Tuesday, October 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mortar shell blast unfolds jawan-scrap dealer nexus
Tribune News Service

Unholy alliance

* Empty liquor bottles, tyres, tools, fuel are sold by lower rank Army men to scrap dealers.
* Petrol is sold for Rs 25 per litre, diesel for Rs 15 per litre.
* Army men come in their civil clothes to the junk dealers.
* Police say that Friday night’s blast has alerted all junk dealers and they have hidden away explosives and scrap of shells
* Scrap dealers say that they cannot ascertain if goods sold to them are stolen.

Panchkula, October 6
The alleged smuggling of a mortar shell from the Chandi Mandir Cantonment area by two Army personnel, which caused a blast in a scrap dealer’s shop in Old Panchkula on Friday night, was not a stray incident of smuggling. From empty liquor bottles to tyres of vehicles, and from tool boxes of Army vehicles to fuel, the practice has been going on for a long time.

Scrap dealers and motor mechanics in Old Panchkula, along the Panchkula — Shimla national highway, near the Chandi Mandir Cantonment area, say that over the past several years brisk business has been going on with the lower rank Army personnel. Tyres of motor cycles, jeeps and Army trucks, tool boxes and other iron and brass tools, empty liquor bottles, nylon ropes et al have often found their way to the shops of scrap dealers located in Old Panchkula, Gate No 4 and Maheshpur. Besides, petrol and diesel was also unscrupulously sold off to the mechanics in Old Panchkula.

The scrap dealers say that while liquor bottles are procured for Rs 4 to Rs 5 per bottle, the price paid for the metal tools was based on the metal content and according to the weight. The motor mechanics, though initially reluctant, later said while petrol was sold to them for Rs 25 per litre, diesel was bought from the Army men for Rs 15 per litre. They said sometimes tyres that were in good condition were also sold off to them for Rs 100 to Rs 150 per tyre.

However, the blast at scrap dealer Ram Swaroop Tiwari’s shop on the night of October 3, has meant a temporary halt in the trade. One of the scrap dealers in Old Panchkula, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, said they have no way to ascertain if the goods were stolen from the cantonment. “These Army personnel come in their civil clothes and offer us junk. Sometimes, from their behaviour, we can make out that they are Army personnel, and in case the goods they bring, are other than the normal junk, we do not buy it, “ he says.

When asked, if ever Army personnel had come to sell any explosive devices, all the scrap dealers denied this and said such stuff was rarely smuggled. It may, however, be noted that the inspection of the scrap dealer Tiwari’s shop, where the blast had taken place, had yielded at least two other empty shells, besides some important communication equipment of the Army. Police sources say that the Friday night blast has put all scrap dealers on alert, and all those who were dealing in explosive devices have now hidden these away.

Meanwhile, the scrap dealers rue that the Friday night blast has brought all of them under the scanner. “We are accused of buying stolen goods, and the policemen are threatening to book us,” said a scrap dealer in Indira Colony. 

Prime witness confirms Army men’s involvement

Chander Bahadur, a prime witness in the mortar blast case on the night of October 3, has today told the police that the mortar was brought to the shop by Army men.

Police sources inform that Chander Bahadur, who was in a stable condition, has said the two Army men who had died in the blast, Lance Naik Bhupinder Singh and Lance Naik Satwant Singh, had brought the mortar by hiding it in a sheaf of newspapers. He said Lalit, son of scrap dealer Ram Swaroop Tiwari, had initially refused to take the mortar, but relented on the condition that the duo themselves extract the brass.

The blast occurred when the Army men were hammering the mortar that the explosion took place, killing both of them, and injuring Chander Bahadur and another employee, Arvind.

Chander Bahadur also told the police that two other scrap collectors were present at the shop when the Army men went there. The police will now trace these scrap collectors and record their statements, it is learnt.



PUDA’s attempt to ‘promote’ education
To allot vacant govt school sites to private parties
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 6
Notwithstanding the national planning priority of providing equal opportunity of education to all, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) here has recommended that government school land sites lying vacant in the township be given to private parties to construct and run private schools.

The move is expected to cause a major furore among the residents who have been for years demanding opening of more government schools in the township where there is already a dearth of educational institutes for the economically weaker section.

In a township, that now caters to a population of over 3 lakh people, there is a single senior secondary school, two middle schools and a single primary school. The villages in the township fare far better with a primary school in each one of them.

Sources in PUDA said the recent move to grant land kept vacant for government schools to private parties comes in wake of the increasing demand of more schools and since the Education Department had failed to construct schools on the land allotted to them, the land has been officially resumed back by PUDA and will be reallotting it.

According to Mr Albel Singh Shian, a Phase V resident, a PUDA pamphlet issued by the authority in 1984 highlighting the upcoming features in the township clearly stated that there will be at least one government school in each phase or sector of SAS Nagar and following this promise land of various sizes was handed over free of cost to the Education Department for the construction and running of a government school.

‘‘The earliest allotments were made in the late 1970s and all through the 1980s,’’ pointed a source in PUDA. ‘‘The Education Department took possession of all these sites as and when the allotments were made but other than four schools, no effort was made to open and run the other schools here,’’he added.

Justifying the move, a PUDA official said there was a growing demand for schools in the township. There are over 80 schools which are running from houses here and they all were demanding land to open larger schools. Here we have land lying vacant so what is the harm?’’he questions.

However, the justification is lost on the residents. Mr R.C. Jhingan, president of the Parent Teachers Association in SAS Nagar from 1987 to 1991, recalls that the land had been allotted after great struggle by the residents themselves to the Education Department for schools. ‘‘It is true that the government does not have funds to construct schools here but that does not mean that the sites be allotted for construction of private schools,’’ he said.

Residents also point out the major differences in fee being charged by the private schools. ‘‘The private school is charging over Rs 3000 a year just for admissions and this is other than the monthly fee that is another Rs 500. My daughter is in the government school here in Phase 3B1 and the education is good and the fee is nominal,’’points out a clerk in PUDA.

‘‘Even the results of the government senior secondary school here in Phase 3B1 have been very good. In fact, they match up to some of the well known private schools in the township. So why not encourage government schools to come up?

