Saturday, October 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dengue: numbers rise; keep kids covered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
With 15 fresh cases of suspected dengue fever received at General Hospital here and Civil Hospital of Mani Majra today, the number of such patients has risen to 38. The UT health authorities continued fogging operations and surveys in high-risk areas.


Senior health officials, when asked about the number of fresh cases of dengue fever reported today, refused to give details, saying that they had nothing to add to the information given in the press note. Like the time of the cholera outbreak, confusion prevails on the numbers this time as well. The figures given by the UT Health Department do not match with the records of the Mani Majra hospital, where most patients are being received.

Two patients with extremely low blood-platelet counts of 13,000 and 30,000 were referred to General Hospital from Mani Majra. According to a Health Department press note issued here today, 24 patients in General Hospital and 14 in the Mani Majra hospital have been found with having platelet counts below 1 lakh.

Besides, 17 patients in General Hospital and eight in the Mani Majra Civil Hospital are under observation. Doctors said only platelet count could tell whether it was dengue fever or not.

The health authorities said here today that the serological tests in the PGI of the first two patients admitted to General Hospital had found them to be not having dengue fever. The authorities have asked everyone to approach the nearest hospital in case of fever. Parents have been urged to keep children fully clothed, to reduce the chances of mosquito bites. There was no need to panic, but precautions had to be taken, they said.

Meanwhile, Brig D.S. Dhillon and Col Ashwani Sharma have offered to deploy the NCC cadets under their commands for educating the public and conducting the surveys. Doctors in all hospitals here are closely monitoring the situation.


HC orders payment of salary to PU teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
Taking up a petition filed by 38 Panjab University teachers, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that salary up to September 30 would be paid to the them.

Issuing directions, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, observed that vide order dated July 31 they had directed that the petitioners would continue in service, but would not be entitled to any salary.

They judges added: “This order was passed on the assumption that the matter was likely to conclude in short time. However, it has taken time.... Thus, we modify the interim order to the extent that the teachers would be paid salary up to September 30.” The case will now come up for further hearing on October 24.

The petitioners had earlier sought directions for quashing a letter issued on July 23 vide which the Union of India had refused to accept the regulations framed by the university enhancing the age of retirement from 60 to 62 years. They had also sought directions for permitting them to continue in service up to the age of 62, in accordance with the recommendations made by the University Grants Commission.

They had contended that Panjab University’s proposal had been rejected in spite of the fact that the age had been enhanced and the UGC recommendations already accepted and implemented by the Central Government for all Central universities.

The counsel for the petitioners said the questions of law arising out of the petition were: whether Panjab University was a Central university and as such the teachers were entitled to continue till the age of 62? and whether the order against the enhancement was totally illegal, arbitrary and liable to be quashed?


A law unto himself?
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 11
The powerful can wield their stick anywhere. Power allows them to cock-a-snook at the rules.

Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, Political Secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, and member of the Legislative Assembly from Guru Har Sarai in Ferozepore district, has been taking the law for a ride. Against common belief that encroachments are synonymous with slum dwellers, this powerful Congressman has encroached upon an entire road in the township.

Bang opposite the Municipal Council office in Sector 4 here, the “right- hand man of the Punjab Chief Minister” has encroached upon almost 100 sq yards of the dead end road outside his house and turned it into a private garage-cum-sitting/retiring place for his minions.

It may be noted that Rana Gurmeet ‘s house is the last one on the road and this road meets a dead end. On the opposite side is the Sector 4 community centre, presently housing the office of the Municipal Council . A fibre glass shed has been erected on the road between the two buildings, ensuring that this road is reserved for private and escort vehicles of the MLA and scooters of his security personnel.

Not only has a shed been erected on this road, a two-feet lawn has also been created and ornamental plants sown here for adding to the aspect of his sprawling bungalow. A few chairs have also been placed on the road for the benefit of security personnel and other staff.

