Sunday, August 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PUDA goes tough on illegal colonisers
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 16
Coming down heavily on colonisers selling residential and commercial plots without a licence from the competent authorities, PUDA has decided to initiate criminal proceedings against them.

According to PUDA sources, a total of 193 “illegal” colonisers have been identified in the SAS Nagar zone, that includes Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and parts of Patiala. The PUDA authorities have asked the police to register cases against 115 such colonisers. In 30 cases, criminal proceedings have been initiated.

Issuing a note of caution to investors who have bought plots from these colonisers, the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, SAS Nagar, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, said the colonisers stood to lose their land, besides being fined and face imprisonment.

‘‘These colonisers face demolition of the structures raised on their land besides facing trials for criminal offences. While buying a plot, the buyer must ensure that the coloniser is a valid licence holder under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995,’’ he added.

The colonies vary in size from over two acres to 50 acres and according to a recent survey undertaken by PUDA the total land under such colonies is over 5000 acres. Most of these colonies have encroached on the roadsides and claim to be approved by PUDA. “A list of illegal colonisers can be made available at the PUDA office for the benefit of the buyers. The list will soon be made available on the PUDA website also,” Mr Mahajan said.

The colonisers do not have the licence from PUDA to cut plots and sell it for residential, commercial or industrial use. According to the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, land beyond 1000 sq m falling outside the “lal dora” of a village cannot be converted into plots without permission from the General Manager (Regulatory), PUDA.

The sources said a policy to grant one-time amnesty to the illegal colonisers to regularise the colonies by paying PUDA a compounding fee was in the pipeline.


HC directive on stray cattle menace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Taking cognisance of the stray cattle menace in the city, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed that Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh to “indicate steps taken to prevent the entry of cattle and stray animals in the city during night time.”

Issuing the directions, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, said, “This was absolutely essential to protect the international status of Chandigarh as City Beautiful.”

The Judges added: “Ms Madhu Dayal, counsel assisting Standing Counsel for Chandigarh Administration Rajiv Atma Ram, is directed to accept the notice. She should file a detailed status report in the form of an affidavit of the Chandigarh Estate Officer clearly indicating whether the authorities are at all aware of the cattle menace in the city....”

They added the matter had been placed before them in pursuance of the orders dated August 13 passed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy. They said the Chief Justice had entertained a letter sent by a Subdivisional Engineer on the subject of cattle grazing during the night time in the areas adjoining the High Court and the Rajindra Park. “Although the grievance is limited to two areas, we deem it proper to take cognisance of the menace in the entire city....”, the Judges said.


Govt houses lying vacant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Hundreds of government houses in the city are lying vacant and in a state of neglect even as there is a waiting period of more than a decade for employees to get accommodation in the city where rents in residential areas are very high.

A large number of government houses are in the pool accommodation of various department like the Haryana Government, the Police Department and other boards and corporations. As per sources, about 700 houses are lying vacant. Some of them have been vacant for more than a year.

Pool accommodation means that the Head of Department of a particular department has the power to allot the houses to its employees. Even as the authorities in the Chandigarh Administration are trying to figure out the reason for the delay in allotment, the employees have been approaching the Heads of Department. Sources said the Administration, during the allotment of the houses gives a 28-day notice to the employees to take possession.

In some cases, the employees do not take the house as they build their own houses during the waiting period. This trend is rising as the income tax benefits on housing loans are promising.

A resident of Sector 19 said there were several houses that had been lying vacant and were being misused by the youth of the area.

The unique unauthorised system of “bachelor accommodation” is also prevalent. Several employees belonging to Ambala, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Ludhiana, Khanna, Patiala and Ropar prefer to keep their families in their hometowns and come to city on Monday and leave on Friday. The houses are also used by drivers in their offices. Such houses are also in a bad shape.


