C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3-tier security at CBSE secrecy centre
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) does not want to take any chance with the annual examinations beginning tomorrow. After last year’s case of tampering of answerbooks, the regional office of the board here has restructured the entire mechanism that goes into the storing and encoding of answerbooks.

As a rule, the secrecy centre - the place where the answerbooks are stored before being decoded - will not be in the same city every year. It was found last year that a city school had functioned as the secrecy centre for seven years at a stretch. This year, a vehicle with a specially fabricated chamber, would be used for transporting answerbooks to the secrecy and evaluation centres.

The board has decided that the secrecy team, mostly retired professors and lecturers, will be changed every year. The Chief Secrecy Officer and Secrecy Officers appointed by the board have been asked to ensure that minimum time is spent on opening packets containing answerbooks and their encoding.

Last year, it was found by the board officers that the answerbooks were smuggled out of the secrecy centre as these were lying unattended for a long time before being picked for encoding.

A three-tier security system has been devised around the secrecy centre. After the check by the Chief Secrecy Officer, security guards will frisk those going and coming out of the centre. Armed policemen are being deputed at the periphery. No shoes and socks will be allowed inside.

A flying squad of the CBSE would daily visit the secrecy centre. The contractors employed by the Secrecy Officer could be involved in loading and unloading of answerbooks, said the official.

What went wrong last year

When the Chandigarh Police unearthed the case of tampered answerbooks, a probe found that students of some private school had paid money to “scamsters” to improve their scores. Daily wagers engaged by the Secrecy Officer had smuggled out some of the answersheets and given it to the students concerned. The student had filled the right answers during the night and the following day the answerbooks were put back in the record. As the security guard at the gate did not frisk those going out, the answerbooks hidden in socks had gone unnoticed.


Extortion racket resurfaces
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Barely two months after a contract killing and extortion racket being run from the Burail Jail was busted, another such case involving the same persons operating from the jail has come to light. This despite the fact that security and vigilance in and around jail has been heightened after the escape of Jagtar Singh Hawara.

The Chandigarh Police today moved a local court to get the contract-killing mafia men O.P. Saini and Rupinder Singh on production warrant tomorrow and take them in the police custody.

The fact came to light when Manoj Jain, an accused in a marketing fraud, complained that Rupinder Singh bashed him up yesterday in the Bakshikhana on the court premises and demanded Rs 5 lakh as ‘protection money’.

Manoj Jain’s counsel brought the matter to the knowledge of the court which reported the matter to the Chandigarh Police. The police has registered a case.

Manoj Jain claimed that members of the gang had been claiming that most of the high-profile inmates of the jail had been paying protection money to them and he would also have to follow the dictate.

He said the gang members had threatened him that his family would be eliminated if the ‘protection money’ was not paid to them.

The threat indicated that the jailed O.P. Saini might still be continuing his criminal activities through agents sitting outside.

Manoj Jain told the police that Rupinder Singh had told him that the assault on him was only a ‘trailer’ and the real story would follow. The police had recently busted a racket involving O.P. Saini, who was allegedly extorting money from people despite being in jail.


Rare owl lands in Sector 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Sector 22 market today played host to a barn owl, a rarely spotted species of owl in this part of the region. Exceptionally large and beautiful, the owl, which was injured near its wings, appeared to have been chased into the city limits by birds, especially crows.

The owl was spotted along the road to the Sector 22 market by a shopkeeper, who picked it up, nursed it and secured it in a box, till the time the UT Wildlife Department people came and took it back around the evening. UT Chief Wildlife Warden Ishwar Singh, when contacted in the evening, said he had not yet seen the owl, but confirmed that from the description it appeared to be a rarely spotted owl species, especially in Chandigarh.

"The owl could have strayed into the city from the surrounding lower Shivalik area. It has been kept at the gate of the Nepali Forest Range. We will release it into the forest tomorrow morning," said Mr Singh.

Meanwhile, the owl kept people amused all day long. Placed in a shop in the Sector 22 market, the owl attracted a large number of visitors, who normally don't frequent markets on Sundays.

