Wednesday, May 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Newly married woman disappears mysteriously
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 6
Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a 19-year-old newly married woman from Phase VII here today.

It is reported that Ms Harveen Kaur, alias Chandni, who was married to Mr Devinder Pal Singh about a fortnight ago, went for a walk in the morning at about 6.30 but did not return.

Mrs Rajinder Kaur, mother of Mr Devinder Pal Singh, refused to give any details about the incident on the pretext that she had been forbidden to do so by an inspector who was investigating the case. The police, however, has denied this.

Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, told Chandigarh Tribune that Ms Harveen Kaur had taken Rs 5,000 from the house before going for a walk. She was already wearing gold bangles ‘karas’ and a mangalsutra. He said when her husband offered to go with her for a walk she told him there was no need as he was not feeling well and moreover, she was going for a walk on the road in front of the house. Yesterday also she had gone for a walk all alone.

The SP said it appeared from the circumstances that Ms Harveen Kaur had planned to leave the house on the pretext of going for a walk. He, however, ruled out that any kidnapping had taken place.

The SP said according to family members both Ms Harveen Kaur and Mr Devinder Pal Singh were happily married. The latter was a jeweller and had a shop in the Phase VII market.

He said though the woman disappeared early in the morning, the family members approached the police around 1.30 p.m. after searching for her at various places, including those of their relatives in Chandigarh.

Mr Bhullar said Ms Harveen Kaur belonged to Kanpur and had till this evening not contacted her family members in any way. The parents had left for SAS Nagar after getting to know about the incident.



VLCC penalised for deficiency in service
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 6
The VLCC is in the news for the wrong reasons. For failing to cause weight reduction in a woman (weighing 103 kg prior to the course), who paid a hefty sum for a promised loss of 20 kg of weight, the VLCC has been directed by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I to refund the full fee amount and pay Rs 1,000 as the cost of litigation.

The Bench comprising Mr N.S. Ahlawat, president of the forum, Dr Girish Jaswal and Jasbir Kaur, members, ordered the VLCC, which has its office in Sector 8, to refund Rs 26,000 paid as fee by the complainant and pay cost of causing inconvenience. According to the order: “As during the course of three months, the VLCC office in Sector 8-C could not reduce the weight of the complainant as promised, so the amount paid for the course is required to be refunded.” The court further ordered that the complainant was entitled to a sum of Rs 1,000 as the cost of causing inconvenience.

In a complaint filed in the consumer court, the complainant, Ms Kavita Sidhu, a resident of Baltana village, had stated that she was allured by the advertisement published by the VLCC in newspapers. She claimed that the VLCC had offered slimming course for women and an assurance of losing more than 20 kg of weight within three months without adhering to dieting or medicine. She had joined the course offered by the VLCC for a period of three months in the month of September, 2000 and had deposited a sum of Rs 26, 000 as fee.

Giving details, she alleged that in spite of following the instructions and doing exercises during the course for three days a week, she did not shed her weight during the three-month course. This fact was brought to the notice of the VLCC office in Sector 8-C. But nothing was done to reduce her weight, she alleged. She finally sought refund of Rs 26,000 paid as fee.

Denying the allegation, the counsel for the VLCC stated in a reply filed in the court that the complainant had visited the office for 35 times in all and was provided due services. Giving details, the counsel for the VLCC further claimed that the complainant had been advised to take a special kind of diet.

The counsel contended that the complainant did not restrict herself to the diet prescribed by them. Therefore, she could not lose her weight.



Land mafia-official nexus to the fore
3 HUDA officers suspended for issuing NOCs
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
A nexus between the land mafia operating in villages of this township and officials of the Estate Office and the Sub-Tehsil Office has come to light. A case where officers of the Estate Office gave no-objection certificates to unscrupulous property dealers here for selling off land already acquired by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) , has exposed the nexus.

Highly placed sources in HUDA inform that at least three officers of HUDA have been placed under suspension for issuing no-objection certificate for selling off 850 square yards of HUDA land located on the common boundary of Railla and Haripur villages here. The authorities have also sent a complaint to the police, requesting that an FIR be registered against the erring officers and three others.

