Sunday, March 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cup of cricket fans’ joy spills on roads
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, March 1
Tearing excitement broke loose in the city as enthusiastic residents took to the streets for celebrating India’s victory over Pakistan late in the evening. Soon after Dravid hit the ball across the boundary to win the match, boisterous din filled the air as they left behind the cozy comfort of their residences to burst crackers. It was nothing less than Divali. In fact, you could even smell the crackers in the air.

Others stopped their cars at the roundabouts to honk wildly. In hotels and bars, sparkling cut-glasses clinked as the residents pushed back their chairs to applaud. For the cricket buffs, high on the World Cup spirit, today’s triumph was nothing less than a battle won. After three years of intentional cease-fire, they were hoping, and praying, all along that the young Indian soldiers-in-blue would crush their enemies, would give them a taste of dust.

Little wonder, for them it was more a question of the nation’s prestige, than entry into the Super Six before bringing home the glittering cup. That’s the reason why, business manager with a multinational organisation Rohit Sharma asserted, “We have already won the World Cup without even entering into the Super Six”.

Agreeing with him, property dealer Ramesh Kapoor added, “We have defeated the Pakistanis, once again in the World Cup. Now it doesn’t make a difference even if we are thrown out without reaching the semi-finals”.

For watching the telecast, the residents had made elaborate arrangements. Some had taken their afternoon off, others were on a furlough after clearing their office tables. Rest had cancelled all appointments.

Excited, they had positioned themselves in front of the television sets at homes. Or else, had rushed to the bars and hotels with giant screens and television sets to watch the team in action. Hotel Pankaj was giving one beer free with another. Hotel Sunbeam witnessed the “heaviest rush of the cricket season”, as per manager Mr Dheeraj.

In Sector 27 house of Mr Sharad Nagpal, the neighbour and friends gathered to “witness history in making” on an impressive 53-inch colour television set. Nothing unusual about it, except they were all dressed up all in official uniform of the Indian team.

They were a little disappointed when the Indian players descended on the ground, to field, instead of batting. But then, they had full faith in the abilities of the bowlers. Nehra would ball India to victory, they were sure of the fact.

But then, things did not go their way. The Pakistani batsmen were hitting the ball hard, were scoring runs without losing wickets, the residents were alive to the grim reality. Then they decided to offer prayers. With hands folded, they requested God to be with the team in their hour of need. Others switched off their television sets, hoping for some miracle.

“We had tried it before also and had succeeded,” Class X student Zameera said. “When the going was getting tough for the Indian team in a match, we had switched off the set. The opponents would lose their wickets by the time we switched it on, we knew it very well. The trick was repeated with the same result. We found two batsmen out when we switched on the set”.

But then two batsmen walking back to the pavilion was not enough. The team went out to make 275 after losing just seven wickets. The total was big, the team would have to work hard to win the match, they realised.

Ganguly came and Ganguly went without contributing any runs but Sehwag stayed on to hit the ball hard. Tendulkar too arrived with confidence writ large on his face. The crowd stood up to applaud as he slammed the ball across the boundary. Once, twice, thrice.... Apprehension gripped the buffs once again after he got out just two runs short of his century.

Then came the twinkling star of the Indian cricket team, Yuvraj. As he settled down to hit some excellent shots, the hopes revived. Once again, they were sure of the country’s win. Finally, triumphant screams echoed against the walls as Pakistani players walked back to the pavilion with their heads resting on their chest.

The UT Administrator Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) today congratulated the Indian Cricket team. In a message General Jacob said that the credit for our victory should go to the team’s commitment and excellent performance of Sachin, Kaif and Yuvraj.

Mr B.K Puri, general secretary of the Resident Welfare Association, Sector 61, also congratulated the Indian team.



Traffic blocked for 2 hours
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, March 1
Intoxicated by India’s marvellous victory over Pakistan, in the cricket World Cup, many city youths, a large number of them carrying the National Flag, blocked the city centre near the Aroma Hotel traffic lights forcing the police to seal the busy Sector 22 for more than two hours here tonight.

Euphoric after the win, hundreds of youths shouting “Pakistan hai hai” and “We will win the World Cup” came out on the roads. Broken bottles of liquor were strewn all around the place as youths parked their cars, honked horns and danced. The police swung into action and blocked entry and stopped all traffic but did not stop anybody from shouting and dancing.