Inspite of repeated attempts to contact Rana Gurmeet Sodhi at his residence, he was unavailable for comments. At his residence, his wife, Ms. Tina Sodhi, said there was no encroachment on the road outside their house. “ It is just a temporary structure. Since the road has a dead end, the structure is not hampering anyone’s privacy, “ she said. Meanwhile, Rana Gurmeet also remained unavailable on his mobile numbers (98140-19583 and 98100- 08319).

People residing in this elite neighbourhood, when contacted by TNS, refused to comment. “We do not want to get into any controversy”... was the answer received from atleast two neighbours. They, however, informed that the encroachment had been there for the past several months after the Congress was voted to power in Punjab.

While complaining that it was a nuisance to have the road blocked and security staff of the MLA gawking at them, they conceded not having complained to the HUDA authorities. “This encroachment is right under the nose of the Municipal Council. If they are not taking any action, why should we get involved,” said a neighbour.

The HUDA Administrator, Panchkula, Mr. Arun Kumar Gupta, when contacted, minced no words. “I will personally look into the matter and action will be initiated against him if he is found encroaching on the toad,” he said.


7-yr-old crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 11
A seven-year-old boy was crushed to death by a speeding truck on the road dividing Sectors 55 and 56 here today. The boy, Sumit, lived in Palsora Colony No. 2. The truck driver, reportedly, abandoned the truck and fled after a boy called Sanjay (16) climbed the vehicle and forced him to stop it. This is the second such incident in the past 20 days.

Sumit’s family and many other persons of the area said the police-control-room gypsy had taken more than an hour to reach the spot. There was also a delay in removing the body, as the police photographer reached there late. In protest, persons of the area kept the road blocked for about half-an-hour.

The protesters said the PCR had been told about the accident at about 8.15 am, but the PCR had come there only after 9.15 am. The body was removed by 10.15 am, after completing the formalities.

According to the family and police sources, Sumit was crossing the road after answering nature’s call when the truck ran over him. An eyewitness said the truck had dragged Sumit about 10 feet. The truck, carrying labourers to a construction site, was being driven by a man called Harpal Singh.

When Sumit was being dragged, Sanjay, a boy of the area, managed to climb the truck and yell at the driver to stop. The driver stopped the truck, but managed to escape. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the driver and the truck has been impounded.

Mr Shripal, Sumit’s father, is a class IV employee in a local branch of the Bank of Baroda. Sumit’s mother, his three sisters and a brother are the other members of the family.

On September 25, in a similar accident near the PGI Serai, a seven-year-old boy, Rajan, was killed. In this case, too, the driver had fled. Bitu Sharma, 17, had died in the PGI on October 7 after being hit by a police truck.

In another accident, Raj Kumar, who lived in Plot 435-A of the Industrial Area Phase II, was injured after the bicycle he was riding was hit by a Tata Sumo vehicle near his house late yesterday. The driver of Tata Sumo fled and a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC was registered against him.


MC approves 407 more sweepers for city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Sanitation Committee of the Municipal Corporation today asked an Indian arm of the French company, Vivendi Environment, to conduct a survey in a part of the city for taking up its comprehensive cleaning.

The committee headed by Dr. B. R. Verma asked Onyx Chennai Environment, the French company’s Indian arm, to conduct the survey of those areas which are already under the contract system of cleaning.

The company, which has already entered into a seven-year contract with the Chennai Municipal Corporation and has been cleaning the South Indian metropolitan for the last two years, has offered to collect garbage from house to house, do both mechanised and manual sweeping, segregate bio-degradable and non-biodegradable wastes and transport it to the dumping ground.

Onyx has been operating in three out of seven zones of Chennai charging the Chennai municipal body Rs 760 per tonne of garbage.

The company has offered to open a round-the-clock and throughout -the-year toll-free telephone complaint centre for the citizens. Its staff works day and night in two shifts. The company has promised to provide each house bags for segregating the garbage.

