Sunday, November 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City residents on shopping spree
Our Correspondent

Chaos on roads

  • Unlike any other Saturday evening, the volume of traffic on city roads this evening was very high as shoppers flocked the roads in their vehicles owing to Divali melas in the various parts of the city.
  • Long queues of vehicles were seen at some of the main traffic light points, including one dividing Sectors 21 and 22 this evening.
  • The road from SAS Nagar via furniture market was one of the worst affected as hundreds of vehicles clogged the entrance to the city. The paid parking lots in Sector 17 were seen jam packed. However, the police claims to have made elaborate arrangements to avoid traffic jams.
  • During the past couple of days the traffic on roads has increased manifold, which has resulted in deployment of traffic police at various roundabout on the Dakshin Marg. 

Chandigarh, November 2
Passing through the city markets became a little more difficult this afternoon as residents rushed to complete their shopping of gifts and sweets before the festival of lights.

The effect of the shopping was there for all so see. On both sides of the roads, commuters had parked their vehicles before barging into showrooms for buying gifts of love or that of formality. The bottlenecks were, however, no deterrent as the enthusiastic residents still pushed their way through the jostling crowd.

Catering to the demand of the residents, almost all shopkeepers had set up stalls in front of their showrooms. Under the tents, on folding beds covered with white sheets, they were selling everything you could ever dream of buying. They shouted and screamed as they offered the items to shoppers after quoting high prices, but reduced the amount by as much as half after bargaining.

In Sector 18 the revelers rushed into shops selling household items and kitchenware, besides crockery and decoration pieces of cut-glass, including flower vases.

In Sector 19 it was almost impossible for shoppers to cut their way through the crowd and enter showrooms for buying electrical appliances, besides garments, even blankets and quilts.

As they moved out of showrooms, the excited shoppers almost went down on their knees for buying earthen divas, besides candles in different sizes and hues. For the first time, perhaps, even roadside sellers were offering aromatic candles at reasonable rates luring the buyers into purchasing these in bulk.

The rush was no less in Sector 22-D as residents walked on the carpet in front of the shops illuminated by colourful blinking bulbs for the festival of lights. In Sector 17 the residents moved ahead to buy from shops offering as much as 50 per cent discount.

In Sectors 10 and 11, the preferences were totally different. Dry fruits were not number one on their priority list. Sweets, too, were not luring enough for attracting them into entering the shops. Chocolates and cards were what the youngsters were demanding.

Little wonder, outside card and gift shops, there was a heavy rush. Inside, eager eyes looking for presents, were resting on dolls and teddy bears. Crisp currency notes were eagerly pulled out of the wallets as alluring boxes of chocolates and toffees were purchased.

“St Valentines’ Day and Divali are two festivals when the sale is the maximum,” said Tarun Sharma, working with a Sector 35 gift shop.

“The reason is not very hard to analyse. Lovers are constantly looking for opportunities to exhibit their love. That’s why the number of young buyers swells just before these two festivals”.



DC softens cracker sale norms
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 2
In a vital decision, the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, has given a go-ahead to the SAS Nagar administration to allow the sale of crackers in the township without the requisite written permission from the SDM’s office. As a result now anyone who wants to sell crackers in the township needs to simply pay the ground rent to the Municipal Council and consider that receipt as the licence to sell crackers.

This decision has, however, created a precarious situation when it comes to following the requisite safety norms by fire cracker sellers. ‘‘With this decision the SDM’s office has more or less washed its hands off any responsibility in case of any mishap. Since they are not involved in the process at all, there will be no quality check of the crackers or restriction on the sellers, thus a major safety angle has been overlooked,’’ pointed out a resident.

On the other hand, the Municipal Council officials state that other than issuing receipts for the ground rent they have no say in what kind of crackers will be sold and at what cost. In such a situation, there is actually no one in the township among the authorities who can be held responsible in case there is a mishap due to the negligence of the shopkeeper.

Meanwhile, fire department officials have been asked to take rounds of the nine areas demarcated for sale of crackers in the township.

His team has been directed to check all shops physically for any glaring lapses and guide the shopkeepers about what to do in case of a fire. The Municipal Council officials, however, state that they have read out the safety instructions to all those who have been allotted space in these locations and they have been asked to follow the basic precautions like keep drums filled with water and blankets.

