Thursday, December 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Traders create hell on highway
Explosive used to disperse mob; 8 hurt
Tribune Reporters

Case against former Mayor

Cases were registered against five persons, including a former local Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, on the charge of rioting, blocking traffic, causing injury and obstructing a public servant from performing his duty. The cases under Sections, 147, 149, 332, 341 and 353 of the IPC have been registered against Mr Goyal, the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Mr Jagdish Arora, Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, Mr Mahavir Prasad and Mr Subhash Kataria. The police had been searching for the five traders till late today.

Chandigarh, December 4
Thousands of commuters on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road were delayed for more than three hours today when a section of local traders blocked the road in protest against the amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restrictions Act of 1949.

Long queues of vehicles were seen on the busy road. The police had to use a special plastic explosive to disperse the traders, as the water cannons were out of order today. In the process, eight persons were injured, including three traders, one passerby and four policemen. The names of the injured policemen are Sub Inspector Mr Mohinder Singh and constables Ms Veena, Mr Suresh and Mr Ishwar.

The blockade began early today, following which, the police rushed in extra force to tackle the situation. Senior police officials, when faced with a malfunctioning water cannon, decided not to use the tear gas, as it would have caused problems for road users stranded on both sides of the road. The Beopar Mandal, however, claims that its demonstration was peaceful.

The police, too, could have afforded a minute’s delay in taking the extreme action, as the road links Chandigarh, Panchkula, Shimla and areas critical to defence, like the Western Command headquarters at Chandi Mandir.

The blockade delayed ambulances, Armymen and persons heading towards hospitals, the railway station and offices, leading to flared tempers. This crowd included a large number of persons travelling down from Shimla and the other places. Everyday commuters who knew about alternative routes (the Golf Course road or via Zirakpur) were better off. At about 10.30 am, there was another traffic jam near Zirakpur when the rush of such road users clogged a narrow bridge near Zirakpur. The railway crossing had been closed to let the trains pass.

After the police dispersed the protesters, they marched to the Sector 17 piazza and held a massive rally there, during which, the traders of the sector kept their shops closed. The traders raised slogans against the Chandigarh police and said the pressure tactics of the Chandigarh Administration would be opposed.


The Citizens’ Welfare Council of Panchkula has condemned the road blockade by protesting traders. Mr S.K. Nayar, president of the council, said everyday commuters had faced a lot of inconvenience in travelling to Chandigarh from Panchkula. Even ambulances were not allowed to pass.

A number of office-goers got stranded and reached their offices three hours late. Even the Zirakpur road got choked, as commuters began using it as an alternative route. There was hardly any traffic police on the Panchkula-Zirakpur national highway.



Blockade by traders draws flak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The blockade of the Chandigarh-Panchkula road by a section of traders this morning came under criticism from various bodies while the Property Owners Welfare Association (POWA), at its meeting, said it strengthened, the hands of the Chandigarh Administration by maintaining peace.

A meeting of POWA was held today to discuss the kind of pressure tactics being adopted by the tenants of the city under the aegis of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. After the burning of the effigy of the UT Administrator, the mandal, much to the inconvenience of the public at large, blocked an entry point to the city to give a fresh lease of life to the agitation, which had been fizzling out.

The motive of the agitators was to cause inconvenience to the public at large rather than to be symbolic in raising their protest as they blocked the strategically busy road. The members termed the step as unjustified, irrational and undemocratic.

Majority of the members belonging to various welfare bodies of the city and UT villages, those were present in strength, suggested for counter- action by POWA by arranging rallies and Bandhs. Giving statistical details of the strength behind POWA, members were of the opinion that the association was backed by the majority of the population of city and it was equipped and empowered to counter such tactics.

The president of the Pind Bachao Committee, Mr Agrez Singh Badheri, proposed to bring thousands of tractors in the city markets to snub these elements.

The president of the Sector 21 Citizens Welfare Association, Mr P.C. Sanghi, was also critical of the propaganda and the agitational approach of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. He urged the Administration to declare such steps illegal. Representatives of various ex-servicemen welfare bodies present in the meeting also put their weight to take a decision to confront the agitation.

However, a majority of the participants attending the meeting were of the view that it was the duty of the Administration to tackle any untoward incident created by the agitators. Without coming into unnecessary confrontation, we should strengthen the hands of the Administration by helping to maintain peace, law and order in the city, POWA felt.

Mr Amit Tayal, president of the UT Villages Property Owners Association, appreciated the attitude of the Chandigarh Administration. He appealed to the mandal not to indulge in such activities. He further said if the mandal wanted a 72-hour bandh call, it could do so, but blocking roads was not their right.

