C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cong-led Oppn lacks unanimity, says Jaitley
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
There is no uniformity in the results of various exit polls being conducted in view of the parliamentary elections. The only truth is that there is no unanimity in the Congress-led Opposition. The party does not have a single senior leader with whom the voter could identify his aspirations.

This was stated by Mr Arun Jaitley, Union Law and Commerce Minister, while addressing a meeting of the intellectual and law cells of the Bharatiya Janata Party at Tagore Theatre here this afternoon. The meeting happened to be the last election programme for Mr Satya Pal Jain, the local candidate, before the official time ended at 5 p.m.

Mr Jaitley said the Bharatiya Janata Party had fought the election on just one issue and one name which was that of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. The name does not qualify a person only. It stands for a value-based national agenda for governance and economic delivery without any differences with its allies.

The exit polls have shown the scene people could expect in the Opposition in case the BJP-led NDA did not get the majority, “although the chances are very rare”’ he said. “Mr Sharad Pawar has been quoted as saying that the PM of a foreign origin was unacceptable, which ruled out Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress. Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav has shown hints of his aspirations to be PM. Mr H.D. Devegowda, Mr Chandrasekhar and Mr Mulayam Yadav are also being talked about. A purview of the post election scenario will help people see the chaotic possibility in case of mixed polling”, he said.

The battlelines are clearly drawn between two groups: one of which has a clear cut agenda on its economic policies; and the other one presents only a picture of chaos.

The BJP has given a stable government through stability in its policies. The country has emerged as a strong economic power in the last five years. The country’s security scenario was a total contrast to the one during the Congress rule. “By 2006 we will have free trade with Pakistan. The country faced the Pakistan occupation of Kashmir and occupation of Indian land by Chinese during Congress rule. We cleared Kargil of an attempted occupation”, he said.

The Congress followed the “parivar politics” and the BJP lets each individual make a place for himself in the organisation on the basis of his own performance. The BJP got India declared as a nuclear power. The Congress has no ideology left. So it had to resort to “road shows instead of talk shows”.

He asked the local voters to support Mr Jain because he was one of the most committed party workers. “ He has unmatched enthusiasm”, he added. Earlier, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, said: “We need to crush Congress out of power. Congress is like a fish. Like in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh the party is now a long lost dream. Finish it this time and the party will be a part of history”.


5,26,168 voters to decide fate of candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
A total of 5,26,168 Chandigarh voters will on Monday elect their representative in the 14th Lok Sabha. The local Election Department today said polling in Chandigarh would start at 7 am and go on till 5 pm.

As per the final voters list, there are 2,91,600 male voters and 2,34,568 female voters. The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, said about 2,400 police personnel, including paramilitary forces, had been deployed to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.

Dry days are being observed from 5 pm today to 5 pm on May 10. May 13, the day of counting, has also been declared a dry day.The RO said 409 polling stations had been set up all over the constituency and 818 electronic voting machines had been dispatched to the polling booths. Mr Arun Kumar said four counting centres had been set up at Government College, Sector 11, the Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Government College, Sector 46, and the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26. The Returning Officer said counting of votes would start at 8 am on May 13 at the four centres, which would be supervised by the Assistant Returning Officers.


Inside Babudom
Administrative reshuffle after poll
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Thirty per cent of the total complaints received by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Punjab pertained to transfer of employees in general and policemen in particular. It signifies a disturbing trend of government employees getting actively involved in political activity with the intention of influencing the outcome of electoral politics.

The Election Commission received 167 complaints for transfer of civil employees, including District Transport Officers, Subdivisional Magistrates, Tehsildars, engineers, veterinarians, doctors and others. Of these 73 complaints were settled until this evening and a decision was pending on the remaining 94.

Similarly, 47 complaints were received for transfer of police officers. Of these 28 had been decided so far leading to transfer or proceeding on leave of 18 police officers, including an Inspector-General, two Deputy Inspectors-General, three Senior Superintendents, three Superintendents and remaining Deputy Superintendents.