This decision follows a proposal of the SDM, SAS Nagar, to simplify and speed up the process of granting these permissions. The SDM’s office has passed on all applications it had received for the purpose to the office of the Municipal Council.

The decision was taken during a special meeting held at the DC’s office in Ropar. It was also attended by the SDM, SAS Nagar, and the AEO, MC, SAS Nagar. 



PU poll: time for introspection
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council are finally over but certain questions need to be answered and probably put up for self analysis by the university and students themselves to give the process the position that it deserves in calling it a ‘democracy’.

First, it is the time of elections. The session begins in August and the usual time for election is September. This time, however, protests and inner conflicts led to a brawl between the two prominent student organisations — the Panjab University Student Union and the Students Organisation of Panjab University — and their leaders were in jail. This was the major reason why the elections had to be postponed till November 1.

At the end of November students in colleges will be appearing for the December tests which will be followed by holidays. This leaves just January for the real academic activities. One wonders what real worth the whole exercise, noise and money spent really was.

Second question is the university code of conduct. The code of conduct which came through the UT Administration said the campaigning should stop 72 hours before the polling but the traditional university norm is 24 hours. Despite a ban by the university for campaigning in the girls’ hostels a day before the polling, big election rallies went on later than 10 p.m.

There is a confusion among students about the word accused in the university code of conduct, which says anyone accused in a non-bailable act will be debarred from the university election. The ABVP made a written representation to the university to look into the matter because both the rival presidential candidates — Malwinder Singh Kang and Harveer Singh — were in jail under Section 144. However, the panel gave a clean chit to both the presidential candidates.

The panel comprising Prof R.D. Anand, Prof B.S. Ghumman and Prof P.S.Verma, however, quoted the constitution of election saying that candidate will be debarred in case he is “ held guilty” and not accused. The panel allowing both Kang and Harveer Singh to contest said the statement reads that a student would be debarred in case he is held accused which breaks down into “ held guilty” by the university . “In the instant case the university has not held him guilty of any gross misconduct. The complainant has not even given details of the case nor appended a copy of the FIR. Even if an FIR has been lodged against a student for non-bailable offence under the IPC or under any other provision of law, he or she does not become ineligible to seek elections to the council as long as the university does not hold him or her guilty”.

The university needs to clarify its stand on such a issue once and for all because the case had a precedent when the candidature of Dayal Pratap Singh Randhawa was allowed on similar grounds. Complainants, however, say the constitution of students’ organisation pertaining to qualifications says “ a student who is found guilty of gross misconduct which includes an accused in a non-bailable offence” will be disqualified to contest.

The constitution, however, under term of office-bearers says: “The office-bearer shall cease to hold the office if he is held to be guilty of gross misconduct by the university.” The university needs to clarify to the students right at the time of elections the difference between “ accused” and “ held guilty”.

The biggest point where students need to introspect is bankrupcy in choosing academic and other extra-curricular issues which suited the five star status of the university. Instead of talking about excellence, they were more keen about getting ‘grace marks’, ‘special chance’, ‘mercy chance’ and improvements.

Besides the leaders, even the general students do not seem interested in listening to what their leaders promised. This was evident from the response that the open house got each year. Any student organisation which occupied the centre stage gave a tough time to speakers from the rival groups. Last time the stage was captured by SOPU and this time PUSU held the grounds making the open house a mockery of an exercise.



Delayed meeting costs MC dear 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The delayed meeting of the Municipal Corporation this month might have deprived the city of festivity besides causing a financial loss to the tune of Rs 10 lakh to the corporation in Sector 17 alone.

The meeting was discussing the issue of approving the putting up of stalls in Sector 17 and allowing shopkeepers to put these up on Rs 500 as daily charge on the last date when traders were supposed to inform to the corporation of their intention to set up stalls.

As a result, the corporation got only 61 applications for setting up stalls against a potential of 300 stalls up to Bridge Market in the piazza itself.

Out of the 61 stalls, 10 applications came from markets beyond the Bridge Market and rest from the piazza.

The committee to demarcate the area, comprising Pardeep Chhabra and Jitender Bhatia, did the job in the evening of the last date.

The putting up of stalls was allowed by the House, lifting a ban imposed in 1999 keeping traders confused whether the permission for stalls would be given or not.

In the absence of a detailed policy on where stalls could be put up, the corporation had to refund the deposit of three traders.