Meanwhile, the New Beopar Mandal said the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal had lost its way and had become politically inclined.



Serial burglaries in city again
Night patrolling comes under focus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Within seven days of daring serial burglaries at 10 shops in three southern sectors, burglars broke into four shops in Sector 43 in the wee hours of this morning and decamped with items worth Rs 75,000, including cash.

The burglars made futile attempt to break in another shop in Sector 43 and two shops in Sector 44 — all shops had central locking. A police team manning a PCR vehicle in Sector 43 saw a person running, but could not chase him. It is being suspected that it might be one of the burglars who was escaping on seeing the PCR vehicle.

According to information available, four shops — Avinash Store, Gurmeet Electronics, Vadehra Store and Sahni Confectionery — were targeted by the burglars. Mr Arvind, owner of Arvind Store, said he was informed about the burglary by his milkman at around 3.30 am. Compact dics (CD’s) and other electronics items worth Rs 50,000 were stolen from Gurmeet Electronics. The police has registered two separate cases of burglaries.

It appears that the same modus operandi was used in the burglaries as had been used in the last incident. As per police sources and the shopkeepers, the thefts took place some time between 1 am and 2.30 am today.

Police suspects that burglars seemed to have spread into three groups to strike at different locations at the same time.

The burglaries have taken place even as night patrolling has been intensified following the last serial burglaries. Sources in the police said the police stations were woefully short of beat staff resulting in deteriorating law and order situation.



Project to recycle waste into cooking gas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
A project has been chalked out for Chandigarh to recycle all its waste into cooking gas. Efforts are on to set up this project at the earliest to deal with the bio-degradable waste of the city in a scientific manner. This was announced by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), on the occasion of inauguration of a Sehaj Safai Kendra in Sector 27-A today.

Emphasising upon the need for scientific management of the waste and terming it as the challenge of the century, General Jacob appreciated the efforts of the UT Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, in taking an initiative for setting up such kendras by involving residents’ welfare associations in the task of waste management. The Administrator said it was necessary to maintain the character of the city as it had been ranked the top most city with respect to infrastructure and clean surroundings.

He said the establishment of sehaj safai kendras and khad banao kendras had provided an ideal opportunity to residents to join in the effort of handling solid waste in the city. General Jacob said the Administration had taken an initiative for starting waste management and converting waste to wealth in General Hospital, Sector 16, Government Medial College and Hospital, Sector 32, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Punjab Engineering College and Food Crafts Institute. Other colleges were likely to follow suit, he said.

The Administration and the Municipal Corporation had started waste management centers in Sectors 15, 8, 21, 41, 33, 36 and 38 (West). The police colony, Sector 26, had done a good job in this regard and Sectors 18, 28 and 43 were also joining the movement.

Urging citizens of the city to join in the door-to-door collection being organised by the Municipal Corporation and the Administration, General Jacob said the people should ensure that they dump garbage only in the designated waste management centres or safai kendras, which could be specially built for them at convenient locations.

General Jacob said the establishment of such kendras would ultimately make it possible to have a garbage-container free sector. The residents, through welfare associations, would bring garbage to the respective kendras from where segregation, as well as treatment, would be done. Earlier, the Director Environment, Mr Ishwar Singh, said in the second phase, 19 more kendras were being constructed in various sectors, resettlement colonies, like Mauli Jagran and Vikas Nagar, rural areas, including Khuda Lahora, and institutions. More and more resident welfare associations and institutions were now coming forward to start this project in their localities.

From the grants released by the Environment Department, CAWEDS had distributed 31 cycle-carts to the resident welfare associations, the institutions and NGOs to carry waste from houses to safai kendras. The lcoal MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, had agreed to release Rs 4 lakh to CAWEDS from the local M.P. area development fund for purchasing of 50 more cycle-carts for the resident welfare associations and the institutions.



Manoj Bajpai: the star in the reckoning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Sun or shade, Manoj Bajpai has never lost sight of the ground he is walking on. Taking life a day at a time, he has filled moments with improvisations, which come to him naturally, groomed as he has been in active theatre for 11 years.

Bajpai has remained so smitten with acting that he has always created slots for himself. He made room for growth during his association with theatre in Delhi, enhanced his skills further by doing street theatre and finally hit the world audience with his absolute control over the medium. ‘Satya’ proved his mettle beyond doubt. The subsequent Ram Gopal Verma films,‘ Shool’, ‘Kaun’ and ‘Road’ underlined it.

In the city today for the shooting of LOC, in which he plays Joginder Singh Yadav, Manoj Bajpai bared his heart. Unlike many stars, who have really learnt to act pricey (whether or not they have learnt to act!), Manoj made himself available, talking at length about acting, which is the purpose of his existence.