Young couples were seen congratulating each other, of course with warm hugs and kisses. Several young wives refused to cook dinner and cricket-crazy husbands were forced to take them to the city eateries, which witnessed a huge rush.

Near Aroma, traffic remained suspended for more than two hours. Passersby also stopped and joined the youths. The cops there also seemed to enjoy the celebrations.

Interestingly, a large number of families joined the youths in celebrating India’s victory. Students at Panjab University took out a victory procession. Here, too, they were shouting anti-Pakistan slogans and some of them were even waving their shirts. The women hostelres were not allowed to come out and they had to be content with by dancing indoors only.

“India had to win but we had not imagined that it would be a cakewalk”, remarked Sukhwinder Singh of Sector 46. He and his friends — some of them drunk — came out to dance and bust fire-crackers.

Those who did not come out to join the victory processions preferred to convey their feelings on the telephone and of course by SMS.



Shivratri prayers answered
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, March 1
Early morning rain was no dampener as residents, high on the religious spirit, thronged temples, illuminated on the occasion of Shivratri.

As the red, crimson and saffron flags erected outside the temples fluttered in the breeze, devotees purchased marigold flowers and ‘bel patra’ from little boys sitting on pavements.

Long serpentine queues could be witnessed outside the temples. The rush was exceptionally heavy outside the temples in Sector 15, 18, 22, 23, 24, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 45 and 46, besides other parts of the city.

Elaborate arrangements were made by the Chandigarh police. Outside each temple, cops were deputed to regulate the traffic.

In colonies and slums, it was a different scene altogether. As speakers chanted bhajans in praise of Lord Shiva, residents danced unmindful of the outer world. Some other, high after consuming ‘bhang pakodas’, screamed at the top of their voice, or else slept on the folding beds under the sun. Beggars in the city also had a field day. Carrying live snakes with them, they went around parking lots in the city asking for alms in the name of Shivratri.

The occasion was celebrated with religious fervor at Sri Sanatan Dharma Sabha, Sector 41. A prabhat pheri was also taken out early this morning and a kirtan was also held. Milk and fruits were distributed among devotees.

The International Institution of Brahma Kumaris also celebrated the occasion by organising a sarv dharam sammelan. Residents from different religions participated. Late night prayers were conducted at Sri Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 42-B. Pravachan and Sankirtan were held in morning and evening at Sri Sanatan Dharama Mandir in Sector 15-B.



Cute faces bring sunshine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Had it not been for the incredibly ruthless weather, the Festival of Gardens would not have suffered such a major blow this morning. With a majority of stalls having been swept off the ground, thanks to the squall which lashed the city last night, the Festival of Gardens was divested of much of its expected zing on the second day.

CHERUBIC CHARM: (From left) Winners of the Rose Prince and Rose Princess titles in different categories: Akshat (2-3 years), Aditi (2-3 years), Bianala (18 months to 2 years), Devanesh (1-2 years), Tania (1-1 1/2 years) and Anand Bir (1-1 1/2 years). — Tribune photos

Coupled with the problem of weather was the confusion over the venues of important events that prevalied all day long. The worst hit of all the listed schedules was the much-awaited “Rose Prince” and “Rose Princess” contest which had not begun even after an hour of the scheduled time. Earlier it was to be held at the Rose Garden which was all slushy this morning. Later, the venue had to be shifted. Parents of the children participating in the contest had to bear the brunt which the UT Administration was naturally bearing on account of the arrangements going hunky dory.

Finally, the contest progressed at the new-found venue in Government Home Science College, where the kids brought the charm of the festival back. Dressed in their best and wearing the best possible charms, the little ones won great appreciation. And as each kid climbed up the stage to talk in the language of innocence, one was wondering why a single rose prince or princess was to be chosen out of the heartening lot of kids, who all looked promising at their own levels.

In fact for the whole day there was no other event that could match the spirit behind “Rose Prince and Princess” contest. No wonder this event is the most favourite among the list of other events organised under the festival. Later, like every year, a rose quiz was also organised by the authorities.

Results of Rose Prince Competition:

1 year to 1½ year category: Anand Bir Singh (1st), Akshit Gureja (2nd), Divij Shergill Chatterjee (3rd); 1½ year to 2-year category: Devansh Verma (1st), Sehaj Roop Singh Bath (2nd), Hardit Gogna (3rd); 2-year to 3-year category: Akshat Dange (1st), Chahat Deep Singh Dhanda (2nd), Tanishq Chamoli (3rd)

“Rose Princess” Competition: 1 year to 1½ year category — Tania Sidhu (1st), Bulbul (2nd), Simran (3rd); 1½ year to 2-year category — Bianala Arora (1st), Nanki Bawa (2nd), Nishtha Nayyar (3rd); 2-year to 3-year category — Aditi Bhaskar (1st), Parneet (2nd), Drsika Bhutani (3rd).