The owl was earlier spotted in house number 2244 of Sector 22. It had been reportedly taking shelter in a tree in this house after being hounded by crows. Threatened as it was by cats also, it was hiding in a safe place before it was spotted on the road this morning.

The shopkeeper, who rescued the injured owl, said, "I could not resist the temptation of protecting such a beautiful owl. Even the Wildlife people said they had never seen such an owl in this area."

Around the size of a jungle crow, the barn owl is distributed all over India, and has a worldwide range. Inseparable from the haunts of man though, it always avoids densely populated areas. It normally inhabits deserted buildings, cities, ancient forts and ruins.

Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd), an avid bird watcher, confirmed that he had never spotted the barn owl in Chandigarh earlier. He said the barn owl avoided excessive human population. “It is normally found in dilapidated buildings and wilderness. And Chandigarh has a lot of wilderness around. We have the Sukhna sanctuary area, the entire Capitol Complex area as well as a part of the Leisure valley. In fact, the owl could well have been chased by birds into Sector 22 from a surrounding wilderness. However, a barn owl’s appearance in the city is not common.” Lt-Gen Singh confirmed the owl appeared to be the barn owl from description.

Purely nocturnal, the barn owl spends the daytime standing upright, as it did today. It emerges after dusk, when it starts hunting for rats. In appearance the owl is beautiful, with a typical golden buff and grey above. It is stippled with black and white. Silky white below, this owl is tinged with buff and is normally spotted dark brown. It has a large round head with a monkey like facial disc. When one looks at the owl from the front, the beak is pinkish yellow. The eyebrows join at the centre of the two eyes and go further down, giving the facial disc a heart-shaped look.


Ex-serviceman killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 29
An ex-serviceman, Mr Balwinder Singh, a resident of Bassi Pathana, was killed when the motor cycle (PB 12 5492 ) he was riding had a head-on collision with scooterist (CH03F 0159) Rajnish Kumar near the Phase-X gurdwara.

Both were seriously injured and rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, where Balwinder Singh died. Rajnish is said to be in critical condition.

Zirakpur: A scooterist was seriously injured when a vehicle rammed into his scooter (CHS-437) near the octroi collection centre on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur-Patiala highway late last night.

The scooterist has been identified as Surinder Kumar, a resident of Gardi Nagar, near Banur. He was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. Later, he was referred to the PGI.

The driver of the vehicle sped away from the scene, leaving Surinder Kumar fighting for life. A case has been registered.


New garbage segregation system mooted
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
For the effective disposal of garbage and solid waste, a new garbage segregation system has been mooted for the township.

Under the proposed system, the waste generated at residential and commercial establishments has to be segregated in two different bins before being deposited at the nearest dustbin and the garbage cycling station. While the green bin will be for the biodegradable waste, the white bin will be for the non-biodegradable material.

A proposal to adopt this system was moved by Mr V.K. Sood, councillor from Ward No. 4, at the last meeting of the Municipal Council (MC).

However, as councillors traded charges and counter-charges, the proposal was lost in the din and could not be deliberated upon at the meeting.

Mr Sood later said that in the larger public interest, the MC would have to adopt the system in due course of time.

The Delhi High Court had meanwhile, asked the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to implement the new system from January 1. The High Court had given an exhaustive list of the biodegradable and non-biodegradable material to be deposited in separate bins.

All kinds of food wastes, bones, flowers, fruit wastes, house sweepings, household inert and garden wastes were categorised as bio-degradable waste.

The High Court reportedly had recommended strict action against the violators under the NDMC Act, 1994, and the Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The current system of putting garbage and solid waste in one garbage bin is a big health hazard. In fact, the garbage bins and the dumping sites were major breeding grounds for all kinds of diseases.

MC sources, however, said that any action on the segregation of waste could only be initiated if the Haryana Government asks the municipalities to act in this regard.


BJP to contest 360 seats
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service


13 to prove lucky for us

The BJP is happy that the counting of votes of the Lok Sabha poll will be held on May 13. The number 13 has been proving lucky for the BJP for long, said Mr Javadekar. Mr Vajpayee had constituted his Council of Ministers on October 13, 1999, after taking the oath, he added. And at the same time, 13 number is considered unlucky in Europe and it would prove so for Mrs Sonia Gandhi, who is from Italy, commented Mr Javadekar. In fact, the first BJP government led by Mr Vajpayee had lasted 13 days and the second 13 months.

