Saturday, October 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two die as shell explodes in scrap dealer’s shop
Tribune News Service

Explosive scrap

Several incidents of explosions due to these misfired shells finding their way to scrap dealers have been reported. While a 16-year-old scrap dealer had died in Old Panchkula area two years ago, another person was killed in Gate No 4. area of Old Panchkula. In August 2001, over 250 or misfired or unexploded shells were also found in an abandoned firing range of the Army in Bhudd, near Raipur Rani.

Panchkula, October 3
Two persons were killed and at least two others injured, one of them seriously, when a misfired bomb shell in scrap exploded in a scrap dealer’s shop along the busy Ambala-Kalka-Shimla National Highway here this evening. The explosion took place around 7.50 p.m.

The police said the explosion took place while one of the employees of scrap dealer Ram Swaroop Tiwari was trying to break a mound of iron scrap. The police said the scrap probably contained a misfired Army shell, which when hit by a hammer, exploded. The impact of the explosion was so great that it was heard in a radius of 4 km around the spot and the body of one of the victims was blown to bits.

Till the time of filing of this report, the deceased could not be identified.

The two injured employees — Chander Bahadur and Arvind — were rushed to General Hospital, but later shifted to the PGI.

The shop, Pawan Scrap Dealer (Kabari), is located in the Old Panchkula market. Eyewitnesses, who did not wish to be quoted, said fire accompanied a deafening noise. “My house is located about half a km away from the site, but the walls and the windows rattled,” said a resident of the area.

A large crowd had gathered around the spot and it took a lot of time for the police to disperse people and cordon off the area. Initially, the side of the highway near the spot was cordoned off and traffic diverted on the other side. Later, traffic was resumed and the police did not let any vehicle to stop near the site.

The Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, Mr Ranbir S. Sharma, who rushed to the spot, said Panchkula being located next to the Western Command Headquarters in Chandimandir, a number of misfired or unexploded shells were often found in the area. “ Ragpickers often pick up these shells and sell these to scrap dealers as iron scrap. He said the preliminary investigation showed that a misfired shell could have been sold at the shop, and while it was being hammered, it exploded. “However, we have called in the bomb disposal squad of the Western Command Headquarters. Forensic experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Madhuban, have also been called in, “ he said.

The police desperately tried to look for eyewitnesses, but no one was forthcoming. The police could not even trace the owner of the shop, Ram Swaroop, or his two sons — Pawan and Lalit. Meanwhile, the DSP, Headquarters, Mr Desh Bandhu, sent messages to Western Command Headquarters to inspect the site. However, the Army team had not arrived at the spot till reports last came in. The SDM, Panchkula, Mr Inder Singh, also visited the spot.

Later, the police registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC and under the Explosives Act against the scrap dealer and his two sons.


7.10 lakh stolen by breaking car window
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 3
Three youths broke a rear window of a car parked outside a nursing home in Sector 19 and took away Rs 7.10 lakh kept in two packets on the rear seat here today. However, they were not able to take away a sum of Rs 1.90 lakh, which was kept in a separate packet.

The incident occurred around 4.30 pm on the busy road which divides the Sector 19 market and the residential area. The nursing home is in the residential area opposite the market.

As per police sources, Mr Hari Krishan, a treasurer in a Dera Bassi-based company and resident of Mani Majra, had withdrawn Rs 9 lakh from the Sector 8 branch of the HDFC Bank and kept the money in polythene bags. He had withdrawn the money to pay salaries to the staff. He kept the money in his Santro car and went to the nursing home to see his wife, who is admitted there for the delivery of the couple’s child. Hari Krishan told the police that he left the money in the car only for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, three youths in a white Maruti Zen (HR-06-H-6207), who were probably trailing Hari Krishan from the bank itself, reached the nursing home.

One of them kept standing at a distance while the second man broke a rear window of the car using a iron rod which had a sharp-edged front. The third picked up a packet containing money. By the time Hari Krishan came back, the three were fleeing but he managed to note down the number of the car.

The police has sent the number of the car for verification to Panipat, where the vehicle was registered. The police suspects that the number may be fake or the car could have been stolen. The rod was left in the car. Incidentally, the car had central locking facility.

A rickshaw-puller, Ashok, who was standing nearby, told the police that he could identify the three youth. He raised a hue and cry when he saw them breaking the window.

The police suspects that Mr Krishan was being followed from the bank.


PU Chairs need major revamp
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The almost negligible work of any academic value done by the coveted Chairs of Panjab University has put a big question mark on their standing. Earlier this year, the university had rejected a proposal of merging the chairs with the respective departments. However, there is no difference of opinion on the issue that the existing Chairs needed a major revamp to ensure at least a minimal participation in usual academic activities on the campus.

The Chairs, named after leading lights like Guru Nanak, Sheikh Baba Farid, Guru Ravi Dass, Swami Dayanand and Bhai Veer Singh, have made negligible contributions in the academic field.

The proposal mooted by Prof Deepak Manmohan and Prof Satya P. Gautam read. “Various Chairs such as Sheikh Baba Farid, Guru Ravi Dass, Guru Nanak, Bhai Veer Singh and Swami Dayanand should be merged with the respective basic teaching departments for the purpose of more efficient use of human resources and other budgetary provisions attached with the Chairs”. Prof Deepak Manmohan himself holds the Sheikh Baba Farid Chair.

