Thursday, August 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 teenagers drowned in Mani Majra
Rain brought death, not fun
Our Correspondent

A JCB machine makes a futile attempt to drain out water from a pond from which bodies of three drowned youths
A JCB machine makes a futile attempt to drain out water from a pond from which bodies of three drowned youths were fished out in Indira Colony, Mani Majra, on Wednesday. Another body is being suspected to be in the pond. — A Tribune photograph

Abandoned brick-kiln sites or watery graves?

  • Residents of Indira colony lament that illegal quarrying is going on a large number of sites, which were once occupied by brick-kilns. These abandoned sites turn into death traps during rain seasons as water fills the pit, some of them more than 20 feet deep. A similar incident had been reported in Patiala Ki Rao Choe (a seasonal rivulet) in Dhanas village last year.
  • Tragedy struck in the Indira Colony, but no official of the UT Administration bothered to visit the site leading to great resentment among the locals.
  • Three fire tenders (one more tender was deployed in the evening) of the UT Fire Brigade Department were making desperate attempts to drain out water from the pond since morning to fish out the “fourth boy’s” body. The fire personnel were draining out water till late hours.
  • The DSP (east), Mr Surjit Singh and SHO of Mani Majra Police Station visited the site in the morning. Interestingly, after they left in the morning, no other cop was spotted on the site.
  • A large number of locals dived into the pool of water in search of the “fourth” body.

Chandigarh, August 28
Three teenaged friends living in Indira colony, Mani Majra, drowned in a muddy pool of water near their homes last evening as they went to have fun after the rains. The bodies were, however, noticed, only this morning — about 18 hours after the incident. Besides this the mystery shrouds the identity of another youth, who is believed to have accompanied the victims.

Residents, basing their opinion on a pair of slippers and a shirt found on the banks of the pond, say there was a fourth boy also. The deaths of the three boys were discovered when a man in the locality saw the head of a human being floating on water. A search began and the bodies were found by the search parties. The worried parents had lodged missing persons’ complaint with the area police station.

This morning panic gripped the area as a crowd gathered around the pond located in Indira colony adjacent to the railway tracks in Mani Majra. Fire brigade engines were deployed to pump out water from the pond. Earlier, dozens of locals had tried to locate the body of the “fourth boy” but in vain. The pond is an abandoned site of a brick kiln and illegal quarrying was going on the site and in the past weeks rains had led to water stagnation.

Those who drowned are Vijay Massi (17), a student of class X in Tagore Niketan School, Sector 18, Vijay Kumar (15), a student of Sarswati Public School, Indira Colony and Ajay (14), a class VIII student of Guru Nanak Public School, Mani Majra. When the bodies were fished out the clothes were on the bodies. Mr Fakir Chand and Mr Naresh Kumar, fathers of Vijay Massi and Vijay Kumar, respectively, are class IV employees in the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, while Mr Satpal, father of Ajay, works in a private firm.

The police found four pair of bathroom slippers near the pond, lending weight to the possibility of four youths being drowned. However, till late at night, the fourth body was not found by the fire brigade officials. The fire officials were busy pumping out water. The pumping work is expected to continue all through the night.

Though there was no eyewitness to the incident, it is suspected that the victims were enjoying the rains and at some point of time (after 3 pm) they decided to enter the pond having deep pits, some of which are about 20 feet deep and got trapped in the marshy bed of the pond.

This morning at around 7 am head of one of the boys was seen floating in the muddy water and the police and fire brigade was informed. Mr Fakir Chand, father of Vijay Massi, along with a fellow resident and a fire brigade employee Sita Ram, entered into the muddy waters and fished out the bodies. Police sources said that only three had died and there was no fourth boy involved in the tragedy.

The bodies of the teenagers were handed over to their families without performing post-mortem after the families requested for the same. The SHO concerned, when contacted, said that autopsy was waived off as no foul play was suspected.

Meanwhile, the MC machinery became active with Mani Majra residents complaining that none of the senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration visited the families of the poor people.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr. Surinder Singh, went even a step further saying that he had asked the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. M. Ramsekhar, to help in flushing out water and sending divers only to hear that the Administration was already on the job. He alleged that the BJP-controlled Chandigarh Administration had shown its ''callousness'' towards miseries of the poor.