The inquiry into the case was conducted by the Chief Vigilance Officer, HUDA, Mr Rakesh Kumar. After the inquiry report was submitted to the Chief Administrator, HUDA, Mr N.C. Wadhwa, he ordered the suspension of the three officers. A letter has also been sent to the Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula , to verify and take action against officers in tehsil office, who made the sale deed for this land. The revenue records in the tehsil office already show the mutation of this land in favour of HUDA.

The officers — the Naib Tehsildar, Panchkula, Mr Bachchan Singh, the Naib Tehsildar , Faridabad, Mr Sher Singh and the Patwari, Panchkula, Mr Gurnam Singh — were today placed under suspension. These officers were deputed in Panchkula in 1999, when this land was sold off for setting up commercial and residential complexes. While Mr Bachchan Singh was posted as Naib Tehsildar, Mr Sher Singh was posted as Kanungo and Mr Gurnam Singh as Patwari, when the NOC was issued.

Sources inform that while the three above mentioned officers had issued NOC for about 42 marlas of land, the sale deed was prepared for 16 marlas of this land. In another case, the NOC was issued for 10 marla land here and sale deed for the same land was also prepared at the Sub-Tehsil-Office.

Meanwhile, the officers were also reportedly posted here when the unauthorised extension of Railly village was taking place. The village was originally restricted to 1.94 acres of land. However, residents of this village continued to extend the village limits.



Govt, MC staff call off stir
Administration accepts demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Coordination Committee of Government and MC Employees and workers said the strike by employees scheduled for tomorrow had been called off following a meeting between the Administration and the committee.

The Administration was represented by Mr Varindra Singh, Adviser to the UT Administrator. In a statement, the committee claimed that the Administration had accepted the demand to consider all employees transferred to the Municipal Corporation as on deputation. It was disclosed that the Central Government would be approached to clear the amendment of the Municipal Corporation Act for implementation of this demand.

The Administration further agreed that the option would be suitably amended and obtained only from such employees who were desirous of becoming employees of the corporation. The Administration said no employee would be retrenched.

The Administration also agreed to get the government notification dated January 13, 1992 withdrawn as under this notification, the service conditions of all UT employees were changed from that of Central Service Rules to the Public Civil Services Rules. The Administration decided to refer the matter to the Central Government for this purpose also.

Further clarifying its stand, the Administration said on the issue of treating employees of the Administration on deputation with the Municipal Corporation, the Administration was asking the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to expedite the matter. On the format of options, which was not to the liking of employees, the Administration suggested the employees to devise a format and get it approved, as the idea was not to retrench them but to have them reshuffled according to their options and in accordance with the MHA decision.

On the issue of change in service conditions for employees, the Administration said the employees were demanding pay scales of the Punjab Government but wanted service conditions of the Central Government, which was unfair. Similarly, all benefits that had been given to employees in Punjab had been released. Payment of overtime for CTU employees would be cleared, subject to funds in the budget, the Administration added.

The Administration said all departments had been directed to take prompt action to fill vacancies promptly.



Do skilled hands drive PCR vehicles?
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service


  • Policemen reluctant to drive Police Control Room (PCR) vehicles.
  • No training programme being run for drivers by Chandigarh Police.
  • IGP, Chandigarh, says trained drivers being put back on driver’s duty.
  • Chandigarh Police has the sanctioned post of around 150 drivers; strength of vehicles stands at around 250.

Chandigarh, May 6
All hands at the wheel of Police Control Room (PCR) vehicles are not trained. Senior officials of the city police realised this after a recent reshuffle among the lower ranks.

While some personnel expressed their inability to drive the PCR vehicles due to lack of training, other claimed they did not possess the commercial driving licence.

To contain the “side affects” of the reshuffle, the officials are contemplating to run a police driver training course. Investigations revealed that as compared to PCR Gypsies, the shortcoming was found among police personnel driving PCR motor cycles. The trained drivers who had got themselves transferred to other duties were being put back on the duty they were trained for, said the Inspector General of Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar.