During the discussion in the university Syndicate earlier this year, Prof R.D.Anand justified the need of the Chairs to work separately from the departments. He suggested the need for a School of Indian Chairs by merging them. This proposal received a general approval of the House. Mr Ashok Goyal stressed that persons appointed in a Chair should be from the relevant subject. He pointed out instances where the chairs were filled with teachers from other fields.

Principal P.S. Sangha said chairs had been created for a specific purpose and these should work for specified aims. There was a need to reactivate research.

Prof Charanjit Chawla was the lone voice which supported the resolution of reviewing the functioning of the Chairs. He demanded that work of the Chairs should be placed before the university for a review. Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath said the Chairs should be allowed to work at present. However, there was a need to restructure the offices of the Chairs. With a view to stop wastage, pooling in of human resources should be done, he added.

The university rejected the proposal with a dissent note of Professor Chawla and added that the possibility of establishing a School of Indian Studies be explored.


No black for Malini Ramani
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Malini Ramani may boast of two flagship fashion stores of her own in Delhi and Goa within five years of her career as a designer, but she is still best known as one of the key witness in the infamous Jessica Lal murder case, which has a local businessman’s son as the main accused. The boost to Malini’s image came overnight when she deposed against people allegedly involved in the crime. As the trial staggered, she earned a better name for standing by her deposition before the court of law.

In Chandigarh for the first time since April 30, 1999, when Jessica Lal was murdered in Bina Ramani’s joint, Tamarind Court in Delhi, Malini kept a dignified silence over the issues of justice. Sporting her own stark pink signature outfit, the vibrant designer whose “flamboyant and unconventional clothes adorn cocktail circuits from Mumbai and Monte Carlo to Beirut, said, “I did what my conscience guided me to do. I don’t have anything to say about the case. Much has been written and talked about. But yes, it is for the first time that I am visiting this city after Jessica’s murder.”

Here to inaugurate the first designer outlet, housing creations of famed designers — Rohit Bal, Sabhyachi Mookherjee, Shantanu and Nikhil, Anuradha Vakil, Anshu Arora Sen and Poonam Bhagat and herself — Malini talked about her dabblings in nightclubs and television and about her academic training in fashion merchandising and buying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

After storming the Indian fashion scene with her “Rock star meets Indian princess” look, which blends rock star shine look with a traditional one, Malini is now a regular at major fashion shows like the Lakme India Fashion Week, among others, Malini introduced her collection as “dramatic resort wear with a hippie-deluxe edge”, which reflects a truly international look. And she does not even mind kicking up a controversy or two by draping the Tricolour at times. “I love India and I love weaving patriotic elements into creations,” said Malini, who studied at Lawrence School, Sanawar, near Chandigarh. But all she knows about the city is that it has a tremendous paying capacity.

Famous for her plunging necklines, loads of radiance and colour, Malini described her label as “glamorous and unconventional”. “I like dressing up everyone, although I have some very regular clients in starlets Priety Zinta and Sushmita Sen, among others. My rule for creation is simple. I will design for others something which I would like to wear myself. I wear my creations. Sometimes I change into those of Anshu Arora Sen, Manisha Jaisingh and Manish Arora.”

Talk about Malini’s colour preferences and she denounces black vehemently, “I favour red, pink and other vibrant hues over black. I think bright colours suit the Indian skin.” Getting back to her interest in food joints, she informed that she was in the process of opening a lounge bar, with facilities like spa, massage parlour, and food, of course. On the front of design, she thinks India is a haven. “It is a privilege for us that the best of international brains seek inspiration for their designs from India. I also employ traditional Indian motif to my heart’s fill. My stores in Delhi and Goa are working wonders.”

And what about her role as witness in the murder trial. “Roles are roles. Each one has to be played as and when required,” the daring witness smiles back.


Malini Ramani opens designer outlet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
With celebrated designer Malini Ramani throwing open the first designer outlet of the city, fashion-conscious residents of the city will have a lot to look forward to. Stocked at the outlet, put together at Ebony in Sector 9 by Anju Tibrewal, are a host of classic designer creations, many of which have been part of the Lakme Indian Fashion Week.

Available at the outlet are creations of Malini herself. Flanking her exclusive kurta and formal pants collection is designer apparel by Rohit Bal, Anju Arora Sen, Shantanu and Nikhil, Sabyasachi Mookerjee, Anuradha Vakil and Poonam Bhagat. Called the Designer Studio, the corner’s highlight will be the collection of designer jeanswear called “an Jeans” by Anil Nanda, chairman and managing director, GOETZE (India), and vice-chairman and managing director, Escorts. This unique collection is quite popular with the fashion-conscious people of metro cities and is especially stocked by the likes of Yash Birla and Neetu Kapoor. The jeans are hand-painted and bear motifs of animals, flowers and masks, further embellished with zardosi, sequins, leather patches and jadau.

Apart from this, the studio, informs creator Anju Tibrewal, also features a wide range of ethnic suits, Indo-Western combinations, kurtis, shirts and trousers. After the inauguration of the store by Malini, Anju informed that gathering such a celebrated designer label was a herculean task for her.

“It took a lot of time and investment. I had to go around convincing designers of the fashion consciousness of Chandigarh, which is fast emerging as a haven for brands. Till today, we never had a place where reputed designer labels were available. At Ebony, we will offer classic choices to the customers, who will not have to go to Delhi to shop for the creations of their favourite designers,” said Anju.

