C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Akalis converge on Nada Sahib
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
Gurdwara Nada Sahib here today provided a safe haven to hundreds of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLAs, members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and SAD workers from all over Punjab.

From here these workers will march to Ropar in Punjab tomorrow morning in order to support the Badals, where they will appear in a court on the day of filing of challan against them.

Finalising the last minute details on how to seek a safe passage to Ropar, former Akali ministers Jathedar Tota Singh, Chiranji Lal Garg and Sewa Singh Sekhawan, besides president and general secretary of the Youth Akali Dal Sharnajit Singh Dhillon and Baljit Singh Nellamahal, respectively, held discussions with the party workers and made arrangements for tomorrow. Member of Parliament Sukhbir Badal, too, arrived here in the evening and held close-door meeting with the leaders to decide on their strategy for tomorrow.

The meeting lasted for almost half an hour, after which Mr Sukhbir Badal quitely left. Having decided to keep their cards close to their chests, the Akali leaders said they were going to Ropar only to show their strength to the Congress government. “He has been maintaining that Mr Badal has no support, but by reaching Ropar tomorrow we will prove our strength and his (Capt Amarinder Singh’s) failure,” they said.

Accusing the Congress government of adopting vindictive approach towards Akali workers, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said never in Punjab’s history were political opponents harassed as were now. “People are being pulled out of buses and private vehicles and stopped from reaching Ropar. A number of our leaders and workers have been arrested while on way to Nada Sahib. The next of kin of several leaders, who have managed to reach here, are also being picked up by the police. This is a murder of democracy,” he said.

Mr Sewa Singh Sekhawan, a former minister and member of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the SAD, said, “We have full respect for the judiciary, our fight is against the Congress government and we will position ourselves outside the Ropar Court complex, to show our strength”.

He said besides here, the Akali leaders had also converged at Fatehgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib and Patha Sahib in Punjab. 



2 booked for entering unoccupied house
Our Correspondent

Jiwan Jyoti and Mohinder Pal, both residents of Mohali, allegedly tried to take possession of an unoccupied house
Jiwan Jyoti (right) and Mohinder Pal, both residents of Mohali, allegedly tried to take possession of an unoccupied house in Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Sunday afternoon. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 30
The Sector 18 house, which has inspired many horror stories after the skeleton of wife of its owner, Usha Grover, was found there three years ago, is again in the limelight.

Two residents of Mohali, a woman and a man, armed with allegedly a forged will enter the unoccupied house this afternoon. The woman was also carrying a court order. The house is said to be locked since 1997.

The two accused, Jiwan Jyoti and Mohinder Pal, both residents of Phase VII, Mohali, are now cooling their heels in Sector 19 Police Station. The two have been booked under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471, 452, 447 and 120B of the IPC.

The house was originally owned by Dr D.R Grover. He died in a road accident in 1996, while his wife Usha Grover was murdered in the house and her skeleton was found buried in the house by the police in 2000. Dr Grover’s daughter, Ms Vandana, is settled in the USA, while the whereabouts of his son is not known. Mr Dalip Singh, warden of a hostel at DAV College, Sector 10, was appointed the caretaker of the house by Ms Vandana and it was on his complaint, Jiwan Jyoti and Mohinder Pal were arrested, said the police.

Mr Dalip Singh received a telephone call that a man and a woman had entered the house by breaking the locks this afternoon. When he reached the place, he found Jyoti and Mohinder Pal in the house. When he confronted them to know how they gained entry into the house, the woman produced a will signed by Dr Grover. The “will” stated that Dr Grover treated Jyoti like his own daughter and drilled the house in her favour. The xerox copy of the will, however, did not bear the signature of Dr Grover.

“She told me that Dr Grover had given the house to her in 1995, while she was staying in a house in Sector 20’’, said Mr Dalip Singh.

Meanwhile, Mr Dalip Singh called the police. The woman reportedly produced a photo copy of a court order dated November 25, 2003 regarding status quo of the house. Jyoti had made Ms Vandana a party in her case. “As per the papers presented by Jyoti, the court had ordered a status quo. The house was under locks for the past many years. So as per the order, the house should remain locked, but Jyoti and Mohinder Pal entered the house by breaking the locks”, said a police official. The police was yet to verify whether the court order produced by Jyoti was real or forged.