The committee told the company the whole of the city could not be given for cleaning as the city had a big number of sweeping staff. However, it said the corporation was still short of staff and small private contractors had not been as effective as expected.

The committee also decided to buy 10 motor cycles for the Sanitation Department’s field supervision. It also decided the pagers of 30 persons from the field staff would be replaced with Wireless in Local Loop phones.

The official proposal wanted only 12 WLL phones but the committee approved 30 of them considering the problems in supervision and the comparative monthly rentals of pagers and local mobiles. Mayor Lalit Joshi had identified the cleaning of the city as her first priority.

The committee also approved four additional posts for the Medical Officer Health (MOH) Department.

The corporation had asked for one MOH (field), one Assistant Accountant, one Section Officer (mechanical) and one superintendent. While MOH, Assistant Accountant and SO have to be taken from the corporation itself, the post of a superintendent has to be filled on the contract basis.

The committee deferred an agenda item to levy scavenging charges on institutions bigger than 16 kanals, hotels, restaurants, government and semi-government organisations. The agenda was deferred due to some queries in the proposal.

Mr Pardeep Chhabra proposed to give the department 407 additional sweepers to keep the city clean. The committee approved the proposal.

His proposals of the MC having the sole control and authority on the plasma-based power and vermi-compost plants and deputing squads of inspectors to penalise those who litter places around garbage bins, were also approved.


Open spaces overscaled: expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The open spaces around Corbusier’s capitol complex appear loose and unarticulated. Most roadsides in Chandigarh do not present an articulated treescape.

These observations were made by Prof Ravindra Bhan, eminent landscape architect and ecological planner of the country. Commenting on the open spaces of Chandigarh’s city center Sector 17 he felt that they were over-scaled and devoid of trees; creating problems of providing shade for vehicles.

Professor Bhan was here to deliver a memorial lecture on ‘‘Open space planning of cities — a comparative analysis of Lutyen’s New Delhi And Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh’’ as part of the Chandigarh College of Architecture annual Le Corbusier Day.

In an audio-visual talk he traced the history of open-space planning from historical examples like Mughal Gardens, Fatehpur Sikri and Mandu in India and cities like Venice in Europe. He emphasised that for open-space planning to be a meaningful spatial and human experience it must have three major aspects, scale relationship; diversity and articulation of elements and fillers. All open spaces remained as bland, meaningless, unstructured areas without any visual or human interest elements, Dr Bhan stressed.

Open spaces in cities must be planned bearing in mind their maintenance problems. For instance, the current trend to have large expanses of grassy areas was not climactically suitable in the semi-hot and arid climates in North India which had hot summers. He recalled that the Mughals understood this principle well; and instead filled up their gardens with water features, and dense orchard trees.

He stressed that open spaces in cities like parks, piazzas and roads needed to have articulated elements to form coherent city spaces. Especially the plant material chosen should be of correct scale, species and adapted to the area, to grow well. For instance, avenue plantation of trees along roads needed to have long term planning so that when a new species lived out its life span another row was ready. He cited the example of Lutyen’s New Delhi, where tree plantation was taken up as early as 1930’s and there were still beautiful avenues — that provide shade and form vistas as elements of structured urban design.

Making a comparison between the landscaping of Lutyen’s New Delhi and Corbusier’s Chandigarh — he felt that whereas the central vista of New Delhi was a very beautiful and articulated corridor of space with majestic rows or jamun trees along water canals.

Finally, he exhorted the city planners and landscape architects to do meaningful landscaping — instead ’land-scraping’, as was happening in most places.

Earlier, while welcoming Prof Ravindra Bhan, Prof Rajnish Wattas, Principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, said that the college celebrates Le Corbusier’s birth anniversary every year as a sacred and solemn occasion.

