60,000 in cash from both places.

However, no case has been registered.


Pre-paid parking tokens sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Anti-Paid Parking Joint Action Front here today suggested issuing pre-paid parking tokens and withdrawing paid parking.

“Pre-paid token of reasonable charges for all type of vehicles should be introduced to generate revenue for the Municipal Corporation,’’ a front release, jointly signed by its Convener, Mr Arun Talwar and its spokesman, Mr Jagdish Singh Kalra, said here today.

The two said the suggestion has been forwarded, because the MC seemed to be interested in revenue collection only.

The Front leaders also condemned the proposal that the parking fee could be hiked and threatened to revive their agitation, withdrawn after the Congress local MP Pawan Bansal’s’ assurances to meet their demands. New Beopar Mandal Chandigarh, led by Mr. M. P. Verma, demanded that the Municipal Corporation should forward a resolution in the House to withdraw paid parking.


Beware of burning leaves
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The practice of piling up dry leaves on the roadside and setting them on fire by the Municipal Corporation staff continues despite ban. The bonnet of Maruti car (No CHO-I -H 6714) owned by Mr S.N. Kalia, former Deputy Secretary of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, caught fire from the burning leaves today.

Mr Kalia had parked his car near the Punjab and Sind Bank building in Sector 17 and gone to the Unit Trust of India building. When he returned after 15 minutes the bonnet of car was in flames. It had caught fire from a heap of burning leaves, he said quoting passers-by who doised the flames in time.

Mr Kalia (78) said the practice of collecting and burning of dry leaves had been banned by the Chandigarh Administration. 


This sugarcane stands 22 feet tall
Tribune News Service

Mr Raj Kumar stands beside his 22-feet-tall sugarcane at his Rattpur village farm near Pinjore.Panchkula, March 22
Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of Rattpur village in Pinjore, claims to have created a new record in the field of agriculture by growing a 22-feet tall sugarcane.

In a press note, Mr Raj Kumar said he had grown it under the guidance of Mr Jai Krishan Kaushik , a noted agricultural scientist. He has grown 60 canes about 20 feet high using G- 58 seed of sugarcane. Each sugarcane weighs around 5 kg of which 4 kg consists of juice.

Mr Raj Kumar had earlier also grown an 18-inch-long lady finger and 11-inch-long bitter gourd.

Mr Raj Kumar stands beside his 22-feet-tall sugarcane at his Rattpur village farm near Pinjore.



Women ahead of men

Women have to strive hard in order to be the first among equals. The days of women subjugation are gone , they are now marching ahead of men in almost all spheres.

This is the philosophy of Ms Anjali Singh, a food and nutrition specialist. She says that women in India have always been relegated to a second citizen status in the country. “ I was always treated on a par with my brothers and at times even given priority over them. As a result, I have done well for myself by specialising in my field. This makes me feel that given the same opportunities, women can do a lot in their lives.”

She says though the so-called feminists claim to have achieved women liberation yet the preference for the male child has not weaned. 


Company management booked
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 22
The police has registered a case against the management of Ajay Electricals for not depositing the GPF of the employees from December 1997 to November 1999 amounting to around Rs 2.94 crore. A case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered on a statement by Mr Gurcharan Singh, a leader of the employees union.

One hurt
A resident of Janta Colony, Sector 25, Puja Rani, was injured after she was knocked down by a car near the Sector 37-41 crossing. She has been admitted to the PGI. The police has registered a case.

Liquor seized
A resident of Sector 52, Pyare Lal, has been arrested by the police from the SBS Colony and 52 pouches of liquor have been seized from his possession. He has been booked under the Excise Act.

Electricity staff assaulted
An SDO with the Electricity Department Anil Dhamija, has reported that he and his staff were assaulted by several persons while his staff were removing kundi connections from the SBS Colony, Sector 49. The police has registered a case.

One held
The police has arrested a resident of Mani Majra, Amarjit Singh, after a resident of the same colony reported that the accused attempted to outrage her modesty in the local market. The police has registered a case.

Scooter stolen
A Sector 16 resident, Sat Pal, has reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (HR-41—3651) has been stolen from the High Court parking lot. A case has been registered.

Woman’s purse snatched
Two persons snatched a woman’s purse containing 200 UK pounds, Rs 2000 in cash and two return tickets to England in Sector 15 today.

The incident took place around 8 pm, when the victim, Ms Surinder Kaur, was coming back home on a cycle rickshaw. Two scooter-borne youth, snatched her purse and fled away. She was, however, unable to see the registration number or the colour of the scooter. The purse also contained two passports. The police has registered a case in this connection.


Liquor pouches seized
The local police has arrested Pumjmy in village Sehat Bhoj and recovered 35 pouches of illicit liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.


Handicrafts by women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Handicraft items are on display at the three-day exhibition by women entrepreneurs which opened at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23 today. Being put up with the support of The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for Women, Canara Bank, Sector 34, the exhibition is all about the bank’s effort to strike a workable balance between business and vocation.

As many as 40 stalls have been put up at the exhibition which was inaugurated by Mayor Mrs Lalit Joshi today. There is a wide variety of designer wear in hand and machine, embroidery, phulkari, ribbon work, patch work, block prints, zardozi and Lucknowi garments.

There is also a colourful collection of household linen ranging from block printed, patchwork, embroidered to crochet items. Matching durries, dining sets, kitchen towels, aprons, towels have also been put up.

There are also woolen items and leather goods. 

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