Tuesday, December 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The countdown begins; all set for New Year Eve bash
All decked up to go out
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, December 30
The dancing shoes are ready, the dark blue jeans are also pressed and hanging, ready to be worn on New Year Eve, along with short tops and danglers.

Girls, eager to dance on the floors in discotheques, after getting decked up for the occasion, are all ready to set the evening on fire. The process, however, was not so easy and they had to spend hours in beauty parlours today.

A number of youngsters visited the beauty saloons today to get “themselves pampered with professional help”. The reason behind this is not hard to see. “New Year Eve is just not about sitting in front of the television set,” says Sector 35 beauty saloon assistant Radhika. “Teenagers nowadays do not believe in staying back home,” she says. Radhika adds, “Invitation cards to celebrations are somehow not a problem for youngsters these days. Even if they are from not-so-elite strata of the society, they manage to get hold of the invites for dance parties. And then the preparations begin. Lycra tops are purchased, along with wide-leg jeans and high-heel boots. Clothes, however, do not , make much of a difference if you are not looking good. That is the reason why the kids rush to the parlours.”

Giving details, a Sector 47 beauty parlour owner Savita says, “Most of the clients are coming in to get their hair trimmed and blow dried, besides getting their eyebrows shaped and upper lips done. This is not all, some even go in for elaborate facials.”

Interestingly, girls are not the only ones going out to the beauty parlours. Even boys are visiting the saloons not only to get a hair-cut, but also facials and eye-brows done. Time is not all that the youngsters are spending. Getting rid of split ends costs Rs 60. For facials, they have to shell out anything between Rs 400 to 600 from their pockets.

“For December 31, I started saving my pocket money,” says model and college student Tanya. “I purchased a new pair of jeans, a new top and went in for beauty treatment.”

Bump and be bounced out
Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, December 30
All you hunks in leather jackets, do not put your arms around reed-thin strangers in micro minis twirling around the dance floors in discotheques on New Year Eve. If you act fresh or pick up a fight, bouncers will take no time to tackle you.

For combating hooliganism inside and outside the discotheques, the managements are posting bouncers in plainclothes.

They disclose that cops will also mingle incognito with the partying crowd, even gather information before ruffians indulge in “mischief”.

Confirming the presence of musclemen in plain clothes, Rajesh of a discotheque says, “Our boys will keep a regular vigil. They will also seek the assistance of the police”.

A senior police officer adds that cops will aid security guards and bouncers in case of an argument or a fight. “They will even help the guards in frisking visitors, besides looking for unclaimed vehicles in parking lots,” he adds.

The decision to deploy bouncers in the discotheques is significant as, according to sources, incidents of violence have been reported to the police in the recent past.

Another senior police officer reveals that a few years ago, a youngster had even pulled out a pistol after seeing the “girl of his desire” dancing with another guy.

Claiming arguments with the baton-yielding security guards to be common, the officer says several cases of drunken brawls in the parking lots in front of the discotheques have also come to their notice.

Just last year, two groups had clashed in a market place. The cops confirmed that the fight was an aftermath of an argument between the two gangs in a discotheque over a girl.

“Our aim is not to spoil the mood but to ensure against harassment,” says the officer.


Police arrangements to check hooliganism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
On the New Year Eve celebrations, hooliganism will tackled with be a strong hand. If required vehicles exceeding the speed limits would be challaned and breath analysers could be used to nail drunken drivers, said a senior official of the Chandigarh police.

The force has been asked not to disrupt the festivity spirit. But if the revellers indulged in rowdyism, the duty officers had been asked to used force. It has been seen in the past that young revellers speed their vehicles on the “geri route”.

According to information available, the traffic police would be deployed on the major roads leading to the neighbouring satellite towns. The traffic police has been directed to regulate traffic in the city, especially around the favourite spots of revellers. Over 800 cops of the Chandigarh police will be on duty.

As many as 72 places which include hotels, clubs and eating joints, have been identified where the force would be deployed in strength.


The Panchkula police too, has taken special initiatives to ensure that the New Year revellers do not interfere with the law. Special nakas will be put up all over the city and patrolling will be increased, said a spokesman of the police. Special bandobust will be made outside the Gymkhana Club and various other hotels of the township. The police will also not allow any DJ function or loud music to be played, unless prior permission has been taken from the administration.


With friends ... and family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Party hopping — that is what lawyer and real-estate consultant Amarjit Singh Sethi has in mind for the New Year’s Eve. Mr Sethi, a former member of the Advisory Committee of the Union Home Minister, first plans to visit his second home — the Chandigarh Club — on December 31, and, then, proceed to the Chandigarh Golf Club, before the grand finale at Nanda Farms with close relatives and friends.

