Thursday, January 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Zirakpur residents live in fear
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, January 8
Shocking as it may sound, as many as 136 police personnel deployed with the Dera Bassi police station, that includes the Zirakpur and Mubarikpur police posts are providing a security cover to over 2.5 lakh people of the area.

Even as the population has increased manifold, the strength of the police personnel has only declined. The security cover is far from satisfactory and with several loopholes such as lack of police personnel, vehicles and adequate equipment. To top it all, the over-strained police personnel are further losing out on alacrity due to odd duty hours and increased work load in all police stations and police posts across the periphery.

Still not out of slumber, the government has not yet provided proper security cover to the people — a pointer which has been confirmed over the past few days.

Sources in the police inform that the strength of police personnel at Zirakpur, Mubarikpur and Dera Bassi is: sub inspectors — 3, assistant sub inspectors — 6, head constables — 14, constables — 27, SPOs — 17 and PHG — 69.

The police station has one Gypsy, which does not suffice in emergent situations. The majority of police force remains engaged in providing security cover to VIPs from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and other states who pass through the two national highways — Chandigarh-Ambala and Kalka-Patiala.

While some personnel provide security to VIPs on permanent basis, the rest are claimed by four level crossings and around 10 cooperative and nationalised banks where they have been deployed as security guards. Police stations and police posts are forced to function do with skeltal staff, which cannot counter criminal elements with efficiency.

Equipment with the police is inadequate and outdated. They lack in wireless sets. The police does not have vehicles to patrol and chase miscreants. Ironically, the telephone line of Lohgarh police station has been disconnected following the non-clearance of dues. The ‘‘pager scheme’’ started by the former SSP Patiala, Mr H.S. Sidhu, has also been abandoned. Apart from this, thikri pehras (night patrolling parties) that used to keep vigil in the past are seen no more.

Migrant verification is another issue. In most cases, the police is unable to trace the antecedents of migrants, most of whom form a criminal nexus. Due to lack of infrastructure, the police fails to verify residential and other proof of the migrants. Being adjacent to Chandigarh, where land prices are comparatively cheap, a majority of the middle class families have shifted to Zirakpur and have constructed houses. They, however, have no security cover.

As the crime rate in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and nearby areas has gone up, the residents have been forced to adopt measures for self-defence. To ensure security cover they have installed iron railing and barbed wire. Some scared residents plan to approach the district administration for being issued guns and other arms for self-defence.

Migration of criminals from states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have aggravated the problem. Good labour wages in this industrial belt has triggered migration in large numbers.

With a chain of robberies, panic has gripped the area. Residents have no more faith in the police. They do not know what to do.



A perpetual struggle for dignified living 
Union Territory is least disabled-friendly
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

law says...

  • 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.

Chandigarh, January 8
For some strange reason, we, as a society, have developed immunity to suffering. Not only do we look through those in pain, we also unconsciously feed the system that seeks comfort in routine. Had that not been the case, the disabled in the city would not have been clamouring for facilities for the seventh year in a row after the Persons with Disabilities Act came into force to safeguard their fundamental right to freedom of movement.

Despite efforts by the UT Administration to implement the Act, the city’s environment is far from disabled-friendly. Even as provisions of the Act wait to be honoured despite repeated coverage in The Tribune, the physically challenged continue to struggle for dignified living and easy access to public places in Chandigarh.

Feels a city-based industrialist who lost a leg due to cancer about 20 years back and runs his own unit on the city outskirts, had never felt so shackled as he now feels living in Chandigarh. “There is no public place that offers easy access to the disabled. Right from shopping complexes to restaurants, cinema halls and schools, every building restricts movement of the physically challenged. Not even a single shop in the heavily commercial Sector 17 and Sector 9 has a barrier-free entry. Even the newest of clubs have not taken care for providing easy access to the disabled. The transport is a big hassle. I can’t travel in the Shatabdi. Having fought his disability, Mr Chiranjeev Singh has worked his way up the ladder of life with great dignity. So much so that his better half Hariti Singh chooses to travel with him for his ability to organise things better. But frustrated over the apathy of the city Administration that is sitting over the outstanding issue, she says, “We never felt this handicap abroad. Things are so well organised there. You are allowed to park your car right in front of the buildings. Public transport is friendly, so are buildings and public places. But Chandigarh is yet to show some sensitivity to the problem.”

To cite another example, the disabled children from various institutions could not join the World Disability Day celebrations held on December 3 last year in Sector 17 area because they could not climb up the steps. There was no ramp to facilitate their movement. There still isn’t any.

