Friday, April 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Delay in bridge opening: HC hearing today
Clarification sought from Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked standing counsel for the Union of India to inform the court on Friday, the reason behind not officially inaugurating the Dera Bassi Bridge on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala national highway for the convenience of the commuters.

The decision to ask the standing counsel to explain the delay is significant as, according to newspaper reports, the bridge over the railway line was completed four months back but was awaiting inauguration by a VIP. The reports claimed that the inauguration of the bridge had been postponed thrice.

Taking cognizance of the fact that the flyover had not been inaugurated, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice N.K. Sud, had, on Wednesday, asked counsel for the State of Punjab to inform the court about the reason behind the delay. Delivering the verdict, the Bench had observed that the commuters were being forced to wait for over half an hour due to “severe traffic congestion”.

The judges had added that at times the patients rushing to Chandigarh from all over the region, in dire need of medical attention, were unable to reach the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research due to the traffic jams. Speaking for the Bench, Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi added that the failure to inaugurate the overbridge was also resulting in wastage of precious fuel. “Every vehicle was burning substantial amount of petrol which could have been saved had the bridge been thrown open,” Mr Justice Singhvi had concluded.

Earlier, during the proceedings today, state counsel asserted that Union of India’s permission was required in the matter. The case will now come up for further hearing on Friday.

It may be recalled that Mr Harish Kumar Puri of Pipli, in his petition before the High Court, had asked for the construction of rumble strips alongwith traffic signals at the crossings. He had stated that his 27-year-old son Ashok Puri had died on May 14, 1996, due to complete failure of the signal system.


Sec-39 murder: culprit held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
The murderer of the 70-year old woman, Vanisha Dass, who was found in a pool of blood in her Sector 39 flat late last night was arrested this afternoon following an intensive operation, the local police said today.

Within 24-hours of receiving information about the murder, the Sector 39 police arrested Dev Singh, a former employee in the house of Col J.S. Kang, a neighbour of the deceased . The Kangs lived in flat number 1107 and Mrs Dass in 1108/ II. The flats are in the same block. The murder was committed with the motive of theft and with acute planning. He was presently working in a house in Sector 21. Dev Singh confessed to the murder and was produced in court from where he was sent in judicial remand till April 24.

The woman was reportedly murdered on the night of April 8. The victim was staying alone in the flat. The police said Dev Singh, first switched off the ligths of the deceased's house from the main switch located outside the flat. When Vanisha Dass came out to check the main switch, Dev Singh sneaked into her flat and concealed himself in a room on the upper floor. The flat is a duplex with two bedrooms on one floor and two bedrooms on the next floor. A staircase from within the drawing room connects the two portions.

After restoring the light, Vanisha went to bed. Dev Singh entered the bedroom after midnight and opened the almirah. Following the noise, the old woman woke up and a struggle took place between the two. During the scuffle, the accused reportedly picked up a knife from the kitchen and made several blows on the body of Vanisha resulting into her death.

Before fleeing from the spot, Dev Singh collected certain articles and locked the house from outside using the woman's key. He also took away the keys with him. As per police sources, the house bore no signs of forced entry and the newspapers of April 9 and 10 were lying outside her flat. Blood-soaked foot prints were found on the spot. Sources claim that blood-soaked clothes, a pair of keys and other incriminating articles were recovered from the house of Dev Singh in Sector 21.

The police sources said a neighbour of the deceased while recollecting the names of all servants in the block told the police about the servant of Col Kang. The Kangs had moved to Sector 38-West a few months ago. The police reached there and inquired about Dev Singh. From there they got the address of Mr Ish Aggarwal residing in Sector 21. Sushant, a resident of Sector 18 and son of brother-in-law of the deceased, was the first to see the body, who later informed the police, said police sources.

Mrs Dass was supposed to attend a party at the residence of her brother-in-law in Sector 18 yesterday and she was to be picked up by Ms Shalini. Ms Shalini reached the deceased's flat at about 6 pm yesterday and after finding the door locked reached the venue of the party alone. The family members of Vanisha's brohter-in-law made repeated attempts to contact her on telephone but the telephone kept giving the engaged.