The Election Commission in a latest communication has sought the status report about the position of those who had been ordered to be transferred. Though the communication is being kept a closely guarded document, the Commission has reportedly threatened to take a serious view in case the officers ordered to be transferred are put back on the posts held by them earlier at the end of their leave or completion of the election process. In Haryana, besides the DGP, Dr M.S. Malik, who proceeded on long leave, there were not many who were ordered to be shifted. One District Transport Officer was transferred. The EC communication has generated a debate as to whether it will have any jurisdiction to raise objection in case transferred officers are given back their original positions.

Whatever be the outcome, administrative reshuffles are not ruled out both in Punjab and Haryana after the election results are out. The functioning of the civil secretariat which has virtually remained paralysed because of the deployment of most of the senior civil officers on election duty and the political bosses remaining busy with electioneering, will get back to normal only after May 14.

Issues like merger of 50 per cent of Dearness Allowance with basic pay will now get formalised to the great relief of employees in Punjab and Haryana.

Performance of the civil magistracy as well as the police besides other senior functionaries of the district administrations will be under a scanner. Some vacancies caused in the intervening period, due promotions and subsequent transfers will also be ordered in the coming weeks.

In Punjab police, two DGPs will be retiring on May 30. Among the to positions to be filled immediately afterwards will be regular appointment of Financial Commissioner (Cooperation) and a new Punjab prisons chief.


‘Officers will learn to keep pace with me’
Justice Verma completes one year in office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Officers of the Chandigarh Administration will soon learn to keep pace with me, said the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), while addressing mediapersons on completing one year in office today. He was replying to queries as to why deadlines fixed by him for development could not be met by the officialdom.

Justice Verma’s regular monitoring of each project in his twice-a-week meetings has kept the Chandigarh Administration on its toes during the year. On the issue of tenure of officials, he said there was no hard and fast rule. However, three years at the senior level were more than sufficient. Earlier, Justice Verma has refused extensions to several officials and accepted pleas in rare cases.

A major part of the first year in office has been spent in laying down the foundation of what he describes as “strengthening the infrastructure of the city to prepare it for the challenges of the next 20 years”. There is scope for improvement, he added. Already, the Administration is preparing a blueprint for strengthening the infrastructure, especially in the southern sectors, to prepare it for the challenges of 2020. The road network, water supply, storm-water drainage system, tertiary water network, completing the power grid and sewage treatment and garbage disposal plants are the focus of attention.

He assured that all main highways leading to the city from Ambala, Shimla and Punjab were being widened, thus making the drive into the city more comfortable and easier. All these roads are on the road network of the country.

Probably the Administrator had realised on his first day in office that Chandigarh was the only city in India which had the potential to be developed on the pattern of Singapore. On the first day, he had gone around and announced that the place was dirty. Today, he admitted that keeping the city neat and clean was one of the biggest challenges of the year.

Justice Verma’s one year in office has been in total contrast to that of Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who with his media-savvy, flamboyant style and surprise visits endeared himself to the people of Chandigarh, Justice Verma had kept to himself.

Moving by the rulebook strictly, the anti-encroachment drive started by the Administration at the start of Justice Verma’s tenure showed that if the Administration had the will, it could get precious land worth hundreds of crores vacated within days. In one of the biggest removal of illegal hutments in the city, more than 10,000 huts dotting the southern sectors were removed.

Realising that the shortage of potable water in the city, especially in summers, would keep multiplying in the coming years due to increasing population, Justice Verma gave the direction that all major institutions would use only tertiary water for irrigation purpose and no potable water would be wasted for the purpose. “As of today, the water supply is okay, but we need to plan for the next five to 10 years,” the Administrator told reporters.

People living in villages of Chandigarh have been promised facilities of the city. Justice Verma also gave a solution to the Municipal Corporation to make the city stray-cattle-free. He observed, “If New Delhi could be freed from the menace of cattle, why not Chandigarh?”


