C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City routes drawn for state buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Chandigarh traffic police has started an exercise to keep the inter-state buses off the busy city roads and confine these to outer routes of the city.
The route plan notified by the Chandigarh Administration in September, 2002 has now come into force. The Chandigarh Police has communicated this in an April 19 letter to state road roadways. As per the plan, each bus will go to both Sectors 43 and 17 inter-state bus terminuses.

The traffic police has asked the roadways authorities to follow the notified route or face challans after April 26.

The Traffic Police has deployed its teams on strategic locations to request the inter-state bus drivers to take the notified routes.

The measure has been taken as an unscheduled halts of these buses, almost at each sector, had caused 17 fatal accidents last year.

The responsibility has fallen on the traffic police after the Chandigarh Administration’s missives to state roadways failed to restrain drivers from entering the city on April 8, the Administration gave directions to the Traffic Police. The Chandigarh Police sent reminders to the roadways on April 19.

The notified route plan will be in force between 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The route of incoming buses from the Ropar side: Buses coming from SAS Nagar and NH 22 road, shall take north-west V-2 road dividing Sectors 39-56, 40-55, 41-54, 42-53 and terminate at ISBT-43.

Route of incoming buses from the Ropar side via SAS Nagar: Buses coming from SAS Nagar will follow the road dividing Sectors 61-62, 51-52, 44-43 and at the mild crossing of Sector 44-43 will turn left and reach ISBT, Sector 43, Chandigarh.

The route for buses coming from Ambala-Delhi going to the Ropar side: from Chandigarh barrier near airport, the buses will ply straight on Dakshin Marg between Industrial Area, Phase I, and phase II, Sector 29-31 and will turn left from the roundabout of Sectors 29, 30, 31, 32 towards dividing road of Sectors 31-32 and shall ply on road dividing Sector 31-32, 47-46, and will turn right from the roundabout of 48, 49, 47, 46 to the road dividing of Sectors 49, 48, 50-45, 51-44 and will turn right from the roundabout of Sectors 51, 52, 44, 43 to the road dividing Sectors 43-44 and will turn left from mid roundabout of Sector 43-44 to V-4 and will turn left from mid roundabout of Sectors 43-44 to V-4 road of Sector 43 and shall reach ISBT, Sector 43.

The route for buses coming from the Kalka-Nahan side and going to the Ropar side: At the light point of Timber Market, Transport Chowk, Sector 26, and Industrial Area, Phase I, buses shall turn towards South West and ply along Purab Marg between Industrial Area, Phase I, and Sector 28-29. At the crossing of Industrial Area phase I, II, 29 and 31, buses shall turn towards north west and ply between Sector 29-31 and 30 towards the road dividing Sectors 31-32, 47-46, and turn right from the roundabout of Sectors 51, 52, 44, 43 to the road dividing Sectors 43-44 and turn left from the mid roundabout of Sectors 43-44 to V-4 road of Sector 43 and shall reach ISBT, Sector 43.

The route for outgoing buses coming from Ropar and going towards the Kalka, Shimla, Nahan side, and the Ambala-Delhi side: after reaching ISBT, Sector 43, buses shall turn left from the crossing of Sectors 43-44, 50-51 and ply on the road dividing Sectors 43-44, 34-35, and ply on the dividing road of Sectors 35-43, and shall turn right from the crossing of Sectors 36, 35, 42 and 43 towards the road dividing Sectors 35, 36, 22, 23 and shall turn right from the crossing of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 to Sector 17 ISBT.



Woman deprived of gold ornaments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
A 50-year-old resident of Sector 41 here was deprived of her gold ornaments and cash by a couple.
The resident, Mrs Nirmal Chopra, was coming from her daughter’s house yesterday. On the road dividing Sectors 37 and 41 she was accosted by a 40-year-old woman in a yellow suit. She inquired about an address in Sector 37. While Mrs Chopra was trying to explain, a person of the same age passed by.

The woman wished the man and addressed him as “Prabhu”. She told Mrs Chopra that the man was spiritually blessed and could shower benefactions.

The man startled Mrs Chopra by saying that she had three daughters and a son. Mrs Chopra nodded in affirmative.