Mr Dalip Singh said the house had been locked since 1997. “It was opened when skeleton of Usha Grover was dug out”, said Mr Dalip Singh. He also informed that a theft had also taken place in the house and he had later replaced all the locks.

According to the police, Ms Vandana had not visited India for the past many years and because of it being unoccupied there had been a few attempts of theft in the house.

The police said Jyoti’s claim that she had stayed in House No. 630, Sector 20, was false. Jyoti, a divorcee, has three daughters and a son. Mohinder Pal used to drive a taxi owned by Jyoti. The two were living together in a house in Phase VII, Mohali.



Kalam arrives today amid tension
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 30
The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, arrives here tomorrow amid tension and under the shadow of stepped-up police raids to round up SAD leaders to prevent them from reaching Ropar, where their party chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is scheduled to appear before a special court.

Even as more than 1,000 police personnel have been put on duty for the President’s visit, special teams have been constituted to keep vigil on SAD leaders, who might try to use the President’s visit to gain attention by blocking traffic.

While the Ropar SSP, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, who is also the investigating officer in the case against Mr Badal, confirmed that 28 persons had been rounded up, sources stated that a number of SAD leaders in the town and Kharar had gone underground.

A part of the police force is busy with the security arrangements for the VVIP, while other personnel are trying to pick up SAD activists to foil their plan to descend on Ropar. According to sources, 10 companies of the police, including PAP men, have been requisitioned from other Punjab districts for the President’s inauguration of the Army Institute of Law in Sector 68. Twenty senior officers from different police units have also been ordered to join the security operation.

The police carried out checking of houses, which fell on the route to be taken by the President. They enquired in particular whether any new person had begun living in the area recently.

Asked about the possible traffic problems due to the President’s visit, Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, Mohali SP, said efforts would be made to ensure that there were only minor diversions and traffic was not blocked for more than five or 10 minutes at a time. The aim would be to ensure that public was not put to inconvenience, he added.

Meanwhile, the President’s visit has been advanced by two hours, according to a security force spokesman. He will be reaching at the law institute around 1.55 pm.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, said on the phone from Ropar that additional police force had been requisitioned to tackle any untoward incident in the district tomorrow. Four Duty Magistrates from Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and other neighbouring districts had been called in this connection.

She said various preventive measures had been taken apart from the imposition of orders under Section 144, Cr PC.

However, the SSP, contradicting the statement of the Deputy Commissioner, said no additional force had been called. He said full use was being made of the available police strength.

The Ropar police continued its raids on the houses of SAD leaders and activists today.

Mr Sukhvir Badal, told Chandigarh Tribune on the phone from an undisclosed place that 10,000 to 15,000 party workers had been rounded up in the state.

He said the state government was frustrated. Police raids were also continuing relentlessly in villages. “We are law-abiding citizens and believe in democracy. The Chief Minister does not believe in democracy and is using the police force as his private army. He forgets that a day may come when the same army may go after him,” he said.

SAD sources said in Mohali the police again raided the houses of Mr Kiran Bir Singh Kang, senior vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, senior vice-president of the Ropar district unit of the SAD, Mr Harsukhinder Singh Badal (Babbi Badal), Mr Arjan Singh Shergill and Mr Jodhbir Singh, president of the Mohali circle of the SAD.

Mr Harsukhinder Singh Badal said on the phone that the police reached his home here around 6.30 am, but could not find him. He said the government was trying to round up SAD activists to show that the former Chief Minister was isolated in his own party. However, Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s supporters would join him in Ropar tomorrow.



How her daughter escaped from cruel 
husband’s clutches
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Bimla Devi Surajpur (Panchkula), November 30.
“Whatever has happened to my daughter, should not happen to anyone else,” says 60 -year-old Bimla Devi. Her daughter, Reena, had preferred to live as “dead” for six years, after she escaped from her husband’s clutches when he tried to sell her off.