Brigadier to head court of inquiry
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Army will appoint a brigadier to head the court of inquiry convened earlier to investigate into reports of coal supplies meant for the Army being siphoned off and sold in local markets.

According to sources, the scope of the court of inquiry (COI) is also being widened to include several other issues which were not being looked into earlier. The appointment of a brigadier to head the investigations, as well as widening the terms of reference, indicates the magnitude of the racket. "The COI is being reconstituted and will now be headed by a brigadier from the Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh Sub-Area," an officer at Chandimandir told The Tribune. "Among other issues now being taken up for investigation includes the happenings at the receiving end of the supply line and the final disposal of the coal," he added.

Earlier, the COI was being headed by a lieutenant- colonel, but after investigations indicated the possible involvement of an officer of the rank of a full colonel, the Army decided to appoint a brigadier to head the investigations, sources added. The officer heading a COI must be at least one rank senior to the officer being investigated.

The ongoing investigations into the alleged diversion of coal supplies meant for the Army have revealed large-scale misappropriations during transit and have also indicated the connivance of some Army personnel with the suppliers.

Sources revealed that during the past about eight months, about 150 trucks meant to ferry coal from depots in Chandigarh to Jatogh near Shimla have gone "missing". Given the value of the cargo and the freight and handling charges, the scam, which sources said, had been going on for "quite some time" could run into crores of rupees.

The despatch of coal from Chandigarh as well as its receipt at Jatogh has been shown in papers, but the trucks never physically moved to their place of destination

. "Investigations showed that the trucks never crossed the barrier at Parwanoo. There is no record at the toll tax collection centre," an officer said. "This indicates the involvement of despatchers, transporters as well as the recipients at various levels," he added.

Sources said that on documents, the weight of the cargo meant to be ferried by trucks to Jatogh has been shown as 14--16 tonnes. This, they add, is also questionable as trucks simply cannot haul this weight up the steep slopes en route. Sources put the cost of the cargo at Rs 5,000 per tonne.

The scam came to light when a raid by a team from the Corps of Military Police (CMP) allegedly caught transporters off-loading Army coal at Darua village near the local railway station. Four trucks and a driver were detained. The raid was conducted after the Army authorities here received a tip-off. During investigations, it came out that the trucks, bearing Haryana registration numbers, had been requisitioned by the contractor to move coal from a depot in Chandigarh to the village. The trucks were being off-loaded when the CMP swooped in. A fifth truck at the site managed to drive away.


Commissioning ceremony for MNS probationers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The commissioning ceremony of the 11-odd Military Nursing Service (MNS) probationers, which had been put off earlier after they reportedly refused to wear the new pattern beige uniforms, is now scheduled for May 10. According to reports, a commissioning ceremony for MNS probationers based in Delhi was held there today. They wore the new uniforms, thereby bringing to end an almost three- year long controversy over the issue.

According to sources at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, where the commissioning ceremony is scheduled to be held, the leave of all nursing assistants at the hospital has been put on hold till the ceremony is over as a "precautionary measure". Though no nursing assistant has been recalled from leave, sources said that those who were to proceed on leave had been asked to hold on till Monday.

The ceremony was scheduled to be held in April, but was put off after the MNS probationers refused to don the new pattern beige coloured uniform prescribed by Army Headquarters in favour of the olive green shirt and trousers as are worn by regular army personnel.

The latest MNS dress, recommended last year by the MNS Dress Review Committee, is a beige coloured safari suit, entailing a coat over an 'inner' without a shirt. Earlier, MNS officers used to wear a white knee-length tunic as is normally worn by nurses in hospitals. In 2001, it was changed to olive green shirts and trousers as is worn by the regular army. A few months later, orders issued by Army Headquarters required them to wear white lab coats when on duty in wards. Another change was incorporated soon after when they were directed to wear cherry-coloured epaulettes on their olive green shirts to distinguish MNS officers from personnel from other arms and services.


