C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Seepage threatens PU buildings
Alarming rise in water table
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service


* The water level should remain below five metres to avoid seepage in the basements and safety of foundations of buildings.

* The withdrawal of groundwater should be increased by running the existing shallow tubewells continuously.

* More shallow tubewells recommended and water pumped out be used for purposes other than drinking.

Chandigarh, November 28
Warning bells are ringing at Panjab University with a pronounced rise in the water table on the campus. A report of the Central Ground Water Board says that the water table has risen by 6 metres in the past decade and a half.

There has been an average increase of 40 cm each year, the report of the board indicates. The report warns that “the shallow water levels result in seepage into the basement of buildings. If the rise of water is not arrested, it may affect the foundations of the buildings and basements.”

The buildings are already showing an impact of the rise in the water table, specially in residential quarters. The report has been forwarded to the university for action.

Panjab University has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Prof R.J.Hans Gill, Dean University Instructions. The other members include Mr M.D. Nantiyal, Director of the Central Ground Water Board, Prof Paramijit Singh, Registrar, Prof S.K.Sharma of the Chemical Engineering Department and Mr Ashok Bhandari, Finance and Development Officer.

There are 10 water pumps installed at different places on the campus. The university has been asked to install more pumps immediately. The pumps need to be dug at only 15 metres which indicates the height that the underground water has reached.

The report has recommended that the water levels should remain at least five metres to avoid seepage in the basements for the safety of the buildings. The withdrawal of groundwater needs to be increased by running the tubewells “continuously”.

It has been pointed out that the water pumped out through these tubewells can be used for any other purpose than drinking.

The reports says that the ground water levels on the university campus ranged between 9.75 metres and 15.8 metres below ground level during 1990.

However, the level recorded in January 2003 indicates that it varies between 1.80 metres and 5.25 metres.

It is said that the ground water occurs in the coarse grained aquifer( water bearing zone) at shallow depth.

The source of recharge is rainfall and also from the Patiala ki Rao 'choe' and dams in its catchment. The shallow water level is attributed to the impervious clay layer.

A perusal of the maps indicates that general water levels were between 10 metres and 12 metres in 1988. The water levels recorded in 2003 indicate that they are within five metres below the land surface. The water level is more in the northern parts of the university.

The area gets waterlogged during rains. The shallow water results in seepage in the building basements.

The existing water pumps are not sufficient and construction of small dams in the upper reaches on tributaries of Patiala ki Rao have also contributed to the rising water levels.

Mr D.S. Saini, officiating director of the board, confirmed the report by Mr G.P.Singh, a hydrogeologist.

He said a similar problem was being faced by the southern sectors of the city.Back


MC nod to Vigilance probe
Rs 16-cr loss due to delay in hotel site auction
Tribune News Service

The big question — sourcing Rs 16 cr

On the issue of the Sector 35 hotel site, the ruling
Congress group in today’s General House meeting of
the corporation manoeuvred its way out of the responsibility to arrange funds. With elections next year, the
Congress cannot afford to divert the development
funds to pay the compensation. Empowering the Commissioner to arrange for the compensation amount through loan would absolve the elected body of any direct responsibility.

Chandigarh, November 28
The General House of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today granted approval for a probe by the UT Vigilance Department to fix responsibility for the loss of Rs 16 crore due to delay in the allotment of a hotel site in Sector 35.

In the case of the controversial auction of two SCO sites in Sector 9, the corporation would take action against the officer (s) who allegedly concealed the facts and misguided the Finance and Contract Committee members. The Commissioner, Mr MP Singh, assured the House that action against the officers responsible would be taken within three months.

Women councillors Anu Chatrath, Geeta Chaudhary, Harjinder Kaur and Lalit Joshi are all ears to the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla
Women councillors Anu Chatrath, Geeta Chaudhary, Harjinder Kaur and Lalit Joshi are all ears to the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, during the general house meeting of the Municipal Corporation in Chandigarh on Friday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

The proceedings of the House began with Harjinder Kaur protesting against the statement of the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, who had questioned her political status as a SAD member. The protests by Mrs Harjinder Kaur was ignored by the Congress-ruled House which went on to discuss the issue of the Sector 35 hotel site. The councillors were of the view that laxity on the part of officials and elected representatives had resulted in a loss of over Rs 16 crore.