For her part, Malini talked about the collection she had sent to Chandigarh. “The designs have to depend on the bent of the city clientele. I have a separate line in Goa, and another in Delhi. For Chandigarh, I have sent the usual collection which was recently shown at the Lakme India Fashion Week. Once we judge the consciousness level of buyers, we will add to the existing range. Nothing on this counter is fixed. The designs will change depending on seasons.”

The Rohit Bal collection on display consists of Indian suits with beadwork in cotton and sequin work in chiffon, kurtis in printed cotton and handloom khadis and linen. A basic and sensual mood collection, it will fall in place for those with mellow tastes. Malini’s collection is daring and bold. It features trousers with embroidery, shirts and pants with Ikat work from Orissa.

The Anju Arora Sen ensemble has a combination of silk and linen. Her works use a lot of tie and dye. A tinge of contemporary look is added by the creations of Shantanu and Nikhil. Their label spells future fashion. Taika, the brand of designer Poonam Bhagat, also forms a part of the Designer Studio. This collection has been executed in silk with kantha and pintick work lacing it with charms.


NHRC notice to IGP in pool raids case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
In less than seven months after city residents playing pool at several joints in the city were allegedly picked up by the police, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi has issued notice to the Inspector General of Chandigarh Police (IGP).

Taking a serious view of the incident, the NHRC has also asked the IGP to submit a report in the matter. Issuing the directions, the NHRC observed that in default the Commission may proceed to take action it deemed proper in the matter.

The directions were issued by the NHRC on a complaint filed by a social organisation — World Human Rights Protection Council through Chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal.

In his complaint against the UT Administration through the Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs, the Chandigarh Police IGP and other respondents, Mr Lakhanpal had earlier claimed that about 30 players, including college and school children, businessmen, besides the owners, were picked up after raiding several joints in the city.

The operation, he had asserted, was carried out without any authority. This was not all. The persons were detained for approximately eight hours before being released by the police.

Describing the action as illegal, the Chairman had asserted that the same was taken even though no criminal case was registered in the matter. The residents were released only after the parents were called to the police station, he had added.

Blaming the police for harassing the parents and the players, besides the joint owners, the Chairman had also sought the grant of compensation in the matter. The money, he had added, should be recovered from the pockets of the erring officials. Moreover, criminal cases should be registered in the matter.


DC order on crackers

Chandigarh, October 3
Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar today issued orders to prohibit bursting of fire crackers between 10 pm and 6 am and in the silence zone around hospitals, educational institutions, courts and religious places.

The orders shall come into force from midnight and be effective till October 31. TNS


Confusion over Dasehra date
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Confusion prevailing over the date of Dasehra may be misplaced. Despite newspapers giving information that “Ashtami” ended around 11 a.m today and Dashera has been correctly scheduled for October 4, the religious minded are saying that it should be ‘‘Navmi’’ tomorrow and not Dasehra, which is the 10th day of the epic battle between Lord Rama and Ravana.

Pandit Sanjeev Kumar of Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 46, says “Dasveen” or the 10th day starts at 4:15 p.m. tomorrow, thus it is correct to schedule Dasehra tomorrow. More so, since the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana took place in the evening, the pandit added, saying that the pooja could be held on the morning of October 5.

Interestingly in some places in Zirakpur, Dasehra is being celebrated on October 5. In SAS Nagar and Chandigarh, the effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkarna will be burnt tomorrow.

The banks and government institutions in Chandigarh , Panchkula and SAS Nagar have declared a holiday tomorrow. Educational institutions are also closed.


Akali workers’ protest against rejection of poll papers
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 3
Following the rejection of nomination papers of four Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidates who were contesting elections for the posts of director in Dera Bassi Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank, Akali workers today decided to boycott the elections to be held on October 9.

Alleging use of unfair mean by the election officer in connivance with the Congress in rejecting the candidatures of the SAD candidates, the Akali workers organised a protest march in the town and submitted a memorandum to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in the afternoon.

They also staged a dharna in front of the Dera Bassi Cooperative Agriculture development Bank for over two hours.

Heavy police had been deployed to avoid any untoward incident.

The protesters alleged that the nomination papers of Ajmer Singh Tardak (Lalru zone), Bahal Singh (Dera Bassi zone), Mewa Singh (Amlala zone) and Rakhvinder Singh (Samgoli zone) were rejected, saying that the candidates had not submitted no-objection certificates.

While talking to The Tribune Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, former president of the Dera Bassi Municipal Council, alleged that the returning officer had rejected the nomination papers of those Akali candidates who’s victory chances were quite high.

Today was the last day for the scrutiny of the nomination papers, withdrawal of candidature and issuance of election symbols to the candidates.

For the elections the subdivision has been divided into six zones — Dera Bassi, Amlala, Samgoli, Lalru, Tiwana and Handesra.

Meanwhile, Mr Daljit Singh, returning officer of the elections, and the assistant registrar of Dera Bassi Co-operative Agriculture Development Bank was not available for comments.


Admn bypasses court, appoints 4 food inspectors
Kiran Deep

“The training obtained by them (food inspectors) is of no help as the Food Health Authority, which had sent them for getting the training, is itself not approved,” observed the CJM.
The food inspectors were appointed by the Director, Health Services, on October 1, 1997.
After getting the Legal Remembrancer’s advice the Health Department took-up the matter with the Central Government. The four food inspectors were asked to go on three months’ training.
The case will come up for hearing on October 29.

Chandigarh, October 3
The UT Administration has appointed four food inspectors whose qualification for holding the post had come under scrutiny after the court had passed a order, stating that they had not undergone proper training as per the Central Government rules.