Results of various other contests are as follows:

Class-A — (Open to All Ehibitors)

Arrangement with roses only: Sadhna Sangar 1, Krishna Sangar 2.

Arrangement with flowers other than ses: Arushi Nehra 1, Ravneet Kaur 2.

Arrangement with dry flowers: Arushi Nehra1.

Arrangement with fresh foliage: Arushi Nehra 1, Sadhna Sangar 2.

Arrangement of flowers on the theme VENT OF SPRING: Arushi Nehra 1, Divya Anajali 2.

Making of Garlands: Ravneet Kaur 1, Brinder Kaur 2.

Making of Rangoli (with flower): Renu Rana 1, Satnatri Singla 2, Deepti Rana 2.

Making of Rangoli (with powder): Alka Kansal 1, Seema Mehta 2.

Open to college students

Arrangement with roses only: Preetika Bhasin 1, Arushi Nehra 2, Renu Rana 2.

Arrangement with roses only. Preetika Bhasin 1, Arushi Nehra 2, Renu Rana 2.

Arrangement with flowers other than roses: Preetika Bhasin 1, Neha Kakria 2, Vidhushi Sood 2.

Arrangement with dry flowers: Arushi Nehra 1, Daljit Kaur 2, Jyoti Kaushish 2.

Arrangement with fresh foliage. Arushi Nehra 1.

Making of Rangoli (with flowers): Poonam 1, Sanjushi Bhagi, 2.

Making of Rangoli (with powder): Kuldeep Singh 1, Rashmeet Sahri 2.

Open to school children

Arrangement with Roses only. Karan Raj Sharma 1.

Arrangement with flowers other than roses: Karan Raj Sharma 1, Surabhi 2.

Arrangement with fresh foliage. Karan Raj 1.

Open to Mallies

Making of Bouquest. Mithal Lal 1, Shive Parsad Maurya 2.

Making of Gajras and Garlands. Harish 1, M/S Ram Ashrey Mauraya 2, Prabhu Mali 2.

Carnation: Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh, 1 Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh 2.

Collection of Foliage Plants: Chief Administrator, HUDA, Panchkula 1, Chandigarh Housing Board, Sector-9, Chandigarh 2.

Collection of Cacti: Chief Engineer, HUDA, Panchkula 1, Chief Administrator, HUDA, Panchkula 2.

Collection of succulent: Engineer-in-Chief, HUDA, Panchkula, 1, Chief Administrator, HUDA, Panchkula 2.

Dahlia:Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh1, Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh 2, Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh, 2.

Geranium: Hotel Mountview, Sector-10, CITCO, Chandigarh, 1, Chandigarh Housing Board, Sector-9, Chandigarh 2.

Marigold: Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh 1, Hotel Mountview, Sector-10, CITCO, Chandigarh 2.

Stock: Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh 1, Chandigarh Housing Board, Sector-9, Chandigarh 2.

Kale: Hotel Mountview, Sector-10, CITCO, Chandigarh 1, Panjab State Warehousing Corpn, SCO No. 74-7 Sector-17, Chandigarh, 2, Hotel Shivalikview, Sector-10, Chandigarh 2.

Any other flowers: Director PGI, Sector-12, Chandigarh 1, Hans Raj Public School, Sector-6, Panchiula 2, Chandigarh Housing Board, Sector-9, Chandigarh 2.

Best Garden in the City — Class G (Open to Govt., Semi-Govt. Bodies Institutions and Private Nurseries)

Large Garden (area over 4 Kanals): Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector-39, Chandigarh 1, Chandigarh Housing Board, 8 Jan Sector-9, Chandigarh 2.

Small Garden (area less than 4 kanals): Accountant General (A&E) Pb. Sec. 17, Gp. Capt. R. Stephen, Commanding Offic 25 Squadron of Air Force Station, Chandigarh 2, Canra Bank, Plot No.1 Sec. 34-A, Chandigarh 2.

Cut Flowers — Class-B (Open to amateurs only)

Antirrhinum: Mahesh Parshad, H. No. 304, Ph-II, B.D. Colony, S/26, Chd., 1 Shiv Yadav, H. No. 80, Sector 8, Chandigarh, 2.