The issue is graver than what it appears to be. The Administration claims that building bylaws were amended after the Act was passed, but the result is far from satisfactory. The Secretary, Social Welfare, lately informed that all public buildings due to come up would be made disabled-friendly. However, nothing much is being done. Among buildings that need to be provided with easy access for the disabled are district courts, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the DC office, the UT Secretariat, all shopping complexes, cinema halls. Even buses, railways and airlines need to be sensitised to the issue. 



Coldest day ever keeps residents indoors
Day temperature in city less than that at Shimla, Srinagar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The city recorded the coldest day temperature ever in its brief history as the cold wave continued unabated. Today's temperature was 8.4 degrees celsius, breaking the previous record of 9.4 degrees celsius established in 1990. Today's temperature was 12 degrees below the average for this time of the year.

Interestingly, Chandigarh was colder than hill stations like Shimla, Kulu and Srinagar during the day today and also the coldest city in the region.

Director of the local Meteorological Office, Mr S.C. Bhan, said the ongoing conditions had been classified as ‘‘cold wave’’ which would persist for a couple of days. The temperatures in the city were less than that in Shimla (12.4), Srinagar (12.4), Ambala (9.2), Patiala (10.7), Ludhiana (9.8), Amritsar (10.6), Hisar (13.5), Delhi (14.2) and Bhuntar-Kulu (18.9).

Mr Bhan clarified that this record was for day temperatures alone — that is the maximum temperature recorded during the day.

The coldest day sent people shivering indoors as schools, colleges and offices recorded low attendance. A thick blanket of fog since the wee hours did not disperse. In offices employees huddled around heaters or blowers as rounds of tea followed.

Due to the intense cold wave, markets were deserted during the evening, hitting business. Shopkeepers selling jackets, sweaters, blowers, geysers and heat radiators reported brisk sales.

On why Chandigarh was colder than Shimla or any such hill station, Mr Bhan explained that the phenomenan occurred each year for a few days when dense fog persisted in plains. The falling day temperatures in the city did not mean the city was getting colder. The drop was for particular days alone. The average temperatures remained unchanged.




Jan8, 2003 (New record)


Dec 31, 1990(previous record)

In the past few years the coldest days each year have been......


Dec 31, 2002.


Jan 4, 2001.


Jan 6, 2000.


Jan 1, 1999.


Dec 25, 1998


Dec 20, 1997.


Jan1 6, 1998.


Jan 15, 1995.



Mystery shrouds death of lions
Toxic meat not fed, says PAU scientist
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), January 8
Mystery shrouds the death of Asiatic lions in the Asian fame Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park located at Chhat village, about 20 km from Chandigarh. Veterinary doctors have been unable to reach a consensus on the mysterious disease which has claimed the lives of several lions in the zoo for the past one-and-a-half years.

A team of senior doctors from Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, along with four veterinary scientists from Punjab Agriculture University and Dr. Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden (Zoos), Punjab, today visited the Chhat Bir Zoo and took blood samples of some ailing lions.

The PAU authorities had sought assistance from the IVRI to identify the mysterious disease that has spread among the lions.

When asked about the symptoms of the disease, Dr A.K. Sharma, from the pathology division of the IVRI, who was heading the team of veterinary doctors from Bareilly, said the exact cause of the deaths could only be known after the confirmatory reports.

The team today took blood samples for various tests like from the affected lions in Chhat Bir zoo while tissue samples have already been taken from the PAU.

Dr Sharma said after conducting the tests properly they would be analysed for different diseases in the IVRI. A report would be submitted to Dr D.R. Sharma, Head of the Epidemiology and Private Medicines, PAU, Ludhiana, within a month.

When asked if the lions died because of the adulterated meat fed to the lions, Dr. Kulbir Singh Sandhu, Senior Scientist from the PAU, Ludhiana, said contaminated meat would have deteriorated the health of all the carnivores ant not the lions alone.

He criticised the news items published in a section of the media that the lions died because of the consumption of chemically treated meat. He made it clear that “certain persons have planted the story for vested interests”.

Reacting on the news item he said: “The PAU has no facility to conduct tests for chemically adulterated meat. How can the department prepare a report stating that the meat fed to the lions was toxic ? The toxic meat would have claimed the lives of the carnivores within days after consumption,’’ claimed Dr. Sandhu.

While talking to the Tribune Dr Sandhu said that the lions were facing the problem for the last one-and-a-half years and all the best possible tests, including CT Scan, to diagnose the disease had proved futile.

“All the tests conducted in private laboratories as well as in departmental laboratories have shown negative results. In an effort to diagnose and identify the disease, the PAU authorities have also decided to send sample and slide to UK,’’ revealed Dr Sandhu.

The team of veterinary doctors today permitted the Chhat Bir zoo authorities to continue the meat supply and feed the carnivores without any fear. He said the story was planted by some person to ‘‘let down Dr Vinod Sharma’’.



