C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


We won it!
Tribune News Service

Youths enjoy the cricket match between India and Pakistan on screen with a pint of beer in Chandigarh
Youths enjoy the cricket match between India and Pakistan on screen with a pint of beer in Chandigarh on Saturday.

An ice-cream vendor at the Spring Fest in Panchkula is hooked to the transistor as India and Pakistan clash in a cricket match in Karachi
An ice-cream vendor at the Spring Fest in Panchkula is hooked to the transistor as India and Pakistan clash in a cricket match in Karachi on Saturday.

Jan Marg between Sectors 9 and 10 in Chandigarh is deserted as people prefer to watch the cricket match at home
Jan Marg between Sectors 9 and 10 in Chandigarh is deserted as people prefer to watch the cricket match at home on Saturday. — Tribune photographs

Chandigarh, March 13
A nail-biting cricket match which had city residents on the edge of their seats ended in jubilation. After India’s astounding victory over Pakistan in the first one-day international at Karachi.

People took to the streets dancing, distributing sweets and strangers hugging one another.

Late in the evening, the victory was discussed not only in bars but also in the kitchen where women discussed the finer points of the game. Restaurants and clubs were packed as residents celebrated the victory and the weekend added to the charm. By 7.30 pm, Sector 17 was choc-a-block with people who were in a mood to celebrate.

Cricket fans came out to burst crackers and celebrate the triumph in a carnival-like manner as they danced to patriotic numbers and raised slogans of “Mera Bharat mahaan”.

For the fans, today’s victory was nothing short of a battle won even as politicians on both sides of the border preferred to call it a friendly match.

As the match came to a close and chances of India’s victory seemed slim, winning was a matter of the nation’s prestige for the fans. Surinder Singh Baijee of Surindra Radios says,” We have made a great start by winning the match. All that begins well ends well. India’s triumph in the series now seems a possibility.” He had set up a television outside the showroom for cricket buffs who remained glued to it all through. They distributed ladoos as part of the celebrations.

Since morning, the roads and markets wore a deserted look. Being a Saturday, government offices were closed and attendance remained thin in private offices.

Sanjiv Mehan, a chartered accountant, said he had kept his day free so that he could enjoy the match just as Om Prakash, an autorickshaw driver, preferred to take it easy at work to watch the match.

All over the city, elaborate arrangements had been made for watching the telecast.

Hotels like Classic Junction and Maya Palace had set up giant screens, Suraj Theatre in Panchkula had tied up with Ten Sports to telecast the match. Special menu had been decided in hotels and cinema halls for the fans.


Cricket fans simply ecstatic

I have always dreamt of Indian victory in a tie with Pakistan. So it was a dream come true today. The beauty of the victory was that it was achieved with such a close margin. I feel proud that India could amass such a huge total while batting first. My joy knew no bounds to see the match finish in favour of India in a nail-biting situation towards the end."

— Priyamvada Tewari, student

"The victory by a narrow margin is the perfect beginning India could have asked for in strife-torn Karachi. In fact, the sporting crowd behaviour in the high-voltage match augurs well for the improvement of Indo-Pak relations. Besides on the Indian victory, it is the victory of the gentleman's game at the end of the day."

— Dr Sardar Anjum, poet

I could not see the match because I was on my way to the city when Indian bowlers were struggling hard for the team's victory. But all the time I was on the edge of my seat. Every now and then, I stopped the car to call up my friends to know the score. I parked my car on the roadside in the final over. As my friend told me that India won, I screamed with delight. I started the car and rushed back to celebrate the win.

— Amit Jhanji, advocate

"The Pakistanis should not have been allowed to get so close. With a score of 349, we should have won comfortably and not in such a fashion. The victory is nice and I hope the team does better in the rest of the matches.

— Pankaj Verma, local cricketer

'I am not a cricket buff, but I watched the entire match as all my friends were watching. It turned out to be a great experience. Today I came to know why we Indians are so crazy about the game. I am planning to watch the remaining games also, which we are going to win'.