However, the city police chief did not agree that the police personnel at the wheel of PCR vehicles were not trained. “All drivers know how to drive vehicles. We make it a point to check that the policeman assigned the duty of a driver possesses a driving licence,” said the IGP. He said he had ordered all trained drivers to work against the post of driver only.

Sources in the police department said some of the policemen, who had overstayed in police stations, traffic lines or other units of the city police, desisted from the driver’s duty. It necessitated fixed duty hours — eight hours on a PCR vehicle — for the driver and the responsibility to get the vehicle repair also rested with the driver. An official said since there was no sanctioned post of motor cycle riders, the policemen on PCR motor cycles were not getting extra driving allowance, which was otherwise being paid to drivers of four-wheelers.

The problem of shortage of drivers in the city police has been there for some time. Against the sanctioned post of around 150 drivers, around 250 police personnel had been deputed as drivers. The sanctioned strength of PCR vehicles was 40 motor cycles and 25 Gypsies. Only a few policemen recruited as drivers were on PCR vehicles.

A senior police official said going by the rules, the policemen assigned the duty of a driver must be trained, as mobile police patrolling was carried out on public roads. At times, the duty required particular operational requirements and complying with the safety requirements in the line of driving duty.

At present the city police has around 30 trained drivers. Rest have learned driving on their own and do not possess any qualification from a government-run driving school.



Bawa booked for forgery also
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
President of the Himachal unit of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Amarjit Bawa, arrested in Shimla in a case of wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and assault, was today booked for cheating and forgery also. Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code were added to the first information report registered against him late in the evening.

The Panchkula Police, after verifying facts from the Chandigarh Registration Authority, claimed that the Honda City used by Bawa carried the registration number allotted to a Bajaj Chetak scooter. The police also claimed that Bawa had signed a confession saying he had changed the numberplate of the Honda City in order to hoodwink the police.

Bawa was earlier accused of assaulting Pinjore resident M.K. Shishodiya on April 27 and threatening him with dire consequences.



Virina’s touch of class
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


  • Talk to your family members like you would talk to a friend.
  • Adopt a sense of humour. It’s a great way to deal with trying situations.
  • Be cheerful, even on the telephone.
  • Every week cook a special favourite of one of the family members.
  • Make and stick to commitments — no matter what.
  • Try to appreciate with words and physical demonstration of affection.

Chandigarh, May 6
Indulgence is also a fine art. Had it not been so, the workshop on personal grooming organised this morning at Hotel Mountview by Delhi-based Virina Subbaiah would not have managed such a heartening response. And that, too, just by word of mouth.

Touching upon the most basic of concepts — from feeling good about oneself to making one’s home a haven for one’s family — Virina went on to exemplify elements that make life worthwhile. Included in the schedule for the workshop, beautifully titled “Me, myself and I”, were tips on aspects we would hardly ever consider worthy of attention or detail. These included posture and deportment, boosting self confidence, improving body language, personal hygiene, rest room and social etiquette.

Herself a product of the Round Table, a magazine which she served as the national editor for long, Virina is the soul behind The Final Touch, the finishing school that was founded in Mumbai in 1995.

She is involved in imparting quality training and guidance to young men and women on business and social etiquette and contemporary-accepted behaviour. Apart from being etiquette and grooming consultants for Zee TV on their popular national programme “Sanguine”, The Final Touch has also been featured in the BBC.

For Virina, this day was all about helping women understand the importance of their occupation as homemakers. In an adorably personalised fashion, the visiting expert, who has offered her services for MNCs like I-Flex, Citicorp, Mahindra & Mahindra etc, first made the gathering feel at ease. As she said, “Drop all your worries and your strains into the ocean and learn to indulge,” the women in presence felt conscious of all that they were worthy of.

What followed was a full-fledged session at personal grooming, followed by a six-course meal to help the participants know what table manners were all about. After tips on hygiene were given away, it was time for Virina to focus on the more sensitive aspects in a woman’s life.