Wildlife team visits Dappar
Our Correspondent

Dappar (Patiala), January 8
A team of the Punjab Wildlife Department today visited Dappar and nearby villages which have been terror-struck following the appearance of a panther in the area a couple of days ago.

Headed by Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden, a team of wildlife employees visited the Dappar ammunition depot and assured the residents that the cat would be caged soon.

Taking serious note of the appearance of the cat, Mr Tejvir Singh, DC, had directed Wildlife and Forest Department officials to cage the animal and shift it either to the Chhat Bir Zoo or release in the forest area.



PGI’s attitude leaves them cold
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
It does not matter, least of all to the PGI authorities, if people are shivering to death because of the intense cold wave sweeping the region, as it is more important for them to keep their waiting rooms clean even if it means that attendants of patients have to sit outside as their quilts and mattresses are bundled away at 5 am every day.

“As if spending the night in the cold waiting room next to the Clean Labour Room (CLR) was not enough that we were in for a rude shock when PGI staff pulled away our quilts, blankets and mattresses and bundled them away on a trolley at 5 am, leaving us shivering,” said Ms Kalo Devi from Pinjore, who has been blessed with a granddaughter. Others in the waiting room too said it was really inhuman for the PGI to expect them to brave the cold sitting on the floor of the waiting room.

It is a normal practice followed by the PGI to ask the attendants of the patients, who spend the night in the waiting halls, to roll up their bedding and get it deposited on the ground floor of the Nehru Hospital early in the morning and get it back late in the evening. “During the summers and at other times when it is not so cold it is perfectly normal for the PGI to expect us to pack up early and keep the place clean, but expecting the same in this weather is a bit too much,” said a youth from Jalandhar, whose mother is admitted to the Female Surgical ward on the third floor.

The PGI staff were on a major cleanliness drive this morning as they took away the bedding of the attendants from the Waiting room next to the Emergency and the Labour room, in the Nehru Hospital. “In case the PGI wants the place to remain clean they should have an adjoining Cloak Room where the bedding can be deposited and collected conveniently, instead of the attendants having to carry it to the ground floor and paying money for its safe custody,” remarked Veena from Ambala, whose sister has given birth to a girl.



Evening OPD opens today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Even as the PGI authorities today formally announced that evening OPD would be resumed from tomorrow, uncertainty continues as members of the Staff Council and senior doctors spent the day trying to convince the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) to cooperate, but they are yet to make up their mind.

In the absence of the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, Head of the Gynaecology Department, Dr Sarla Gopalan, chaired the meeting, attended by members of the Staff Council, faculty members, the Medical Superintendent and ARD members. The faculty members are of the opinion that in case the resident doctors do not relent, it will become very difficult for them to run the facility alone.

“While assuring the resident doctors that the authorities will give a sympathetic consideration to their genuine long-pending demands, we are trying to convince them to join the evening OPD in the interest of the public,” said a faculty member. Senior doctors who attended meeting said issues like revision of pay scales, rescheduling duty hours and improving the hostel, mess and canteen facilities of the resident doctors came up for discussion. 



Computer goods worth lakhs stolen
Tribune News Service

  • The 20-odd shopkeepers dealing with accessories in computer hardware have expressed concern over the repeated incidents of thefts of computer accessories from shops in Sectors 17, 18, 20, 22 and 35 during the past one year. The total loss could run into several lakhs, said members of the Association of Computer Traders and Professionals. Sources in the trade said the stolen products were being sold in the city at lower prices.
  •   Enquiries reveal that the burglars, taking advantage of the fog, struck after 6 am — three hours before the opening time of shops.

Chandigarh, January 8
In the ninth incident of burglary of its type in the city, computer hardware accessories worth around Rs 8 lakh were stolen from Atlantic Technologies, a shop in Sector 20 selling computer hardware products, in the wee hours of this morning. The burglars gained entrance into the shop by breaking the side locks of the front shutter.

Both levers holding the side locks were found broken in the morning by one of the partners of the shop, Mr Naveen Beri. Sources in the police said the modus operandi and target of the “organised gang” was found to be same as in the past. The favourite pick with the burglars was portable and expensive computer hardware accessories.

The burglars removed the packing cover of the accessories, apparently to pack the “booty” in a compact bag. Mr Beri said the main items stolen were processors, hard discs, mother boards and compact disc (CD) writers of multi-national companies.

Enquires revealed that the shop had been opened a few months ago. Earlier, the owners had been operating from the first floor of the three-storeyed building. Investigations carried out by the police revealed that the Shopkeepers Association of Shops (from SCO No. 35 to SCO 76) had employed two night watchmen, Ruddo Bahadur and Pushkar.

