Monday, August 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rain leaves a trail of destruction
Damage to water supply lines, electricity and telephone cables  *Attawa-Sector 36 road caves in *Sukhna choe flooded 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
One side of the road dividing Attawa and Sector 36 near the bridge will be closed at least for the next 12 days as the road towards Sector 36 side caved in after a virtual flash flood in the N choe yesterday.

Damage was also caused to the causeway in Kishangarh, between the Industrial Area and Railway Station and the route number three to Panchkula but the traffic was restored on these roads after a few hours of repair work. Union Territory Chief Engineer Puranjeet Singh told the Chandigarh Tribune, today.

Mr Puranjeet Singh, however, pointed out defects in the causeways and said the height of these was more than what it should have been, which had resulted in the damage.

Fearing danger from the vulnerability of the road in case of more rain, the Engineering Department of the Municipal Corporation has started a round-the-clock watch at the bridge.

Some officers said it was lucky that the gushing water did not enter Attawa village.

The damage to the road between Attawa and Sector 36 is so extensive that it would be unsafe to allow heavy traffic to pass through it.

A 15-feet high wing wall now hangs precariously and may fall any time. Major water supply lines carrying water from Sector 39 Waterworks to other waterworks have also been affected, Chief Engineer Municipal Corporation V.K. Bharadwaj told the Chandigarh Tribune.

The Reliance and HFCL lines were also damaged by the gushing waters.

The sand under the base of the main water supply line has eroded making it unsafe in case of fresh floods.

Mr Bharadwaj said crates and tailends had also been heavily damaged.

The Chief Engineer said at least 500 sand bags had been kept in the choe today and about 1,000 more were to be placed to protect the remaining structure.

Mayor Subhash Chawla, Commissioner M.P. Singh visited the site. Mr Bharadwaj, along with his team of Engineering Department, had to start the repair work in the morning after a gruelling night spent. Pumping out water from the cremation ground till midnight.

Water started receding from the cremation ground around 2 am official sources said.

A large part of the roads of the city bore the brunt of the torrential rain yesterday. Roads developed potholes in large part of the city.

The Engineering Department is assessing the damage to water supply and other services.

Mr Bharadwaj said the road caved in when the regular flow of water was blocked due to the accumulation of silt.

Three cranes were deployed to bring the choe in alignment to prevent further damage.

Mr Puranjeet Singh said the Sukhna Lake has been sealed at the level of 1161 feet and all three gates have been kept ajar between 6 to 9 inches to let water flow in case of fresh rain in the catchment area.

The UT Chief Engineer said the current of the water was so strong that the uprooted trees and shrubs had been swept into the city and had blocked the flow of water in the choes.

All culverts on the choe downstream of the Sukhna Lake today bore telltale signs of the fury of the monsoon rains. Vehicular traffic on the three major culverts, connecting the city with the neighbouring towns, could be restored only by this afternoon after the discharge in the choe subsided.

Commuters from Panchkula who used the newly opened alternative routes and those on way to the railway station had to take a longer route because of this.

A survey revealed that due to a heavy discharge in the choe, the roads and the structures connecting the culvert suffered extensive damage. “We could do little as rain water was flowing well above the structure of the culverts till this afternoon”, said an official of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, who was assessing the damage. However, none of the three culverts suffered damage.

The impact of the flooding of the choe was such that the strong currents of the discharge brought along water material, plastic bags and refuse— trapped in the mild steel railing on both sides of the culverts.

A part of the road along the culvert, connecting the Industrial Area with the railway station, caved in after a supporting structure gave in. An electricity cable feeding the streetlights and telephone cable was lying exposed as a portion of the road caved in.

A vital link between the Kishangarh village and the Northern sectors also bore the fury of the discharge in the choe. Being the first culverts to face the excess discharge from the lake, a portion of road and the steel railing on it caved in — exposing the electricity and telephone cables.

As a precaution to prevent mishaps, workers of the UT Engineering Wing and the Municipal Corporation, isolated the damaged parts of the road with boulders.

Another newly opened link to Panchkula behind the Chandigarh Police Lines in Sector 26, however, suffered little damage.

Officials of the UT Administration and the corporation were assessing the damage caused to the structures.



PU panel to plug holes in college fee structure
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Taking cognizance of massive difference in fee in its affiliated colleges, Panjab University has constituted a seven-member committee to point out loopholes in the fee pattern and unjustified charges in several cases, particularly in non-government affiliated colleges.