PUDA has made enough money, they should do some charity and get the government schools constructed and hand them over to the Education Department’’ said Mr Jhingan.


Sikh college gets land possession
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 6
Sikh Missionary College will develop a campus on an eight-acre plot at Chanalon village for which the possession of the land was taken today.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Paramjit Singh, zonal organiser, said a large number of volunteers of the college, who had come from different parts of the country, went to Chanalon village for the formal taking over of the land. He said earlier a four-day conclave, which started on October 2 and was attended by 3,500 volunteers, concluded at Sector 34 gurdwara in Chandigarh yesterday. He said workshops on human values were organised for different groups of people.

He said there was a demand from Sikhs to set up an institution for higher studies related to religion. He said the Chandigarh zone of the college was already providing free coaching to students appearing for the CET and the PMT examinations so that there were more Gursikh engineers and doctors.

He said there were about 450 circles of the college in India and abroad, which were engaged in spreading teachings of Guru Granth Sahib through kirtan, katha, lectures, personality development workshops for children, youths and parents. All of the circles were carried out by members on voluntary basis. There were no paid workers, except those at the head office, and four regular colleges.

Mr Harbhajan Singh, Principal of Sikh Missionary College, said infrastructure for project-specific training programmes for enhancements of skills of active workers engaged in specific projects of the college would be developed on the new premises. This would include a reference library and documentation centre for pursuance of research studies by Sikh scholars. Courses for professional preachers and special courses for NRIs would be organised on the campus.

Mr Hardeep Singh, member, SGPC, said the target group was the coming generation that was to be brought to the mainstream.


Special one-hour MC session today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
As the city basks in the glory of its past, apprehensions about future have become a cause of concern for those who associate themselves with this urban conglomerate. The concern about the future of the city would take a shape tomorrow as far as councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh are concerned. They would be participating in a special one-hour session being held to commemorate the golden jubilee of the city.

To find out what the future means to the councillors, Chandigarh Tribune talked to some of them. Taking pride in being called ‘Chandigarhians’, one thing all councillors talk in one voice is to check unregulated influx of population by controlling the incentives for cheap housing.

Says Ms Amar Kulwant Singh, a nominated councillor, “We should maintain what we have inherited. We should take pride in our past and plan future accordingly. Giving a face to the past of the city , preserving its heritage and landmarks, ecology and planning the basic amenities for the next 50 years is high on her mind she has been associated with the city since year 1966. She says the in flux of population should be controlled properly.

A BJP councillor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, who has memories dating back to year 1959 when he came to the city as a student, wants that the potential of the city needs to be tapped. The city has the potential to emerge as the hub of the North.

He says recreational activities, amusement park and other pleasure facilities need to be brought to the city to woo visitors. His concern for upgrading amenities for a population of about 30 lakh in the next 50 years is quite evident.

The councillor says the city should be known equally for its planned past and future. Making a particular mention about essential services, he says a duct should be laid through which the essential services like electricity, telephone cables or water can be provided. A lot of public money is drained every time trenches are dug to provide these services.

Associated with the city since 1974, Ms Lalit Joshi, wants that a Metro train should be planned jointly for Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. A sincere effort should be made to restrict the number of people moving on the roads. She feels that the residents should work for the beautification of the city. The Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, said, “We should not disturb the planning of the city. It will be our best tribute to the city”.


Sushma praised for action against Sharma
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 6
Member Parliament Suresh Chandel today praised Union Health Minister Sushma Swaraj for “taking the bold step of asking the Director of the PGI, Dr S.K. Sharma, to proceed on leave after being held guilty by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Committee”.

Terming the allegations as “rubbish”, Dr Sharma, when contacted, said the same were “incorrect”. He added that there was no weight in the MP’s assertion. Dr Sharma had “proceeded” on leave till October 15. His leave application, according to sources in the Union Health Ministry, was accepted on September 25.

The MP, meanwhile, added that the Union Minister’s step was in consonance with the policy of ‘’zero tolerance of corruption’’ started by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He added that he was pained by the fact that certain petty issues which could have been easily solved by the Director came to him and he had to route these issues either through the Ministry of Health or the institute and the governing body of the Institute.

Giving details, he asserted that the Director was unable to solve genuine problems of the employees. “He was unable to initiate inquiry and action on the issue of corruption”, the MP said.

He claimed that the list was long, but certain issues of misappropriation, corruption, injustice, nepotism and favoritism in the institute brought out the real state of affairs. The Director, he asserted, was holding dual charge of Urology Professor and the Director. This, he said, was in violation of a Supreme Court judgement.

He added that there was another issue of illegally drawing basic pay of Director’s administrative post, enjoying the perks, facilities attached with post, besides illegally and arbitrarily drawing allowances including “NPA”, teaching allowance, academic allowance and clinical research allowance attached with the teaching post of professor.

Then there was the issue of ordering payment of personal electricity and water bills from the institute exchequer without the approval of the Standing Finance Committee or the Ministry, the MP asserted. The earlier directors, he claimed, had been paying electricity and water charges from their own pockets.

Moreover, the Director refused to honour the decision of the institute body appointing Dr R.J. Dash as Chairman of the academic body. No meeting of the academic committee had been held since January 2001.

Mr Chandel, also member of PGIMER’s institute body, took “strong note of the recent attempts to paint him as anti-Institute, anti-Director and anti-Himachali by some disgruntled elements through media.”


Sentence bargain?
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Accused in criminal cases may soon be able to bargain their way into lesser sentence after admitting their guilt, for the Union Ministry of Law and Justice is working out the modalities for introducing the concept of “plea bargaining” in the country.

Once the system is introduced, the suspect and the prosecuting agency will be able to “strike a bargain” on the quantum of sentence. While the accused will strive to get away with the minimum punishment, the agency will make efforts to convince him into accepting a greater sentence.

Confirming the information, sources in the ministry assert that the concept is already prevailing in some of the Western countries, including Canada. Describing it as a “vital reform in the justice delivery system aimed at expeditious disposal of cases”, the sources add that the concept was already “taking shape”.