However, Mr Chhabra expressed the hope that from next year the city would ensure festivity of a greater scale by granting permission to put up stalls in the area and understanding the difficulties of traders.

He said the corporation, however, had been successful in collecting around Rs 10.72 lakh from the sale of pre-paid coupons and putting up stalls in Sector 17.

The attempt to have some festivity in the Circus Ground completely failed despite corporation’s offer to all shopkeepers in the city.

The corporation got Rs 7.92 lakh from the sale of coupons from across the city, and Rs 2.8 lakh from Sector 17 stalls. Nobody turned up for putting up stalls in the Circus Ground.



Getting into Divali spirit with Jacob uncle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
It was a day to remember for 162 children, including 50 orphan children from Bal Niketan, 10 deaf and dumb children, 40 children from slum areas 10 from the Institute for the Blind and 52 trainees of Football and Hockey Academy, today as they celebrated Divali with the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut Gen. JFR Jacob, (retd.) at Punjab Raj Bhavan.

The Punjab Raj Bhavan was decked up with colourful lights to receive the ‘special guests’ of the Governor.

The whole driveway, lush green lawns and the main building of the Raj Bhavan were illuminated for the special occasion. General Jacob decided to celebrate ‘Divali’ with the children to give them a sense of belonging. Attired in their new dresses children were eager to be near to the Governor.

General Jacob enjoyed lighting ‘phuljharis’ and ‘Aatishbazi’ with them. Tables loaded with sweets were laid up on the lawns of Punjab Raj Bhavan to serve the ‘special guests’ sweets for this Special Divali.

General Jacob shared sweets with the kids. As ‘anaar’, ‘firkis’ and ‘aatishbazi’ were lighted at the lush green lawns of Raj Bhavan the joy of children knew no bounds. The children returned home with Mithai, cake, fruits, aatishbazi, pens and notebook to celebrate Divali again day after tomorrow.



IRSLA — devoted to social causes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
For the past one-and-a-half year, eight orphans of Manauli village in Ropar district have been living a life of dignity and self sufficiency, thanks to the helping hand extended by the Indian Revenue (Customs and Central Excise) Services Ladies’ Association (IRSLA).

Managed by president Sunita Sharma and general secretary Rajesh Gill, IRSLA is not only working for the welfare of people within the organisation but is also involved in generating social and health awareness among people in the city and outside.

Within a short period of taking over the organisation, it is already working in four positive directions, running a creche in Revenue Building, holding counselling sessions, running a homeopathic dispensary in Sector 37 Revenue Colony and Manauli village and organising Hepatitis B camps every year.

The best work of the organisation has, however, been in a village in Ropar where it has taken the responsibility of educating orphaned kids and helping them settle down in a vocation.

The biggest success has been the replacement of the pacemaker in 13-year-old Bhupinder Kaur from Manauli. The child had a pacemaker installed in her heart ever since she was about five years old. Recently when it needed to be replaced, IRSLA got Bhupinder admitted to the PGI and raised about Rs 40,000 to see her medical treatment through.

Said Dr Gill, “These kids are a part of our family. It is important for us to look after their problems, emotional and physical.” Many children have also been imparted vocational training.

Last year in November, IRSLA also arranged the marriage of Kuldip Kaur. Not only did they host a reception for her but also contributed towards her dowry.

Dr Gill and Ms Sunita Sharma said the organisation now plans to extend its area of activity by organising awareness camps for older people.

At the office level, the organisation has been holding a variety of activities in order to involve wives of class III and IV employees. Sometime back, IRSLA held a housekeeping contest for the wives of these employees and also awarded prizes for best housekeeping.

Apart from this, members also organise cultural functions on occasions like August 15 and January 26 by involving children and choreographing the events themselves. In many functions organised by IRSLA, a special invitation is extended to disabled children, who are offered a platform to exhibit their talent.



MC fails to remove carcass
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
On account of alleged inaction on the part of Municipal Corporation officials residents of Sector 45-C may have a “smelly Divali”, a festival known for massive cleaning drives.

Ms Samata, a resident of house number 2115 in Sector 45-C, has been reporting the presence of a carcass of a dog for the past three days at phone numbers 711714 (the official number of the Municipal Corporation Joint Commissioner and in-charge of Medical Office Health wing, Sunil Bhatia) and 701235 (number of MOH office) but to no avail.