He further said that while paying tribute to ‘‘Corbusier - it was also a moment to reflect and debate on the way the city had shaped up after more than five decades of its inception’’. He quoted Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime mover of the Chandigarh project who had said, ‘‘Whether one likes Chandigarh or not - you can’t ignore it. It strikes you on your head!’’ So, it was a sort of wake-up call for the, almost, decadent profession of architecture and planning, then, in India. Some adrenaline was required - and Corbusier injected that!

It was for these reasons that lecture on the topic of ‘‘Open space planning of cities - a comparative analysis of Lutyen’s New Delhi and Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh’’ was planned instead of the usual architectural topics only.


International convention on tourism today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The city will host a two day International Tourism Convention, starting tomorrow. Organised by the Chandigarh Tourism Department, CITCO and the Forum of Educators and Scholars of Tourism (FEAST), this convention is expected to be attended by diplomats, government and tourism officials, intelligentsia, academicians, scholars, educators, authors, writers, and visionaries from India as well overseas.

They would discuss the ‘‘Future trends in HRD in service industry’’ with special emphasis on the Asian region. Another important point of emphasis during the convention would be to achieve “Synergy between North and North-East India” taking Mizoram as the theme state this year.

FEAST under the presidentship of Mr B.K. Goswami, a former Secretary Tourism, Government of India, is a forum for the exchange of knowledge, expertise, experience and visions by international and national-level organisations and educators and scholars who are engaged in the fields of tourism, hospitality, airlines and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) industry.

As international competition intensifies due to increasing globalisation, Asian country policy makers and planners will need to co-relate education and employment requirements and to introduce reforms to bring their educational curricula at par with the international standards. Development of quality human resource, therefore, for the service sector, especially for the tourism, hospitality, aviation, MICE (meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry is essential to transform static organisations into dynamic, versatile and innovative work places capable of thriving in the new millennium.

The convention will also make effort to involve the private sector in Asian countries in a big way, besides establishing a networking of academicians, and student exchange programs among educational institutes in the Asian region. Asian countries will also have to take collaborative initiatives to make tourism, hospitality, and aviation education as catalyst for their economic and social growth while making it an intra-regional activity.

This and much more will be discussed at the first international convention of FEAST. As among the participants will be a number of eminent persons from travel trade, hospitality & aviation industry. Another highlight of the convention would be the academia-industry interface, enabling the industry to share its views about its human resource needs and the type of training and education that needs to be imparted. Another objective of the convention is to work for public- private partnership in developing human resource for the services sector, especially for tourism, hospitality, aviation and MICE industries.

A special session on Sunday will be devoted to the North-East region to discuss the existing human resource scenario and the future needs of this region which is fast emerging as a tourist destination. The Governor of Mizoram, Mr A.R. Kohli, will be the chief guest.


PUDA opposes Revenue Dept instructions
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) has forcefully opposed the Punjab Revenue Department’s verbal instructions to its officials concerned to stop the execution of “ conveyance deeds on official allotment price” of the plots allotted by PUDA in Mohali to successful applicants.

Informed official sources said that PUDA had taken up this issue with the Revenue Department. The matter is expected to be discussed at the Chief Secretaries level as difference of opinion among various government departments over official matters are usually resolved at that or Chief Minister ‘s level.

Hundreds of allottees have been facing problems in getting their “deeds” executed from revenue officials at Mohali because of the “instructions” of the revenue authorities to execute such deeds only on the basis of the prevailing market price

However, PUDA has taken the plea that it was totally unjustified on the part of the revenue department to execute the deeds on the so-called prevailing market price ignoring the allotment price determined by PUDA. In fact, this step of the Revenue Department is nothing short of putting PUDA in bad light and doubting the competency of its officers concerned.

The PUDA authorities have argued that the Revenue Department’s decision regarding the market rate would not stand the legal scrutiny, if any of the affected persons knocked the doors of the court. On what basis can a person, who made the full payment of the official price for the allotment of plot to the PUDA, be told by the revenue department that it will not accept the price paid to PUDA and determine the price at its own level to execute the deed, asked a senior official of the Punjab Urban Development Department.