The university wants to ensure uniformity and justification in the fee structure. While certain colleges were charging about Rs 6,500 annually as tuition fee and admission charges, another set of colleges was charging more than Rs 15,000 annually for the same.

The committee being headed by Prof K.N.Pathak, the Vice- Chancellor, is likely to include the government nominees, including the DPIs of Punjab and UT.

In a related development, the university has written to all its affiliated colleges seeking information about the existing fee pattern. A number of replies are, however, still awaited.

Mr Ashok Goyal and Mr S.S. Hundal, both Fellows, highlighted the matter in the university Senate meeting. Mr Goyal pointed out that instead of referring to the fee hike announced by the government alone, the university should first check the vast differences in the existing fee structure in its colleges. The difference in fee being charged by government and private colleges was more than 100 per cent in certain cases. On top of this, if the government rates were implemented, the difference would be alarming, he added. Colleges were collecting money in the name of various funds, including the building fund, parking and for various college activities, besides those under several “unaccounted” heads.

The issue, however, has another side to it that cannot be ignored even if the university recommended uniformity in the fee structure. A sizeable number of the staff members, both teaching and non-teaching, were not covered under the grant-in-aid scheme of the government. Private colleges have to maintain the Employees Welfare Fund and give gratuity to its employees after retirement under the existing financial situation.

Earlier, the university Senate had also not accepted the fee hike proposed by the Punjab government. Infact, when the Badal government first took up the matter in 1999, the university had rejected it. Instead, the university had gone in for a 10 per cent fee hike each year.

Mr Saurabh Joshi, secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, said a hike was totally unjustified in the current financial condition, however, the universities should not blindly follow any directions given by the government. There has to be a justification and the hike should take into account the financial status of the people to whom it caters. Education should not be mixed with marketing, he said.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, a Fellow, said the university should take into account the problem of finances being faced by the colleges, particularly by private colleges, before making any suggestions. 



2 hurt in clash over cremation site
Bipin Bhardwaj

Khellan (Lalru), August 3
Two groups of Ramdasias clashed on Saturday over the right to use their cremation ground here. The two-groups have been exclusively using the site for many years. The clash took place when the groups which has constructed houses adjacent to the cremation ground, objected to the cremation of a 70 year-old woman. Two persons were injured in the clash.

Armed with lathis and sticks over 100 Ramdasias including women, cremated the body of Ms Bagindo Devi, 70. They guarded the pyre till the body was reduced to ashes.

Mr Jagmal Singh, a resident of the village, alleged that the group, which lives near to the cremation ground, had pulled down the tin-sheets over the pyre site and attacked them with lathis, forcing them to retaliate.

Mr Surta Ram, a member of the village panchayat, alleged that some members of the community had constructed houses, at a distance of 20 yards from the cremation ground and were creating problems.

‘‘We had been cremating the bodies at the cremation ground for the past many years and such a thing had never happened. Of late, the other group had started opposing the practice,’’ he added.

According to sarpanch Viri Ram, the cremation ground was on shamlat land. With the passage of time certain families from the village constructed houses adjacent to the cremation ground.

‘‘The residents then started cremating the dead in the untilled land. The practice was objected to by Rajputs, Brahmins and other castes of the village the Ramdasias were forced to return to the old site”, he said.

The sarpanch claimed that the erstwhile panchayat had repaired the old cremation ground and constructed a pucca tin-shed. 



23 lawyers with fake degrees suspended
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 3
As many as 50 lawyers practising in various courts in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana are in the dock for allegedly procuring and using fake law degrees of various universities.

Taking a serious view of the issue, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana today suspended 23 lawyers practising with fake degrees in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Meanwhile, investigation records of another 27 lawyers, who were also found to be possessing fake degrees will shortly be handed over to the Chandigarh Police for further proceedings. Cases have already been registered against them.

The scandal came to light when the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana marked an inquiry in the case after getting feedback from the members of the council that some of the degrees submitted by the students to get the council’s licence seemed to be have been procured through illegal means. The investigation carried out by the members of the council revealed that a number of students who had applied for licences had procured fake law degrees from Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, and certain other universities.

The Secretary of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, Mr C.M. Munjal, told The Tribune that a team of Bar Council members had conducted physical verification of law degrees of Bundelkhand University. In all, 23 cases of persons obtaining licences on the basis of fake degrees had been traced. He added that the verification team submitted a report informing that the said degrees had been found to be fake, after verification of universities’ records. In the wake of this finding the Bar Council at its General House meeting has decided to suspend their licences.