The duo then took Mrs Chopra for a walk on the road. While they were walking, the woman asked Mrs Chopra if she was feeling fatigued.

At this point, the woman suggested to Mrs Chopra that Prabhu can double the money and ornaments she had. They spread out their handkerchieves before Mrs Chopra who put a chain, two rings and earings in one of those. Mrs Chopra also handed over around Rs 500 to the duo.

They asked Mrs Chopra to move 10 steps away and return with a handful of sand to pick up her ornaments.

Mrs Chopra was given a bundle and advised to wear the ornaments after taking a bath at home. Mrs Chopra opened the bundle, she found her gold ornaments had changed into iron bangles.

A case had been registered in Sector 39 police station. A few months back a couple had duped a woman in the same manner in Sector 37 when she was returning from a temple.



Burail Jailbreak
Action taken account missing in police claim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Amidst allegations that the Chandigarh Police failed to react in time to a January 17 letter from under detention D.S. Rana, Superintendent, Burail jail, to prevent the January 21 jail-break, the Chandigarh Police today asserted that the post-jail break criminal investigation had gone into this aspect.

An official statement released by SSP Gaurav Yadav, however, does not give details of action taken between January 17 and January 21 when Jagtar Singh Hawara and others escaped from the jail. Had the Chandigarh Police followed the visitors who met the escapees, the jail-break could have been prevented.

Rana’s letter had pointed out “suspicious” activities of a lawyer Arunjeev Singh Walia. The statement says, Mr Walia visited the jail on January 16 along with Major General Narinder Singh (retd), Narain Singh Chaura and two unidentified persons to attend the court of Additional Sessions Judge located inside the jail. The letter says the antecedents of the of two unknown persons, including one male and a female, appeared suspicious.

While others were denied entry into the court, Mr Walia, as a lawyer, went into the courtroom. Mr Walia also handed over three kg of dry fruit and turban cloth to the jail authorities for Hawara.

The statement says according to the Jail Superintendent, the interview of Mr Walia with Jagtar Singh Hawara was conducted in the presence of jail and police officials from the Operation Cell. Rana had asked for surveillance on Walia. During the investigation, Walia was questioned and his involvement in the jail-break was ruled out. The unknown persons were identified as an Akali Patrika correspondent Mohinder Singh from Amritsar and his wife Kashmir Kaur, both were exonerated. Major General Narinder Singh (retd) was also absolved. Chaura was found to be in contact with Hawara and Baljit Kaur and foreign-based persons. But Chaura was not in contact with other four persons who went to the jail on January 16.

This was verified from the telephone call data printouts and the interrogation of the arrested person. The police said that the activities of Mr Walia were known to the police only through the letter.



Ex-servicemen flay Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Congress never gave credit and respect to defence forces for what they have done for the country since Independence, said Lieut-Gen M.S. Malik, national convener of the Ex-servicemen Cell of the BJP, while addressing a function organised at Tagore Theatre here today.

The programme was presided over by Maj-Gen Rajinder Nath Air Marshal P.K. Jain was the guest of honour. General Malik alleded that the Congress had always undone achievements of the defence forces during treaties with the enemy after a war. The Tashkant and the Shimla agreements corroborated the fact, he added.

He said nuclear tests carried out in 1974 were put on a stall for 24 years by the Congress till the BJP government took an initiative and exhibited nuclear capabilities of the country. The BJP government had been far-sighted in announcing a Rs 25,000-crore non-lapsable fund for defence-related activity.

The Congress had done little towards enhancing the defence capabilities right from the time when the Bofors scandal came into light. The BJP had done commendable work for enhancing defence capabilities, he said.

He highlighted the need for an ex-servicemen commission and a separate ministry to deal with rehabilitation of retired personnel.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, BJP candidate for the local Parliamentary constituency said the true face of the Congress was revealed after the party announced its list of candidates , which included those were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.

He said after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, Congress leaders had instigated anti-social elements for atrocities and massacre of the innocent people in Delhi. The accused, who were found to be guilty by the Delhi High Court, have now been given tickers by Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President.