— Saru Singh, advertisement designer


Match affects Spring Fest attendance
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 13
Cricket indeed is a religion in India. The Indo-Pak one-day tie today cast its shadow on the crowd presence at Town Park here on the first-day of the Spring Fest, organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

With residents remaining glued to their television sets to watch the clash of the cricket titans, only a few turned up to be a part of the festival, much to the dismay of HUDA officials.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by a motley crowd of officials, was presided over by the Chief Secretary, Mr A.N. Mathur. After the officials waded their way through various stalls displaying the prize-winning flower arrangements and artists’ stalls, artistes’ troupes from the region virtually stopped performing in the wake of lack of any appreciation from the crowd.

Though ‘ragini’ singers from Haryana, ‘bhangra’ dancers and ‘nachars’ from Punjab and ‘natti’ artistes from Himachal Pradesh did a splendid job, their performances failed to pull people to the garden. The prize-winning flower arrangement entries, intricate ‘rangoli’ designs, painting contest and ‘mehndi’ contests virtually went unnoticed.

The only event which pulled crowds was the fancy dress competition, with doting parents thronging the Yavanika open-air theatre. The rope-trick artistes also managed to amuse the visitors, with Mr Mathur offering a reward of Rs 500 to a tiny-tot balancing on a thin rope.

The officials’ exodus from the park began as soon as the chief guest left. The lower-rung and middle-level officials could be seen listening to the commentary of the match outside the park on the radio kept by stall owners.

Officials conceded that match, couple with sultry weather, played spoilsport. They expected a good response tomorrow, when solo dances, monoacting and group dances were slated to be held.

Results of the flower competitions during Spring Fest:

Flower arrangement (open to all exhibitors)

Fresh flower: Ayesha Pujji (I); Gogi Pujji (II)

Dry flower: Palwinder Kaur Bains (I); Bindu Mishra (II)

Mixed flower: Bharti Arora (I); Ayesha Pujji (II)

For dinning table: Palwinder Kaur Bains (I); Prerna Saini (II) For corner: Bharati Arora (I); Ayesha Pujji (II)

Flower Arrangement (open to children up to 15 years)

For vase: Arjun Chopra (I); The Gurukul (II)

Dry flowers in the vase: Arjun Chopra (I); Lokesh Kumar (II)

Flower arrangement (for malis)

For central table: Ram Sufal Maurya (I); Sriram Maurya (II)

Most-artistic bouquet: Ram Sufal Maurya (I); Shiv Parshad Maurya (II)

Most-artistic garland: Durya Parshad Maurya (I); Ram Sharan (II)

Cut flowers (open to individuals)

Gladiolus: Reema Gupta (I);Kulbir Kaur (II)

Dahlia: Ram Piarey (I); Rakesh Kumar (II)

Carnation: Prabhu (I); SS Gill (II)

Antirrhinum: Ayushi Arora (I); Ten Bahadur Moriya (II)

Lupin: Sanjay Kumar (I)

Stock: Ram Parshad (I); SS Gill and Ashok Kumar (II)

Aster: Ram Piarey and Subodh Sharma (I); Sobdh Nath (II)

Sweet Peas: Cynthia Shear (I); Tej Bahadur Moriya (II)

Pansy: Ram Kirpal Moriya (I); Salik Ram (II)

Rose hybrid tea: SS Gill (I&II)

Rose floribunda: SS Gill (I&II)

Any other flower: SS Gill (I); Lieut-Col JPS Mahla & Sobh Nath (II)


Hawala suspect falls into police net
Tribune News Service

Balhar SinghMohali, March 13
A suspected hawala operator, claiming to be a British citizen, has landed into the Punjab police net. All because of a small mistake that he made in an otherwise remarkably well laidout network of false identities, fake certificates and partners in crime across Punjab.