“ I act because I want to. There is nothing else I can do. Today I am into films, trying to experiment with the elements of acting which I believe in, playing roles that challenge my substance. Tomorrow I may not succeed here. Then I will go back to streets with my plays or join theatre. The bottom line is that I will act in any given situation. There is nothing else I can do,” he said.

After doing justice to the Shyam Benegal directed ‘Zubeida’, Manoj is looking for better, more challenging roles. ‘Road’ was one such role, which helped him portray various shades to the same character.

“‘Road’ was stylish. It offered immense professional satisfaction. Moreover, I have never evaluated my success in terms of box office reviews. For me, the freedom to live life in one's own way is the real success. Also it is important that I strike my target the way I want to. I never compromise on the ethics and the aesthetics of acting, which is a passion for me,” he said.

From ‘Satya’ to ‘Road’, Manoj has learnt to channelise his energy well. “Now I don't waste energy. I know when and how to strike the right chord,” said the actor, who was given the National Citizens Award for this year by the President of India.

On the professional front, Manoj is satisfied with what is coming his way. He rates his association with Ram Gopal Verma as heartening. “Ramu always contributes to the movies he makes. He is a renowned director whose ability cannot be questioned and who has the power to draw the audience on his own.”

Always comfortable with Verma, Manoj feels that there can be no recipes for success. Despite commendable performances in Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘Bandit Queen’ and now in ‘Zubeida’, success is still evading him. But as he defines success differently, he has no hopes lost. “Everyone has his own targets and his own way of journeying towards them. Success is very personal issue. I my view you are successful only if you have accomplished the goal the way you wanted to.”

With faith in his armour, Manoj has a long way to go...



Living on her terms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
For some reason, Mahima Choudhary cannot stop smiling. No matter how caught up with care her surroundings are, this actress manages to make room for happiness on her face. That is the greatest virtue she possesses. At least, so thinks the mother of this actress, who lives life at her own terms, selects roles on her own will and analyses results of her own accord.

After a string of aggressive roles in ‘Daag, The Fire’, ‘Ye Dil Kya Kare’ and a couple of other films, Mahima made a fresh presence in the audience’s heart with her latest portrayal in ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’. But the actress is quick to admit, “I am not so soft-spoken, so feminine and so giving as the role makes me out to be. In real life, my priorities are very important to me and I do not succumb to pressure when it comes to making my dreams come true. I make my own decisions. Although in the selection of films, my mother helps me a lot.”

Accompanied to the city by her mother, Mahima has to shoot for LoC from tomorrow. She has been cast opposite Manoj Bajpai, who plays an Army officer in the film. All praise for Bajpai’s stable mindset and his gradual growth as a character, Mahima says, “He is a very mature actor. The way he creates space for a plain dialogue in the script is amazing. I think Manoj is a great actor, who must have got his due place in the industry. He has amazing talent, which needs to be bared.”

Working with Manoj in Partho Ghosh’s ‘Panchhi’, Mahima is eagerly a waiting the growth of the story. “It talks about the very mundane things in life. It bares the struggle of people who enter Mumbai with a hope to make it big. Some succeed, and others keep stumbling. In the backdrop of a demanding social set-up, the romance between the two characters seeps in. The following tale is all about how love makes way for itself, despite the pressure of society,” says Mahima, recently in the city for the shooting of ‘Sarhad Paar’. She has three more movies lined up — ‘Hum Do Hamare Ek with Govinda, ‘Zameer’ with Ajay Devgan and ‘Dhaar’ with Dino Morea.

The latest in the line of her achievements, however, is her video for pianist and singer Adnan Sami, whose music Mahima adores. “There is something about his voice that touches your innermost self. It is so laced with pain and longing. I am very pleased to have done this video, which was premiered today by T-Series,” she says.



City least disabled-friendly
Tribune News Service


  • Railways, buses, aircraft should allow easy access for disabled
  • Sound signals should be installed at all traffic lights
  • Pavements on all the roads should be made wheelchair friendly
  • Guiding blocks for blind, sound devices for hearing impaired be provided
  • 3 % reservation in govt jobs; 3 % in educational institutions
  • 3 % of India's population has mental disability; 3 % has physical, sensory disability

Chandigarh, December 4
Seven years after the Persons with Disabilities Act came into force, things have changed little for the disabled in the city. Continuing to live on the fringes of society, the physically and the mentally challenged are still suffering, not just on account of their infirmities, but also on account of the lack of accessibility — something which had long before been promised to them by the law.