Grain market flooded with apples
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
This year, the Sector 26 fruit and vegetable market has emerged as the favourite destination for the apple growers from the Shimla and Kulu belts. The royal, red and golden varieties of the fruit were being sold in wholesale for anything between Rs 150 and Rs 450 per carton.

After a bumper crop in the apple growing belts in Himachal Pradesh, around 150 truck loads — which means around 30,000 cartons of the fruit — were daily checking in at the fruit market, say officials of the market committee.

In the past one month, the business of sale and purchase of apples has registered an increase of about 4 per cent as compared to the last year, say commission agents in the market. They say a bumper crop means the prices would decrease.

Mr Banarsi Dass Mahajan, a former Chairman of the Market Committee and a commission agent dealing in apples, says consignments have began to arrive from Katgarh, Kotkhai, Rohru, Jubbal and Thanadhar. It would take some time for the Kinnaur variety to reach the markets. The local market was not favourite for the apple crop arriving from Jammu and Kashmir.

The market committee, which has made elaborate arrangement for the parking, loading and unloading of the apple cartons, are hopeful of earning over Rs 1 crore revenue from the apple arrivals. During the year 2002-2003, the earning on the arrival of apples in the market was Rs 1 crore and during 2001-2002, the revenue earned was around Rs 45 lakh.

The administration has directed the traffic police not to challan trucks waiting to offload their consignment, said an officer of the market committee. This year three separate parking areas for the trucks have been earmarked around the market.

An apple grower from Katgarh, Mr Rajiv Sood, said normally they book their consignment for Delhi. But since the Chandigarh market falls enroute they prefer to test the market. For transporters, disposing their consignment in the city means saving on the time, fuel and costs. At the Delhi market, the transporters and their growers have to wait for at least a week to sell their produce. In the local fruit market, a grower can go back home by selling his produce in a day or two.


Exposure to media violence hits adolescents
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Results of exposure to violence

  • Decreased cognitive performance and academic achievement.
  • Increased level of depression, anxiety and aggression.
  • Self destructive behaviour by resorting to violence and physical aggression.
  • Decreased social competence levels and self esteem.
  • Desensitisation and inappropriate attitude about violence and aggression.
  • Lower self esteem and decreased social competence levels.


  • The problem of adolescent violence must be acknowledged by parents and teachers.
  • Teachers and parents must act as friends or councillors
  • Avoid corporal punishment completely.
  • Monitor television viewing.
  • In case the problem is severe, consult a psychologist.
  • Though educative, media needs to play a responsible role by not glamourising violence.

Chandigarh, August 16
The increased exposure of Indian adolescents to “glorified media violence” could pose a major public health problem if steps are not taken to protect them from its harmful effects.

An exploratory study conducted by the Paediatrics Department amongst 1,500 schoolchildren in Chandigarh indicated that chronic exposure to violence not only resulted in poor academic performance but also led to depression, anxiety, aggression and self-destructive behaviour.

The study was jointly conducted by Dr Munni Ray, Assistant Professor, and Dr Parbhjot Malhi, Associate Professor, for the Department of Science and Technology. “For decades media violence has been viewed as a largely Western problem, but before it is too late both parents as well as teachers must realise that steps need to be taken to guide the vulnerable adolescent,” explains Dr Ray.

Of the 1,500 adolescents interviewed, 1,030 had witnessed violence not just on television or in movies but also at school, home and on the streets. Surprisingly 28 per cent of the children had been witness to violence with objects like pistols, knives, swords, cycle chains and hockey sticks and the worst part is that some of them approved it as the best form to take revenge, said Dr Ray.

Another interesting aspect that came to light was that some of the children feared that an incident similar to the attack on World Trade Center in New York could happen in India due to the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan. “Children face serious short and long-term physical and emotional consequences as victims, witnesses and perpetrators of violence, so it is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to guide them so that they do not go astray,” opines Dr Malhi.