Giving details, Mr Munjal said the council had taken serious view in this regard. To curb the wrong practice the council has decided to verify the law degrees obtained from state Uttar Pardesh, Madhya Pardesh and Bihar.

Talking about the 27 students who had already been booked by the UT police for allegedly possessing fake law degrees, Mr Munjal revealed that the Bar Council had also decided to hand over all files in this regard to the UT police after getting the report of the enquiry conducted by the council. Talking about the council’s action Mr Munjal added that it would soon issue show-cause notices to them to explain why their name should not be removed from the roll of the council.

The Tribune had highlighted the fake law degree scandal on May 23, last year.



Curing cataract with just minor cut
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Small is beautiful. And it can be even more beautiful if a surgeon has to make only the smallest possible incision in the eye of a patient to remove the cataract.
“Small is beautiful has been the buzzword for eye surgeons for a long time,” says Dr Mahipal S. Sachdev, a leading eye surgeon of the region. He is among the pioneers to try out a new technique to remove the cataract of the eye, called Phaco nit. “A small incision for an operation means lesser trauma for the patient, less chances of a post-operative complication and less recovery time.”

He is in town to attend a seminar on basic and advanced phacoemulsification organised by the local Grewal Eye Institute headed by Dr S.P.S. Grewal.

Dr Mahipal says that the latest in surgery is no injection, no stitch, no pad on the eye. The latest technique for removing cataract, Phaco nit, has evolved in India and has been accepted throughout the world in the past couple of years. The first live demonstration of the operation was given in Seattle from Bangalore in April, 2001.

Till a few years ago, surgery for the removal of cataract from the eye involved making a 12-mm incision, removal of cataract in a single piece and insertion of a 6-mm rigid intra-ocular lens. Then a technique was employed to make a 3.5-mm incision to insert a foldable lens. The latest technique involves making only a tiny incision to insert a rollable lens.

Dr Sachdev is a former associate professor of Rajendra Prasad Centre at the All-India of Medical Institute of Sciences (AIIMS). He is now the Medical Director of the Centre for Sight which he has set up along with five other eye superspecialists from AIIMS in New Delhi.



Sculpting battle of Panipat with fibre silica
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 3
As the deft fingers of Paramjit Rana sculpt the valiant defiance on the face of King Hem Chandra, the scene of Hemu’s proud defeat in Panipat’s second battle seems to come alive.

For Paramjit Rana, however, sculpting Emperor Akbar celebrating Hemu’s defeat is a greater challenge. But Rana is confident of delivering the best to the city of Panipat by bringing to life one of the most important battles fought in the country.

Son of famous artist, singer and dancer Balwant Singh, Paramjit along with his brothers is working on the second project for Panipat. His earlier work — a 13-foot statue of Sher Shah Suri killing a tiger — is installed on the GT Road enrout to New Delhi from here.

The family works from a studio in the Industrial Area of Mohali. While the two elder brothers are into mass-scale production of market friendly sculptures, the younger two, both graduates in fine arts from Chandigarh, have taken to creating and designing.

‘‘I did my MFA from the Delhi College of Art. Even when we were in college, we were working on sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose. Portraits are always a challenge as one has to get the expression perfect. And it is also the most satisfying as sculptures are an entity in themselves, a three-dimensional dream come true.’’

The family has innovated a new medium for creating sculptures. ‘‘Instead of using wood, stone or metal, we work with fibre silica. It is moulded at our unit here and then work is done on it. The material is lighter and more durable than the traditional media,’’ explains Paramjit.

They were chosen by the Deputy Commissioner of Panipat for this project. Paramjit and his brother Dharamjit are also exporting sculptures.

‘‘We worked on some big projects in Muscat where we were called to create a 90-foot tree hut scene. A large number of our works are already on show in various European countries, the USA and Australia,’ informs Paramjit.




The Chandigarh Police seems to learn little lessons from its past experiences. A recent collision between a Army School bus, an official car of a Punjab DIG and a CTU bus at the traffic junction of Sectors 27 and 28, which left 21 school children, is a glaring example of mismanaged traffic junctions in the city.

An official told Sentinel that at most of the 28-odd traffic junctions in the city, no traffic police personnel had been deputed. Only a few busy traffic junctions were manned by traffic personnel.

It had also been noticed that some of the fatal accidents in the city had been reported between 11pm and 6 am — the time during which only blinkers worked in place of the traffic signals. The accident at the Sector 27 and 28 also took place at around 6 am. A senior official observed that the traffic signals should work for 24 hours as the traffic keeps on flowing throughout the night. A proposal to extend the duty hours of the traffic police personnel beyond 7 pm is pending.