Sources said that Revenue Department officials concerned had no legal authority to stop the execution of any deed citing price as reason for not doing so. They can refer the deed after execution to the Deputy Commissioner or the Additional Deputy Commissioner for examining. However, the Revenue authorities said that under the act, they can stop the execution as deeds are to be executed on the basis of the prevailing market price.

PUDA has taken the plea that in Mohali like other urban areas, the plots had been allotted to successful applicants on the prevailing market price. Even 15 per cent interest has been charged from those who have made the payment in installments. Penal interest of 24 per cent had been charged from the defaulters. In fact, in certain areas PUDA prices are on the higher side than the prevailing market price. Moreover, if the government agency has fixed a price for the allotment of plot while taking various factors in consideration, the other department should not try to interfere in the affairs of that agency without any solid reason.


Jain for probe into land allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
BJP national executive member Satyapal Jain and the local unit president Yashpal Mahajan at their meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister L.K. Advani on Wednesday demanded a probe into the allotment of land to Heritage Society involving the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and Ms Ambika Soni.

The two BJP leaders submitted a memorandum to Mr Advani urging him to get an inquiry done into the matter as well as in the Congress councillors’ alleged corruption and goondaism in the Municipal Corporation.

A party press release said the Deputy Prime Minister assured the BJP leaders to look into the matter. The memorandum urged Mr Advani that houses built in the periphery of 22 villages of Chandigarh should be regularised to give them electricity and water connections.

It asked Mr Advani that the demolition of houses in Kishangarh, Kajheri, Raipur Kalan, Behlana, Hallo Majra, Shastri Nagar and Mani Majra should not be carried out.

The memorandum demanded Rs 35 lakh per acre and a plot as a compensation to those people whose land was being acquired.

It demanded the issuance of identity cards to footpath workers and rehri operators and treating employees transferred from the Chandigarh Administration to the Municipal Corporation on deputation.

The memorandum demanded small-sized plots to those schools operating from residential areas and their continuance from their present places till they were not allotted plots.


When an Englishman kept his promise

Human life is full of beautiful certainties and uncertainties. After passing my degree examination (B.Sc.) from the Panjab University in 1938, I joined the YMCA’s institute of shorthand and typewriting at Lahore. My father had also by that time retired from the Punjab government service as head clerk from Rasul Headworks (i.e. Upper Jhelun Canal Headworks), and earnestly wanted some job for me.

He had previously worked as a subdivisional clerk with an ISE (Indian Service of Engineers) officer coming straight from England to join the Irrigation Department as a subdivisional officer at Pallah Headworkers subdivision in the Sutlej Valley Canal Project.

By the time my father retired from service, the officer — Mr FA Farquharson, (ISE) — had become Secretary, Establishment and in charge of the civil south area of Punjab province. My father thought of meeting him in his office for seeking a clerical job for me in his secretariat. On coming to his room my father was told by the sentry that the sahib was busy in his work and had told him not to bring any visitor. My father requested him to take his slip.

After sometime the sahib called for the jamadar and the latter obediently placed my father’s slip on his table. When he saw my father’s slip, he called him in.

My father candidly told the sahib that he had come for a clerical job in his secretariat office for his son, who was a graduate and was then learning typewriting and shorthand at the YMCA. “All right. Is he a keshadhari or a sehajdhari Sikh”, the sahib asked him. My father told him that his son was a keshdhari Sikh.

“He will be appointed whenever there is any vacancy. It is good that he is a keshadhari Sikh as the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) has taken an acknowledgement from all officers in Punjab that in future no sehajdhari Sikh will be given an appointment against a post reserved for keshdhari Sikhs”.