Chandigarh, February 29
The BJP to contest 360 seats on its own symbol in the country. However, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will put up candidate on 543 seats. This was disclosed here today by Mr Prakash Javadekar, national spokesman of the party. In 1999, the BJP had contested 339 seats and won 182. Last time, the Congress had contested 453 seats.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Javadekar said that there could be slight variation in the figure of 360,but the party had fixed this target as far as putting up candidates was concerned. He said that by March 15, all candidates would be announced by the BJP. Almost all electoral tie-ups were in place and the BJP was further finetuning these, he added.

Asked about the common perception that the party was on a weak wicket in South India, Mr Javadekar said that the BJP would do far better than the previous time in almost all the southern states.

Asked about the new-found love of certain important Muslim leaders for the BJP, Mr Javadekar said that Muslims were the largest minority in the country. Its leaders had realised that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a liberal leader in actual sense of word.

“The leftists and the Congress had been distributing poverty in the first 45 years of Independence and we have distributed prosperity in that past few years. That marks the difference between us and the Congress and the Left parties,” he added. “We would convince the people that by creating wealth, poverty could be removed”. The Congress was confused about the economic path it wanted to set for the country, but there was no such confusion in the BJP. “Without compromising our national interest, we are opening up the economy.” he added.

Questioned about the silence maintained by certain fire-spitting leaders of the VHP against the BJP, Mr Javadekar admitted that because of differences of opinion certain VHP leaders had been speaking against the party more frequently. However, on the intervention of the senior leaders of the RSS, the BJP, those differences had been resolved.


UP body to back Jain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
A meeting of party workers of the BJP was held at Sector 38 (West) here today where the Uttar Pradesh Welfare Association expressed its commitment to supporting Mr Satya Pal Jain, likely BJP candidate, in the forthcoming elections.

The meeting was presided over by Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit. A pada yatra was taken out on the occasion.

At a Congress meeting held under the president ship of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, a number of candidates for the panchayat poll held recently, including Mrs Poonam Sharma, Mrs Balbir Kaur Sabharwal and Mr Gurdial Singh, expressed commitment to work for the Congress in the forthcoming poll.


BJP plans info network
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Bharatiya Janata Party will establish a national information network for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Mr Prakash Javadekar, official spokesperson said while addressing a press conference after a media workshop here today. He said the BJP would have 100 information centres at places where newspapers were published.

These centres were expected to be functional by March 10. Relevant news from each centre would be communicated to all other centres in the country. These 24-hour call centres would manage work in all 543 constituencies.


Ward getting raw deal, says councillor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 29
Alleging discrimination with her ward regarding development work, the councillor from Ward No 23, Ms Manvir Kaur Gill, said here yesterday that civic amenities were going from bad to worse.

Ms Gill alleged that despite repeated representations to the president of the Municipal Council, Ms Seema Chaudhary, and civic body officials, the provision of basic amenities remained a distant dream.

She stated that Sector 12, which forms a part of the ward and is inhabitated by a large number of defence personnel, seemed to be nobody’s baby.

She said the newly constructed link road, which opens into nearby villages, had become a source of nuisance for residents of Sector 12. The road has make the entry of stray cattle into the sector easier, she said. The material used for the construction of road is also of poor quality, she alleged.

She alleged that while a majority of the streetlights had been non-functional for several days, the maintenance of parks left much to desired.

Even as the streetlights are not working properly, the MC is making regular payments to the contractor, bypassing area councillors, she claimed.


Training Command gets new GOC-in-C
Tribune News Service


Lieut-Gen K. Nagaraj Lieut-Gen A.S. Bahia

Lieut-Gen K. Nagaraj

Lieut-Gen A.S. Bahia

Chandigarh, February 29
Lieut-Gen K. Nagaraj will take over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command at Shimla tomorrow. Currently he is Director-General, Infantry at Army Headquarters, a press release issued here today said.