Though a majority of the youth admitted that indulging in violence was wrong but they took it to be a learned response to frustration and an instrument of achieving goals. Analysing the spate of violence at Panjab University, robberies and clashes involving adolescents, psychologists say this is the adverse effect of movies and television programmes, showing large-scale violence.

“With Indian children having increasing access to television viewing alone, without the family, the consequences could be disastrous as in the Western world where they have become desensitised, violent and aggressive,” warns Dr Ray. She suggests that television viewing by children should be monitored as the study had indicated that a majority of them watched it for more than two hours.

As far as the favourite TV programmes being viewed by children were concerned, it is the horror, action and thriller shows, which were liked the best by 72 per cent of the children interviewed. More than 15 per cent children surfed the net for more than two hours and the number of boys in this category was far higher than girls, who indicated less violent behaviour or approval of it.

The study indicated that giving of corporal punishment at school had led the children losing self esteem as they tend to move away from the teacher and the school environment. Similar was the case of parents beating up children which was a very common practice in India.


MC chief offered bribe by contractor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 16
The president of the local Municipal Council, Mrs Seema Chaudhary, was today allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 25,000 by a sanitation contractor for allotting him a contract for the next year. Mrs Chaudhary, however, informed the police of the matter. A case has been registered against the contractor.

Mrs Chaudhary informed mediapersons that the contractor, H.N. Sharma, visited her residence this afternoon and requested that he be allotted the contract for the next term. “He came and said the share of the municipal council president was the highest and I was not accepting it. I told him to leave immediately.

He left, but left a packet, saying it was just some fruit,” she alleged.

“What was most surprising was the fact that he knew of a plan to divide the sanitation work in the township into four zones.

This plan had been discussed only among the Executive Officer, Junior Engineer, Sanitary Inspector and myself,” she said.

Mrs Chaudhary said the contractor initially asked her not to carry out the zoning of sanitation work.

“When I insisted, he asked me to allot him the contract for at least one of the zones,” she alleged.

Repeated attempts to contact Sharma over his mobile telephone proved futile.


Patriotic zeal is alive and kicking
Widespread Independence Day celebrations ample evidence
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, August 16
Patriotic songs, distribution of sweets and snacks formed part of Independence Day celebrations at Panjab University campus here yesterday. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor hoisted the national flag.

Addressing the gathering, he said: “We must be ready to re-work our teaching behaviour and think of innovative techniques to assess teaching methods and effectiveness”. Teaching should be more of a mission than profession.”

Dr Pathak said he proposed to start a university of dental services on the campus. He said the demand for a five-year integrated law school needed to be taken up on priority.

Expressing anguish at the increasing violence on the campuses of educational institutions, Prof Pathak said it was a must to save vulnerable youth from becoming pliable tools in the hands of destructive forces.

“The democratic process of elections on the campus should not and must not be marred by violence,” he said.

A thrilling musical programme on patriotism was presented jointly by Dr Khera’s Chandigarh Coaching Centre and Payal Musical Club at Tagore Theatre.

The programme started with ‘Vande Mataram’ which was followed by a group song, ‘Dhola’. Harjinder Singh, an internationally acclaimed physically challenged artiste, and his group presented a patriotic song ‘Desh Mera Khushiyan Da Khera’ which won a thunderous applause from the audience.

Other participants presented patriotic songs like ‘Deekho Veer jawanon apne’, ‘Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge’, and the much popular ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo’. The programme concluded with a bhangra item.

Mr R.P. Chander, Managing Director, HLRDC, presided over the function and gave away prizes to students of the centre who had excelled in the CET and PMT this year.

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, SAS Nagar, organised a function jointly with its Chandigarh branch on Independence Day. The programme began with a prayer to the Almighty. Other attractions besides patriotic poems and songs were a skit highlighting social evils and a fancy-dress competition. The first prize for the latter was shared by Ronit of class III and Prabudh of class II.

Adarsh Public School, Sector 27-D, organised a cultural programme to celebrate Independence Day. An on-the-spot painting competition was also organised. The school Principal advised students to read autobiographies of great freedom fighters. The ceremony ended with the National Anthem.