In due course of time, I received a communication from the department to come for an interview and for a test in typewriting on a particular date. On that particular date I visited that office and was surprised to see that against two vacancies reported to be available at that time, as many as 93 candidates had been invited, and that some of the candidates, who were known to me during college days , were also there with recommendatory letters from high Sikh personalities. There were about 35 candidates invited for the interview and typewriting test against a reported one Sikh vacancy.

Before the typewriting test could start, we were shocked when the Registrar told the superintendent of the establishment branch that there was only one vacancy, and that, too, for a Muslim candidate.

However, both Muslim and Sikh candidates were asked to appear in the typewriting test. I also appeared in the test and we were asked to type out at the speed of 30 words a minute or more to qualify in the test. It was found that only one Mr Abdul Rashid had qualified in the test and I came next with 23 words per minute.

The superintendent recommended that since the vacancy was for a Muslim candidate, Mr Abdul Rashid, who had qualified in the typewriting test, may be given the job after an interview.

The Registrar and the then Under Secretary, Mr HL Wells, (ISE), a European officer , also seconded the note and sent it to the Secretary, Mr FA Farquhans, for his approval. Mr Farquhanson , however, ordered that Mr Harbans Singh Chopra be given this job. He wanted that the roster be changed and the next job be reserved for a Muslim candidate and given to Mr Abdul Rashid. We all were surprised at his order. Mr Farquhanson had kept the promise he made to my father.

Harbans Singh Chopra



CSIO develops gold analyser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation ( CSIO) has added one more success story to its achievement list by developing the gold analyser. It has now transferred the technology to the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), New Delhi.

An agreement in this regard was signed here today by Dr N.K. Sharma, MD, NRDC, Dr S.K. Gupta, Adviser, Department of Scientific and Technology, and Mr M R Masan, COA, CSIO on behalf of the CSIO.

Dr R.P. Bajpai, Director, CSIO, disclosed that the technique was based on X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. It would measure the purity of the gold ornaments in the presence of copper and silver without causing any damage to the precious metal.

The technology would be further handed over to the industry by the NRDC for its commercialisation, he added.


3 booths sealed for non-payment of dues
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 11
The Estate Office today sealed three booths in the township, allegedly for non-payment of dues totalling to Rs 41 lakh.

A team of officials led by Estate Officer, Ms Monica Mallick, and the Assistant Estate Officer, Mr Vijay Bhardwaj , went to Sectors 8 and 11 in the morning to seal the three booths — two in Sector 8 and one in Sector 11.

Sources said all these booths had been allotted as built-up booths several years ago. While booth number 116( allotted in 1981) and 131 (allotted in 1991) in Sector 8 were sealed for non payment of dues of Rs 6 lakh and Rs 16 lakh, respectively, booth number 72 in Sector 11 was sealed for non payment of Rs 18. 6 lakh.

Notices were pasted outside the three booths, which had been closed for several years now. There was no resistance as none of the allottees or their tenants (if any) came forward when Estate office staff was on the job.


Water shortage irks villagers
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 11
On the one hand a large number of residents of Gharuan village are facing drinking water shortage and on the other hand a tubewell installed by the Public Health Department there has not been working for the past seven years. The village has a population of 10,000.

Mr Haqiqat Singh and Mr Avtar Singh Gharuan, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Pendu Vikas Manch said the tubewell was installed about seven years back and a generator was brought here for starting it. When the tubewell started functioning the generator was taken back after a few days. Since them the tubewell was not working. They said half of the villagers were not getting supply but the department concerned was not bothering it.

Similarly, at Chuni village tubewell installed 27 years back is lying dead as no power connection is provided to it.


Pillars create tension in Sec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
Tension developed between traders of Sector 17-A and a parking-lot contractor after the man allegedly tried to install pillars in the market corridor with the help of the Municipal Corporation staff. The police had to be called.

In a press note issued here today, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal said the police had stopped the installation of pillars near the Income Tax Office and warned the contractor.