Legal aid clinic for socially deprived
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is setting up a legal aid clinic in Chandigarh that will afford much more than legitimate advise. The “unique initiative” will, for the first time in the country, provide socially deprived masses an opportunity to access their right to justice, along with their right to mental health.

Once the venture is successful, the network plans to set up such clinics in other parts of the country too. For the purpose, the Delhi-based organisation is engaging dexterous lawyers and psychologists, besides involving law and psychology students, in the initiative.

“They will tackle ‘sensitive issues’, principally the ones in which law and psychology subjects naturally interact with each other like in the case of women and child problems,” the members say.

Describing the right to justice and Mental health as “inseparable” and “inter-linked”, the members maintain that ill-health is not only a cause of increased poverty and social oppression, but also an obstacle in the way of escaping from problems.

“Few homeless people, especially children, escape emotional and behavioral problems caused by powerlessness and discrimination,” they say. “As such the inextricable link between legalistic empowerment and mental health support for socially deprived individuals has to be considered and understood in a holistic manner”

Giving details of the project, HRNL’s senior legal adviser Parul Sharma says that the initiative will encourage and make socially deprived people opt for treatment, care and prevention of mental and emotional disorders. The scheme will make more professionals and students aware about the social problems causing mental illnesses. “Once the students have been identified for the campaigns, events with other non-government organisations (NGOs) and individuals will be conducted to create networks in the region. Colleges and other educational institutions will also be roped in for campaigning work, particularly for awareness building exercise”, she explains. Co-operation is also being sought from teachers, doctors, parents, the police, social workers, probation officers and other NGOs working in child rights field.


BJP shedding crocodile tears, says Pawan Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
‘Lal dora’ of 1886 has become irrelevant because there has been a ten-fold increase in population. The change is paramount in view of the changed population graph and related requirements of housing and working space. This was stated by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, candidate of the Congress, while addressing a rally on the last day of the campaign here today.

Mr Bansal criticised the BJP for total inaction during the past six years and added that the party was now shedding crocodile tears just to garner votes.

A scooter procession was taken out from Congress Bhavan, Sector 35, by activists of the Youth Congress under the leadership of Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the Youth Congress. The procession covered Sectors 35, 36, 37, 38, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 30, 29, 28, 27, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 26 and was finally received and welcomed by Mr Bansal at Sector 28.

Mr Bansal carried out door-to-door campaigning in markets of Sector 19-C and 19-D. Traders of Sector 19-D weighed Mr Bansal in coins. He and his supporters undertook a padyatra covering Sectors 24-D,15-B and Punjab Engineering College.

The Congress candidate said nobody, including the BJP leadership, could deny that the foundation stone of economic reforms was laid down by late Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 and subsequently broadened and implemented with zeal by Mr Manmohan Singh in the early 90s. He further said to take credit for a slow and long process of economic reforms in monolithic county like India in only five years of its governance was an attempt by the BJP to fool Indians.

Export of software, he added, its specialisation and extremely competitive Indian IT companies had certainly enhanced India’s image abroad and had given a boost to the economy. Was this achieved in five years of BJP rule? he asked?

Mr Bansal addressed members of the Ramgarhia community. The function was organised by Mr Baldev Singh Kalsi, president of the Ramgarhia Committee.


Dhawan sells IT city dream to voters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
“I will make Chandigarh another Bangalore by facilitating the setting up of major IT projects here” this was stated by Mr Harmohan Dhawan, candidate of the Indian National Lok Dal in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, while addressing a rally on the concluding day of the campaign here today.

Mr Dhawan said the city was already working on an IT park. “I will lay special emphasis on developing an exclusive IT sector in the city. Besides providing state-of-the-art facilities the project will provide big employment opportunities to the local youth”, he said.

The INLD candidate said he would have talks with Mr Om Prakash Chautala, the Chief Minister of Haryana, for building a dam on the Ghaggar river. “The present electricity supply was inadequate to meet the requirements of the city. The city needed supply through an independent channel because the current share available through the Bhakra Beas Management Board was far below the promised amount”.