Commissioned into Maratha Light Infantry in 1965, he has a rich war experience, having participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Operation Parakram and counter-insurgency operations in Sri Lanka, Jammu and Kashmir and the north-east.

His appointments include GOC of Vajra Corps, Deputy Director-General, Defence Planning Staff in the Defence Ministry and instructor at Defence Services Staff College (DSSC). He is decorated with the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal.

Lieut-Gen A.S. Bahia will take over as the Director-General, Military Operations (DGMO) at Army Headquarters, tomorrow. He is presently serving as the Additional DGMO there.

Commissioned into the Kumaon Regiment in 1967, he has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles sector and an Infantry Division in Jammu and Kashmir. He has also served with the Indian military training team in Bhutan, in addition to instructional stints at the College of Combat, Infantry School, as DSSC. He is also Colonel of the Kumaon Regiment.


CRPF to interlink battalions
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Tapping the power of information technology to enhance its operational and administrative efficiency, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is undertaking an ambitious project to interlink all its battalions and static establishments through a computerised data network.

The project, which makes it among the first police organisations in the country to interlink its establishments, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, CRPF officers said. Bringing together the CRPF Directorate-General in Delhi, about 150 battalions, 30 group headquarters, 14 sector headquarters and 32 rangers along with a host of training institutes, workshops and hospitals on a common net, it would revolutionise communication within the force.

The network will also be linked to POLNET, an internet-based data network connecting all state and central police organisations. POLNET is yet to become fully functional.

Sources said that at present wireless was the basic mode of communication between the CRPF headquarters and units in the field. The force also used a large number of leased telephone lines for communication.

To make the new network effective, the CRPF is replacing its old leased lines with those having a higher data transfer rate. A new in-house messaging procedure based on the widely used e-mail system is also being developed. It will replace the existing teleprinter system.

Apart from a dedicated CRPF team working out of the Directorate-General in Delhi, several civilian agencies are involved in developing the requisite software.


Save Sukhna safely, says expert
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
J.S. KohliMr J.S. Kohli, former Chief Engineer of the Chandigarh Administration, has suggested that the basic design of the radial gates of the Sukhna Lake must be modified if the famous water feature of the City Beautiful is to be saved in a safe manner.

In an interview with Tribune News Service here today, he lamented that the problem of the silting up of the lake and the consequent reduction in its storage capacity had so far been handled in an ad hoc manner. The issue had been causing widespread concern and disquiet among experts as well as the general public and was now the subject matter of a public interest litigation due to come up in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 3.

''The time has come to evolve a comprehensive approach towards conservation of the Sukhna Lake," says Mr Kohli, who served in the UT Administration in different capacities, including Chief Engineer and Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, from 1974 to 1990. At present, he is a member of the Permanent Lok Adalat for Public Utility Services in the UT. He emphasises that "ad hoc measures for conserving the lake, which could compromise its safety, will not do. Not only the basic design of the radial gates should be modified in order to raise the water level but it should also be got checked from the Bhakra-Beas Management Board. The BBMB has all the necessary expertise in this regard."

The original storage capacity of the lake was 8710 acre feet with a surface area of 565 acres at EL 1160 feet, whereas the original average bed level was EL 1140 feet. The normal pond level was EL 1159 feet and the maximum pond level EL 1160 feet. The maximum flood level was EL 1161.5 feet. The top of the regulator gate was EL 1161 feet which has now been increased to EL 1163 feet by raising the crest level from 1148 feet to 1150 feet.

Mr Kohli feels that since the catchment area of the lake falls in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, all three of them will have to be involved in finding measures to conserve it. He suggests that a centrally sponsored scheme for "watershed management plan for sediment control in the Sukhna Lake" should be prepared after taking stock of the present situation in the catchment area, which should be financed by the Government of India. The Chandigarh Administration should be the chief coordinator of the project.

The model of Sukhomajri village where residents used rainwater for re-afforestation of the denuded hills should be studied and replicated in other places in the catchment area. Measures should be taken to reduce velocity of the water in the diversion channel of the Sukhna choe to reduce erosion and sediment load.

A basin should be designed and constructed at the confluence of diversion of the Kansal choe and the Saketri choe as well as beyond the regulator end before the rainwater enters the lake.