Some recognition!

The president of the Panjab University Students Union is recuperating at the PGIMER and “thanking the murderous assault in which he lost at least four teeth”.

Malwinder Singh Kang gave a faint smile when a Tribune correspondent went to meet him two days after the accident. He had a reason and murmured faintly: “Bha-ji (brother), the Press was after my life for the past more than a month mentioning me just as a former president. After the assault, now all are referring to me as the president. So, I had to get my teeth broken for the recognition”.

The controversy had started when a group led by Gurparvez Singh Sandhu started claiming to be the rightful leaders of the union. The Kang group got itself registered. “Unluckily, the registration read Panjab University Student Union Association (PUSUA). This led to the Sandhu group claiming to be the rightful custodians of the PUSU. We then got the required alteration in the registration. Now, we are the PUSU office-bearers”, Kang added.

Raveena — the entertainer

Raveena Tandon is a genuine entertainer. The other day when she was in the city to unveil the new look VLCC clinic in Sector 9, she spilled a lot of charm and humour around. Not even for a single minute did she sound boring or cliched during the press conference that she attended in the CII banquet hall on July 26. In fact, she was so involved in the entire affair that she made personal comments on many of the press persons, who were present in the gathering. Largely, these remarks centred around the ringing mobile phones, which disturbed the actress immensely.

So when the mobile rang for the first time, the actress stopped speaking and commented, “I have left behind all my engagements and all my schedules just to be with you today. If you are so busy, let’s reschedule the press meet for some other day!” Even as the gathering was having a hearty laugh over her remark, another phone rang. This one irked the actress even more because the person concerned did not care to even pick up the phone (or perhaps he was too shaken to pick it up), thus filling the otherwise silent hall with unwelcome notes. Losing patience, Raveena said, “Are bhai utha lo. Ghar se hoga. Biwi ko itni hi urgency hain to lao mai baat kar leti hoon. Khush ho jayegi. Waise gaana bura nahi hai.”

Abashed, the photographer quickly switched off the mobile. So did many others who were still waiting for bells to ring.

Struggling for attention

Every model has her day. Simran Sachdeva, the Gladrags supermodel, who was the reigning queen of the ramp until some time back, also seems to have had her share of glory. That is precisely why she could not hold the attention of either the clients or the scribes when she came to the city to inaugurate the first day spa clinic in Sector 8 on August 1. The owners of the clinic had called the entire press of the city, hoping that everyone would wait for Simran to spare time and talk about the spa and then herself. However, very few scribes actually waited for the model to wind up her schedule and talk to them.

The most embarrassing part of the affair came later. The clinic manager made seating arrangements for about eight journalists in one room, so that they could all have a hearty talk with Simran. Most scribes came and occupied their chairs, but at the least six of them left in the middle of the conversation, even while the model was still making a point.

Local English

The Queen’s language still remains an enigma for the Public Relations department of Panchkula near here. Going by the few press releases issued by the department in English, one could learn a lesson or two in Hinglish ( Hindi + English) language of the PR department. Feasible becomes “phesable”, and facility becomes “phasility”. Wonder what public information they disseminate with this brand of Hinglish.

Other than the spelling mistakes, the grammar also needs to be looked into. When the matter was recently taken up with the authorities they brushed aside the complaint on the pretext that at least the department was taking trouble to send the releases in English.

No bus stand

It appears that Notified Area Committee, Zirakpur, and the Punjab Government not concerned about setting up a proper bus-stand at Zirakpur. As a result, the general public faces a lot of problems.

A large number of passengers board the buses for various destinations from here, because it has become a main junction.

Without adequate shelters, the passengers are daily exposed to vagaries of the weather. There is no toilet either for passengers.

In its monthly meeting, held on June 13, the NAC, under the presidentship of Mr Narinder Sharma, passed more than a dozen resolutions in connection with the development works in the areas. But there was no mention of a bus stand, which is the first priority of the area.

At present buses are parked in the main bazar which creates traffic problems.

— Sentinel



Paswan to raise PGI temple demolition issue in House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan here today announced to raise in Parliament tomorrow the issue of the demolition of the Ravi Das temple on the premises of the PGI here.

Mr Paswan made the announcement at a press conference before going to the site of the temple demolished in June.