The second watchman, Pushkar, had been employed after the Station House Officer (SHO) of the area at a meeting with the shopkeepers had asked them to strengthen security measures, said Mr Anil Gupta, general secretary of the Association.

Mr Gupta said he had installed a security alarm on his front shutter. There had been instances when burglars had entered from the rear of the showrooms.

Taking to TNS, Ruddu Bahadur, said he along with Pushkar were in the market till 6 am and the beat policemen had also visited them. He claimed he saw no vehicle parked in the parking area. A tea vendor, who runs a kiosk adjacent to the burgled shop and sleeps on its top floor, claimed he had heard no noise or the shutter being broken.

Ruddo Bahadur, said about a year ago, four youths, two of them turbaned, had escaped in a white Contessa car after stealing computer accessories worth lakhs from a shop in Sector 20. A senior police official said a special investigation team had been constituted to crack the gang behind the specific burglaries in the past one year. The modus operandi of the gang was being studied.



Heated campaigning on a cold day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 8
The coldest day of this season notwithstanding, heated campaigning by candidates continued in most wards today.
A large number of candidates released their election manifestos , even as others continued with their door-to- door campaign, campaign by telephone and ‘nukkad’ meetings. Distributing their pamphlets and putting up their banners at houses of their supporters, the candidates are leaving no stone unturned for achieving a final success at the hustings.

Mr Dilbag Singh Nain, an independent candidate from ward no 13 and general secretary of the district unit of the Indian National Lok Dal, today released his election manifesto. Mr Nain is contesting against the INLD-supported candidate, Mr Randhir Mallik , but denied that he was a dissident . “Since the party is not contesting these elections directly, there is no question of revolt. The election committee of the party had acted arbitrarily and not everyone was consulted by the chairman, Mr Kanti Prakash Bhalla, while coming out with the final list ,” he said.

Mr Nain brought out a 13-point programme wherein he promised setting up a charitable trust for giving financial aid to poor students and an ambulance and funeral van for the residents of the ward. He promised better security for the residents and provision of traffic lights at T- points.

Ms Saroj Rani Sodhi, an INLD-supported candidate from ward no. 1, too, said she had completed her personal contact programme in her area. She assured residents to take up the issue of shifting of carcass dump of the Chandigarh Administration from near Army flats and Rail Vihar. She also promised better sanitation, streetlighting, ‘pucca’ roads in Bhainsa Tibba village, and ensuring a yellow card for those living below the poverty line.

In ward no. 27, Mr Pawan Mittal, an independent candidate, went from door to door in the Old Panchkula area. Accompanied by Ms Sudesh Sharma, Mr Khet Pal Gupta and Mr Om Prakash Katyal, he assured residents to improve the condition of roads, better streetlighting and developing of green belt along the national highway.

Mr Tulsi Das Chugh, a candidate from ward no. 12, who is also the Chief Patron of the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 10, said he would ensure that a government dispensary would be set up in the area, better roads, changing the old transformers of electricity and better drainage facilities in his ward.

Ms Anita Aggarwal, a candidate from ward no. 30, also released her manifesto , wherein she promised erection of gates in Sector 21 for more safety, rehabilitation of jhuggi dwellers in Azad Colony and Madrasi Colony, better facilities in Maheshpur village, an engineering college and a technical institute for the residents.

Ms Aggarwal, wife of Mr Krishan Nanha who is a former president of the Panchkula Congress Committee, Urban, said though these elections had been imposed on the residents, it was up to the people to make the right choice of representatives who would work for upliftment of the area.

Mr Sunil Talwar, an independent candidate from ward no. 14, said residents apprised him of their problems with regards to streetlights, dilapidated condition of roads, poor drainage in rains and low water pressure. He assured them that he would redress all their problems and make his ward a model ward.

Ms Renuka Rai Walia, an independent candidate from ward no. 2, assured better facilities to residents of various group housing societies, better electricity transformers, safer potable water, better roads, streetlighting and sanitation, doing away with congress grass and stray cattle menace.

Ms Manveer Gill, from ward no. 23, also released her manifesto while promising a cleaner and greener sector, better safety and civic amenities, at least for residents of Railla village. Ms Gill has been assured support by the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 4, and the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 12.

Meanwhile, Mr B.B. Kochhar, an independent candidate from ward no. 3 , along with his 100 supporters, organised a rally in Sector 7. He distributed his manifesto and promised full development of his ward.

The manifesto of Ms Neelam Soni, a BJP candidate from ward no. 18, was released and her election office was inaugurated by the BJP Member of Parliament, Mr Rattan Lal Kataria . Mr Ganeshi Lal, a former minister, was also present on this occasion. She promised better civic amenities for her ward, especially for residents of Fatehpur and Bundi villages.