Mr Jain took out a padyatra in Sectors 29, 34 and 35. He addressed rallies of government employees in Sector 17 and the UP Welfare Association in Mauli Jagran. He addressed a public meeting of the Kashmiri cell in Sector 46.

A delegation of the Mazdoor Kalyan Sabha, Sector 25, visited the BJP office and handed over a letter to Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit, offering its full support to BJP candidate.



Bansal saves welcome arches
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Congress candidate for the UT Lok Sabha seat, today came to the assistance of the protesting people in Sector 27 here. He rushed to different spots where welcome gates erected on the occasion of Panchkalayank Pratishtha Gajrath Mahamahotsav were being demolished by the enforcement wing of UT Administration. The demolition was halted.

Mr Pradeep Chhabra, the media in charge of the party, said the Jain communities of Sectors 28 and 27 had erected four “impressive gates”. The enforcement wing, “without any notice swooped over the site and started pulling down the religious symbols and flags”.

Mr Bansal along with Mr Chhabra, the senior Deputy Mayor, and Mr Devinder Singh Babla rushed to the spot “ and helped in diffusing the tense situation”.

Mr Bansal later criticised administration the action as “an unwanted one”. Mr Bansal along with his supporters visited Jain Mandir in Sector 27.

The election campaign of Mr Bansal received a boost when a large number of housing welfare associations “lent their full and unqualified support to his candidature.” The Badheri Market Association as well as the Prachin Shiv Mandir Sabha, Sector 40B, also extended their support to Mr Bansal, the party press note said.

Addressing attended meetings in Sectors 20 and 32, Mr Bansal emphasised on the upkeep of the city with better sanitation, beautiful parks, good and internal roads and other civic services.



Jain, Bansal non performers, says Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Mr Harmohan Dhawan, candidate of the Indian National Lok Dal in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, today pointed out the ‘non-performance by Mr Satya Pal Jain (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress)’ during their tenure in Parliament.

Mr Dhawan, while addressing a meeting of the Income Tax and Sales Tax Bar Association, said that a large number of problems of the city traders, advocates and various other sections of the society had remained unsolved for the past more than 12 years. He said he was receiving feedback of “total non performance”from different people he was meeting during the campaign.

The Sweepers Union of Government Medical College, Sector 32, pledged support to Mr Dhawan. An employee leader said, “ We should not forget that the hospital was a gift to the city during the tenure of Mr Dhawan in the Parliament”.

Mr Dhawan also visited Khuda Lahora, Kajheri and Maloya villages.



Candidates asked to follow code
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Election Observers for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections today warned local political parties that no candidate should be accompanied by more than three vehicles during campaigning.

This was communicated to leaders of different political parties at a meeting which was held in the office of Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner. Mr Inderjit Sandhu, SDM, was also present on the occasion.

Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress, Mr Ram Pal Sharma of the Congress, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Kewal Krishan Adiwal, a former Mayor, and Mr Vijay Rana of the Indian National Lok Dal were among others present on the occasion.

The total number of vehicles would not include the security vehicles accompanying the candidate for canvassing, they added.

No political party will be allowed to use loudspeakers without permission.

The expenditure of any vehicle being used for an election related activity will be put on the individual party.

The expenditure will be calculated at market rates and records maintained separately by the election office.

The election office will take notice of expenditure on food and eatables served to party workers.

The election office will also take notice of expenditure incurred on serving liquor to party supporters. The expenditure will be added to individual expenditure of



3 file nominations as Independent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Three Independent candidates filed their nomination papers for the forthcoming elections today. They submitted affidavits showing a clean police record, in addition to details of their financial assets before the Returning Officer.

The most prominent name is that of Mr Surinder Chauhan, who announced to fight the elections as an Independent candidate “in protest against Mr Satya Pal Jain contesting as the BJP candidate.” The affidavit said that he had Rs 20,000 in cash and is the owner of a five-marla house in Sector 22 worth Rs 8 lakh. He has a loan worth Rs 65,000 against his name.

Mr Chauhan has investments in various schemes, like the NSS, worth Rs 83,000 approximately. He is the owner of a Maruti Esteem worth Rs 2.25 lakh. The family has jewellery worth Rs 60,000.

