Friday, September 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Khanna, one more GCG teacher transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Giving into the demands of students of the Music Department of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, the DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, ordered the transfer of visually impaired teacher, Mr Jatinder Khanna and Mr Saubhagyavardhan Badal, another teacher of the same department, here today.

The orders were handed over to the teachers this evening. While Mr Khanna has been sent to Government College, Sector 11, Mr Badal has been sent back to Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

The two have been replaced by Mr Harvinder Singh from Government College, Sector 11 and Ms Vandana Tewari from Government College for Girls, Sector 42. While Mr Dilip Kumar confirmed the transfers of teachers, he refused to give the names. The Principal, Ms Usha Wahi, was not available for comment.

Earlier, slogan-shouting girls greeted staff and students near the college gate in the morning. The girls of the entire college were out on the road in support of the students of the Department of Music seeking the transfer of Mr Jatinder Khanna accused of using indecent language.

While postgraduate students of the Music Department, holding posters and banners seeking Mr Khanna’s transfer, arrived early to ensure that no student entered the college campus, they let the staff and principal drive into the campus without interruption.

Outside the closed college gates, the girls while convincing the others to join in, said that they were demanding Mr Khanna’s transfer keeping his handicap in mind.”Had he not been visually impaired, we would have demanded his suspension,” the students added.

Slogans of “Khanna hai, hai” filled the air while most students, not allowed to enter the campus by the protesters, stood in support of the agitation and strike call by the girls though anxious about the fate of the ongoing September test. It was then that an announcement was made that the September test had been postponed.

After over one-and-a-half hours of protest, just after the announcement was made, the DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, arrived at the college only to be greeted by angry girls demanding the transfer of the teacher. Agitated by the spillover of the protest to the road, he summoned the Principal, Ms Usha Wahi, and the staff to the gate, asking them to get the students back to class with the help of the police. He added that the September test was on and students could enter the campus.

The President of the College Students’ Council, Ms Annapurna Singh, too, was asked to urge the students back inside the campus.

To counter this, students of the Music Department formed a chain to put up resistance and succeeded. They remained adamant that the strike would be called off once the teacher was transferred. It was then that Mr Dilip Kumar assured the students that he would give a final decision based on the proceedings of yesterday’s meeting by evening.

Banking on this assurance and after a discussion and in consultation with the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council, President, Mr Malvinder Kang, the girls went back to the classes on the condition that the September test would not be held.

Meanwhile, the DPI followed this up with a closed door meeting with the Principal and staff, leaving an hour later. When contacted in the evening, he said that teachers of the college had been transferred.

Transfer for sake of peace: Khanna

I have been made scapegoat: teacher

Exam put off

“I had asked the Principal for a transfer to bring peace in the college. I wanted to go to Government College, Sector 11, and I have been granted my choice. However, the students have been unjust with me. Since I can’t see, I was used to asking a lot of questions which, it seems, did not go down well with the students,” Mr Jatinder Khanna said. He added that he had received his transfer orders.

A desperate Mr Saubhagayavardhan spoke to The Tribune before he received his orders. “They are making me a scapegoat. I have no role in the agitation and could not have been involved in instigating MA students because I only teach the undergraduate classes. I have come to college only a year ago. Why are they transferring me? Though I have not received my orders, I am expecting them any minute. The DPI was told that it was a deputationists versus UT cadre case. I was not given a hearing,” he said. Later, he was not available for comment.

Mr Khanna, earlier, had alleged that a teacher from his department was behind the protest and that the girls were being instigated at his instance.

The September examination slated for today was postponed and will now be held on September 27. Meanwhile, the girls, satisfied with the transfers, were appreciative of the fact that the DPI (C) had kept his promise.



Shortage of milk in city
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The fall in milk procurement by Milkfed and private plants, combined by the increased in demand on account of Shraadhs and coming festivals led to a virtual crisis in city milk supply today. Consequently, thousands of residents of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar had to go to their offices without milk, and the supply could be normalised by afternoon.

Dealers of Milk Time and other private plants complained of decrease in milk supply though the demand for milk had increased by 15 to 20 per cent during the past few days due to Shraadhs, the Hindus religious days, as well.

Residents in the southern sectors especially in Sectors 45, 46, 48, as well as in Sectors 9, 11, 15, 22 and 27 complained that they could not get even a single packet of milk today. Mr Surinder Banerjee, a resident of Sector 43 claimed, “I visited five milk booths in different sectors, but could not get packets of toned milk. There were only few dealers who were supplying green packets, full cream milk.”

According to some sources in Verka Plant, apart from decrease in milk supply from milk cooperative societies in villages, the plant had developed a major snag last night leading to crisis. As per the unconfirmed reports, the plant did not work properly for many hours resulting in the failure of milk processing. But officials of the plant denied this report.