Some polling booths hard to reach, say candidates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 8
A large number of candidates in election fray here have complained about haphazard location of polling booths. In at least two wards, candidates have complained that booths have been located in close proximity to each other , rather than being scattered all over the ward.

At least four candidates from Ward No. 13 (parts of Sector 15 and Sector 14) have sent a complaint to the State Election Commission in this regard. Mr Sunil Kumar, Ms Jagmati Chaudhary, Mr Gian Chand Goel and Mr S.R. Monga have complained that the polling booth for house No.s 1486- 1685 in Sector 15 has been allotted in SBI Training Centre in Sector 14.

These candidates said it might cause hindrance to voters, who would have to go to the other sector to cast their vote. They have demanded that the polling booth be shifted to either Bal Bhavan, Community Centre or IMA House in Sector 15.

Similar complaints have been made by candidates from Ward No. 4 (Sector 6 and a part of Sector 7), who have complained that at least two polling booths — both for residents of Sector 6 — have been made in Sector 7 Government Senior Secondary School. Mr V.K. Sood and Ms Urmil Dheer, both Independent candidates from Ward 4, have given a written representation to the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Election Officer, saying that these polling booths are far off for voters of Sector 6.

They have asked that these polling booths be shifted to Government High School, Sector 6.



27 trade unionists held for blocking highway
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Twentyseven activists of various trade unions were arrested by the police here today for pelting stones and blocking Ambala-Chandigarh highway near the Tribune roundabout.

The police said that when it urged the activists to lift the blockade on the important road, some of the agitationists, protesting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s economic policies, started pelting stones.

The arrested persons included the general secretary of the Punjab unit of the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Bant Singh Brar, and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) leader Hiteshwar Joshi.

The arrested leaders were charged with Sections 147, 149, 332, 353 and 186 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly rioting and obstructing public servants in the discharge of their duties. They were later released in the evening.

Around 250 workers of different trade unions, who started their rally from the Industrial Area-Phase 1, reached the Tribune chowk shouting slogans against the NDA government. Demonstrators were carrying banners, condemning the economic policies of the government terming these “anti-people, anti-farmer and anti-labour.”

Activists of the AITUC, Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), CITU and the AICTU converged on the chowk.

The protest was organised as part of a call given by national bodies of these labour organisations.

H.S. Gambhir and Devi Dayal Sharma from the AITUC, J.R. Khiln from the INTUC, Inderjit Singh Garewal and Balbir Singh from the CITU, V.P. Vadhera and Mohmmed Mukeram from the HMS, J. L. Bajaj and Subhash Talwar from BMS, Iqbal Ansari and Malkiat Singh from the AITUC addressed protesters before they blocked the road.

Speakers at the rally attacked the Central and State governments for not reviewing the economic and industrial policies which had led to the closure of thousands of industrial units, rendering lakhs of workers jobless. They alleged that those who had been retrenched had not been paid compensation.

They said that public sector undertakings were being sold out to those who had failed to clear Rs 86,000 crore dues of banks. Privatisation was being pursued despite its adverse effects on society.

The governments were being swayed by the multinational companies to change the labour laws to suit the foreign capital and put the worker at a disadvantage, it was mentioned.

The speakers alleged that deductions of crores of rupees of the ESI and EPF had not been made. They also criticised the recommendations of the Second Labour Commission, terming these anti-labour and anti-employment.



BSNL not to change SAS Nagar code
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 8
Pending a nod from the Union Ministry of Communications, BSNL, Chandigarh, has decided to retain the three-digit 172 STD code for SAS Nagar and not change it to the four digit 1888.

According to sources, recommendations to this effect have been sent to the ministry by the BSNL office here following a public demand to allow the township to retain its status of a satellite town to Chandigarh, rather than a subdivision of Ropar district.

However, in case SAS Nagar retains the 172 STD code, all telephone numbers of the township will change along with the telephone numbers of Chandigarh. The current telephone numbers in the township will have 2 pre-fixed to these along with a similar change in the telephone numbers in Chandigarh city.

‘‘In fact the reason that Chandigarh city telephone numbers have not been prefixed with a 2 till date is because a decision regarding SAS Nagar’s STD code is pending with the ministry,’’ explained Mr K.K. Sarangal, General Manager, Telecom.

In case SAS Nagar’s STD code is changed to 1888, the telephone numbers will remain the same. ‘‘The rule is to standardise the code plus telephone number into a 10-digit figure across the country. Wherever the STD code is four digit, as in case of Ropar, the telephone numbers will be a six-digit number. Wherever the code is a three-digit number, like Chandigarh, the telephone number will be increased from six to seven,’’ informed Mr Sarangal.