The hotel site was auctioned when the ruling group of BJP councillors was led by the Mayor Ms Kamla Sharma. Dr K.S. Raju, and Mr P.C. Sanghi, both nominated councillors, pointed various lacunae in the auction. The Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Kamla Sharma, said it was wrong to blame the BJP for the loss. She said in 1997, there was pressure from the ruling group to generate funds to pay the salaries of the employees of the then newly constituted corporation. The hotel site was auctioned before its physical possession was handed over to the corporation by the Estate Office.

After an hour of discussion, it was resolved that the Commissioner would raise a loan to pay the compensation amount to the bidder as per an order of the Supreme Court. “ If the corporation is not able to raise the loan, it would request that the compensation be accepted in instalments”, said the Mayor.

The House also decided to constitute a committee to examine the aspects for relaxing the design and architecture controls of the hotel site for re-auction. Mr Pardeep Chhabra and Mr Gian Chand Gupta demanded the framing of parameters to fix responsibility in the case. They said development funds would not be allowed to be used for paying the compensation amount.

The issue of setting up a processing unit for the disposal of solid waste saw a heated argument between the Congress and BJP councillors. Mr Gian Chand Gupta said the Congress councillors were trying to favour certain private parties. Details of the companies which had approached the corporation to set up the plant were given in the meeting. The Mayor said most of these companies did not have the certification from the Central Pollution Control Board. The House decided that global tenders for the project would be floated soon.

It was also decided that the properties in Buterla, Burail, Badheri and Attawa villages would be auctioned only after getting the sites vacated from any possession. The issue of 74th Amendment and delegation of powers to the Mayor was deferred to the next meeting.

On the issue of water charges, the Mayor said the water user charges had been increased as the deficit between the expenditure and revenue was over Rs 16 crore. The BJP councillors protested against the hike in water charges. The agenda was deferred with an assurance to review the water tariff at the end of the financial year.


Oberois caught playing the family role
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
A private resort near Chandigarh was all stars today. Brimming with colour and life and glamour, this heavily embellished wedding venue at Nayagaon had a rare chance of playing the host to the many celebrated guests at a wedding ceremony, which was made special by the presence of dashing Vivek Oberoi and his even more dashing father Suresh Oberoi, who looked pleasing in the company of wife Yashodhara and daughter Meghna.

A visit to the Forest Hill Resort, which remained the centre of starry activity well till about 1 pm today, confirmed that the Bollywood icons were holding everyone captive. While Vivek, in his patently inimitable style, was busy endearing everyone present at the venue of his cousin's wedding function, Suresh Oberoi, along with his better half, was seen splashing his million dollar smiles all over. Vivek in his virgin white attire and his mother in her traditionally rich drapery looked particularly appealing.

The rarely spotted daughter of Suresh Oberoi — Meghna — also made a pretty picture, thus completing the family portrait for once. It was perhaps for the first time that all members of the high-profile Bollywood family were present in Chandigarh together. While Vivek Oberoi was in the city some months ago for a private visit, his father was coming back to this part after a fairly long time.

The occasion was, beyond doubt, significant — the wedding of Suresh Oberoi's nephew with the daughter of a Chandigarh-based businessman, who played a perfect host to his celebrity guests as well as other guests from Chandigarh. Virtually trespassing into the Topiary Lawns of the resort to have a glimpse of the starry affair, one actually ran the high risk of being intercepted on the way and questioned if one featured on the guest list. It was actually for the fear of inviting undue public attention that the wedding ceremony was kept a heavily guarded secret, which was finally leaked by someone, somewhere...