The LJP president and former Union minister said the demolition of the temple was allegedly aimed at hurting the sentiments of a particular community as the other adjoining five religious buildings also fell in the same category and had not been touched.

Mr Paswan said similar attitude was shown by the UT Administration at R.K. Puram in Delhi where a temple of Dalits was selected for demolition from among 37 other religious buildings to be demolished.

He accused Delhi MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra for the demolition of the temple in Delhi.

Mr Paswan said he would tomorrow raise the issue of the demolition of these Dalit temples in Parliament in a scheduled debate to be undertaken on his notice on atrocities on Dalits. He said the issue of violence in Talhan and Jhajjhar against the oppressed classes would also come up for discussion during the debate.

The LJP president said if due to the adjournment motion on the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vow to construct Ram temple Parliament proceedings could not be held, he had planned a protest in front of Parliament on the issue on August 6.

He said more than 5000 persons were likely to participate in the protest, including 500 people from Chandigarh.

Criticising Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s support to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, Mr Paswan said a government supported by Ms Mayawati was allegedly targeting places of worship of Dalits while sparing others.

Mr Paswan said he tried to know who removed the 50-year-old R. K. Puram temple and found out it was the Union Urban Development Ministry which demolished the temple.

He said both the temples were demolished by the authorities directly working under the Central Government.



MC to buy 50 acres for dairy complex
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 3
The Municipal Council has now decided to buy 50 acres of private land outside the MC limits for setting up a dairy complex.
It is learnt that the MC has asked the Revenue Department to locate 50 acres of land either near Mogi Nand, Chowki, or in the Morni area, so that a dairy complex can be set up there. The move comes after the district administration failed to identify and acquire land near Panchkula for the purpose.

It was earlier proposed to set up the dairy complex near Bhagwanpura village, by acquiring 55 acres of common village land from Bhagwanpura Panchayat. However, a recent ruling of a three-member Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the inclusion of Zumla Mustarka Malkan land in Shamlat Deh has thwarted the MC’s plans. The court had ruled that the land reserved for common purposes, whether utilised or not, stood vested in the gram panchayats.

Following this, the administration went on another exercise to find an alternative site for acquisition. “When the administration’s efforts failed to yield any results, the Deputy Commissioner asked the MC to buy land on its own,” informed MC President, Ms Seema Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, stary cattle menace in the town is responsible for many a road accident and spreading of litter on the roads apart from ruining the aesthetic appeal of the town. Dairy farming being an important avocation, stray cattle are found in abundance here, especially in sectors adjacent to villages and slum and labour colonies. It is estimated that there are about 240 dairy farms and over 1,500 cattle heads, including those in Mansa Devi Complex and 13 villages of this town. Sources in the MC concede that of the 1,500 cattle heads, at least 500 have been abandoned by the owners.

The Department of Urban Development, Haryana, has proposed an amendment in the Haryana Municipal Act and the Municipal Account Code in January 2002, for allowing private contractors to round- up stray cattle in 13 cities/ towns of the state. At present, these Acts do not have a provision for the rounding up of cattle by private contractors.

As of now, the stray cattle are rounded up by a private contractor in the town and are left off 40 km away from the MC limits. This has, however, failed to have the desired results, especially in Sectors 4, 12, 12-A, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21 and Mansa Devi Complex, because of their proximity to the villages or slum/ labour colonies, where the dairies are located. Though the contractor has been allowed to impose fines (Rs 500 for buffalo, Rs 400 for cow and Rs 300 for other animals) on the owners, it has hardly proved to be a deterrent.

The errant owners reportedly take away the buffaloes, but the stray cow are hardly ever claimed. This has put extra burden on the only state- owned cattle pound here which remains full to the capacity always. Though the MC tried to auction off these stray cows on two occasions, it failed to find any takers. 



School adopts novel fee collection scheme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 3
With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introducing its Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) to schools for collecting school fee, The Gurukul, Sector 20, has emerged as the first school in the town to introduce this scheme.

Under this scheme, the school, after getting itself registered with the RBI as a user institution and getting a mandate from the parents of its students for the ECS, will send data on a floppy to their banker. The bank will forward the data to the National Clearing Centre (NCC) at the RBI’s regional office in Chandigarh. The NCC, after testing the file for errors, will process the files and send those to the service branches of banks having accounts of the parents.

The monthly/bimonthly fee will then be debited from the accounts of the parents and passed on to the bank of the school. This scheme is meant for effecting transactions only in Chandigarh and its satellite townships of Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

Other than The Gurukul, Panchkula, DAV School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, is the only other school in the region to avail of the facility.