Sources informed that although public opinion was in favour of the SAS Nagar STD code remaining unchanged, the residents of the township had much to benefit if it was shifted to the Ropar link of the BSNL. The Ropar link would felicitate SAS Nagar residents to be able to call Amritsar and beyond using the 95 facility.

Moreover all other subdivisions in Ropar district had been connected to the Ropar link. ‘‘As a result, BSNL users in Kharar, Landran and Anandpur Sahib can call Amritsar and beyond using 95 while BSNL users in SAS Nagar cannot.’’ stated a source.

‘‘The 200-km range is counted not from a geographical location, but the centre head of the link exchange. In our case SAS Nagar’s link exchange remains Chandigarh,’’ he added.



Sorry! wrong number

With all numbers of the township now beginning with 2, residents here are receiving calls meant for Chandigarh from all over the country. ‘‘Since everywhere 2 has been prefixed with the telephone numbers, but Chandigarh is yet to do so, those calling the city from outside end up reaching SAS Nagar. The STD code is the same and the last digit of the dialled number gets overlooked with the exchange connecting the call to SAS Nagar rather than Chandigarh.

“We at the exchange are attending to at least 10 wrong-numbered calls a day,’’ said a source.



Captain donates Rs 5 lakh to trust
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has donated Rs 5 lakh to the Aruna Asif Ali Memorial Trust, which is to build a bhavan in Chandigarh.
According to Ms Oshima Raikhy, the trust was set up in July, 1997, one year after the passing away of Aruna Asif Ali, a freedom fighter and social activist. She remained president of the National Federation of Indian Women for 20 years and took up the cause of women and children.

For the proposed bhavan, Haryana and Chandigarh have contributed. A 250-square-yard plot has been purchased by the trust in Chandigarh. The trust is running two schools for ‘’working children’’ in Chandigarh and Panchkula. Among the donors is also writer-author Dr Kartar Singh Duggal, who has donated Rs 2 lakh, she added.

The trust has been set up by the Punjab Istri Sabha, involved in women’s issues. It has helped hapless women, who fell victim to society.

To perpetuate the memory of Aruna Asif Ali, who was born at Kalka in 1906, and had taken it upon herself to mitigate the sufferings of women, the sabha had set up the trust.



Have a good time at 3Bs
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The Eating Mall in Sector 35’s lane of restaurants attempts to be one up on its rivals with its 3Bs. The first B, on the ground floor, is Blossom, a cafe and fast food joint. The second B, in the basement, is Bloom, a buffet and multi-cuisine restaurant. And the third B is Bliss, the party place. Thus for any occasion — whether a quick bite of snacks in between meals or a cuppa to cheer you while you while away your time or a dinner out with your family or a party to celebrate your child's birthday, you need to know just one address.

And the “amazing rates” USP of the eatery only helps hasten your decision. In fact, the rate list should throw to wind any comparison with other swank joints in the city. Never mind if this plaza seems to be a poor cousin of that other of plaza, the Sector 17 Gourmet Mall. Or, its cafe is an imitation of the Barista and Cafe Coffee Day outlets.

After all, you have to suit your pocket too. You don’t mind, especially if the ambience is as good — good locality, sleek wrought iron and cushioned furniture, attractive spot lights, unique cup and glass-shaped mirrors adorning the walls, AC, smartly liveried prompt waiters, soothing music and a TV set to keep you company if you're alone. Sample this : cold coffee with ice-cream and thick shakes for Rs 25 each (ST extra) And above all, as young proprietor B. D. Singh promises, you are served good quality and quantity of food.

The quantity part is best demonstrated at the buffet that is spread daily during the lunch and dinner hours. Have your fill of veg (Rs 99) and non-veg (Rs 129) khana from a feast of five veg dishes, two non-veg dishes, an assortment of rotis and naans and two desserts complemented with soup, an array of salads and raita. The cost for kiddies is Rs 49 and Rs 69, respectively.

The Eating Mall has also recently started serving thali for both veg and non-veg lovers. Otherwise, if you would rather have a specific choice of dishes, you can always order a la carte.

Then there is an interesting line-up of items found rarely elsewhere. Momos and omelettes , to name a couple. The momos come in both steamed and fried forms with veg and non-veg fillings to cater to the calorie-conscious, as well. The omelettes are a delight if stuffed with mushroom, cheese, veggies, or keema. And for Rs 60 - Rs 85, you can savour the hot burning sizzlers. Or, go in for the regular Indian and Chinese delectables or the Hyderabadi biryani or the Continental treat of burgers, pizzas and grilled sandwiches, topped by mocktails or beverages.