The Minister of State for Law and Justice, Mr P.C. Thomas, when contacted, confirmed that the “preliminary discussions were already over and legislation to the effect would soon be passed”.

Giving details, the minister said, “An accused in the first instance before the lower court would be given an opportunity to admit his guilt after being informed about the maximum sentence. Aware of the implications, the accused in such cases would be in a better position to admit the guilt and strike a bargain.”

The minister added that efforts to plug the loopholes were on at the moment. “As far as possible, we will make sure that the habitual offenders are not able to get away lightly after admitting their guilt,” the minister asserted. “Otherwise also, it will not be applicable in cases of heinous offences including murder and other such crimes. Basically, the accused charged with offences, punishable by imprisonment less than seven years will be able to take advantage of the system”.

Terming it as a “good practice”, the minister said, “Accused in so many cases will be able to get justice to some extent almost immediately without being subjected to the torture of uncertainty”.

Moreover, the system “would not be forced on the accused”. They would get an option to either accept or reject the system after seeking proper legal advice from their counsel.

Even as discussions regarding the introduction of the system are on, the legal fraternity in several countries has expressed doubts about its “success”. Advocates are of the opinion that the system sometimes tempts even the innocent accused into admitting guilt.

“Afraid of legal wrangling and long-drawn battles in the courtrooms, the accused sometimes prefer to undergo imprisonment rather than torture of facing criminal trial for years together,” lawyers claim. 


Baring poetry in Corbusier’s designs
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
When the world’s greatest architects mention Le Corbusier as a poet-architect, one is forced to trace the magical elements that inspired the visionary to perfection. The search for Corbusier’s genius was made easy today, with India’s leading architect Raj Rewal, who lately executed the magnificent Parliament library project in Delhi, introducing Corbusier as an artiste first and an architect later.

Using the most outstanding of Le Corbusier’s creations as visual tools, Mr Rewal created a striking aura in which Corbusier’s romance as an artiste and his technique as a builder stood bared and translated. The occasion was “Le Corbusier memorial lecture” organised by the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) to coincide with Corbusier’s birthday and the speaker was Raj Rewal, who has grown on master architect’s images, that underline the grandeur of sun, as the foremost master of any design.

“When we are dealing with Corbusier, we are dealing with a poet above all. Even if his buildings crumble into concrete, the poetry will linger. As young architects, while we were still struggling with small buildings, here was a man dabbling in cities. And whereas we may continue to be critical about anything in the world, we must not forget that Corbusier’s genius remains unparalleled. He was the architect of the 20th century and we have learnt the aesthetics of creation from him,” said the celebrated architect, who is the make of buildings like Nehru Pavilion, the SCOPE office complex, the World Bank Building near the Lodhi Tomb in Delhi and the Ismail Cultural Centre in Lisbon.

Making a rather humble introduction, Mr Rewal began his conversation by recallng his first halt in Chandigarh when he was a first year architecture student at the Delhi College of Architecture. Confirming what Mr M.N. Sharma, chief guest for the occasion, had earlier said, Mr Rewal said merits of architect profession were not understood by anyone. He did not forget to mention the great Administrators of Chandigarh who chose a visionary like Corbusier to design the city. He also wondered whether the classic Governor palace project of Corbusier, left incomplete, was ever taken up.

Not indulging too much in himself, Mr Rewal who worked with Michel Ecochard in Paris before settling in New Delhi, mentioned his meeting with Corbusier years ago. “It was Corbusier’s telephone call which got me a job with Michel, who was a professional townplanner. I may mention that Michel had declined to work with Corbusier on the Chandigarh project. In fact, he had explained his disinterest saying that it was difficult to work with visionaries.”

Enriching his lecture with slides of Corbusier’s designs, which underline the significance of space, light and volume, Mr Rewal went on to discuss his own buildings with the architecture students. He spent maximum time celebrating Corbusier’s House of Shadows where he breaks the sunlight beautifully. He also hailed Corbusier’s Secretariat building as a marvel. “This building is literal poetry of power,” he said, before introducing his own buildings — Hall of Nations, the Central Institute of Educational Technology, the National Institute of Immunology and the Asian Games village. The striking part of Rewal’s works is his vast sourcing of inspiration. He has made extensive use of courtyards as also of glass and steel. Also present on the occasion was Principal of the CCA, Prof Rajnish Wattas, and architect Aditya Prakash. Earlier prizes were given away to outstanding students.

Don’t blame Corbusier: M.N. Sharma

Mr M.N. Sharma, who took over the planning of the city from Corbusier and Jeanerret used the occasion to pay homage to the French architect and to denounce those who blame him for certain things. Corbusier had a romantic idea of this city. He wrote edicts of Chandigarh which no one reads. It’s easy to blame it on Corbusier, saying he did not provide for heavy traffic flow or he did not make room for the poor, but we must understand that Corbusier made provisions for V7 and V8 roads. He could have designed a city for the poor had he been asked to. Today the authorities are not interested in welfare of the city. They never ask the architects for help, nor do they follow byelaws. The city was not meant to have half a million people serving another half a million. It’s time we started caring for city’s maintenance rather than blaming Corbusier who put Chandigarh on the world map.



City vignettes
The other foreign architects in Chandigarh

THEY came from far, from distant lands, to acquire that valuable experience. It was an opportunity and a destination few architects would miss. We are not talking about Ashoka the great or the equally well-known Vijaynagar Empire, but the modernday Chandigarh. Apart from the well-known architects like Corbusier, Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, Chandigarh was the training ground for other foreign architects as well.

The architects’ office of Panjab University was the training ground for some overseas architects. They were Yasufumi Kijima and Kunishi, both from Japan, who spent almost a year in Chandigarh in 1964. Before them in the year 1962 was Peter Sanders from Australia. He, too, had spent about six months of training.

Peter worked on the streets of the campus. His ability to draw and sketch in ultra small-scale amazed his colleagues, reminisces Joga Singh. Peter later returned to Melbourne where till today he still runs his practice.

Kijima and Kunishi, the Japanese architects, showed little handicap due to the language problem. They did not mind the spartan comfort of the boys’ hostel at the university but worked with missionary zeal. Kijima worked under Bhanu Mathur on the fine arts museum building.