Aster: Kavita Marriya, Principal DAV College, Sec. 10, Chd., 1 Mahesh Parshad, H. No. 304, Ph-II, B.D. Colony, S/26, Chd., 2

Stock: Prabhu Nath Yadav, H. No. 53, Sec.-4, Chandigarh, 1 Parbhu Nath Yadav, H. No. 53, Sec.-4, Chandigarh, 2 Kavita Marriya, Principal DAV College, Sec. 10, Chd., 2.

Carnation: Prabhu Mali, H. No. 4657, Palsora Colony, Chd., 1 Balbir Singh, H. No. 1003, Sec. 44-B, Chandigarh, 2.

Candytuft: Ram Saran Verma, H. No. 943, Mauli Jagran, 1 Rama Shankar Yadav, 327, Sector 9-D, Chd., 2.

Dahlia: Ram Neval, Kothi No. 42, Sector 9, Chd., 1 Kavita Marriya, DAV College, Sec-10, Chandigarh, 2 Ram Sumer Maurya, H. No. 125, Sec-6, Chandigarh, 2.

Gladiolus: 190 Jaswant Singh, H. No. 407, Rajiv Colony, S/38, Chd., 1 Ram Kishore, 17 R Navneet Nagar, Ambala City, 2.

Gerbera: Chanderma Singh, H. No. 168, Rajiv Colony, Chd., 1 Prabhu Mali, 4657, Palsora Colony, Chandigarh, 2.

Lupin: U.D. Kapre, Vill. Toansa, Distt. Nawanshahr, 2.

Larkspur: Mani Ram H. No. 1168, Colony No. 5, Chandigarh, 2.

Marigold: Dr Ajit Singh, H. No. 63, Sec-10-A, Chandigarh, 1 Mani Ram Verma, H. No. 17A, Sector 12, Chandigarh, 2.

Pansy: Continental Device India Ltd., Sector 5, Chd., 1 Arjun Parshad, 100, Sector 10, Chd., 2 Nanhy Lal Khuda Ali Sher, Chandigarh, 2.

Rose Hybride Tea: Jaswant Singh, H. No. 407, Rajiv Colony, Chd., 1 Raj Kumar, H. No. 77, Sector 5, Chandigarh, 2 Prabhu Mali, H. No. 4657, Palsora Colony, Chd., 2.

Rose Floribunda: Jaswant Lal, H. No. 61, Ph-3-A, Mohali, 1.

Rose Hybrid Tea in three stages unopen Bud. semi-open and open: Jaswant Lal, H. No. 61, Phase-3-A, Mohali, 1 Jaswant Lal, H. No. 61, Phase-3-A, Mohali, 2.

Rose Hybrid Tea Collection of three names varieties: Jaswant Lal, H. No. 61, Phase-3-A, Mohali, 1 Jaswant Lal, H. No. 61, Phase-3-A, Mohali, 2.

Sweet Peas: Ram Sumer Mariya, H. No. 125, Sector 6, Panchkula, 1 T.L. Eashwar, Vill. Toansa, Distt. Nawanshahr, 2 U.D. Kapre, Vill. Toansa, Distt. Nawanshahr, 2.

Any other flower: Payal Kans Singh, 127/9-B, Chd., 1 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327, Sector-9-D, Chd., 2 Kavita Marriya, DAV College Sec.-10, Chd., 2 Ram Sumer Marriya, H. No. 125, Sec. 6, Panchkula, 2.