The 50 year old mastermind lived here as Balhar Singh, in Jalandhar as Avtar Singh and has a British passport under the name Dalbara Singh. Balhar Singh’s arrest has led to the nabbing of two persons involved in forging arms licence in Ferozepore and Jagroan and raids are on to catch other persons working with him.

Acting on information provided by DIG Ludhiana Range, Mr Dinkar Gupta, Balhar Singh was arrested by the Mohali police on March 10 from his residence in Sector 70 by a team led by the SP Mohali, Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. He was arrested on charges of owning a weapon for which he had a fake licence. The fake licence and the weapon, a .32 bore pistol and 26 rounds of ammunition, were recovered from him.

Further interrogations revealed that Balhar Singh’s fake licence issued in 2000 was, in fact, cancelled in 2002 after the fake licence racket operating in the area was busted by the police. A list of all fake licences prepared by the gang was made public. The licence owned by Avtar Singh was among these. Interestingly, however, the ‘fake cancelled licence’ was renewed in 2003 by Balhar Singh allgedly using forged signatures of District Magistrate Ferozepore. This little mistake led the police to catch him. Following this the police arrested two others for helping him get the fake licence renewed.

Once in police web, all information given by him was closely followed. In order to verify his identity as Balhar Singh, the police reached his ancestral Chachari village, near Goraya in Jalandhar. None of his family members were found there but some distant relatives told the police that the persons whose photo they were carrying was Avtar Singh and not Balhar Singh and he along with his family had long ago left the village and settled in the UK.

Nonplussed, the police searched Balhar Singh’s house again and recovered a British passport with his photo and the name Dalbara Singh. Some other documents were also recovered that confirmed his identity as Dalbara Singh, a resident of Birmingham, UK. A driving licence issued in Delhi, a registration certificate of the British Government that testified that he was a British citizen, and he had a residential permit to live in Jagroan. The police is checking the authenticity of these documents recovered.

The police also said that Balhar Singh alias Avtar Singh alias Dalbara Singh had, in all these documents, mentioned Chanan Singh as his father. The police said that the accused had large amounts of money in the bank, owned the flat where he lived in Mohali (as Balhar Singh) and drove a Mercedes.

Suspecting that the accused is involved in hawala deals in Punjab, further investigations are on in the case and the police is following some other leads also.

Balhar Singh is in police remand till March 15 while his two accomplices have been sent to judicial custody till March 27.


Class XI science students allowed to change stream
Tribune News Service

Ashok GangulyChandigarh, March 13
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not allow schools affiliated with the board to seek affiliation from another board or institution, said the Chairman of the board, Mr Ashok Ganguly, here yesterday. The board could disaffiliate those violating the norms under the affiliation bylaws.

It has been seen that certain CBSE affiliated educational institutions in the city were associating themselves with International Baccalaureate (IB) programme or other institutions. The Chairman who was in the city to inspect examination centers said the board would make it clear to all its affiliated schools that affiliation for classes higher than senior secondary classes could be allowed but not for lower classes.

In a brief interaction with The Tribune, the Chairman said the board would allow the students of science in Class XI to change their stream to arts in the middle of the academic session or at the end of the session. The schools would be asked to forward the application of such students to the board. Presently, schools do not allow change of subject stream.

“If the student feels that he was not fairing well in science stream he would have the option to change the stream”, said another officer of the board accompanying the Chairman.

After visiting the upcoming building of the local regional office of the board and interacting with the principals of prominent schools of the city, Mr Ganguly announced that a computer training centre would be established in the new building in collaboration with Intel. The computer teachers of the affiliated schools would be trained at the center, said the Chairman.

Earlier, the Chairman visited the examination centre at St Soldier School, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19; DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8; DAV Model School, Sector 15 and Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27.


City residents high on spending, low on awareness
Tribune News Service

  • Chandigarh has the highest per capita income of Rs 26, 710.
  • It is sixth in the category of families with an income of Rs 10,000 or more.
  • Every 12th person in the city has a car.
  • It is the biggest spender on high-end products.
  • Spends Rs 3,418 on personal products.
  • It is the fifth in the country on phone ownership.
  • Does not figure anywhere in the top list on awareness levels.