However, the UT Administration had filed the stay application and filed an appeal challenging the earlier order, but the decision was taken by it before the final court order.

A notification issued on September 30 by the UT Finance-cum-Health Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, states that “the UT Administration is pleased to appoint the following officials as food inspectors (four) and further to authorise them to institute prosecution for the offences committed under the said Act in the Union Territory”.

The appointment of the four inspectors had come under question after the court held that the four had not been imparted proper training as required under the Central Government rules.

Sources in the UT Health Department stated that after getting advice from the legal remembrancer the department had sent the food inspectors to get training from Health Service Department, Punjab. Now all of them had completed three months’ training between May and July, and acquired the required qualifications. The department will soon move all documents in this regard in the court.

While deciding the case “Ravi Kumar Kakkar vs UT State through the Food Inspector” in March the UT CJM had passed, the order regarding the food inspectors’ training. Kakkar had been sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1,000. Thereafter the Health Department had filed an appeal against CJM order pleading that Director, Health Services, has been defined to be Food Health Authority with respect to UT. He is competent to impart training for which the curriculum of Punjab State was taken.

Giving details, the Health Department further added that the services of a public analyst of Punjab and Haryana were taken for the completion of the training. Public analyst and the laboratories have been notified by the UT, it added.


Proposals sought to regulate land use
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 3
The first meeting of the committee formed by the Punjab Government to formulate a fresh policy to regulate land use in Chandigarh’s periphery under the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, was held here today. The six-member committee comprising principal secretaries of departments concerned, headed by the Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr J.S. Gill, was constituted following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

As part of the first meeting a prelimnary exercise was undertaken by the committee members to study the problems, especially the extent of violations of the said Act in Chandigarh’s periphery due to population pressure. The Chief Secretary has asked various committee members to give separate proposals to solve the problems including a list of concessions that can be given without affecting the character of the periphery area. The final blueprint is likely to be discussed in the forthcoming meetings of the committee.

The said Act came into force in 1952 when Chandigarh was being developed as the capital of Punjab. It was foreseen that the city will require more land for its future growth and therefore the Act was formulated to prevent unregulated and haphazard growth around the city.

The Punjab Government has declared a belt of 16 km around the Union Territory of Chandigarh as controlled area under Section 3 of the Act. The controlled area has certain restrictions on the change in land use and erection of structures. It is not permissible to change the land use or raise structure in contravention of these restrictions. However, in 1966 certain concessions were given within the Act to provide relief to those who were undertaking activities subservient to agriculture in the periphery.

A number of structures have come up in the periphery in violation of these restrictions. The Punjab Government has allowed all such structures which had come into existence by December 9, 1998. Prior to this 10,000 acres in the periphery had been declared as free enterprise zone where change of land use from agriculture to industry was permitted.

Six months ago the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Committee on Subordinate Legislation headed by Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh had recommended the repealing of the Act, declaring it outdated. However, no action was taken on the committee’s report.

The committee is likely to furnish its report in the next two months.


Housing plan for Sec 63 okayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
A scheme of Chandigarh Housing Board to construct more than 2,000 houses of all categories — HIG, MIG, LIG and EWS categories in Sector 63 has been approved by the Planning Department. The scheme would be notified for the public within one month.

The scheme is part of the plan to construct over 6,300 dwelling units, including 2,700 rehabilitation tenements and EWS houses in the next two years. The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), instructed the Adviser, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, to identify 100 acres in Sectors 53, 54 and 55 to be handed over to the housing board. The Chairman of the board was asked to plan 5,000 houses in these sectors in the second phase of the plan. This will be separate from the plan for the 6,300 flats.

The Chairman informed the Administrator that on the 40 acres in Sector 49. 1,600 MIG, LIG, EWS and rehabilitation tenements would be constructed.

Justice Verma said while finalising the plan for these housing colonies civic amenities should be planned in advance and sufficient green space provided.

At a meeting of senior officers of the UT Administration here today Justice Verma said the Chandigarh Housing Board should plan to cater to the needs of all sections of society and take effective measures to provide houses for eligible squatters at the earliest.

The Chairman of the board informed the Administrator that the Planning Department had cleared the plans for 1200 tenements to be constructed in Sector 38 West. He said the plan had already been submitted for the construction of 1,500 more rehabilitations and EWS tenements on 26 acres. The Administrator asked the Adviser to expedite the construction of government accommodations, especially for constables and lowly paid employees.

Justice Verma asked the Adviser to also explore the possibility of involving the board in the construction of government houses.


Left penniless by pickpocket, helped by Tribune men
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Two employees of The Tribune came to the aid of a Jaipur based carpenter, Salim Ahmed and his family, who were stranded in the city after Salim’s pocket was picked at the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus here this morning.

The family members had alighted from a Haryana Roadways bus on their way back from a pilgrimage of Sirhind Sharif in Fatehgarh Sahib when the wallet of Salim, containing Rs 5,000 and some documents, was pinched by a pick-pocket.

Before leaving for Jaipur, Salim had planned to show his family the places of tourist interest in the city. But all his plans went haywire. Confused, he boarded a Haryana Roadways bus, pleading the conductor to allow him to travel to Jaipur. But the family was dropped in front of The Tribune office.

On hearing about the plight of the family, two employees of The Tribune, Mr Samuel, a foreman, and Mr Ashok Sharma, working in the processing section, donated Rs 1000 and Rs 500, respectively. Salim left for Jaipur with a promise to return the money.