In this arena fell all the other greater and more technical problems like the lack of confidence, the lack of peace and the lack of harmony at homes. Attributing these problems to misplaced feelings and misunderstandings, Virina dealt with each one of them by holding sessions on self-confidence and public speaking.

“Not all of us are blessed with the highly desirable quality — confidence. But it is not all that difficult to acquire it once you put your mind to it. The key to looking confident is to behave as though you are talented,” she said.

Her tips on confidence were well taken. She talked of “imagining that you are perfectly self assured; enter the room as though you own it; imitate those who cast a spell and dress up immaculately.”

The most interesting part of the workshop was its conclusion, that rested upon helping the women build an emotional bank account that can see them through their days happily and peacefully.



Aspiring docs from Kharar at a disadvantage
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 6
Students of this township aspiring to become doctors are at a disadvantage as far as appearing for competitive entrance examinations conducted by the Punjab Government is concerned.

Since there is just one school in Kharar which offers science subjects at the 10-plus-two level, a majority of students wishing to pursue the medical stream have to take admission in schools in neighbouring Chandigarh. This, as per Punjab Government rules, makes them ineligible to compete for seats in medical colleges meant for residents of Punjab.

As per regulations in force, 85 per cent of the seats in medical colleges in Punjab are reserved for students who have passed their qualifying examination (10-plus-two) from schools located in Punjab. The remaining 15 per cent seats are meant for students who have passed their qualifying examination from schools located in other states.

Local students complain that despite being residents of Punjab, they are unable to compete for seats meant for students for Punjab for no fault of their own. Residents have, for quite some time, pressing for a government model senior secondary school to be established in Kharar.

According to a directive issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to Chief Secretaries of all states, a person belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe who has migrated from his state of origin to some other state for the purpose of seeking education or employment will be entitled to derive benefits from his state of origin and not from the state to which he has migrated.

In light of the “forced circumstances” under which their children have been pursuing education in schools located in Chandigarh, a number of residents are seeking concessions from the state government that their wards be allowed to compete for seats meant for Punjab school students. They also claim that since Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab, students living in Punjab but studying in Chandigarh should not be considered as outsiders.



Births and Deaths Registration Office shifted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
The Births and Deaths Registration Office has finally been shifted to the basement of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) building here. The office was earlier housed in an old cement godown of the HUDA complex in Sector 6.

After the issue was highlighted in Chandigarh Tribune in its issue of April 9, the HUDA administration decided to relocate the office in better environs — not just for the staff, but also for hundreds of people visiting the office.

In the old office electric wires dangled loosely overhead, furniture for the employees (two chairs and a table) was broken and five chairs confiscated by the enforcement staff during an anti- encroachment drive in the city were kept for the public.

In fact, the total space for office staff and public together was barely 200 sq ft, while rest of the space was taken by confiscated rehris, tables, cane juice machines and parts of broken furniture.

Officials in the Estate Office here say on an average 30 to 50 persons visit this office daily for getting birth and death certificates. Since pension to old persons, widows and physically challenged persons is also distributed through this office, the rush here increases to almost 100 persons per day during the first and the second week every month.

The Secretary, HUDA, Mr Parveen Kumar, had visited the old office and allocated basement of the HUDA office for the same.



3-Field Regiment bids adieu to Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Lt-Gen. J.F.R. Jacob, (retd), today bid adieu to 3-Field Regiment, at a function organised somewhere in the western sector.

Emotional send off was given to General Jacob who raised the regiment in 1956. Jawans, JCOs and officers of the regiment were excited to be with the architect of the victory gained in 1971 war.

General Jacob also motivated the troops and called upon them to maintain the glorious traditions of their regiment and always be prepared to defend the unity and integrity of the country.

He told them to excel in their professional tasks and to maintain the highest glorious standards of the regiment.



BJP claims assurance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The BJP has claimed that the Administrator, Lieut Gen (retd) J. F. R. Jacob, today issued orders for releasing the built-up areas of land in Darshani Bagh from acquisition and regularising houses in Darshani Bagh, Kajheri and Gobindpura. An official notification is, however, awaited in this regard.