Some of the dealers complained that their regular supply has reduced by half during the past few days. Said a dealer, Mr Raman Bajwa, of Sector 20, “We are not getting required packets of curd, kheer and toned milk for the past over one month.” Officials of the Verka Plant admitted that they were finding it difficult to meet the regular demand of the city residents, but denied that there was any problem in the plant.

“For the past one month”, said Mr D.D. Maini, General Manager of the Milkfed Plant at SAS Nagar, “the supply of milk procurement throughout the Punjab has come down by 28 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year. But we are trying to maintain regular supply to Chandigarh and SAS Nagar. Efforts are being made to maintain regular supply of 1.70 lakh to 1.80 lakh litres per day.”

The official admitted, “We have cut down the supply of desi ghee, paneer, flavoured milk and other products due to decrease in milk procurement.” He disclosed that due to draught like situations in the state last year, a large number of milch animals could not conceive on time resulting in delay in their calving period, and consequently fall in milk production and procurement.

He said the problem aggravated today due to the last day of Shraadhs. The demand had increased substantially and some people had started storing the milk during the past two three days. He felt that the problem would persit till Divali, on October 25, due to increase in the demand for milk in the urban and rural sector.


Improve medical facilities for soldiers, ministry told
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A Parliamentary report has slammed the Central Government for the poor state of medical facilities available for armed forces personnel as well as ex-servicemen and has asked the Ministry of Defence to ensure the immediate improvement and expansion of the facilities being provided.

“The medical requirements of servicemen as well as ex-servicemen are massive, and very poorly addressed. Their grievances get compounded considering the fact that there are only 127 service hospitals and 22 recognised private hospitals for the treatment of over 20 lakh ex-servicemen and their dependents and about 11 lakh serving personnel, excluding their families,” the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence has observed in its latest report released a few days ago.

The report said the ministry, as an interim measure, might consider other options such as mobile clinics, polyclinics, attachment with government hospitals and increasing the number of private recognised hospitals to ensure that ex-servicemen and their dependents were not deprived of even basic and emergent medical facilities.

“The ministry should ensure the immediate improvement and balanced expansion of the facilities being provided by service medical hospitals located in different parts of the country and also prepare suitable plans for increasing the number of such hospitals in a time-bound manner,” the report said.

Referring to the recently launched Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), the committee has noted that it will take five years for the scheme to be implemented. Stating that the benefits of the scheme will be available only in those districts where the ex-servicemen population is above 2,500, the committee has observed that most ex-servicemen who had opted for the Group Insurance Medical Benefit Scheme and had already paid charges for availing medical facilities, may hesitate to join the ECHS. “The committee feels that this will hardly reduce the patient load at military hospitals,” the report said.

The ECHS involves augmenting the existing medical facilities at 104 stations and setting up new facilities at 123 non-military stations across the country over the next five years. Ex-servicemen are required to contribute towards the scheme at rates which are applicable to Central Government pensioners. The present insurance scheme covering Army and Air Force personnel will close in March, 2005.

According to the report, the committee has strongly recommended that the government should recognise all civil hospitals in every district as a referral hospitals for ex-servicemen and adopt the same pattern at par with the Central Government Health Scheme for the benefit of ex-servicemen residing in remote areas.

The committee has recommended that the ministry should take immediate measures to enable ex-servicemen to claim their medical bills from the military hospital concerned and not from formation headquarters, which involves a cumbersome procedure.


AXN celebrities dare hundreds in Sectors 11 and 34
Tribune News Service

A youngster balances an earthen pot on his head and walks 20m hands free during the shooting of AXN Xtreme Dhamaka
A youngster balances an earthen pot on his head and walks 20m hands free during the shooting of AXN Xtreme Dhamaka in Sector 34, Chandigarh, on Thursday.

Chandigarh, September 25
Celebrities Mike Whitney and Tania Zaetta would have thanked their stars which brought them to Chandigarh. Loaded with responses to the AXN Xtreme Dhamaka show which was shot at two main locales in the city today, the visiting stars had a tough time handling the Punjabi spirit. As Rohit Kumar, a Panjab University student, who came to Sector 11 to take part in the challenge show put it, “AXN should have come with a heart ready to accommodate the entire Punjab. We will drive them crazy.”

As the day progressed the challenge show, which will be aired on AXN live from December onwards, drew huge crowds. The AXN crew began by shooting in the hot spots in Sector 11. The entire shooting was, however, confined to streets to let the passers-by also participate in challenges. To begin with, the youngsters went on to wildly follow the Australia supermodel Tania, who challenged them with two dares, including the karate chop through the pile of roof tiles with bare hands. After the experts helped the youngsters deal with the challenge, five tried it, including three girls. As the lucky ones chosen by Mike and Tania to play the challenge, tried breaking the tiles, hundreds of aspirants hooted and whistled.