At this point the family got apprehensive and Sushant reached Vanisha's flat with a duplicate key. When he entered the house, he found her lying in a pool of blood. The house was also ransacked. 


18 shops gutted in furniture market fire
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
At least 18 shop and two scooters were gutted in a major fire which broke out in the Furniture Market, adjacent to Sector 42 here, this evening. This is the second major fire in the market in less than a year. The loss of property is estimated to be in several lakhs. However, no casualty was reported.

The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained but short circuit was not ruled out. The market has not got any authorised power supply but some shopkeepers are alleged to draw power from kundi connections, said sources in the Fire Department.

The fire could have played havoc as about 800 LPG cylinders of a nearby gas agency could have caught fire. However, fire-fighters cordoned off the area and removed the cylinders. The fire which started at around 7.30 pm was brought under control in more than an hour with the help of 13 fire-tenders from Chandigarh and neighbouring SAS Nagar.

The scene at the market was of utter chaos. Fire-fighters and the shopkeepers were seen dousing the fire. The fire-fighters had to cope up with dense smoke which had engulfed the entire area. Flames and dense smoke were seen in SAS Nagar and other areas. Shopkeepers and other persons present on the spot claimed that the fire spread in the entire area very quickly. The Fire Department reportedly received the fire call at 7.50 pm.

When contacted, Mr G.S Bajwa, Chief Fire Officer, UT, said about a six to eight shops were burnt in the fire. He added that the cause of the fire could be a burning cigarette or biri stub which might have come in contact with drums filled with thinner.


Lake Club tennis coach stabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
A lawn tennis coach at the Lake Club, Sandeep Singh, was seriously injured after he was assaulted and stabbed several times by a 24-year-old youth at the Lake Club tennis courts this morning. The accused, Amit Jain, alias Sunny, a resident of Sector 15, has been arrested.

According to the police, the incident occurred when Sandeep did not allow Amit to play at the lake club courts since he was not a member. This infuriated Amit, who shouted at and abused the coach. He then went over to his car, brought out a stick and started hitting Sandeep. When the stick broke after a few blows, the accused rushed back to his car, brought out a knife and stabbed Sandeep several times.

Sandeep suffered stab injuries in the abdomen, chest and arm. He was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital. He is out of danger.

The accused was nabbed on the spot and handed over to the police. A case under Sections 307, 324 and 323, IPC has been registered for attempt to murder, inflicting injuries with a sharpedged weapon and inflicting injuries with a blunt weapon, respectively.


FIR in paper-leak case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Panjab University has lodged an FIR with the Chandigarh police in connection with the leaking out of today’s B.Com-I paper. It concerns students of nearly 100 colleges affiliated to the PU.

Following reports of the leak in ‘Chandigarh Tribune’ today, the PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, called an emergency meeting of local members of the PU Syndicate, who decided to ask the police to take up the case. The university, however, conducted the examination as scheduled.

When contacted, the VC said such an FIR had indeed been lodged and the university was committed to ensuring a fair play in the conduct of examinations. The university will follow-up the case seriously and the paper will be cancelled if the news of the leak proves to be true.

Today, this newspaper had reported that some youths in SAS Nagar had been selling copies yesterday of what they had claimed to be today’s financial accounting paper of the PU B.Com-I Examination. They wanted Rs 10,000 for each copy.

The university, at present, has only one paper-setter for each test. This is against the decision of the PU Senate to have at least two paper-setters for each test. The PU Syndicate had decided in 1998 to have three paper-setters for each test for ensuring total secrecy in the final selection of question-paper. Due to financial constraints, the Senate had, then, decided to appoint two paper-setters for each paper. However, even this decision has not been implemented.

A senior fellow of the PU said there were reports that the university was employing teachers of the other universities for paper-setting. Either the PU does not have enough paper-setters or its teachers do not want this work. An external paper-setter usually has lesser moral obligation to ensure secrecy.


MC’s plan: treat own sewage, save water
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
At its April 16 meeting, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) will seek a 33 per cent reduction in the consumption of potable water by asking major organisations in the city to install their own mini sewage-treatment plants. This is likely to bridge the gap between the summer-time demand of 97.5 million gallon litre and the supply of 65 million gallon litre.