Commemorative stamps on waterfalls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Department of Posts has issued a set of four commemorative postage stamps on Waterfalls in India — Athirapalli Falls, Jog Falls, Kempty Falls and Kakolat Falls in the denominations of Rs 5 and Rs 15.

The stamps were issued here today. Here these stamps, information sheets and first day covers are available for sale to the public from the date of issue of the stamps at Philatelic Bureau, General Post Office.

One of the stamps depicts the picturesque Athirapalli Waterfalls located on the fringes of the famous Sholayar forest ranges of Kerala. About 80 feet high, these crash through gorges into the Chalakkudy river.

From the motorable road at Athirapalli, a bridgeway takes visitors close to the spot where the Chalakkudy river plummets down a drop of 80 feet. Misty waters cascade down a rocky terrain to flow downstream into the meandering river.

The second stamp depicts the world famous Jog or Gerusoppa waterfalls located northwest of Shimoga city of Karnataka in a hamlet called Jog.

The Sharavati river flowing over a rocky bed takes a spectacular leap from a height of 292 metres and divides into four smaller distinct falls known as the ‘Raja’, the ‘Roarer’, the ‘Rocket’ and the ‘Rani’.

The scenic effect is greatly heightened by the luxuriant vegetation around the area presenting a sense of transcendent grandeur and sublimity.

The Mahatma Gandhi Hydro-electric station here was commissioned in 1948 and has a capacity of 112000kw.

The third stamp depicts the magnificent Kempty Falls located about 15 km from Mussoorie and 50 km from Dehradun on the Mussoorie — Yamunotri road in Uttaranchal.

With water cascading down from an altitude of 4500 feet and splitting into five smaller falls, the Kempty waterfall offers a panoramic view.

The name Kempty is probably derived from ‘camp-tea’ as the British would organise their tea parties there. Combined with the surrounding greenery, the view infuses freshness into any tired soul. A bath at the foot of the falls is even more refreshing.

The fourth stamp depicts the ebullient Kakolat waterfalls located about 33.6 km from Nawada on the Ranchi road in Bihar. The falls about 150-160 feet, and just below it there is a deep reservoir natural in character.

Some weapons dating back to the Stone Age have been excavated from area. Legend has it that in the Treta Yuga a king named Nigas was cursed by a rishi and had to take the shape of python and lived here.

The place was visited by the great Pandavas during their exile and the accursed king got salvation from the damnation.

The king, after getting rid of the curse, proclaimed that one who would bathe in the waterfall will not be reborn as a snake and that is why a large number of people from far and near bathe in the river.

A big fair is held for three days on the occasion of bishua or Chait Shankranti.


Media takes centrestage in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Chandigarh has been developing into a leading media centre of the north during the past few years.

The city had only two newspapers The Tribune and the Indian Express till a few years ago. It now plays host to some of the top English, Hindi, and Punjabi news publications in country, including Hindustan Times, The Times of India, (both English), Dainik Tribune, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Jagran, Divya Himachal (all Hindi), Punjabi Tribune and Desh Sewak (Punjabi).

The auto visual media has also not lagged behind. Some of the best known news TV channels have stationed their correspondents here. These include Zee, NDTV, Star, Aaj Tak, Ivision, Sahara, Jain, Citi Cable and Channel 4 to name only a few.

Little wonder, Chandigarh has in the process overshadowed Jalandhar. In recognition of the growing importance of Chandigarh as a media centre even Doordarshan is shifting its news section from Jalandhar to Chandigarh.

Gone are the days when just one correspondent used to cover Punjab and Haryana governments along with Chandigarh. They have now been replaced by high-powered bureaus comprising staff and string correspondents.

Gone are the days when journalism was regarded as a mission and khadi kurta pyjama clad journalists held forth on the virtues of swadeshi and social service. Newspapers are now being aggressively promoted as a product. Road shows, cultural events, musical extravaganzas, disco dances have become the order of the day in a bid to attract as many readers as possible. Newspapers have also dropped prices and publicised misleading comparisons in a bid to attract readership. They are also offering attractive gifts and prizes as sales promotion gimmicks.

The intense competition as not only led to price wars but also to unethical practices, bringing down the standard of journalism.


Chawla clarifies on recruitment case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
In connection with the issue raised by the BJP councillors over the delay in completing the inquiry into the alleged bungling in the recruitment of 40-odd firemen, the Mayor of the Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, has claimed that he was no longer the chairman of the committee constituted to probe into the scam.

He said he ceased to be the chairman after he was elected as Mayor of the corporation. He said he had moved the file to appoint the new chairman of the committee.

Talking to TNS he said corporation officials had delayed in handing over the necessary documents to probe the matter. It may be mentioned last year during the Mayorship of Mrs Lalit Joshi that the committee headed by the leader of the Congress in the Municipal Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, had postponed the meeting after the corporation showed its inability to provide further documents in a letter.

As the member of the committee and Municipal Corporation officials differed on the supply of documents, the committee could not conclude its findings. The corporation had then supplied around 5,000 pages of copies to members of the committee.

A member of the committee said a number of loose ends in the version of the officials and suspicion of bungling had been strengthened after repeated denial of documents. There were alleged cuttings on mark sheets. A person rejected was later on passed. Two Scheduled Caste category candidates with their residential addresses in SAS Nagar had been selected despite a condition that a bona fide resident of the city only could qualify.