Although efforts in the direction of providing easy access to the disabled are going on at the level of the UT Administration, there is still a long way before the environment is made barrier free. After the Act was passed, building byelaws in the city were amended. Secretary, Social Welfare, informed that all public buildings to come up in the future will be made disabled-friendly. Also the department has constituted an access audit committee, which goes round the city inspecting public buildings and suggesting measures to make them accessible to the disabled. Some government buildings have even been modified accordingly.

In the UT Secretariat, a ramp has been constructed in front of the lift; in the Chandigarh Housing Board building a ramp has been constructed in front of the reception to ease the movement of disabled. Although steps are being taken, the disabled feel they need to be taken at a faster pace. Somnath, suffering from a spinal injury for 10 years, said, "Accessibility is a medium of integration. The city provides no access for the disabled. There may be ramps in some buildings, but most public utility offices are inaccessible."

Sources added that some of the public buildings were yet to be inspected and modified. Said an official, "We are progressing gradually by creating awareness in this direction. We are implementing the Disability Act. The National Programme for Rehabilitation of Disabled is also being implemented. Camps for early detection and cure of disabilities are being organized, apart from the work on the genetic laboratory, to come up in Government Hospital, Sector 32."

As of now, the law is being followed partially. In the city there is reservation for the disabled in government jobs and educational institutions. Commercial sites are being provided to them at concessional rates. But a lot more laid down under the law is yet to be implemented. Secretary, Social Welfare, UT admitted the need to make public transport disabled friendly. He said, "Either ramps have to be provided in bus stand areas or some kind of attachment has to be provided with the bus itself. Also, new vehicles have to be so made that those with clippers can climb with ease."



Race to remember Babaji ka biplane
Tribune News Service


  • Chandigarh to be a starting point for the national Air Race on November 20, 2003.
  • Any Indian national with licence and aircraft can participate by paying a token fee of Rs 5,000. All other expenses are to be borne by the organisers .
  • Entries close July 30, 2003.
  • The Chandigarh chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India, the organiser, can be contacted at 0172-659434 and 684313 (email:
  • Details of the race available on the website
  • The race will mark the centenary of the first flight by the Wright brothers.

Chandigarh, December 4
A first-of-its-kind air race — to mark the centenary of the first ever aeroplane flight made in 1903 in the USA — will start simultaneously from four places in the country and Chandigarh is the north-India starting point. The other three locations are in east, west and south India.

The chairman of the Chandigarh branch of the Aeronautical Society of India, Air Commodore S.B. Prashar, announced the plans for the race here yesterday. The other starting points of the race are Barrackpore near Kolkata, Goa and Bangalore. The race will end at Nagpur. The race will be spread over three days, from November 20 to 22, 2003.

The race is open to general aviation and military aircraft. The four categories are as follows: light aircraft, including microlights and powered hang-gliders with weight under 1,000 kg; helicopters; medium aircraft with weight between 1,000 and 2,500 kg; and heavy aircraft with weight between 2,500 kg and 5,700 kg. Navigation routes have been worked out with lengths suited to different categories of aircraft. There will be two night halts en route. Each aircraft will be timed for a set course after take off till its arrival at the landing bases. Aircraft with the best ground speeds will be declared winners.

For aircraft taking off from Chandigarh, the route will be as follows: helicopters, light and medium aircraft — Chandigarh, Hindon and Agra for the night halt, the second day at Agra, Khujraho and Gwalior for the night halt and the third day at Gwalior and Bhopal before finishing at Nagpur. The course length will be 860 nautical miles. The route for heavy aircraft will be as follows: Chandigarh, Jaipur and Chakeri (Kanpur) for the night halt, the second day at Chakeri, Gorakhpur and Gwalior for the night halt, the third day at Gwalior and Indore before the final stop at Nagpur. The course length will be 1,370 nautical miles.

“All these routes have been planned keeping in mind the flight corridors of various commercial airlines,” says the secretary of the society, Wing Commander D.P. Sabharwal (retd).

Entries close on July 30, 2003. A web site ( contains all updated information on the contest, for which, a token entry fee of Rs 5,000 is being charged. However, all expenses on accommodation, fuel and food will be borne by the society. The race is open only to Indian nationals. Regarding the security aspect, Air Commodore Prashar said various agencies would screen all participants and all participants would have to be certified by the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Wing Commander D.P. Sabharwal (retd) said: “On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first manned, sustained and controlled flight in North Carolina in the USA. Neither of the brothers was technically minded, but they managed the flight still. The historic flight lasted 12 seconds. The machine rose 12 feet and came to rest about 120 feet from where it had lifted. Today, this may seem inconsequential, but imagine this happening 100 years ago.”