It was, however, quite warm on the part of the bride's father, who not only shared his happiness with The Tribune team, but also welcomed it to the ceremony, which was, truly, engaging. While the bride and the groom, flanked by their young friends, remained seated in one corner of the lawns, the elders in the family took charge of the welcoming affair in all the other parts.

Interestingly, the Oberois had arrived in the city a day before yesterday and they also attended the lady's sangeet held at a hotel in Sector 35 last night. While one wondered how the arrival and presence of the Oberois could remain hidden from the prying eyes of the Chandigarh film buffs as well as many media people, the answer came rolling on to our palate when the bride's father informed, "We had arranged for the security, because we were concerned about the comfort of our guests. The ceremony was kept a family secret for reasons best known to you."

On a private function as they were, none of the Oberois made any professional comments on any issues concerning films. They remained satisfied playing the real life family members of their loving relative, who walked the aisle today. As for the last night, Vivek Oberoi was the star attraction of the sangeet ceremony held in Sector 35. Suresh Oberoi reportedly also played some golf today. While Vivek left for Mumbai by the afternoon flight, the rest of his family stayed back to spend more quality time with the immediate family.

After all, life is all about balancing roles ....


Staffer detained in fake certificate case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 28
In what might lead to the unearthing of a major fake certificate racket in the Punjab School Education Board, the police stated today that other than nabbing PSEB employees who had acted as the ‘contacts’ of the two persons arrested yesterday, the police would also be booking those who ‘bought’ these forged certificates.

The police today picked up an employee of the board, allegedly for ‘helping’ the two youngsters caught printing certificates of various examinations using computers and scanners.

According to sources in the board, Babu Ram, working in the examination branch of the board, was picked up late last night by the police from Dashmesh Colony in Balongi village where he resides. According to a board official, Babu Ram works as a daftri in the examination branch.

The SSP Ropar, Mr S.P. Singh, stated that the two had been sent to police remand and by Monday they would be able to make some further arrests in the case. ‘‘PSEB employees are definitely involved but we are also trying to find about those to whom these certificates were being sold,’’ he said.

The SHO, Phase VIII, here, however, denied having picked up Babu Ram. The police also refused to give any information about the details of the modus operandi of the two accused. Stating that they are still looking for their accomplice, the police said in case too much information was made public, it might hinder their arrest.

The situation however remained tense at the board as the employees were wondering about those who might be involved in the racket. An employee even said some senior heads too were likely to roll once the police reached the bottom of the racket.

Sources said the police had also sealed the house from where these two were operating but refused to give the exact location of it in Mohali.

Yesterday, the Mohali police had claimed to have busted a forgery gang and arrested Manikaran Singh and Ashwini Goswami, both residents of Mohali, on the charge of forging vital documents, including matriculation and other certificates of the board.


Asha Parekh in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Asha Parekh, popular heroine of the swinging ’60s, was in Chandigarh along with close friend Shammi on Friday afternoon for a couple of hours.

This is their first visit to City Beautiful. After addressing mediapersons, they spent some time looking around in a shop in Sector 26.

Keen to make the most of the stay in this part of the region, they later left for Amritsar to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

They will be back tomorrow to grace the Rafi Nite Awards function organised by the local Yaadgar-e- Rafi Society at Tagore Theatre.


She stole hearts with tomboy antics
Devinder Bir Kaur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
She kept a whole generation glued to the big screen with her cutie-pie antics. She fluttered her eyes, raised her eyebrows and sang and danced her way into the hearts of the audience. She gave a new style to the greeting, “Daydeee... haepeee bir-day” or “Daydeee... main saheliyon ke saath Kashmir ja rahin hoon...”. She was the pert-n-perky tomboy who made the ‘60s heroes like Joy Mukherjee pick up the guitar and dance in the idyllic vales of Kashmir to the unforgettable “Laakhon hai nigah mein... lekin woh baat kahan...” (Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon”), or like Dev Anand sing droolingly “Yeh aankhen, uff yuh maan ...” (Jab Pyar Kissi Se Hota Hai”), or like Shammi Kapoor following her up a hill admitting “Deewana mujh sa nahin...” (Teesri Manzil).