Punjab National Bank celebrated Independence Day with fervour. Mr Harwant Singh, Zonal Manager, unfurled the National Flag in front of the PNB House, Sector 17-B. All senior officials of the PNB attended the function. Mr Singh, in his address, urged bankers to pay attention to priority sectors and credit needs of areas like housing, education, agriculture, SSI and exports.

State Bank of Patiala Assistant General Manager V.A. Ghai hoisted the National Flag at the bank’s building in Sector 8-C on Independence Day. He also distributed sweets among children on the occasion.

The Parent Teacher Association of Government Model High School, Sector 44, held a tree-plantation function to mark Independence Day.

Former Mayor Harjinder Kaur planted the first sapling which was followed by a cultural programme at the school. The chief guest announced grant of Rs 50,000 for the school. Later, the Principal of the school, Ms Surinder Kaur, distributed sweets among students.

At Government Model High School, Sector 12, the Parent Teacher Association organised a colourful cultural programme. The school Head unfurled the National Flag. Dances and speeches were also presented. The programme concluded with tree plantation.

Students of Bhavan Vidyalaya took part in the flag-hoisting function. Unfurling the Tri-colour, Ms Meenakshi Mohindra, Principal of the school, asked the students to work hard. The surrounding reverberated with “Sare Jahan Se Acha” and other patriotic songs sung by the students.

Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, celebrated the Independence Day by holding a special cultural programme. Chairman of the school S.G.S Hayer unfurled the flag. The main attraction was a fancy dress competition by students of the primary wing in which the children dressed as leaders.

Independence Day was celebrated with patriotic zeal at Sanathan Dharam Public School (Sector 32). Ms Manju Bhardwaj, Principal of the school, hoisted the flag. Poem recitation and speeches were held to remember the sacrifices of freedom fighters.

The Independence Day was celebrated at Air Force School with pomp and gaiety Air Commondore Arun Gopinath, Air Officer Commanding A.F. Station, Chandigarh, unfurled the flag. Students presented a programme highlighting the history of the freedom struggle, cultural heritage and unity in diversity.

The Independence Day was celebrated with fervour by students of Kendriya Vidyalaya A F S High Ground here. A tribute was paid to the martyrs through an impressive cultural show. Patriotic songs were sung and a group song competition was held.

The Independence Day was celebrated at St Kabir Public School with fervour. Hoisting the Tricolour, the Principal of the school, Mr J.P. Singh, talked about the importance of the day. Celebrations followed and the students presented a cultural programme. Sweets were distributed among the children.

The Independence Day celebrations at Bal Niketan School, Sector 37, began with the unfurling of the national flag by the Principal, Ms Rita Kapoor. Children dressed in traditional attires of various states and presented patriotic songs, dances and tableaux on freedom movement.

On the 57th anniversary of the Independence Day, students of Century Public School presented a cultural show. Mr Bhagat Singh, President of the Century Educational Society, unfurled the flag and urged the students to take a pledge to serve the nation and its people.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, organised a colourful cultural function. Highlighting the importance of the day, teachers asked the students to work hard to reach the goal set by the freedom fighters and shun violence and communalism. Mr R.S. Goraya, Principal of the school, unfurled the national flag.

Mr R D Singh, Principal of New Public School, Sector 18, unfurled the national flag and delivered a speech on the significance of the National Anthem and the Tricolour. This was followed by a programme based the freedom movement and national integration. The function concluded with a dance item presented by senior girls on the Hindi song “Sabse aage honge Hindustani”. Sweets were distributed among the students.

The Independence Day was celebrated at Government High School, Kajheri, in association with Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club and gram panchayat, Kajheri. The national flag was hoisted and prizes were given to meritorious students.

Students and staff of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41, celebrated the Independence Day at the school auditorium. The importance of independence was emphasised by Mr Jasdeep Kalra who unfurled the Tricolour. A fancy dress competition was also organised.