If you need star endorsement, a big autograph by Jee Aayan Nu hero and popstar Harbhajan Mann's comment, “ It was a relaxing being here” adorning a wall should pep up your appetite. 



Cops discuss strengthening of area security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
A meeting of the resident welfare associations of central division was held here today to strengthen area security and better co-operation between police and public under the neighbourhood watch scheme.

Presiding over the meeting, Mr S.S. Randhawa, DSP, Central Division, briefed the members of the associations on security aspects.

Later, they visited exhibition of security devices in Sector-17 organised in connection with the Road Safety Week.

Meanwhile, on the third day of the Road Safety Week, teachers’ workshop was organised by the Chandigarh Traffic Police at four centres i.e. Shivalik Public School-Sector 41, GMSSS-Sector 46, GMSSS-Sector 26 and GMSSS-Sector 10. Lectures were delivered by various DSPs on road safety and literature was also distributed. Similarly, a workshop was organised for truck drivers in the Transport Area, Sector - 26.



Fake products seized from Sec 17, 22 shops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Fake products of multinational company, Adidas, being sold as original items, were seized by raiding parties of the Chandigarh Police from shops in Sectors 17 and 22 here this evening. The value of the seized products runs into several lakhs of rupees.

Acting on information provided by the Enforcers of Intellectual Property Rights (EIPER), an enforcement agency from Mumbai appointed by various multinational companies, teams of the CIA raided three shops and recovered fake shoes, jogging trousers, watches, jackets, caps and deodorants. The police has registered cases under the relevant sections of the Copyrights Act, Trade Mark and Merchandising Act and Section 420 of the IPC against Mr Jadish Lal of Arcade and Mr Vijay of Virus, both of Sector 22, and Mr Surinder Pal Singh of Sumrat of a shop in Sector 17.

According to information available, 96 pair of shoes, 96 jogging trousers, 11 watches, 20 jackets, 10 caps, and six deodorants have been seized from the shopkeepers. The raids were conducted after the raiding parties feigned as customers bought the fake items. Then the representatives of the EIPER identified the products on the basis of serial numbers.

A pair of shoes was sold between Rs 1700 and Rs 3000 and the price of the jogging trousers varied between Rs 450 and Rs 900. A police official said the jackets were being sold for between Rs 2700 and Rs 1700. The caps were being sold for Rs 250 each and the watches had a range between Rs 800 and 3000. The prices at which the products were being sold were at par with the company rates.

Meanwhile, Mr Edward Rodricks, Director (Operations), EIPER, said business of various multinational companies was being badly affected by the fake products.



Car, bus and cart collide
Our Correspondent

Lalru, January 8
One person was killed and three were injured in a head-on collision between a car, a bus and a horse-cart on the Kalka-Ambala highway this afternoon. The accident led to traffic disruption.

It is learnt that the car (CH01M-0060) collided with the Haryana roadways bus (HR45-6004). In the accident, the car driver, Harbans Singh, died on the spot, while two occupants namely Bant Singh and Ravinder Singh have been admitted.

Horse-cart owner, Thath was also injured. Injured have been admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, while Thath has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. A case has been registered.



Four booked for duping Sirsa resident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The local police has booked four city residents for allegedly duping a resident of Sirsa of Rs 8,50,000 by promising to send him abroad.
According to information available, Jagdev Singh, a resident of Dhani Balwant Singh village in Sirsa district of Haryana alleged that four persons, namely Baljit Singh of Sector 38 West; Inderjit Singh of Sector 20-A; Baljinder Singh of Sector 39-B and Brijesh Kumar c/o On Time Taxi, Hotel Shivalikview had taken Rs 8,50,000 from him by promising to send him abroad on a job assignment. The complainant further alleged that the accused neither sent him abroad nor returned the money.

An FIR under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against the accused in the Sector 17 police station. Further investigations into case have been marked to the economic offences wing of the Chandigarh police.

Theft, burglary cases: One case of theft and another of burglary was reported in the city during the past 24 hours.

Gurdarshan Singh of Sector 41-D lodged a complaint in the Sector 39 police station that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03-E-6410) was stolen from his residence last night. An FIR u/s 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Kewal Chaudhary, a resident of Sector 44, has lodged a complaint in the Sector 34 police station that a gas cylinder was stolen from his residence on Tuesday night. An FIR u/s 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Thefts at marriage palaces: Two incidents of theft were reported from marriage parties in the city in the last 48 hours. According to the information available, an NRI woman reported that her bag containing cash was stolen during a marriage ceremony in a Sector 35 hotel, Maya Palace, here this afternoon. Though the women was yet to give a written complaint to the police, sources in the police said Mr Balbir Singh, a resident of Sector 20, had informed the police about the theft.