The same inimitable Asha Parekh was in the city today in connection with the annual Rafi Nite and Awards-2003 function organised by the Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society to be held at Tagore Theatre tomorrow. Accompanied by friend and character actress Shammi, she had stopped at UT Guest House, Sector 2, for a short break before leaving for Amritsar to pay obesience at the Golden Temple. This is the actress’ first visit to the two cities.

During the stopover here, Asha went down memory lane and revealed how when she was just 10 she was noticed during a stage performance by legendary Bimal Roy. He gave her a role in “Baap Beti”, her first film. After that she did a few films but quit to pursue her studies. She came back with a bang as a heroine in Nasir Hussain’s “Dil Deke Dekho” (1959) and went on to become the rebellious, tomboyish heroine who gave her heroes as good as she got. Among her memorable performances are those in “Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai”, “Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon”, “Ziddi”, “Aaye Din Bahar Ke,” “Mere Sanam”, “Aan Milo Sajna,” “Caravan” and, of course, all-time favourite “Teesri Manzil.” Gradually, from the happy-go-lucky roles, Asha shifted to emotional roles. She made a beginning with “Do Badan” and then did “Chiraag” and “Kati Patang” (1970). She won a Filmfare Award for Best Actress for “Kati Patang”. Later, she did another power-packed role in “Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki” opposite the formidable Nutan. She also did character roles in “Kaalia”, “Laava,” “Bin Phere Hum Tere” etc.

The next step was naturally direction. Asha Parekh began by directing a Gujarati serial “Jyoti.” Her production company, “Akruti”, has come out with teleserials “Palash ke Phool”, “Baaje Payal”, “Kora Kagaz” and a comedy “Dal Mein Kaala.”

The present-day serials dwell on similar subjects. Asha agreed but added with a laugh: “Though they criticise the serials, yet they watch them regularly.” However, she was working on new topics for her forthcoming serials, she revealed.

About her tenure as Chairperson of the Indian Film Censor Board, Asha expressed satisfaction. “I did my work to the best of my ability,” she stated, and added, “Everything is on TV channels which leaves us helpless. I feel that censorship should be done by parents themselves. I blame parents rather than children.”

On how today’s heroines lack the innocence of the ‘60s heroines, Asha commented” “Today’s children also don’t have innocence.” However, she was optimistic and said there were still good artistes around and they were doing good work. “However, I wish films today were not copies of foreign film. There are good Hindusthani topics to pick from,” she said. She mentioned Madhuri Dixit, Kajol and Aamir Khan as her favourite actors. Among the actors she like Vyjayanthimala and Dilip Kumar in particular.

During her heyday on the silver screen, Asha was also known for her prowess at dancing. She held successful ballets like “Chauladevi” and “Anarkali.” But today she regretted having to give up dancing due to a bad back.

However, Asha has her hands full with her philanthropic activities including the Asha Parekh Hospital in Mumbai, working for the welfare of junior artistes covered under the Cene Artistes Association and finally being a successful director of TV serials based on women’s issues.

This is indeed saying a lot for a person who started out in life wanting to be a doctor. Destiny had other plans. Though not into films, Asha’s family was associated with films — her grandparents financed films. So a bit reluctant, they allowed her to take up a career in the film line. And Asha can safely be said to have given the maximum number of hits. “God has been kind to me,” stated Asha, adding, with her brilliant trademark smile, “I have no regrets.”


Happy not sticking to heroine roles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Spending some hurried moments in the company of actress Shammi is refreshing and injects a sense of optimism into one’s view of life. “I am happy, satisfied and busy,” she explained. “I have been lucky too. I have always had enough work, am treated with respect, being a senior artiste (I’m addressed as ‘Shammiji’), and have many wonderful friends.”

Shammi was with one such wonderful and close friend Asha Parekh at UT Guest House, Sector 2, here today before they left for Amritsar to see the Golden Temple.