A delegation of the BJP leaders met the Administrator in this regard today.



Feeling the pulse of Batalvi’s heart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
There is nothing to contest the growing relevance of Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s works. As years pass by, the genius of Batalvi seems to cast a greater spell on the world around. Those who have the fortune of feeding on his immortal verses cannot help but feel the pulse of the poet’s heart. It is rightly said about Batalvi — his heart pulsates in his works, which once again became the focus of attention this evening, when the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi and Kaynaat Arts got together to pay tributes to the poet and his exceptionally inspiring works.

The day brought back countless references to Batalvi, who has immortalised Punjab by using Punjabi to voice his wounded heart. Aptly called “Birha da Sultan,” Batalvi came under discusssion today for the poignant portrayal of his feelings in songs. Speaking on the occasion, titled ‘Shiv diyaan baatan Shiv de bol’, eminent Punjab writer Gulzar Singh Sandhu shared his feelings about the poet, whose verses eulogise pain. “He was a hardcore alcoholic, but even in the spell of addiction, he could only create. He seemed to have been born to create and enrich the world of Punjabi poetry. His songs, like symbols of virgin pain, beckon the reader and the listener into the world of his own anguish.”

Other speakers on the occasion included Prof Satya Pal Gautam from Panjab University, Bhushan Dhyanpuri, Mohan Bhandari, Surjit Bains and Upkar Singh Kahlon. Once the affair of voicing feelings about the great poet of Punjab was over, it was time to reconstruct his aura by rendering his songs.

R.D. Kailey rendered two of Batalvi’s ghazals, ‘Yaar deya Rab kare ke mainu pain birhun de kide ne....’ and ‘Adhoore geetan da safar....’ Taking hold of the melodious mood from Batalvi was Tatran Gujral who presented the beautiful ‘Mai ni maye mere geetan de nainaan vich birhoon di radak pave...’

Devinder Bains presented the famous Batalvi song, ‘Mai ni main, maye ek shikra yaar banaya....ode sir te kalgi te ode pairi chhanjar, oho chog chuginda aaya...’



Sweepers threaten indefinite fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Municipal Corporation here today notified a nine-member committee under the chairpersonship of former Mayor, Mr Lalit Joshi to go into the question of privatisation of sanitation in the city even as the Sweepers’ Union, agitating for 14 days, has threatened to launch an indefinite fast to oppose privatisation in sanitation.

Nominated councillor and a bureaucrat-turned Dalit leader, Dr K.S. Raju has been made the convener of the committee.

The committee has also been asked to forward suggestions for the sanitation contract in the future.

The issue of streamlining the sanitation contract had been referred to an all-party committee in the last meeting of the General House of the corporation on April 29 in the wake of protests launched by the Sweepers’ Union.

The committee is likely to make recommendations till the next House meeting to be held by the end of the month.

Ms Anu Chathrath, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, Mr Balraj Singh (all from Congress), Mr Rajesh Gupta (BJP), Mr Harpreet Kaur and Mr Jatinder Bhatia (Chandigarh Vikas Manch) and Dr B.R. Verma (nominated) are other members of the committee.

The Sweepers’ Union, however, seems unimpressed with the formation of the committee and today completed 14 days of their chain fast and have virtually laid a siege on the office of the Medical Officer, Health. Union President Sham Lal Ghavri has already announced that the strike would continue till privatisation in sanitation was stopped.

Mr Ghavri, in an apparent effort to keep up pressure on the corporation and the Administration, today threatened to launch an indefinite fast if privatisation was allowed in sanitation.

Mr Chawla sought a draft of a new terms of a new contract giving employment to 700 youths and higher daily wages till the Central Government and the Administration allowed the recruitment of 1009 sweepers and demanded funds for these jobs.

A large part of the city, including densely populated colonies, villages and southern sectors had gone without sweeping for five days during the interregnum after the lapse of the old contract and recruitment of 300 sweepers on an ad-hoc basis.