Flowers and plants grown in pots — Class-D (Open to Amateurs only) Aster: Mahesh Parshad, 364/Ph-II, Sector 26, Chd, 2 Antirrhinum: Ram Sumer Mourya, H.No. 125/6, Panchkula, 1; Cynthia Shear, St. Xavier High School S/20, Pkl, 2 Verbena: Ashok Kumar Mourya, 125/6, Pkl, 1 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 2 Salvia: Continental Device India Ltd. H.No. 15/5, Chd, 1 Ravneet Kaur, 18/3-A, Chd, 2 Brachycome: Jaswant Lal, 61/3-A, Mohali, 1 Mamta Trihan, 39/7, Pkl, 2 Cineraria: Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 1 Ram Neval, 42/9, Chd, 2 Carnation: Lallan Parshad, 39/7, Pkl, 1 Mamta Trihan, 39/7, Pkl, 2 Collection of Different Folliage Plants: Prabhu Nath Yadav, 53/4, Chd, 1 Mishu Kohli, 554/18, Chd, 2 Collection of Cacti: Shushil Kumar, 606/17, 1, Dr Rajni Thareja, Principal, Hans Raj Public School, Sector 6, Pkl, 2 Collection of Succulent: Sushil Kumar, 606/17, 1, Surinder K. Garg, HL-482 Ph-9, Mohali, 2 Bonsai Large size Format Upright Style: Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 1 B.P. Singh, 1559/18, Chd, 1 Bonsai Medium Informal Upright Style: Prabhu Nath Yadav, 53/4, Chandigarh Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 2 Bonsai Miniature: Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 1 B.P. Singh, 1559/18, Chd, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 2 Bonsai Grown as Group planting style: Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 1 Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj, H.No. 522/16, Chd, 2 Dahlia: Dr. Arnanshu Bahera, 8-H, P.G.I. Chd, 1 Varinder Sharma, 804/8, Pkl, 2 Dianthus: Prabhu Nath Yadav, H.No. 53/4, Chd, 1 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 2 Geranium: Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 1 Vishal Singh, 1800, Sec 7-C, Chd, 2 Kale: Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 1 Kavita Marriya Principal Residence, DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 2 Marigold: Chander Bhan, 302/10-B, Chd, 1 Ashok Kumar Mourya, 3012/21-D, Chd, 2 Nemesia: Mahesh Parahsd, 304/Ph-II, Sector 26, Chd, 1 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 2 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 2 Nasturtium: Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 1 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 2 Petunia Double Hybrid: Lallan Parshad, Kothi No. 39, Sector 7, Pkl 1 Mamta Trihan K.No. 39/7, Pkl, 2 Petunia Single Hybrid: Kavita Marriya Principal Residence, DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 1 Cynthia Shear C/o St. Zavier High School S/2 Panchkula, 2 Continetal Device India Ltd. 15/5, Chd, 2 Panay:Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 1 Rama Shanker Yadav, 327/9-D, Chd, 2 Phlox: Cynthia Shear C/o St. Zavier High School S/20 Panchkula, 1 Paras Nath Mourya, 3012/21-D, Chd, 2 Any other flower: Col. Gurmit Singh, 3268/35-D, Chd, 1 Ravneet Kaur, 18/3-A, Chd, 2 Mishu Kohli, 554/18, Chd, 2

Vegetables and fruit carving — Class-I (Open to all)

Vegetables and fruit carving: Sukhjot, H. No. 1371, Sector 40-B, Chandigarh, 1 Meenu Sharma, H. No. 3085, Sector 37-D, Chandigarh, 2 Sukhbir Pal Kaur, H. No. 2164, Phase-X, Mohali, 2.

Class H (Open to all)

Best roundabouts: Hotel Shivalikview, 1 M/S I.F.B. Industries Area, Ph-II, Chd., 2 W.W.I.C.S., SCO 2415, 2.

Best College Campus: Regional Director, Re-Coop. Management, 1 S. Marriya Principal, 2.

Best Private School Campus maintained: Atul Khanna, Director School, Nehru Bhawan, 1.

Best open space maintained (in the market): Trader Association, 2.

Best Bhawan and any other non-Govt premises maintained. Ist: Gurdwara Sahib Patsah,1.

Best Garden in the city — Class F (Open to Amateurs)

Larg garden (with area over 2 kanals: S. Paramjit Singh, H. No. 334/33-A, Chd., 1 Rana Gurjeet Singh, H. No. 53/4, Chd., 2 S. Marriya, Principal, DAV College, S/10, 2.

Medium Garden (with area over 1 kanal but less than 2 kanals: Col. Balwant Singh, Kothi No. 42/9, Chd., 1 Manjeet Verma, H. No. 567/8-B, Chd., 2 B.P. Singh, 1559/18-D, Chandigarh, , 2.

Small Garden (with area less than 1 kanal): Dr. Arunashu. B, 84-7/Sec. 12, PGI, Chd., 1 Gp. Capt. R. Stephen, P-49, Brar Enclave, 2 Paras Nath Mourya, 3012/21-D, Chd., 2



Squall snaps water, power supplies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
High speed winds accompanied by sharp showers broke the spell of rising temperatures in the city and surrounding areas this morning. The wind , however, resulted in disruption of power and water supply to certain areas besides causing damage to telephone and television cables and also uprooted several trees.