The Independence Day was celebrated at Government College, Sector 46. Unfurling the flag, Principal S.C. Nijhawan laid emphasis on unity, integrity and prosperity of the country. The National Anthem and the national song was sung by the students. The Principal was given a guard of honour by NCC cadets, NSS volunteers and students of physical education.

DAV College, Sector 10, celebrated the Independence Day with enthusiasm. The special feature of the function was the presence of Mr G.L. Batra, father of Capt Vikram Batra, (PVC) and Kargil martyr. The function started with floral tributes to Capt. Vikram Batra, Major Sandeep Sagar, 2 Lt. Rajeev Sandhu, and Capt Vijayant Thapar, who were students of the college. After the national flag was unfurled by Mr Batra, the Principal, Mr Marriya, said the deeds of these young martyrs would give hope to the young generation.

The Independence Day was also celebrated at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College, Sector 32, and Sri Guru Harkrishan Model School, Sector 38.

Independence Day was celebrated by students of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School on the school premises in Sector 40 here yesterday. The Tricolour was hoisted by Dr K.S. Arya, former Principal of DAV College, who was the chief guest on the occasion. This was followed by a parade and a cultural programme organised by students.

Mr B.S. Kanwar, Principal of the school, urged the students to remember the sacrifices of the freedom fighters.

Chandigarh Baptist School celebrated Independence Day with gaiety and fervour.

The flag-hoisting ceremony was held by Rev Nazir Masih while Rev Warris blessed students.

A march past and parade, besides speeches and dances were presented.

KHARAR: An eye donation camp was organised by the Lions Club Top, Kharar, on Independence Day. Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Kharar, who was the chief guest, released a sticker on eye donation prepared by the Lions Club Top.

According to Mr Balwinder Singh, president of the club, 125 persons pledged their eyes for donation after their death. Many Punjab Police personnel were among those who filled the forms.

PANCHKULA: Mr B.R. Lall, Director General of Police, Police Housing Corporation, hoisted the National Flag during the Independence Day celebrations at Housing Board Complex, Sector 14. The programme was organised by People’s Forum, The Housing Board Flat Owners Maintenance and Welfare Society and the Karnataka Bank. A cultural programme and a carrom competition were also organised.

Children of Tiny Tots Montessori School celebrated the Independence Day with fervour by presenting patriotic songs and poems. Students of kindergarten staged a play and a choreography on ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’ was also presented.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, Punjab, honours JE Nirmal Singh in Patiala on Independence Day.
Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, Punjab, honours JE Nirmal Singh in Patiala on Independence Day.

PATIALA: The Punjab Drainage Department’s JE Nirmal Singh was awarded a medal, shield and commendation certificate for saving several areas from being flooded. His action had prevented disruption of drinking water supply to Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

On the night of July 16, 2001, JE Nirmal Singh posted at Kauli had noticed the sinking of the pitching on upstream flared outwall of the Ghaggar at point RD-150 and about 80 foot-long cracks in the backfill behind the masonary wall at two places. He got the repairs done in time. Since the water discharge on the spot was 60,000 cusecs, the JE immediately got the spot strengthened.


Students of Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase-II, SAS Nagar, during the Independence Day function on the school premises
Students of Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase-II, SAS Nagar, during the Independence Day function on the school premises.

SAS NAGAR: The staff and students of Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase II, celebrated Independence Day with much fanfare. The unfurling of the National Flag by the school Principal, Ms Ranjeet Bedi, was followed by a march past by scouts and girl guides of the school. Tiny tots of the school presented a dance based on an old patriotic song.

Students of Saint Soldier International Convent School, Phase VII, here celebrated Independence Day with fervour. The National Flag was hoisted by Ms Varinder Kaur Brar, a member of school management. Patriotic songs and a skit on the national movement was also presented. Ms N. Tiwana, the school Principal, addressed the gathering.