Reena had been believed to have been murdered six years ago, till she was found living a life of obscurity in Barnala subdivision of Punjab last month. After she had gone missing in August 1997, the police had found a decomposed body in Madhana village of Morni since the body was of the same height and physical structure of Reena, the police assumed Reena to be dead. Her husband, Raj Singh, and his cousins- Nakli and Mahipal — were booked for Reena’s murder.

It was in the first week of this month that Reena and her second husband, Jaipal, had visited her parental home here. It was then that she unravelled her saga of woes. Bimla Devi says that her daughter’s first husband, Raj Singh, had compelled her to initiate a physical relationship with his cousins after marriage. “When she refused, he would assault her. Even on the first day of her marriage, Raj’s cousin, Nakli had attempted to molest her, but she raised an alarm. Similar efforts were made several times.She was assaulted for showing resistance,” alleges the victim’s mother.

She says that Reena also disclosed that the provocation for running away from her husband, and then living a life of anonymity, was her husband’s attempts to sell her off. “ She had earlier ran away from his husband’s house and come here. But we forced her to go back after repeated assurances by Nakli and Raj. However, Raj took her to his native village of Gogwa in Muzaffarnagar and tried to sell her off. He had struck a deal with a trader there. But in the meantime, we asked Nakli to send Raj and Reena on the occasion of 'Teej' festival here. He then contacted Raj in the village and asked him to postpone the deal,” she added.

It was while they were coming here by bus, they got down to change a bus at Dosadka. There she managed to give him a slip on August 8, 1997. After roaming about aimlessly for several days in Panchkula and Chandigarh, she met her second husband, Jaipal Singh. She told him that she was an orphan and had nowhere to go. Jaipal took her to his sister’s house and after a few days got married. Later, they shifted to Barnala.”

“We have suffered so much because of Raj Singh and his cousins. In fact, Nakli and Mahipal had concealed the facts at the time of marriage, and had said that Raj was an adopted son, and had an equal share in their property. Though Raj is their first cousin, they had kept him for looking after their farms. They married him to my daughter, thinking that his wife would also “accommodate them in each and every way”. They have not only played with my daughter’s life, but also caused great anguish to the entire family. But God has been kind and Reena has now found a good husband, who loves and takes good care of her. My agony of not knowing if my daughter was dead or alive is over, I can now die in peace." Bimla Devi said. 



Admn forgets Major Vats’ sacrifice
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
Barely 10 days after he made the supreme sacrifice for the nation, Major Navneet Vats seems to have been forgotten by all except for his immediate family.
His bhog ceremony, at Luxmi Narain Mandir, Sector 6, today, did not see any representation from the administration.

Mr V Shandilya, President of Anti-Terrorist Front of India, said it was shameful that everybody had forgotten the martyr so soon.

Major Navneet Vats of the 4/3 Gorkha Rifles, was killed in a suicide attack in Srinagar on November 20. He was on deputation to 32 Rashtriya Rifles and was posted in Srinagar.

He was involved in an Army operation of evacuating a building in Srinagar, where two militants had holed up for two days.

When the sharp-shooters from the Army tried to enter the area, they came under heavy fire from the militants, in which Major Navneet Vats and four soldiers were wounded.

The Major, later, succumbed to his injuries.

Mr Shandilya said he would also meet the Defence Minister next week and request him to give a government job to Major Vats’ wife and name a road in Sector 4 after the martyr.



Police foils robbery bid, one held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 30
A Police Control Room Gypsy today foiled a daring robbery at gun-point in the house of Mr Subhash Chander in Sector 35-D here this afternoon. One of the alleged robbers was overpowered by the police on the spot while the remaining two, including Anil Tota, escaped. Tota is also an accused in the murder of UT Executive Engineer V.K. Chopra.

The Police Control Room had received a call that armed persons had barged into the house of Mr Chander. The complainant asked the police for immediate help.

According to police sources, three men, two of them carrying pistols, aimed the weapons at Mr Chander, who deals in currency exchange, and robbed him of $ 4,794 this afternoon. However, the police reached the scene of the crime well in time and arrested Roopinder Singh, who was carrying the money. Later the police seized six cartridges from him.

Mr Chander reportedly told the police that his brother had earlier in the day informed him that three persons would be coming in the afternoon to exchange Indian currency with US dollars.