Mr Dhawan also specified certain other areas of his intended projects which included, a Greater Chandigarh covering parts of Mohali and Panchkula,A-Class status for the city, extension of ‘lal dora’ because the population had multiplied several times, regularisation of need-based alterations in houses, and a balanced rent Act, besides others.

Mr Dhawan addressed a rally in Dhanas where he was accompanied by Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal. He also visited Mani Majra town, Sectors 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and Butrela and Badheri villages.


Vajpayee gives blessings to Jain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister, today gave his blessings to Mr Satya Pal Jain, the local BJP candidate for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, here today. Mr Vajpayee had stopped briefly at the airport around 11.25 am before he boarded a helicopter for a flight to Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) where he was to address an election rally.

Justice O.P. Verma and Babu Parmanand, Governors of Punjab and Haryana, respectively, were present at the venue to welcome the Prime Minister. Also present was Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the BJP.

Mr Vajpayee had a brief interaction with Mr Jain. A party press note said Mr Vajpayee communicated to Mr Jain that the National Democratic Alliance was comfortably placed in forming the government after the elections. He stayed at the airport for about 15 minutes.


Jain tours city seeking votes

Chandigarh, May 8
Mr Satya Pal Jain, local BJP candidate for the forthcoming parliamentary election, today visited different parts of the city showing his commitment for public welfare.

On the last day of the campaign, Mr Jain met members of various social, religious and political organisations. He met delegates of the UT Employees Pensioners Association, the Family Pensioners Welfare Association, the Himachal Vikas Manch, the Chandigarh Class-IV Government Employees Union and the Tenants Welfare Association.

Mr Jain took a round of Sectors 7, 26, 19, 18, 21, 20, 30, 29 and 33 in a Gipsy. Later, he addressed a gathering of employees of Government Medical College, Sector 32. TNS


‘Contesting to save rights of Punjabis’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
“I am contesting elections only to save the rights of local Punjabis, specially Sikhs” said Giani Gurcharan Singh, an Independent candidate in the fray for local seat in the coming elections, while addressing a press conference here today.

Giani Gurcharan Singh said: “A large number of villagers had been uprooted for the creation of the City Beautiful. Our ancestors have made a great sacrifice by giving away their lands.”

He said Hindi had been thrust upon the masses “in a clever manner and Punjabi had been pushed to the far background”.

The current election lists had been printed only in Hindi, totally ignoring Punjabi. No special care had been taken in protecting the rights of the Punjabis.

The majority of the officers thrust upon the UT Administration are non-Punjabis, he said.

“My only aim is protection of the rights of the Punjabis,” he added.


Sikh body discusses political support issue

Chandigarh, May 8
Office-bearers of the Central Coordination Committee of All Gurdwaras and Sikh Institutions here today discussed the issue of supporting a political party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, a press note of the committee said.

The note read: “Sikhs will not support parties responsible for Operation Bluestar and 1984 riots.” “Sikhs will also not support candidates whose parties were directly responsible for the killing of innocent citizens of minorities in Gujarat and demolition of religious places of minorities”, the note signed by Mr Jaspal Singh, senior vice-chairman of the committee, added. TNS


Shops, factories to remain closed tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
All shops and commercial establishments in the city will remain closed on the polling day on Monday and the day will be a paid holiday.

All factories and other industrial establishments will remain closed and the day will be observed as a weekly off.

The orders in this regard were issued by the Labour Department here this evening.

The closure has been ordered to facilitate the workers to cast their vote in the Chandigarh parliamentary elections. The shops and commercial establishments could be open tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Traders Association, Sector 17, has decided to keep shops in Sector 17 open tomorrow.