Shammi, who is actually Nargis Rabadi, daughter of a Parsi priest, revealed how director Tara Harish gave her a break in “Ustad Pedro”. There was another film, “Malhar”, being made simultaneously. Both films released in 1951-52 turned out to be flops and she was out of work for several months. However, she was lucky when a revival of sorts came with “Sangdil”, a Dilip Kumar-Madhubala starrer.

Several films later, Shammi’s role as Meena Kumari’s friend in “Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayee” was well appreciated. One still remembers Shammi’s expressions during the song “Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh ...” when newly wed Raaj Kumar and Nadira are celebrating with colleagues on a boat and Meena has to sing while hiding her emotions.

On BR Chopra’s “Ittefaq” Shammi had a small cameo scene which went well with the audiences. In Manoj Kumar’s “Purab aur Paschim” her role was a blend of vampishness and sophistication.

About 20 years ago Shammi tried her hand in a Punjabi film “Lambardarni” with late Varinder. She worked hard on her Punjabi diction, she remembered.

These days Shammi is busy doing TV serials. She is an executive producer of serials produced by Asha Parekh. She also works with her for the Cine Artistes Association to help less fortunate senior artistes in their hour of need. Earlier Shammi used to go with Nargis and Sunil Dutt to border areas to entertain troops. She also did shows and played cricket to raise funds for charity.

Shammi is happy that she did not stick to heroine’s roles. “They have such a short span”, she explained. She shifted to character roles and was wise in doing so. She is 74 and still going strong with her acting career. In her forthcoming serial “Kuchh Pal Saath Tumhara,” she will play a grandmother who goes with the bride and stays on with the family. She is fondly called “Dai Naani” by them. Shammi couldn’t have asked for more. 


Making learning meaningful
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Just as the fascinating aspects of education have long remained buried under the weight of school bags, the talent of children has also remained hidden behind the rigidity of schedules. Breaking these barriers is Ashish Rajpal, an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, who later took an MEd from Harvard Graduate School of Education, conducting researches for none other than Howard Gardner, the first thinker to tell the world that IQ was quite an inaccurate measurement of human intelligence.

As a cofounder and managing director of iDiscoveri, India’s leading experiential education organisation that creates meaningful learning experiences for schools, youth and adults, Ashish is busy bringing meaning to education in India. Started in 1996, iDiscoveri makes education more personally relevant and experiential. It helps set up schools, train teachers, work with children on nature and experience-based programs, and develop corporate leaders. Besides the forthcoming intensive teachers’ training workshop at Doon School, Ashish is currently engaged with the Strawberry Fields World School project, along with Mr Atul Khanna of the Durga Das Foundation. The school is coming up in Sector 26, Chandigarh.

In the city to work out the modalities, Ashish talked to The Tribune about his Harvard experience, which helped him enter the unexplored areas of education. “At Harvard, I learnt to connect education, psychology and neuroscience. The idea was to understand the functioning of the brain and its ability to impact attitudes and behaviours of children, in particular.”

With his experience at Harvard, which included training and research with leading thinkers in education and psychology such as Howard Gardner, David Perkins, and Eleanor Duckworth, Ashish learnt to use conceptual frameworks from mind and brain sciences to develop new paradigms of experiential education. It is this paradigm which he is maximizing at iDiscoveri, promoting activity and theme based education among children.

Currently he is defining the principles for Strawberry Fields World School which will draw on the saying, “Don’t limit a child to your own learning...for he was born in another time.” Explaining his strategies, Ashish, who has also authored several research papers on learning, creativity and progressive education, said, “This school will be central to children. It will promote flexibility in curricula and will ensure many entry points into the subject.” Here Ashish will utilize his guide Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence which he has explained in detail in his book, “Frames of Mind”. Interestingly, Ashish recently also conducted a study for Howard Gardner on his new project, “Good Work”, which underlies the need for a high quality work which also boasts of high moral standards.

Among other principles basic to the new project will be — use of theme based education. Explaining the concept, Ashish said, “It is important to tell the child a story, which he can relate with the educational concept under consideration. Bluntly introducing photosynthesis won’t help. But if you introduce the theme of “my garden”, tell him how plants and humans are related and then take him to the scientific aspects, he will grasp the concept well enough to retain it forever. At Stwarberry World School, we will also empower teachers”.