Mohali roads cry for repair
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 29
Many roads in the town are in bad condition with potholes and other damaged portions remaining unrepaired by the Municipal Council for months.

The condition of certain roads, including the main roads, has been gradually deteriorating, turning them into traffic hazard, particularly at night. In the absence of even patchwork on roads, from time to time, their condition has been worsening over the past few months.

Apart from a number of B and C roads that urgently call for repair, there are some A roads, too, that are in bad shape. To quote a few examples the road leading from Diplast Chowk to PTL Chowk, road dividing Phase IIIA and IIIB1, especially the area near Madanpur Chowk, the area towards the Diplast Chowk of the road dividing Phase II and Phase IV, the road passing from near the mandir in Phase IV towards the gurdwara area, the road in front of the rehri market in Phase IIIB1 and going towards the Rose Garden, the road opposite Cheema Nursing Complex going inside Phase V. Complaints of roads in bad condition have also been received from residents of Sectors 70 and 71.

Mrs Manmohan Kaur, municipal councillor living in Phase II, said today that the B road leading from the mandir in Phase IV to the gurdwara had been in bad shape for a very long time. Though a patch work had been done by the council, it did not last. The tenders had been called for laying premix and work order also issued but still the work on the road did not begin. Even certain residents had approached the council in this regard but to no avail.

Mr Amrik Singh, a councillor from Phase XI, said the roads in his ward needed repair. He said he had given written requests to the civic body many times but no action had been taken in this regard. He said a pocket comprising one kanal houses, especially from house No 2300 to 2400 was in a bad condition. Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the council, said that work on repair of roads had been stopped in November because of the cold weather.


Flower show a hit with city residents
Tribune News Service


Mohali, February 29
Even as the Municipal Council President and councillors continued to ignore various festivities organised as part of Mohali’s first flower show that concluded here today, it proved to be grand success with the people. About 1 lakh residents visited the show in the past two days.

The show came to an end following a brief prize distribution ceremony by the Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr Sanjay Kumar in the absence of the Minister for Urban Planning and Development, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri.

Confusion over who would be the chief guest for the concluding ceremony kept PUDA officials worried through the day. While invitation cards said the prizes would be given by the Minister for Housing and Urban Planning, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, by afternoon it was confirmed that he was busy at Sujanpur and would not keep his commitment. It was then decided that Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Vice-Chairman, PUDA, would be the chief guest. Finally, when he too did not reach the venue, the prizes were given away by the Chief Administrator, PUDA.

The State Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, Mr Malkit Singh Birmi, has announced that the winner of the Flower Show from next year will be given a cash award of Rs 1 lakh by PUDA.

As many as a 100 winners of various competitions in 82 categories were awarded.

‘‘The enormous success of this festival shows that Mohali residents were just waiting for something like this to be organised. We have decided to make this an annual affair. The next time the show will be bigger and better,’’ said Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, talking to the Tribune.

The day’s festivities began with an on-the-spot painting competition for children. A special cultural show was organised that ran through the day. PUDA employees and a host of Mohali’s amateur artistes regaled the audience at the show.

The prize winning entries in various categories were put on display. Other than the flower and plant displays, the paintings of children who won prizes were also exhibited.

The road outside Silvi Park, Phase 10, venue of the festival, where over 60 stalls had been put up by PUDA for commercial sales, bore a festive look. Other than the stalls, smaller roadside stalls had been allowed and residents shopped till late in the evening.

For children, a mini amusement park had been put up opposite the venue. A large number of employees of PUDA remained at the venue through the day to supervise arrangements. The prize distribution ceremony ended with a vote of thanks proposed by the ACA, PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, who thanked the Mohali residents for the overwhelming response.


S.S.Gill wins 5 prizes in flower show
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 29
Mr S.S. Gill, Phase 10, Mohali, won five first prizes in various categories at the Mohali Flower show organised here today. Umesh Jindal of Ambala won two first prizes in the same competition while Subhash Sharma of Sector 69, Cynthia Sheor of Panchkula, T.L. Eshwar of Nawanshahar and Sukhdev Singh of Mohali, respectively, also won first prizes.