The House will consider passing a resolution to make the installation of these plants mandatory for organisations that are using 200 kilolitres of water and have big open spaces that are irrigated with potable water. The Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC had identified 19 such organisations, which included Panjab University, the PGI, Chandigarh Medical College and Hospital, General Hospital, the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, the Institute of Microbiological Technology and the Chandigarh Club.

The sewage-treatment plant proposed by the corporation is called Modular FAB Sewage Reactor and costs about Rs 20 lakh. It takes up only 10 per cent of the space that traditional plants occupy. It is compact and advanced.

The MC House will also make water-use and sewage-treatment-plant bylaws. The MC has been trying to ban watering of lawns and washing of cars with potable water, but to no avail. It has been telling the public that the pressure on water supply has risen in the past decade due to a 40 per cent increase in the city population.

The MC House will also discuss terms and conditions for paid parking in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 before the auctions on April 22, 24 and 26, as scheduled by the Finance and Contracts Committee. It will also consider elections to four seats of the MC advisory council and results of elections to the posts of chairman and vice-chairman of 10 committees.

It will also consider construction of community centres in Sectors 22 and 7, as sought by the respective area councillors, Mr Pardeep Chhabra and Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma. The Chandigarh Administration has also sought the MC’s approval on the meat bylaws. The House will discuss delegation of powers to the newly formed Sanitation Committee. There has been a proposal that the committee be entitled to sanction rough cost estimates of municipal works up to Rs 5 lakh and advise the MC on matters related to scavenging, removal and disposing of filth and pollutants. It may also advise the MC on cleaning of streets and public places, reclamation of dirty localities, removal of obnoxious vegetation, matters of the Horticulture Department, advertising and publicity. The other development agendas are likely to be discussed tomorrow.

The creation of a Fire Safety Committee is also to be considered. Recruitment in the Fire Department and inquiry into the finalisation of the terms of paid parking for the previous contract are the issues that will keep the House busy.


MC move to privatise upkeep of parks
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 11
Residents of the township can look forward to a complete facelift of their neighbourhood parks as the Municipal Council has come up with a proposal to privatise the maintenance of most of the parks in sectors, within its limits.

Sources inform that the Municipal Council here is considering to emulate the successful privatisation of parks in Ludhiana by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. A proposal in this regard has been made for the private maintenance of about 100 parks in various sectors of the township. This will soon be sent to the state government for its final approval.

A senior official, on condition of anonymity informed, that it had been proposed to assign the maintenance of parks to the Residents Welfare Association. “The association will be given assistance by MC at the rate of Re 1 per sq. meter for each park. They will then have to meet the costs of employing a gardener, removing the weeds and for planting ornamental plants, he said.

It is learnt that with the transfer of various developed sectors in Panchkula to Municipal Council , as many as 115 parks will be transferred to the MC. The bigger parks in the township, including those within the MC limits, will continue to be maintained by HUDA. Also, of the 150 odd gardeners , currently deployed with HUDA, only 50 gardeners will be transferred to MC. It is thus that the authorities propose to privatise the maintenance works.

Meanwhile, residents of the township have deplored the poor maintenance of parks here. There is no proper control on the spread of weeds nor are any ornamental plants planted by the Horticulture Department. Even the preventive maintenance works are not carried out periodically.

The parks in the township are choked with deadly Congress grass. In fact, the problem is so severe that most of the residents prefer to avoid using the parks for their morning\ evening walks and instead prefer the roadsides for walks.

It may be noted that last week the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Goyal, had called upon the residents of the township to make a mass movement for cleaning congress grass. He had asked the Horticulture Wing of HUDA to remove weeds from the parks. Also, there are no walking tracks made in these parks for the walkers.

Residents also complain that these parks have no attraction for the tiny tots like swings or slides. In case, some slides have been put up for the children, these are rusted, thus unfit for use. Also, benches in these parks are in a dilapidated condition. Ms Rekha Khurana, a resident of Sector 11, says that senior citizens prefer to sit and relax in the parks, but there is no proper arrangements for this.

