Monday, March 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman, 2 daughters commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 2
A woman, along with her two daughters, committed suicide in her house at Mundi Kharar village here last night.
According to the police, the dead bodies of Usha Rani (45) and her two daughters, Manisha (18) and Madhu (16), were found hanging from ceiling fans at about mid-night.

According to the police, Mr Ashok Kumar Sharma, who runs a shop in the village, had gone to the house of a relative to watch cricket match between India and Pakistan on television as there was no supply of electricity in the village.

He returned around 11 pm and knocked at the door. He waited for sometime, but there was no reply.

He jumped the boundary wall and entered the house and saw the bodies hanging from ceiling fans. He called his neighbours and the bodies were brought down.

The police reached the spot and recorded the statement of the brother of the deceased. The bodies were handed over to the family members after a post-mortem examination had been conducted at the Civil Hospital, Kharar. According to the police, the brother of the deceased did not suspect any foul play. Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar, also visited the spot. He said no suicide note had been found and the reason of these suicides could not be ascertained yet.



Festival of Gardens concludes
Tribune News Service

Capturing the rhythm of music, a Kalbelia dancer from Rajasthan holds the audience captive during the Festival of Gardens
Capturing the rhythm of music, a Kalbelia dancer from Rajasthan holds the audience captive during the Festival of Gardens in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Photo Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, March 2
Responses to the 31st Festival of Gardens notwithstanding, the UT Administration deserves all the praise in the world for having steered the festival towards a fairly decent halt.

As is said, the administrative skills of any government are normally tested in a crisis situation, the people in charge of the festival managed to hold every single listed event, despite the persistently furious weather. Interestingly, not even a single scheduled function was cancelled on account of the occasional showers. Only the time and the venue kept shifting in the circle of arrangement.

Since morning, there was immense speculation over how the listed contests (like the on-the-spot painting and antakshari) would take place. Most of the fingers were crossed for the Jasbir Jassi nite at the Leisure Valley, which was not being touted as a very favourable venue for the much-awaited show. But for some reason, things went well and everything fell into place by the evening. Jasbir Jassi again managed a great audience, irrespective of the fact that he has hardly gone out of the city ever since he performed to a hysterious crowd in Euphoria some days back.

Music first. Jassi could not have asked for more. He must have been happy that he got to sing finally. In fact, there was a time when the singer himself might be thinking that he would not get a chance to perform. The timing of the nite was not fixed, resulting in music lovers waiting in line to get inside the venue and get seated for the show. Like always, entry trouble reigned the affair, which was more about noise and less about music. The saving grace, however, came from the singer who was as composed and as humble as ever. He presented his very favourite and hit numbers like kudi Kudi, Kudi Gujarat di and many more.

Government Home Science College was chosen as a comfortable venue for most of the activities today. To begin with there was an on-the-spot painting competition which brought out fresh ideas, as embodied by the youngsters. In fact, like every year there was meagre participation in the antakshari contest.

Later, the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Virendra Singh, gave away prizes to the winners of various competitions held during the festival.

Mr Virendra Singh also conferred Dr Zakir Hussain Running Trophy on Mr Paramjit Singh of House No. 334, Sector 33-A, Chandigarh for Best Garden in the City, whereas this year’s Dr. M.S. Randhawa Running Trophy was won by the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) for the Best Roundabout in the City.

It is worthwhile to mention here that these Running Trophies have been introduced this year to acknowledge the participation and efforts made by institutions and the individuals for the development of private and public places. These trophies would now be given every year.

The results of various competitions are as follows:

On-the-spot painting competition: 5 to 8 Years (A): Ayush Goyal (1st), Kori Obi Biswas (2nd), Shruti Sharma (3rd) 8 to 11 Years (B): Kriti Sharma (1st), Arjuna Goswami (2nd), Gaurav (3rd) 11 to 14 Years (C): Bharti Sharma (1st), Pawandeep Kaur (2nd), Monami (3rd) 14 to 17 Years (D): Perry Goswami (1st), Vishali Vishwas (2nd), Raman Deep Kaur (3rd).

Antakshari competition: Ritu Rai and Sushmita, Dev Samaj College of Education, Sec. 36 (1st), Sariti and Amandeep, Government College for Girls-42 (2nd), Madhu and Monika, Dev Samaj College of Education, Sec. 36 (3rd).