He says: “I will leave for the Chandigarh Club at about 9 pm, where, I will spend some time with my friends. At about 10.15 pm, I hope to leave for the Chandigarh Golf Club, where my other friends will be celebrating. From there, I will push off to the farms of my brother-in-law for dancing my way into 2003.” Mr Sethi, also the general secretary of the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha, will seek the blessings of his mother before visiting a gurdwara to pray for peace and prosperity for the mankind.

Mr Tej Bans Singh Jauhar, popularly known as ‘Tejee’, will not be going from one bash to another. A renowned photo artist and social worker, Tejee will spend the New Year’s Eve with select friends and relatives at a “private get-together”.

He says: “I am extremely busy these days. My elder son’s wedding day is approaching and I am spending most of my time in preparing the guest list and other things. I just don’t have the time to move out of my house, so, I am making sure that everyone I wish to meet is there at the get-together.”

Besides listening to cool music after sitting near a bonfire, Mr Tejee will also spend some time in persuading his nephew living in the USA to get married and settle down. “These days, I have been attending one wedding after another, for professional reasons. Now, I wish to attend the marriage ceremonies of youngsters in my family, for personal reasons,” he says.


Revellers drop in from outside
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Singing sensation Jassi may fail to do in Ludhiana what bar tenders and disc jockeys from Delhi may succeed in doing here.

Though his performance in Ludhiana is expected to be a grand success, and tickets have been sold well in advance, Chandigarh is the “place to be in” for some of the tycoons on New Year Eve.

Little wonder, they will be driving down to the city in polished semi-limousines to twirls around dance floors, illuminated by colourful lights on December 31.

The effect of their enthusiasm is there for all to see. Some of the perpetually vacant rooms in city hotels have already been booked. They will soon be littered with luggage as captains of industries are expected to check in hours before the programmes commence.

This is not all. Barons from boomtowns all over the region, including Bathinda, Patiala and Abohar, are also expected to arrive in the city. Along with their families. Not only in cars, but also in tourist buses.

For revellers from other cities, special arrangements have been made by hotels in the city. Rooms have been spruced up and carpets cleaned. Bed sheets and pillow covers too had been changed.

Explaining the trend, Ludhiana-based computer dealer Sameer Narang, expected to check in in a hotel in Sector 10 here, says: “If we can pay Rs 500 for cutting foot loose on the dance floors illuminated by crazy lights at the techno beat of bhangra music played by a live band, we can very well spend another few hundred bucks for staying in Chandigarh. We just want the programmes to be good. You see, New Year Eve is the only time we indulge in ourselves. I think it’s justified”.

But what about the programmes at Ludhiana and other cities in the region? Aren’t they worth the money being charged by the organisers? “Oh, they are fine. It’s only that we want to celebrate the occasion in style,” Narang asserts.

Any way, those of you who still have not made up your minds, here is a comprehensive list of New Year destinations: The “Kambakht Ishq” girl Shraddha Pandit will be performing live at the Forest Hill Golf and Country Club.

Disc Jockey of international fame will enthrall revellers at the Chandigarh Club. You can also take home loads of attractive prizes, if you are lucky. CGA driving range is all set to create ‘Moonlight Magic’ with magicians, jesters and fire-eaters. Multi-cuisine dinner and rocking music will add to the charm.

At the DSOI, the celebrations are going to be different this time. On New Year Eve, a DJ will issue directions to the party. Giant screen will add to the electrifying effect.

If you can find someone to take you to the Chandigarh Press Club in Sector 27, do not miss the opportunity. A colourful cultural evening by renowned artists of the region will force you to get up from your seats and shake, rattle and roll into New Year.

A dance party is being organised at Hotel Shivalikview. Couples can enjoy the evening by pulling out Rs 1,400 from their handbags. Also see the bar tender juggle and set the counter on fire at Blue Ice in Sector 17. It is actually remarkable. You can also drink, dance and dine at Boon Docks in Sector 34. Bar tenders from Delhi will be doing flambe at Blues in the same sector.

Go to Eating Mall in Sector 35 for unlimited eating at limited price. You can further savour foot-tapping music and mood-enhancing drinks at Hotel KC Residency in Sector 35. Prashant’s Rhythm Divine from Delhi will usher in New Year, along with guests, at Classic Junction, also in Sector 35. TV artist Deepika will be the anchor.



Panchayat deals found ‘shady’
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Maloya Panchayat has received flak for its decisions like auctioning three shops below the market rent, selling sarkanda crop on 225 acres at just Rs 8,000 and hiring a lawyer at Rs 22,000. The shops were rented out at Rs 560, Rs 570 and Rs 580 per month, respectively.

The Panchayat passed several resolutions in the absence of quorum. The minutes seem to have been written in a hand other than that of the secretary of the Panchayat. The alleged irregularities have been brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, by the Panchayat Samiti chairman, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri. The DC is getting the allegations examined.

Mr Badheri found several shortcomings in the functioning of the Panchayat after he made a surprise visit to its office on November 28. He says in his report that the shops were auctioned at rates much below the prevailing market prices.