The Citizen’s Welfare Association, rues that the parks in almost all sectors in the township are never tendered to by HUDA gardeners. Mr S.K. Nayyar, president of the association said, “We have made numerous representations to the Administrator of HUDA and the Executive Officer of Municipal Council, yet nothing has been done”.


Was pvt education lobby in South behind UGC ban?
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Was the rich and influential private technical education lobby of South India instrumental in persuading the University Grants Commission to impose a ban on universities of Punjab and Haryana offering distance education courses through private agencies and establishments?

Many in the universities in the two states believe so because the introduction of the courses by these universities had hit hard private organisations in the South in general and Karnataka in particular. Thousands of students from the North make a beeline every year for medical and engineering degree courses being offered by the universities in the South where they gain admission by paying hefty “donations”.

Similar courses being offered by universities like Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, at much lower rates over the past couple of years created alarm among the universities in the South. But there was not much they could do about it.

However, the problem here became complicated when even non-technical universities like Punjabi University, Patiala, began offering technical courses like Masters in Computer Applications. This is when the private technical education lobby of the South decided to move in and prevail upon the UGC to place a ban on courses being offered by the universities in Punjab and Haryana.

The Chairman, UGC, issued a communication (no. 52/99 dated August 4, 2001) to different universities directing them to stop offering their degree education through private agencies/ establishments. However, this ban was not applicable to agricultural, medical and technical universities. Hence, the ban is not applicable to Punjab

Technical University, which itself is a legal autonomous body and has the exclusive right to confer or grant degrees, says Mr A.S. Grewal, Director, Outreach, PTU.

Under Section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956, the right of conferring or granting degrees can be exercised only by a university established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a provisional Act or a state Act. The degree should be nomenclature-wise specified by the UGC in its official gazette. No other person or authority has the right to grant or confer degrees.

Punjab Technical University, registered under the PTU Act, 1996, and established under Punjab State Act No 1 of 1997, is a legal and competent authority to grant degrees under various programmes in regular as well as distance education mode. As such, all degrees and diplomas awarded by PTU are recognised.

All degrees being offered by PTU under its Distance Education Programme such as BSc (IT), BSc (CAM) and MSc are specified degrees of the UGC which has been confirmed by the UGC vide its letter no. 1-52/2000 (CPP-II) dated July 31, 2001, written to PTU. Since the degrees being offered by PTU are specified by the UGC, PTU does not require the approval of any other authority for conferring or awarding degrees. Thus, the undergraduate and postgraduate courses being offered by PTU under the Distance Education Programme in the subjects of Information Technology and Computer Application and Management are completely within its jurisdiction and are valid everywhere.

Even otherwise the Supreme Court of India, vide its judgement in civil appeal no. 2056 of 1998 dated 24.9.2001 (AIR 2001 Supreme Court 2861), has upheld the internal operational autonomy of universities by declaring that they are independent and autonomous in starting any course of education and do not require any approval. Accordingly, the one-sided ban imposed by the UGC Chairman without any active consultation of the universities becomes ineffective.


18 councillors file nominations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Eighteen municipal councillors of the total 29 have filed their nominations for elections to the four vacancies to the advisory council of the Home Minister.

The elections to these vacancies will be held through show of hands in the Municipal Corporation meeting scheduled for April 16.

Six of a total of nine nominated councillors — Ms Amar Kulwant Singh, Dr K. S. Raju, Dr B. R. Verma, Mr P. C. Sanghi, Brigadier Sant Singh and Ms K. Atmaram have shown their interest in the nominations.

Eight of the 13 Congress councillors — Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Sohan Lal, Mr Surinder Singh, Ms Kamlesh, Mr Balraj Singh, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, Mr Pardeep Chhabra and Ms Geeta Rani — have filed their nominations.

While all three Chandigarh Vikas Manch councillors — Mr Vijay Rana, Mr Jatinder Bhatia and Ms Harpreet Kaur Babla — have come forward for the coveted positions, only one of the four BJP-SAD members, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, has shown eagerness to be elected.

With four vacancies from the corporation, the council will have Administrator, local MP, two members from the Zila Parishad, Chairperson of the Municipal Corporation, an SC/ST member from panchayat or municipal corporation and one woman member.