The second dare done in the market of Sector 11 was whistling with a mouthful of “son papri” in mouth. A carnival challenge, it drew tremendous crowds especially boys who were ready to try the dare for the whole day. The AXN team, including Xtreme Dhamaka hosts Mike, Tania, Salil and Deepica stayed in Sector 11 for the whole afternoon before proceeding to Sector 34.

The commercial sub center of the city, Sector 34 well lived upto its reputation with youngsters going wild with interesting dares. The first one was — doing 10 push ups with Deepica sitting on their back. For girls there was a relaxation of five push ups. As Mike and Tania picked up five youngsters for each dare, it was time to try another dare, in which Tania balanced the earthen pot on her head with hands free. She also had to walk a distance of 20 metres in this position. Hundreds of girls waited in line to take up this challenge, while the experts looked on.

Yet another and final dare of the day’s schedule which ended in Sector 34 was smashing a watermelon without using hands or feet.


Re-discovering the joy of theatre
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
No matter how many accomplishments adorn his long acting career, Naseeruddin Shah never loses sight of the ground. Rooted in theatre, the legend consciously guards against using the performance space as a podium to show off talent. He regards himself as a facilitator of the medium and allows the story to guide him. And as he indulges in various genres — from the new Indian cinema with directors Shyam Benegal and Mrinal Sen to Hollywood productions like “The League of Extraordinary Men”, — the celebrated actor finds time for disabled kids in Delhi, where he works as brand ambassador for Aadi (Action for Ability Development and Inclusion). Ask him what he gets out of this commitment and he submits, “I get some purpose back into life.”

Stepping into Chandigarh after nearly a decade, Naseeruddin made no lofty claims about himself. Instead he admitted, “I am no great artiste like my mentor Geoffrey Kendall. He could have been Lord back home in Britain, but he stayed in India to take theatre to remote towns and share Shakespeare with college and schoolchildren. I don’t know how he survived. But I know his was a hand-to-mouth existence and it was all for the sake of theatre. I have not done one-hundredth of that. But I am happy to have done a miniscule role with him in ‘Junoon’.” Naseeruddin still remembers his first lessons in theatre, “As an artiste, I cannot tamper with the sacred literature I am using to enrich my medium. Script is my master and its service my only duty.”

In the city with wife Ratna Pathak Shah and daughter Heeba to stage “Ismat Apa Ke Naam”, a production based on the works of Ismat Chugtai, Naseeruddin talked about everything from morbid film scripts and insidious television to Manto and the joy of theatre. The Durga Das Foundation and The Tribune invited the production to the city.

As you soak in Naseeruddin’s meaningful verses, you feel the bulge of literature therein. Having enacted English plays of all descriptions under Motley, a group he founded with Benjamin Gilani, Tom Alter and Ratna in 1979, Naseeruddin informs, “We were labelled as an English group. I resented this because I never had original Hindi and Urdu plays to work on. But I must admit that the cultural conspiracy of the British kept us away from our literature. I never knew writers like Ismat and Manto ever existed. The British geared education in such a way that every child knew of Shakespeare as the only playwright and Wordsworth as the only poet.”

Fondness of Chugtai and Manto’s writings was palpable in Naseeruddin’s words, as he said, “So impelling was Ismat’s writing that I decided to make a production on the first three stories I read. We made another production titled, ‘Manto, Ismat Haazir Hon’. You would be surprised to know that I worked with Ismat in ‘Junoon’, but never knew she wrote so realistically. I discovered her later and was amazed to learn that in 1940s she was writing stories like ‘Boo’ and ‘Lihaaf’, which were tried for obscenity in the Lahore High Court. These stories also feature in our productions.”

Having returned to meaningful theatre after renouncing commercial cinema, Naseeruddin does not rule out the possibility of directing films. In fact, he feels ashamed of some of those art films that made an apparent impact in the 1970s. He dares us by saying, “Sit through ‘Saza-e-maut’ and I will give you anything you ask for.” While Naseeruddin’s fresh purpose in life is working with children, Ratna voices her fascination for Ismat, “She is a truly contemporary writer. Rooted in her times and ethos, she draws a picture of the world to be.” Engaged for eight years in the municipal schools teaching programme, called Sangati, Ratna makes room for theatre within the family. She informs, “I divide time between theatre and television, which is now a distorted medium.”

As for Heeba, life is beginning to take shape after NSD. She is, however, a quintessential part of the family wedded to theatre.


A tribute to genius of Ismat Chugtai
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Naseeruddin Shah narrates one of the three stories that formed a part of his production, "Ismat Apa ke Naam", presented at Tagore Theatre
Naseeruddin Shah narrates one of the three stories that formed a part of his production, “Ismat Apa ke Naam”, presented at Tagore Theatre by the Durga Das Foundation in association with The Tribune. — A Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, September 25
The world could well have been savage without literature to bail it out of difficult times. It was the power of this very literature, created and embellished by the truly contemporary writer of her times, Ismat Chugtai, which armed today’s production at Tagore Theatre with absolute sense.