Kijima returned to Japan to take up a job with the world-famous architect, Kenzo tange. he must have been amongst very few who have trained under two different and prominent architectural styles. However, later he developed his own style which has been dubbed as post-modernist. Kijima shot into international limelight for his design of the Matsuo shrine in Kumamoto, Japan. This building, with its vaulted roof and magical imagery, curiously resembles the fine arts museum of Panjab University. — Tarun Mathur


Verma to open exhibition on city today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The UT Administration has planned a series of events to mark the golden jubilee of Chandigarh in the coming days.

An exhibition, “Chandigarh — a visual journey”, depicting various projects undertaken by the UT Administration in the last 50 years, will be inaugurated by the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, tomorrow at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, at 4 pm.

The exhibition, which will have special emphasis on the post-era of Indian architects, will also cover celebrities of Chandigarh, recreational, sports, commercial and health projects. Besides this, the exhibition will showcase vision of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru and dream of master architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in a number of textures and moods.

The exhibition, which will be put up by the Department of Urban Planning, will remain open to public till October 20 from 10 am to 6 pm except on Sundays and holidays. On this occasion, a brochure ‘Chandigarh 1953-2003’ will also be released by the Administrator.

The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi will also organise a workshop on cartoon and caricature from October 7 to 8 at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, which will be inaugurated by the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A Singh, tomorrow at 11.30 am.

Similarly, musical cultural evenings featuring Sukhwinder Singh and Jaspinder Narula will also be organised on October 7 and October 10, respectively, at Leisure Valley, Sector 10, here.


No Big Boys at IAF parade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
While the IAF has lined up an impressive array of aircraft for the fly past to mark Air Force Day on October 8, the IAF’s most noticeable formation, the Big-Boys, will be conspicuous by its very absence this time. After making regular appearance at the fly past over the past years, the Big Boys will not be taking to the skies this year.

The majestic Big Boys, featuring three-types of transport aircraft not only used to hog the limelight in the fly past in Delhi but also had been a delight to residents of Chandigarh from where the formation used to operate.

The five-aircraft formation comprises a giant IL-76 strategic freighter flanked by two An-32 transporters. A Dornier light aircraft trails on either side. The formation flies at a slow speed and low altitude.

This time it will be the newly acquired IL-78 mid-air refuelling tanker flanked by two SU-30s which will be occupying the centre-stage. The IL-78 is similar to the IL-76 in size and appearance.

“There is no particular reason for not including the Big Boys. It is just a question of variance,” an IAF spokesperson said. “The fly past is an exercise to showcase our prowess and we are displaying new inductions such as the mid-air refuelling capability and unmanned aerial vehicles,” he added.

City residents are quite familiar with the Big Boys because the formation used to be a familiar sight over the city as it used to carry out rehearsals days ahead of the final event. Chandigarh houses squadrons operating two of the three types of aircraft making the formation.

Participating aircraft used to take off from the Chandigarh airfield in a specific manner and form. After making a low pass over the city, coinciding with the Air Force Day parade being held here, the formation they set course for Delhi for the national fly past over Palam and return home.

The absence of the Big Boys notwithstanding, a Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopter would be leading the fly past.

The IAF’s sole Mi-26 unit is based here. The Mi-26 would be leading two Mi-17 helicopters in a “vic” formation flying the national and IAF ensigns.


Major-Gen Moorjani is AOC Col-Commandant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Major-Gen M.S. Moorjani, Additional Director-General, Ordnance Services, Army Headquarters, has been appointed Colonel-Commandant of the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC).

General Moorjani has commanded an ammunition depot, a divisional ordnance unit and the Central Ordnance Depot. A recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal and the Chief of Army Staffs commendation twice.


City-Chennai train by Dec: minister 
Tribune News Service

Life-size hoardings irk minister

Perturbed at the life-size hoardings — multi-nationals and media groups over-shadowing the railway station, the Minister of State for Railways, Mr A.K. Moorthy, directed the officers to relocate the hoardings so that the facade of the station was visible to the visitors. The officers were also asked to relocate the hanging hoardings. It may be mentioned that selling space for advertisements was a major source of revenue to the Railways. 

Chandigarh, October 6
Chandigarh Railway Station, which is being upgraded to develop it as a model station, today caught attention of the Minister of State for Railways, Mr A.K. Moorthy, for inadequate user-friendly facilities.

On a visit to the station, the minister gave one month time to the officers of the Ambala Railway Division to put in place at least 200 chairs, proper lighting, adequate number of fans, better sanitation and ramps along the foot bridges for the physically challanged. The Additional Station Master (ASM) at the station was asked to ensure that drinking water did not go waste.

Though officials at the railway station had done their part on cleaning the station, stains of pan on pillars and its dirty surrounding caught the attention of the minister. Quality of drinking water was also checked by the minister.

After the minister was briefed about the upgradation and expansion plans for the station — which over the last three years has earned around Rs 3 crore of revenue from advertisements — he took a round of the station and went over to the Panchkula side of the station.

Mr Moorthy sought that roofing be designed in a way that bird droppings and bird nests were not trapped under it. The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ambala, Mr Keshav Chander, who was accompanying the minister, said to solve the problem of bird droppings a new metallic coating shed was being built at the Ambala Railway Station.

The same could be constructed here too, said the DRM. Officers of the Engineering Wing were directed to construct rain shelters in the parking area for two-wheelers.

On being asked about the long pending Chandigarh- Chennai Link Express, the minister said he would ensure that the train was flagged off by the first week of December. The problem of arranging fire proof coaches for the new train was being sorted out. He said he would look into the demand for unreserved ticketing system (UTS) at the station.

On the progress of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link, the DRM informed the minister that the link between Chandigarh and Morinda would be completed by September 2004. The issue had already been taken up with the Governor of Punjab by the General Manager of the Northern Railways.

The DRM said Chandigarh station was on the priority list of the Northern Railways. He said the platform nos 1, 2 and 3 were being expanded to accommodate 24 coaches train. A coaching complex for maintenance of coaches was also being constructed.