ZIRAKPUR: Rain failed to wash out the cultural programme presented by students of various private and government schools as part of a function organised by the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat to mark Independence Day here.

In addition to patriotic songs, students presented poems, dances, skits and other cultural items. Gidhha and bhangra were the main attractions. Earlier, Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, hoisted the Tricolour and urged parents and teachers to inculcate patriotism among children.

Officials and the members of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat were also present.

‘Sare Jahan Se Achha, Hindustan Hamara,’ was the theme of a programme that students of Guardian Angels Public School, Zirakpur, organised to celebrate Independence Day. Patriotic songs, a fancy-dress competition and gidhha marked the function. Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann, a former MP, stressed the role of teachers in building nation. Ms Avneet Bajwa, school Principal, also spoke.


Rotary Club I-Day function
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 15
The Rotary Club here celebrated Independence Day with students of Government High School, Bapu Dham Colony. Children presented folk dances of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The District Governor of Rotary International (District 3080) Ms Kanwal Bedi, hoisted the national flag. Saplings were planted in the school premises.

Independence Day was also celebrated in different ‘Pustak’ schools and creches of the city. The day began with planting of saplings at the Pustak school at the Community Centre, Mauli Jagran. Students and teachers of Panchkula Bhawan Vidyalaya were also present.

Saplings were planted at the New Indira Colony Community Centre where another Pustak school is being run. The children of Janata Colony Centre, Sector 25, presented a cultural function.


Guru Ravidas remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Exhorting the people to follow the teachings of Guru Ravidas, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said efforts must be made to make Punjab the most progressive and developed state in the country and to achieve the concept of ‘Begham Pura’ (ideal state) as conceived by the saint in his philosophy.

He was speaking at the 8th international seminar on the life, teachings and philosophy of Guru Ravidas. The seminar was organised by the Sri Guru Ravidas Foundation, India, at the Law Auditorium, Panjab University. He said the teachings and ideology of Guru Ravidas were very relevant to the present day Indian society. He described him as a symbol of national integration.

The Chief Minister reiterated his resolve to improve the lot of economically weaker sections of the state through implementation of various welfare schemes for them.

He lashed out at the previous SAD-BJP government that, he said, lasted for a full five-year term, but did not bother to implement the scheme of devolution of powers on Panchayati Raj institutions. Nepotism, favoritism and corruption were the order of the day during those days. Mr Badal, he said, disbursed even old-age and widow pension to his own party workers.

He announced a grant of Rs 11 lakh to the Guru Ravidas Foundation to propagate the philosophy of the Guru. He also assured the delegates and research scholars that the paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the functioning of the two Guru Ravidas chairs set up at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, Ms Mohsina Kidwai, said such seminars should be organised regularly. She said the Congress was wedded to the cause of weaker sections of society.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr H.S. Hanspal, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said the teachings and philosophy of Guru Ravidas should be disseminated throughout the world. He said ideologies of saints should be propagated globally to nurture the feelings of national integration, communal harmony and universal brotherhood.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Jagjit Singh, Local Government Minister and president of the foundation, said the Guru Ravidas Foundation had pioneered various schemes and projects to propagate the teachings and philosophy of the Guru. He urged the Chief Minister to revive the Shagun Scheme after enhancing the cash amount to be given at the time of the marriage of Scheduled Caste girls.



Leh girls visit City Beautiful
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
For girls who have never stepped beyond the mountainous confines of Leh, a tour of Chandigarh opened a whole new world, giving them a fresh insight to the culture and heritage of the region. As many as 68 girls accompanied by 11 instructors are visiting the city, courtesy a programme organised by the Army’s Women’s Empowerment Centre under Operation Sadbhavana.

Be it animals in the nearby Chat Bir zoo or the traffic or the market places, everything for them is starkly different from what they see at home.

