Friday, April 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rain, duststorm put life out of gear
Roundabouts waterlogged, trees uprooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
City witnessed a rain fall of 21 mm today. It was preceded by a squall with wind blowing at a speed of 86 km ph. It caused eye injuries to many and affected telephone lines, apart from uprooting a number of trees. Electricity supply was cut off in many areas with a view to preventing fire incidents. Two persons were injured after their scooters skidded due to storm.

The PGI was flooded with cases of irritation in eyes due to duststorm and doctors had advised immediate washing of eyes else it could cause damage. The PGI has got a higher number of accident cases as compared to other days raising doubts whether they might have been caused by the squall but none of them is specifically affected by the storm, the hospital sources said.

Many trees were uprooted in Sector 4, Sector 8, Mani Majra and in Sectors 34, 33 and 22 large number of branches broke off with the impact of the wind. The road leading from Sector 16 to the PGI was blocked due to the fall of a tree.

Most of city roundabouts were waterlogged and roads were littered with dead wood and leaves.

The BSNL said that no report of disruption of any exchange had come as these were managed by underground cables.

Reports of tinsheds and temporary structures getting damaged have been trickling down from the city but the police said no major injury had been reported from any such an incident.

The day turned dark as if the evening had fallen early during the day forcing vehicle drivers to switch on their headlights.

The safety conscious drivers also stopped their vehicles guarding against overhanging wires and trees.

The Mahavir Jayanti holiday proved lucky for the people and most of the people were indoors at that time. Hail was also reported.

The rainfall broke the record of 19.6 mm recorded in April 2001. According Met Department officials these conditions were caused by Westernly disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir and cyclonic circulation over north west Rajasthan.

The change of weather brought revelers on road in the evening and heavy rush in front liquor vends was witnessed.


Squall plunges city into darkness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
High-speed squall in the city during the afternoon hours led to a power breakdown for more than six hours in almost the entire city. Branches of trees fell on high tension wires causing trippings. In some cases, the wires snapped leading to even longer breakdowns.

Power in 90 per cent of the area was restored by 9 p.m. and engineers aimed to restore supply in the entire city by 10 p.m. The delay was on account of bad weather conditions. In the night, the pace of repair work slowed down. The breakdown affected sectors 47, 48, 46, 45, 44, 43, 35, 34, 33, 32 and 36 and Kajheri and Burail-village in the southern sectors. In the northern sectors, power was disconnected in Sectors 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 15, 11 and 10, PGI and Panjab University besides Manimajra, Sectors 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28 and 29 and several other parts. In the PGI, emergency supply was restored to critical areas within minutes.

Teams were sent within minutes after the storm ended and repair work started in windy conditions. In some cases, even water had not dried on the poles.

Sources, meanwhile, said at some places wires had broken and fresh wires would be installed tomorrow morning as the task would take about three to four hours and the entire feeder which connected thousands of homes had to be shut down. In a few cases falling trees had brought down electricity poles. A source said when a tree fell on a wire it either broke or caused tripping in the sub-station.

As a precautionary measure, the department had switched off power fearing a major breakdown due to high velocity winds. Such squalls which hit northern parts of the country, cause a lot of damage. In May, 2000, a similar storm had led to the failure of the grid.


Meat sale went on despite ban
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, April 25
There was hardly any meat in Chandigarh Administration’s claim of banning the slaughter of animals and the sale of non-vegetarian products in the city on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti today.

Officials of the Chandigarh Administration went around the city in the morning asking owners of restaurants, fast food joints and hotels not to sell meat products, but the effort failed to have the desired effect. A number of fast food joints in the city, continued to cater to the needs of non-vegetarian population despite the ban. They were offering meat products openly at the usual price.

In view of Mahavir Jayanti, the Administration on Wednesday had banned the slaughtering of animals and sale of meat products in the city as the day was to be observed as ‘Ahimsa Divas’. It was ordered that all restaurants and other eating joints in Chandigarh would be barred from selling meat products on the day.

The officials had further mentioned that violation of the order would attract prosecution under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The reality was, however, quite different. Residents were seen ordering meet products in eating joints in Sector 8 market. Perhaps, unaware of the ban or indifferent towards it, they sat around the tables and savoured non-vegetarian dishes of their choice.

Some others could be seen sitting in their cars parked outside kiosks offering soup. As the rain poured in the afternoon, they enjoyed steaming hot chicken soup. The owner of a fast food joint in Sector 9 did comply with the orders of the Administration, but only during the morning hours. In the evening, he ordered his cooks to prepare non-vegetarian dishes for the customers.

The Director, Health Services, when contacted, said his officials were able to lay their hands on at least two or three such violators. The hotel owners, meanwhile, have condemned the move. They asserted that such a practice should not be adopted by the Administration as it was neither appreciated by the residents, nor was it in their interest. “We had a lot of problem explaining things to foreign tourists,” said a hotelier.