Wholesale, retail rates of rice, wheat refixed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Consequent upon the revision of issue rates of rice, wheat and wheat flour (atta) by the Government of India, the Chandigarh Administration has refixed their wholesale and retail rates for the families living above poverty line (APL).

The wholesale rate of rice, excluding sales tax, has been fixed at Rs 736.60 per quintal, whereas the retail rate has been pegged at Rs 773. The wholesale rate for 100 kg of rice, including sales tax, has been refixed at Rs 769.01.

Similarly, the wholesale rate of 10 kg pack of wheat flour, excluding sales tax, has been pegged at Rs 54.16, whereas the retail price has been fixed at Rs 61.24. The wholesale rate of 10 kg wheat flour, including sales tax, will be Rs 59.44.

The wholesale rate (excluding sales tax) and retail price of 100 kg wheat have been refixed at Rs 521.60 and Rs 548.55, respectively. Likewise, the wholesale rate of 100 kg wheat, including sales tax will be Rs 544.55. The rates will come into force with immediate effect.

It may be recalled that the Central Issue Price of rice for the APL has recently been decreased from Rs 830 per quintal to Rs 730 per quintal. Likewise, the issue price of wheat for APL has also been decreased from Rs 610 to Rs 510 per quintal.


Bylaws violation charge against hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Aroma Hotel and Restaurant has been dragged to a local court for alleged violation of building bylaws, fire safety norms and encroachment on government land.

The complainant, Mr Balraj Singh, has sought directions from the local court for the removal of encroachment and violation of building bylaws, causing inconvenience to the plaintiff and the general public.

The application was placed before the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Mr K.K. Goel, making the Advisor, Estate Officer, Municipal Corporation, Chief Architect, SDO (Building), Chief Fire Officer and Aroma Hotel as parties.

Mr Singh has sought to restrain the hotel from using the footpath along the hotel site opposite the petrol pump as a car park.

The application has sought directions to close the five-door opening on the V-4 road in violation of architectural control, running of an illegal bazaar, enforcement of building bylaws and to remove obstruction of public passage.

The applicant has also sought the removal of enclosure of iron grille on the front ground parking and also commercial stalls on public land, which are restricting free movement of the right of egress and ingress of the general public and construction of a brick wall on the rear side dividing the hotel and the service lane. Mr Singh had met with an accident on December 10, 2001.

Different departments of the Municipal Corporation are preparing reply to the notice issued to them.


Firemen to go serious about practical jokes
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, April 11
The Chandigarh Fire Department has decided to take strict action against callers who create fire hoaxes. Instead of letting such persons get away with only a warning, the department now plans to hand them over to the police. On an average, the department has been receiving two such calls every day, as a result of which, firefighters who rush to the spot often find it to be a prank.

The department received one such call on April 1 — All Fools’ Day — just as firefighters were about to relax at about 11 pm. The caller said there had been a fire in a Sector 40 house, at which, a fire engine was rushed to the spot, on reaching where, firefighters realised that someone had pulled a fast one on them.

“After receiving a call, we immediately get back to the caller after identifying the telephone number to verify the authenticity of the information,” says a senior official of the Fire Department. “In a number of cases, callers confess their guilt and seek forgiveness, at which, they get away with just a warning. However, as we cannot take chances, we have to rush to every spot from where we are called.”

He says: “If a caller says that there has been a fire in a market or a slum, we have to send more than one fire engine there because such fires can spread fast. If the call turns out to be a prank, we end up wasting not only the fuel, but also our men who may be needed elsewhere. Once we realise that the call was a prank, we ring up the person again and threaten him with legal action. If he confesses, we let him get away with a warning.”

Treating such callers leniently is not a deterrent, the official says. “As people do not realise the seriousness of playing such tricks, they continue to waste our time and energy. We are now considering the possibility of handing such callers over to the police. Once action is taken against one or two such persons, the others will stop playing such practical jokes,” he says.


Sectors 30, 52 to have apni mandis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Apni Mandi Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh here today decided to start new mandis in Sectors 52 and 30.

This was decided at the committee meeting held under the chairpersonship of Ms Pushpa Sharma.