The mandal vice-president and chairman of the Task Force on Encroachment, Mr Kamaljit Panchhi, sought an inquiry into the incident and said certain persons in the MC were helping the contractor harass traders and public.

Earlier, a delegation of the mandal members, comprising Mr Panchhi and the general secretary of the traders’ body, urged the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, and the Joint Commissioner of the MC, Mr Sunil Bhatia, to relax enforcement in the festival season. The delegates told the Mayor about the debris that the MC staff had allegedly piled up in a huge heap in the Sector 17-A market “in collusion with the contractor to give the market a shabby look”.


IT Department raids crockery house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The search wing of the Income Tax Department today raided the premises of the Dharampal & Sons crockery. The raids, which started in the morning, were continuing till late evening.

According to the officials of the Income Tax Department, the accused has three shops in Sectors 18, 26 and 7 respectively, besides two large houses in Sectors 18 and 19. He was allegedly selling foreign-made crockery for the past many years and evading taxes.

They said the raids had been conducted on specific information, and the exact amount of tax evasion would be known only after the verification of all records and stocks.


Goddess Durga beckons all
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 11
Rhythmic beats and melodious music filled the air at a colourful cultural programme here today on the first day of Durga Puja celebrations. Excitement was writ large on the faces of enthusiastic devotees who thronged the Sector 35 Banga Bhavan to participate in the programme.

Cars and more cars outside the bhavan still gave little indication of the rush inside. As a merry crowd sang and danced, others stood up to applaud. Religious fervour and zeal had started building up since early today. Devotees, clad in colourful festive best, reached the Sector 31 Kalibari temple in large numbers to worship the idols of Goddess Durga.

In the evening, the celebrations shifted to the Sector 35 Banga Bhavan. As the clock struck seven, devotees and members of the Bangiya Sanskritik Sammilani participated in ‘Bodhan’ and ‘Abhidas’ before settling down to watch the cultural show.

According to the managing committee of the Bangiya Sanskritik Sammilani, tomorrow, ‘Puja’ and ‘Pushpanjali’ would be performed at 9.15 am and 11 am, respectively, followed by ‘Parsad’ at 12 noon. ‘The time for ‘Bhog’ was 1.30 pm and that for ‘Arati’ was 7 pm. A cultural programme would be held at 7.30 pm.


Residents witness Bharat Milap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 11
On the sixth day of Ramlila, the residents from different parts of the city thronged the various venues to witness Bharat Milap. Excitement was writ large on their faces as they sat on the ground waiting for the “touching scene” to take place.

It all started at about 8.30 this evening. As the residents silently watched, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman reached Chitrakut mountains.

Meanwhile, in another scene, a message was sent from Ayodhya asking Bharat and Shatrughan to return, following the death of King Dashratha. They reached to find that the kingdom was in mourning. Learning about the exile of their brothers and Sita, they criticised Mata Kakai before leaving for Chitrakut mountains. As the crowd poured in, the two brothers reached the mountains and amidst thunderous applause, hugged Lord Rama and Lakshman.


‘Bhajan sandhya’ enthrals devotees
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 11
‘Bhajan sandhya’ at Mata Mansa Devi shrine today left hundreds of devotees in eternal trance. The cultural programme today was sponsored jointly by the North Zone Cultural Centre and the Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana.

The fifth day of Navratra Mela saw an unfortunate incident, when a middle-aged devotee from Dhuri (Punjab) died of cardiac arrest.

The devotee, Gulshan Kumar, had come here with his wife and two sons for paying obeisance at the shrine. After ‘darshan’, as he was coming down the steps, he reportedly had a cardiac arrest and fell down. He was taken to a dispensary near the shrine. After being administered first aid, he was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where he was declared ‘brought dead’.

The ‘bhajan sandhya’ was presented by Delhi-based artistes, Rajinder Khachroo and Sevan P. Sanyal. Chandigarh-based artistes from the NZCC performed a choreography depicting the Mahishasur Mardini manifestation of Mother Goddess, which left the audience spellbound. The choreography was directed by Ms Sharmishtha Rai.