Hospital worker commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
A 25-year-old sanitary worker at the Sector 16 General Hospital, Kiran Kumar, committed suicide by hanging himself in his Sector 24 house this evening.

According to information, he had not been reporting on duty for the past four months. A police official said he was passing through depression due to poor health of her mother. The mother of the deceased, Sunita, was also suffering from depression after the death of her husband. The deceased is survived by her aged mother, wife and two children.

The police official said Kiran had told her wife not to disturb him as he was going to sleep in an adjoining room. After some time when she went to the room to pick her clothes, she found the door locked from inside. As her husband did not answer to her calls, she called neighbours who broke the door lock. The body was found hanging from the ceiling fan.



Welfare body asks students to join Army
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, May 6
While numerous career counselling companies are adopting fancy modes to guide students through a wide spectrum of hi-tech careers, the Residents Welfare Association in Sector 33 has adopted a straight forward way to lure students into the defence services. The first step towards it came as an interactive sessions between senior students and Army personnel to share their experience and provide information on the avenues in defence forces.

The first phase of this campaign “Join the armed forces” was launched at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, and a team of Army personnel interacted with around 200 Class XII students, apprising them of various opportunities and benefits of joining the armed forces.

The campaign assumes significance as very few youngsters have opted for defence academies like National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy in recent years. But the majority that joins the forces come through direct recruitment drives for lower ranks, said Mr Jagdish Singh Sarpal, vice-president of the Residents Welfare Association.

Analysing the reason for declining popularity among youngsters to join the defence services, Mr Sarpal says it is not the decline in popularity but the lack of qualification among boys that has prevented them from joining the forces at higher level. “If you look at the results, you will find that among first top 10 positions, majority of them are girls, and this is one of the reasons why girls are also inducted into the forces,” he added.

During this interactive session, information on when and how to join defence academies came from two retired officers — Col J.S. Multani and Col T.B.S. Bedi. A detailed chart depicting the type of entries into the three academies, National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy and Officers Training Academy, was distributed among students.

While Colonel Multani talked about the avenues of job opportunities as well as the benefits the defence service people get, Colonel Bedi shared his experience in 1971 Indo-Pak war and the tough life in Siachen Glacier.

Girl students were also encouraged to join the services in the administrative side, but as majority of the girl students were interested in joining the medicine line within the defence sector, Colonel Multani and Colonel Bedi gave detailed information on the subject. “If you are intelligent, you can join the Research and Development Wing of the Army,” they said.

In the coming days the association promises to guide interested students to achieve their chosen field. “In the next session, we will organise another interactive session in which experts will focus on types of questions and interview procedures conducted by the three defence academies in India.

“We will also identify students who are interested in joining the forces and then, besides guiding them, we will take them to field trips, mainly to Chandi Mandir, to get a firsthand information on the Army life,” said Mr Jagdish Singh Sarpal.

This project will be carried forward by the body in association with the school authority. “Sector 33 being a defence sector, we would like to mould youngsters in the same dye and make this school unique in terms of producing maximum number of defence personnel,” said Mr Sarpal.



Circus holds no charm for city residents’
Monica Sharma

Give circus the status of a small-scale industry, organisers are demanding. “We are generating employment. About 275 families are dependent upon our circus alone. It is high time the government should do something about it,” they assert. “Otherwise also, circus is a dying tradition. Steps should be taken to protect it”.

Chandigarh, May 6
No one has the time for circus in Chandigarh. No, not anymore. Though the response was overwhelming in boomtowns of the region including Ludhiana and Patiala, few have the inclination to spend time, and money, for watching the artist play with chimpanzees for good one-and-a-half hour in Chandigarh.

Little wonder, the residents sneak a peep at the jumbos munching sugarcane from behind the bars, but refuse to pull out even Rs 15 out of their wallets for enjoying the show.