The three robbers reportedly reached the house of Mr Chander at around 1 pm and asked him for $ 5,000. However, they left the house on the pretext of verifying the exchange rates of the dollar.

At around 1.15 pm, the three again returned to Mr Chander’s house. Instead of discussing the deal, one of them aimed a pistol at Mr Chander and demanded all the cash in the house. Mr Chander lives in a joint family and most of the members of the family, including young girls, were present at the time of the incident. One of the robbers confined the elderly parents of Mr Chander to a room and also ordered the other family members to gather at one place. They threatened to shoot them if they raised an alarm .

‘‘I told them that I have only dollars and gave these to them.” said Mr Chander, while talking to The Tribune. One of the robbers snatched a gold bracelet from Mr Chander and bangles from his wife. The loot was deposited in a bag and Roopinder was carrying it. After committing the loot, the three left the house.

‘‘I thought they had left, but suddenly I heard shouts from outside’’, said Mr Chander. Actually, a police party had arrived and a Home Guard jawan, Mr Harnek Singh, had caught hold of Roopinder. A crowd had also gathered at the place.

It is learnt that while the drama was being enacted in the house, one of the children of the house, went upstairs and made a call to the police.

Later in the evening, Roopinder, a Sector 40 resident, is learnt to have told the police that he owed Rs 1,700 to Tota and he took part in the robbery to clear the debt. He said he was called at the Banur bus stand by Tota where the plan for robbery was given to him. Later, Tota dropped him near Mr Chander’s house on a Hero Honda motor cycle. After sometime, Tota returned with the third robber who had not been identified till the reports last came in. 



SHO shifted in stabbing case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
The Station House Officer of the Sector 19 police station, Mr Mahinder Singh, has been transferred and sent to the Police Lines.
The order was reportedly issued by the SP, after the officer failed to make much headway in the stabbing of a Sector 14 housewife, Neelam Devi.

The woman was stabbed by Manjit Singh at her residence on November 24.

The police had identified the assailant hours after the crime, but till date it has failed to arrest him.

Though four relatives of the accused — father Kundan Singh, uncle Alam Singh Negi and cousins Manbir Singh and Parveen — were booked by the police on charges of harbouring the accused yesterday, the accused has managed to evade arrest so far. All four relatives were later released on bail.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajinder Singh, in charge of the Sector 7 police post has been transferred vice Mr Mahinder Singh.



AIDS scene grimmer than figures convey
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Owing to poor HIV surveillance in the northern states, only a partial picture of the burgeoning AIDS problem comes through, leading to gross underestimation of the actual number of people living with the killer disease.

The most glaring example of this “false” picture is the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where, according to National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) data, only two AIDS cases have been reported till the end of October this year.

“Worryingly, not enough is known about HIV spread in the vast populous interiors of Uttar Pradesh and other northern states, where current surveillance has failed to project the real picture,” says the latest AIDS Epidemic Update brought out by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

The fact that Jammu and Kashmir, with a population of over 1 crore, has a mere two cases, clearly points towards the poor surveillance and reporting. Even the health officials in the state are candid enough to admit that the number is definitely higher. The state has only three Voluntary Counselling and Confidential Training Centres, even though the Union Health Ministry has committed that every district in the country would have at least one such centre.

What raises doubt about the gross underestimation is that while the figure for the neighbouring state of Rajasthan is 892, the figures for Haryana and Punjab are 313 and 248, respectively. Many patients from Rajasthan and other states seek treatment at the PGI because of stigma and ostracisation and at times due to denial of treatment.

“We come across almost 40 to 50 new AIDS cases every month from the region and the fact that very few can afford to reach the PGI only confirms the doubt that the present data is giving a false picture,” says a PGI doctor.

“We cannot be complacent and seek comfort in the fact that the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh still figure in the list of low-prevalence states as the scenario is not as pleasing as it appears to be,” is how a senior PGI doctor feels. He says there is a need to focus on generating awareness among women, whose number is rapidly increasing.

According to NACO’s own surveys, another area of concern is the low level of awareness among rural women, putting them at high risk. “The need for providing special care and treatment to children afflicted with the killer disease has still not been recognised,” feels Prof Gurdev Singh, Project Director, SOSVA.