The death was not the only misfortune the father of Vijay had to bear with, but he also carries the burden of his three polio-hit brothers. The Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi promised to provide free treatment to polio-hit brothers of one of the victims.



Attractive, funny and ‘nasty’ Zinta
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
One thing about Preity Zinta came out stark and clear this afternoon — that she has a knack of attracting attention, sometimes for the good and very funny things she says and sometimes for the nasty remarks she does not mind passing. So when the actress was actually caught laughing her heart out over some press photographers, who had lined up on the floor to click her pictures, a sense of discomfort did run through the room, where the promotional talk of Kundan Shah’s latest film ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’ was taking place. And when one of the lensmen nodded his head in an enquiring mood, the actress quickly covered up the issue with a smart reply: “Sitting in a row like this, you all look very sweet!” And having said that, she flashed her famous dimpled smile, which has won a world of appreciation for her.

In fact, Preity Zinta’s attitude, today was absolutely in consonance with her character in ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’, where she plays a girl striving to seek the attention of her stepmother Rekha, whose cares are reserved for Mahima Chaudhary, Preity’s elder sister in the film. The making of the film, which was shown before the talk with the visiting celebrities, including Mahima, actor Jimmy Shergill, director Kundan Shah and producer Ramesh Taurani, began with Preity Zinta talking about her own personality in the film. She says in the beginning of the making,: “I believe that one should be confident, or perhaps overconfident. That is the only way to win the world.”

Wearing a T-shirt, which sported the logo of “Rebel”, Preity was perhaps unconsciously living upto her role in Ramesh Taurani’s film, due for release on September 6. Inviting most of the queries today, she sounded pretty confident about all that she said — right from the fact that she believed in doing her own thing to the fact that she had come a long way as far as films are concerned. Success, for this Shimla-born actress, has a lot to do with the box office ratings, as she admitted today, “Well, for those into commercial films, the only yardstick of success is its rating at the box office. We all work to see our film being declared a blockbuster. It is a great feeling.”

Counting on her role in Kundan Shah’s ‘Kya Kehna’, Preity admitted today that she had become more mature with every passing venture. “Growth in every profession follows the same graph. You learn with every new project. So have I. I think now I am much more responsible and mature,” she said.

Flanking Preity, was the very-subtle Mahima Chaudhary, who has still not been able to repeat the performance she gave in ‘Pardes’. Saying that a lot of actor’s mettle depends on the director, Mahima said, “I have been very choosy about the kind of roles I wished to portray. And yes, there have been obvious comparisons with ‘Pardes’. But you cannot be the same always. I keep trying to develop my histrionics and also I keep honing my talent. Most of the acting, however, is spontaneous.”

After some good performances in ‘Daag: The Fire’ and ‘Dil Kya Kare’, Mahima is now on the lookout for better, fresher roles. ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’ shows me in a very soft mould. I am Preity’s elder sister, always defending her and wishing well for her. I am constantly trying to strike a balance between my sister and mother, who are always in a conflict. My role is very challenging, especially after Arjun Rampal’s entry in the film.”

As far as Jimmy Shergill is concerned, he looked great in a parrot green attire. With a fresh look on his face, he exuded a lot of warmth even when he was silent. No wonder he has lately been picked up by Yash Chopra to play the ideal lover boy. “I have all the roads open in front of me,” said the young Delhi boy, who began his journey from Gulzar’s ‘Maachis’.



Buses back, parents relieved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The school campuses resounded with the whirring of the bus engines here today. Welcomed by parents and students alike after the "trying times" they went through during the past week when most school buses went off-road, things returned to normal.

The bus stops in the city came alive with the chatter of the children and parents, too, heaved a sigh of relief at the sight of approaching buses this morning. Most of them had accompanied their children to bus stops to ensure the students were not late for school in the event of the bus not coming.

For most parents, it was a relaxed morning not requiring the usual hurry of dropping the children to school and getting ready for office, something which had become a matter of routine during the last week. Some parents did, however, come to leave their children to school, uncertain of the buses and unwilling to wait.

The sight of parked vehicles at the school campuses also brought great solace to the troubled parents. The afternoons saw the usual scramble for seats after school got over as children climbed in, excitement writ large on their faces as they returned home with friends.

Meanwhile, the president of the Bus Operators Association, Mr Manjit Singh, said the day passed off peacefully barring a few instances when the employees of the State Transport Authority, deployed in Sector 26, thoroughly checked papers of school buses.