T.L.Eshwar, Jaya Bhardwaj, Ajay Pal Singh, Umesh Jindal, Anil Srivastava were placed second in these categories.

In the same category of competition among institutes and commercial houses, Delton Limited of Chandigarh, Chandigarh Housing Board, Ranbaxy Limited Nawanshahar, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Chandigarh, Chaman Vatika School, Ambala, Gurdwara Sant Sir Sahib, Chandigarh, respectively, won first prizes. Chief Administrator HUDA, Panchkula, Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Chandigarh, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Chandigarh, Chaman Vatika, Ambala, Ranbaxy Limited, Nawanshahar and the Chandigarh Housing Board, respectively, won second prizes in this category.

Harinder Kaur and Tejinder Kaur of Mohali, Ram Sharan Mali of Chandigarh and Ram Shuffal Mauria of Panchkula won the first prizes in the flower display category while Daljit Kaur, Eshana, Rupinder Kaur, Daljit Kaur of Mohali, Ram Sajan Marian and Ram Sharan Mali of Chandigarh bagged second prizes in the category. Rupinder Kaur of Mohali won the first prize in vegetable and fruit carving competition while Sukhbir Pal Kaur of Mohali stood second.

Results of the cultural programme organised by schoolchildren: Students of St. Annes Convent School were adjudged first in the solo dance competition while students of Dashmesh Khalsa Public school stood second and those of Lawerance Public School third. Students of Sant Isher Singh Public School got the first prize in group dance category while National Public School and Green Field Public School stood second and third, respectively. Students of Lawerance Public School got the first prize in duet song while Shivalik Public School stood second. Students of this school got the first prize in song while ITI girls stood second.

Students of Amandeep School, St Annes Convent School, Lawerance Public School Green field Public School and Shivalik Public School were also awarded for their individual performances.

Results of the on-the-spot painting competition:

DAV School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, lifted the overall trophy in the on-the-spot painting competition. Arshita Sharma, Neelinder Saini, Kiranpreet Kaur, Ajay Jindal, Ankita, Yashika, Komal Sharma, Barinderjit Kaur, Saachi Badola, Ruchika Preet Kaur, Gurleen, Prabhdeep Kaur Gill, Pupinder Kaur, Sharanjit Kaur and Pushpjeet Kaur were among those who won prizes in the competition.


Making a point about pointless tree cutting
Tribune News Service


Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, Executive Engineer, Horticulture, PUDA, shows photographs at an exhibition during the Mohali Flower Show.
Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, Executive Engineer, Horticulture, PUDA, shows photographs at an exhibition during the Mohali Flower Show.

Mohali, February 29
Oh kaun ne jo maut noon badnaam kar rahe?

mainu taan mere aapne mehram ne mariya.

....said the caption on two photographs put up on a tree at the Mohali Flower Show.

In a unique way of telling the public that some people not as appreciative of greenery as they should be, the horticulture wing of PUDA organised a small exhibition of photographs clicked by its employees that showed houses and complexes where trees had been cut and “killed”.

‘‘A flower show aims to celebrate environment in its various hues. And all is not so goody-goody all the time.

There are a large number of people who think trees are to be cut as they probably prove to be hindrances to them in some way,’’ said Mr H.S. Dhaliwal of the horticulture wing of PUDA. ‘‘What we have shown here is the house number and name of the persons outside whose houses we found trees mauled for no apparent reason at all. These photos have been put on display so that such people are discouraged from cutting trees,’’ he added.


MC Chief says he has been insulted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 29
The President of the Municipal Council, Mr Kulwant Singh, has received flak from his councillors for boycotting the Flower show.

But Mr Kulwant Singh says he and his councillors had boycotted the show as they were not given invitations and thus, had been “humiliated” by PUDA.


Another open space gone to school
Sector 47-C residents hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
Residents of Sector 47-C organised a demonstration today over occupation of a playground by Prince Model School for a new building.

Residents complain about lack of open space for children in the area. The school, however, says it has been allocated the land by the UT Administration. Mr Devinder Plaha, principal of the school, says the complaint of the residents is baseless because the land had been allotted by the Administration along with 10 more sites for schools in different parts of the city.