Roadshow on AIDS control
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The State AIDS Control Society ( UT), Chandigarh, organised a roadshow last evening at the Plaza, Sector 17 on the eve of the World AIDS Day.
The show attracted throngs of passersby who witnessed the sound and light show, interspersed with informative interactive session with doctors from the State AIDS Control Society (UT) answering queries about the disease first hand.

The three-hour show also entertained the crowds with a dance group and specially recorded audio jingles on AIDS awareness. Another interesting feature of the show was the signature campaign, where people were invited to sign their pledge to fight the deadly disease on the signature board. A team of volunteers also went around Sector 17 pinning up the AIDS red ribbons on the people symbolising solidarity to fight the disease.

According to Anu Vala, one of the organisers of the roadshow held under the auspices of Big Bang, the event management outfit, ‘‘People must be educated about the preventive measures against AIDS. This show is not about entertainment, but about addressing a serious health issue.’’ The State AIDS Society (UT) invited the public to call their toll-free AIDS helpline, 1097, to ask any questions on the disease without hesitation.




Inconvenient drop boxes

No doubt the facility for putting cheques specially for credit cards in drop boxes is convenient but a number of persons are facing complications. The facility of drop boxes is widely utilised and it works smoothly if the cheques are cleared. But one has to be very careful since counterfoil is neither stamped nor signed by the officials where it has been put up. In Chandigarh there are estimated over 100 drop boxes at different locations in different institutions /banks/ establishments.

One bank officer himself has faced a problem. Banks always deny having received cheques for collection. Moreover, there is also no evidence. The system is leading to complications. If cheques deposited in drop boxes are not accounted for, credit cards providers levy 30 to 40 per cent service charges/interest for delayed payment, while electricity and telephone authorities threaten disconnection. Number of times cheques have also been bounced. The system needs improvement to avoid such situations.

Till such improvements are made, depositors should verify the status of dropped cheques after a few days to avoid unpleasant consequences. The job of opening the drop boxes should be given to responsible persons/officials, suggests Mr S.C. Dhall, a city banker.

Monkey menace

Monkey menace at the Department of Indian Theatre in Panjab University has increased manifold. Where until some days ago, only about two or three odd monkeys could be spotted, now about five to six can be seen moving around the department compound at any time of the day. Any unprepared visitor to the department is thus naturally taken aback at the very sight of unexpected hosts, who are always on the lookout to wreak havoc all around. But implacable as the creatures are, they did not even miss the opportunity to be around when film and television actor, Pankaj Berry visited the department where he studied theatre two decades ago.

Three generations in law practice

Three generations are practicing law in the High Court at the same time. Mr Joginder Singh Wasu, a senior advocate, is a known figure in the legal fraternity, having practised for over half a century now. He was Advocate General of Punjab during 1972-77 and then again between 1980 to 1983. He was Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Zail Singh’s counsel. He is better known for conducting the “kissa kursi ka” case, in the Supreme Court, a parodic motion picture produced by Amrit Nahata on the “life style” of Indira Gandhi.

His wife, Mrs Pritpal Kaur Wasu, belongs to the earliest batch of women lawyers, who barged into the exclusive male preserve of law, way back in 1953. A close confidante of Mrs Gandhi, she joined politics, became a member of the legislature and travelled abroad several times as a member of the Indian delegations to various meets and conferences under the aegis of U.N.O.

Their daughter, Ms Rupinder Kaur Wasu, joined the High Court bar in 1972 and later shifted to the Supreme Court. Returning to Chandigarh, she has been appointed Additional Advocate General of Punjab in the High Court.

Her son Gagandeep Singh Wasu joined the High Court bar last year. A national level lawn tennis player, he is working up his way to a successful profession with the same eclat as he did in sports.


The other day, the watchman of a girls hostel in Panjab University spotted two boys, comfortably parked inside the hostel compound at an objectionable hour. When questioned by the watchman, the boys replied with an air of innocence, “Sadda ki kasoor? Asi taan rasta bhul gaye si.” (How are we to be blamed. We just lost our way.)”