“They, however, did not initiate any action though the matter was brought to my notice. A lot will depend on the contracts which we enter into with schools on Monday. Till then, we will adopt the wait-and-watch approach,” he added.

The UT Administration had directed the school operators to ply buses for all schools on the condition that schools which had not entered into a contract with the bus operators would do so by September 2. A grace period of a week had been given to the schools in this regard.



SOPU president hurt in clash on PU campus
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 28
The run-up to elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) tonight turned bloody with SOPU president Harvir Singh and his supporter Digvijay Sharma and Harpreet Singh Nijjar getting injured in clashes with swords in boys hostel number 6.

The Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) have accused each other of carrying out the attack. Meanwhile, the police has recovered a car (bearing Delhi registration number) having some swords in it.

Harvir Singh and Digvijay Sharma are admitted in the PGI with head injuries, while Nijjar is hospitalised in the Sector 16 General Hospital. The condition of all the three is said to be stable.

Meanwhile, situation on the campus was tense as the supporters of the SOPU and PUSU massed in front of the PGI and General Hospital, Sector 16. The PU security personnel were seen checking identity cards of those entering and leaving the PU campus.

Mr Santokhwinder Singh Nabha, former president of the PUCSC, alleged that Harvir and Digvijay Sharma were attacked with swords by PUSU activists led by its president Malwinder Singh Kang.

“Gurwinder Singh Bhuller and Jasdip Singh went to hostel number 6 in a car to change their clothes and certain activist of the PUSU beat them up and snatched the keys of the car,’’ said Mr Nabha.

The duo rang up Harvir to narrate the incident and when Harvir and Digvijay Sharma along with other supporters came for the help of the beaten up students, Harvir and Digvijay Sharma were attacked with swords, alleged Mr Nabha.

Refuting charges Malwinder Singh Kang accused Harvir Singh and Digvijay Sharma along with others of injuring Nijjar by an attack with swords. Kang said the SOPU supporters came to attack Nijjar on three vehicles.

The PU Dean Student Welfare, Prof Nirmal Singh, did not come on line for narrating the incident.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, said it was too early to take a decision on the postponement of elections. The Deputy Commissioner said an assessment had to be made for taking such a decision. When contacted, the SSP Mr Parag Jain, said the security on the campus had been beefed up and night vigil had been increased. When asked if the police would take the matter of the postponement of students bodies’ elections with the UT Administration he said: ‘‘The matter will be taken up’’. He also said action against the erring students would be taken after the registration of a case.



Cong term to withdraw hike in water tariff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Congress tonight agreed to a conditional withdrawal of the hike in water charges ahead of the BJP's proposed laying of a siege to the Municipal Corporation tomorrow.

"We are ready to withdraw the hike in water charges if the BJP gets an additional grant equal to the income from the water charges from the Centre that decides the share and Budget allocation of the corporation and the Chandigarh Administration,'' the leader of the Congress in the Municipal Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, said.

He said the BJP should fight for the people instead of its political rivals on the issues of cholera and paid parking and property tax.

Mr Chawla said the paid parking was imposed under a direction from the BJP Home Minister-controlled Chandigarh Administration under Section 406 of the Municipal Act.

The BJP's fight is misdirected as instead of lodging the protest against the Home Minister and the Chandigarh Administration, it is trying to blame the MCC for what was beyond its control, Mr Chawla said.

He said the BJP was getting directions given to generate more resources from the Central Government and then opposing the Municipal Corporation for the hike for getting a political mileage and weakening the Congress-dominated Municipal Corporation.



Bird-watching site in Pinjore planned
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
The Haryana Wildlife Department has planned a bird-watching site here in order to place the district on the national eco tourism map.

Sources in the Wildlife Department , Haryana , informed that a decision to this effect was taken recently, after a four-member panel had visited various areas along Shivalik range and studied the varied bird life in this range.

The proposed bird-watching site will come up in Berwala forest near Pinjore. This site will initially come up on 250 hectares of land in a valley surrounded by ridges on both sides. “ This is the least disturbed area and has been identified for the benefit of keen bird watchers, to see birds in their natural habitat, “ informed Mr. R.D. Jakati, Chief Wildlife Warden.