Brass Band Competition: Chandigarh Police (1st), 102 INF Batallion, Kalka (2nd), CRPF Pinjore (3rd), PAP Jalandhar (4th).

Pipe band competition: Chandigarh Police (1st), ITBP Bhanu Haryana (2nd), Home Guard, Haryana (3rd).

Folk Dance Competition: Punjabi Cultural Society (1st), Harvinder and Party (2nd), Rising Star Cultural Society (3rd).

Folk dance competition in individual category: (Students) Master Gobind (1st), Chandani (2nd), Robby (3rd).

Photography competition in professional category: K. Sethi (1st), Vipin Kumar (2nd).

Photography competition in amateur category: Sanjay Kaushal (1st), Vivek Sharma (2nd), Choginder Gupta (3rd).

Photography competition in amateur category (consolation prize): Subhash Sapru, Dinesh Verma, Harvinder Singh, Parmod K. Gupta.

Rose quiz competition (school category): Ridhima Sharma and Neha Thakur, Government Model Sr Sec School-35 (1st), Ishani Aggarwal and Himani Dutta, Government Model Sr. Sec. School-16, (2nd).

Rose quiz competition (college category): Nishta Sharma and Roohi Lakhotra, Government College for Girls -11 (1st), Mrinal Singla and Sohrab Sandhu, DAV College-10 (2nd).



Nihang comes in way of demolition
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 2
Delay in removing an encroachment in a public park in Sector 69 today led to the resurfacing of encroachment. A nihang who had allegedly encroached upon a public park today replaced the Guru Granth Sahib in a room after having removed it. While the Punjab urban planning and development (PUDA) officials who had to remove the encroachment on Friday are blaming the township’s Tehsildar for having failed to provide police to the team in time, the Tehsildar states that he does not have any orders to provide police to the PUDA team.

Yesterday, high drama followed the ending of the dead line given by PUDA to the nihang. Over 40 persons converged on the spot and raised slogans against PUDA officials. In the absence of any support from the police or the SAS Nagar, Tehsildar, the PUDA team had to retract from the site without completing their work.

The nihang had built a set of rooms on the park and in one room housed the Guru Granth Sahib. He was allegedly rearing horses in one of the sheds and growing poppy in the park. A PUDA team had recently razed all rooms except the one housing the holy Guru Granth Sahib. The nihang had been given a deadline that the holy Guru Granth Sahib be sent with due respect to a gurdwara by noon yesterday. The deadline was extended by the Tehsidar who accompanied the team in the morning till four 4pm. The nihang shifted the holy Guru Granth Sahib and vacated the room removing the doors also. But when the PUDA team reached the spot they were met with an angry mob of over 40 persons who started raising slogans against them.

‘‘We were also told that they had collected stones and could resort to violence. The nihang had called some other persons who were wielding swords. We had to retract in the absence of the police, and today the Nihang replaced the holy Guru Granth Sahib and fixed the doors in the room.’’ says Mr Ranjit Kumar, SDO (Buildings), PUDA, who was leading the team.

The Tehsildar, Mr Bhupinder Singh, had stated that he did not have any orders from the SDM or the Deputy Commissioner to help the PUDA team for this operation. ‘‘I had gone with the PUDA team yesterday to help find a solution but I have no official orders to act as the duty magistrate in the operation in Sector 69,’’ he said.



Allegations mar panchayat poll
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, March 2
Allegations and counter-allegations marked the elections to the three-year-old Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat amid tight security here today.
Tension started brewing since morning outside Ward Nos 5, 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15 soon after the election process started.

Booth No. 6 at Lohgarh village virtually turned into “a police cantonment” where senior police officials, along with senior leaders, remained camped almost throughout the day.

Being a super-sensitive booth, police sources said, the government had directed senior police officials to keep a close watch here. Fearing rigging, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the Punjab Planning Board, and Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Additional Advocate General of Punjab, were present at the booth, besides a Punjab Police commando company.

Supporters of both candidates raised slogans against each other, but no untoward incident was reported.

While allegations and counter-allegations of rigging were levelled in all polling stations, incidents of mild scuffle were reported from polling booth Nos. 13 and 14. Ms Sheelam Sohi, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, and Capt Kanwaljit Singh, alleged rigging at booth No. 13.