PU hostel resident assaulted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 25
A resident of boys hostel No 2, Panjab University, Arvind Gautam, was allegedly assaulted by two fellow residents and their four to five friends at around 12.30 am in the hostel here today. Arvind received injuries on his forehead, nose and on several other places on his face and was admitted to the PGI.

According to residents of the hostel and police sources, Mr Arvind was allegedly beaten up by Parminder, Pradeep (both students of Department of Laws) and others in his room. Mr Arvind and Parminder had applied for allotment of room No 37. One of the accused allegedly threatened and asked Arvind to withdraw his application but he refused. “I was hit on my forehead by them, after that I lost my consiousness”, alleged Arvind. A case has been registered and the accused are said to be at large. Arvind, who is a student of the Department of Gandhian Studies, is to appear for his final examination paper on April 27. Later Parminder and Pradeep were suspended from the hostel.


Environment studies paper in Sept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A committee constituted by the Panjab University authorities to decide the fate of students who failed to appear in the environment studies paper yesterday recommended a re-exam in September to the Vice-Chancellor. While the committee decided that all students who had paid the fee and filled the examination form selecting the environment studies option be allowed to take the exam without any additional payment, others could apply afresh and pay fee according to the rules.


Upgrading the airport: Jacob to meet Fernandes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Even as the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, while acting on objections of the Union Ministry of Defence, has rejected the demand of upgrading the airport here to an international one, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) will be making one more effort in this regard by meeting the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, in the next few days.

The Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mr Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, had agreed to look into the demand in the first week of April as Chandigarh was emerging as an important regional hub for business activities. The proposal, however, was shot down as the Air Force did not like the idea of sharing its sensitive base here with international flights.

Even earlier, the Ministry had said it was not viable to have an international airport here. Chandigarh’s case was rejected citing objections raised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Since the airport here is primarily a defence airstrip.

In the past, the Chandigarh Administration has highlighted that in Goa also, the airstrip is owned by the Indian Navy, however, permission has been given to run an international airport at Goa. The defence aspect also applies in case of the Raja Sansi airport at Amritsar, which is also being used as an international airport.

The airport is expected to increase trade and it is also a long demand of non-resident Punjabis. Thousands of Punjabis return to their roots each year in winters to meet family and friends and they have to land at Delhi. Thus, it takes them one extra day to reach home and they have to return a day in advance just to board the flight at Delhi.


13 hurt as jeep falls into gorge
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
As many as 13 persons were injured near Morni this morning when an overloaded Mahindra jeep being used as a taxi fell into a 200-foot deep gorge. This private vehicle was ferrying villagers to the fair being held at the Samlesan Devi temple in Samlotha, 15 km from Morni.

The jeep, which has a capacity of six people, had been ferrying almost 15 persons to Samlotha. The driver, Amit Kumar, had reportedly been asked by the owner, Chaman Lal, to take some foodgrains for organising a community lunch at the fair and the other passengers belonging to Morni and nearby hamlets, who wanted to pay their obeisance at the temple.

According to information available, the accident took place when the driver of the jeep (HR-04-9635), lost control of the vehicle. Eyewitnesses say that the driver was trying to overtake another jeep, but he lost balance and the jeep went rolling down into the gorge. The wild growth in the gorge prevented the jeep from falling further down and a major tragedy was averted.

A visit to the site revealed that one rear tyre of the jeep had come off. The stereo had also been disconnected and its parts were found scattered all over the place. Further fall of the jeep into the gorge was prevented when it hit a tree and kept dangling there.

It was then that passengers of the other jeep got down to their aid. While three children managed to wriggle out of the jeep themselves, the others had to be pulled out by the other passengers.

While five of the injured, two women and three children, received minor injuries and were admitted to the Primary Health Centre at Morni, eight victims were rushed to General Hospital. They are Amit Kumar, Bhupinder Kumar, Bhupinder Singh, Sheela Devi, Premi Devi, Kamlesh, Pawan, and Sanjiv Kumar. Three of these eight victims, Bhupinder Kumar, Sheela Devi and Premi Devi, were later rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh.


Councillors to have pay hike
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 25
At a time when the SAS Nagar Municipal Council is left with little funds to pay salaries of its employees, the civic body has proposed to increase the monthly salary of the municipal councillors from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000.

Once approved, the revised salary would be paid from January this year. The issue is being taken up in the monthly general house meeting of the civic body, scheduled for tomorrow. An official of the civic body said an agenda item of paying the monthly telephone bills upto an amount of Rs 1,000 per month was also being put before the general house.

The civic body has also proposed to pass on the maintenance of private bus queue shelters and public toilets to private hands. The shortlisted private company would be given sovereign rights of advertising at a particular slot for a specific period. A modern bus queue shelter has recently been opened to the public in Phase V here.