The city recorded 2 cms of rain till 5:30 p.m while the day time temperature dropped drastically and was recorded at 23.4° C, 2° C below the normal average for this time of the year. Yesterday the day time temperature was 27° C.

A number of trees fell in the high velocity wind thus snapping high tension power supply lines at several places . During the day engineers struggled to restore supply till afternoon. The storm started off at 4 am with wind speed touching 96 km per hours at 4:03 a.m. Director of the local met office, Mr S.C. Bhan said the storm had been caused by a combination of a low pressure area over Rajasthan adjoining West Pakistan and a system clouds over central Jammu and Kashmir. This was not on the same intensity as the storm on February 19 when wind speeds touched 115 kilometers per hour.

This morning as soon as high speed winds lashed the city power supply was snapped while in several places the supply was switched off to protect the system. On the water supply front parts of the city which are fed from tubewells had to go without morning water supply and as the tubewells could not run there was low pressure in the pipelines.

The wind speed also damaged television cables. This led to anxiety among cricket lovers as the crucial India -Pakistan cricket match was to start at 1:30 p.m. Telecommunication systems also developed snags at several places.

In several sectors power supply snapped or had to be switched off to prevent damage. In Sectors 44, 45, 42, 46, 47, 48, 49, 35, 38 and 39 supply was restored this morning around 10 a.m. In Sectors 18, 19, 29, 30 the situation was also the same. In Sector 27 a tree fell on a power cable disrupting the supply.

Power engineers said they were helpless in the face of such a storm. Even a branch from a tree if it touches the 11 KV high tension feeder makes it trip and it takes more than two hours to rectify it. In Chandigarh almost all high tension feeders are running close to trees.


The house of Mr Amrao Singh, a resident of Barauli village in Kharar subdivision collapsed due to heavy rain and high velocity winds in the early hours of the day today.



R.K. Sharma comes home
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 1
It was a homecoming for suspended Inspector-General of Haryana Police and accused in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case. Ravi Kant Sharma. A house bedecked with flowers. carpets strewn with flowers, to walk on and beaming family members welcomed the IPC officer at his residence in Sector 6 here this evening.

Obviously, quite a contrast to his prison cell in Tihar jail, New Delhi, where he has been lodged while facing trial for conspiracy to murder of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar. But he could not have hoped for a better welcome as his two daughters - Pragati and Komal-went rushing in his arms as soon as he alighted from a Delhi police bus at 5 p.m. Beaming, he hugged both his daughters and looking at the prospective bride, how much weight she had lost.

The IPS officer was brought here on custodial parole for five hours, till 10 pm, by a 15-member team of the Delhi police, led by Inspector Raja Ram Yadav, to participate in the engagement ceremony of his elder daughter, Pragati, with Amresh Mishra later in the evening. Just as he alighted from the bus, dressed in black jeans, checked grey shirt and dark grey sweater, two of his old friends, Mr Bal Krishan Sharma and a retired Haryana Police officer, greeted him.

As mediapersons asked Mr Sharma to describe his feelings on coming home after almost seven months, he said “it feels great to be home and it’s good to be with my family.” He came out as soon as his mother, Ms Kamla Sharma, arrived here hugged her. A number of family friends of the Sharmas children and staff of Bal Niketan, a home for destitute children, being run by the Sharma’s here arrived at the residence to greet Ravi Kant with flowers.

Most of the guests had left by 6.15 pm and the family was left all to themselves till 8 pm when the guests began pouring in for the ring ceremony.



Vacant posts issue dogs UT Engg Wing
Tribune News Service

There is a move to reinstate the suspended Superintending Engineer, Mr K.B. Sharma. Files relating to his case and suspended Executive Engineer Mr Harsh Kumar are presently lying pending with the Adviser to the UT Administrator. The name of Mr Sharma has been approved for reinstatement, said sources while adding that the case of Mr Harsh Kumar was to be held in abeyance. The Engineering Department has taken the plea that if police officials involved in serious cases of misconduct and in missing files cases had been re-instated, why not the engineers.

Chandigarh, March 1
Following the murder of Executive Engineer V.K. Chopra, the Engineering Wing is faced with a unique situation. The issue of vacant posts has once again surfaced. UT cadre officers have obtained a stay against posting of those on deputation against vacant posts. A few engineers have been suspended, while a couple of the engineers of the UT cadre have been dismissed from service.