Mr Ganshayam Lal another candidate, is the owner of a flour mill worth Rs 1 crore in Burail. He also has a shop in the same area worth Rs 15 lakh. Mr Lal has Rs 25,000 in cash and deposits worth Rs 1200. His other assets have been priced at Rs 50,000. Mr Lal said he has five tolas of jewellery.

Mr Rajinder Bansal, also an Independent candidate, has filed an affidavit saying that he has Rs 32,000 in cash. He has debentures and bonds worth Rs 20,000. He has other deposits worth Rs 2.15 lakh.

Mr Bansal has a plot in Patiala worth Rs 20,000. His wife has a plot worth Rs 7 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 36,000. His list of possessions include a Maruti car, a motor cycle and a scooter.



Rain cheers up people, political parties
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Overcast sky, strong winds and intermittent showers in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh during the past 48 hours have not only brought cheers to people but also to political parties and candidates of the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Farmers and their workers, who constitute more than 60 per cent of the electoral college of the region, are now free to join electioneering. Unprecedented long spell of hot and dry weather, which was another cause of concern for slow start to electioneering in the region, has also ended to the great relief of people.

While majority of farmers have sold their produce before the onset of inclement weather, the central and state food agencies are upset as they apprehend damage to procured stocks stacked in various grain markets in the region. Persistence of inclement weather may not only aggravate the situation but also add to their problems because of slow and tardy movement of existing stocks in the region to deficit states.

The major worry for food agencies has been the moisture. Foodgrains not only become prone to fungal attacks besides losing colour, but also become unfit for human consumption after a prolonged exposure to moisture.

“Normally, we witness this type of weather before the start of harvesting season. At times, such spells become devastating as they wreak havoc with the ripe crop. Interestingly, there had been no rain in the region for the past three months. It has affected the yield and advanced the harvesting. Still the farmers are happy as they are able to take the produce to markets in time,” remarked a meteorologist.

“It is an unprecedented situation. Normally farmers finish harvesting and marketing their produce by the middle of May every year.

But this time, the unusual weather not only advanced the harvesting of the crop, but also given even time to farmers to plan their next crop,” says a farming expert.

“In many parts of Malwa belt in Punjab and some areas of Haryana, farmers go for “satha” variety of paddy which gets ready for harvesting in 60 days. Transplantation of “satha” normally starts in June. But this time, farmers have finished their Rabi operations much in advance.

“Unless they are planning for a short cash crop, they will have virtually nothing to do than wait for the Monsoon to arrive before they can plan their kharif operations,” he added, holding that “they will be free to join electioneering. They have the time as well as interest in the political system,”.

“Farmers are the backbone of any electioneering campaign in the region,” remarked a senior Akali leader. A considerable fall in day temperature and sky remaining overcast with intermittent showers have not only given relief from the scorching and dry heat, but also made people to stay outdoors for longer hours.

Though most of the political parties are banking upon rural areas for sustaining their campaign, they are aware that this spell of inclement weather may not last long enough to see them through the coming election.

But since farmers are free and have no other important chores to perform during next four to six weeks, their availability and willingness to join the campaigns would certainly be more, adds the Akali leader.



Rain a welcome relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The city and its surrounding area received rain this afternoon bringing down the temperature. The local meteorological office said it rained 1 mm and the conditions would continue tomorrow.

Widespread rain brought in welcome relief from the ongoing heat wave. By evening the conditions were nice enough for several residents to throng various parks in the city for a walk. Especially crowded was the Sukhna Lake and the main shopping plaza in Sector 17.

The rain which started around 4 pm, was accompanied by thunder. It alsobroke the dry and humid spell in the city. Within one hour the rain had tapered off. Mr Surinder Pal of the Met Department said the rain had been caused due to western disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir and cyclonic circulation over Punjab and adjoining Central Pakistan.



Lightning claims life in Punjab
Srinagar-Leh highway closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
High velocity squalls accompanied by hailstorms and preceded by dust storms lashed several parts of Haryana, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh this afternoon as higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi valley in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh reported fresh spells of mild snowfall in the past 24 hours.