The official said the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, has in a meeting held on April 20, sought that the maintenance of the bus queue shelter and public toilets be privatised in order to beautify the township. The civic body has also proposed to allow private parties to beautify roundabouts in the township.


Rath yatra marks Mahavir Jayanti
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 25
Mahavir Jayanti, the birthday of Lord Mahavira, was celebrated with religious fervour in the city. Devotees in large number participated in the “rath yatra” which started from Shri Digamber Jain Mandir in Sector 27.

The rath was decorated for the occasion. As the procession progressed from Sector 27 to Jain Sthanak in Sector 18, more and more devotees joined in. From Sector 18, the procession went to Shwetambar Jain Mandir in Sector 28 and concluded at Digamber Jain Mandir in Sector 27.

On the way, the devotees were served with sweet water. A draw was taken out to select devotees to push the chariot of Lord Mahavira. “Bhandara” was also served to the devotees. The temples were illuminated with decorative lights.

The chief guest on the occasion was Mr Justice V.M. Jain. Other distinguished guests were former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain and Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, Justice S.K. Jain (retd). The president of the mandir society, Mr Sparsh Kumar, had made elaborate arrangements for the celebrations.


Man dies in hospital toilet
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
A 52-year-old man died under mysterious circumstances at General Hospital, Sector 6, here this morning. Mahendra Singh was admitted to the hospital by his neighbour two days ago from Mauli Jagran.

It is learnt that he had been discharged by the hospital authorities last night itself, but preferred to stay in the hospital for the night. In the morning, he went to the toilet but did not come out for over one hour. It was then that a hospital employee managed to get into the toilet from a window and found him dead.

Interestingly , the hospital authorities called up the local police several times to proceed legally under Section 174 of Cr PC.

However, the local police declined to come saying that the man belonged to Mauli Jagran and hence the UT police would come and take charge of the body. It was only late in the afternoon that the Mani Majra police reached here to take the legal action.


Shopkeeper defrauded
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 25
An imposter defrauded a Sector 22-based shopkeeper of four mobile phone sets here yesterday. According to police sources, an unidentified man reached ‘Cord Communication Agency of Tele Communication’ dealing in mobile phone sets and asked the shop owner, Mr Jyoti Parkash, that he wanted to purchase four mobile sets for the IGP Vigilance’s Punjab Office, Sector 17.

Mr Prakash sent one of his employees with four instruments with the man for the IGP office. After reaching Sector 17, the man took the phones on pretext of showing them to the IGP and asked the employee to stay in the vehicle. The employee kept waiting but the man did not return. After investigations, Mr Prakash came to know that the IGP office had not sent anyone to purchase mobile phones. Later a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code was registered.

One held

Janka, a resident of Mauli Jagran, was arrested by the police for alleged trespassing and an attempt to outrage modesty of a woman. According to police sources, Janka allegedly entered house of a woman living in his neighbourhood at about 2 a.m. on April 20 and tried to outrage her modesty.


A scooterist, Labh Singh, was injured and admitted into the GMCH, Sector 32, after he was hit by a Honda City car near the chowk of Sectors 18, 19, 20 and 21 on April 19. The car driver sped away from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Salesmen held

The police has arrested two salesmen, Kunwar Singh and Sanjay, from Mani Majra who were selling domestic products without carrying the mandatory identity card here today. The two were booked under Section 188 of the IPC.

SAS Nagar

Security must for banks

In wake of the last Tuesday's incident of robbery in front of Punjab National Bank in Phase 7 here, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), SAS Nagar, has sought that security guards should be kept at the banks. The DSP has written letters to the branch managers of all banks located in the township.

Meanwhile, the police today questioned certain employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board but without any success. The police suspects that gang involved in the robbery incident in Panchkula on March 15 was behind the Tuesday's incident.

The DSP, Mr HS Bhullar said a special drive has been launched against the persons driving vehicles with tainted windowpanes. Policemen had been deployed in all the markets to keep a watch on the suspicious elements.

Water connection disconnected

The Punjab Public Health Department has disconnected the water connection to the Phase VIII Police Station due to outstanding bills of around Rs 2 lakh.


Suicide attempted

A 25-year-old waiter, Hari Krishan, attempted suicide by consuming sulphos tablets this morning. He had reportedly returned home at around 11.30 am and began vommitting. His family members rushed him to the General Hospital here, from where he was referred to the PGI. He is now stated to be in a stable condition.

One arrested

The police has arrested Manoj Kumar from Rampur Siyuri on charges of gambling at a public place and recovered Rs 195 from him.

One injured

A cyclist, Sahib Singh, was injured when he was hit by an unknown car during the night intervening April 21 and 22 in Sector 6. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 338, IPC, has been registered.