Presented by Naseeruddin Shah, whose family gave him classic company on stage, today’s play stood in stark contrast to many run-of-the-mill theatre productions that suggest more than their script means. The first Hindustani language production of Naseeruddin’s group, Motley, “Ismat Apa Ke Naam”, was a literal tribute to the genius of the woman, who made her life worthy of remembrance by chafing at parochialism in times when women were treated with contempt and disdain. The evening was presented by the Durga Das Foundation, The Tribune and The Spice Telecom.

A welcome shift from trend, “Ismat Apa Ke Naam” brought in its fold the beauty of narration, which has roots in the never-ending tales of grandmothers who would feign as horses or queens or witches to drive home a story and its moral. For once, all technical aspects of theatre were relegated to the background to make room for “stories”, as told by three actors in diverse situations.

Before the affair of narration began, Naseeruddin introduced the gathering to the novel concept. “If you have come here to watch theatre, you may be disappointed because we will just tell you stories from Ismat Apa’s rich body of works. Without altering the format, we will narrate tales which hold ground even today.”

As the tales assumed position in the scheme of things, nothing else seemed to matter. Heeba Shah appeared on stage with the first story, “Chhui Muee”, which sought to dissect the upper class mentality that allows no space to reason. Narrated with phenomenal punch, the story spoke of Bi Mughlani, the upper class Muslim matriarch, who rules the house like a queen. Also in the picture is the beautiful Bhabhi jaan, whose trauma only heightens as the story progresses. Using caustic phrases to bare the prevalent hypocrisies that stem from the news of childbirth, the story is a poignant account of Bhabhijaan, who stands to lose her womb every time she is expecting. Woven into the script is satire on the rampant superstition that mars the very source of joy. As an expecting Bhabhijaan is hugely protected even in a train compartment lest anything should happen to the child, a village woman walks into the compartment, delivers a child in midst of pain and walks off as if she has just wound up another household chore.

While the impact of this story lasted, Ratna Pathak Shah walked into the scene with her amazing set of histrionics, which spell class. A satire on the Mughal successors, who have failed to accept that they are past their prime, the story weaves in a strange love-hate relationship between Gori Bi and Kaley mian, who refuses to unveil the face of his newly wedded wife just to guard his false ego. A pampered Gori bi also declines to oblige her man. On the rocks for ages, the relationship returns to life, but is again cut short by Kale Mian’s death.

The final presentation came from the legend himself. Told by Naseeruddin Shah, “Gharwali” made strong observations on the vitality of marriage which seems to be a useless institution, unless most certainly warranted. Characters in the story are diverse in nature and appeal. Laajo is given to indecency because she has never lived within family parameters. Mirza saheb, on the other hand, loves to safeguard his dignity. Their encounter happens in a situation where both need each other for convenience as well as company. An insecure Mirza takes Laajo in marriage, but fails to keep her away from vice. As the institution crumbles under the weight of divorce, Laajo breathes easy. The two get back to life and love, sans the burden of bonding.


Golden forests’ resort leased out to new company
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
A Golden Forests property at Toran, near Pinjore, constructed in violation of the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control (Regulation) Act, has reportedly been leased to a new company.

The property, Nolta Health Resort, spread amidst the cool climes and picturesque beauty of the Shivaliks, on the Himshikha road, has reportedly been leased for 20 years to Yorks Health Resort. The resort, complete with its new management and get up, will again be thrown open to the public tomorrow and will be formally inaugurated by the Member of Parliament, Mr Ajay Singh Chautala.

The resort, which has a few rooms, besides perfectly manicured greens and landscaping with swings and canopies, has been constructed in violation of the Periphery Control Act. The property had been closed to public over the past more than a year, after the arrest of the owners of Golden Forests Pvt Limited, on charges of cheating and fraud.

The Periphery Control Act is applicable within an eight mile radius of Chandigarh and extends to 154 villages in Panchkula district.

Sources in the Department of Town and Country Planning, Haryana, while confirming that the resort was a violation of the Periphery Control Act, said that they had already issued notices to the previous owners of the resort, Golden Forests (India) Limited — a subsidiary of Golden Forests — for the demolition of the resort. “However, the owners had approached the court and a stay was granted against the demolition, “ informed a senior official in the department.

Inquiries made by TNS reveal that the stay has been vacated and the owners have filed a fresh appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Well placed sources claim that since the property had been leased out and the new lessee is reportedly close to the powers that be in the state, the Department of Town and Country Planning is purposely delaying the demolition- giving advantage of time and an opportunity to get a stay from the high court — to the new owner.

The Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat, when contacted by TNS, said that she was unaware of the resort being leased out.

She, however, said that the demolition of this resort was not being pursued, as the owners have filed an appeal before the high court, seeking a stay, which is to come for hearing shortly.