Ms Samata said the carcass had been lying along the Sectors 45 and 46 road for over three days and she had rung up at the above mentioned phone numbers to lodge a complaint but the persons concerned only “laughed” and said they were not the right people to be contacted in such a case.

Surprisingly, 701235 is the number where residents can lodge their complaints concerning sanitation.

Enquiries from the MOH Wing, however, revealed that the MOH, Dr Sushil Mahajan, had been on leave for a week.

A senior officer when told about the presence of a carcass in the evening assured Chandigarh Tribune that it would be removed by tomorrow.



Philatelic section opened in govt museum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.), here today inaugurated the Philatelic Section in Government Museum and Art Gallery.

Speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said first postage stamps were printed in May 1840 as an idea from an English gentleman called Sir Rowland Hill who wanted “penny postage” as a uniform rate to be levied on all letters, regardless of the distance these travelled from one place to another.

In India, he said the first stamps came out as an experiment in 1852 by the then Commissioner of Sind, Sir Bartle Frere, and these were known as the “Scinde Dawks”. These were followed by the regular uniform postage stamps for all British territories in India in 1854, with a portrait of Queen Victoria, who was the Queen of the British Empire at that time.

The Administrator said the world’s rarest postage stamp was known as the British Guiana Magenta. This one-cent stamp bears a picture of a ship and is magenta coloured.

It was printed in 1856 and sold at an auction in the USA for $ 850,000 in 1981. The stamp was last shown in India at the International Philatelic Exhibition held in January 1980.

General Jacob said in recent times, a valuable postage stamp was the one printed with a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 in the denomination of Rs 10 with the over printing of the word “Service” on it.

General Jacob paid special tributes to the Daak runner of the Postal Department who goes from village to village to distribute the daak. The Governor said that in this era of Internet and courier, the daak runner is still the backbone of the rural postal service in India.

General Jacob also honoured postal employees of the Punjab Circle for their outstanding contribution in various fields. He also honoured Kriti and Niharika of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School for excelling in philatelic competition.



Sunday banking losing charm in city

SUNDAY banking which was launched with much fanfare some years back by various banks in Chandigarh has lost its charm. With the installation of around 90 ATMs in the city, Sunday banking has proved to be the scheme’s undoing. Lower transactions and higher costs and lack of customers on Sundays are the main reasons for its failure to catch up. A number of private sector and public sector banks have either closed or are in the process of closing down their counters on Sundays.

Sunday banking has not received the response as it was expected in Chandigarh. A majority of the people belong to the salaried class, who would like to relax at home on Sundays. Markets and government offices are also closed on Sundays. The salaried class, mostly the lower middle class, have little scope for emergency requirement of funds, which is now met by ATMs. According to a senior banker, if banking is closed on Sundays, they can save costs as the overheads will come down by around 10 per cent; there is also no clearing.

Though Chandigarh has three governments, and has a population of nine lakh plus, Sunday banking has no charm as the purpose of banking is being met by ATMs. In fact, bankers find it cheaper when customers transact through ATMs instead of crowding the counters. ATMs have also proved to be a big boon for banks. A number of public sector and private sector banks are now joining the race of providing anytime and anywhere banking facilities to their customers.

Moreover, after VRS there is dearth of officers who could be put on duty on Sundays. And those working on Sundays take compensatory off on some other working day. This affects corporate banking in general and personal banking in particular. At present some bank branches are open on Sundays, but they have little or no work. Besides, computerised branches also need maintenance and upgradation and it is not possible if they are not closed once in a week. With more and more ATMs at important locations in the city, there is no relevance of Sunday banking.

S.C. DHALL, Chandigarh

Negligent driving

On October 12 at about 6.45 p.m, when I was travelling in my car (PB-64-2626) along with my daughter and her three colleagues, between Bhawanigarh and Patiala, a PRTC bus (No PB-11-6951) drove past us. The driver willfully made a cut and we had miraculous escape. We followed the bus. When it came to a halt at Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, we asked the driver to explain his negligent driving.

However, instead of apologising for his conduct, he threatened me with an iron road and said that I was under the influence of liquor though I never drink. Will the PRTC authorities explain the conduct of the driver?