Following their objections, 26 fake voters were identified and detained by the police. They were later let off after questioning. Heated arguments were exchanged among two groups of candidates over bogus voting in booth No. 14.

Mr Bhagwant Singh, an SAD candidate from the ward, alleged bogus voting by the Congress candidate. Mr Balbir Singh Bartana, a former MLA from the Banur constituency, reacted sharply to this and heated arguments were exchanged between them.

SAD and Congress supporters also charged each other with bogus voting in booth Nos 5, 12 and 15.

After a survey, the civic body authorities had declared four booths hypersensitive and additional force was deployed there for a fair and peaceful election.

Besides the returning officer and the election supervisory staff, Mr Amarjit Singh Dhindsa, SDM, Dera Bassi also visited various polling booths to ensure a free, fair and peaceful election.

According to CID reports, 65 per cent polling was witnessed in the elections. However, Mr Surjit Singh, Returning Officer, expressed ignorance about the poll percentage.



Villagers show self-help is the best help
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Garibdass, March 2
Fed up with the alleged indifferent attitude of the district administration towards their civic problems, the residents of Mullanpur Garibdass took upon themselves the responsibility of laying a causeway on a nullah and repairing of other nullahs here today.

Brick, cement, iron rods and a mason were provided by the Youth Welfare, Sports and Health Club, Mullanpur-Garibdass, while residents worked as labourers. The work started in the morning and by evening the causeway was ready. The president of the club, Mr Arvind Puri, said the club would provide more building material, if required.

The ‘karseva’ started from Saniawala mohalla, which is one of the most neglected areas in the village. There were several potholes on the entire stretch of the road. ‘‘A brief spell of shower and the road became inapproachable even for the four-wheelers,’’ said Mr Mewa Singh, a karsevak.

‘‘Tomorrow onwards we will start repairing nullahs,’’ said Mr Dev Singh. ‘‘We had given several representations to the authorities concerned and also to the sitting MLA, Mr Jagmohan Kang, but to no avail,” he said. The residents were even ready to pool-in money, if required.

“Damaged roads, streets and choked nullahs are one of the permanent features of the village. In the rainy season, many parts of the village become water-logged. The open nullahs in the village only adds to the woes of the villagers. Only a proper sewerage system can solve our problems,’’ said Mr Surjit Sigh, a villager.




ALTHOUGH the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had planned to reduce the deficit incurred against subsidised water supply to the residents of the city by means of strict vigilance, increased tariff and rationalising the system of billing but still a lot has to be done to save water — the precious natural resource on earth.

The Tribune managed to capture a photograph (by Parvesh Chauhan) from the Sector 32-D park where a water supply line was found without a tap, clearly showing the water flowing in waste. The nearby residents told TNS that they had informed the MC on many occasions but no one ever turned up to fix a tap or close down the pipe. Water had been flowing through this pipeline from the past many months, said the residents.

It may be mentioned that one kilo litre of water costs Rs 3.45 to the MC while it is being supplied at Rs 2.75 per kilo litre to domestic consumers. There are at least 17,000 authorised water connections in the city with a total consumption of at least 64 metric gallons a day.

Seventyeight per cent of the water is provided to the city residents through the Kajauli waterworks and the rest through tubewells. The total expenditure proposed by the MC on water division is around Rs 46 crore in the current financial year as against the collections of just Rs 30 crore. However, the MC has projected that the revenue collections will increase by more than Rs 2 crore in the next financial year.

Keshub Mahindra

Mr Keshub Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra and Mahindra, and President of CRRID, continues to nurse a special relationship with erstwhile Punjab. Belonging to Paragpur in Kangra district, he looks back nostalgically to his grassroots. It is his attachment to his ancestral place that makes him visit Chandigarh and Kangra regularly. Accompanied by his Maharashtrian wife, Sudha, Mr Mahindra was here in Chandigarh as well as in Kangra, not only for a personal visit but also for a purpose.

This time he laid the foundation stone of the yoga and meditation hall of the Swami Gurmat Mission Kendra in Kangra. This centre started by Swami Ram and supported by Mr Mahindra not only runs programmes for training of women, women empowerment, reproductive child health care and farmers’ welfare but also works for socio-economic upliftment of poor and weaker sections of society.