The belief that every child is a genius is basic to all educational pursuits of Ashish, who could well have stuck to his phenomenally lucrative corporate engagements. It was the birth of his children that brought him closer to education. Ever since he understood the meaning of education, he has been addressing the development of the whole child and building a sense of social responsibility in him.


Clash of protocol between Army, Admn
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 28
Even as the last minute modalities for the President's visit to Mohali were worked out at a high powered meeting of the Punjab police held here today, there seems to be clash of protocols between the civil administration and the military with regard to the arrangements being done for the function.

According to the DIG (Ludhiana range), Mr Siddhaarth Chattopadhyaya, a meting was held to discuss the final security arrangements with regard to the President's visit. He reiterated that the President's security would be looked after by the Punjab police.

Despite the fact that the inauguration of the Army Institute of Law is going to be an Army show the security arrangements are going to be with the Punjab police only. ‘‘The military police will remain on duty according to their plan inside the venue but that has nothing to do with us as we will be taking care of all arrangements,’’ Mr Chattopadhyaya said.

The civil administration is however, not sure of its role during the President's visit. Sources in the SDM's office said unlike the last time when the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, was responsible for making all arrangements for the President's visit to the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in September, this time there seems to be a clash of protocol between the Army and the civil administration.

Sources also pointed out that the clash of protocol could bad to clash over seating plans where the Army would want to follow their protocol as the President happens to be the supreme commander of the defence forces while the civil administration was bound to follow the blue book.


Police seeks Reliance help to trace attacker
Stabbing of Panchkula woman
Tribune News Service

Cousin of accused detained, let off

The police had reportedly picked up a 14-year-old cousin of the accused, Manbir, from his Sector 14 house. The boy was taken to the Sector 19 police station for questioning. But his parents immediately rushed to the Deputy Commissioner's house and requested her to get the boy released. The boy was later released after the Deputy Commissioner's intervention.

Panchkula, November 28
The police has approached Reliance Infocom Limited for help in tracing accused Manbir Singh, who slashed a Sector 14 housewife's throat on November 24.

Since the accused has been contacting some of his relatives in Sector 14 here and in Chandigarh through a Reliance mobile, the police is trying to locate his whereabouts by matching the frequency with the towers of the company. However, the motive behind the attack on the 40-year-old victim, Neelam Devi, is not yet known.

Manbir had gained entry into her house claiming to be an associate of her husband, Jaipal. He requested for a glass of water and just as Neelam turned towards the kitchen, he attacked her with a knife.

All this while, the woman was crying for help and her immediate neighbour, Ms Sukhbiri, and her daughter, Geeta, came out of her house. As they walked right inside Neelam's house, the assailant pushed her side and charged at Sukhbiri. He pushed Sukhbiri on the ground and tried to escape. When Geeta tried to overwhelm him, he showered blows on her face. Another neighbour, Rohit Bhalla, tried to catch hold of him but Manbir managed to escape.

Since the accused had left behind his scooter, the police was able to identify him. It is now learnt that till six months ago, Manbir had been staying in the same colony at his maternal aunt's house. However, Jaipal and his family were not residing in the colony and had shifted there only in May, after Manbir had left the colony.

He had got married and shifted to a separate house in Himshikha Colony, Pinjore. Since he was employed in Manimajra, he was a regular visitor to his aunt's house in Sector 14 and would generally take his lunch there. The police says Manbir has been taking shelter at his relatives place and warned them against helping out the accused.

Senior police officials say they have already ruled out burglary as the motive behind the attack.


Temple gets back stolen ornaments
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
It was celebration time at Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Sector 9. Almost a month after thieves had decamped with over 30 kg of silver ornaments from the temple, the temple management today got the possession of these ornaments from a local court.