In days that are no more and will, perhaps, never come back, excitement would arrive in the city, along with the circus. “And what an arrival it used to be,” recalls business executive Raman Mahajan. “One fine evening we would all of a sudden notice a powerful beam, thrown by an arc-light, illuminating the dark sky. The sight would fill our tender hearts with delight, for it was an indication that the circus had arrived”.

Remembering the time, he asserts: “Those were the days of our lives. At least twice a day, autos playing the latest movie numbers, with banners on either sides, would patrol the city roads and streets. Every time they passed outside our house, me and my brother would be after our mother to take us to the circus, till the time she agreed”.

That was years ago. The things have now changed, indeed. Residents watch Shah Rukh Khan in “Circus” on the television, but refuse to leave the cozy comfort of their air-conditioned rooms for watching “real-live action” — a fact unknown to the management of Kerala-based Jumbo Circus.

They came to the city from Patiala and Ludhiana, about three weeks ago. Were expecting heavy rush here also. But so far they have been utterly disappointed. In fact, they were forced to cancel the afternoon show.

“The response was overwhelming in places like Bihar, Punjab, Patiala, Ludhiana, even in Panchkula,” says circus manager Raghavan. “But here, we are running into losses”.

Giving details, he asserts, “We are spending something like Rs 50,000 everyday. Audience or no audience, the animals have to be fed. Staff of 275 artists and labourers have to be paid. The story doesn’t end here. The authorities at Chandigarh are charging exorbitant amount as ground rent... something like Rs 6,000 per day even though we were not paying more than Rs 2,500 in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. In return, we are getting negligible amount. If things do not improve, we will be forced to leave the city a week before the schedule time”.

Explaining the reason behind the poor response in the city, he says: “In Chandigarh, both the parents are more or less working. No wonder, they have little time for taking their little ones out during the week-days. On weekends, whatever little time they get goes in relaxing”.



Snag in Connect network
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The services of hundreds of fixed line and mobile phones of the Connect were affected in Sectors 26, 29, 22, Mani Majra and SAS Nagar today. According to number of subscribers, the Connect mobile services in SAS Nagar were also out of order from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Officials manning the Customer Care Service of the Connect, claimed that a snag had developed in their network. In fact, they said, the frequency of the Reliance had matched with their system thus causing the problem. They hoped that services would be restored by tomorrow.



Sachin case: 14 cops honoured
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
As many as 14 cops were today honoured by Inspector -General of Police, Ambala Range, Mr Alok Joshi, for their commendable role in solving the Sachin Garg kidnapping case and in arresting notorious purse snatcher, Sandeep Singh.

He lauded the role of the local police in successfully solving the kidnapping case and recovering a sum of Rs 80 lakh from the accused. The 10-member team of the CIA Staff , who had investigated the case, was lauded for doing the job well.

Those honoured include SI Sujit Kumar, SI Baljinder Singh, SI Munish Kumar and ASI Mahi Pal and were given a cash prize of Rs 1000 each and an A Class certificate, while Head constable Pawan Kumar and Constables Ravi Kumar, Pratap Singh, Amrik Singh, Baljit Kumar and Raj Kumar were given a cash prize of Rs 500 each and an A Class commendation certificate.

Four cops, who had chased notorious purse snatcher, Sandeep Singh for over 7 km on May 3, and finally arrested him were also honoured. While ASI Lakhmi Chand and ASI Baljeet Singh were given a cash reward of Rs 100 each and an A Class commendation certificate, constables Naresh Kumar and Darshan Kumar were given a cash reward of Rs 500 each and an A Class commendation certificate.



Let private sector step in

OPEN up the lake for the private sector and permit water sports, besides house boats for those wanting to stay there. The private party will bring in resources to prevent silt forming in the lake. The other side of the lake can be connected with a ropeway and then developed with beautiful landscaping, musical fountains, colourful lights and camping sites.

An amusement park on the lines developed in Mumbai and in several South-East Asian countries should be allowed.

Ashok Bansal, Chandigarh



Woman attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
A married woman allegedly attempted suicide by setting her ablaze after dousing herself with some inflammable material at the Sector 17 residence of her father in the Telephone Bhavan complex in Sector 17 here today. The victim, Alka, was alone at her home when she set herself ablaze. The victim was admitted to the PGI with 100 per cent burns.