Neglected pond

I occasionally pass through the Pinjore main market while on way to Shimla. A very old tiny pond on the left side of the bazar gives a deserted look and perhaps crying for one to come forward and take care of the forgotten monument. I do not know the importance of this pond as I could not talk to any local resident of Pinjore, but I do feel pity about this unfortunate and uncared spot.

If local residents with the help of civil authorities take a little interest to maintain it, this could be a very beautiful and precious lung-space where they can sit and relax for some time in the mornings and evenings. A sprinkler system and/or a running fountain will enhance its beauty.

This place can be an attractive visiting spot without spending too much money on it as the pond already exists. If it has any archaeological value, Pinjore will add yet another feather to its cap in addition to Pinjore Garden.

K.L. NANDA, Chandigarh



Vigilance Awareness Week
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
Employees of Zonal marketing Office Chandigarh solemnly took pledge to continuously strive to bring about integrity and transparency in all spheres of their activities. On the inaugural session, Mr Mukhtiar Singh, Superintendent of police(Vigilance), Punjab State delivered a detailed talk emphasising the importance of vigilance awareness week and the role of employee in the present scenario all over.

The employees of Zonal office showed keen interest by talking part in slogan writing competition followed by open house debate.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of India Chandigarh Zone has been celebrating Vigilance Awareness Week with effect from October 31 to November 6. The inaugural function was organised at the Regional Office, Jalandhar, where Mr R.K Kalia, Zonal Manager, administered the oath of honesty and integrity to the staff members.

A paper reading contest on the subject-The greatest threat to the mankind-corruption will be organised for the students at government on November 6. The concluding function will be held on the same date at Zonal Staff training Centre.



Gurmat samagam concludes
Our Correspondent

Ratwara Sahib, November 2
There was a sea of devotees on the fourth and concluding day of the XIIth annual Gurmat Samagam organised by Vishwa Gurmat Ruhani Mission Charitable Trust at Isher Prakash Gurdwara here today. The samagam was devoted to Late Waryam Singh, founder of the trust.

While addressing the congregation, Bhai Lakhbir Singh, Chairman of the trust, paid his tributes to Late Waryam Singh and asked the devotees to follow the path shown by the great religious leaders.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, local MLA and a Punjab minister, while paying tribute to Waryam Singh pledged support of his government for the developmental works being carried out by the trust.

Bhai Ujjagar Singh, Kala Manpreet Singh, Giani Sahib Singh, Head Granthi, Bhai Ranjeet Singh Ratwara Sahib, Sant Ajit Singh Karsewawala, presented shabad kirtan. It was shabads and religious poems were presented by students of Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir and Sant Waryam Singh Public School.

Bhai Gurpal Singh enthralled the audience by his shabad kirtan. Bhai Phakir Singh paid tributes to Waryam Singh through his poems. Students of Bhai Sahib Daya Singh Memorial Public School, Rajpura, and Sant Waryam Singh Public School, Banur, also recited poems.

According to the organisers hundreds of people subscribed to the Atam Marg, a partially trilingual magazine on Sikhism. Tableaus on Sikh history put at the samagam venue attracted great crowds. The devotees were fed langar. A free medical check-up camp was also organised on the occasion.



AVSM for Air Cmde Dutt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Air Cmde Maheshwar Dutt (retd), popularly known as Mike Dutt in IAF circles, has been awarded with the Ati Vishist Seva Medal.

Air Commodore Dutt, hailing from Punjab, has earned the award after 35 years of service with the IAF. During these years he has held several high profile operational appointments, including being Director of Operations (T&H) during the Kargil conflict.

He is the only pilot of the IAF to figure in the Guinness Book of World Records for having conducted the largest rescue operation in the world when he saved 196 people in the winter of 1986. He flew as many as 56 sorties in four days during the “Zojila rescue operation” in Jammu and Kashmir. For his deed , Air Commodore Dutt was decorated with the Kirti Chakra , the second highest peace time gallantry award of the nation.

In yet another daring rescue mission he was called upon to rescue a team of German trekkers when a snow blizzard hit Zanskar Valley in Ladakh in October 1987. He safely rescued the stranded and sick trekkers in fading light conditions from the Forbidden Valley and concluded his hair-raising mission by landing at Leh airfield at night with the help of kerosene lamps as Leh did not have night landing facilities.

The pilot retired from the IAF recently.



Exhibition on essence of Divali
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
Prajapati Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya will organise a two-day exhibition on true and spiritual significance of rituals associated with Divali. It will be inaugurated at the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre in Sector 21 on Sunday.