The lessee, Mr Pale Ram, and the new Manager of the resort, Mr Bisht, when contacted, said that he was unaware of the resort being constructed in violation of the Periphery Act. “ However, we will now approach the Department of Town and Country Planning to regularise the construction of the resort, “ they said. They said that they had taken the resort on lease for 20 years.


Income tax return centres open on weekend
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The centres for filing income tax returns will remain open on the weekend i.e September 27 and September 28, from 10 am to 3 pm. In view of the September 30 deadline for filing of income tax returns, the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, (north-west region) today decide to keep the centres open on these days to enable maximum number of tax payers to deposit their returns.

The ranges I, IV, V and VI tax payers at Chandigarh and SAS Nagar, can file returns at three different centres in the city. Residents of Sectors 1 to 11, Mani Majra and Industrial Area, Phase II, which falls under range I, can file returns at the first floor, SCO 45-47, Sector 17-A. Tax payers residing in Sectors 12 to 25, Industrial Area -I, who fall under range II and III, can deposit returns at the first floor, SCO 73-75, Sector 17-D, and those from Sectors 26 onwards to SAS Nagar, falling under ranges IV, V, VI can file returns at ground floor, SCO 48-49, Sector 17 A, Chandigarh.

On an average, around 1,500 tax payers were filing their returns at each of these centres. Separate counters for senior citizens and women tax payers had been opened. Enquiry counters for new tax assesses to help them on permanent account number (PAN) issues had also been set up at these centres.


Sex ratio in Kurukshetra second lowest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
Sex ratio in at least 10 districts of Punjab is below 800 according to statistics presented during a two-day workshop organised by the Directorate of Field Publicity, North West Region, Chandigarh. The workshop “Abolishing female foeticide” — concluded here today.

The situation in Haryana is no better. In five districts of the state including Kurukshetra, Sonepat, Ambala, Karnal and Rohtak, the sex ratio in 0-6 age group was less than 800. In Kurukshetra, the sex ratio was 770. It was the second lowest in the country. While 10 of the last 15 districts in the country where in Punjab, the remaining five were in Haryana.

No wonder, a resolution was made to launch special publicity campaigns on female foeticide in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana during the conference attended by field publicity officers of the directorate of field publicity from these states.

Addressing participants, Director, Family Welfare, Dr M P Minocha, said medical science had made good progress in controlling foetal abnormalities. He said the doctor carrying out these tests have to be alert as there are chances of wrong interpretation of the ultrasonography results. The use of obstetric ultrasonography for the detection of the sex of the child which ultimately leads to female foeticide was a criminal offence and awareness should be spread in this regard.

The Executive Director of the Voluntary Health Association, of Punjab, Mr Manmohan Sharma, spoke on the new trends in female foeticide in the region.

He said, ‘’ People have started going to different districts for ultrasonography so that their credentials are kept secret. People are also moving from one state to another for these tests in order to avoid any complication.’’

In his concluding remarks, Regional Director, Directorate of Field Publicity (North-West) Region, Chandigarh, Mr K S Dhatwalia mentioned that DFOP units of the region would carry out extensive publicity campaigns during the next few months in those districts of Punjab and Haryana where the sex ration is lowest.

He further mentioned that the units of the region would concentrate on these distrcits and general public awareness against female foeticide.


250 delegates for legal conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
About 250 delegates from seven different countries, including the USA and Pakistan, are expected to discuss “the simplification of the legal procedure” and other issues during the international legal conference being organised here by the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana. The first delegation from Bangladesh reached the city today.

The two-day conference to be held at Panjab University campus from September 29 is expected to be attended by the President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, besides Ambassadors of different countries, along with legal luminaries, jurists, educationists and academics from all over the world. The Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts would also be present.

Addressing a press conference, Bar Association President Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu asserted that a conference at such a large scale, with the country’s President as an invitee, was being organised for the first time, perhaps.

He added that the conference would not only help in improving the justice delivery system, but would also go a long way in building better relations with different countries, including Pakistan.

Giving details, Mr Sidhu asserted that the peace could be restored by calling delegates from different parts of the world. He added that about 12 delegates from the Punjab Bar Association at Lahore, three from America and two from Canada had confirmed their arrival.

As far as the implementation of the recommendations were concerned, Vice-President Sartaj Singh Toor added that the sessions would be recorded, studied and analysed by an academic committee before being forwarded to the Law Commission. The “papers” to be read during the conference would also be published, he added. A total expenditure of Rs 10 to 15 lakh would be incurred, but most of it would be borne by the sponsorers, he revealed.

On the last day, “incapacity and inadequacies of the judiciary, the “procedural simplification”, “accessibility to the under privileged” and the “financial dependency of the judiciary” would be discussed. The delegates can register themselves till September 28.