The Urban Development Minister, Mr Subhash Goyal, was the chief guest. The Commissioner and Secretary, Urban Development, Mr Manik Sonawane, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, and the ADC , Mr S.K. Goyal, were also present on the occasion.

Artistes from the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, enthralled devotees with their religious choreographies, ‘dandiya raas’ and hymns last evening.

Two groups of artistes sponsored by the NZCC performed on the occasion. A choreography was presented by a group from Allahabad, depicting ‘Mahishasur vadh’.

The best performance, however, was by 14-year-old Suman Arora, who regaled the audience with devotional songs. ‘Dandiya raas’ was presented by 19 artistes from Gujarat.

Meanwhile, a sum of Rs 8.38 lakh, 136 silver items and 25 gold items have been offered at the shrine by devotees. Other than this, 14 fans, six clocks, 118 kg ghee and 80 pieces of utensils have also been offered at the temple.


Permission for Dasehra grounds awaited
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 11
Dasehra is just round the corner, but the members of different Dasehra committees are reportedly waiting for the permission to use the grounds. As a result, the effigies are yet to be installed.

According to Dasehra and Social Welfare Committee president Prem Sagar Gupta, just three days were left for the festival, but no official information had so far been received by them.


Religious function
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 11
“Transcendental divine love is the strongest spiritual force on earth which can establish close relations and unity of hearts among all human beings and thereby establish real peace in the world”, observed president Acharya of Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Swami Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj. He is here till October 13.

Referring to the outbreak of group clashes all over the world, Swami Bhakti asserted, “Every human being must have knowledge of the real self, real interest and one centre of interest. Complete surrender to Lord Krishna can only bestow real peace”.

The swami is also the vice-president of the World Vaishnav Association. A five-day function and festival is being organised at the math which will continue till October 13.


5 incidents of vehicle theft in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 11
At least five cases of vehicle theft have been reported from different parts of the city.

Mr Ranjai Sanadi reported that his white Maruti Esteem-LX (CH-01-P-8155) car was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17 yesterday.

A Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-01-R-0261) of Mr Anil Sehgal, a Sector 37 resident, was allegedly stolen from his residence and a Bajaj Chetak scooter (HR-03-B-5859) of Mr Anwar Saeed of Panchkula was reportedly stolen from Sector 33 on October 9.

A motor cycle (CH-01-E-2176) of Mr Ajay Pal Singh, a resident of Panjab University, was reportedly stolen from Sector 22 on October 8 and a Bajaj Super scooter (CH-01-D-8336) of Mr Jitender Singh, a Sector 36 resident, was stolen from a parking lot in the sector on October 7.

Case registered: The police has registered a case under Section 3 of the Defacement of Property Act against the owner of Tagore Niketan School, Sector 15. According to an official release, posters of the school were found pasted in a bus stop in Sector 10.


Udyog Rattan for city accountant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
Mr Mukul Bansal, a Chandigarh-based chartered accountant, was conferred the Udyog Rattan award, for performance for the development of industry and the Excellence award for his firm, Bansal Mittal and Co, by the Institute of Economic Studies (IES), New Delhi, here yesterday.

The award was presented by Dr Bhishma Narain Singh, former Governor of Assam, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Mr GVG Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, and Mr Surinder Singla, Chairman, High-Powered Committee on Reforms, Punjab, were also present on that occasion.



Inaugurated: Renoo’s, a designer house, opened in Sector 8 here on Friday. It is a venture of Ms Renu Mahindroo and offers a fusion of different fabrics, works, colours and shades, apart from the latest trends in women fashion wear. It was inaugurated by Ms Priyanka Singh of NIFD. Renu Mahindroo had earlier been exporting garments to Indian boutiques in America and Canada. The garments in her designer house vary from traditional Indian to modern-day wear. TNS

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