As news of the ornaments reaching the temple spread, a number of devotees thronged the temple to participate in the celebrations. Devotees chanted hymns and danced to the drum beats, thanking the Almighty. Ladoos were distributed among the devotees.

The Police had arrested two persons — Jasbir alias Jassi of Jalandhar and Mohan of Uttar Pradesh. The two had confessed to stealing ornaments from temples in Sector 28, Sector 35, and Sector 9 here. The police also recovered 30 mukuts, 17 ‘chattars’ and five necklaces.

Members of the temple management, Mr G.R. Bhasin, Mr Kewal Garg, Mr A.M. Sahni and Mr V.K. Uppal had sought the custody of the stolen ornaments from the court and were granted custody after a surety of Rs 3 lakh.

It was in the wee hours of October 30 that 22 silver ‘mukats’ , 10 silver chattars and other ornaments were stolen. The thieves had also broken the donation box, and taken away Rs 10,000.

Talking to TNS, Mr G.R. Bhasin said they had ordered for new silver crowns, chattars and ‘shesh naag’ from Delhi. “ We will get the new ornaments next week, but will have to keep the recovered ornaments till the case is decided by the court. But these cannot be used again, as they have been disfigured. These will be disposed of after the case is decided,” he said. 


Special kids to supply spices to CITCO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Being mentally challenged has in no way prevented children at the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children (GIMRC) from learning various skills and putting these to use by supplying their products to various schools and institutes.

The latest in their list of achievements is a contract they are being given to supply spices to Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) units. The head of the Psychiatry department at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Dr B.S. Chavan, said that the formal approval for supply of spices to the various eateries of CITCO.

Dr Chavan, said children of GIMRC were already supplying chalk to all the city schools, bread to GMCH and binding the books at the Central Library. Being the only institute for mentally challenged children in North India, where vocational training is being given, training is being imparted in tailoring, weaving, knitting and book binding.

Dr Chavan, informed that on World Disabled Day all products made by these children would be put up on display outside the entrance to the Block-B at GMCH.


300 marriages in city today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The city is all set to witness maximum number of marriages of the season on a single day tomorrow. All prominent hotels, including Hotel Shivalik View, Mount View and majority of others are booked.

According to a pandit, the biggest rush of marriages in the season will be witnessed between November 25 and December 3. The "stars are best alligned for the success of marriages during this period. November 29 works out to be the best day", added.

Caterers are having a more than usual busy time. In fact, it is not easy to trace even a single caterer. Some of the caterers are actually short of the staff making it a perfect opportunity for some as a part time workers.

It is also good time for the flourists as exchanging flowers between the marriage parties and gifting it to the newly weds have almost become a part of the culture.

Mr Sandeep Kapoor, a banquet manager of Hotel Mount View, said all hotels had been booked till December. "Tomorrow is a very special day and the city is likely to witness more than 300 weddings," he added.

Mr Jagat C, banquet manager of Hotel Shivalik View, said two functions were scheduled for tomorrow. "The rush that the hotel was witnessing was as every year, however, there has been a definite increase in the number of marriages in the city," he added.


Course on scientific investigation for cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BDRD), Mr Sarabjeet Singh, will inaugurate a three-month advanced course on scientific investigation on December 1 at the Central Detective Training School (CDTS), here.

Police officers from Uganda and the Maldives would also be among the participants.

The Principal of the CDTS, Mr BNS Negi, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the officers from the countries were participating under an exchange programme of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The participants would be briefed about investigations in cases of dacoity, robbery, burglary, rape , finger prints, footpath, report writing, cyber crime, arson, inspection and, simulation exercise with a dummy. Forensic experts would also give talks on investigations. 


BJP welcomes Admn move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The local unit of the BJP has hailed the decision of the UT Administration to consider the need for carrying out changes in the houses constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board. Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the BJP unit, said the party had been pursuing the matter. He said the Administration should also solve the problem of the occupants of housing board houses regarding allowing of second floor up to 100 per cent area instead of 60 per cent.

Meanwhile, the president of the Chandigarh Housing Board Resident Welfare Federation, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, said the committee should actually recommend steps to extend relief to the occupants of the housing board flats. 