Unknown miscreants stole away the gear boxes of two buses (CH-01X-6592) and (HR-37-6849). The police has registered a case under Section 379, IPC.


Trendsmith comes to town
Collection of jewellery, lifestyle products
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The city is not far away from international markets now. The concept, which was introduced in Mumbai some time back, today made a permanent halt in the city, with Samrat Zaveri (of the TBZ— Nirmal Zaveri jewellery group) bringing Trendsmith to town.

Lavish and luxurious, this first house of lifestyle jewellery and products derives inspiration from the aspirations of the jewellery consumers in India. As surveys would have it, people are now desiring to possess jewellery for its aesthetic appeal and not for its investment value. While jewellery market passes through the phase of transition, Samrat Zaveri cashed upon the consumers’ sense of aesthetic appreciation and structured Trendsmith.

Way apart from routine jewellery houses, Trendsmith boasts of rich collections of jewellery and lifestyle products. In the first Trendsmith showroom, thrown open by president of the local Congress Committee, Mr B.B. Behl, this morning, the space is full of brilliance. On the jewellery front rest eight lines of designer jewellery from the leading jewellery manufacturers and designers of Mumbai and Delhi. So you have the exquisite creations from Aatash, Aashi, Rose, Moksh, Naqsh, Khanna Jewellers, Delhi, Solange, Yogesh Jasnani, Giantti, Blue Fire, among others. The line of luxury products is enriched by glass creations from Murano; exotic silverware collection, Shaze, world-renowned brands of watches, Christian Dior and Corum; and an elegant tableware line from Arthur Price of England.

As radiance gets trapped at a single place for local consumers, the business of making choices is going to be difficult. However, with the way Chandigarh is progressing, Samrat Zaveri’s novel concept of jewellery retailing may work well here. After all, Chandigarh happens to be the second city after Mumbai to house Trendsmith collection.

Yet another aspect of the business is its ever-fresh tag. On display are limited pieces hunted from world over and limited editions. So as and when one collection expires, another fresh one will be ready to fill the gap and keep the business of brilliance going. Dr Sahib Singh and Sons will be sales agents for Trendsmith in Chandigarh.

Created as the products are by people passionate about designing, the entire line is full of vibrancy — not just of colour but also of style. No wonder Sonali Bendre agreed to make a special appearance at the showroom this afternoon. On the front of ambience, the place scores even better. Soothing and silent, only the products do the talking inside the Trendsmith showroom.

In its fledgling state now, Trendsmith is all set to conquer 50 stores over the next five years. Samrat Zaveri will also target overseas markets like UK, USA, the Middle East and the South East Asia.


Sonali’s presence stormy, but graceful
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Film actress Sonali Bendre was in city today at Dr Sahib Singh and Sons, Sector 17, the place chosen by Tribhovan Das Bhimji Zaveri for housing Trendsmith, its latest lifestyle jewellery and luxury product line created by Samrat Zaveri. Although expected to land up around 1.30 pm the special guest for the occasion arrived only around 2.15 pm.

Well-guarded and conscious of her charms, Sonali was very happy living the attention being showered upon her. Even on her way inside the showroom, she obliged some fans with autographs. Once inside, the Marathi lass went straight to the business of looking around on what Samrat Zaveri had to offer. Not a jewellery person herself, she minced no words while admitting that she never had a penchant for jewellery, nor for its designs. “This is one matter where I seek advice of close friends,” she said. As soon as she parked herself comfortably, it was time to face queries, most of which centred around Kya Masti Kya Dhuum. Anchored by Sonali, this Star channel show is all about creating stars out of children. She seemed satisfied with her new role of a star creator.

The programme remains Sonali’s prime priority right now. Busy with shoots of ‘Kya Masti Kya Dhuum’, Sonali gets little time off to do justice to films. “There is little time at hand. That is why I am signing films very selectively. Most of my forthcoming projects are less time-consuming. I am deliberately taking up films which roll on fast.” In her just-to—be released Mahesh Manjrekar film, ‘Pyar Kiya Nahi Jata’, Sonali is paired with Diwakar Pundhir. Excited about her role, she recalled the success of ‘Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai’ that fetched her the best supporting actress award.

With a string of movies like ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai’, ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ and ‘Major Saab’, to back her film career, Sonali might get back into active cinema any day. “There is no reason why I should not be in Bollywood. I have learnt a lot on sets and I look forward to many other learning experiences.”

In the showroom today, Sonali was flanked by Samrat Zaveri on one hand and Nirmal Zaveri on the other. The place was filled with fans. The actress was naturally caught gasping for breath. She even said, “It is very hot here.” It was indeed hotter on the ground floor where close to 500 people lined up to catch a glimpse of Sonali. The actress was, however, not in panick, thanks to the security given to her.

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