Housing planning must be user-friendly’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
“Housing planning needs to be user friendly” commented Dr Graham Tipple, Director, University for Architectural Research and Development Overseas, University of New Castle upon Tyne, UK, while delivering a talk on the topic “User transformation of formal housing — way forward for obsolescent neighborhoods,” at British Library in Sector 8, here on Monday.

Saying that people loved to alter and extend their homes, even government -built houses, Dr Tipple added that this ‘transformation’ phenomena was a common problem in many developing countries where occupants made unauthorised but quite considerable changes and extensions to their dwellings for their own use as well as renting purposes. With a slide show, Dr Tipple spoke on such constructions in four countries — Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Dr Tipple, with his experience from working in Zambia, India and Ghana, is an authority on housing policy and supply issues in developing countries, housing provision and employment generation, home-based enterprises and homelessness in developing countries. He has worked on a number of projects in India and is joint author of “Housing the poor in the developing world : methods of analysis, case studies and policy.”

The seminar was organised by Association of British Scholars, Chandigarh. About 50 members of the association and architects from the city attended the talk.

Introducing the guest speaker Mr D.V. Bhatia, president of the association, said that this organisation, which came into existence about two months back, provided a platform to the alumni of various UK-based educational institutions residing in the North India, to come together and also promote better Indo-UK relations. The Chief Architect, UT Administration, Mr M.N. Sharma presided over the seminar.



Party in cool, verdant surroundings
Harvinder Khetal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
As you go around enjoying the hospitality of near and dear ones at parties hosted by them on various happy occasions and eating out, there comes a time when you are expected to celebrate in style — be it the marriage of your son/daughter or the birthday of your child, or, even a kitty party. And if you're the hi-fi boss of a company or an organisation, holding conferences and other official parties may be part of your job.

At such times, in true Punjabi hospitality and style, you want to give your guests a party that they will remember for a long time — for all the reasons, whether it be food, catering, music and venue. And as far as the last criterion — venue — is concerned, city residents have a new option to choose from.

Celebration Garden, a sprawling 3-acre farmhouse, has been thrown open to city residents, for renting out by Commander R.S. Gill (retd) and his son Ripdaman Singh Gill. Situated just 4 km from the PGI on the state highway in Mullanpur Garibdas, it offers a number of facilities. The retired Navy officer and winner of the Shaurya Chakra and Nao Sena Medal has converted his farm into a commercial venture for his hotel management and catering graduate son. Ripdaman also wanted to put his professional expertise to practice after having gained some experience in a five-star hotel.

The cool, green and verdant surroundings come as a fresh breeze, away from the concrete congestion of the city. The beautifully landscaped Celebration Garden overlooks the Shivaliks, with Kasauli lights visible at night and on clear rainy days. Ringed with bamboo pipal, teak and eucalyptus trees, the sprinkling of silver oaks and variegated shrubs and herbs lend serenity to the calm open atmosphere. Sitting under the shade of the tree with the bell on the tree chiming in rhythm with the wind, one gets a feeling of the village days that Grandma always talks nostalgically about.

The best part of this place, unlike similar resorts on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur road, is that it has a proper provision for parking more than 700 cars. You can enjoy the party, without having car-hit blues.

After assessing the needs, of both the guests and hosts, the Gills have come up with a number of attractive features. The mobile wrought-iron gazebos that can be placed anywhere in the garden, as per one's needs are available. Space has been earmarked to place swings and slides to keep the kids occupied as the elders catch up with the latest gossip and developments with friends and relatives.

Then there is a dedicated generator for uninterrupted power supply. So, no fear of a blackout. Similarly, a tubewell ensures non-stop water for irrigating the lawns and keeping the toilets clean. Commander Gill has taken special care to construct modern toilets covering an area of 900 sq ft. There are separate toilets for the kitchen staff.

Besides, powerful lights flood the area into daylight during night parties. And in case of inclement weather, the three halls (9000 sq ft, 4000 sq ft and 2250 sq ft) come in handy.

A two bedroom set is available at the venue for bridal make-up, rest etc, even as the scheduled lawn behind this set can be used perform the Anand Karaj ceremony, away from the hustle and bustle and drinking of the main party. Or, if you are particular about going to a gurdwara, there are a couple of them nearby.

So, decide upon your caterer, tent wala and decoration man, and call 98140-08630 if you want to host your party at this place.



Kapil Hotel to be made heritage spot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
For those who have grown up admiring the legendary cricketer in Kapil Dev, here is something to look forward to. In some months from now, the site of Kapil Hotel in Sector 35 will stand converted into a heritage spot, that will not only reflect a tasteful, ambience but will systematically reflect every milestone in the life of Kapil Dev.