The proposed site will have no enclosures or fencing , but a watch tower and camouflaged tree top trails will be set up later for bird watchers. To be designed on the pattern of bird safaris in other countries, the site has shrubs, trees, a water body and some landscaping to provide a conducive atmosphere for birds to be housed here.

The proposed site will have at least 100 different species of birds, will provide an opportunity to bird watchers in the region to study their environment, say Wildlife department officials. Besides certain exotic species of birds, grey partridges, black partridges, doves, pea fowl, green pigeons, grey crested grebe, snake birds, herons, egrets, stocks and flamingos will be housed here.

Sources inform that the plan for setting up a bird safari was first mooted by certain bird lovers before the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. They had urged that since Panchkula was located on the foothills of Shivalik range, it provided a conducive climactic and topographical condition for setting up a bird safari. The case was then referred to the Wildlife Department for approval.

The department had earlier sent this proposal to the Central Zoo Authority for approval, but this was turned down on the pretext that a Wildlife Sanctuary was already coming up in Morni. This Wildlife Sanctuary will be spread over an area of approximately 12,000 acres. This area includes Khol Raitan, protected forest area in Balwali, Mandana, Asrewali and Bir Ghaggar.

However, the rich bird life in the state is not visible at one location. So, it has been decided to identify at least two other bird watching sites in the Shivalik range — at Morni and Kalesar, “ informed a senior official in Wildlife Department.



Octroi staff beat up truck owner, driver
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 28
A group of octroi staff allegedly beat up a truck owner and his driver when they stopped for a meal at Dhakauli village on the Kalka-Ambala highway, about 2 km from here, last night.

The victims — Mr Rajesh Kumar and his driver Mr Sewa Singh — were beaten up by the men deployed at the octroi collection post on the highway, who claimed that they were driving away the truck loaded with gravel without paying rahadari charges at the post.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Suresh Aggarwal, president of the Punjab and Haryana Rori Bazari Plot Holder Union, Zirakpur, complained that the staff of the octroi contractor not only beat up Mr Rajesh Kumar and Mr Sewa Singh but also charged 21 times of the rahadari fine from them.

The problem aggravated after the octroi men forced the both to pay Rs 40 more than the actual fine. The truck owner refused to pay the extra amount and was beaten up, complained Mr Aggarwal.

Taking a serious view of the incident, members of the union assembled and objected to the incident. They even stopped the truck being driven by a policeman deployed at the Lohgarh police post after chasing him for a long distance, said Mr Aggarwal.

‘‘We approached Mr Bhushan Lal, octroi contractor and narrated the episode to him. But he ignored us and did not even meet us to solve the issue’’, claimed Mr Aggarwal. Efforts to contact Mr Bhushan Lal failed despite repeated phone calls.

The members of the union said they would lodge a complaint against the octroi contractor and his men with the Lohgarh police station and the Sector 19 police station in Panchkula.



MC records tampered with, allege councillors
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 28
The proceeding book of the Municipal Council had allegedly been tampered with according to complaints made to the Vigilance officials of the Department of Local Government, Punjab, at the civic body office here today.

A team of officials headed by Mr A.K. Kansal, Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), carried out their investigations for the second day today.

Mr Kansal said that two complaints had been received from municipal councillors that the proceeding book had allegedly been tampered with by certain municipal councillors. Inquiries would have to be made into the allegation.

With the arrest of three employees of the council by officials of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on charges of corruption on August 26, the Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, sent a three-member team of officials to the civic body office yesterday to check the records and find out the number of payments that were lying pending and since when.

Mr Kansal said that the accounts branch, which had been sealed by his officers yesterday, would be opened in the presence of the Executive Officer and the Municipal Engineer to check the records. He said that Mr Kaushal had been apprised of the whole situation. 



Irate residents demolish wall
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 28
The boundary wall constructed by PUDA to block the entry of residents of Amb Sahib Colony in Sector 48 was demolished by the agitated residents here today.

The residents alleged that the local police had beaten four residents of the colony after taking them to the police station. PUDA had earlier constructed a boundary wall to cut off the area, which fell in between Sector 48-B and Sector 48-C. But the residents had broken a part of the wall to use it as an entry point to the town. This part of the wall was reconstructed by PUDA yesterday.