In the past, posts were easily filled from among those on deputation from Punjab and Haryana. Now the UT cadre engineers who have been recruited as junior engineers in the past three decades want their share of promotion.

Already the cadre is short on senior officers and several officials in the key positions like superintending engineers and executive engineers are holding current duty charge (CDC). These officials have not been promoted but have been asked to look after the work of senior positions.

All this breaks the chain of command. For example if an SDO is given the rank of an XEN, other SDOs resent such move causing heartburn among the cadre as several engineers have been placed ahead of their seniors. This leads to departmental pressures and results in typical groupism. Departmental promotion committees (DPCs) have not been held in the past.

At the top of the UT cadre is the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh. Next in line is Mr K.B. Sharma, who stands suspended. Third in seniority is Mr V.K. Bhardawaj, who is presently posted as Chief Engineer Municipal Corporation. Already two others — Mr A.K. Gupta and Mr K.S. Brar — have been dismissed from service in the silt scam. They moved court for an early hearing and were granted the same about three years ago and the matter has been lying pending before the courts ever since.

Next in line is superintending engineers Mr S.K. Jaitley, Mr S.L. Bhandari and Mr Krishanjit Singh. All are in the rank of XEN and have been handed over the CDC. Similarly, down the line several of the SDOs are working as XENs. The same was the case with murdered XEN V.K. Chopra. His work has temporarily been handed over to his SDO Mr Anoop Chauhan, even though he is junior to several in the cadre of SDO. The same is true in the case of Mr Krishanjit also. The matter, sources said, has been discussed among senior officials in the past. However, no decision has been taken.



Cricket hooks PGI doctors
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 1
Cricket fever gripped everyone in the city even the doctors at the ongoing Spring Fest-2003 in the PGI. From 1.30 pm till the match ended, the cricket buffs remained glued to their seats watching Indians and Pakistanis playing against each other, at the Bhargava auditorium.

After the match ended quiz, and what’s the good word items were organised. Late at night, dance party was held at the Upper Cafe as a daily schedule.

Thumping beats of latest numbers filled the air as the students of a local fashion designing institute sashayed down the ramp during a fashion show yesterday. For the doctors so used to looking at the patients with stethoscopes, it was a nice change to see the students clad in cheerful attires illuminated by colourful blinking lights.

They stood up to applaud as the students of National Institute of Fashion Designing and their colleagues walked in western and traditional attires to the beats of high-wattage music.



APS Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Army Postal Service (APS) corps celebrated its 31st anniversary in Chandi Mandir, Western Command Headquarters, near here, today.

Besides holding a get-together for officers at the headquarters, a ‘Barakhana’ was organised for all APS personnel stationed in Chandigarh, Chandi Mandir, Panchkula and Mohali. The most important contribution of the APS in the life of a jawan is that it brings cheer to him through letters from his near and dear, whether he is in the snowcapped Himalayas, dense forests of the North-East or the deserts of western India.

The corps plays a significant role in boosting the morale of troops deployed in inhospitable terrains. It provides postal cover not only to the Army but also to the Air Force, border road organisation, Rastriya Rifles and paramilitary forces like the BSF, Assam Rifles and the ITBP.



Sikh Regiment get-together
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Sikh Regiment held a get-together for its serving and retired officers at Chandi Mandir, Western Command Headquarters, near here, today. The function was attended by a large number of serving and retired officers from all over Punjab and other parts of the country.

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, and a veteran of the Sikh Regiment graced the occasion. Lieut-Gen S.S. Chahal, Commandant of the prestigious National Defence College and Colonel of the Sikh Regiment, presided over the function.

The regiment, one of the most decorated regiments in the Army, has a glorious record of valour spanning over 157 years. In the pre-Independence period, the regiment earned 65 battle honours and 27 theatre honours.



Fake pharmacist arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 1
The police has arrested Ajit Kumar Dogra allegedly for selling medicines by preparing a fake certificate from his shop at Badheri here. He has been booked under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.

Thefts: The police has received at least three complaints of thefts from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Zirakpur reported that her purse containing a gold chain, earring and LIC card was stolen from here scooter which was parked in Sector 22 here yesterday. A car (CL 3CC 6792) of Mr R.K Narula, was allegedly stolen from Sector 9 yesterday. Mr Ramesh Chander of Sector 26 reported that his scooter (CH01 A 7549) was stolen from the Chandigarh Club here yesterday.


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