For the first time in the region, any commercial site will be designed and developed into a “boutique hotel”. From the entrance and reception area right upto restaurant interiors, bar and lounges, the concept is being woven into one continuum of movement, which will provide a rich reflection and experience of the life of the cricketer, beginning with his early days at the sport until Wisden.

In charge of the project, which is extremely close to the hearts of Kapil and Romi Dev, is a city-based architect Ajai Johl, who talked to Chandigarh Tribune about modalities of the entire concept. He informed that Kapil’s trophies, equipment used in accomplishment of every important event in his life, the bat with which he scored 175 runs in a one-dayer and the ball which fetched him his 434th wicket will all be displayed in order to recreate the life of the cricketer.

In fact, all this morning, Kapil and Romi Dev were on the site, inspecting the development and the construction work which has already started. Romi Dev visits the city every week to add a personal touch to the project. She is also looking into the purchases of all paraphernalia that will be used to bring home the project. Mr Johl said the ambience will be an expression of the personality of the cricketer.

The most important of all features will be the diversity and versatility of the boutique hotel. “The same is being achieved in a variety of ways, in the use of materials, colour, lighting, display, pictures etc,” informed Mr Johl.

Every room is being further designed and furnished personally and differently in a manner that it signifies and depicts a specific milestone in Kapil’s life — from his win at Sharjah, his fastest 50 to his maximum test wickets. All interior elements — furniture, fittings, decor, lighting and accessories, will be in sync with the particular event being depicted.

A special suite designated as Kapil’s suite is being designed and decorated as a replica of his own bedroom at home with a personal touch by Romi Dev. The idea is to recreate the true flavour of living the Romi and Kapil way. Mr Johl has spent hours interacting with Kapil and Romi to understand their personalities and handle the project in as personalised a manner as the couple wants. As for Kapil Dev, “he is very excited about the entire project.”



Rejected lover’ assaults girl on campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
A rejected lover, allegedly, lost his cool and slapped his object of desire, a student of the Department of English in Panjab University. The university has referred the matter to the sexual harassment committee led by the Dean University Instructions, sources say.

Himanshu Munjhal, the accused, a fifth-semester student in the Department of Laws, lives in Hostel Number 4. All efforts by the university to contact the boy in his hostel room have proved futile, following which, the university is likely to cancel his hostel admission if he continues to be an absconder, according to sources.

Sources also said that Munjhal had been trying since long to woo the girl, who had not been acceding to his proposal. In the fresh incident, the boy chased the girl in his car and banged it into the her car. When the girl talked back, the boy slapped her; it happened near the university library.

However, a friend of Munjhal, on the condition of anonymity, said the girl and Munjhal had been known to each other for some time and he alone was not to be blamed.



2 sustain burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, December 4
Two persons sustained burn injuries when a leaking LPG caught fire in a STD booth located on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road here yesterday afternoon.

Sources said that the victims, Mr Jagpal Singh and Ajay Kumar were inside the STD booth when the leaking LPG caught fire at about 5 pm. The STD owner had stored some LPG cylinders inside the booth, one of which caught fire leaving the two injured.

The injured were taken to the local Civil Hospital. Soon after the incident the fire engines were called which took about an hour to douse the flames. The police is investigating the matter but no case was registered.



2 held for threatening bhavan attendant
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
The police has arrested Surinder Singh, a resident of Sector 39, and Vijay Kumar of Sector 46 allegedly for threatening and locking the attendant of Jat Bhavan, Sector 27, Mr Sumer Singh, in a room. The incident took place on the night of December 2. The accused were later released on bail.

Injured: Mr Sanjiv Raina, a resident of Sector 38-West, was injured when the Maruti car he was driving was hit by an Ambassador car in Sector 35 here yesterday. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Poppy husk seized: The police arrested Chander Bhan, a resident of Muktsar, Punjab, from near the ISBT, Sector 17, yesterday and claimed to have recovered 25 kg of poppy husk from his possession. Chander Bhan, who has been booked under Section 15 of the NDPS Act, was later sent to judicial custody by a local court.

Theft: The Hero Honda motor cycle (PB65A 6582) of Mr Yogesh Sharma, a resident of Ropar district, was allegedly stolen from Sector 17 on December 2. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


Booked: The police has booked Ramesh Kumar, a truck driver, on the charge of disrupting normal flow of traffic near Shahpur village, by parking his truck on the road. He has been booked under section 283 of the IPC.

Burglary: The Sector 11 residence of Mr Zile Singh, was reportedly burgled by miscreants on the night of December 1. Gold jewellery and other valuables worth thousands of rupees were stolen. In another acse of theft, a motor cycle ( HR-61G- HQ- 3773-T) was reportedly stolen from outside Yavanika in Sector 5.