It is reported that on one side of the colony the Chandigarh Administration has put up pillars and a barbed wire to stop the entry of the residents. But today morning when some of them tried to cut the barbed wire for making an entry into the union territory, they were rounded up by the police. In protest against that step the agitated residents demolished the wall constructed by PUDA.

A resident of the colony alleged that yesterday when some of them appealed to the PUDA authorities not to block the entry, the police personnel on duty at the site rounded up a few persons and took them to the police station where they were beaten. However, according to the police, some of the residents of the colony had started throwing stones at PUDA employees who were constructing the wall. As such they had to be rounded up and brought to the police station.



A vegetarian’s delight
Harvinder Khetal

Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: It’s a Tuesday and non-veg is out. Not even touching of ‘that’ karhchhli. Or, maybe, you belong to that increasing tribe of ‘greens’. Animals are to be loved, not devoured, you passionately believe. In such a scenario, looking out for a purely vaishnav eating joint becomes tedious. Well, catering to exactly this class of food buffs is The Party. Opened on August 15, it comes as an Independence Day gift for the city. Traces of flags and balloons are still there.

Located on the first floor of Ovenfresh, in the Sector 35 lane of hotels and restaurants, it offers a range of veggies, pulses and curries prepared in a multitude of cuisines — Indian, South Indian, Chinese and Continental. And going by the number of bookings that the restaurant has clinched in the past 10 days for its banquet-cum-conference hall, it seems that such a place was the need of the hour. In fact, the response has far surpassed the expectations of the Managing Director, Mr Amrik Singh. He has been busy overseeing the smooth conduct of kitty parties, business seminars and finalising the deal for that dance bash.

And, on the job, the young electrical engineer-turned-restaurateur is learning the tricks of the trade. “I had to refuse this group of 200 as due to space constraints, we can accommodate only 60 guests at a time,” he claims proudly, even as he is pleased with the average two parties a day, besides the occasional families and couples who saunter in for a meal.

Himself a vegetarian, he says that it had always been his dream to run such a venture. The USP of The Party is the affordable rates. As the MD claims succinctly, “Yeh ek aam aadmi ke liye khaas restaurant hai.”

Judge for yourself: No Indian dish (serving two) exceeds Rs 30. Thus, the whole family need not have just what one member pleases. Each of you can indulge yourself and have a choice of your own, without feeling the pinch. The junior wants black daal, but the grandpa prefers yellow daal and you can’t do without that creamy gravy cheese tomato. So be it. Take your pick — right from that appetising soup to that ice-cream or kheer. Needless to say that selection goes across the cuisines: a burger for the little one, noodles for the little one number two, dosa-sambar for the one digging for the hot’n spicy stuff and plain sabzi-raita-roti for the patriarch.

All this in the cool, airconditioned environs at a posh, central locality, complete with music, TV and liveried waiters. But minus the frills of table cloth, starched napkins and fresh flowers. The red sunmica-topped tables and wrought-iron chairs along with the paper napkins are from the “fast food” culture ambience.

Another unique feature is the buffet spread, both during lunch and dinner hours. Giving a challenge to the ‘thali’ system, wherein you are bound to accept what is offered, in this case, for Rs 65 per plate, you can fill your plate from among the 10 delicacies on display, with as many refills as you want, plus a Pepsi that comes complimentary. The chef, retired from the FCI, cooks up and displays for you two daals, one sabzi, two panir dishes, raita, salad, an assortment of chutneys and achar, complemented with roti/naan/rice. Occasionally, a couple of dishes are swapped with Chinese noodles and Manchurian.

If you would rather savour the preparations at home, there is free home delivery (call 375000, 663867).

The specialty, as expected, is the panir dishes, all for Rs 30. This milk product is mixed and rustled with herbs, spices and vegetables to produce six types of delicacies: cheese tomato, panir makhani, masala panir, palak panir, shahi panir and mutter panir.



Makeshift liquor vend on main road
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
A makeshift liquor vend is coming up on the road dividing Sectors 34 and 35 which leads to SAS Nagar. This threatens to cause a traffic bottleneck as this vend will be located on a road which is designated as a national highway.

The Administration has reportedly given permission for a vend in the Sector 35-B market to shift to a temporary structure in Sector 34.

The excise policy clearly states that the person running a liquor vend will have to make his own arrangements for procuring suitable premises to carry on his business in the localities for which the sanction has been made. A temporary shed can be constructed in case of exigency.