Man alleges harassment by UHBVN officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
A bank officer at Panchkula has alleged attempts of extortion by officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN) and his subsequent implication in a case of power theft.

Speaking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr A.K. Prashar, an officer serving with a nationalised bank, said he had got his electricity meter changed as the earlier meter had developed a fault. However, about two hours later, a junior engineer along with another employee came to his house on the pretext of checking the power load. The duo informed his wife that the earlier meter was faulty and obtained her signatures on a paper, telling her that it was a “mere formality”.

Stating that he has moved the sessions court in Panchkula a few days ago, Mr Prashar said a few days after the aforementioned incident, he received a telephone call, asking him to visit the electricity office, failing which he would be heavily penalised. The caller refused to identify himself, but asked him to keep Rs 80,000 ready.

A few days later, he received a bill of Rs 31,337, following which he contacted the SDO concerned and narrated the entire episode to him. He said the SDO checked with the employee who has checked the meter prior to replacing it, but was told that there was no fault with the meter as was being made out.

However, since no further action was taken, Mr Prashar said he petitioned the department. An inquiry was initiated following which the junior engineer involved was transferred to another department. In the meantime, he received another bill amounting to Rs 31,198. On bringing the matter to the knowledge of the authorities, another inquiry was marked to a Superintending Engineer, who has yet to arrive at a decision. The complainant has already deposited Rs 9,500, 30 per cent of the penalty amount.

Mr Prashar said despite the facts being repeatedly brought out before the Electricity Department officials, no action has been taken so far. Rather, an FIR has been registered against him under the Indian Electricity Act. He added that he had also moved a consumer court in this regard a few weeks ago.


Rs 1 cr aid for seven villages
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 6
During her visit to seven villages of this subdivision, Ms Preneet Kaur, MP, today distributed cheques worth Rs 1 crore among sarpanches of the villages.

The cheques were distributed under the Model Gram Yojan launched by the Central Government among the sarpanches of Mubarikpur, Amlala, Dhanauni, Haripur Hinduan, Barauli, Lalru Mandi and Batauli villages.

While cheques for Rs 35 lakh were given to sarpanches of Mubarikpur and Amlala villages each, those of Dhanauni, Haripur Hinduan, Barauli, Lalru Mandi and Batauli villages were given financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh each.

The government had already started a “special component scheme” for people belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Backward Class. Under the scheme a sum of Rs 392.33 would be spent, the MP said.

She also said 31 villages of the subdivision would shortly be provided with water supply scheme.

She criticised the previous Akali-BJP government for deteriorating the financial state of the state.


Body for the blind threatens immolation drive
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 6
The Netraheen Jagriti Sangh, Haryana, today threatened that its activists “may resort to self-immolation” if their demands are not met within the next seven days. The sangh activists will start a relay fast from tomorrow to press the government to accept their demands in Sector 17.

The sangh’s activists have been staging a dharna since September 29 to demand one per cent reservations in government jobs for visually handicapped persons.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune here today, Mr S.S. Lamba, president of the sangh, demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh, besides free medical treatment, for Bishan Singh, who had “mysteriously” fallen from 30 bays building, Sector 17, on October 1 and is currently admitted to the PGI. The sangh has alleged that Bishan Singh was pushed by an unidentified person. They also demanded that the “culprit” be identified and prosecuted accordingly. It has also been alleged that some people were making efforts to transfer Bishan Singh from the PGI to a hospital in Haryana.

Ms S.S. Shukhla of the National Handicapped Welfare Council Haryana and Mr Ajit Salani, a prominent leader of a handicapped welfare association, have also extended their support to the agitating visually handicapped persons.

The sangh was of the view that if one per cent reservation was implemented, all educated visually handicapped persons would get employment.

Later, the members of the sangh marched to Matka Chowk and staged a dharna.


CITU workers hold rally in Sector 17
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 6
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has shown “deep concern” on a recent judgement of the Supreme Court regarding right of the government employees to go on strike.

Addressing workers of CITU in Sector 17 here today, Mr M.K. Pandhay, All-India General Secretary of CITU, said the judgement contravened the right of strike, which was inherent in the collective bargaining process existing in the Constitution, and the laws passed by Parliament like the Industrial Disputes Act.

Mr Pandhay said that unemployment situation had been aggravating and attaining complicated dimensions and several factors had been contributing to such serious development. According to him, the persisting crisis in the capitalist economy all over the world and the onslaught of “so called market economy’ under the regime of imperialist globalisation were the two major factors behind it.

Mr Balwant Singh, president of the Punjab unit of CITU, claimed that in terms of contributions to the government revenues, ‘blue-chip’ PSUs that the government was now seeking to privatise, had constantly contributed much larger amounts that the private sectors did. Moreover, it was also certain what the government may earn through such privatisation would only be a small fraction of the contributions these PSUs would make in the long run.

Mr Raghunath Singh, general secretary of the Punjab unit of CITU, said that unemployment situation in Punjab had been aggravating and attaining complicated dimensions.


Viewers prefer TV soaps to Ramlila
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, October 6
You may find it hard to believe, but "Tulsi saas" is still more popular than "bahu" Sita.

While the residents sat in front of the television sets to see if 'Tulsi' of the "Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" fame would return home after escaping from the abductors, hardly anyone went to the nearby ground for watching Sita being rescued from the clutches of Ravana.

Even as competition to adjudge the best Ramlila was held in Sector 7 today, not many walked up to the venue to watch the grand finale.

The contest was once "more popular than the event itself", the organisers say.

Yes, you have guessed it right. No one had time for Ramlila in 2003. All these days, residents sat engrossed in serials on the small screen, but hardly walked down the road to the Ramlila venue.

Gone are the days when the devotees used to touch the feet of Ramlila actors after watching them fight evil with bare hands. "Those were the days when the devotees used to throng the venues as soon as the clock struck eight.

With folded hands, they would wait for an appropriate moment, then rush to the stage for seeking the blessings of the "almighty" playing the role on the stage.