The committee also decided to remove mandis of Sectors 32 and 33 to merge them with one to be now held on Saturdays on a vacant space in Sector 33 on the road dividing Sectors 33 and 32.

The relocation of the mandis has been made on the complaints of shopkeepers of the two markets, with those in Sector 33 complaining that they did not have a passage on Wednesdays when apni mandi is held and those in Sector 33 had complained of traffic chaos and sanitation hazard.

Another mandi in Sector 43 will also be relocated on the dividing road between the sector and Attawa village.

Committee members, after the meeting, visited various places to decide the sites of the two new mandis.

The committee also decided to earmark a measured space for each of the 12 mandis on a suggestion from the officials.

It inconclusively discussed the issue of permission to rehriwallahas in mandis on a certain fee on the ground that the rehriwallahs had been operating without permission allegedly in collusion with the enforcement staff and the permission would bring the corporation revenue.

A suggestion was brought before the committee to make the Market Committee of the UT the agency to organise apni mandis with farmers getting receipts from it instead of the Punjab marketing committees.

A councillor and marketing committee director, Mr Kuldeep Singh, offered to pay the corporation double the charge the Punjab gives at a rate of Rs 1,000 per mandi per week.

Mr Singh said he had already sent such a proposal to the Chandigarh Administration.

The corporation could, however, honour even those receipts issued by the marketing committees of Punjab, the committee discussed.

The UT will now have 12 apni mandis.


Road damaged, courtesy PUDA miscalculation
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 11
Hectic construction activity in the commercial belt of Phase XI here has damaged the main road from Phase IX. The damage, though is not because of the construction activity but due to a serious flaw on part of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) in laying a main water supply line.

The main road, connecting Phase XI with the rest of the town has been dug up at several places to take water connection for the showrooms being constructed on the other side of the road. This had caused a loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.

A concrete footpath has also been broken. The footpath was laid by the civic body without realising that the water connections for the commercial sites had to pass beneath the road berm. A Municipal Councillor of the area, Mr Amrik Singh, said so far about 70 showrooms had been completed or were being constructed. The cost to repair the road cuts could be seen.

When the owners of the showroom began construction on their plots, the road was again dug up at several points to have the water connection. A road cut has been made at every 16 feet. The councillor has already suggested that a water supply line should be laid on the side of the showrooms so that the plot holders did not have to damage the road. Several letters written to the President and the Municipal Engineer to make some alternative arrangement have failed to bear any results. 


Hundreds participate in nagar kirtan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
Devotees marched through the city streets during a nagar kirtan held in the afternoon by the Central Co-ordination Committee of all gurdwaras and Sikh institutions to celebrate the birthday of Khalsa —Baisakhi.

The procession started from gurdwara Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib, Sector 30-B,and ended at Gurdwara Guru Ka Darbar Sector 37, after passing through the Sector 29 market, ITI, Gurdwara Nanaksar, Ram-garhia Bhavan, Sector 19 gurdwara besides Sectors 20, 21, 22 and 23.

Hundreds of devotees participated in the nagar kirtan and paid obeisance to the Guru. The procession started with the beating of drums and blowing of trumpets followed by Nihangs playing ‘gatka’. Students followed a flower-bedecked vehicle. Teams of ‘ragis’ recited hymns and several bands moved with the procession playing religious tunes .

The route was decorated with colourful flags and buntings. As the traffic came to a standstill, devotees served prasad to the commuters.

The police made elaborate arrangements for the procession and no untoward incident was reported. Several policemen could be seen directing the commuters to take alternate roads to avoid inconvenience. As the procession passed through different sectors, more and more residents joined in.


A rare small book; read with microscope
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
This is one of the rarest small books of the world — ‘The English Jewel’ — written by French writer Bejon, printed in London on January 1, 1837, and now with Mr Ravi Bhasin, who lives in Panchkula. It was shown to reporters at his house today.

“The book is one of the rarest ones in the world,” said the owner. Mr Bhasin got this book from his father, who had got it from his father. “The book has been with our family since my great grandfather’s time,” said Mr Bhasin.