The Panchayat, on February 11, approved the expenditure on the construction of a dharmshala, but did not show itemwise amount spent on building material and labour.

On March 10, the Panchayat auctioned the contract for ‘hadda rori’ only at Rs 7,500 for the year 2002-2003. Other panchayats have shown higher earnings under this head, he says in his report.

The house-tax register is, allegedly, not with the Sarpanch. It has, allegedly, been taken away by the Panchayat Secretary.

On December 24, the Panchayat approved the auction of the building material of a dharamshala and the letter of approval was signed only by five members, which does not complete the quorum.

There is an undated Aam Ijlas resolution approving 12 proposals.

The January 31 resolutions regarding the hiring of a lawyer and the building of a village pond were passed in the absence of quorum. The minutes book had only three signatures.

A resolution for leasing out the Panchayat land to the Chandigarh Animal Welfare and Environment Development Society (CAWEDS) was passed on February 12 and only three members were signatories to it. According to the minutes book, a May 10 resolution regarding animal fodder has no signatory to it. There is also an undated resolution for the removal of encroachment.

There is a blank page in the book after the mention of resolutions passed between August 3 and September 3. The resolution regarding the ‘sarkanda’ sale is signed only by three members, which does not complete the quorum. Another resolution regarding ‘sarkanda’ auction, passed on November 16, has been signed by only one member.


Flyover on road to Panchkula approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The construction of a flyover at the Transport Area traffic lights on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road was approved by the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the Chandigarh Administration here today. The final approval, however, will have to come from the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), if the plans of beginning the work within the next few months are to materialise.

The flyover will have a clover-leaf design to enable traffic from all sides to get on and get off without obstruction.

A pattern like this exists for the flyover near the Inter-state Bus Terminus (ISBT) in New Delhi. The design enables any vehicle free access to the flyover. The project is expected to cost Rs 9 crore and take about 18 months to finish.

The design will include an underpass to the traffic lights at the railway station turn. Without this, the traffic lights will defeat the purpose of the flyover.

Traffic from Chandigarh, headed towards the railway station, will take left and, then, right to go under the existing road to reach the railway station.

Traffic from Panchkula will turn left and head for the railway station.

The design for the roundabout at the grain market will be changed, as the existing roundabout will, then, get crowded and become unable to accommodate the rush-hour traffic from Panchkula. Either the road will be widened by carving out slip roads or traffic lights will be installed there.

The second option was more likely to be exercised, said sources.


Ecstatic over Yuvraj, Mongia’s inclusion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The mood was cheerful among cricket enthusiasts of Chandigarh as two city lads — Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia — made it to the cricket squad for the World Cup to be held in South Africa in February. The team was announced this afternoon.

This will be the second time that two city boys will be participating the world Cup. The other time was in 1987 when Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma — both from Chandigarh — had played for the country.

Though India had lost the semi-final then, both did well and Yuvraj and Mongia will have a tough time matching the expectations of the fans and also the feats of Kapil and Chetan. Remember, Chetan took a hat-trick against New Zealand at Nagpur and Kapil was the captain of the side.

As the team was announced in the afternoon, Yuvraj’s coach, Sukhwinder Bawa, sent an SMS message through the mobile phone to Yuvraj, who is at present in New Zealand. He also sent out an SMS to Mongia. Even though the inclusion of Yuvraj was a foregone conclusion, Bawa says he was sure about Mongia’s inclusion also as he had been doing well on the domestic circuit and he was all set to find a place.

Former Test player and Yuvraj’s father Yograj Singh was calm as he said: “I would be happy when he goes out there and does well for the country. They should go and do well. Only then will I give my reaction.”

Right since this afternoon the phones at the cricket coaching centre, DAV School, Sector 8, have not stopped ringing with media men seeking reactions. Speaking to The Tribune on his mobile phone Dinesh Mongia said he was elated at his inclusion and said it was great feeling. When asked if he expected to be in the playing XI, Mongia said: “I cannot say at the moment as team combination is decided at the last minute.”


Punjab, Haryana, UT to have top-level changes
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Top-level changes in Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh are in the offing as a record number of senior IAS or IPS officers are either due for superannuation or complete their deputation periods during the first half of 2003.

While Punjab will have a new Chief Secretary, there will be a new Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Haryana. Chandigarh will get its new Deputy Commissioner before the end of the first quarter of the New Year.

Not only that, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and the Punjab Lokpal have their top positions vacant requiring the state government to appoint retired high court judges to head these organisations.

Interestingly, though the number of petitions and complaints received by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has been rising, the commission has been doing with an acting Chairman and a Member. All other positions are vacant. The commission is doing without a regular Secretary as the previous incumbent, Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, has gone on deputation to the Central Government.

Similarly, after the death of Justice D.V. Sehgal early this month, Punjab will have to look for his successor Lokpal also.

Punjab will witness a record number of retirements during 2003. In 2001, 11 senior officers had retired on superannuation. The number of such officers, who retired in 2002, is seven. But in 2003, 14 IAS officers would retire.