Both Mr Mahindra and his wife appear to be greatly impressed by the rural development programmes initiated by the CRRID and also by the Swami Ram Gurmat Mission. In fact, many may not be aware that Mr Mahindra, now 79, has not only been the founder President of CRRID, but also a founder donor of this centre.

During his visit, says Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director of the centre, Mr Mahindra interacted with members of the faculty of the centre. He has been very supportive of various programmes and projects of the centre from the very beginning.

Antique watches

Owners and lovers of antique watches in and around Chandigarh have got together to form a non-profit organisation. The Passion-for-Time-Watch Heritage Club, the first of its kind in India. The club has approximately 60 antique watches and is holding their first show of heritage watches in Chandigarh from March 3 to 8 at the Ethos- watch retail store.

According to Mr Yasho Saboo, president of the club, “Heritage watches are 40 years old or more. They can be collector’s pieces, and worth a lot of money, especially if they have historical value, or they have technical “complication” or are unique in some way. Last year, at an auction in Geneva, a record was established for the highest price for any wristwatch when a unique, Patek Philippe platinum “World-Time” watch was sold for SFR 6.60 million, approximately Rs 25 crore.

The club has enrolled 25 members already from the city and its surrounding areas. The profile of the members is an interesting mix. From a serving Principal to a retired Principal; from a retired colonel to a retired general, an industrialist, a member of the royal family, a student.... The common factor, which has brought these people together is their passion for antique watches.

The club will be exhibiting approximately 60 watches from the pre-1920s; from the period of world wars 1930- 1945; the post war boom year (1950s) and lastly from the swinging 1960s.

For example an 18 k gold pendant watch circa 1900 with an enamelled portrait of Guru Nanak Dev passed on through the generations of direct descendents of Guru Nanak Dev; an Omega- Hologeria centrale- Addis Abba circa bought by a retired Army officer when posted in the Congo as a Subaltern in the early 1940s; a Jaeger LeCoultre with a cricket alarm circa 1940; a watch from the swinging 1960s with changeable bezels of different shapes and designs.

Nadi Shastra

How about getting an accurate prediction and also know about the past just by giving your thumb impression? This is possible through Nadi astrology.

The ancient Tamil form of astrology has now arrived in Chandigarh. Operating from house number 1069, Sector 15, Pandit S. Thirumavalavan Udaiyar, shows how the Nadi Shastra, written in Sanskrit on palm leaves, works. We do not require the date of birth or the time of birth; all that is required is a thumb impression. The Nadi form contains predictions for all 12 houses in a person’s horoscope and covers the full life cycle of the person.

The leaves encased in wooden caskets have been handed down from generation to generation. The original writings were penned 2,000 years ago by the great sage Agathia Mahamivar (also known as Rishi Agastya). The shastra provides for remedies also.

Candid Husain

Little had one expected that the legendary painter M.F. Husain would have obliged one and all during his two-day visit to City Beautiful some days back. For the first day, the painter kept space for scribes, who questioned him almost “endlessly” over the controversial aspects of his life. Interestingly, the painter who had requested the organisers to arrange one-to-one interaction with representatives of various newspapers was more than happy when all journalists surrounded him almost simultaneously. Husain has no idea about the strength of UT’s journalists. The painter later even commented: “I did not know the city was so rich in journalists!”

Another interesting part of the interaction was Husain’s occasional bouts of humour. Not only was he open about his fascination for Madhuri Dixit and Tabu, he was also more than happy about the new inspiration in his life — Mayawati. And when someone asked him what this Mayawati affair was all about, Husain answered: “In the world of politics which is otherwise marked with unpleasant people, I think Mayawati is quite charming. I will surely make her portrait one day.”

Sensible street theatre

Never has the Students Centre at Panjab University witnessed such a gathering as it witnessed on February 27 when some of the finest actors from DAV College presented a beautiful production on the campus. The strength of the show rested with the fact that people were involved in each and every dialogue which the students (who belong to Aagaaz, the Dramatics Society of DAV College) had laced with punch and sting.

The play was no routine presentation. “Called Man ki Bhadaas”, this production has won acclaims on the national level, with the DAV team winning laurels for the sensitive portrayal of society. The young actors made an uninhibited presentation (using numerous satires), so much so that while the play was in progress, many people from outside PU gathered to see the young DAV boys in action!