Draw of lots by HUDA on Oct 1
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
The Haryana Urban Development Authority will hold the draw of lots for its 100 plots in Sector 12- A, 19 and Mansa Devi, Sector 4, on October 1.

Sources in the department said the draw had been postponed following confusion over the number of applications of oustees received for 10 marla plots in Sector 12-A. It is learnt that as against 10 marla plots, 17 applications of oustees alone had been received. This meant that none of the plots could be given in the general category. The total number of applications received for these plots are 768. It has now been decided not to include the draw of these plots on October 1. The applicants of these 10 marla plots in Sector 12-A have been given an option to apply for the plots in the new scheme of HUDA for around 4000 plots in Sectors 12, 12- A, 17, 21 Part III, 23, 24 , 27 and 28. Though this scheme was to end on October 3, HUDA has now extended the last date for applying from October 3 to October 24.


Bank staff raise funds for poor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
As part of the Community Week celebrations in branches of Standard Chartered Bank across the world, the Chandigarh branch team also contributed its mite to make a difference in the community.

The branch staff and teams of various departments made generous contributions to raise funds in order to help the deprived. A sum of Rs 15,000 was collected by staff donations and utilised in the following activities:

Help was provided to the Missionaries of Charity, (Mother Teresa’s Home) in Sector 23. It was meant for orphan children, homeless adults, cripples and invalids. There were 21 children suffering from asthma and needing a Nebuliser when the bank contacted them for making a donation. A pleased sister Ann Teresa said her prayers had been answered when the bank presented them with two Nebulisers which would be used in the children’s ward.

Forty employees of the bank donated blood to a government hospital at a camp organised by the bank today in coordination with Dr Anand, Head, Blood Bank. Milk and refreshments were served to the donors.

One of the customers of the bank, Mr Ummat, is a trustee with the Old Age Home in Chandigarh. He brought to the notice of the bank a problem the inmates were facing due to frequent power cuts. The bank will be presenting the inmates of the home batteries for their invertor, which they received as a gift from a local family, but was not put to use. Frequent power cuts at the home made life difficult for the aged in the hot summer afternoons.

In association with the Chandigarh Eye Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, the Chandigarh branch tried to motivate its staff and customers to pledge their eyes. Over 70 persons from the bank team pledged their eyes.

The bank also presented rations to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Seva Society, Chandigarh, which supports several widows and poor households and provides them with monthly ration, which is purchased by voluntary donations made by individuals. The society also runs free ambulances for highway accident cases. It also arranges marriages for girls from poor families who cannot afford even basic wedding arrangements. Many of these girls come from deprived families residing in the peripheral villages of Chandigarh.


Morning walker dies of cardiac arrest
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, September 25
If you think morning stroll in the garden is always good for your health, you may not be entirely correct. An early morning walker in the Sector 36 Fragrance Garden was today rushed to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) after he became unconscious. At the institute, the 60 year-old walker, Gurdial Singh of Sector 35, was declared brought dead. As of now, cardiac arrest is being cited as a reason.

In April also, a teenager made his final exit from the world while exercising in another garden. Doctors at the PGI insist that a relaxing morning walk can never be harmful, but physicians should be consulted before carrying out strenuous exercises, including jogging. Warm-up exercises, too, are essential.

According to sources in the Police Department, Gurdial Singh could have suffered cardiac arrest. Ruling out the possibility of foul play, sources said preliminary investigation carried out by the police revealed that there were no marks of external injury.

The sources added that the victim lost his consciousness at about 6 am while he was walking. He was then taken to the Institute by someone from the neighbourhood. The information was then forwarded to the Sector 36 police station for necessary action. Family members revealed that Gurdial Singh had left his resident at about 5 am. They received the information about his death at about 7.30 am.

In April, 17-year-old Amandeep Singh, too, was discovered dead under mysterious circumstances at the Sector 33 Terrace Garden. He had left his Sector 45 residence at around 5.30 am for morning walk. The Class X student was a member of his school hockey team.

Preliminary investigation in the matter had ruled out the possibility of foul play. Senior police officers looking into the case had claimed that the boy had apparently died of cardiac arrest.

The information in this case too was forwarded to the police by a fellow morning walker. He was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Amandeep Singh had just taken his Class X board examinations and had started exercising only a couple of days before the incident. His father, retired Subedar Ranjit Singh, had encouraged him to go for exercises in the mornings.

Giving details, the Head of PGI Cardiology Department, Dr Anil Grover, said, “A relaxing morning stroll can never be the cause of any walker’s death. In fact, morning walk is advised as a medicine for all type of ailments. It helps in releasing stress and in reducing deaths caused by life style diseases”.

He concluded, “But in case you wish to jog or perform any other strenuous exercise, please consult your physician. Any illness or developmental defects of coronary arteries and arrhythmia can prove to be fatal”.