— Sentinel



MC urged to ensure success of garbage-free sector scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Residents of the city have urged the municipal corporation to evolve certain inherent mechanism to ensure the success of garbage-free sector scheme. They have suggested that charges for the collection of garbage from doorsteps be included in the water bill to ensure that the beneficiaries pay for the service.

The system of collecting garbage from doorsteps and dumping it at the “sehaj safai kendras” has not been functioning smoothly. People, who have refused to pay the safai karamcharis, prefer to dump the garbage at roadsides.

Some residents have alleged that the corporation has merely washed its hands of the responsibility of collecting and disposing of the garbage by asking the resident welfare associations to make arrangements for throwing the garbage at earmarked sites even though the kendras are yet to come up.

Mr Subhash Chawla, Mayor of the Corporation, said the corporation would implement the scheme where the area councillors and the resident welfare associations had agreed upon. The corporation did not have the manpower to take over the job of garbage collection from house to house, he said. The gigantic task of collecting garbage from the houses, collecting of garbage charges, payment of wages to the safai karamcharis, repair and upkeep of rehris and keeping an account of the money was time consuming.

The residents have urged that the corporation must ensure that the sehaj safai kendras may be constructed before implementing the garbage-free sector scheme. The scheme may be implemented in the sectors where the resident welfare association and councillors have agreed to take the responsibility in form of a memorandum of understanding. The kendras should not be constructed on the basis of a standard design but its size and design should depend upon the number of houses from where the garbage and other household refuse was to be collected.

Mr P.C. Sanghi, a nominated councillor, who has successfully got the scheme implemented in Sector 21, said the segregation of waste, including the horticulture waste, and placement of the garbage bins for easy lifting by MC tractor trollies should be ensured.

In case, the residents fail to pay for garbage collection charges, the corporation should include the charges in the water bills as sanitation cess. A proper vigil should be kept by sanitary inspectors or supervisors to compel the residents to throw garbage at sehaj safai kendras, he said.

To ensure the sweeping of roads, a list of the sweepers should be provided with the councillors and the presidents of the resident welfare associations, Mr Sanghi added.



MC decision on tenders may delay project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The decision of the Municipal Corporation to float global tenders for the solid waste treatment plant could further delay the implementation of the much-delayed project.
It may be mentioned that as per the orders of the Ministry of Environment following on the Supreme Court directives, the civic body has to comply with the order to set up the solid waste processing and disposal facilities by December 31.

Sources in the corporation said floating global tenders was not an easy process and required expertise of a professional agency. The entire process could take a few months.

In the last meeting of the general house of the corporation, the recommendations of the 11-member committee constituted by the Mayor were rejected by a majority. The committee had proposed the plasma technology advanced by M/s Terrasafe Technologies for setting up the treatment plant.



Marriage parties see heavy rush on Zirakpur road
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 30
Traffic on the Zirakpur-Panchkula stretch moved at a snail’s pace on Saturday evening following marriage parties of kins of certain top brass Congress leaders at marriage palaces on the Patiala-Zirakpur-Kalka highway here.

There was chaos on the road and the vehicles remained stranded for a few hours on both sides of a narrow bridge connecting the highway.

The movement of heavy vehicles was restricted on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road. Heavy vehicles heading towards Panchkula and Kalka from Patiala and Chandigarh were diverted to the Zirakpur-Chandigarh-Panchkula route or Zirakpur-Mubarikpur-Ramgarh while the light vehicles moved at a snail’s pace.

The police had made arrangements to control the heavy volume of traffic on the road and had even put plastic road dividers on either ends of the bridge.

The situation worsened when the cavalcade escorting Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Punjab Governor Justice O.P. Verma (retd) and many Congress leaders descended at the venue this afternoon.

They had arrived at the marriage palace to attent the marriage party of the daughter of Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Minister of State for Public Health.

Similar was the situation outside the marriage palace where a reception party of the marriage of a grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh was organised on Saturday night. 



A pleasant switch over

It gives me pleasure to inform you that I have been reading “The Tribune” for over 25 years. I have seen the times when “The Tribune” used to carry a comic script feature of James Bond and the sports mails. The simple black and white newspaper has switched on to coloured printing and photography, making it more attractive. I wish you to please start a jokes corner.