Chandigarh, March 13
A countrywide economic profile conducted across 784 towns says that Chandigarh does not figure on the list of 25 towns where people are most read and is also low on awareness. It, however, tops in consumerism. It has the maximum number of cars and residents are the biggest spenders.

R.K. Swamy, BBDO Guide to Urban Markets, which has brought out these statistics has covered all towns which have a population of 50,000 or more. R.K. Swamy is one of the oldest and largest advertising companies in the country.

The profile springs many surprises. If you thought Chandigarh had several banks and ATMs, the deposits on a per capita basis are not all that high. The city does not figure on the list of top cities. This means the city residents prefer not to keep their money in banks. In the category of percentage of families with a monthly income of more than Rs 10,000, Chandigarh ranks sixth. It is behind Panjim, Goa, Ludhiana, Delhi, Amritsar and Jalandhar. A total of 57 per cent of city households have more than Rs 10,000 as their income.

Automobile makers have been heading towards Chandigarh. Every 12th person owns a car in the city. There are about 74,000 cars for a population of 9 lakh. When it comes to big spending and ownership of products priced at more than Rs 6,000 is the highest in the country. A total of 72 per cent of people own products of such value. The closest is Goa where 58 per cent of people own such products.

In Chandigarh, an average of monthly spend on toiletries is Rs 3,418. The biggest setback for Chandigarh is its image of an educational base and media centre. With 10 newspapers being published from the city, it is not on the list of awareness. All top 10 towns on the awareness list are in Kerala.


Mining poses threat to village
Vishal Gulati & Sunil Kumar
Tribune News Service

What has been damaged so far

  • Huge craters have been dug up. In some of the craters even the underground water appears (see photo).
  • Banks of the choe have become vulnerable due to the movement of trucks.
  • The entire stretch of the road from Raipur Rani to Narayanpur has disappeared.

Narayanpur, March 13
For the development of cities, this village has been virtually put on the verge of extinction. For residents of the village, life has again become a cruel joke. Earlier, torrents threatened their lives; now haphazard and illegal sand-mining is making their lives hell.

A visit to the village and surrounding areas shows that the mining “mafia” is zeroing in on the choe bed for sand, stones and aggregates, putting the life of villagers in peril.

Massive digging exercise, being carried out using JCBs, has been going on for the past 10 months. Huge craters have been dug to extract sand and stones.

“Every day around 50 trucks make rounds between the choe and crushers, which have mushroomed in the Raipur Rani area. Continuous inhaling of dust and fumes is adversely affecting our health and the environment”, says Savan Ram, who owns 10 acres in the village.

Located near Raipur Rani in Panchkula district, Narayanpur has 135 hectares, out of which 93 hectares are under cultivation. The village has a population of around 250.

Villagers say those involved in mining are “outsiders”. They get land in the choe bed at throwaway prices and lease it out to the “mafia” that pays them Rs 30 per truckload of the sand and stones removed. After sifting, the sand is sold for around Rs 1,600 per truckload.

“The outsiders find it lucrative to permit mining as it allows handsome returns without making any additional investment or toiling in the fields,” says Sadhu Ram, another villager.

Sources in the trade reveal that the demand of the sand of this area has increased after the Supreme Court had banned the mining in Gurgaon and Faridabad. Moreover, the construction company of the Delhi’s Metro Rail project has approved its quality. Every day nearly 200 trucks leave for New Delhi and the requirement is increasing every day.

They say the local MLA, Mr Pawan Kumar Diwan, visited the village on Wednesday and they again apprised him of the menace. He reportedly asked them to contact him after March 14, the day of Chief Minister’s expected visit to Naraingarh. The villagers say though the MLA visited the village to mobilise them for the rally, he refused to visit the mining site.