Autopsy on man’s body delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The autopsy on the body of Amritsar resident Rajesh Sharma, who was found dead yesterday in the choe near marble market in Sector 51, has been delayed for a day on the advice of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) experts to rule out any foul play.

The police said a board of medical jurists had been set up to conduct a post-mortem examination tomorrow. The police was looking for a suspended Punjab Police personnel, Ashok Sharma, who is believed to have come to the city along with Rajesh Sharma.

The presence of the body in the choe has raised suspicion of a foul play, although there are no apparent external marks of any injury.

The police said unless Ashok Sharma was contacted, it would be difficult to know the reason of the death.

A suicide angle is also being explored, despite the fact that no suicide note was found in the case. Members of Rajesh Sharma’s family, who have reached the city, have identified the body.

According to the police, Ashok Sharma and Rajesh Sharma had boarded different buses after they reached the city.

Rajesh Sharma was in the knitting business and believed to have come on a business trip to the city.

The questions like how much money he had with him when he came to the city and if he had any enmity with some body, were still to be examined as family had not been able to give any clue to these posers.

The police said viscera test could also be required if the post-mortem examination did not reveal the cause of the death.


PSEB employees hold rally
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
Against the proposed move to privatise the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and to demand withdrawal of the Central Electricity Act, 2003, a rally was organised by employees of the PSEB here today.

The rally was held on a joint call given by various employee bodies of the PSEB. Later, the agitating employees held a protest march towards Punjab Vidhan Sabha but were stopped at Matka Chowk.

The various bodies that participated in the march were PSEB Employees Struggle Committee, Employees Federation (Surinder Singh), Council of Junior Engineer, Bijali Mulazam Front, Punjab Raj Bijali Mulazam Sangh and Workers Federation (INTUC).

The leaders have threatened to intensify the agitation if their demands are not accepted. They suggested that the losses to the PSEB could be reduced by internal modifications in its working. They also claimed that the losses to the board had already been reduced to Rs 250 crore from the earlier Rs 1,850 core. They warned that any move to make the PSEB a corporation or to privatise it would only increase the power prices.

Some leaders from the farming community also addressed the protesting PSEB employees. The General Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal and former Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, also addressed the gathering and supported the demands of the employees.

It was also announced that a convention of employees of the various electricity boards of northern states would be held in October. They added that with the help of different employee bodies in the power sector from all over the country, a nationwide black day would be observed soon.

The various leaders who spoke on the occasion included Mr Amarjit Singh Sodhi, Mr Radhe Shyam, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Karam Chand Bhardwaj, Mr Harbhan Singh, Mr Faljit Singh, Mr Swarn Singh, Mr Divinder Singh and Mr Vijay Kumar.


Fernandes to inaugurate defence seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Several papers on matters governing national security will be presented at a two-day seminar being organised by the Forum on Integrated Defence Management from September 27. Defence Minister George Fernandes will inaugurate the seminar, while former Defence Secretary N.N. Vohra will deliver the key-note address.

On the first day, former Vice-Chief of the Army, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, will give a presentation on “Integrated management of defence”, while Vice-Admiral P.V. Das (retd) will discuss the issues at stake in higher management of defence. Former BSF Director-General Prakash Singh will speak on the Bangladeshi immigrants’ problem, while ex-Director CBI D.K. Karthikeyan will discuss the role of security forces vis-a-vis extremist elements. The Kashmir problem will be discussed by Lieut-Gen K.K. Nanda. Speakers on the second day will include Gen V.N. Sharma, Mr G. Parthasarthy, Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak and Lieut-Gen D.B. Shekatkar, who will focus on national security and challanges posed by China and Pakistan.


Governor to visit temple
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 25
The Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, will pay obeisance to Mata Mansa Devi on the first day of the Ashwin Navratra Mela that begins here tomorrow.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Administrator of Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, said Vandana Vajpayee would perform at ‘bhajan sandhya’ on October 1. Mr Abhay Chautala, MLA, would be the chief guest.

She said artistes of the Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana, would perform on September 29 and 30. A jagran would be organised on October 2.

Mr Subhash Goyal, State Minister for Urban Development, would be the chief guest on the occasion.

The DC said various government officials had been deputed as nodal officer for the mela.


Jewellery, cash worth Rs 7 lakh recovered
Our Correspondent

House owner in dock

The SP said a case would be registered against Mr T.B.S. Sodhi on a charge of disobeying an order promulgated by a public servant. He said the police had been asking the public to get the antecedents of domestic servants verified in order to bring down crime in the town. Mr Sodhi had not bothered to get the verification of his servant done.

SAS Nagar, September 25
The police has recovered jewellery and cash worth about Rs 7 lakh, which was stolen from a house in Phase IX here on September 17.

Mr H.S. Bhullar, SP, told mediapersons at a press conference here today that jewellery weighing 1.2 kg, costing about Rs 6 lakh, and Rs 1 lakh in cash were recovered from Dinesh Kumar Yadav. He had stolen these from the house of a merchant navy officer, Mr T.B.S. Sodhi.