SAD (Minhas faction) stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Chandigarh unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Minhas faction) staged a dharna in front of the office of the Municipal Corporation in protest against the questioning of the political status of Ms Harjinder Kaur, a councillor, by the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla. Workers of the party blocked the main gate of the municipal corporation’s office.

The Mayor and other councillors, who had to attend today’s General House meeting had to enter from the rear of the office premises. Mr Harcharan Singh Sawhney, spokesman of the party said, the Congress was trying to take advantage of the factionalism within the Chandigarh unit of the SAD. The leader of the opposition, Ms Kamla Sharma and Mr Rajesh Gupta, both BJP councillors were also present on the occasion.

When the issue of Ms Harjinder Kaur was raised in the General House meeting, the Mayor said he stood by what he had said in the last meeting. “ My comment was not to cause any political damage or defame Ms Harjinder Kaur and the issue could be discussed at another forum”. Then Mrs Harjinder Kaur went back to her seat.

However, Ms Harjinder Kaur, claimed that she took her seat after the Mayor backed off from his earlier stand. She added the Mayor had repeatedly said during the meeting that the House was not the forum to discuss the political affiliations.


Clean chit to Customs man
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
The Central Bureau of Investigation today gave a clean chit to suspended Inspector of Customs and Central Excise Arun Singla in a case of corruption registered against him nearly two years ago.

The case against Arun Singla would be closed as the investigating agency had not found any substantial evidence against him.

Singla along with the then Deputy Commissioner of Customs Freight Station, Ludhiana, Mr Amreesh Jain, had been booked by the CBI on February 22 last year under Sections 420 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.


Charred body found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 28
A young man was found charred to death in Industrial Area, Phase VIII, here, this afternoon. The matter came to light when the decomposed and semi-burnt body of the man was found by some employees of an industrial unit nearby.

According to the police, the unidentified victim seems to be a migrant labourer in his early thirties. Dressed in a blue nylon track suit, the man is totally burnt from the head up to his waist and the face is hardly recognisable. The police also stated that the man seems to have died at least four days ago.

The police found a burnt cycle tyre around the body of the deceased and wires around his feet. Apparently, the person was burnt to death by someone after tying him up. Although the police has registered a case of murder in the case, the exact cause of the death of the victim will be known only after a post-mortem.

The incident came to light this afternoon when some employees of an industrial unit in F-13 contacted the police about a body lying in the bushes in the green belt dividing Industrial Area phase VIII. The police reached the spot and started an identification campaign immediately but by the end of the day no one had come forward claiming to know the victim.

The place where the body was found is thickly covered with tall and bushy grasses and the police did not find any clue about the motive of murder. ‘‘The reason that we have registered a murder case in this case is because prima facie it looks like one. We are also questioning various people who work in the area. The body has been shown to many people in the area,’’ said Mr Bhupinder Singh SHO, Phase I, here.

The manner in which the dead body was found in Industrial area here today, brought to focus, a similar murder that took place over a year ago here. An employee of an Industrial unit here Sun Time Energy, was found charred to death and according to the police the person thought to be responsible for the murder was also identified. The police had conducted raids in Haryana to nab him but the case remains unsolved till now. Proceedings are on to declare the accused in this case as a proclaimed offender.


Teenager crushed under bus
Our Correspondent

Lalru, November 28
An unidentified teenaged boy from Ambala was crushed to death by a CTU bus on the Kalka-Ambala highway, near here, this noon.

According to the police, the boy was riding a bicycle when the CTU bus knocked him down, crushing him on the spot.

The bus has been impounded. The body was sent to the Civil Hospital in Rajpura for a post-mortem examination.

No case had been registered in this regard till late in the evening.

Boy missing
A teenager, Manjesh Kumar Pal, working as a helper with a chaat shop in Dera Bassi, has been reported missing since November 2.

Mr Balak Ram, father of the boy, complained that Manjesh went to the shop on November 2 but did not return home.

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