The Administration probably forgot that the vend is carrying on with its business in Sector 35 for the past five years. Interestingly a clause in the policy says the vend owners will not be allowed to change their premises during a financial year.

Though this is not the first such temporary vend to open, it happens to be the first in such a place where free flow of traffic is required. Other such vends, even those in Sector 17, are not located on the main roads.



Saved by Rotary, she wants to serve God
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, august 28
At an age when other children are carefree, busy playing and having fun , 14 year old Divya, wants to dedicate her life to the service of the Almighty, which is probably the reason that despite being an orphan, she has been able to get a valve replacement, thanks to the Rotary, which has given her the gift of life.

Well on her way to recovery, Divya was operated at the Cardio Thoracic Surgery (CTS) unit of the PGI, on August 22.” I have already made up my mind to follow the spiritual path and dedicate my life to the service of God, as I do not want to get married,” says the little girl, who looks much younger than her age, due to the heart problem, she has been facing since childhood.

She has been living in a temple in Dhaliwal village, with three other orphan children, none of whom missed having parents as the priest and his wife make up for it in more than many ways.” The child was brought to us by Sunita, a nurse from Dhaliwal, as there was no way they could raise a huge amount of Rs 1 lakh for her valve replacement,” said Mrs Babi Harbhajan Singh, a dedicated Rotarian, who remains with these children, throughout the day, at the PGI.

Divya, despite being very weak and underdeveloped due to the heart problem, is recovering well and is likely to be discharged within a few days.” I had always been inclined towards the path of spiritualism but it is after my successful operation that I am convinced that God saved me so that I can sing bhajans and kirtans in his praise and serve the suffering humanity,” says a philosophical Divya.

These words may sound big, coming from a small child, but Divya reasons by elaborating how despite being an orphan , she has been in the good care of mataji, at the temple and now this gift of life from the Rotary. She is one of the lucky children under Rotary’s “Gift of Life “ project, whose heart operations have been made possible due to the help of Rotary, Chandigarh.

Mrs Babi Singh, said that since the cost of medicines one needed to take after valve replacement was very expensive, she had assured Divya, that she would bear the entire cost. “It is a miracle how this child has recovered so fast, as she was so weak that even the doctors were keeping their fingers crossed,” remarks Mrs Babi Singh.

Five other children, who could not afford valve replacement, have already been admitted to the PGI, and will be operated upon during the next month.Under the “ Gift of Life “ project of the Rotary, six children from Uganda, also had valve replacement at the PGI, last year in September.



New Rotarians inducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
At a simple ceremony last night, Ms Sucheta Trehan, Mr PS Tung, AS Chandioke, KS Sibia, BD Kapoor, HS Malik, MS Matharu, IS Ratta and Dr Kuldip Singh were inducted as new Rotarians in Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik by the chief guest, Rtn Ms Kawal Bedi, District Governor Elect (2003-2004) of District 3080.

The Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik President, Dr GS Kochhar, while welcoming the chief guest and the new members, informed about the global quest launched by the previous Rotary International President, Rtn Richard King, in 2001. This had been further extended this year. This programme involved increasing the membership of Rotary throughout the world from 1.2 million to 1.5 million by the year 2005. He said: “The quality of the individual and the desire to serve and the ability to lead the organisation and not the status or wealth of an individual is of paramount importance”.

Rtn Ms Kawal Bedi amongst other things, highlighted the pain and suffering the women in India had to undergo for having given birth to a girl child or a husband wasting money in drinking and gambling. “It is the job of the Rotarians to create enlightenment in those areas. This can be only possible by inducting more members and cooperating with the president to achieve such goals. According to her, the Rotarians should serve the community and at the end of the day they should have the feeling that they have done something for the needy.”



Janmashtami shobha yatra 
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 28
Saffron banners fluttered in the air as bare-footed devotees accompanied by believers on horses holding trishuls, marched down the city roads during a shobha yatra taken out in connection with Sri Krishna Janmashtami.

As the procession passed through the city, residents thronged to take a look at about 31 tableaus of Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The yatra started from Sri Sanatan Dharam Mandir in Sector 38 and reached Radha Krishna Mandir in Sector 40-A before moving towards Sector 40 and 41 markets. Then it moved towards Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Sector 40-B.