AMAN JAIN, Ambala City

Rly booking woes

I want to highlight the problems of those wanting to travel by train. It is inconvenient for those living in the southern sectors to get reservations for trains at the only reservation centre at the ISBT since it is far. There should be another centre as Chandigarh has expanded.

The rail reservation centre is situated on the first floor and causes inconvenience to senior citizens and the physically challenged. The place is poorly lit and has no provisions for ventilation. The counter is mostly unmanned. Also, there is no seating arrangement, making it difficult to fill forms for reservations. There is no facility for foreign tourists who find it difficult to find their way around and can hardly understand the English spoken by staff at the counter. The schedule of trains is outdated and there is no provision for drinking water.

Lastly, the staff at the counters is rude and uncooperative. For a city that hopes to boost its tourism potential and also strives to provide better amenities to its residents, it makes a poor statement.

REETIKA, Chandigarh

Admn blind to students’ needs

The Administration has turned deaf to ‘students’ demand regarding the increase in college fees. I am a former president of the GCG-42 students council I am surprised to know that the Administration is not responding to the problem. Chandigarh is famous all over India for its academic standards. The hike in college fees will not make any difference in the Administration’s funds. The Administration should not generate funds at the cost of education.


Dignity of labour must be upheld

The full blown visual coverage of shoe-shining students (Chandigarh Tribune, November 13, 2003) shows our lack of respect for dignity of labour. There may be a valid reason for students to protest against the policies of education adopted by the Punjab Government, UT Administration, and the Central Government. Education, including higher education, requires and deserves greater support from the state and society than the meagre funding it has received in the past five decades. Lack of adequate facilities for education has deprived a large number of children of school education. Such children are forced to adopt professions such as shoe shining for their livelihood. Shining shoes is far more respectful than being a corrupt bureaucrat of politician. I believe the students must empathise with the plight of the less fortunate.

Dr I.M. JOSHI, Chandigarh

Garbage problem remains unsolved

It is unfortunate to see that the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) has washed its hands off the responsibility of collecting garbage and disposing it of. It has now passed the “assignment” to house owners.

Being a social worker and residing in Chandigarh for the past four decades, I am interested in keeping the city clean and beautiful. In the beginning the administration followed the guidelines of planner Le Corbusier, and arranged for garbage to be picked up from the door steps and made efforts to arrange for sweeping of roads and public places. Under the new scheme, sanitation of roads and public places is not being given the priority they deserve. Garbage and debris can be seen lying near garbage dumping sites. The sites are neglected and are creating nuisance for residents. Garbage dumping sites in Sectors 18-A and 18-D are some examples.

Safai karamcharis appointed by the MC are rarely seen at work. No one seems to be there to supervise their work. It is time for the authorities to review the scheme and revert to the old system of garbage collection.

Bant Singh, Chandigarh



Youth Cong submits memorandum to DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
A deputation of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (Colony Cell) led by its president, Mr Shambu Banerjee, met the Deputy Commissioner and submitted a memorandum regarding the withdrawal of notices to close the schools in the colonies.

They urged the administration to allow schools in the residential areas as they catered to students hailing from the economically weaker section.



Aggarwal retires

Chandigarh, November 30
Mr A.N. Aggarwal, P.A. to Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune group of newspapers, retired today after putting in 38 years of service.
He joined The Tribune in 1965 when it was published from Ambala. During his time he worked with five Editors — Mr R. Madhavan Nair, Mr Prem Bhatia, Mr V.N. Narayanan, Mr Hari Jaisingh and Mr H.K. Dua.

Mr Aggarwal was given a warm farewell yesterday by the staff that was attended, among others, by Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief and Mr R.N. Gupta, General Manager. — TNS



China beckons Indian software companies
Tribune News Service

Mr S.C. Aggrawal, Principal Secretary, Industries, Punjab, Mr Jonathan Choi, Chairman of the China-India Software Association and Mr Piyush Bahl, CEO
From left to right: Mr S.C. Aggrawal, Principal Secretary, Industries, Punjab, Mr Jonathan Choi, Chairman of the China-India Software Association and Mr Piyush Bahl, CEO, India-China Alliance Centre at a seminar on IT held at UT Guest House in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 30
There is a vast potential for Indian software companies to invest in China, which is setting up software parks especially for Indian companies in Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjine and Wuhan towns, said Mr Jonathan Choi, Chairman, China-India Software Association, here today.