Twice decorated

The city lost one of the most highly decorated Air Force officers, Gp Capt P.L. Dhawan, who left for his heavenly abode on February 26. He was twice decorated with the Vir Chakra for gallantry in operations. This is a rare achievement for a transport pilot. He was among the first pilots to airlift troops to Jammu and Kashmir during the invasion by Pakistani-backed raiders in 1948. He operated out of forward airfields under extremely hostile conditions.

Cracking profit

The advertisers have gained out of the World Cup by featuring Indian team members. At the national level. No doubt about it. But at the local level, enterprising shopkeepers have profited by storing crackers for the World Cup.

In 2003, some shopkeepers made sure crackers were available to the residents even after Divali. “We had confidence in the abilities of our players from the very beginning, that’s the reason why we had stored crackers for the big event,” the shopkeepers comment. They add, “No need to worry about the supply. We have enough to last till the finals”.

— Sentinel



Inbreeding claimed lions’ lives: report
Our Correspondent

ChhatBir (Patiala), March 2
Investigations into the mysterious death of nine cubs of Asiatic lions at Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park have ‘strongly’ pointed out massive inbreeding to be the main cause of mortality for the last one-and-a-half years.

A team of veterinary scientists from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, had visited the zoo on January 8.The team had examined the ailing cubs and had taken some blood samples for various tests like fecal sample and rectal swap from the affected lions.

The scientists observed that the ailing big cats were not supposed to suffer from any type of bacterial, viral or parasitic disease.

The meat fed to the lions was also found negative for presence of common contaminants like insecticides , pesticides or heavy metals.

The report further states that ‘‘the problem was confined to a particular age group of animals from specific three dams only. The possible role of some lethal genes, expressed through intense inbreeding with in the population cannot be ruled out.’’

In its report, a team of IVRI scientists — comprising Dr A. K. Sharma, Senior Scientist, Division of Pathology, Dr R.C. Parta, Scientist (SS), Division of Medicine and Dr. US Pati, Division of B and M — said during clinically examinations of two ailing animals, general body condition was found poor, they were moderately dehydrated and the cubs were reluctant to stand. After best possible treatment given to the ailing big cats by the zoo management , veterinary doctors of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) Ludhiana, had been unable to reach a consensus onthe mysterious disease which have claimed the lives of several lions in the zoo.

The PAU authorities had sought assistance from the IVRA to identify the disease that had spread widely among the lions a When asked about the way out to get rid of the problem, Dr Vinod Kumar Sharma, Chief Warden (Zoos) Punjab, said,‘‘A complete and immediate ban on lions breeding is the only remedy.’’ He said the zoo authorities had already performed vasectomy on all lions in the zoo to avoid the disease and to curtail the overpopulation of the big cats. 



Members of MC panels yet to be nominated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
It would take another couple of weeks to nominate members to various committees constituted to ensure smooth working of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.
Talking to TNS, Subash Chawla, Mayor of the MC said two new committees - the Enforcement Committee and the Resources Generation Committee had also been constituted to further streamline the process of policy making in the civic body.

The other committees to which members have to be nominated include the Roads Committee, the Water Supply Sewerage Disposal Committee, the House Tax Assessment Committee, the Environment & City Beautification Committee, the Sanitation Committee, the Slum Development Committee, the Electricity Committee, the Arts-Culture & Sports Committee, the Legal Affairs Committee and the Apni Mandi Committee.

The Mayor said members of these committees would be nominated in the next few weeks and due representation would be given to the councillors irrespective of the party they belong to.

Earlier, Anu Chatrath was declared elected as a member of the vital finance and contact committees last week. 



66 in fray for MC poll
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 2
As many as 66 candidates were left in the fray on the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers for the Kharar Municipal Council elections to be held on March 9.

According to Mr S.S. Gill, SDM-cum-Returning Officer, symbols were allotted to all candidates yesterday. Meanwhile, as many as 46 candidates were left in the fray for the Kurali MC poll.



Cable operators evading entertainment tax
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 2
Most of the cable TV operators in the town are running their networks without paying entertainment tax. The violation came to light at a meeting of cable operators which had been organised at the office of the SDM here today. It was brought to the notice of the SDM that only eight cable operators out of 30 running their business in the town were paying the entertainment tax which was Rs 15,000 per year and the violation had been going on over the past several years. There were 100 operators in the SAS Nagar subdivision and a majority of them were defaulters.