Recalling the time, an actor — playing the Lord Rama in a Ramlila since 1981 — says, "In the early 60s, when my father used to enact Lord Rama's role, residents used to invite him, along with the entire family, to their residences for offering lunch".

Now the things have changed, the actor claims.

"The devotion is still there. But the dedication and the desire to do something for the actors playing the role of gods has greatly decreased," he adds.

"The residents do come to watch Ramlila, but they do not reach the venue before 9.30 pm. Most of the times, they watch their favourite serials on television before leaving their residences. This is not all. The show is now over by 11.30 pm while earlier it used to continue till 3.30 am, sometimes till 4.00 am".

Explaining the phenomenon, another actor Rajinder says, "The change started sometimes in the mid-80s. With the increase of job opportunities in the city and so many people coming to Chandigarh in search of work, life became hectic, pushing Ramlila into the background".

He adds, "Then in early 90s, cable television brought upto 40 channels, along with foreign culture, right into the living rooms. For once, the residents were not forced to wait to watch "chitrahaar" twice a week. All of a sudden, they had option. That's the reason why Ramlila, along with other forms of theatre, lost its charm for a large number of residents".


ISKCON ‘padyatra’ reaches city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
A ‘padyatra’, which was started by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) from Dwarika (Gujarat) in 1984, reached here today. It was accorded a rousing reception by people from all walks of life and ISKCON devotees at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, Chandigarh. It has covered almost every corner of the country five times, according to Bhakti Vinod Dasa Prabhu, president of the local chapter of ISKCON.

It comprises 15 ISKCON devotees, a nicely decorated temple on wheels, pulled by five bulls, carrying the idols of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, an incarnation of Lord Krishna and Radha, along with an idol of A.C. Bhakti Vedant Swami Sril Prabhupada, founder Acharya of ISKCON.

The motto of the ‘padyatra’ is to spread the message of ‘simple living and high thinking’ and to motivate people to cultivate moral values according Vedic culture and traditions. The ‘padyatra’ spent almost four months visiting rural and urban areas of Punjab before arriving in Chandigarh today. Such‘padyatras’ are being organised by ISKCON all over the world. It will leave for Uttar Pradesh after visiting Chandigarh and Panchkula.


Panchkula round-up
Land record information system inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 6
The Commissioner, Ambala division, Mr Maha Singh, today inaugurated the Haryana Land Record Information System (HLRIS) at the tehsil office here.

The software has been developed for online information regarding land-related registration and mutations. By this system, the computerised copy of the mutation can be sent to the Patwari, and after getting it attested by the Tehsildar, it will get reflected in the “jamabandi”. With this, the land record registration system has been linked to online jamabandi system.

Mr Maha Singh directed the revenue officers to get necessary training regarding this system.

Road transfer: All B and C roads (internal roads within the sectors) will be transferred to Municipal Council by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) from next month.

A decision to this effect was taken at a joint meeting of MC and HUDA officials today. It was decided that HUDA would first recarpet these roads and complete all maintenance works before these are transferred to the MC. However, the B and C roads in Industrial Area Phase I and II will not be taken over by the MC.

Meanwhile, HUDA officials also agreed to make a green belt on the Zirakpur - Panchkula highway, from Dhakauli barrier to Majri chowk. This belt will be maintained by HUDA. Discussions were also held on the taking over of community centres and janj ghars in various sectors by the MC. HUDA authorities also agreed to transfer a tractor-trailer, water tanker and other equipment to the MC.

Discussions were also held on parks in various sectors that are to be handed over to the MC. MC officials urged HUDA to install taps in these parks so that watering arrangement was ensured.

Scouts excel: Scouts of Jainendra Public School were adjudged winners of the cultural competition held in Leaders Training Camp organised at Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, from October 1 to 4. The children were taught scouting and guiding, patrol system, gadget system, whistle system, saving wildlife and fire fighting during the four-day camp, a press note of the school said today.

3 acquitted: A local court has acquitted Jatinder Sarwal, his father Inderjit Sarwal and mother Jyotsana Sarwal in a dowry case filed against them. The case had been filed by Mr Jatinder’s former wife, Ms Geeta.

The couple had reportedly been married for a year when the trouble began and they subsequently separated. While Jatinder’s parents were earlier discharged in the case, he was acquitted in an appeal filed in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge.


Police orders on stickers for tinted glasses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Chandigarh Traffic Police today asked the holders of old black film authorisation stickers to remove these from their vehicles.

The orders are applicable to those who had been issued old authorisation stickers for using black films on the windows of their vehicles and had not applied for the renewal of permission by September 30, 2003.

An official press note said the Chandigarh Police was now issuing stickers of a new pattern and all old stickers issued prior to August 7, 2003 had been cancelled.


Price of security lapses

IT is learnt that an order has been issued by the Army top brass that a commanding officer of a unit who fails to prevent a suicide attack on his camp will be immediately relieved of his command (in other words, will be sacked) and his superior officer will get an adverse remark in his report. On the face of it, this order, which seems to be a nervous reaction to the attack on the Tanda camp, near Akhnoor, is harsh. But then, what is demoralising is that the Army camps in Jammu and Kashmir are becoming the target of fidayeen attacks and several of these have caused casualties.

At the EME unit’s camp at Tanda, if the Army Commander and the Corps Commander were saved, it was mainly due to their and the Army’s good luck. However, a Brigadier from the EME was killed in the attack.

All such attacks succeed due to the laxity of local commanders i.e. both unit and brigade commanders. The command responsibility in the Army reminds one of the adage, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. Ironically, in the Army, every officer wants to wear the crown but very few like to shoulder the responsibility attached to it.

It is sad but true that we have developed a habit to put in our best only when the sword of Democles hangs over our heads. It is, therefore, only a threat that works best in such crises

Widows’ welfare

There was a time when soldiers were killed or wounded only in a war, resulting in many brides becoming widows. But for the past many years, we are faced with the misfortune of adding widows to our society almost with every passing day, thanks to the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. Most of these widows are in the prime of their life, with babies in their laps.

Politicians or bureaucrats have no time for them. It is only the Army that comes to their help. Apart from the formations and units, the Army Wives’ Welfare Association (AWWA) organisations at all levels do their bit to resettle widows and look after their welfare.