Interestingly, many of those retiring next year are on deputation with the Union Government. They are Mr Ashok Kumar Kundra, Ms Jyotsna Khanna, Mr S.K. Naik, Mr S.S. Dawra and Mr Rajendran Nair. On January 31 next year, when the present Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, retires, Punjab will have to chose whether to name his successor by recalling one of its senior officers on deputation with the Union Government or fill the slot from amongst those available in the state. In either case, the choice is limited.

The Punjab officers due to retire in 2003 include Mr Rajan Kashyap, Ms Ravneet Kaur, Mr Bhagat Singh, Mr Karl Reddy, Dr Brajendra Singh, Ms Daljit Jaijee and Dr Manmohan Singh besides five officers mentioned above who are occupying senior positions in the Union Government.

In Haryana, Mr M.K. Miglani, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, too, is due to retire on superannuation tomorrow. A number of names are in circulation as his successor.

Similarly, the extended deputation period of the Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, is also coming to an end. The names of certain officers, including Mr R.S. Doon and Deputy Commissioner of Faridabad, Anil Malik, are in circulation for inclusion in the panel to be sent to the Chandigarh Administration.

In Punjab, the police will witness a major reshuffle during the year. Mr S.V. Singh, Director-General of Police, Home Guards and Civil defence, is due to retire on January 31 while a month later, Mr B.P. Tewari, an Additional Director-General of Police, too, will retire. On July 31, the present DGP, Mr M.S. Bhullar, too, would superannuate.

Though the Chief Minister had announced publicly at Ludhiana some time back that Mr A.A. Siddiqui, OSD (Law and Order), would be the next DGP after Mr Bhullar retires, the state government will have to take a decision about officers senior to Mr Siddiqui.


Govt plans to increase water supply to Panchkula
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service


  • Four infiltration wells to be constructed on Ghaggar riverbed, which will discharge 30,000- 40,000 gallons per hour.
  • Check dam to be constructed on River Ghaggar at an estimated cost of Rs 11.50 crore
  • Three small dams to be constructed in riverbed.

Panchkula, December 30
Even as the proposal to get 18 cusecs of drinking water for the township from the Chandigarh Administration, under the Chandigarh Water Supply Augmentation Bhakra Main Line Kajauli scheme hangs fire, and the prohibitive cost of laying the pipeline from Chandigarh to Sector 1 here, the state government is now looking at other means to augment shortfall in water supply.

The state government has now decided to have infiltration wells in the riverbed of Ghaggar; construction of check dams and small dams; and lifting of water from Ghaggar for making use in existing canal-based waterworks in Panchkula; and, drilling of more tubewells in Ghaggar riverbed — in order to augment the water supply here.

A decision to this effect was okayed by a high-powered committee set up under chairmanship of the Financial Commissioner and the Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning, regarding improvement of drinking water supply scheme. At present daily drinking water requirement of Panchkula city, including Panchkula Extension and Mansa Devi Complex, is of the order of 78. 27mgd and the present availability of water is 27.48 mgd. Thus there is an additional daily requirement of 50.74 mgd.

Since there is no natural source of drinking water for township , drinking water supply here is mainly through tubewells. A large number of tubewells here have dried up over the past five years and water-table is declining rapidly.

It has now been decided to supplement water supply having infiltration wells in Ghaggar riverbed and using water flow in River Ghaggar during dry season as raw water, which will be treated before supplying to the town. It is estimated that these infiltration wells will deliver a discharge of 30,000 to 40,000 gallons per hour.

While the Haryana Urban Development Authority has already deposited Rs 1 lakh with the Irrigation Department for carrying out a survey for construction of check dam on Ghaggar at the cost of Rs 11.50 crore, which will benefit the Forest Department, the Irrigation Department and the Tourism Department, besides increasing water supply to the town. Three smaller dams are also proposed to be constructed at a cost of Rs 38.50 crore.

Meanwhile, a meeting to discuss the release of water from Kajauli water works is scheduled for January next year. Sources inform that size of pipeline to be laid from Sector 39 water works in Chandigarh to Sector 1 here, will also be discussed. The present size of laying pipeline is too big in diameter and thus the prohibitive cost of laying the pipeline. Sources say the state government is skeptical of investing Rs 100 crore for the pipeline, in order to get its share of 18 cusecs of water from Bhakra main line scheme. A total of 60 million gallons of water is pumped up from Kajauli daily. At present all this water is being used by Chandigarh and SAS Nagar. As of now three pipelines have been laid and fourth one is nearing completion, thus Panchkula’s share is now 12 cusecs.


30 withdraw candidature in Panchkula MC poll
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 30
More than 30 candidates today withdrew their nomination papers for contesting the forthcoming municipal council elections here. As many as 199 candidates in 31 wards are in the fray now.