Scientists of the Chandigarh-based Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Institute are also worried. “Those indulging in mining are least bothered about the welfare of the villagers and are mining very close to the bundh and spurs, which the institute has constructed under a World Bank-funded project. This may breach the bundh and damage the spurs, leading to inundation of fields and residential areas,” says Dr A.K. Tiwari, Principal Scientist (Engineering) with the institute.

“Our 16-acre fields are situated in the middle of the choe. After the haphazard mining, the flow has started cutting the fields. This has forced us to dispose of the land,” says Kanshi Ram.

“They are playing with the life of the Tangri river. The formation of craters in the choe can result in water shortage downstream”, says Dr R.K. Aggarwal, head of the institute.

Whereas Narayanpur villagers failed to do anything against the mining, villagers of Mirpur have set an example by taking up the cudgels against those indulging in mining.

The sarpanch of Mirpur, Atma Ram, says after a legal battle they were able to get stay on mining a few years back.


BJP holds sammelan of roadside workers
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, March 13
The BJP on Saturday organised a ‘vishal sammelan’ of roadside workers here today as part of its ongoing campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The gathering included barbers, cobblers, washermen, ice-cream sellers, book-sellers and others.

Addressing the gathering Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former Member of Parliament, said he would ensure that a survey was conducted in the city and all roadside workers were issued licences by the administration or the enforcement wing of the corporation.

Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local BJP unit, addressed gatherings in Sector 40 and 35. A special function would be organised to honour young boys and girls, who would be casting their vote for the first time and were enrolling with the BJP at Dadumajra tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the proposal of name of Mr Satya Pal Jain as the BJP candidate from the city in the forthcoming parliamentary elections is seeing opposition at the national Capital. The local unit under president, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, had recommended the name of Mr Jain as the BJP candidate.

Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, a former president of the local unit, is doing the rounds of the high command in Delhi staking claim for ticket. He was the president of the local unit from 1997-2001.

Mr Gupta said he had a sizeable number of party workers on his side and he would show this to the party leaders.

BKU (Ekta) begins 4-day dharna

Activists of the Punjab unit of the Bhartiya Kisan Union(Ekta) began their four-day protest ‘dharna’ here on Saturday demanding that the Punjab Government should fulfil its promises made to the farmers last year.

The state government had promised payment of arrears to the sugarcane growers and also dues regarding the announcement of Rs 30 as bonus to the paddy growers, Mr Pishaura Singh Sidhupur, president of the BKU (Ekta), said.

He said “if needed, then kisan activists will gherao the state Assembly during the session on March 15”. Hundreds of farmers from various parts of the state had converged on the Matka chowk, he said. A big number was expected to arrive tomorrow from Faridkot, Bathinda, Mansa and Ferozepore.


Working of EVM demonstrated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 13
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mohali, Mr M.L. Sharma, yesterday demonstrated the working of electronic voting machine (EVM), here. Giving details of the machine, Mr Sharma said the machine had two components — the ballot unit and the control unit. ‘‘Both are numbered the same and form a pair. Every ballot unit can register upto 9,999 votes. The voter will be guided through the process of voting,’’ he said.

Pointing out that the EVM was an almost foolproof system of casting votes that minimised the chances of foul play, Mr Sharma said even if a voter tried to spoil his vote, he could not do it. ‘‘Even if the voter presses five fingers together opposite the candidate’s name, the EVM will register only a single vote having been cast. There is no possibility of invalid votes being cast,’’ he said.

The Kharar Assembly constituency is one of the nine Assembly constituencies forming a part of the Ropar Lok Sabha reserved constituency. ‘‘There are 181 voting centres in Kharar. Since the total number of voters in Kharar is over 12.14 lakh, every centre will have one EVM each,’’ he said.

Mr Sharma said the EVMs would be kept at his office and the municipal council office for any one to come and learn the process of voting through EVM. The EVMs would also be taken to villages to show the voters there how these worked.


NGOs discuss environment issues
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 13
Idma foundation for Sustainable Development, Chandigarh, organised a one-day training programme to evaluate the role of governments in upholding their commitment to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and strengthen access to decision-making that affects the environment.