In another case, Mr Satbir Singh, a resident of Sector 43, reported that his bag containing two gold earrings, two gold tops, two gold chains, and Rs 10,000 in cash were stolen from Khukhrain Bhavan in Sector 35.

PSEB lineman arrested: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has arrested a lineman of the PSEB Naginder Singh Rawat from Naya Gaon this evening allegedly for accepting bribe.

As per sources, Rawat, who was posted at Naya Gaon, was allegedly caught red-handed while accepting the bribe from a villager. It has been alleged that he used to charge money from people who draw power through ‘kundi’ connections. No official of the bureau could be contacted.



2 reported missing
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 8
A 27-year-old-youth, Harminder Singh, has been reported missing from Phase XI since last night. According to the information provided by his father Narinder Singh, Harminder Singh owns an electric repair shop in Phase XI market and went missing after he closed his shop last night at 9 pm.

‘‘He closed his shop and went to the park nearby to relieve himself but no one has seen him come back,” said Mr Narinder Singh.

Mr Narinder Singh who owns a shop in Phase I also informed that Harminder Singh is neither on drugs or an alcoholic and is of a good mental health. He has also filed an application with the police.

CHANDIGARH: A 13-year-old boy was reported missing from the city yesterday. He had gone to play with his friends.

Ramkishan of 529, Sector 29-A, said his 13-year-old son Ajay Kumar went out to play with his friends at about 5.30 pm, but did not return. A complaint was lodged in the police station, Industrial Area Phase I, this morning.

The boy has a wheatish complexion. He was wearing grey trousers and grey jacket.



Electrician commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
A 30-year-old electrician of Dadu Majra Colony allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his house here today.
According to information, the victim, Prem Nath, who was working with a private contractor, went to sleep after taking his dinner last night.

In the morning when he did not report for work, his contractor called up his father. When the victim’s father knocked the door of the room of his son, no response came. The boy was found hanging by his father after the door was broken. The victim’s wife had gone to her parents’ house in Himachal Pradesh. The police has initiated inquest proceedings.



Wedding exhibition opens today 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Designer wear specially thought and designed for various ceremonies connected with weddings will form the highlight of Vivah 2003, a theme-based four-day wedding exhibition, beginning here tomorrow.

This was stated here today by Capt Monu Khanna, Director of Mumbai-based organisers of the show, Indigo Events ‘n Exhibitions. Talking to mediapersons, she said City Beautiful had been specifically chosen for the launch of the exhibition because the city was the prime hub of the North India, beyond New Delhi.

Captain Khanna estimated that the size of the wedding industry in the country was now touching Rs 5,000 crore annually. Punjabis are known for their grand-scale weddings. “At Vivah, we are attempting to showcase ranges of product and services catering to the wedding. Elvera and Evelyn Kapoor, the duo designers from New Delhi, Amarjyot Singh, Neelam Saxena, Payal Singhal, Charu Parashar and Anshu Modi will display their creations.

Watch store opened: Ethos — a chain of premium watch stores — opened its flagship store in City Beautiful today. The showroom will stock prestigious brands of the world.

Based on the experience of international retailing of watches, the watches are displayed in spacious wall-mounted show windows that customers can approach freely and see various models themselves, as one would view art in a museum. This global concept allows experiencing watches at individual leisure without the pressure of prying eyes of a salesperson.

The store includes a reference library of catalogues; brand histories and milestones to encourage visitors to find out the rich heritage of their old watches.

This store has a collection of over 16 well-known brands, including Omega, Rado, Longines, Christian Dior and Dunhill, the museum watch Movado as well as the ever green Citizen, Swatch, Esprit and Titan. The store also houses exclusive boutiques of TAG Heuer and Swarovski, the exclusive Austria-based creators of silver crystal watches, jewellery and art objects.

According to Mr Y. Saboo, Managing Director, Ethos: “Ethos has so far been an international standard retail watch store of Kamla Dials and Devices, manufacturers of dials. We are now stepping into the world of retailing of premium watches in a truly international fashion.”

Winter collection: Don’t let the winter get you down! Wrangler turns on the heat this winter with it’s winter collection that incorporates the hot and happenings layer look and pigment washes. With the collection that includes denim overshirts, sweatshirts, denim jackets and sweaters, you can dress as the weather demands and yet stay in fashion.

Home security: The Godrej and Boyce Security Equipment Division, pioneers and leaders in the business of security equipment, has unveiled Godrej Secure Home (GSH). The GSH comprises Avanti security doors, private eye video door phone, eagle burglar and fire alarm system treasure chest electronic safes, Rhino, burglar resistant safes, and Safire fire resistant safes.


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