Poll ads banned

Chandigarh, May 8
The District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer, Chandigarh, Mr Arun Kumar, today issued orders to all newspapers and cable operators in the city to stop the publishing, exhibiting or screening of advertisements of political parties or candidates seeking votes or even trying to run down rival parties and candidates. The orders came into force with immediate effect. Any deviation will attract strict action under the relevant laws. TNS


First Vote
Every vote matters

After watching Shekhar Suman's programme “Poll Khol”, all my enthusiasm to exercise my voting right has dampened. As real faces of a large number of popular leaders have been revealed during the programme, it portrays a gloomy picture for us youngsters who are going to cast votes for the first time. So, I am going to cast my vote because every vote matters in deciding the political fate of a candidate. I have been following the latest political development in the city, going through the agendas of all major political parties. I have not yet decided whom to vote for.


MC proposal on symbol for Mohali rejected
Tribune News Service

Bir Devinder lambasts PUDA

Mr Bir Devinder Singh came down heavily on the functioning of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). Stating that PUDA had become a den of corruption, he said a major clean-up operation would be undertaken in the authority after the elections were over. “For the public, PUDA had come to mean ‘Postponement Until the Death of the Allottee’. It is a shame that PUDA has got such an image in the minds of the public.” he said.

Mohali, May 8
The process of giving Mohali its own symbol seems to have ended before it could begin. The Department of Local Bodies, Punjab, has rejected a resolution in this regard sent by the Municipal Council. Stating this, the Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, and Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today said that if the government did not fall in line with the idea, he would go ahead with the plan involving the public instead of the Municipal Council.

A brainchild of the MLA, the proposal was initiated by him during the March 24 monthly meeting of the council. The MLA proposed that Mohali township would have its own symbol, which would be displayed outside the new office of the MC and will stand as a logo of the township. The proposal was added as an agenda item on the spot and passed by the council members. It was decided that a Symbol Committee be formed that would undertake the choosing of a suitable symbol for the township.

“I have learnt that the resolution has been rejected on the grounds that there is no such precedent in the state. Just because no other city in Punjab has a symbol does not mean that Mohali cannot have one. Moreover, will local government officials tell us which legislation debars any local body from giving its town a symbol?” said Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

“This shows the stagnation of minds of our bureaucracy and their inability to think of anything new. The bureaucracy should instead by bubbling with such ideas themselves,” he said, adding that he would move a non-official resolution on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha to debate this point.

The Symbol Committee was to call for entries from the public and institutions, both government and non-government and finalise three symbols. The last date of entries had been be fixed for May 31.

The Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, Mr A.K. Dubey, however, stated that he was not aware of the matter and would look into it.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh was speaking to mediapersons after chairing a function at Ajay Electricals Limited here today. He addressed the industrial workers there and campaigned for Congress candidate Shamsher Singh Dullo.


MC asked to issue identity cards to milk vendors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 8
In order to keep a check on the quality of milk and meat being sold by milk vendors and meat sellers, the Department of Local Government has directed the municipal council to prepare identity cards of persons in both the cases.

The orders to this effect were issued to all Commissioners of municipal corporations, Regional Deputy Director, Local Government, Executive Officers of municipal council and nagar panchayats.

The orders, which were issued by Joint Secretary, Local Government, state that it had come to the notice of the Estimates Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha that members of the Health Department were facing many difficulties while taking milk samples for testing because milk vendors gave wrong names and addresses. It became difficult to catch them when samples failed. In certain cases milk vendors even fled after leaving their bicycles and other belongings behind.

Taking serious note of the problem, the committee had recommended that identity cards should be issued to persons who sold milk under the jurisdiction of municipal corporations, municipal committees and nagar panchayats. The cards should bear the photograph of the milk vendor and his complete address. Strict action be taken against the milk vendors who were caught without identity cards.

The committee had also recommended that like milk vendors, even meat sellers should have identity cards and no one should be allowed to sell meat without the required card.

The orders from the government were received by the local council a few days ago which had been asked to inform the authorities concerned about the action taken in this regard within 15 days.