The exhibition will focus on the spiritual significance of Divali as well as connected rituals like lighting of diyas, Lakshmi puja, cleaning of houses, exchange of gifts, opening of new accounts, purchase of new utensils and clothes.



Divali greetings to blood donors
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
The Department of Transfusion Medicine PGI, has extended its greetings to voluntary blood donors on the occasion of Divali. Around 200 voluntary blood donors donated blood this year. Almost 40,000 to 50,000 units of blood components had been utilised from their donations so far.



Woman suffers 60 per cent burns
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
A middle-aged woman of SB Colony in Mauli Jagraun was admitted to the PGI here with 60 per cent burns tonight. Sources said the 41-year-old victim caught fire from the stove while she was preparing food.

Police sources said the exact cause of the incident was not known as yet as investigations were still on in the matter. The police said a team of police personnel took the burns victim to the PGI around 10 p.m. Doctors on duty said the victim was in a critical condition.



One crushed to death by HRTC bus
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
An unidentified person died in a road accident here yesterday. According to police sources, he was injured after being hit by a HRTC bus (HP12 4097) near traffic light points of Housing Board Chowk, Mani Majra. He was rushed to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries. The bus driver Mohinder Singh, a resident of Solan District, Himachal Pradesh, was arrested and later released on bail. He has been booked under Sections 279 and 304A of the IPC.

Theft cases: Burglar(s) broke into the Sector 18 residence of Ms Harwinder Kaur yesterday and decamped with gold and diamond jewellery and cash worth Rs 1.50 lakh. The burglar(s) entered the house from rear side of the house. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr Kamal Kumar Sahani of Plot No. 48, Industrial Area, Phase I, has reported to the police that 92 truck tyres were stolen from the plot on the intervening night of October 31 and November 1. A case has been registered in this regard.

Chander Singh alias Mukhi of Bapu Dham Colony was arrested allegedly for stealing rickshaw-rehri of Krishan Lal of the same area. The police said the rehri had been recovered form his possession. He was booked under Section 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Dariya village has reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH01 H 0683) was stolen from his residence on the night intervening October 31 and November 1. A case has been registered.

One arrested: Hukam Singh of Ambala Cantonment was arrested allegedly for carrying liquor in an unauthorised manner here yesterday. Two cartons of liquor were also allegedly recovered from his possession. He was booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

Charas seized: The Barara police seized 450 gm of charas from two persons on Friday. The police nabbed them near the Sadhora road at Barara. The two persons, Sheesh Pal and Man Raj, have been arrested.

They were produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate here today who remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days. The police has registered a case under the NDPS Act.

Theft: Some unidentified persons stole jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh from the house of Vijay Sharma at Mulana here today. The theft came to light in the morning when the family members found the almira of one of the rooms broken.



Crystal replaces steel utensils on ‘Dhanteras’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
It is not only the steel utensils that are purchased on “Dhanteras” but glassware and costly crockery items are also hot favourites as these have replaced steel and brass utensils in most of the homes. The market experts say unlike in the past, the people are buying utensils for personal use and to offer as gifts to their friends and relatives.

A visit to the market revealed that there was a heavy rush at the crockery shops in Sectors 7, 22, 35, 46 and other markets today on the occasion of “Dhanteras”. People were seen buying crockery items. Dealers had also offered discount, exchange offers and freebies to mark the occasion. Mr Surinder Sharma, in Sector 46 rehri market, said: ‘‘Most of the people buy only one or two utensils of steel and ask for unbreakable dinner-sets, lemon sets and other glassware. Since most of the households have already sufficient steel utensils, these are bought only as a ritual by several persons. Companies also offer new products to boost sales.’’

Earlier, people in villages used to buy earthenware on the eve of Divali, the day known as “Dhanteras”. However, with the passage of time, they started buying brass items, and later steel ones. However, nowadays even steel has been replaced by other costly metals. Some people even buy silverware, crystal bowls and glasses. According to market experts on this single day, the utensil dealers in the region sell crockery worth more than Rs 500 crore.

Mr Subhash Sharma of Krishana Crockery, says: ‘‘This year the sale of glassware has picked up since most of the companies have introduced new multi-utility products. People are even buying rice cookers, pressure cookers, toasters and other kitchen items.’’


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