The member said it was on the record of the committee that the officials had showed inability to give individual mark sheets of members of the selection committee as these were reportedly torn away after the selection committee had selected the candidates.

The term of the committee, extended twice, has not been held for the last over nine months.

The Mayor said he had come to know that the firemen had gone to court regarding their recruitment.


BJP demands action against Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The local BJP unit today demanded stern action against Mayor Subhash Chawla for adjourning the meeting of the Municipal Corporation on a “false plea of attending the programme of the President on September 29”.

In a joint statement by three BJP councillor Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Gian Chand Gupta and Mr Rajesh Gupta said the Mayor had misled the House by saying that he had to attend the functions of the President. They said they would be writing to the UT Administrator and the President.

Demanding resignation of the Mayor for misleading the councillors, they said Mr Chawla should tender an apology.

Reacting to the statement of the BJP councillors, the Mayor said it was well within his right to adjourn the meeting. He said the BJP had adjourned the meeting of the General House on at least five occasions and the reasons given for the adjournments were Karvachauth and other engagements.


Company told to give report on treatment plant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today asked the APTDC, an autonomous body promoted by the Andhra Pradesh Government and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), to submit a detailed report on setting up solid waste treatment plant at the dumping ground in Dadu Majra.

The company, specialising in municipal solid waste management, gave a demonstration of its project before officials of the corporation. In its proposal, a representative of the company said a solid waste treatment plant-cum-power generator would cost around Rs 30 crore and for generating coal around Rs 3 crore.

It was offered that in the joint venture project, 70 per cent of the cost would be funded by the Central Government and the remaining 30 per cent would come from a private party. The land for the project would have to be provided by the corporation.

The demonstration of the technology was given by a representative of the company in the presence of Mayor Subhash Chawla, Senior Deputy Mayor Kuldip Singh and councillors Pardeep Chhabra, Balraj Singh, Lalit Joshi and B.V. Verma.

The Mayor said at least seven companies had so far given demonstrations on the project, but none had been able to show a commissioned plant. Most of such projects were not running well.

Earlier, two companies had estimated the project cost at Rs 85 crore and Rs 115 crore, respectively, Mr Chawla said adding that the technology shown by the two companies was very expensive and could cause environmental damage.

The company which gave its demonstration today has been asked to give details of the project.

The company said their’s was a non-polluting solid waste management technology, which generated power as well as manufactured by products for the industry.

It may be mentioned that the Punjab and Haryana High court had directed the corporation to set up a solid waste treatment plant in December 2003.

Another major hurdle in setting up the plant is the segregation of the waste before its utilisation. There is no space at the dumping site to segregate the waste.

Already 40 acres land at the dumping site was covered by waste and there was little land left for its further expansion, the Mayor said.


Drugs incinerated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 3
The Drug Disposal Committee today incinerated narcotic drugs, which were properties of cases, already settled by courts, at the Sector 17 police station here this evening.

The drugs were destroyed in the presence of Mr Varinder Singh Chahal, SSP (Headquarters) and chairman of the committee, and its two members, Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, and Mr H.G.S Dhaliwal, SP (Operations), and Mr Rakesh Goel of Narcotics Control Bureau.

As per police sources, the drugs packed in 18 bundles were incinerated in a pit dug in the police station. The drugs which were destroyed today included charas (about 3.50 kg), ganja (one cache) and smack. A bulk of the drugs which were incinerated were seized in cases which were decided by courts after 1998.


New trains for Kalka-Shimla section
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
To cope with the rush of passengers during the ongoing festival season, the Northern Railways has introduced two holiday trains and a rail car on the Kalka-Shimla section.

A senior officer in the Ambala division said the new trains would be in addition to the existing trains being run on the section.


Police colony lacks basic amenities
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Policemen, who are known to force their way, have proved hapless in front of the Chandigarh Administration that has failed to provide drainage, roads, street lights and parks to around 300 of their houses in Sector 42-C for the past three years.

With repeated requests for basic amenities in the area falling on deaf ears, certain policemen had to resort to voluntary work to provide their children with a park. The policemen collected around Rs 3,300 to remove weeds from the park and level it. Even children are offering voluntary services.

The effort has not come out of a social concern, but out of a compulsion as snakes coming out from the vegetation growth in the park poses danger to the lives of their children.

The area looks like a deserted island with no street lights, no concrete roads, no drainage facility and no parks. During the monsoon, water gets accumulated in pits and it becomes impossible to move around even in vehicles as at certain points waterlogged pits are as deep as three feet, say local residents.

Some policemen said the living conditions had been putting additional mental pressure on them as they constantly had to face cribbing family members.

This reminds the people of the recent incidents when mentally tense policemen had gone berserk and had either shot themselves or others on duty.

The area houses around 300 families of sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors, head constables and constables.

The residents said what to think of Administrator’s visit to the area, even their officers like IG and SSP had not visited the area to know the plight of their employees.

When contacted, the Inspector-General, Mr Rajesh Kumar, said the problem of the people had come to his notice and he would make efforts to improve the conditions in the area.

The SSP (Headquarter), Mr Virender Chahal, said he did not know about the possession issue or if the development charge was deposited or not, but would ensure that the condition improved in the area.

The Chief Engineer of the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Puranjeet Singh, who retired recently, refused to comment saying the answer must be given by the new Chief Engineer.

The SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, said it was the responsibility of the Administration to provide basic amenities and the police was not at fault.