The office of Sub-divisional Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer, Mr Inder Singh, saw hectic activity since morning. The candidates who had to withdraw their papers began arriving since 10 am. While a number of candidates, who withdrew their papers were covering candidates, a number of others too decided to opt out, especially in the two wards covering Indira Colony and Rajiv Colony.

Mr Hemant Kinger, an independent candidate from Ward 26, which is considered an important ward because Ms Seema Chaudhary, an INLD supported candidate and wife of state secretary of the INLD is in the fray here, today said he had withdrawn his nomination in protest against large-scale fake votes being detected there. He alleged there were about 900 bogus votes and 500 votes of residents living here had not been prepared to favour Ms Chaudhary.

The election symbols, were also allotted in the evening and the allotment of symbols began at 3 pm and continued till late in the evening. While BJP candidates are fighting on the party symbol, candidates supported by the INLD and Independents have been allotted different symbols.

Interestingly, the rising sun remained the most popular symbol with candidates fighting it out to get it. Other symbols including umbrella, train, leaves, telephone, table fan, ceiling fan , lamp, lantern, bulb, lock and key, bicycle, car, scooter , frock, and hand pump.

Later, a delegation led by Mr Sham Lal Bansal of the BJP gave a memorandum to the Returning Officer against the allotment of Red Rose as a symbol to certain candidates, as it closely resembled Lotus, election symbol of the BJP. They made a special mention of Ward 26, where Ms Seema Chaudhary had been allotted Red Rose.

Meanwhile, electioneering is catching on in most wards with nukkad meetings and door-to- door campaigning going on in full steam. Ms Rekha Sharma, BJP candidate from Ward 10, said she had completed her door-to-door campaigning and Mr Pawan Kumar Garg, an Independent from Ward 6, too, said he had finished with the first phase of campaigning.

The number of candidates contesting in each ward are: Ward 1 ( 4), Ward2(5), Ward 3 ( 6), Ward 4(4), Ward 5(8), Ward 6 (10), Ward 7(4), Ward 8(10), Ward 9(7), Ward 10(7), Ward 11(8), Ward 12(12), Ward 13(8), Ward 14( 9), Ward 15( 4), Ward 16( 15), Ward 17 ( 10), Ward 18(6), Ward 19( 6), Ward 20( 5), Ward 21(8), Ward 22 (7), Ward 23( 3), Ward 24( 4), Ward 25( 4), Ward 26(2), Ward 27( 5), Ward 28(7), Ward 29( 2), Ward 30(6), and Ward 31( 3).


Vyanjan-2002 held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
From vegetable fish to pumpkin kheer, the exhibition hall of Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management in Sector 42, venue for the cooking contest Vyanjan—2002, was filled with mouth-watering dishes presented by about 100 participants, here today. It was organised by Bharatgas in collaboration with The Tribune.

The contest was organised under two categories, vegetable snacks and Kheer. Contestants of each category came up with new innovations, both in ingredients and presentation, blending tradition with contemporary style.

“This contest has been organised to give a forum to housewives who can show case their talent before a wider audience,” said Mr P.C. Srivastava, Regional Manager, northern region, Bharatgas.

Another major aim of Vyanjan — 2002 was to propagate correct handling of LPG, achieved by live demonstration and interactive session, besides an on-the-spot quiz contest which was open to all. “Creating awareness about using the LPG in the urban and rural areas and demonstration on correct handing are regular features of Bharatgas, said Mr Srivastava.

About introducing the LPG in the rural areas of the north, Mr Srivastava said since April, when Bharatgas introduced nine rural marketing vehicles to refill cylinders in the rural areas of Punjab, the use of 5 kg cylinders had gone up tremendously.

The contest was free for Bharatgas consumers and Petrocard holders. About 1000 entries were registered out of which 120 were screened by a selection committee.

The contest was judged by Mr Naveen Nanchal, Director of the institute and Mr T.K. Rajdan, head of the Food and Beverage Department of the institute.

Ms Neeru Nanda, Advisor to the Chandigarh Administration, who was the guest of honor, gave away prizes to the winners.

Following are the winners of the contest: vegetable snacks — Ms Gurinder (I), Kanchan Sharma (II), and Neelam Aggarwal (III); kheer — Surjit Kaur (I), Renu Sood (II) and Surinder Kaur (III).


Parishad exhorts people to donate eyes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP) has set itself a target of reducing the number of blind persons in the country, which stands at 1.3 crore at present, by motivating people to donate eyes.

Addressing the third zonal conference of the Bharat Vikas Parishad here on the concluding day yesterday, Dr K.L. Passi, chairman, zonal organising committee, said the parishad would motivate people to donate eyes to reduce the number of the blind in the country.

The theme of the two-day regional conference was “Country gives us all that we need, let us learn to repay.” Mr S.P. Narula, zonal organising secretary of BVP, said the eye bank of Faridkot Medical College was run by the BVP and in the last two years 107 eyes had been donated and 97 of them successfully transplanted. He said in Palampur the parishad was supplying oxygen cylinders, free of cost, to the poor. Mr Narula said a diagnostic centre was operating on charitable basis in the Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24 here.