From there, the procession moved towards Sri Sanatan Dharam Mandir in Sector 37, before passing through 36 and 35. After reaching Sri Ram Mandir in Sector 35, it proceeded towards Sector 34 and reached Brahmakumari Ashram in Sector 33, followed by Sri Krishmna Pranami Mandir in Sector 33. The yatra finally culminated at Sri Ram Mandir in Sector 47-A in the evening.



Rs 7-cr development plan for Shivalik area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Shivalik Development Agency has spent about Rs 14.50 crore on the development of the areas falling under the Shivalik Development Board after July, 1999.

Claiming this here today, a spokesman of the agency said about Rs 7 crore would be spent on the development of the areas falling under the ambit of the agency during the current financial year. A sum of Rs 4.24 crore was spent on the construction of roads, Rs 1.93 crore on water conservation and tree plantation and Rs 1.72 crore on digging tubewells and their repair.

He said Rs 85 lakh was spent on the supply of electricity to those “dhanis”, which were not provided this facility in the Morni area.

The agency was spending Rs 15 lakh to set up a community health centre at Panjokhra and Rs 5 lakh on the construction of small bridges in the areas of Raipur Rani and Morni. 



Sewerage problems irk Phase IX, X residents
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 28
A municipal councillor of ward no 23 has complained that due to the indifferent attitude of the Municipal Council, Department of Public Health, PUDA and the Punjab Pollution Control Board, area residents were leading a miserable life.

Mrs Harbans Kaur said a nullah was flowing between Phases IX and X which had also become a breeding place for flies and mosquitoes. Despite repeated representations the authorities concerned had taken no action. She alleged in Phase IX a storm water pipe had been connected to a sewer pipe and during the rains the dirty water from the sewer pipes flowed on the road. The MC said that in Phase X a sewer pipe of a number of houses was lying choked for the past two months and no action had been taken by officials even though a number of complaints had been made. She threatened to move court if the problem was not solved.



State Bank of Patiala strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
State Bank of Patiala employees, who held demonstrations at various places in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh and Himachal yesterday in support of their demands, will observe a strike on September 6 in all branches of the bank spread across the country.

The president of the All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation, Mr Devinder Singh, while addressing the agitating employees in front of the Zonal Office of the bank here, said the management had not fulfilled the commitments made to the federation pertaining to its demands.



Bank officers’ strike deferred
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 28
The All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) yesterday said the August 29 strike had been deferred following an understanding between the Indian Banking Association (IBA) and the AIBOC and other officers’ organisations in Mumabi yesterday at the behest of the government. Mr Amar Pal, deputy general secretary of the state unit of the AIBOC, said today an MoU has been signed for a consideration of the pending issues. 



MHC goes without electricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Residents of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, went without power for the entire day yesterday. Power supply was disrupted around 10.30 am after a high-tension cable was damaged in digging operations to widen the Chandigarh-Panchkula road.

The restoration of power was possible only around 6.30 pm. The lack of power also affected water supply. During the day, engineers tackled the situation even as the responsibility of who actually was in charge of the digging operations will be fixed later.


Press Council panel hearing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The inquiry committee of the Press Council of India (PCI) will hold an open hearing on 19 cases at Punjab Bhavan here tomorrow.

The committee is being led by its Chairman Justice K. Jaychandra Reddy and comprises Mr Rajiv Shukla M P, Mr. Sheetla Singh, Mr Raghu Rai, Mr Geetarath Pathak, Mr Inderjeet Mohanty, Mr Sushil Jhalani and Ms Sabina Inderjit. As many as 14 cases have come from Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, three from Jammu and Kashmir and two from Haryana.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The report ‘Doc commits suicide’, published in the columns of this newspaper on August 21, had erroneously mentioned that Dr Madhoolika Sood had committed suicide at her residence and was declared brought dead at the GMCH, Sector 32 and that no police case was registered.

However, husband of the deceased , Dr Sunandan Sood, has claimed that his wife was found unconscious at their house on February 27, 2002 and was brought for treatment to the casualty ward of the GMCH, Sector 32 the same day. Since then she had been hospitalised and in a state of coma. She breathed her last on August 20, while being admitted to the private ward of the hospital.

It is on record that it is a medico-legal case and all formalities as regards the police action have been completed in a transparent manner.

The error is regretted.