Cash, goods stolen from house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 3
Cash and goods worth over Rs 1.75 lakh were stolen from a house in Sector 21 last night. Miscreant broke into the house while the family had gone out for a hour to meet relatives.

According to the owner of the house, Dr S. Jindal, a cardiac surgeon at Mukat Hospital, Chandigarh, Rs 40,000, diamond jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh and a laptop were stolen from the house. The family had left home around 8 pm to visit relatives in Sector 12-A, and when they came back around 9 pm, they found the front lock broken and the door open.

His wife, Dr Geeta Jindal said, “Only the master bedroom was targeted by the thieves. The entire room was ransacked and two cupboards were turned upside down. The fact that no other room was opened raises suspicion that the miscreants were aware of the house and where the belongings were kept. “The accused had scaled the rear wall of the house to escape to a nearby vacant plot by using the dining chair. The chair was found in the rear courtyard.”

The Sector 21 police was called in last night, but the couple alleged that no dog squad was called nor any fingerprints lifted from the scene of the crime.


Four arrested on gambling charge
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 3
The police here arrested four persons on charge of gambling. A total of Rs 5,700 has been recovered from them. The four accused are residents of the township and were caught during a special drive of the police in the wake of the festive season.


Punjab to oppose decision to import skimmed milk
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 3
The Punjab Government will oppose the Central Government decision to import 10,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder as it will be against the interests of Punjab milk producers and dairy farmers. This was stated by Punjab Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries, Youth and Sports Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang today while inaugurating the newly upgraded senior secondary school at Naya Gaon village of Kharar subdivision.

Mr Kang said he would write a protest letter in this connection to Union Agriculture Minister Rajnath Singh to review the decision in this regard. He said the decision would lead to reduction in the sale of milk from Punjab to other states and affect the prices of milk.

He further said Punjab was producing 211 lakh litres of milk daily and the government was providing all sorts of facilities to increase milk production in the state.

The minister further said the state government would make efforts to get Naya Gaon declared as notified area committee for its development.

He announced that the government would honour those teachers’ schools who would bring good results. He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the school building extension, besides Rs 11,000 for schoolchildren.

A cultural function was held. Mr Ujagar Singh Mahi, DEO (S), spoke on the occasion.


Welfare panel discusses cable operators’ charges
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 3
A meeting of the Welfare Action Committee of Phase VI here was held to discuss the arbitrary increase in cable operators charges in the township. Mr R.C. Jhingan, secretary of the committee, stated that no advance payments would be made to the cable operators. It was decided that all payments would be made by the first week of the month to the operator. Mr Jhingan also pointed that the conditional access system had not been introduced in the township and the cable operators were entitled to charge Rs 110 per month for all channels, including pay channels.

The committee decided that the cable operators would be paid only Rs 110 as cable charges from next month. The practice of charging different rates by different operators would not be accepted, Mr Jhingan added.


Exhibition on gold jewellery opens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Mr S.K. Mittal, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, today inaugurated Swarn Sambandh, billed as one of the country's largest jewellery exhibition, at Hotel Shivalikview.

This is the fifth time the four-day exhibition is being held in City Beautiful. It has already been held in Bangalore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar and Ludhiana. Twentyone leading jewellers of the country, including three from Chandigarh, are taking part in the event which is supported by the World Gold Council. They include Vishal Jewels from Delhi with their ethnic range of accessories with a touch of cosmopolitan lifestyle, Ornafine Jewellery with the glitter of dazzling diamonds from Mumbai, Deepak Brothers and Mohak Jewels with rare kundan and polki collection from Jaipur to the collection of dewdrops captured in an oyster portraying peace from Kolkata by Naidu Pearls and rare pieces of jewellery by Jhavar Jeweller from Indore.

Mr Saurabh Shrivastava, Manager, Special Projects, Sercon, which is organising the exhibition, said in a talk with TNS that through such exhibitions the World Gold Council was trying to provide a platform to jewellers who wish to develop their markets beyond their immediate cities and also make people aware of the latest trends in jewellery. “We have worked doubly hard to ensure that we offer to our clients not just the latest in design and superior aesthetics, but also quality, purity and value for money”.


LIC launches social security month
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The divisional office of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) launched the social security month from October 1. During the month, the corporation will create awareness about various social security schemes launched by it.

Ms Agya Rajinder Singh, member, Social Welfare Advisory Board, UT Chandigarh, has also assured full cooperation for the implementation and publicity of the Janshree Bima Yojana and the Shiksha Sahyog Yojana launched by the LIC.

Ms Debashree Varma, Senior Divisional Manager, Chandigarh Division, has appealed to the NGOs and other organisations to work with the LIC in bringing maximum number of persons under the Janshree Bima Yojana in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.


Customers looking for special discounts at CII Fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The customers from the city and surrounding towns are thronging the CII Chandigarh Fair, currently going on at the circus ground till October 5. It is not only the wide range of products, musical programmes, eating joints but special discounts that are attracting customers to the mega event.

A visit to the banking stalls revealed that the customers are looking for some discount or special schemes for retail lending loans. Punjab National Bank, the lead bank in the region, has announced its festival bonanza for the customers that will continue till December 31, 2003.

The State Bank of India has already slashed its interest rate on housing loan up to 7.75 per cent for 1 to 5 year term. The attendants manning the PNB stall disclosed that the customers are looking for retail lending loans mostly to buy two wheeler or four wheelers apart from housing loans. The bank has announced special concessions, including waiving of upfront fee, documentation charges and special rebate of 0.5 per cent per annum in interest.