‘The English Jewel’ has 300 pages and describes the lifestyles of many royal families of Europe, besides a number of saints. It also has records of celestial happenings like lunar and solar eclipses.

The book is complete with pictures and illustrations of the personalities who have been mentioned in the text. The book comes with an-inch-and-a-half folding microscope for readers to read the lithoprint.


City Cong seeks Modi’s removal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) and the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) here today sought removal of the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, for attack on journalists in Sabarmati Ashram.

Led by the CTCC President, Mr B.B. Bahl, the rally starting from Ram Darbar and passed through various sectors of the city demanding removal of Mr. Modi. Congress Councillors participated in the rally in large numbers. The CTYC burnt the effigy of Mr Modi and attacked the BJP and the Sangh Parivar for perpetrating a crime against freedom of speech.


Baisakhi function at Thursday club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Colours and images of Punjab could be seen in abundance at a function held in connection with the festival of Baisakhi by members of the Thursday Ladies Club at Central Club, Sector 9, today.

The members, dressed in their colourful best got into the spirit of the festival of harvest. The president of the club, Mrs Sushma Malhotra, started the function by saluting the spirit of Punjabiat and said she was proud to be a Punjabi. Mrs Harinder Banga presented a composition of Waaris Shah which was appreciated by all present on the occasion. Members of the club aged above 60 years gave a scintillating performance of giddha on the occasion.


Cash, jewellery stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Bobby Kaur, a resident of Sector 24, has reported that a pair of gold ear-rings, a gold chain, a gold necklace, a gold ring and Rs 30,000 in cash have been stolen from her residence. A case has been registered.

Abduction case registered
The police booked three residents of Bapu Dham Colony after a resident of the same colony reported that they had abducted his 17-year-old daughter from his residence on April 6. A case under Sections 363, 366 and 34 has been registered.

Held for begging
A resident of Rajasthan, Gian Singh, was arrested for begging near the railway crossing. A case under Section 151 of the MC Act has been registered against him. He was later bailed out.

Car lifted
A resident of Amritsar, Jagmohan Singh, has reported that his Contessa car (PB-02-J-2654) has been stolen from Sector 35. A case has been registered.

Theft report
Sector 21 resident Ravinder Singh has reported that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-01-W-1557) has been stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.

Scooter stolen
An inmate of the PGI Doctors’ Hostel, Dr Subhash Chander, has reported that his Vespa scooter (CH-01-P-6198) has been stolen from the PGI parking lot. The police has registered a case.

Sector 29 resident Balbir Singh has reported that Rs 1400 in cash and some bed linen have been stolen from his residence. A case has been registered.


The local police has arrested Jai Lal, a resident of Abheypur village, on the charge of showing a blue film at his residence. He has been booked under Section 294 of the IPC.

The traffic police issued 100 challans for various violations of traffic rules in different parts of the township on Thursday. Commuters were challaned for driving without helmets, black films on cars and triple riding.


Management-union deadlock continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The deadlock between the management and the union of Groz Beckert Asia continued today with both parties maintaining their stance.

“We will not withdraw the suspension orders or the charge sheets against the employees. The employees are required to maintain the decorum of the company, violation of which led to the management’s decision of taking a disciplinary action. Enquiries are being conducted against the erring employees,” said Mr Ranjit Singh, vice-president (Sales), GPA.

Today, the representatives from the management and the union met the Assistant Labour Commissioner in this regard. However, as they could not reach a compromise, a meeting will be conducted again at his office on April 17, informed Mr Ranjit Singh.

The conflict had started after the general secretary of the union, Mr Shyam Bihari, was chargesheeted. The workers’ union alleged that the management of the company had levied baseless allegations on the general secretary that he had instigated the workers to resort to violence against German management officials.

The union members said that the management also chargesheeted the workers of the factory, saying that they had slowed down the production, which, they said, was not true.

Meanwhile, the union members remained firm on their stance to continue with their protest till the management fulfills their demands of withdrawing the charge sheets against the employees and orders of suspension of the general secretary of the union.