The AWWA in the Western Command, which is headed by Mrs Madhu Mehta, has added many new welfare schemes to mitigate the hardships of the widows. Several vocational centres have also been opened to give them training for self-employment. Asha schools have been started at many stations to take care of physically and mentally challenged children.

To find suitable jobs for the needy widows, it would be a good idea to have their representation by placing an officer’s widow at each of the Army placement agencies.

Soldiers’ woes

The Punjab Government, by its notification dated September 29, 1999, had extended the same benefits to the winners of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and Vir Chakra (Vr C) as those given to the freedom fighters. This included a monthly pension of Rs 1,500.

In 2001, the Punjab Government increased the pension of freedom fighters from Rs 1,500 to 2,000.

Since the monthly pension of the gallantry award winners was not enhanced, the president of the War Decorated Soldiers of India, Brig Sant Singh, MVC and Bar, had written to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, on January 15, 2002. He had demanded that the gallantry award winners should also be granted a monthly pension of Rs 2,000 like freedom fighters. But nothing has been done in this regard so far.

Ruing the Punjab Government’s attitude towards them, the gallantry award winners say that bravery in the face of the enemy cannot be equated with any other act of sacrifice. It is rare that such raw courage is not accompanied with the supreme sacrifice. Mentioning the Kargil conflict, they say that of the 66 gallantry awards, 38 were posthumous and the remaining 28 awardees, several soldiers were permanently disabled.


Seminar on noise, smoke pollution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
A seminar on noise and smoke pollution was organised at Palsora Colony by the Public Welfare Association in collaboration with the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, here today.

Inaugurating the seminar, Dr C.L. Narang of the Adult and Continuing Education, Panjab University, said it was a matter of concern that men, women and children lose their vision due to high-power crackers during Dashera and Divali celebrations.

He said parents, instead of advising their children against playing with fire, become a part of the celebrations and fall prey to fireworks.

He said a number of diseases of the liver, lungs, throat and the stomach aggravate due to noise and smoke pollution.

He said Divali could be celebrated by distributing sweets and exchanging greetings and illuminating houses and that there was no need to explode crackers which creates pollution and panic.


One held for theft bid at temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
An attempt was made to steal currency notes and garlands of an idol in the Rakeshwari Ram Temple, Sector 35-C, yesterday.

The thief, Ravinder Singh, was caught by the temple staff and handed him over to the police.

Ravinder Singh belongs to Kangra district. A case has been registered at the Sector 36 Police Station.

Chain snatched: Two unknown scooter-borne youths snatched a gold chain from a Sector 44 resident, Ms Asha Rani, when she was walking near her house last night. The incident happened in front of house No. 1105, which is only a few yards away from Ms Asha Rani’s house.

Vehicles stolen: A Khanna-resident Amandeep Rai complained that someone had stolen his Maruti Zen car from Himachal Bhavan in Sector-28. A Panchkula resident Pardeep Kumar reported that someone had stolen his Splendour motor cycle parked in front of SCO 23-24 in Sector 26.

Ramesh Kumar Gandhi, a resident of house No 2531, Sector 27-C, reported that his car (HR-10-A3535) parked at Mehfil parking lot in Sector 17 was stolen

3 arrested: Ashok Kumar, Dinesh and Naresh Kumar were arrested from the Piccadily Chowk for gambling at a public place.


Family booked: Five members of a family were booked for abusing and assaulting a woman of the same locality today.

According to the police, Teetu, Harjit, their wives and mother have been booked under Sections 341, 323, 354, 294 and 506 of the IPC for abusing and assaulting Kamal, a resident of Preet Nagar Colony.

Assault case: The police has booked five persons — Dimpu, Shimpu, Lucky and Jagmeet, all residents of Amlala village, and Rinku of Janetpur village — on charges of assaulting Dalbir Singh of Shekhpura village.

Mr Jagtar Singh, a resident of Shekhpura village, reported that the accused assaulted him and Dalbir Singh here on Monday.


Kidnapped man traced, accused flee
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 6
The police today claimed to have traced a resident of Phase 10 here, allegedly kidnapped by a group of five men on October 1.

According to a press note issued by the SP, Mohali, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, Mr Sarup Singh was allegedly kidnapped from the Phase 8 Bus stop on October 1 and was traced today morning within hours after the police was informed.

“According to what the family of Mr Sarup Singh has told us, Sarup Singh received a message from two acquaintances, Randhir Singh and Vikramjit Singh, both residents of Patra village on October 1 that he should meet them at the Phase 8 bus stop. He left for the bus stop and never came back. On October 3, the family received a telephone call from a person who identified himself as Dharanchand Shahi that in case they want to ensure the safety of Sarup Singh, they should arrange for Rs 5 lakh.”

The police said at midnight yesterday, the family received a call from Sarup Singh himself that he had been kidnapped by Randhir Singh, Virkramjit Singh, Dharamchand Shahi, Bittu, and Rana and that they should arrange for money soon.

The family contacted the police today morning. The SHO of Phase 8, police station, Mr Ramandeep Singh, planned a strategy to nab the kidnappers. It was decided that the family will call the kidnappers to a secluded place near NIPER to handover the ransom to them. The police party accompanied the family to NIPER but the kidnappers who arrived at the spot saw the police and ran away leaving Sarup Singh there.

Sarup Singh told the police that Rammilan, a resident of Zora, had given Sarup Singh Rs 10 lakh to send Randhir Singh, Dharamchand Shahi, Baldev Singh Bittu and Rana abroad which he did. But they returned back from Taiwan and got a case under Section 420 registered against him. But the five again got together and planned to trouble him by kidnapping him and extorting money from his family. He also informed the police that the kidnappers forced him to call up his family and tell them that he was safe at Patiala.

A case has been registered against the five under Sections 364, 148 and 149 of the IPC.