Tree plantation: The Citizens Welfare Association today launched a tree plantation drive in Sector 15 by planting over 400 saplings in the area. The drive was launched by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat.

Mr S.K. Nayar from the Citizens Welfare Association said saplings of jamun, bahera, amla and neem were planted. The Superintending Engineer, HUDA, Mr Jogi Ram, and the Executive Engineer, Mr H.S. Malik, councillors Naresh Rawal, Randhir Malik and Sunil Talwar were present.

Around 100 saplings provided by the Horticulture Department were also planted near the Sector 16 water works.

Painting Competition: A painting competition was organised by IndusInd Bank in Housing Board Complex, Sector 14, today. Around 300 children participated in the competition.

Mr R.S. Badhran, councillor from Ward No. 20, was the chief guest. Children were divided into three categories — from Class I to III; Class IV to VI; and Class VII and Class VIII. The prize winners of the competition were Shubham Thakur, Shalu, Gaurav, Vanchit, Soumya, Anchal Rohila, Mandeep, Sonal, Indu Dhingra, Mohit Arora, and Ankush Kamboj.

Later, a quiz competition was also organised for the employees of the bank. The first prize was bagged by the Panchkula branch, followed by the SAS Nagar branch.

Campaign launched: The Panchkula Welfare Association yesterday launched a campaign for uprooting Congress grass from the sectors’ parks, vacant plots, main roads and B roads.

The campaign was launched under the supervision of Mr C.R. Rana, Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Superintending Engineer, Horticulture, Mr Jogi Ram. Besides, pubic participation, labour was employed to remove the weeds in a day. The local municipal councillor, Ms Jagdamba Gupta, also supervised the operation.

Teej celebrated: The Haryana Kala Kendra ushered in the monsoons by celebrating Teej mela at Yavanika Open Air Theatre last evening. The function was graced by the lady Governor of Haryana, Ms Sudesh Kumari.

The programme began in a traditional way with the chief guest, Ms Sudesh Kumari lighting the traditional lamp. This was followed by Ganesh vandana, so as to thank the Almighty for a good monsoon.

A cultural programme was organised comprising Rajasthani, Haryanavi and Punjabi folk songs and dances. The Haryanavi dance by Ms Sunita Nain’s dance group charged the entire atmosphere. A magic show by magician S.K. Sharma was also presented.



BSNL phones go on the blink
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Hundreds of land line phones of the BSNL in the city remained out of order today. According to information available, a number of phones in the Southern sectors, including Sector 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40, that are connected with the exchange of Sector 37 were not functioning since yesterday morning.

Officials of the BSNL claimed that the telephone exchange of Sector 37 had developed some fault yesterday, which had been rectified. Further, a cable was damaged due to heavy rains yesterday causing problem in the lines. They said most of the lines had been restored and the remaining would be fixed on Monday.

Some residents in Sector 46 and 48 also complained that their phones had been out of order since morning. Ms Lata Verma, a resident of Sector 48, said: “I have tried to contact officials of the BSNL but to no avail. I have been told by junior staff that connections would be restored only on Monday.”



3 cops hurt as jeep hits bus
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 3
Three cops, including the in charge of Barwala police post, were seriously injured when their official jeep hit a bus parked off the road.
It is learnt that the in charge of Barwala police post, Kishan Chand, Head Constable Om Prakash and driver Balwinder Singh were heading for Panchkula from Barwala last night when the accident took place. The headlights of the bus parked off the road in the opposite direction, blinded the driver, who lost control of the vehicle and hit the bus.

All three persons were rushed to General Hospital, Panchkula. While Mr Balwinder Singh has been discharged from the hospital after first aid, Mr Kishan Chand and Mr Om Prakash are still recuperating.



Families of Kargil martyrs honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Kharar MLA and the Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today honoured families of those who laid down their lives during the Kargil war and those killed in terrorists violence.

The MLA was the chief guest at a cultural evening organised by the Sada Virsa Social Welfare Club at the Dasehra grounds here today. 



20-year-old girl hangs self

Chandigarh, August 3
A 20-year-old girl, Vanika, reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling of her room in Sector 20 in the late hours yesterday. No suicide note has been found.

“She was playing on her guitar and at 11.30 pm I asked her to go to bed”, said the father of the victim. He added: “Around midnight my wife found Vanika lying in unconscious state on the floor.” According to him, he immediately took her to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Vanika was a student of BA III in Tagore Niketan, Sector 27. OC


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