Though the squalls and sharp thundershowers brought a pleasant respite to the people of the northwest region from the heatwave conditions, it claimed a life in Punjab.

Reports said Tari, (21) was killed on the spot when lightning struck him at Behrampur village of Hoshiarpur district of Punjab, while he was harvesting wheat crop yesterday. Hailstorms and showers affected harvested or standing rabi crops at a number of places in Punjab, reports added. The worst hit were Bassi Bajeed, Istbarpur, Janauri, Patiari and Dholsaha villages of Hoshiarpur district which were lashed by hailstorms for the second time since yesterday.

Srinagar: The upper reaches of Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall last evening while the plains experienced rains causing a considerable drop in the temperature.

The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway remained closed today though the Beacon project, responsible for maintenance of the highway, has cleared the snow. The highway was closed in November last year.

Official sources said Sheshnag, Pisso Top, Mahaguns and Amarnath cave received fresh snowfall last evening.

The plains, including Srinagar city, had rain resulting in steep drop in the temperature disrupting life.

A number of low-laying areas, including Bemina, Badshah Nagar Natipora and Padshahi Bagh, were flooded with rain water because of faulty drinage system.

The road from Natipora to the Nowgam residence of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was inundated at several places, disrupting traffic.

Beacon project Chief engineer told UNI that the Srinagar-Leh national highway would be opened to traffic in the first week of next month.

Shimla: Brisk showers accompanied by strong winds lashed many parts of the state, providing relief to the people.

The mild but widespread rain also doused the numerous forest fires raging in the hills for the past one week.

According to reports reaching here, rain lashed parts of Sirmaur, Solan, Shimla, Bilaspur, Kangra and Mandi districts. The state capital and the surrounding areas had intermittent showers.



Seema Chaudhary undertakes padyatra
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
The president of the Municipal Council, Panchkula, Ms Seema Chaudhary, today undertook padyatra and addressed corner meetings in support of the INLD candidate from the Ambala parliamentary constituency.

Addressing the party workers, Ms Chaudhary claimed that during its four-year rule, the INLD government had completed over 44,000 development works at the cost of over Rs 26,000 crore. Haryana is the first state to provide free medicare to the persons over 60 years of age.

On the industrial front, 198 large and medium and 4,500 small units had been set up in the state during the last four years, she asserted.

Ms Kuljeet Waraich, MC vice-president, Mr Sohan Lal, zila parishad vice-president, Mr Anil Upadhaya, district youth president, Mr Deepak Rai Walia, district media in charge, and Mr Pawan Mittal, Mr Vilas Chaudhary, Mr Gomti Prasad, Mr Mahinder Singh,Ms Renuka Rai Walia, Mr Balwinder Singh, and Ms Sharanjit Kaur, all councillors, were also present.



Insect-resistant Bt cotton may be released soon
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, April 22
Finals tests for releasing insect-resistant Bt cotton in the northern region of the country are going on. So far, it has been released in the southern states, revealed Director, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Dr S.R. Rao.

Speaking on current global developments and relevance of genetically modified plants in the Indian context, Dr Rao said Bt cotton and other such crops would reduce pesticide use and its exposure to humans, besides increasing productivity.

Addressing a seminar at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here, he added that scientists were working on crops, including rice, brinjal, wheat and vegetables.

The technology of the genetic food, he asserted, was precise, efficient and could be easily monitored. It aimed at improving nutrients in the crops, besides making them pests and disease resistant. The crops were also drought and salinity resistant.

The doctor revealed that research work regarding genetically modified plants was being carried out in more than 200 laboratories all over the country.

The work started way back in 1982. Among Asian countries, India, China and Singapore were leading in the research.

The genetically modified products, the doctor asserted, had to be tested again and again. “It takes seven to eight years to come out with commercialised product”, he claimed.

Researchers, Dr Rao added, were currently working on increasing vitamin A and proteins in the products. Experts in the country, he claimed, were fully geared up to face the challenges.

The developments in the field of genetically modified plants was significant as agriculture was “not only the backbone of Indian economy, but also a way of life, a tradition and anchor of overall livelihood opportunity for about 700 million people”.