The all-India secretary, Zone-1, Mr R.P. Gupta, said about 1 lakh students took part in the essay-writing competition in Guru Tegh Bahadur Balidan Divas project. The BVP all-India secretary, Mr Y.P. Gupta, said 25,000 disabled people had been distributed artificial limbs apart from computer education in 30 punarvas centres all over the country under the Viklang Punarwas Yojna.

Capt G.S. Dhillon, Principal, Dalhousie Public School, was the chief guest at the conference. Mr Harbilas Bansal, zonal sewa pramukh, conducted the conference. Presiding over the mahila session, Ms Meena Aggarwal said women should get involved in the parishad’s sewa and sanskar projects. A national committee of mahila sahbhagyata had been formed in the parishad, Mr Varinder Sabharwal, chairman of the committee, said.


A military academy with many distinctions

THE Indian Military Academy (IMA) that trains cadets to become officers in the Army has a unique history. In the 70 years of its existence, more than 50,000 cadets have been commissioned from the IMA.

Though started in Dehra Dun on October 1, 1932, it was formally inaugurated on December 10, 1932, by Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode, a passage from whose address became the credo of the academy. From the first batch that passed out in 1934, three officers — Sam Manekshaw, Smith Dun and Mohd Musa — rose to become the chiefs of their armies, India, Burma and Pakistan, respectively.

On the realisation of the importance of the inter-dependence of three services in the World War II, an Inter-Services Wing to train cadets together for the Army, Navy and the Air Force was started in 1949. While the Military Wing continued to stay put in the present location, the Inter-Services Wing came up at Clement Town. Then the Inter-Services Wing became Joint Services Wing (JSW) and the first JSW course passed out in December 1950. And in December 1954, the JSW moved to Khadakvasla. After changing a few names over the years, the Military College was renamed in 1960 as the India Military Academy.

An important feature of its golden jubilee celebrations in 1982 was that Lt-Gen J.S. Arora, who was GoC-in-C Eastern Command at the time of Bangladesh war, was presented the revolver of Lt-Gen A.A.K. Niazi, who had surrendered as the overall commander of the erstwhile East Pakistan Forces to General Arora.

De-mining operation

Mines had to be laid over a vast area during the large-scale deployment for Operation Parakram. The farmers in the border areas have already suffered a heavy financial loss because of their land having come under minefields for about a year now.

The defusing and lifting of mines will take at least another six months. In every war or war alert, the people of the border states suffer a colossal financial loss apart from suffering human casualties. Not only that, the wars and alerts also render them homeless for months together. The financial compensation that they get for all this is never enough.

What the Army is trying to ensure is that the entire border area is not only made mine-free but a thorough re-check on this is also carried out by the Army engineers. The Western Army Commander, Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta, in an informal talk told this writer that the engineers were making it certain that all border areas are thoroughly cleared of minefields.

Indian National Army

The death anniversary of General Mohan Singh, founder of the Indian National Army (INA), on December 26 reminded one of the officers and men of the British Indian Army who revolted against the British and formed the INA.

Though the INA was raised and organised by General Mohan Singh, it was led by Netaji Subhash Chander Bose. Its formation came about after the allied forces surrendered to the Japanese on February 15, 1942.

Very few of the INA soldiers are alive today. One of them, Maj Jaswant Singh (retd), who is over 88 years, is living in Chandigarh. He joined the British Indian Army in 1937 and was taken prisoner of war by the Japanese in 1942. He joined the INA at the time of its raising. While fighting against the allied forces, he was taken prisoner in August 1945 and was declared a dangerous prisoner. After remaining in several jails, he was dismissed from service in “Black category” in March 1946.

When the ban on the INA was lifted after the Independence, Major Jaswant Singh joined the Indian Army in 1949 and retired in 1964. Though a disabled soldier, this freedom fighter is still quite active for his age.

NCC delegation

For the first time, a National Cadet Corps (NCC) delegation of two officers and 10 cadets was sent to Russia as part of the youth exchange programme. The delegation was invited by the Youth Affairs Department of the Ministry of Education, Government of the Federation of Russia.

During their stay in Russia, the member of the delegation interacted with the members of the First Cadet Corps of the Rescuers, youth organisations and dignitaries from Moscow. It was also a good opportunity for the cadets to visit various parts of the country and see places of interest. On their return, the members of the delegation called on Lt-Gen B.K. Bopanna, Director-General, NCC.

Pritam Bhullar


Jacob distributes blankets among poor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
As the city experienced one of the coldest days with the bone-chilling winter forcing people to stay indoors, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), was moving footpath-to-footpath looking for underprivileged people spending night in open. This is like an annual pilgrimage for him. He does it every winter and distributes blankets to the poor.