Woman blames husband for burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A 30-year-old married woman of Indira Colony, Mani Majra, was today admitted to the PGI with over 50 per cent burns. The woman, Shamima, in her statement before the Magistrate said her husband, Sharif Ahmed, and her brother-in-law, Sultan Ahmed, had set her ablaze after pouring kerosene on her.

The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against the two person. Enquires in the locality where the victim lives revealed that the relations between the couple were strained due to some property dispute in the family. The couple has three children — Ikram, Amir and Sabnam.

Mr Vishal, who saw the woman running out of her home after she caught fire, said, “ She came out crying that she had been set ablaze. We put a blanket on her and took to the hospital”. The daughter of the victim was sitting outside the house and her two other children had gone to school.



Charred body of Panchkula youth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Though the murderers of a youth whose charred body was found in the woods behind the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat yesterday are still at large, the police has identified the victim as Laxman, a man of Sector 19 in Panchkula.

Sources say that Laxman had been on drugs for over five years now and missing from home for three days when his body was found. Sources in the police say that some suspects have been tracked down in connection with the crime.

As of now, the police has not divulged any information about the suspects.



Bill payments are now just a mouse click away
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Here is some good news for the residents of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. No more sweating and swearing while standing in long queues to pay your bills for telephones, mobile phones, credit cards, insurance premiums. They have now become just a mouse click away., an incubated portal of the ICICI Group, today announced the launch of its online bill presentment and bill payment service in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. Now for the first time, the citizens of Chandigarh can get rid of the necessity of standing in long queues and remembering due dates for paying their bills. All of this can now be done easily, conveniently and securely over Internet through

The introduction of the service in City Beautiful has been facilitated in no small measure by the fact that outside the metros, Chandigarh has the highest Internet penetration in the country. There are as many as 56,000 Internet connections in Chandigarh and the number is rising every day, said Mr Bikramjit Sen, Chief Operating Officer, Billjunction Payments Limited, in a talk with TNS.

“With its launch in May, 2000, Billjunction has pioneered the online bill presentment and payment services in India. After the enduring and successful partnership with major utility service providers in the different cities, we are happy to extend this facility to the citizens of Chandigarh through,” Mr Sen said.

Billjunction has already tied up with BSNL, Chandigarh, Spice Telecom and HFCL Connect in the city. “We are in advanced stages of discussion with electricity service providers such as Punjab State Electricity Board, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited and Chandigarh Administration for electricity and water and we expect to tie up with them shortly,” added Mr Sen. Besides, the customers can also pay their LIC, ICICI Prudential, ING Vysya, Max New York Life Insurance Premium, ICICI Bank Credit Card bills and renew their Satyam ISP accounts as well.

The key value proposition of Billjunction is that it does not require a customer to open a bank account in any specific bank to avail of this service. Likewise, the customer is not required to have a credit/debit card to pay bills online. Billjunction uses RBI’s Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) mechanism to enable bill payments, hence bringing together various banks and utility service providers on the same platform to provide world-class service to customers.

To pay bills online, customers have to first register themselves with Billjunction offers different packages to suit the needs & requirements of the customer. These are: gold package Rs 149 for making payments of 30 bills (validity 1 year); supremo package Rs 119 for making payments of 20 bills (validity 1 year); optima package Rs 79 for making payments of 10 bills (validity 1 year).

Apart from freedom from queues in collection centers, Billjunction ensures that you do not miss due dates or lose any bill information. Billjunction informs you when a new bill arrives, sends e-mail reminders before it becomes overdue, and notifies you once it is paid. Billjunction is also your bill organiser. It gives you the status of all your bills on one page, and maintains online record of your bills.

It also provides facility of the advance scheduling for future payments. On successful bill payment, customers receive confirmation by e-mail and the payment details are stored in online archives. This service is also available to corporates and small and medium enterprises. These orgnaisations see a huge value in a service like this as they have a lot of routine and recurring bill payment requirements.

Today, Billjunction has grown to establish itself as the premier electronic bill presentment and payment service providers in India by virtue of its strong relationship with over 75 service providers. In two years, it has expanded its user base.



One of country’s 16 high streets plans to attract more visitors
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

THE shopping hub of the elite of the region wants to attract more of visitors offering them a changed look as the pie seems to be getting smaller with too many players entering the branded product market.

They are now trying to make the pie bigger so that the share for each of them increases.

Shopkeepers of this market made this effort by organising a gala post Divali shopping festival and planning one during the Christmas and New Year.