They also visited Amartex in Panchkula to get a first-hand experience about weaving, besides the Sector 19 market. They are scheduled to go to Pinjore and Kalka tomorrow on their first-ever journey by train. None of them has ever seen a train before. Many have not even seen a ceiling fan.

Major S.D. Sharma, who is leading the team, said the purpose of the tour was to educate the girls about this region and enable them to interact with people other than those from their home state.

Major Sharma said many of them were engaged in cottage industries such as weaving, carpet making and stitching and visits to several organisations related to there activities would be beneficial for them.

“The animals at the zoo were very interesting,” said Razia Bano, a tailoring student. “I particularly liked elephants and tigers,” she added. Yagzes Yan, a senior secondary student found the place to be hot, but liked the greenery and “so many trees” here which is quite different from the barren Ladakh landscape.

Tashiangmo, a Class X student who was the youngest of the lot, was fascinated by the market places and the “huge shops” here. She said unlike shopkeepers in Leh, merchants here were aggressive in marketing and “virtually force you to buy something or the other.”

They started from Leh on August 12 by road. They stopped at Manali for sightseeing, where they visited the royal palace and an art museum. They are scheduled to leave the city on August 18.


Help comes to mute rape victim
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 16
Taking cognizance of an inhuman act against a handicapped child, the Child Protection Unit (CPU) here today brought together various NGOs and state child welfare bodies to provide mental and physical security to a 14-year-old deaf and dumb rape victim.

Rajni (name changed), a resident of a slum colony here, was raped by a neighbour in March. Following the complaint of her father, a case was registered against the accused. The child was treated at the Civil Hospital here. The CPU came forward and got her registered with Prayaas in Chandigarh.

Rajni who has been deaf and dumb by birth also suffers from complete paralysis of one side of her body. She is now being treated by doctors at Prayaas. A hearing aid was provided to her by the CPU today with help from Ms Uma Ratra, Secretary, Child Welfare Council, Punjab.

Mr Rajiv Kumar, Head Constable of the unit, said he along with another constable, Ms Rita Rani, have been able to ensure that Rajni did not feel victimised.

Under the supervision of Mr Gautam Singhal, DSP, Punjab State Human Rights Commission, the CPU works round the clock to provide help to child who have been victimised.


Priests of all faiths hold joint prayer
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 16
Instead of just talking about national integration on the occasion of Independence Day, city-based Inter-Religious Committee actually brought members of different religions together on one stage. No, not for holding discussions on the mandir-masjid issue, but for conducting a prayer.

The programme was organised at the Muktsar Sahib Gurdwara situated in Panjab University campus in Sector 14 on Dhanas Road. At least 200 members of different religions participated.

Though the verses recited by the priests on the occasion were different from one another, the message was the same — of love and universal brotherhood.

The programme started at about 5.30 in the evening. Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh priests recited verses from their holy books.

This was not all. The priests also recited bhajans and shabads.


Shatabdi delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Due to power failure on the Chandigarh-Delhi track near Ambala, the Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi was delayed by around 40 minutes. Against the arrival time of 8.20 pm, the train arrived at around 9 pm, according to officials at the Chandigarh railway station here today.


Gangs of thieves busted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 16
With the arrest of eight youths belonging to two gangs, the Mani Majra police today claimed to have solved several cases of thefts in the area.

Bipin and Ram Bahadur, both residents of Mani Majra, who were allegedly involved in a theft of jewellery and cash worth Rs 2 lakh from a house (5197) in the Modern Housing Complex three days ago, were arrested following a tip-off today. The stolen items have also been recovered from their possession.

Bipin and Ram Bahadur had broken into a house on Wednesday and stolen cash and jewellery. Ram Bahadur works as a waiter at a local dhaba while Bipin is a carpenter.