“This building was located in a residential area and would have to be closed shortly following a UT directive. So the school had to go for an alternative site”, Mr Plaha explains.

Residents have united under the EWS(LIG) Allottee, Residents Welfare Society(Sector 47) and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, the Finance Secretary and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal.

It has been pointed out that the site is the only playground for children in the area. The road leading to the venue is narrow and can lead to accidents during school rush hours . It is pointed out that there are already more than two schools in the area.


Talk on dowry
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 29
A talk on relevance of dowry in the present-day context was organised by the Rashtriya Meitri Parishad at Anubrat Bhavan in Sector 24 here today. Tracing the roots of dowry practice to the epic eras, Muni Vinay Kumar urged the gathering to stop accepting or giving dowry. “Giving or taking dowry has become a status symbol and this has led to heinous crimes like bride burning and female foeticide even among the educated class,” he said.

Mr Naredra Sharma, IG (Crime), Punjab, spoke about the legal protection available to dowry victims. He also urged the audience put an end to the practice. Mr Subhash Chawla, a former Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, said youths these days are much more interested in getting a suitable partner than a hefty sum as dowry and this was a positive step towards curbing the menace.


120 donate blood at Garhwal Bhavan
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The local Uttarakhand Yuva Manch (regd) organised its 11th annual blood donation camp and 4th free eye check-up camp at Garhwal Bhavan, Sector 29, today. As many as 120 persons, including women, donated blood. More than 55 persons were checked-up by Dr Neeraj Sood, an eye specialist.

Dr Chandra Trikha, Director, Haryana Sahitya Academy and Haryana Sanskrit Academy, was the chief guest. He praised various social activities of the manch. He appealed to the youth to come forward to build a healthy society. The manch has set an example for other organisations to follow by taking up this exemplary activity, he added.

More than 25 members of the manch possess “Master Card” issued by the Department of Blood Transfusion, PGI, Chandigarh. The camp was conducted by a team from the PGI.

Earlier, Mr Arun Naithani, president of the manch, welcomed the chief guest and donors. He highlighted various activities of the manch. Mr Mohan Singh Thapliyal, general secretary, informed about future activities of the manch.


Search Within
Life is all about love

“What am I here for?” Within each of us, there is this quest for meaning. Each of us would like to find fulfillment. Though existence is only brief here, we want to make a contribution.

In his novel “Brothers Karamazov”, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky speaks thus through one of the characters: “Gentleman...look around you at the gifts of God, the clear sky, the pure air, the tender grass, the birds; nature is beautiful and sinless, and we, only we, are Godless and foolish. And we don’t understand that life is a paradise, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty; we shall embrace each other and weep.”

Leo Tolstoy, searching for the meaning of life, concluded: “Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God.” According to Albert Einstein: “How strange is the lot of us, mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn: For what purpose, he knows not. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people - first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependant, and then for the many unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.”

We may not have a complete understanding of all the issues concerning life, but there is no mistaking that we should have a purpose and that purpose has to do with love. Rick Warren, a popular author of the West, in his book “The Purpose Driven Life,” says that you are here not by accident.

Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind. Most religions accept that truth is God and God is love. The author says that because God is love, the most important lesson to learn is how to love. Life is all about love. But it takes a lifetime to learn it. Khalil Gibran, for instance, says: “For even as love crowns you/so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth/so is he for your pruning.”

“Love should be your top priority, primary objective and greatest ambition,” reflects the author. This, in turn, means that relationships must have priority in your life above every thing else. St Paul had said that life without love is worthless. “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I am bankrupt without love.” How does love affect human relationships?

Our innermost selves crave for acceptance, affection, appreciation and approval. Responding to a hurting person with words, feelings and touch constitutes function of love. Encouraging others in their pursuits of higher goals, supporting people in their struggles and providing appropriate assistance are ways in which love meets life’s emotional needs. The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses. It is focused attention. Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice and sacrifice is the essence of love.

The author says that love means giving up - yielding one’s preferences, comfort, goals, security, money and energy or time for the benefit of some one else. Agrees another author, Walter Rauschenbusch: “We never live so intensely as when we love strongly. We never realise ourselves so vividly as when we are in the full glow of love for others.”

— MPK Kutty


Nanaksar Samagam from March 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The annual samagam of Nanaksar (Kaleran) will be held at the Sector 28 Nanaksar here from March 1 to 7.

According to Baba Sadhu Singh, the samagam will start with Sampat Akhand Path on March 1 and conclude on March 7 with the bhog of akhand path.

There will be a kirtan darbar on March 7. Throughout the samagam, there will be community kitchen, he added.


Woman falls from terrace, dies
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, February 29
Manjit Kaur (41), daughter-in-law of a former Punjabi Tribune journalist, Mr Sohan Singh Hans, died after she fell from the terrace of her house in Preet Nagar Colony, near here, this afternoon.

Mr Hans said his daughter-in-law fell from the terrace due to a fit.

He said Manjit Kaur had been suffering from fits and had collapsed many times earlier.

Her husband, Surjit Singh, who is working for the Dera Bassi Truck Union, was away to Kolkata when the incident occurred.

The body was cremated by the family members this evening.


3 arrested for felling trees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The police today arrested three persons for allegedly felling nine full-grown trees in Sector 24-C.

Om Prakash of Sector 10 and his brother Ram Prakash of Sector 15, two washermen, were arrested on a complaint by Cheap Houses Welfare Associations Federation president V.B. Khanna.

A Sector 24 resident, Rajinder, alias Raju, was also arrested. The police is looking for another person identified as Kala of the same sector.

The police has booked two more as co-accused in the case registered in the Sector 24 police post under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

The Horticulture Department of the Union Territory is the “owner” of the felled tree, according to the police.

Apparently unaware of laws, the two washermen found the trees a hindrance in their work and got these cut without permission.

They had been getting the area cleaned for a few days, much to the chagrin of the local people. The president of the Sector 24 Cheap Housing Welfare Association, Mr M.C. Kalyan, said converting the area into a washing site could cause harm to the houses in the vicinity as water could seep into the houses.

He said Om and Ram Prakash were not washermen but dry cleaners. The former was the president of the Chandigarh Dry Cleaners Association, he claimed.

The police, however, said permission to the two to use the premises was given by the Estate Office on October 23.

For the purpose a sum of Rs 7 lakh was released from the MP Local Area Development Fund.

Mr Ishwar Singh, Deputy Conservator of Forest, said no tree — whether on private or public land — could be felled without the permission of the Adviser to the Administrator and that too for “a purpose specified in the Environment Act.”

He said as there was no commercial forestry in the city, for purposes like danger to the life of inhabitants of the area, a tree it could be allowed to be felled. But for every tree felled, the person or the authority felling a tree had to grow two more trees.


Beggar found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
A beggar, Raju, was found dead near the Maharaja Crane Service in Transport Area here today.

The police suspects he died of a heart attack but has sent the body for a post-mortem to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

It has summoned his brother working at Nukkad Dhaba in Sector 22.


200 rural units for khadi expo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
The Khadi and Village Industries Expo-2004, which will start here from March 1, is expected to be the new address of the extravagant shoppers and the fun loving people of the city.

The exhibition, being organised by the Haryana Khadi and Village Industries Board, will have participation from six northern states and six of the seven north-eastern states.

Ms Sumita Misra, Chief Executive of the Haryana board, said about 200 rural units from J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura would take part in the expo. The 10-day event would be formally inaugurated by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on March 1, she said.

The visitors, according to the organisers, can expect real variety in the exhibition because the products are manufactured in states which are culturally distinct from each other.

There is also a fashion show which will be organised as part of the expo. Fourteen female models and four males are being invited from Delhi and Mumbai to walk on the ramp wearing khadi products. This will be on March 5 and like all other programmes of the expo, entry will be free in the fashion show too.

The main motto of the expo, though, is to give a boost to the marketing of khadi and village industries products.

On the inaugural day, a website of the Haryana Khadi and Village Industries Board (harkhadi.nic.in), would be launched to provide information about the khadi board’s schemes to people. Also, a directory containing names of industries assisted by the board would be released by the Chief Minister who would also give away the Devi Lal Rural Entrepreneur Awards during the inaugural function.

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