The other doctors attending the seminar added that the application of biotechnology techniques within the agriculture sector could potentially improve food security by raising crop tolerant to adverse weather and soil conditions.

They added that with the advent of genetic modification through genetic engineering in early eighties, the natural barrier of only intra-specific exchange of characters was removed and scientists were able to identify and transfer specific genes associated with desirable traits from one organism to the organism of other species that otherwise cannot breed naturally. 



PUDA notices to shopkeepers on encroachment
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 22
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) here has issued show-cause notices to over 300 shopkeepers in Phase IV for resumption of their shop sites as they had encroached upon area not demarcated to them. While the move is being seen by the shopkeepers as a ‘money making’ opportunity by the PUDA Estate Office, PUDA officials point out in the notices that the shopkeepers have violated the lease conditions.

The notices issued to the shop owners stated that PUDA was liable to resume the land leased for their shops as the shopkeepers had encroached upon area more than what was demarcated to them and they had also made permanent structures on it in place of temporary ones.

PUDA had allotted land on a 10-year lease for a rehri market in Phase IV in 1992. As many as 308 shops measuring 6’ by 4’ has been carved out of the area. These were handed over to the Municipal Council, Mohali (then Notified Area Committee) for management and control. The Council was authorised by PUDA to charge ground rent from these shopkeepers, half of which was to be handed over to PUDA by the Council.

“ Since the area allotted to us by PUDA was too small to open a proper shop, we were suggested a shop design by the then ADC Ropar, who was the NAC administrator also and an area of 8’ by 6’ was finalised for each shop. The shops were originally tin structures till 1999,” said Mr R. Krishan president of the SAS Market, Phase IV. In 1999 a part of the market caught fire and more than 70 shops were gutted. Many shopkeepers got monetary help for rebuilding their shops. Following this everyone built pucca shops, he added.

In August 2002, the council wrote to PUDA to renew the lease for a period of another 10 years so that the MC could continue charging the ground rent from the shopkeepers. PUDA told the MC to go ahead with the charging of rent but added that the lease would be renewed only after a policy to this effect was finalised by PUDA. PUDA also told the council authorities to give it half of the rent charged in accordance with the rules.

“After giving the council a go ahead for charging the ground rent, PUDA’s Estate Office issued all of us show-cause notices threatening to resume our sites,” said Mr Rajinder Singh, one of the shopkeepers, adding that this was being done by the office to fleece some money from them officially or unofficially to close the matter.

Sources in PUDA, however, stated that the Municipal Council had not paid 50 per cent of the amount since the establishment of the market in 1992 to PUDA and the shopkeepers were being pulled into the controversy unnecessarily. PUDA sources added that the shopkeepers had flouted certain rules and they would have to pay for it before the matter was settled.



Young pick litter around Sukhna on Earth Day
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, April 22
Young hands picked up litter around Sukhna Lake on the occasion of Earth Day. A campaign to desilt a pond in Sector 26 was also carried out by about 250 National Service Scheme volunteers.

According to a press note, the cleanliness drive at Sukhna Lake was launched by an NGO, Yuvsatta, along with the Department of Environment.

The note stated that about 200 students of KB DAV School and Sector 8 DAV Senior Secondary School, along with Environment Department staff and Yuvsatta volunteers, picked up about 500 kg of garbage, including empty mineral bottles, plastic cups and plates. Director of Environment Department Ishwar Singh, Additional Director P.J.S. Dhadwal and Yuvsatta co-ordinator Pramod Sharma spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the campaign to desilt the pond in Sector 26 Nature Park was inaugurated by Senior Deputy Mayor Pardeep Chabbra. Addressing the gathering, he said the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh would support the Environment Society of India in maintaining the “beautiful biodiversity project in the city so that students could learn about hydrology, soil and nature conservation.

A press note stated that volunteers included National Green Corps students of Sector 19 Government Model Senior Secondary School, Moti Ram Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, and Punjab Engineering College.

Mr Amarjit Singh, Mr K.R. Sharma, Mr H.S. Dogra and Ms Vinod Sharma were present. Scientist S.C. Mittal and NSS youth officer with Regional Centre Ministry of Youth Affairs Madhu Bala were also present.