Cash, gold jewellery stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
A house in Sector 4 was burgled last night, while the occupants of the house were away for three hours. Rs 20,000 and Gold jewellery worth Rs 40,000 and Rs 20,000 were stolen.

Mr Amit Khosla, a senior executive in a private firm, said they suspected the hand of a known person in the crime. “The accused walked in through the main door after opening the lock. Once inside, he again locked the grill from outside, he said.

His wife, Ms Rajni Khosla, said only those almirahs and drawers had been opened where she kept her valuables. The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.

In another incident, the stereo of a car was stolen while it was parked in front of a house in Sector 8. The police has registered a case under Section 379, IPC on the complaint of Mr D.R. Bhatia.

Three injured: Three labourers were injured when the car (HR-03D-7779) in which they were travelling banged in a tree on the Panchkula- Naraingarh highway yesterday. The accident is alleged to have taken place because of the negligence of the driver, Rupinder.

In another case, Leela Ram, driver of a Tata Sumo HP-15-1911), has acused the driver of a tanker (HR-01B- 6458) of hitting his sumo and damaging it.

Two booked: The police has booked Ajit Jain and Ravinder Kumar Jain of taking a token money of Rs 2 lakh for a plot in Sector 8 from Mr Bharat Bhushan Aggarwal five years ago. The accused neither returned the money nor executed the registry of the land. A case under Section 406 and 420 of the IPC has been registered.

Four theft cases reported:
During the last 24 hours at least four cases of theft have been reported from different parts of the city .

Mrs Suparana Tefsel, a resident of Sector 40, reported to the police that Sat Pal (a resident of Sector 56) was caught red handed while stealing an iron gate from her residence last evening. Sat Pal was later arrested by the police and iron gate was recovered from his possession. Ms Kavita Khanna, a resident of Panjab University campus, reported that someone had stolen battery from her Kinetic Honda last evening.

Mr Maheshdeep Singh, a resident of Sector 42, reported that his tractor (PB 43 A 3303) was stolen from a construction site in Sector 46 last morning. Mr Gurpal Singh, a resident of Sector 43, reported to the police that spare wheel of his scooter and front wheel of a scooter belonging to Mr Kashmira Singh (his neighbour) were stolen from their respective residences on the night of August 26.

Threatened: A resident of Sector 18, Mr Sudhanshu Chadha, reported to the police that he and his wife were stopped, insulted, harassed and threatened by three unidentified occupants of a Tata Sierra car in the late hours of Wednesday. A case under Sections 341, 509 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

Assault case: On a complaint of Mr Shiv Singh, a resident of Sector 22, a case under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against Harkewal Preet (of Sector 37) and Bawa. The accused allegedly assaulted the complainant on August 23 in Sector 23 following which the latter received injuries on his left leg.

Dera Bassi
Liquor seized:
Murari Lal, a resident of Mubarikpur Camp, was arrested by the police from Bhankharpur T-point while carrying nine bottles of country-made liquor here today.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him with Dera Bassi police station.

Car stolen:
A Maruti car (CH-03J-9928) of Mr Major Singh of Chandigarh was stolen from outside Punjab National Bank on the Kharar-Ropar road this afternoon. According to information received, he parked the car and entered the bank at about 1 p.m. and when he came out of the bank at about 1.30 p.m. the car was not there.



Two cops booked
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 28
The local police has registered a case against two personnel, including an ASI, and a resident of Phase II on charge of illegal confinement and voluntarily causing grevious hurt. The case was registered on the directions of the ADGP (crime) against the ASI, Ranjit Singh, another police employee, Pawanjit Singh and Gurbachan Singh. The ADGP had investigated the case.

Mr Randhir Singh, a resident of Phase II, had alleged that in July last year, he was badly beaten up at the police station by the ASI when the former had gone there to show some court papers to get his brother released, who had been rounded by the ASI from the Phase V sabji mandi. He had further alleged that the ASI had taken him near the cremation ground where he was again beaten up and compelled to have liquor and later got him admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Mr Randhir Singh had demanded a high-level inquiry into the case.



2-day remand for Surinder Sharma
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 28
A local court yesterday remanded, Surinder Sharma, who had been arrested by the UT police on the charge of extorting money from the main suspect in an alleged rape case of Shimla girl, in two days’ police custody.

The police has sought the remand of the accused to arrest other two persons and recover the car linked with the case.


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