The monopoly of catering to the educated and moneyed elite of the period had given a boost to the growth of the market since early 1980s but the market strategies of the companies to explore the niche of this segment in interior Punjab are threatening to dent its pristine glory.

Mr Ramesh Kapoor of Trendsetters said in this top end segment of branded garments, the companies had now opened outlets in cities like Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. He, however, said the unique taste of the bureaucrats here had provided their collection again a niche for which the people come from outside also. Cities like Ludhiana had been liking gaudy colours while in Chandigarh there is not much of demand for these products.

Mr Kapoor who also sought to set a trend of starting an airconditioned garments showroom in Sector 17 in 1984, said the first year saw a lean period for them. But now most of shopkeepers here are doing "good" business despite lot of factors changing for the business.

Most of the traders in this part of the market are afraid following the notification for the withdrawal of the Rent Control Act with the business in the area being run by 95 per cent of tenants. However, good number of tenants in the market also own some property.

The market, which is now planning to elbow its competitors out, due it its virtual central location and size along with beautiful planning is thinking forward and has been engaged in developing it for the future with demands of better and customised infrastructure.

Mr Baldev Raj Gulati of the Raymonds outlet, one of the first ones to take on rent one of the first twenty shops built by the government as model ones, remembers that nobody was ready to come to the market when it was mooted in 1960. Mr Gulati said he had come to the city to listen to the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru from Ambala and settled in the city taking on rent a booth in Sector 22 on a rent of Rs 100.

The area has been attracting the highest number of shoppers, including the cash-rich Non Resident Indians and foreigners, who buy here in bulk due to comparatively cheaper rates.

The market boasts of being the biggest contributor of income and sales taxes in the city that has gone past Ludhiana in terms of collection of income tax.

Mr Gulati who took his shop on a rent of Rs 500 to Rs 525 from the government now pays Rs 35,000 and has reached an agreement of giving its owner, the government, Rs 52,000 per month after five years.

The shopping pressure from outsiders, who visit the city, and the busy people is such on the market that its team of managers asked its members to forego the lunch break. It had unsuccessfully tried to open the market on Sunday on the suggestion of the Administrator but the experiment seemed to have failed. Mr Kapoor said it could not succeed unless the entire market was opened on the day.

He said shopkeepers could also be persuaded to extend their period of operation if the need be.

With flights of Leh passing through, a large number of visitors here have also been those who are en-route the high altitude area.


  • Though paid parking has been introduced in the area but haphazard parking has been irritating visitors.
  • Upgradation of toilets is required and traders have been demanding toilet blocks on the pattern of the one made in Sector 34.
  • The market has been feeling the heat during the summer seasons due to the lack of green spaces in the open areas.
  • There is lack of seating arrangement in the open area.
  • The lighting arrangement on the backside of it has not been reliable.
  • The unpruned trees have made the lighting arrangement virtually ineffective.
  • Cycles are being parked on the space for pedestrians.
  • Public drinking water facility is insufficient.
  • The corridors of the markets are regularly encroached by venders.
  • Begging in the market has been proving to be an irritant to the people.
  • With the rent control notification likely to initially lead to a sharp increase in the rent, there is a need to allow shops on all floors of the market to improve supply in comparison to the demand.
  • Lighting arrangements have to be improved.
  • With the area attracting large number of visitors, an information centre to guide the people about the market as well as the city is required.



New-look Ambassador launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The central and state governments may have dejected the royal fleet of Ambassador cars long ago, but the flag ship company of the Birlas group — Hindustan Motors Limited — is determined to remain in business by giving a new look to the ambassador models, said Mr S. Sivakumar, regional manager (sales & service), HM Ltd, here today.

While launching the new model of Ambassador Classic 1800 ISZ MPFI, he said, “The all new power-packed Ambassador has come out with various new features in line with the competition and as per the requirements of the users. New features include power steering, moulded roof liner, remote shift gear mechanism (RSM), moulded seats, metallic colours and disc brakes. Standard models are also fitted with salisbury rear axle, company fitted airconditioner and tinted glasses. Priced at Rs 4.60 lakh, the standard model fitted with AC would be available in Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Pathankot.”

Mr M.P. Ahuja, territory manager (sales), said that despite a downfall in sales, the company was selling about 16,000 cars annually in the domestic market. The company has also introduced HT-MCV porter, HM-Pushpak with six and 10 seater, school bus, mini bus, ambulance and distribution vans as different variants of HM-RTV.

New therapy device

Quantterra, a leading Russian healthcare company, in a press note issued here today has announced the launch of its new therapy device. It claims that the device, priced at Rs 29,750, has been used worldwide to cure more than 200-odd diseases.


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