Mr D.S. Sandhu, SDM, told the officials of the department concerned to issue notices to all defaulters asking them to make payments, alongwith penalty amount, within 15 days failing which legal action would be taken against them. Mr Sandhu said in future the licence of cable TV operators should be renewed only after they produced a certificate which proved that the entertainment tax had been paid to the department concerned. The licence is renewed every year.

Officials from the sales tax department, municipal council and the post office also attended the meeting held with representatives of operators.

Col S.S. Chahal, president of the Mohali Cable Association, offered to charge Rs 200 instead of Rs 220 per month from the residents.



SHSAD delegation to meet Jacob
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 2
A delegation comprising members of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) will meet the Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), on March 4 to demand from the Centre Rs 700 per quintal rate for wheat for farmers.

The delegation, to be led by Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, general secretary of the party, will also highlight the fact that Punjab has not been given any drought relief by the Centre. It will also discuss the protest of the business community against the implementation of VAT in the state.

Annual function: Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sohana, held their annual prize distribution function. The chief guest on the occasion was Mr Ujjagar Singh Malhi, District Education Officer Ropar. The guest of honour was Brig Arjinder Singh (retd), President, Golden Bells School Society. The school Principal welcomed the chief guest and parents and grandparents of students. The annual report for the session 2002-2003 of the school was read out. The chief guest, accompanied by the Principal, gave away prizes to outstanding students. In another event organised by the same school, Class IX students of the school’s branch here bid farewell to outgoing students of Class X. The party began with a welcome song and a dance. The school Director, Col C.S. Bawa (retd), and the school Principal, Ms Gurjit Bawa, blessed the students and wished them luck for their examinations. In the personality show organised on the occasion, Anjkit Dhawan, Megha, Raveena, Puneet, Sashank and Jasleen won prizes. In another event, students also performed at the beginning of the festival of gardens organised in Chandigarh.

Kids’ carnival: A two-day kids’ carnival was organised at Spring Valley Public School here. A free medical camp by Dr K.S. Behgal, along with his team of doctors, for children and their parents and grandparents was organised as part of the carnival. On the second day of the carnival, a baby show was organised. Among those who won prizes at the baby show included Gurkaran, Anatarjot, Anash Tandon, Saloni Aggarwal, Seerat Singh, Harman Singh, Ravneet, Simranjot, Dhruv, Ananya, Gurmehak, Dhwani, Varsh, Prabhpreet and Gurmehak Khera.

Training programme: The Central Ground Water Board, North Western Region, Government of India, will conduct a one-day training programme on “Rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge of groundwater” at the soil conservation complex auditorium, Phase VI, here tomorrow. Officers of various government departments in Punjab and Chandigarh will participate in the training workshop. The workshop is aimed at creating awareness among officials about the techniques and methods of artificial recharge.

Canadian minister: Mr Tony Clement, Minister of Health and Long Time Care, Canada, visited the Fortis Heart Institute here yesterday. He was given a guided tour of the hospital by Mr Daljit Singh, CEO, Operations, Fortis Healthcare, and Dr R.V. Karanjekar, Medical Director of the hospital.



A clarification

A special programme reported under the headline “Dept’s no to GSI programme’ on March 2 was erroneously reported to have been organised by the Geological Survey of India. Dr Gurdev Singh, Director of the Geological Survey of India, said the organisation had nothing to do with the programme.

Dr A.D. Ahluwalia, organiser of the programme, said he was asked by the Geological Society of India, to present a lecture that he had delivered at a society programme earlier. The department here yet did not cooperate with him, he said.

Dr Ahluwalia quoted a letter of the Geological Society of India which says: “We suggest you may initiate a geoscience popularisation programme on March 1. This may be initiated as part of the programme of the Geological Society of India.

Interestingly, the society also asked Dr Ahluwalia to discuss the matter with Dr Ramesh Kakkar, Chairman and Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Geology at PU, and also with Prof Ashok Sahni and other colleagues.

Mr C.P. Vohra, a Padamshree and a hero of the Everest and Antarctica expeditions , was the chief guest at the function which spoke about standard of the programme, Dr Ahluwalia added.



Scouts, guides bring laurels to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Cadets of Hindustan Scouts and Guides (HSG) have brought laurels to the city by bagging the maximum number of prizes during the National Integration Camp held at the Yoga Training Centre, near Udhampur, last week.