Mr Bijender Singh, Senior Manager (Marketing), PNB, disclosed that an individual could take a loan worth 25 times their monthly net salary/income or Rs 7 lakh, whichever was lower. The interest rate is 12 to 13 per cent on personal loans. Mr Ashok Sethi, visiting the stall, said,” I am keen to take a loan for a car, but I am still looking for the best bargain. Perhaps, the fair will help me decide about it.”

Interestingly, the customers are also showing keen interest in taking mediclaim and housing insurance policies. Says Mr Iqbaljit Singh, agent of the Oriental Insurance Co Ltd, “We are receiving good response from the young and old. The increasing cost of medical treatment and rising concern for health have encouraged them to take mediclaim policies. The company is offering special discount of 10 per cent on annual premium if the policy is taken for the spouse or another family as well.”

He adds by giving an annual premium of about Rs 1000 one could also take housing insurance covering fire, burglary and even maintenance of domestic appliances like TV/VCR and baggage. HDFC, ICICI Pru, IDBI and other financial institutions have also put up their stalls at the fair.

Like previous years, the people from surrounding towns like Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala and Ambala have also come to have a look on the new items. Says Mr Virender Kumar, a marketing executive from Patiala: “I visit the fair every time to know about new products and models. For instance, this time, I feel there are some really good products concerning health. You can have “Amlahaar”, a wonder fruit in dry and juice form.”

Dr Morepan’s company under the brand name of Home Health is offering weighing scales, body fat scales, massagers, glucometers at a discounted rates. People are also showing interest in medical instruments like blood pressure and sugar testing machines.


Painting competition at CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The CII organised a Green School Project Painting Competition here today as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Chandigarh. Students from various schools participated in the contest held under two categories — from class V to VIII and from class IX to XII.

The students were given two topics— Environment: Plant the Future, and Chandigarh: Vision for next 50 years. The following students were declared winners: Category I (class V to VIII) Topic: Environment — Plant the Future — Arushi Saxena (Class VI), Sacred Heart School, Eeshna (Class VIII) from Guru Nanak Public School and Sahil Agarwal (Government Modern School), Sector 28, won the first, second and third prizes, respectively.

Category I (Class V to VIII) Topic: Chandigarh — Vision for next 50 years: Ishan Vadehra (Class VIII) from Saint John’s School, Varinder (class VII) from Government High School, Mouli, and Jatur Dutt (class VIII) from Saint Kabir School won the first, second and third prizes, respectively.

Category II (Class IX to XII )Topic: Environment — Plant the Future: Malvika Singh (class IX) from Sacred Heart School, Harpreet Kaur (XII) from Government Modern High School, Sector 29, and Neha Julka (XII) from Government Modern Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, won the first, second and third prizes, respectively.

Category II (Class IX to XII) Topic: Chandigarh — Vision for next 50 years: Tanvi Kumar Malik IX) from Shivalik Public School, Salim Mohamad (XI) from Government High School, Mouli, and Lalit Mohan (XII) from Government Modern Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, won the first, second and third prizes, respectively.


TaanTriks to perform in city today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
“We sing bhangra pop with as much ease as Frank Sinatra and the Carpenters” that’s the promise the boy band TaanTriks brings to Chandigarh. The Goan quartet, now based in Delhi, will perform live at the ongoing CII Fair at the Circus Grounds over the weekend, October 4 and 5.

The lively band has made a name for itself with its versatility, not only in terms of music but also instruments. Their vast repertoire of melody, diverse in rhythm and language, spans the musical scales from rock, pop, jazz and reggae to indi-pop. And they are as comfortable singing the romantic ballads and golden oldies as the pulsating beats of today. The common note being their melody and sheer love for music, that has audiences of all ages dancing to their tunes.


Shopkeepers offering mega prizes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 3
Shopkeepers in Sectors 19, 22 and 17 are busy and happy these days as they are handling more customers. And so are the customers as they are getting discounts on their purchase in addition to lucky draw coupons which could win them a Maruti Esteem car, Maruti 800 cars, washing machines, music systems, airconditioners and other items.

The shops in Sector 22D market are crowded these days. The market is celebrating 50 years of the city and has offered mega prizes for its customers. The shoppers are spending “more” in to get an extra lucky coupon. The shopkeepers are offering a lucky coupon on every purchase of Rs 500 (Rs 1,500 in case of jewellery). “Most of the customers are spending over Rs 1,000 in order to get at least two coupons”, claimed a shopkeeper in Sector 22D.

Even the sale of jewellery has increased. “Those customers who had to buy jewellery, say two months later, have advanced their purchasing date in order to get coupons”, said Mr Harinder Singh of Sham Jewellers, Sector 22D.

The number of shoppers in Sector 17 has also doubled. “These types of schemes (lucky coupons) attract customers to shops. This trend has been witnessed in European countries also”, informed Mr Ramesh Kapoor of Trendsetters, Sector 17. He is in favour of more and more such carnivals as it is beneficial for both customers and the shop owners.

“Because of the coupons the walk-in customers have increased and the sales have gone up”, informed Mr Rahul, Lee Cooper, Sector 17.

“All these things being offered in the shops of Sector 17 are also available at my native town but I could not resist the lucky coupon and made a purchase which got me five of them”, said Ms Reshma Malhotra of Surat, Gujarat, who was here in the city in connection with some official work.

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