Jas, Dipanita’s fashion tips
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Fashion flowed from many quarters at the Wills Lifestyle store today. But to begin with, it flowed from the imposing presence of fashion icons Jas Arora and Dipanita Sharma, who played hosts to guest customers of Wills Sport almost the whole day in Sector 17.

The charming twosome, who have already forayed into the world of Hindi cinema, were not taking the ramp for a change. They were instead doing real life fashion consultancy, a value-added service which Wills is launching for the first time in Chandigarh. Called fashion gurus, the service is all about brushing shoulders with stars and styles.

So doing the detailing for visitors to Wills Lifestyle today were two fashion gurus Jas and Dipanita, who not only doled out valuable suggestions on structuring wardrobes but also spent quality time with customers helping them dress in line with the latest fashion statements. In the process of discovering the best, they scanned a significant portion of the Wills summer range, which is again serving to underline the active minds, relaxed bodies promise.

Strengthening the comfortable look is the current rage denim, which has been blended with Iris linen to make it fall like a feather on the skin. Detailing on fabrics is immense, so is the line of accessories, which compliments the work, leisure and party collection, being offered at Wills this season. As the visiting models progressed from one fabric to another, they themselves appeared indulged.

This was precisely the moment to catch up with the ravishing Dipanita, who has stepped many ladders up the Bollywood with her latest role of an undercover agent in the just-released film “16 December”. With Assamese charms all over her being, Dipanita looked absolutely in control. A model for a fairly long time now, the girl was picked up for a prestigious role in the film wherein she plays a daring Sheeba, all out to race time.

Not the kind of role a newcomer would opt for, Dipanita took the risk and reaped the reward. She said, “I wanted to get a foothold in the industry and I wanted a role that lasts in the public memory. For me, the script was the first consideration. I saw the potential and decided to take the plunge which I was avoiding for long.”

As a trained theatre artiste, acting was not something new for Dipanita, who further believes in modelling has a potential acting field. “You must be able to embody the attitude your product spells. Modelling also has a lot to do with expression. Theatre, of course came handy.” More so, because she has a lineage in the field. Dipanita’s uncle Phani Sharma was a pioneer in the field of Assamese films and her mother Krishna is a well-known theatre artiste back home.

From Dipanita to Jas, the connection was comfortable. Looking as charming as ever, the Punjabi lad who made waves with Tanuja Chandra’s Dushman (opposite Kajol) was more busy helping people with dressing up. So one really had to ask him out of his packed schedule for a couple of minutes. With a celebrated resume boasting of over 150 ads, “which are easier said than done,” Jas is liking his new-found role as a fashion guru.

“Wills is about a blend of comfort and style. And it feels great to be able to help people choose styles which will adorn their body best,” said the model, who is making inroads into Bollywood, but at his own pace. Shortly due for release is his film with Tara Deshpande, which has Ashutosh Rana in the negative role. Directed by Govind Menon, “Danger” is about a former convict struggling through sun and shade.

“The bottomline in the film is that you can run away but you cannot hide. There is no defined love angle, but the shades of romance cannot be ruled out in the script. The film has been shot in Mumbai,” said Jas, who is choosy about the characters he portrays. He explains it well, “What you choose make you good.” With no song, Jas’s latest thriller only has background musical scores from Hussain.

Back to business, Wills Sport is already ahead of the mark this season. With latest feel-light fabrics, international designs that cater to Indian sensibilities and an unbelievably rich garment line, the brand is all set to bring world fashion into the city. As of now, Wills Sport will unveil its spring summer collection for a select gathering at Chandigarh Golf Range tomorrow. 



OPENED: Gads Leather, a high-product leather showroom, was recently opened in Chandigarh. The showroom, started by Col ADS Gill, offers leather products in different price ranges, from handbags for women to wallets, briefcases, gift items , bean bags and footwear. TNS

EXHIBITION: An exhibition of casual wear by Swingers will be held at Hotel Aroma from April 12 to 16. The company has launched its latest collection of Spring 2002 casual wear. TNS

LAUNCHED: Stryde has launched floaters — Hotel California, Rome Chrome, Sun City Sizzlers and Orlando Hill — in its spring summer collection of footwear. These are made of light soles and cow crazy horse oil pull upleather, stated a company press release. TNS

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