The police has also arrested six members of a gang, who had been involved in several thefts. A few days ago, the gang had allegedly stolen a cash box containing Rs 22,000 from Chand Bakery in Mani Majra. Some of the arrested members had also snatched a bag containing documents and some cash from a Punjab and Haryana High Court employee. The gang was reportedly behind the theft of a cash box from a temple in the area and were also involved in thefts in various shops. Those who have been arrested included Jatinder Saini, Manish Verma, Sohan Lal and Pramod Kumar. The police said that all the six are drug addicts.

Body found

A resident of Kishangarh village, Balbir Singh, 50, was found dead near Police Lines, Sector 26 here on Saturday. According to the police, he committed suicide by consuming some pesticides.

The deceased was a brother of the village sarpanch and was living alone in the village. Sources said he had gone to Nada Sahib, Panchkula last night and did not return home. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination.


Two booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 16
The police has registered a case of fraud against two persons here on charges of collecting monthly charges from cable subscribers in phases 10 and 11 here.

The case has been registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr Arvinderjit Singh Bittu, the proprietor of the Three Star Cable network here. He had alleged that Gurvinder Singh, alias Laddi, of Kambala and Gobind alias Bobby, of Phase 11 had been collecting monthly charges from his cable subscribers after issuing them fake receipts of the company.

A case under sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and 474 of the IPC has been registered in this regard.


Parking fee clash: four booked
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 15
The Kharar police has registered a case under Sections 324, 427, 506, 148 and 149, IPC against four persons in connection with a clash over parking fee outside the Civil Hospital here yesterday in which two persons were seriously injured.

Mr Jasmat Singh and Mr Ajit Singh were seriously injured and admitted to the Civil Hospital when allegedly attacked by staff of the parking lot contractor who asked them for parking fee. The two refused as their car was parked outside the hospital.

The police has registered a case against killer, Sandeep Singh, Darshan Singh and Manjit Singh.


Khadi bonanza opens in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Thanks to the Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC), the lovers of khadi will not have to wait for October to choose from the vast stock of products available with the local khadi ashrams. Pleasantly deviating from norm, the KVIC, from this year onwards, has decided to organised the much-awaited khadi bonanza from the Independence Day instead of the Gandhi Jayanti Day on October 2.

Being planned for a long time, the proposal finally saw light of the day, with the special khadi exhibition and sale rolling in the city from yesterday. Organisers had a point when they said, “It would be nice to celebrate the Independence Day by presenting to the people the real symbol of national sovereignty. Bapu always wanted freedom and he used khadi as an embodiment of freedom. It will be a befitting tribute to Bapu if we introduced khadi to the public on the occasion of the Independence Day. So here we are, announcing the show from today, instead of the usual time of October 2 every year.”

On display are a variety of indigenously manufacture products, with khadi as the base. Apart from the handloom and handicraft items that drew maximum crowd at Panchayat Bhavan in Sector 18, there was an equal rush or the special beauty and health products prepared under the aegis of the KVIC.

The beautifully crafted cushion covers are also a special feature of the show which will be open for about a month. Also being shown for sale are a host of paraphernalia for the places of worship. So there are agarbattis, dhups and many other such products being sold from the Panchayat Bhavan, which was thronged by visitors on the opening day of the exhibition.

Mattresses created and promoted through the khadi ashrams are also a rage.



Beopar mandal to intensify stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, today announced that it would organise a series of indefinite strikes and bandhs in the city. To start with the mandal will start protests from markets of various sectors in the city. The President of the Mandal, Mr Jagdish Arora said while informing about his resignation from the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council.

“We have been assured by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Lal Krishna Advani, that something will be done for traders but nothing happened.”

Mr Arora also criticised the Commercial Tenant Association for issuing a confrontationist statement. “This criticism has damaged our cause”, Mr Arora said.

The mandal would strive to get a balanced rent Act. It is required that the notification issued on November 7, 2002 be deferred and a committee be formed to cover all aspects including the view of the property owners.

Mr Arora said he had sent his resignation to the Administrator. Mr Purshottum Mahajan, President of the BJP Traders cell.

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