Speaking at a seminar on IT potential in China organised by the India-China Centre, Mr Chai said, a number of Fortune 500 companies had already invested in that country. He admitted that China was far behind India in the field of software and the Indian companies could work in tandem with their Chinese counterparts.The South Asian countries, which had a huge potential in software and other sectors, had just 2 per cent exports share, the newly formed China-India Software Association would strive to increase the regional software export share to 5 per cent of the total world exports, he added.

Mr Choi said a delegation of Chinese software companies would participate in the Software 2004 exhibition, to be organised in February next year in New Delhi. Similarly, about 30 companies were expected to participate in the China Software Exhibition to be organised from April 5 to 7, 2004 at Chainju city. The Chinese companies were willing to invest in India in media, automobile and agriculture sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Piyush Bahl, Executive Director and CEO, India China Alliance Centre, said there was an enormous potential for trade between India and China especially in the areas of automotive, bicycle components, textiles, foundry, information technology, agriculture, fashion, entertainment and cuisine.

Mr S.C. Aggarwal, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Punjab appealed to the Chinese companies to invest in Punjab as the state government was now offering all sorts of facilities and incentives to the investors.

Mr Vivek Attrey, Director, IT, Chandigarh, claimed that Chandigarh was also emerging as a major destination for software companies. At the Kishangarh Software park, he said, the DLF company was expected to start construction by next month.

Earlier, Mr Choi called upon the Punjab Governor and Chandigarh administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), and disccused the issues of education, culture and health.



Massive response to bike festival
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, November 30
A bike festival conducted by the Chandigarh Amateur Cycling Association evoked a good response in the city with hundreds of participants having the fun of riding bikes. Earlier the rally was flagged off by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilisers. He said, “Life is not a spectator sport, let us ride for peace”. Mr Dhindsa also underlined the need for having more of physical activity, which, he said, was vital for the youth to build a healthy state. The rally ended at the Lake Club where light refreshments were served by Britannia. Later Avon Cycles presented new bicycles to the winners.

Results: Bike festival: Dharamraj Mauriya-DAVSSS-8 1, Priya Verma 2, Himanshu Tripathi-DAVSSS-8 3. Consolation prize: Parul Bhutani-Mount Carmel, Deepa Kumar-DAVSSS-8, Mainak Pal- Mount Carmel, Akul Tandon-DAVSSS-8 and Reema- GMSSS-10.

Chandigarh creterium cycle races: Ajit Singh 1, Ajay Trehan 2, Himmat Singh 3. Decorate your bike contest: Rishita Katyal 1, Varun Gandhi 2, Jasmine Preet 3. Slow-cycling contest: (boys): Rahul 1, Rupinder 2, Kedar 3.

Bike/Tire Toss: Gurmail Singh 1, Akram 2, Pawan Kumar 3. Wheelie Wheelie: Rahul 1, Aman Sharma 2, Dhruv 3.

Backward Cycling: Sukhdev Singh 1, Saba Rohan 2, Nikhil 3.

Largest team on a bike: Chandigarh Cycling Club team of seven riders on a bike.

Let’s make a wheel treasure hunt: GMSSS-35 (Rahul and Rohan) 1, DAVSSS-8 (Mukul and Parminder) 2, KV-31 (Kapil and Pawan) 3.

Tricycle race: DAVSSS-8 (Nikhil Sharma 1, Rohit 2, Sandeep Singh 3).



Workshop on electrical equipments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The Institution of Engineers, Punjab and Chandigarh Centre, today organised a workshop-cum-exhibition on latest electrical equipments for power utilities.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr S.K. Anand, member, Distribution, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), emphasised the need for upgrading the power distribution systems that were lacking inputs for long time.

About 100 professionals from the field of power utilities attended the seminar. Later, an exhibition of power equipments was held, in which among others M/s Ashida Electronics, M/s Schneider Electric Pvt Ltd and Toshniwal Industries displayed their products.


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