According to Ajay Choubey, state secretary, HSG, who led the contingent, the scouts and guides bagged seven individual and five state prizes. Sarabjeet Singh got the Best Scout Award, while Meena Rani bagged the first prize in essay writing. Piyush Garg got the second and third positions in essay writing and yoga, respectively. Aditya Chandel secured the second position in declamation as well as in essay writing, while Devinder secured the third position in essay writing.

As far as state-level performance is concerned, Chandigarh bagged the first position in essay writing, the second position in declamation and camp-fire and the third position in state exposition and folk dance. A total of 16 scouts and guides, along with Scoutmaster Sukhjeevan Sharma and Guide Captain Indu, attended the camp.



Body not identified
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 2
The police has failed to identify the person, whose mutilated body was found near a factory behind a liquor vend in Sector 19 yesterday.
It is learnt that the police today called in people from Bartana village and Rattewali village to identify the person. A post-mortem examination will be conducted tomorrow.

The police said the deceased was found and wearing a pent and white sweater. There was a tag ‘Verma Tailors’ an only identification on his shirt.



Painter succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 2
A painter in Abheypur village, Radhe Shyam, was allegedly attacked on the head by a fellow villager with a heavy stone on February 27. He succumbed to his injuries in PGI, Chandigarh, yesterday and the police has registered a case of murder.

According to information, the accused, Vikas, was in an inebriated condition when he attacked the victim without any provocation. The accused is reported to have barged in to the house of the victim, where the villagers were holding a meeting to discuss preparations for Shivratri on March 1.

The police said Vikas entered the house in a drunken state and tried to stall the proceedings of the meeting. Jagdish Jaiswal, who is an uncle of the victim, and the victim, asked Vikas to leave the place. A verbal duel followed between the accused and others led by Radhe Shyam.

It is learnt that the accused then went out and after lifting a huge stone came in and attacked Radhe Shyam on the head. As the others rushed to the aid of Radhe Shyam, Vikas fled the scene. The victim was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he later died. It is learnt that he had been married only two months ago.

The police has now registered an FIR under Section 302 of the IPC on the complaint of the brother of the victim, Murari, and are now on the look out for the accused.



Man dies in mishap
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh March 2,
A 38 year-old employee of the Haryana Electricity Department died after being hit by a truck near Durga Nursery in Manimajra here today. According to the information available, the victim, Pushpinder of Sector 21, was coming from Panchkula when the accident took place. The driver of the truck, Jai Kumar, has been arrested.

Hurt in accident: A 45 year-old labourer, Santosh, who was injured in an accident in Industrial Area, Phase 1, here, is running from pillar to post to get a case registered against the erring truck driver. The victim said that after being injured, a police party from the Industrial Area police station got him admitted to a private nursing home. He alleged that the driver of the truck was allowed to flee from the spot by the police. Some residents of Colony No. 4 today went to the Industrial Area police station to get an FIR registered. The victim received fractures.

Truck stolen: Parveen Kumar of Manimajra, lodged a complaint with the police that Bittu Bakshi of Industrial Area, Phase I, who was to reach a truck loaded with plywood to Goa, was missing along with the goods. The plywood was worth Rs 5,22,890. The case is being investigated by the Economic Offence Wing.

Three arrested: The police has arrested Hari Ram, Deema, Sant Ram and Joginder Singh on the charge of disrupting public peace in separate incidents in the district. In another case, Sandeep and Ashok Kumar were arrested near Saketri on Saturday and recovered a stolen cycle from them also.



4 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 2
Four persons were injured, one of them seriously, when the car by which they were travelling had a head-on collision with a Maruti van near Aligarh village in Barwala sub division late tonight. Ms Atam Devi (71) received serious head injuries. She was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6. Others were discharged after first-aid. The police has arrested the Maruti driver.



Edible oil producers sore at duty hike
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Edible oil producers in the city and surrounding towns have feared that Finance Minister Jaswant Singh’s decision to impose 8 per cent excise duty on branded and packaged refined edible oil and vananspati in sealed containers for retail sale would adversely affect the sale of quality products in the market. It has resulted in an increase in price of refined edible oil and vanaspati by Rs 45 to Rs 50 per 15kg tin.