General Jacob, attired in a jacket and cap, was on a mission to provide some warmth to people sleeping in the open. Accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar, and a team of doctors he was waking up the people giving them blankets, getting them medically examined from a team of doctors and also offering sweets.

The poor people sleeping in the open could not recognise the Governor but they hurriedly grabbed the blankets and sweets. The Tribune talked to group of beneficiaries asking them who was the man who gave blankets. An old man replied: “Saheb naam to hame maloom nahi hai magar bhagwaan ke roop honge” (Sir, we do not know his name but he should be an incarnation of God).

Even as residents of Chandigarh were spending their evening in their cozy homes and city revellers were converging on restaurants and hotels planning their New Year eve function, General Jacob was moving from sector to sector and pavement to pavement looking for unfortunate underprivileged people who had no roof on their head.

The Administrator was particularly worried about the rising cases of tuberculosis in the city and the teams of doctors were identifying such cases, in a makeshift ambulance providing preliminary treatment to the detected cases and shifting serious one to a nearby hospital.

The Governor first reached Sabzi Mandi, Sector 26, and woke up rickshaw pullers and the labourers sleeping in thatched huts on a jute rags and offered them blankets. Soon the news of distribution of blankets spread an hundreds of people started gathering. The Governor asked people to remain patient and get the blankets and sweets in a queue. After distributing blankets in Sector 26, the Governor reached Sector 29 and found lot of rickshaw pullers sleeping in the corridors of shop-cum-flats.

After this, the Governor reached Sector 30 where he could find lot of people lying in open. As the doctors were busy examining people and distributing medicines, General Jacob was distributing sweets to small street children. Then the small convoy reached Sector 20 and finally over 100 blankets were distributed in Sector 19.

The team of doctors could diagnose over 43 cases of suspected tuberculosis, who were referred to Sector 22 tuberculosis clinic for further treatment and 103 patients were given medicines for other ailments.

General Jacob said he would like to give some warmth to unfortunate people lying in open in the city.

The DC, Mr M. Ramshekhar, informed that over 600 blankets were distributed to the poor.


Amarinder releases ‘Musharraf's War’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh released a book ''Musharraf's War'' written by Major-Gen Rajendra Nath (retd) at a simple but impressive ceremony here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Capt Amarinder Singh said that the author had made concerted efforts to bring out the book on a very sensitive issue of Kargil war in a lucid manner. He appreciated the content and style of the book and said that he had gone through the entire book and found it worth reading because it had a detailed account of the Kargil operation in its true perspective which proved to be a battle of Waterloo for General Musharraf.

Capt Amarinder Singh opined that the Pakistani Army should draw lessons from the consequences of the war and warned them not to interfere in the internal matters of India by constantly perpetrating cross-border terrorism. He also lauded the role of our brave soldiers for giving a befitting reply to the Pakistani Army by capturing the sensitive posts.

Major-General Rajendra Nath (retd) said that his book ''Musharraf's War'' dealt with Pakistan's aggression in the Kargil sector in 1999, Operation Badar, the code name given to the operation by Pakistan, followed the pattern set by Pakistan in the 1947-48 as well as in the 1965 Indo-Pak wars.

Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd) proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion. Prominent among the present on the occasion were Gen V.P. Malik (retd), Dr Meena Dutta, Senior Assistant Professor, Panjab University, besides senior retired officers of the Army. The foreword of the book has been written by General Malik, COAS at the time of Kargil war. 


DD Punjabi to telecast New Year Eve show
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
To pep up New Year Eve of tele viewers, DD Punjabi has come up with a programme ‘Hai Shava Baee Hai Shava.’ Which will be telecast on December 31 from 9.30 p.m. onwards. This one-hour programme promises complete entertainment, guaranteed to keep you glued to your TV set on New Year Eve.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Kanwar Iqbal, director and composer of the programme, said the programme had a galaxy of stars from the Punjabi music world, including Sardul Sikandar, Gurdas Mann, Gursewak Mann, Amar Noorie, Vinod Sehgal, Wadali Brothers, Sukhi Brar, Harshdeep besides new comers like Mitika Kanwar, Anupreet, Neeru and Sunita. The title song ‘Hai Shava Baee Hai Shava’ has been sung by Kanwar Iqbal, Sardul Sikandar and Amar Noorie.

Other attraction of the programme includes comedy, featuring Bhagwant Mann, Rana Ranbir, Jaspal Bhatti, Vivek Shauq and Gurpreet Ghuggi. The programme will be anchored by Sukhi Pawar and Vivek Shauq.

“The programme includes all new songs by the artistes and this is the first time in the history of Doordarshan that the audio-visual rights of the programme had been bought by T- Series for Rs 16.41 lakh,” said Mr Iqbal.

ZIRAKPUR: To attract crowds from Chandigarh and surrounding areas, owners of hotels and farms have organised a variety of entertainment shows for New Year Eve.