Titled “The Access Initiative (TAI) programme, about 20 members from various non-government organisations (NGOs) from India, the USA, Japan, Sri Lanka and Nepal took part in the programme at Hotel President in Sector 26 here today.

Briefing about TAI, Ms Nathalie Eddy from World Resource Institute, Washington DC, said it was a global coalition of public interest groups collaborating to promote national-level implementation of commitments to access to information and participation and justice in environment-related decision-making.

TAI is an outcome of “Principle 10” of the Rio Declaration (Earth Summit 1992) that says “Environment issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities and the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.”

Sharing their experience, Mr Vivek Raj Maurya, Coordinator, Environment Nepal, Mr Dhiraj Pokrhel, Programme Coordinator Leader, Nepal, Mr Prakash Mani Sharma, Executive Director, Forum for Protection of Public Interest, Mr Naravan Prasad Sapkota, Sustainable Development Coordinator, and Ms Kavita Pande, advocate of Environmental Rights, said Nepal had not yet taken a solid step towards the implementation Principle 10, but in the recent times the environmentalist groups were becoming more vocal.

Mr K.A.S. Suranjan Kodithuwakku, Chief Organiser, Green Movement of Sri Lanka, said development and conservation had to go hand-in-hand and the attitude of “develop today, conserve tomorrow” had to be dispensed with.


Transfer of MC officer sought
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 13
A social organisation, the People’s Voice God’s Voice (PVGV), yesterday demanded the transfer of the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council (MC) to enable a fair inquiry by the Haryana Vigilance Bureau in the alleged irregularities in various development works.

In a representation to the Chief Secretary, the PVGV convener, Dr B.L. Tandon, alleged that the Executive Officer, Mr O.P. Sihag, had offered the post of Technical Adviser to him. He also alleged that Mr Sihag had not been cooperating in the vigilance probe.

It may be recalled that the vigilance had ordered a probe into the functioning of the MC on the complaint of Dr Tandon. Dr Tandon had alleged that irregularities amounting to Rs 1 crore were committed by the civic body in the development works, including the maintenance of parks. It had alleged that sub-standard material such as tiles had been used for the maintenance of the parks.


Seminar on infrastructure development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Infrastructure development has emerged as the benchmark of national growth, and the determinant of high productivity and quality of life. For Punjab, seeking to accelerate economic development, it is essential to put in place self-sustaining infrastructure projects in rural and urban areas.

A CII seminar on ‘opportunities and options for infrastructure development’, to be held here on March 16 and 17, will focus on building on the inherent strengths of the state, and tackling the roadblocks hampering an efficient network of quality infrastructure and strategies.

Ms Vini Mahajan, Managing Director, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, will describe the board’s initiatives, while Mr Rakesh B. Mittal, Deputy Chairman, CII (NR), and Mr Ravi Parthasarathy, Vice-Chairman and MD, IL&FS, will speak on infrastructure-related issues.


Major power shutdown today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
There will be a major power shutdown in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali tomorrow.

According to information, the power supply will remain suspended to Sectors 20, 21, 22, 23, 33, 34 and 35 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sectors 7, 19, 26, 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sectors 24, 37, 38 and 38 (West), IMT, Water Works, Sector 39, Ministers’ houses, Dadu Majra and Maloya from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sectors 16, 17, 18 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parts of the Industrial Area, Phase I, covered by the M and I feeder, the Davindra feeder and the Tribune feeder will be without power from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In Panchkula, parts of Sectors 4, 10, 11, 12, 12-A, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 20, the Industrial Area (Phase I and II), the BEL Factory, Budanpur, Abheypur, Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony will be without power from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

In Mohali, parts of Phases I, II, 3-A, 3-B-1 and 4 will be without power from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Issues of gallantry awardees raised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
At least 100 war heroes, gallantry awardees, war widows and their relatives from all over the country attended a national convention held by War Decorated India (WDI) — an association of retired gallantry awardees. The WDI comprises winners of Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra.