Reacting to the Finance Minister’s decision, Mr A.R. Sharma, president, Solvent Extractors Association, said: “The government has itself made it mandatory under the Packaging Regulation Order, 1998, to sell edible oil in a packaged form. It has checked the malpractices and adulteration in the market, which pose high risk to the public health. However, the decision to impose excise would encourage the suppliers to sell edible oil and vanaspati in an unbranded form to save excise duty.”

There are number of edible oil processing units in the industrial area, Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and surrounding towns.

Mr Sharma lamented that while President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in his address to the joint Houses of Parliament during the Budget session, as well as in the Economic Survey, had referred to the need for crop diversification, but no concrete steps had been announced for the edible oil sector in the Budget.

He said there was no rationale in imposing excise duty on a mass consumption item such as edible oil, as in the case of branded flour, tea, coffee, bread, spices, milk, cream, butter, cheese, infant foods and processed foods. The decision would rather prove as a setback to the implementation of the Packaging Regulation Order, besides reducing the realisation to the oilseed producers.

In a representation sent to the Finance Minister, the association has pointed out that though he had provided sufficient funds for the development of tea plantation sector, nothing has been done for the edible oil sector. It has urged the Central Government that while the Punjab and other state government were making efforts for crop diversification, the imposition of excise duty and lack of adequate funds for the development of the edible oil sector would discourage farmers from switching to oil seed crops. 



Transit Lodge opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The UT Administrator Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), inaugurated Transit Lodge, a budget accommodation for tourists on the first floor of Inter State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 yesterday.
Transit Lodge has 43 beds, which includes 9 double bed rooms, two family dormitories and one common dormitory.

General Jacob unveiled a plaque and broke an auspicious coconut. All rooms got booked on the very first day. Tourists, including those from foreign countries, started lining up for booking the rooms while the inauguration ceremony was going on.

Mr G.K Marwah, Chairman, CITCO, informed the Administrator that CITCO would be running the lodge and Restaurant Tandoor. He said that nominal tariff of Rs 300 per day for double bedroom has been fixed which will include one complementary meal. For the dormitory Rs 100 per bed has been kept inclusive one complementary meal.

Earlier a restaurant and the lodging place had been rented out to a contractor.

General Jacob paid two surprise visits to the place. He had ordered the Transport Department to hand over the accommodation to CITCO.

Chairman CITCO informed the Administrator that two more dormitories would be ready within one month. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Virendra Singh, Adviser, Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary, Mr S.P. Singh, Managing Director, CITCO. 



A terrific trimmer
Our Correspondent

Monica SharmaChandigarh, March 2
Monica Sharma talks about VLCC's weight-loss programme with the zeal of a missionary. But then she has a reason for it, for this lady who weighed 148 kg a year ago has now turned into a suave, slim lady as nature had originally intended her to be.

Monica is currently visiting the city for a purpose — to launch a campaign against obesity. "It is possible to lose unwanted mass if you are determined about it," she says and her record supports her statement — reduction of 82 kgs just in 11 months. "My purpose is to convince all those people who are suffering from low self-esteem due to obesity," she adds.

Enthused by her astronomical success in the history of weight loss, Monica has put forward her name to the Guinness Book of World Records. "Sometimes back I had read in some magazine that the record weight loss has been some 56 kgs which is far below what I have achieved," she says.

Monica's weight loss programme had started in the Lucknow VLCC centre after trying out many weight loss schemes at different places. "VLCC follows a scientific process," says Monica claiming that so far she has suffered from no side effects. She started losing slowly - first with 100 gms and gradually more. And what kept her going through out the programme was motivation from the VLCC staff, her family and strength she derived from meditation.

According to Monica losing weight is not just for vanity purpose but more for health aspect and self esteem. "I used to be an interior decorator once but once I put on, I stopped working. Infact, I stopped meeting people altogether and I became a source of embarrassment for my family and relatives," she says.

Now altogether a different person Monica is willing to take up her old profession after again once she completes her tour in different VLCC centres all over the country. "To motivate people to come forward for weight loss is a social cause for me now," she says. "Everything is possible if you have a dream and work towards it," she said. 'work towards it with proper guidance but in the mean time eat healthy food that includes plenty of leafy vegetables," says Monica who has turned into a staunch vegetarian to suit her changed lifestyle.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |