C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 labourers die in roof collapse
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, April 13
Two labourers were buried alive when a portion of the roof of a newly constructed house at Sunny Enclave in Bhabhat village came crashing down this morning. Being masons, the victims were busy in plaster work on the top floor of the building when the incident occurred.

Hailing from Gopalganj district of Bihar, Ramu (42), died on the spot while Ashwani Kumar succumbed to his injuries on the way to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh.

According to eyewitnesses, the victims were sandwiched between a wall and the collapsed portion of the roof.

A Bihari labourer, who was assisting the masons in their work, raised the alarm, following which labourers working at nearby construction houses rushed for help. They extricated the trapped victims by removing the collapsed portion of the roof with the help of logs and iron rods, said Mr Nagender Kumar, a watch man.

The labourer was lucky as he had gone to the ground floor for some construction material when the accident took place.

Neighbours and labourers staying nearby assembled at the spot. Mr Rajneesh Kumar Dhawan, director of the construction company concerned, and Mr B.L. Sharma, the owner of the building, were informed.

Mr Dhawan reached the spot after which Ashwani Kumar was taken to the GMCH, where doctors declared him brought dead.

Eyewitnesses said Ashwani Kumar had brought Ramu to Zirakpur from Sector 21, Chandigarh, two days ago.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr B.L. Sharma said he had given a contract to Mr Dhawan, a qualified civil engineer from Punjab University, Chandigarh, for the construction of his house.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Sharma, who works for an insurance company, alleged that the contractor used substandard material in constructing the building. He added that the contractor was in a hurry and tried to finish the construction work much before the stipulated period

A case under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the contractor at the Lohgarh police station. However, no arrest has been made.

In a similar incident, Gurmeet Singh, an electrician, was buried alive and four others — Shukat Yadav, Mangru, Shaifal and Lal Mohammad, all belonging to Bihar — had sustained injuries when a newly constructed building at Gulmohar Colony (Part II) in Dhakauli village, came tumbling down on October 17 last year. The victims were working on the ground floor of the building when the incident occurred.

In a similar incident, a case under Section 304-A of the IPC was registered against a contractor after a portion of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, collapsed in 1998. A labourer had died in the incident.


Wedding on, funeral can wait
Body lies unclaimed for 48 hrs
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The body of a 25-year-old driver has been in Sector 16 hospital mortuary for over 48 hours. The family has not claimed it as the wedding rituals of his niece are on. The last rites of the man had to wait till the completion of the marriage ceremony today. The police has not been able to get the post mortem done as the presence of relatives is mandatory for it. As such, the cause of the man’s death is still unknown.

Surjeet Singh was found dead in the Motor Market of Mani Majra here yesterday. His body was identified by the residents who told the police that he was from Makrouna village in Kharar. They said he was living alone in the city though one of his brothers-in-law lived in Mauli Jagran.

The police contacted the relative of Surjeet Singh at Mauli Jagran, but he declined to take the possession of the body. He reportedly said the last rites could not be taken up as the wedding of the daughter of his elder brother was taking place at his native village. The marriage was to be solemnised today. His brother-in-law Baldev Singh is working with the Director, Public Instruc-tions, Haryana, and one of his nephews is reportedly with the Chandigarh Police.

Surjeet Singh had lost his father rather early in life and migrated to the city. He was not in touch with other members of his family for some time, the police was told. Surjeet Singh used to eke out a living taking up driving jobs on a casual basis.

The police has recovered a prescription dated April 11 from his pocket along with a few medicines. He was running high fever the night before he was found dead. A policeman who saw the body said the person might have been suffering from some ailment for quite some time as he looked very frail.

The police says it has been informed that his family members will come to take the body tomorrow after the marriage of his niece. The police hopes that the autopsy will be conducted tomorrow before the body is handed over to the family.

According to a relative of the deceased, as per their family tradition even a death in the family could not defer a marriage once the process has been set in motion. He said once invitations from both the bride and the groom have been extended to each other’s families, a ritual undertaken during marriages, the only way it could be deferred or cancelled was in the event of the death of either the bride or the groom.


Malika’s pain over Nawab’s death puts man behind bars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , April 13
Malika saw her three-year-old companion Nawab crushed to death by a vehicle last night. Ever since she has been disconsolate and refuses to come to terms with the loss.

Through the night she howled and refused to go near her food. Her grief over the premature death perhaps typified the anguish of the family where the canine pair, Malika and Nawab, were much-loved pets.

The pain slowly paved the way for anger to surface. Pet-owners, the Jalotas, wanted justice to be done to the person who had caused the death of Nawab by rash and negligent driving. The police obliged and a case was registered against the driver of the Tata 407 bearing registration number CH01 C 2779. The driver, Khemraj, has been arrested and the vehicle impounded.

The driver has been charged with negligent driving and killing an animal under Sections 279 and 429, IPC. If the charges of killing an animal are proved in the court, the driver can face up to five years of imprisonment. The driver was later released on bail.

Fakir Chand Jalota, the father of complainant Purushottam Jalota, told Chandigarh Tribune that his son had taken the dog for an evening stroll around 10 pm when the vehicle crushed the dog in front of their house in Industrial Area, Phase I. “We heard the wailing of our dog,” he said. “The family ran out only to find Nawab with a broken leg and writhing in pain. Malika was barking at the pain of her companion,” Mr Jalota said.

The injured dog was brought home where he died within half an hour.

The police today got a post-mortem examination done on Nawab in the Mani Majra veterinary hospital.

Khemraj, however, had a different story to tell. He claimed that the dog was not on leash and it ran across the road. The dog came under the rear wheel of the vehicle.

But Fakir Chand claimed that the dog was on leash and it was the negligence of the driver that caused the death of the family’s pet.


Diagnostic centres playing with your lives
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

The confusion

  • Why a big variation in reports of tests done manually and the ones done on computers?
  • Why a big price difference for the same test ?
  • Why is Health Department allowing these labs to be run by unqualified people ?
  • Why no action is taken by the authorities against those who give wrong reports on the basis of which wrong treatment its given?
  • Is there a nexus between doctors, health staff and laboratories?

Chandigarh, April 13
It will barely take half an hour for a person to develop serious complications, who instead of his own blood group is given blood of a different group. This is precisely what could have happened to 30-year-old Anita, expecting her third child, thanks to the callousness and casual attitude of a diagnostic centre, which gave her a wrong blood report.

For any diagnostic centre, this may be a minor mistake, but it can cost the patient his life, a fact a majority of such diagnostic centres take very casually. With diagnostic centres mushrooming in the city, the quality of services being provided by them is being questioned as more and more patients are handed over wrong reports, leaving them confused and tense.

“Due to the callousness of a diagnostic centre in Mani Majra, we had a harrowing time as on the basis of my father-in-law’s chest X-ray, the doctor advised us to go in for further investigation as he suspected lung cancer,” rued a woman. “When we got the tests done again, his X-ray was normal and the doctor merely apologised that by mistake someone else’s report was given to us.”

The list of such complaints is endless as patients run from one laboratory to another, to ensure that there is not much variation in the report. “I was shocked when a reputed laboratory prepared the thyroid report of my wife within minutes. When I pointed it out, he said it was a mistake and asked me to collect it in the evening. However, the same report, on which I had put a mark, was handed over to me in the evening,” says a person, narrating his experience.

People say apart from the fact that there is a lot of difference in the rates for the same tests in different laboratories, what is most annoying is the great variation in the reports. “Since the dosage of the drug depends on the test report, even we are at times confused as to which report we should trust,” admits a doctor. This could apply to simple tests like cholesterol, blood pressure, haemoglobin or for thyroid and cancer.

“Unfortunately, there is no law under which a laboratory or a diagnostic centre has to get itself registered or seek licence, enlisting the equipment, staff and their qualification,” admitted an official of the Health Department. He said they kept getting complaints, but were helpless.

Doctors feel under such circumstances, the UT Health Department can frame its own rules, under which it can be made mandatory for such centres to have basic facilities, equipment and qualified staff.


City high on money power, low on awareness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The City Beautiful is fast emerging as a financial powerhouse in the country. While earlier it was just known for its number one position in terms of per capita ownership of cars, a latest survey has found that the city is also number one in terms of per capita annual income (Rs 26,710), ownership of products priced at over Rs 6000 per 1000 persons, Auto ownership per 1000 population, average monthly spent on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). It also ranks sixth in the top 10 cities when it comes to the ownership of telephones.

As per the latest edition of RK Swamy Guide to Urban Markets, the city is way ahead of other towns and cities when it comes to per capita income. The per capita income of the city residents is Rs 26,710, much ahead of Panaji (Rs 26,075), Delhi ( 24,141) and Greater Mumbai ( Rs 23,109).

The figures for big spenders are 720 persons out of 1000 for Chandigarh as against just 586 for Panaji, placed second. An interesting entry in this category of big spenders is Shimla (HP), at number 5 with 497 persons out of 1,000 spending over Rs 6,000 for buying household products. Says Dr Parmod Kumar, Director of the Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh , “The city is high on money power but low on awareness. This anomaly is not a very good sign for the city.”

Even with money and inclination, people may not go in for a product if they don’t know about it. Awareness is another crucial factor influencing the purchasing power. But is the city really so rich? “Yes, certainly. A peep inside the houses of the residents here will show that they like to maintain a very high standard of living for themselves. Look at the number of multinational companies that are swarming the city to open outlets. Swarovski, Ethos, Trendsmith, Lee, Nike, Pizza Hut, Mc Donalds, Tango etc, everybody just wants to be here. This is an ode to the buying power of the city,” says Rajnish Sharma, says a company executive. But apart from the buying power, people here are also keen on having latest gizmos and electronic goods at the earliest,’’observes Mr Gaurav Tikkoo, marketing manager of consumer goods’ giant LG Electronics.

The other cities of the region that find mention under various categories in the report are Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar and Faridabad. Ludhiana and Vadodara have similar purchasing power. So do Asansol and Rajkot and Guwahati and Jalandhar.

Also, when it comes to spending money on their own upkeep, residents of Chandigarh are way ahead.On an average a resident of the city spends Rs 3418 on buying FMCG goods, while the residents of Greater Mumbai, which is second in the list, spend Rs 2,955. Interestingly, Ludhiana, the manufacturing hub of the region, is placed seventh in the list followed by Faridabad. High income and buying capacity can be attributed to even distribution of income.

However, despite its high quality of life, the city lags behind in job prospects. A recent report by the US-based Hewitt Associates cites both students and professionals as very low in respect of career opportunities and lifestyle and entertainment.


AN-32s to fly for 10 more years, says Nigam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Having served the IAF for about 20 years, the AN-32s will continue serving the IAF for at least another decade. The IAF is undertaking life extension studies on these aircraft, which are the workhorse of its transport fleet.

Stating this while speaking to media persons here today, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal D.C. Nigam said that manufacturers had always been conservative about stating the life span of aircraft. “We are undertaking studies for optimum utilisation of our equipment. The An-32s will definitely continue for at least another 10 years,” he said.

Maintenance and servicibility of the An-32 was a major issue with the IAF since the early 90s when the supply of spares from the Eastern Bloc dried up. The IAF had ordered a total of 120 An-32s, with the first batch of three aircraft arriving here in July, 1984. Thereafter, batches came in every fortnightly. The stipulated calander life of a transport aircraft is 20 years.

There have also been reports of the IAF considering to go in for an indigenously designed multi-role transport aircraft to replace the An-32. The AN-32 fleet, meanwhile, is being upgraded with better avionics and systems.

The IAF is also going in for life extension of several other types of aircraft, including the Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters and the MiG-23 fighter aircraft. Air Marshal Nigam said that while the IAF is phasing out the air defence version of the MiG-23 (MF), the ground attack version (BN) is being taken up for life extension. Also, upgrades for the MiG-29 is in the pipeline. “Upgrading essentially means incorporating better avionics and improving the weapon delivery capability of the aircraft,” he said.

Air Marshal Nigam said while the Air Force no longer faced problems in the production and supply of aero spares, the IAF would have to continue sending several types of aircraft abroad for major overhaul and repairs. “Setting up facilities to overhaul aircraft like the IL-76 strategic freighter, Mi-25/35 helicopter gunships and the Mi-26 heavy lift helicopter in the country are not commercially viable because of the small size of their fleet,” he said.

IAF’s indigenisation efforts have resulted in the force becoming “almost” self sufficient as far as mandatory spares are concerned, he said. Mandatory spares are those which have to be changed every time aircraft system is opened up for overhaul. Pointing out that deep research is also being undertaken into the design and development of non-mandatory spares, he said “We expect to begin indigenous production of hi-tech components such as engine blades and landing lights soon.”

The Maintenance Command chief, however, declined to quantify the progress made on the indigenisation front, citing ongoing issues with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) as the reason. “Foreign exchange savings on account of indigenistion of aero-spares have been going up progressively,” was all that he said in this regard.

Claiming that the IAF is no longer facing a shoratge of technically qualified officers for its engineering branch, he added that the IAF is setting up a full fledged engineering college at Bangalore, which is expected to start next year. The college would be on the pattern of the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, where students are commissioned into the Armed Forces on graduation.


A play on human displacement
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Bansi Kaul is among the few theatre persons in India who have not surrendered to the spurious attractions of modernity. Suffusing his productions with fresh life, he has evolved a new idiom that incorporates folk elements to make the most complicated of themes seem relevant and relatable.

“Kehan Kabir” exemplified Bansi’s ability to brilliantly incorporate folk idioms into productions. The thespian is challenging himself again, this time with the adaptation of Norwegian playwright Henry Ibsen’s classic work, “Peer Gynt”. Being supported by the National School of Drama Repertory Company, the Hindi adaptation of Ibsen’s play will unfold in a premier show to be held in Chandigarh tomorrow. This is also the first time that the NSD Repertory Company has decided to open a show in a city, other than Delhi.

In the city today, Bansi Kaul talked passionately about the reasons behind the selection of Ibsen’s work which will be called, “Gappu Gope Gapanggamdas” in the Hindi version. The original play is about a central character driven away from home by social and psychological forces. Displaced from roots and alienated from affections, Peer Gynt travels from country to country, trying hands at everything squalid. And while all is lost in the journey of life, his will to survive lasts, taking him back to the land of his belonging.

“The sense of alienation in the play is too strong to be ignored,” says Bansi, admitting that the displacement of Kashmiri migrants from their homeland was an issue that concerned him when he chose the play. But he clarifies, “That was not the only issue. The play is so universal in context. It is everyone’s story. It challenges you to study the anatomy of human displacement. I have always called his century the century of displacement. Here, one is not just displaced in the context of homelands, but also in relation to culture, language and bonds. Trade languages are wiping off local dialects, threatening the very roots of society. Peer Gynt or Gope is a part of this displacement process that drives him into disgraceful professions like smuggling. The play thus explains why Telgis are born. It also addresses the trauma of intelligentsia in politically-driven lands where they are no better than mad caps.”

Then the play is also about Gope’s inner journey in which he is guided by the folk tales his mother narrated to him during childhood days. The director says, “Like all of us, the play’s protagonist loves to hold on to faith. He believes in the supernatural, the occult aspects just because they form a part of his childhood memory and they stem from folk narratives. Faith here should not be seen as having pejorative implications.”

Translating a play written in a Scandinavian setting was not easy for Bansi but he says the inspiration was too strong. Referring to the metaphor of onion which Ibsen uses in the original play, Bansi says, “I wanted to retain that. Onion has life-like layers which keep unfolding, never exposing the core of existence. Our travels are like the peeled off layers of an onion which Ibsen has rejected in the end. I have retained it because it is common man’s food here.”

The play, which also has Bansi Kaul’s world-class designing touch, will open at Tagore Theatre at 6.30 pm tomorrow.


Charge against Raj Khurana to be probed: Hanspal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 13
A Congress committee has been formed to look into the allegation that a party legislator from Rajpura is instigating people against the candidature of Ms Preneet Kaur from the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

This was stated by Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, while talking to mediapersons after inaugurating the party’s election office in Phase III B 2 here this evening. He said the committee would look into the matter and a report would be given in a day or two. He said if the leader, Mr Raj Khurana, was found guilty, the party would take action in this regard. Nobody, he asserted, would be allowed to break party discipline.

Various factions of the Congress led by Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu and Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, both PPCC members, spoke from a common platform. However, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, and Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, could not attend the function as he had to attend the cremation of a relative. During the past few days the factions had organised separate rallies in support of the Congress candidate from the Ropar Lok Sabha seat, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Hanspal said that at present a fight for principles was going on. He said it was good that the BJP came to power for a few years as it would give an opportunity to the people to compare the performance of the earlier Congress government and that of the present one led by the BJP.

He claimed that the BJP-led NDA government had done little good to the country. It had never talked about those living below the poverty line. No new power or dam-based projects had been set up. They just wanted to rule the country and that was why small parties had got together to form a government. He said in case the BJP combine again came to power it would divide the country as had happened in the case of the former Soviet Union.

He said the Central Government was following the US dictates cross-border terrorism had not ended and nor had direct trade begun with Pakistan. The NDA had no real issue to fight the elections. For the alliance, the poll was merely a marketing exercise. It was necessary, he said to bring the secular forces to power to save the country.


BJP gimmicks costing lives, says Lucky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is indulging in cheap politics and that too at the cost of innocent lives. Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, president of the local unit of the Indian Youth Congress, alleged this in a press note issued here today.

“The gross violation of the model code of conduct in the Prime Minister’s constituency showed that besides enticing voters by distributing sarees, they were cashing in on the poverty of women, by buying votes indirectly. What was more shocking was the way the BJP leadership tried to wash its hands off the incident”, he said.

Mr Lucky was referring to the stampede in Lucknow where 21 persons, mainly women, died at a function where sarees were being distributed among women.

Meanwhile, the following have been appointed office-bearers of the Ladies Wing of the Youth Congress, Sector 28: president — Sunehri Devi; vice-president — Leela Devi; general secretary — Kiran; and secretary — Kamini.

The Congress in a press note claimed that over 1000 activists of different political parties today joined the Congress camp in presence of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the party candidate in the forthcoming poll.

Mr Bansal while welcoming the activists said: “They had taken the right step at a right time. The BJP was destroying the democratic institutions of the country by undoing the achievements made by the Congress in the past”.

Mr Bansal also addressed party meetings in Mani Majra and Sector 18.


Jain boards Vijay Rath
Tribune News Service

Members of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj take out a chetna cycle rally
Members of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj take out a chetna cycle rally to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar in Chandigarh on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 13
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party today launched its third phase of campaigning for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The function was accompanied with launching of a colourful Vijay Rath which was presented to Mr Satya Pal Jain, party candidate from the city, by Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit.

The ‘Rath’ is equipped with a stage, mike, projector, display screen and generator. The vehicle is exhibiting portraits of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr Jain.

Ms Vidyavati, mother of Mr Jain, blessed his son on the occasion. Others present on the occasion included Mr Chetan Mittan, president of the legal cell, Mr Kehar Singh Koundal, president of the media cell, and Mr Radhey Sham Garg, president of the Industrial Cell.

Addressing the party workers Mr Jain said the Congress camp was full of faces of disappointment and dejection in the wake of the ongoing BJP wave. Mr Jain in the evening flagged-off a cycle rally from Balmiki Mohalla, Dadu Majra, and a ‘padyatra’ in Sector 39. Party meeting were also held in Mani Majra.


Journalist joins poll fray from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Pushp Kumar Singh, a journalist, is the candidate of the Indian Justice Party (IP) for the forthcoming parliamentary elections for the local seat. This was announced by Mr Ranjit Singh, convener of the party, while addressing a press conference here today. Pushp Kumar Singh had earlier decided to contest the elections as an Independent candidate. “Following a round of deliberations with Mr Udit Raj, national president of the IJP, the name of Pushp Kumar Singh was cleared,” he said.

Pushp Kumar Singh said all major political parties had not lived up to the expectations of the common people in the city. “They (leaders) are seen in the colonies and the rural areas only during elections. The queues for ration are an unending ordeal for a common man and the cost of living goes on escalating. None of the prominent leaders including Mr Satya Pal Jain (Bharatiya Janata Party), Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal ( Congress) or Mr Harmohan Dhawan (Indian National Lok Dal) had shown any commitment towards the basic issues after the elections”, he said.

“My main objective is to highlight the issues of the common man including rising prices of essential commodities. He expressed concern over rising unemployment and crime. He said he would work for ensuring greater accountability in securing equality for women.


PSEB to settle crop damage claims

Mr H.C. Sood, newly appointed member, distribution, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), today said that the field staff had been asked to submit a report on damage to wheat crop by electric sparking within 24 hours. He said although there are not many cases, even those reported would be settled on priority.

Mr Sood, who was in Ludhiana on a tour, while talking to various officers of the board said the field staff in the city had been instructed to augment the overloaded distribution transformers and to maintain 11 KV and L.T. lines along with transformers before May 31. He said to have a proper feedback from the media, instructions were given for reports on press clippings relating to power supply which was to be replied on the same day along with a detailed report. He further stressed that 11 KV feeders with poor voltage regulations should also be bifurcated.

Mr Sood also visited the rural areas of central zone, Ludhiana. He interacted with farmers of Roomi village and surrounding villages like Chahrari, Dholan, Kamalpura and Akhara under suburban circle, Ludhiana, for monitoring the rural supply as well as the urban supply to the villages and to the cities. Farmers were told that the PSEB at present was meeting the power demand of Punjab by self-generation and by purchasing power from the NTPC, Natpha Jakhari and from the Power Trading Corporation. Regular supply to villages was also being given during night hours. This had increased the demand by 14 per cent as compared to the previous year which was being met by purchasing about 300 lakh units per day at a cost of Rs 8.25 crore daily.

He said control rooms had been set up for monitoring the supply position in his office as well as at the zonal level, circle level and divisional and subdivisional levels. During the coming paddy season, the demand for power shall further increase to 1,200 to 1,300 LUS per day which would be met from Natpha Jakhari, the NTPC, the Power Trading Corporation and from the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station. TNS


Five persons picked up by Rajpura police?
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 13
Five persons were picked up by a police team early in the morning here today.

It is learnt that members of the police team raided houses of some persons and nabbed them without telling family members why this was being done. It is alleged that the police had come from Rajpura to pick up these persons. However, Mr A.S. Rai, SSP, Patiala, said nobody had been picked up from Mohali by the Rajpura police.

One person, Prem Bhadur, was rounded up from Udham Singh Colony No. III at 4 a.m. His wife, Setu, told The Tribune that family members were sleeping inside a jhuggi when some persons in police dress entered the premises, along with a person with a muffled face and in civil clothes. She said her husband was picked up without telling any reason. Setu said her husband plied a rickshaw.

She said in the morning she went and met other relatives living in Phase IX and told them about the incident. She said there she got to know that four more persons had been rounded up by the police. Giving their names she said they are Sheru, Bikram, Gobind and Giri Raj. While Gobind was Prem Bhadur’s brother, Giri Raj was his cousin and both of them were running tea stalls in the town.

Some residents of the colony said most of the people were sleeping when the police arrived. The local police had not been taken into confidence before picking up people from the town.


Baisakhi celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
The founding of Khalsa and Baisakhi was celebrated with religious fervour in different parts of the city today. A large number of devotees offered prayers at the gurdwaras. For them, kirtans and recital of passages from the Guru Granth Sahib were held in the gurdwaras. Community kitchens were also organised.

Baisakhi is associated with the harvesting of rabi crop. Residents believe in celebrating the occasion by visiting gurdwaras and distributing prasada.

According to a press note, the Nationalist Congress Party also celebrated the festival at its office under the leadership of its President, Principal Gurbachan Singh. Addressing the gathering, he asked the residents to follow the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh.

Meanwhile, students of Rai School in Sector 48 here today celebrated Baisakhi. The students dressed in best colourful Punjabi attire presented cultural events with solos and group dance.


Fulfil Baba Saheb’s dream, says Governor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
A shobha yatra was today organised by the Dr Ambedkar study circle on the eve of 113th birthday of Baba Saheb Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

The yatra started from Dr Ambedkar Bhavan in Sector 37 at 2 pm. It passed through Sectors 24, 23, 22, 21 and 20. From there, the yatra reached Sectors 30, 33, 34, 35 and Sector 36. It culminated at the bhavan.

In a message to residents, UT Administrator-cum-Punjab Governor Justice O.P. Verma extended his greeting to the residents. He said Baba Saheb, throughout his life, worked for the upliftment of neglected sections of society.

“His contribution in drafting the democratic Constitution and meeting the challenges of future, was unmatched, he asserted. The Governor also called upon the people to fulfil the dreams of Baba Saheb by eradicating illiteracy and poverty.


Kidney patient awaits help
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
The struggle for survival continues. Even though his mother is willing to donate her kidney, 30-year-old Solan resident, Chaman Lal, has no money for treatment. “Whatever little we had has been spent on my treatment,” Lal asserts.

As he tries to make himself comfortable on a chair, his imploring eyes filled with anguish look at you hopefully. “I know kidney transplant can save my life, but then.... My only hope is help from some non-government organisation,” he blurbs. “But I do not know whom to approach”.

Trying hard to hold back the tears, the daily wager says, “I have been undergoing dialysis every week for past two years at the PGI. Till date, I have spent over Rs 3 lakh on my treatment. Even for that we had to take loan from relatives. Another Rs 3 lakh is required for the transplant.”

“Even now I am buying medicines worth Rs 1500 every month. This is not all. Another Rs 1500 is spent on dialysis per month. Things are just not easy for us”, he adds.

Giving details, he says, “I have one daughter, along with a brother and parents to take care of. They are doing their best to take care of me, but nothing seems to working”.


Woman succumbs to burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A mother of three children, who was recently admitted to a hospital with 90 per cent burn injuries, succumbed to her injuries at the GMCH, Sector 32, here last night.

Bimla sustained burn injuries when the stove on which she was cooking food suddenly burst in Burail village. Her husband, Surinder, had burnt his hands while trying to save her.


Nisha’s death: 3 arrested
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 13
The local police arrested three women on a charge of abetment of suicide of Nisha, a married woman, here today.

The body of Nisha (32), a school teacher here, was found hanging from a hook in the ceiling at her in-laws’ house in Phase I on April 7. She was married in 1995 to Manoj.

According to the police, the arrested women were Parkash Kaur, mother-in-law, Rainu, sister-in-law, and Santosh, husband’s aunt.

It was reported that the three suspects were making contradictory statements to the police regarding the death of Nisha.

A brother of the deceased had demanded the registration of a case against the father-in-law and the husband of Nisha. However, it was reported that the father-in-law was undergoing treatment at a hospital and Nisha’s husband was attending to him when the incident took place.


130 CDs seized

Chandigarh, April 13
The police today arrested a Sales Manager of the Sector 22-based Music Point and seized 130 CDs of blue films. Chander Bhan was arrested from SCO 1012-1013 in Sector 22-B on the basis of information provided by Bunti Mehra who was arrested yesterday from Hallomajra. TNS


Coolex a big draw
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
City residents have geared up to beat the heat this summer. The recently concluded Coolex — 2004 drew a good response, with people in large numbers booking air-conditioners and coolers, besides going in for sleek double-door refrigerators.

Business enquiries worth around Rs 7 crore were received at this exhibition, which closed in the city last night. More than 15,000 persons visited the four-day fair, which began on April 9, according to Ms Sarita Sawhney, CII spokesperson.

The annual event, in its seventh edition this year, saw the participation of 12 leading multinational and domestic companies.The CII fair calendar features a series of focused events in the city in the season ahead. Making a debut this year is Persona, an exposition on beauty, health and fitness, which takes place from April 30 to May 3, while Kitchen — 2004, from June 18 to 21, will showcase utility and aesthetics for new kitchen. The popular CII Chandigarh Fair will be on from October 30 to November 2. Agro Tech — 2004, CII’s premier flagship event, returns in its sixth edition from December 3 to 6, according to Ms Sawhney.

Inquiries reveal that Godrej and Boyce, which entered the air-conditioner market for the first time, is hopeful of capturing 10 per cent of the market share, going by the enthusiastic response of the consumers.

Mr Rajesh Syal of Kiran Foreign Trade Pvt Ltd, which recently launched their mobile fridges, is hopeful of getting a good response for his product, particularly from tourists and others travelling long destinations as the same can be attached to a battery and used in a car to keep things cool. Two models of 10 and 17-litres capacity were displayed at Coolex. These can also be used on inverters when there are power cuts.

The maximum demand was for 1.5 ton air-conditioners with remotes at the exhibition. The 1.5 ton LG twin power conditioner drew a tremendous response from visitors.

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