Issues regarding the benefit and welfare of gallantry awardees would be raised during the two-day convention. Rationalisation of allowances paid to gallantry awardees by central and state governments, as well as equating them with freedom fighters, were among issues being brought up at the convention. War widows would also be honoured at the convention.

The opening session was addressed by the WDI president, Brig Sant Singh, MVC and Bar (retd), and Capt Reet MP Singh, VC and General Secretary of WDI.

Brig Sant Singh said the government had failed to solve their long-pending problems. He told the gathering that the gallantry awardees were not required to pay fee for grant or renewal of arms licence.


Youth Cong yatra reaches city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Activists of the Chandigarh Youth Congress and the National Student Union of India (NSUI) today welcomed the ‘Jagriti Jyoti Yatra’ at Tribune Chowk here today. The yatra was flagged off by Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President, from Delhi on February 23.

The activists were carrying banners, flags and placards and raising patriotic slogans. Travelling on two-wheelers and other vehicles the yatra reached Ram Durbar, where it was addressed by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Congress candidate for the forthcoming Lok sabha elections.


IT officials survey two industrial units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Officials of the Income Tax Department conducted an intensive survey at two units owned by a business group in Industrial Area here today. The units were Jaina Industries, manufacturing tractor parts, and Micro Precision Industries, manufacturing television picture tube parts.

Till the filing of this report, the surveys were in progress.

At a survey conducted by the department at English Book Shop, unaccounted income of Rs 15 lakh was surrendered.


Missing man found dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 13
A resident of Panjab University campus, Deep Chand Verma, 35, who had gone missing on Tuesday afternoon, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a pond at Shangariwala village, Kharar, last night.

There were no apparent external injury marks on the body but left side of his face had turned black, said police sources. Mr Kaka Singh, sarpanch of Shangariwala village, noticed the body and informed the police. Verma was carrying some loan-related documents, which helped in his identification. The police has ruled out the possibility of any foul play and has started inquest proceedings under Section 174 Cr P.C.

The family members came to know about Verma’s death only this morning. Verma was working with a private finance company.

He is survived by mother, wife and three children.


Spice to hike ISD charges from March 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Calling abroad will be dearer for the Spice subscribers! Spice today announced its decision to raise the charges for the ISD calls with effect from March 15.

The DGM (Marketing), Mr Mukul Khanna, said the new charges for the ISD calls, which were till now Rs 8.24 per minute, would now be Rs 9.99 per minute for the USA, Canada and European countries and Rs 15.99 per minute for the rest of the countries in the world. The revised tariff also does not include the additional 8 per cent service tax.

Mr Khanna said to promote connectivity between the Punjabis and their NRI cousins settled abroad, the special tariff offer of Rs 9.99 per minute was being offered to the subscribers for calls to the USA, Canada and Europe. With the promotional scheme started by the company coming to an end, the new tariff would become applicable from the midnight tomorrow. He said the hike had to be affected due to a recent rise in the International settlement charges. With this increase, making calls abroad from a mobile would be as expensive as that from a landline.

The Spice subscribers were likely to feel the pinch of this hike, as during the ongoing promotional scheme the call charges were as low as Rs 3.99 per minute to any of the countries in the world in January. However, the same were increased to Rs 8.24 per minute from February for calls made across the world due to the Access Deficit Charges (ACD) imposed by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) on all telecom companies.

Airtel, which at present has Rs 8.99 per minute ISD call charges for its subscribers making calls to the USA, Canada and European countries, Rs 15.99 per minute for most other countries and as high as Rs 18.99 per minute for some of the interior African and South Amercian countries, is also likely to revise its charges in the next few days, it is learnt.


Fair opens

Chandigarh, March 13
A Consumer awareness mela opened at Parade Ground in Sector 17 here today. A slogan-writing contest and a ‘Best out of waste’ contest were organised. OC

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