A police official said she was unfit to give statement. According to the information, the woman had married an Amritsar-based man in 1997. In year 1999, she left her husband and came to her parents house in Sector 17. She was pregnant when she came at her parents’ house. Then she delivered a baby boy at a local hospital.

Though the husband of the victim had filed a case to seek divorce in a court in September last year. But the court did not grant divorce. Neither the in-laws of the victim visited her nor she was taken along. Today when the mother of the victim was going to drop her grandson at a Sector 16 school, the victim said she was feeling sleepy and asked her mother to lock the house from outside.

When the mother of the victim returned she found her daughter lying burnt in the front room of the house.

Theft: A sum of Rs 16,000 was reportedly stolen from the Sector 11 branch, Barista, last night. The cash was lying in the cash counter of the shop. The police has registered a case on a complaint filed by Mrs P Malhotra.



Man found dead

Chandigarh, May 6
An unidentified aged man was found dead near the Panjab University gate here today.

According to the police, the man was often seen begging in the area. TNS



Body found

Lalru, May 6
The body of an unidentified youth was found from along the Naraingarh-Ambala road near Handesra village today.

The youth was rammed to death by an unidentified vehicle late last night. The police said the youth seemed to be a Bihari migrant labourer. After taking the body in possession, the police has registered a case of hit-and-run. OC



Focus on customer orientation in banking services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) organised an interactive session with small entrepreneurs here today. Speaking on the occasion, Mr N.K. Maini, Chief General Manager, SIDBI, who presided over the function, stressed the need for customer orientation in banking services.

He stated that during the past 13 years, the SIDBI had sanctioned Rs 85,000 crore assistance to the small units through direct and indirect finance scheme. SSI representatives and associations raised the issues regarding rationalisation of interest rates and adequate and timely availability of credit to the small units. They urged that the SIDBI should bring down the minimum cut-off loan limit for its direct assistance. They asked the bank to consider providing loan for setting up a bio-technology park at SAS Nagar and extend assistance for marketing for export products from the SSI sector.

To resolve the working capital needs for the SSIs, they said the bank should consider entering into MoU with some other bank. They suggested that the SIDBI should continue financing the firms for at least next five years till they graduated to medium scales. Further, they said, the SIDBI should make efforts to publicise its initiatives of providing collateral free loans through Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for small industries (CGTSI) to benefit large number of units.

Mr Vinod Kapoor, member, Northern Regional Advisory Committee, acknowledged the various initiatives taken by the SIDBI to increase the flow of credit to small-scale industries. A presentation on SIDBI’s schemes was made by Mr Ram Nath, General Manager, Chandigarh branch office.



T-touch’ watch with six functions
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 6
It was a rare moment when 150 years of watchmaking history merged into futuristic technology as Ethos, a showroom dealing in Swiss watches, introduced the latest Tissot creation “T-touch”, the touch screen watch which boasts of six functions. And to give a glimpse of the history of the watchmaker, the showroom brought a collection of 30 antique watches evolved by Tissot during the past 150 years of its existence.

The exhibition of this heritage collection, Then and Now, is a part of the 150th anniversary celebration by the company. The collections are varied and give an interesting insight into the innovative prowess of the manufacturer.

The collection ranges from antique creations of 1953, a two time zone pocket watch, anti magnetic Le Locle, a gold pocket watch of 1944, replica of 1904 Hunter silver pocket watch, the Rock watch, the Wood watch and the Pearl watch of 1980s.

“T-touch” has an inbuilt barometer, altimeter, compass, thermometer, an alarm system along with full chronograph functions that can be activated by a touch of the screen. It is being priced at Rs 25,700.

The heritage collection will remain in India for around 15 days with similar exhibitions being organised in Delhi and Bangalore. The collections will be on display till May 9.

Ms Sharmili Rajput, brand manager of Tissot in India, gave a detailed background of the company with the help of a slide show.


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