Embezzlement: one held
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 6
In a case of embezzlement of Rs 11 lakh, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) arrested Gurnam Singh, a former sarpanch of Bhankharpur village, on Saturday night. The Department of Rural Development (Panchayats) and some other departments conducted inquiries in a case against him, said Mr Balkar Singh, SP of the Vigilance Bureau. Gurnam Singh has been arrested after registering a case under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Sources in the VB said that certain villagers in a complaint to the Department of Rural Development (Panchayats) had alleged that Gurnam Singh had embezzled Rs 11 lakh from the panchayat revenue of Rs 1.25 crore during his tenure.

It was alleged also that a sum of Rs 1.15 crore was generated by the village panchayat after auctioning the lifting of sand from the Ghaggar river bed during his tenure.

In addition to this the panchayat had also got a sum of Rs 10 lakh for various development activities during the previous government.

They had complained that the former sarpanch had misappropriated funds for his personal benefits.

Meanwhile, the family members of the former sarpanch denied any embezzlement by Gurnam Singh.


Two held with unlicenced revolvers
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 6
The police here has nabbed two persons in possession of unlicenced arms here today. In an early morning chase, the accused, Amanpreet Singh and Dheerajpal Singh Hundal, were arrested by two separate police parties and two revolvers, with live cartridges, were recovered from their possession.

According to Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP SAS Nagar, the duo were travelling in a Mahindra Jeep and were asked by the police to stop near the Phase 9 and Phase 10 bridge.

They jumped out of the Jeep and ran away in different directions. One police party under SI Bakhtawar Singh and another with ASI Jatinderpal Singh were sent behind them and they were nabbed by them.

Mr Bhullar said Amanpreet Singh was in the illegal possession of a .32 bore revolver with six live cartridges while the other accused Dheerajpal Singh Hundal had a .38 bore revolver with three live cartridges. ‘‘They informed that they had bought the weapons a year ago from Rattiya in Haryana for Rs 33,000,’’ said Mr Bhullar. ‘‘Amanpreet also confessed that he had been using the weapon at some instances of chain snatching in the township.’’he added.

The police has confiscated the revolvers and the Jeep.

They are being interrogated for information on their other accomplices involved in various crimes in the township. Both are residents of Phase 10, and have been arrested under various Sections of the Arms Act and the IPC.


1 held for using domestic LPG at shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
A Sector 46 food joint owner, V. Sukumar was arrested today for allegedly using a domestic gas cylinder, at his shop. He was booked under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

A team of the Excise Department led by the Assistant Food Supply Officer, Mr Sukhsagar, claimed to have recovered three gas cylinders, a burner and a commercial gas stove from V. Sukumar in a raid that was conducted on his shop today. Sukumar alleged that the raid was conducted at the behest of his landlord with whom he had a dispute over the rented accommodation. 


Vehicle maker plans ‘Humvee’ for Army
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland is exploring the possibility of making a specialised vehicle, Humvee, for the Indian Army.

This was stated here today by Mr Arun Pande, Executive Director (Marketing) of the company, in an interview with Chandigarh Tribune. Humvee is an all-purpose vehicle in use with the US and several other advanced NATO countries as a replacement for jeeps. Mr Pande said the company had already supplied several pieces of specialised equipment, including vehicles, to the Army. These included recovery vehicles, fire tenders etc. They were now developing the main artillery vehicle for the Army.

He said the company had also been supplying around 6,000 Stallion trucks to the Army every year.

He announced that eight new dealerships would be added to its current 32 in the north in the remaining six months of the financial year. This would be accompanied by doubling the number of authorised service centres, presently 42, and a 30 per cent expansion in parts outlets. “Our target is to have a service point every 100 km of the region in two years”, he said.

Interview: Rapid action to plug gaps in market coverage comes on the back of high volume growth achieved by the company in the northern region. “Thanks to progressive strengthening of market infrastructure over the years, northern region accounts for over 25 per cent of our sales volumes and the company has become the market leader in some key product segments,” said Mr Pande. “In the first half of the current year, we have more than doubled our volumes in the northern market, in haulage, tractors and multi-axled vehicles. This has helped the company improve its segmental and overall market shares in the North, including Punjab.”

Punjab equalled Rajasthan in sale of commercial vehicles, though one-sixth in geographical size. As part of the company’s plans for Punjab, a modern dealership point is getting ready at Ludhiana. The company is also stepping up support infrastructure along the Delhi-Guwahati corridor. “We will have 40 service points with company-trained mechanics to support our customers in Punjab. Our target is one service point every 50 km,” he said.

Apart from the launch of many products, most of them powered by the “H” series engine, Mr Pande emphasised the significance of the “J” series engine. “With the 260 hp ‘J’ engine, we will be able to offer nearly 50 per cent more power in our vehicles, enhancing our ability to meet emerging market requirement for higher-capacity, high-productivity articulated vehicles,” he said, adding that the initial batch of vehicles were scheduled to be ready by next year.


Two lakh visit CII fair in four days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The four-day CII Chandigarh Fair concluded here last night on a positive note after playing host to nearly two lakh visitors, including both businessmen and consumers.

The visitor profile ranged from industrialists to entrepreneurs, academics and professionals to consumers from all walks of life. The 200 participating companies represented diverse sectors of the economy. The fair provided a user-friendly platform for transacting business and generating awareness. Alongside a vintage car rally and display, plus performance by a live band added to the ambience. Similar fairs will be held in Dehradun (October 16 to 19) and Ludhiana (December 18 to 21), according to a CII announcement.


Kundan jewellery draws big crowd
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Kundan jewellery proved to be a big draw at ‘Swarn Sambandh’ exhibition, which concluded here today.

It was for the first time that the exhibition included a stall of ethnic and exclusive kundan jewellery. ‘Anaha’, a brand in Kundan jewellery, also participated in the exhibition.

From having the famous ‘karanphool’ and ‘jhumkas’, the stall had kundan ‘mangalsutra’ ‘Meena karas’, ‘tinmayas’, ‘bajubands’, earrings, ‘ballis’, ‘tikkas’, ‘aarsis’ and bracelets on display.

Mr Karanvir Singh, Director, Anaha, says: “The history of Punjab, in case of jewellery selection, has been that of kundan jewellery. More than gold and diamonds, it is kundan that was more pleasing to Princely states and family heritage and lineage”.

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