Organisers have decorated their establishments.

To make the shows more attractive, English, Punjabi, Hindi, Haryanavi and folk singers have been invited to entertain the crowds.



Councillors get funds for development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
MP Pawan Bansal here today announced distribution of Rs 7 lakh to each councillor for spending the amount for the development of their areas.

The announcement was made at the inauguration of the new lighting arrangement of the Sector 32 green belt. Mazdoor Sabha president Ram Avtar thanked Mr Bansal, Mayor Lalit Joshi, Commissioner MP Singh and Chief Engineer V. K. Bharadwaj for completing the work speedily. Lights were put up after an allocation of Rs 4 lakh from the MP Local Area Development Fund (MPLAD) was given by Mr Bansal. Councillors Pushpa Sharma, Shyama Negi, Geeta Chaudhary, Pardeep Chhabra, Kamlesh and Jitender Bhatia were present at the function.


Snow flakes and ice games
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Shimla is yet to receive snow, although it is New Year’s Eve tomorrow, but barely 20 km from Chandigarh, an amusement park has been having snow fall triggered by giant machines for the past 10 days. Teeny boppers have been going down the slopes on sledges at Fun City.

This amusement park has been creating real snow flakes. Ever since these machines have been switched on large areas of the amusement park have been covered with snowflakes. So powerful are the machines, that snow flakes fall all over the place within minutes. The ice games will continue at Fun City till January 19.

New Year’s Eve revellers can dance and feel the snowflakes all over even as the DJ comes up with some real fast numbers. For the kids there is a snow cave. And those who want to come down the slopes the special sledges are there.

If one wants to feel how it to be trapped in the Arctic, just walk into a special room and be caught in a specially created “blizzard”.



Nominated councillors hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Nominated councillors held a get-together to discuss the January 1 Mayoral elections here yesterday.

However, Dr K.S. Raju, who was convener of the nine-member group during the last Mayoral elections, said it was only a tea party and a meeting would again be held on December 31, a day before the election.

While Mr Sanghi said seven members attended the meeting, Dr Raju said there were only four members.

Nominated members had been asserting that they would not take any partyline and would go by the merit of the candidate. A nominated member said the Congress did not require any vote from the nominated block as it would only require 15 votes to win the election in the wake of impossibility of Mr C.K. Sawhney coming to India to vote. Akali Dal member Harjinder Kaur is in London. Mrs Amar Kulwant Singh is also said to be abroad.


Bhardwaj re-elected JD (United) chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Mr Surinder Bharadwaj was here today unanimously re-elected president of the Janata Dal (United).

This was announced here today by the state Returning Officer, Mr S.S. Bhatti, saying there was no nomination against Mr Bharadwaj. The meeting was attended by 28 state council members. The 22-member state council was also elected unopposed. The meeting also authorised Mr Bharadwaj to nominate office bearers of the state unit.


2 killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 30
Two persons were killed in a road accident near Kalka yesterday. The accident took place when a driver of car (HR-01D-0125) collided with an auto-rickshaw (HR-68-0708) near Seouri village. The two occupants of the auto-rickshaw, Bhupinder Singh and Mukesh Kumar, were killed on the spot. A case has been registered.

Arrested: The police has arrested a middle aged woman, Rani, who has been accused of cheating people of lakhs of rupees by way of chitfund committees. The woman has been arrested from Mehangalpur village near Narwana on a complaint filed by Ms Afsana of Sector 19. The latter had accused Rani, her husband, daughter and two sons of cheating her of over Rs 2 lakh by investing in committee. She later refused to give Afsana her money back. The woman has now been sent in a two-day police remand.

2 girls abducted

Two minor girls were abducted in separate cases in the Industrial Area on Monday. According to the information available, a 13-year-old girl was reported missing from her house in Colony 4. The father of the girl, in his complaint to the police, said that his daughter left the house with some clothes and other belongings on December 19 last.

After looking for the girl, her family lodged a complaint with the Industrial Area police. A case of abduction has been registered. However, the father of the girl has not named anybody for taking away his daughter.

In another case, a 17-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by two youths, Suresh and Shish Pal, from the Industrial Area. The police has registered a case. Assaulted

An MBA student became a victim of misunderstanding when he was beaten up by two motor cycle-borne couples in Sector 29. The victim, an engineering passout, who was riding a scooter, signalled a friend to stop. Incidentally, the two couples thought that the boy had teased one of the women rider on the motor cycle. The student tried to run away from the spot but was stopped by a police party. No case was registered as the two parties reached a compromise.


3 arrested in clash incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Four youths, who play gatka, attacked one another with swords near the Sector 40 gurdwara here today. According to information available, while three of the youths were arrested by the police, the fourth one escaped.

Harvinder, a resident of Badheri, Hardeep of Butrela and Mandeep of Phase 1, SAS Nagar, were taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital for a medical examination. All the four youths have been booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.


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