A hawan was performed to celebrate Earth Day on the premises of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School. The staff of the school and members of the school management were also present on the occasion.

The members of the ‘Eco-friendly Club’ of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41, celebrated “Earth Day”. A rally was organised to bring awareness among the citizens on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the students of Delhi Public School organised a special assembly to observe Earth Day. The programme began with “teri hai zameen” followed by a choral ‘The three brothers’. The principal of the school, Ms Sunita Tanwar, read out a message of the chairman of the DPS Society.



Panchkula Golf Club cuts membership fee
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
The Haryana and Central Government employees intending to play golf can breath easy. In a bid to take golf to the salaried class, the Panchkula Golf Club has decided to lower the membership fee for these employees.

The decision, aimed at hundreds of government officials in the township, has been taken with a view to take the “elite sport” to the masses, source said. According to the new fee structure, while the membership fee for the Haryana staff had been reduced from Rs 25,000 to 15,000 the monthly subscription would remain same at Rs 300.

On the similar lines, the employees of the Central Government, the public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the armed forces personnel will now have to shell Rs 25,000 as membership fee as against Rs 35,000 earlier. The subscription will be Rs 400 per month.

However, the membership fee for the open category will remain unchanged at Rs 1 lakh, of which Rs 25,000 will be the security deposit. The monthly subscription for this category will be Rs 500. The fee for the students will be Rs 5,000. While Rs 2,500 will be kept as security, the students will have to pay Rs 200 as the monthly subscription.

“The decision to lower the fee had been taken to make the sport affordable for the common man and remove the stigma that golf was a rich man’s game,” Brig AJS Behl (retd), club general manager, said today.

A brainchild of Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning and Tourism, the Golf Club currently has over 400 members. It plans to enroll around 1,000 members by the year-end, Brigadier Behl said.

Spread over an area of about 135-acres, the nine holes of the sprawling Golf Club were opened to the public on April 1, 2003. With the Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) almost completing the remaining work, the 18-hole golf course will conform to the international standards, the sources said.

Meanwhile, to attract the causal visitors to the club, the management has kept the “green fee” at Rs 100 per day for the weekdays and Rs 150 for the weekends.



Fire destroys household items worth Rs 1.5 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 22
Household items worth about Rs 1.50 lakh got destroyed in a fire that broke out in a house at Kumbra village, near here, today.
The fire broke out in the first floor accommodation where the household items belonging to Mr Karam Singh were lying. Among the items that got destroyed were a TV set, a refrigerator, beds, an almirah, clothes, etc. It is stated that most of the items that got destroyed had been given to his wife by her parent at the time of their marriage. Mr Karam Singh had got married about a year ago.

It is learnt the fire broke out early in the morning and was noticed by neighbours of Mr Karam Singh who provided information in this regard. Mr Karam Singh and his wife were sleeping in a room on the ground floor.

Though the cause of fire was not clear, it is presumed that the fire must have occurred due to a short circuit or must have spread from a “jot” that was lit by the wife of Mr Karam Singh every evening. Mr Karam Singh works as an employee in a factory.



Martyr Sukhdev’s sister meets Verma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Mrs Prem Rani Sehgal, sister of famous freedom fighter, Sukhdev today called on the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Justice O.P. Verma (retd.) at the Punjab Raj Bhavan.

Justice Verma said that Sukhdev was a courageous patriot who had sacrificed his life in a heroic manner. Sukhdev was hanged to death along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru about 70 years ago and their memorial is at Hussainiwala near Ferozepore.

The Governor said Sukhdev was a source of inspiration to all nationalists.

Justice Verma said there was an urgent need to educate our younger generations about the importance of sacrifice of our freedom fighters so that they could understand the importance of freedom of our country. Mrs Prem Rani Sehgal remained with the Governor for 35 minutes.



Beopar Mandal chief’s son held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Chandigarh Beopar Mandal chief Jagdish Arora’s son Vivek Arora has been arrested. He was allegedly involved in the opposed of a marketing company, Onlinejobwork.com Private Limited. The company is under scanner for having allegedly cheated its members.


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