Mr Bhullar said Harjot Kaur Sodhi, wife of Mr Sodhi, was a jewellery designer and was running two outlets in Chandigarh. They had engaged Dinesh Kumar Yadav on August 22, but did not get his police verification done as he had earlier worked in the house of a relative and had won their confidence. The SP said the servant knew everything about the house. When the family members were not at home, he opened the room where the jewellery and cash was lying and decamped with the property.

Mr Bhullar said after committing the crime, Dinesh first went to Ludhiana where his brother-in-law lived. From there, he went to Delhi where his brothers were living. He told them about the theft that he had committed. He warned his brothers that the police might come to Delhi hunting for them. Later, he went to his in-law’s house in Gorakhpur district. He kept hiding himself at one place or the other. The SP said Dinesh had spent Rs 6,000 out of the money stolen by him. He was arrested today and the jewellery and cash recovered.

A case has been registered against Dinesh under Section 381, IPC. He would be produced in the court tomorrow.


Bid to kidnap teenager
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 25
An attempt to kidnap a teenager from the Phase IX market was allegedly made here last evening.

Mr Harjit Singh Bhullar, vice-president of the Punjab unit of the youth wing of the BJP, said that some car-borne persons had followed his 14-year-old son, Harsimran Singh Bhullar, when he was going for tuition at about 5 p.m. After coming back he went on his motorcycle to the market Phase IX at 9.30 p.m. to buy some stationery items. He was again followed by the persons who wanted to put him in the car and take him away. It was the presence of some persons nearby that made the kidnappers change their mind.

According to the police the complaint in this regard was made by Mr Bhullar at 10.25 p.m. The SP said Mr Bhullar had asked for security from the police a few months ago which could not be provided as the police saw no reason for doing so.


2 poultry farmers booked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
The Raipur Rani police has booked two poultry farmers of Tabar-Subir Poultry Farms and Himalaya Poultry Farm on charges of negligent act likely to cause disease dangerous to human life.

The case has been registered against them on the complaint of Mr Rattan Lal, Sarpanch of Tabar village. He has accused the owners of these farms of failing to check the fly menace in the area by not mixing medicine in the feed of their chicks and hens.

Representatives of the Haryana Poultry Farmers Association today met the Deputy Commissioner and urged that the case registered against them be withdrawn. The farmers said the fly it could not be brought under control because of the monsoon season, and assured that menace would come under control after the monsoon. They said that they would continue mixing medicine in the feed.

Man Killed: A 25-year-old labourer, Ram Dev, was crushed to death under a truck (HNX- 1327) near Dhakuali village this afternoon . The victim was reportedly working in a pit when the truck driver, while reversing the truck, lost control of the truck and crushed him.

Suicide bid: A young girl reportedly attempted suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at Hangoli village this evening. She was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, from where she was referred to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Four booked: The police has booked a woman, her father and two brothers on charges of attempting to kill the former’s husband, Jeet Singh Bhatti. According to an FIR registered under Section 323, 325, 307, 506 and 120-B of the IPC, Balwinder Kaur, Rajbir Singh, Kirpal Singh and Surjit Singh, all from Kalka, have been booked on charges of assaulting Jeet Singh of Amritsar and forcibly taking away Rs 6,000 from him.


Two cars, ornaments stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Two cars, a Honda City and Maruti, ornaments, computer parts and a generator set were stolen from various places in the city during the past 24 hours.

Sandeep Chadha, a resident of Sector 36, reported that his Honda City, bearing registration number CH-0I-X-9169, had been stolen from his residence on September 23 night.

Bhagwan Dass Goel, a resident of Sector 21-D, reported that his Maruti car (CH-0I-M-3073) had been stolen from Dev Samaj College, Sector 36.

Kanta Sharma, a resident of Sector 43-B, reported that two sets of gold jhumkas, two sets of gold chains, four gold bangles, two gold rings, two wrist watches, a silver chain apart from Rs 60,000 had been stolen from her residence during day time when she was away.

O.P. Devgan, a resident of Sector 16, reported that a gold bangle set, a set of diamond tops, a set of gold tops and Rs 1000 had been stolen from his house.

Manoj Kumar Chameli, a resident of Sector 7, reported that computer parts and a generator set had been stolen from SCO 186-187, Sector 17.


Sector 17 jewellers form council
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Ten leading jewellers of the City Beautiful’s prime shopping centre in Sector 17 have come together to float the Jewellers Promotion Council-17, Chandigarh, in order to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Chandigarh in a befitting manner.

Visitors buying jewellery in Sector 17 will be presented with gifts ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 2,500 on every purchase. These include TVs, fridges, VCDs, microwave ovens, music system, juicer grinder, dinner set etc, according to a spokesman of the council.

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