Rajgayak in bhakti mode
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
Music for Punjab’s Rajgayak Hans Raj Hans is a medium to reach the Almighty and his mission in life includes spreading message of peace and religious tolerance through his songs. The singer was in the town today to perform in a Bhagwati Jagran organised by the Jai Mata Di Trust at Shree Ram Mandir in Sector 47.

“Bhakti singing is a journey in the quest of God and wherever there is love, I go,” says this versatile singer, who has sung from classical to light vocal, qawali to ghazal, and pop to film songs, adding that nothing gives him more pleasure than singing Sufiana Kalams like Kabir’s Dohas, Meera bhajan and Guru Nanak’s Bani.

Hans Raj Hans, who was honoured with the prestigious “Rajgayak” title for his contribution towards Punjabi music by the Government of Punjab, feels complete devotion and continuous “riyaz” are the key to success. He has also been honoured with the lifetime chair as visiting professor by Punjabi University, Patiala, and California University, USA.

Talking about his new album, which is bhangra based, Hans Raj says: “I like singing Sufiana Kalam and ‘dharmik’ song but I have to cater to average people’s taste, whose demand at present is to come up with something like my earlier hit album “Chorni”.


Mohali Diary
Special treat for moms at AKSIPS

Students of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School celebrated the Mother’s Day here on Saturday. Based on the theme, “Maa Tujhe Salam”, mothers of the AKSIPS family were invited for a special treat. There was a workshop on the art of living, meditation, “jhatpat khana pakana”, pot decoration and fabric painting contests after which the mothers took a walk on the ramp and Mrs Charming, Mrs Beautiful Smile and Mrs Confident were chosen from among them. Speaking on occasion Director Principal of the school Jasmine Kalra said, “It is a pleasure to meet the woman of today who is not only a home maker but also a successful breadwinner and an entrepreneur who has managed to strike a perfect balance between the two fields — home and the place of work.

Child meet on May 12

The National Society of Child Artists here will organise a state-level Scholar and Child meet on May 12. The Chairman of the society, Mr Ajit Sailani, stated that the meet was being organised to mark the fifth birth Centenary of Guru Angad Dev ji. More than 100 children and 50 scholars from all over Punjab will be attending the meet. The Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board will be the chief guest at the meet to be held at the PSEB auditorium.

Health camp

A health camp was organised at Ambika Public School, Kharar, on Saturday. A team of doctors came to the school and checked the students for various ailments. The students were issued immunisation cards by the school. The doctors briefed the teachers about first aid techniques and gave useful tips to the students.

Nurses’ week

Fortis Heart and Multi-Specialty Hospital celebrated the Nurses Week. The celebrations were initiated by lighting of the lamp by Mr Shivinder Mohan Singh, Joint Managing Director, Fortis Healthcare Ltd. Medical luminaries of the city were also present on the occasion. The celebrations will culminate on the Nurses Day on May 12. The celebrations, include fund-raising cultural programme the proceeds at which would go to the poor. The nurses would distribute old clothes, toys and footwear donated by the staff of Fortis. Speaking on the occasion Mr Shivinder Mohan Singh said, “The theme for this year’s celebrations as declared by the International Nursing Council is ‘Nurses: Working with the poor against poverty”.

Animal welfare camp

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) here organised an animal welfare camp at Phase I on Friday. The camp was inaugurated by Dr Ram Singh, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab. In the camp, over 35 stray dogs were vaccinated against rabies and other skin infections. As many as 70 pet animals were also treated and immunised free of cost. People were made aware of cruelty towards animals and its prevention. Dr R.M. Singh, expressed concern over the problem of stray cattle and dogs. He said SPCA would come forward with chemical sterlisation once it was approved by the Animal Welfare Board of India. On this occasion, the Honorary General Secretary of SPCA, Dr Kanwarjit Singh, appealed to dog lovers to adopt one stray dog each.


Bus hits tractor, crashes into CRPF complex wall
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
Traffic on the busy Dakshin Marg near the Airport Chowk was disrupted this afternoon as a private bus hit a tractor. The driver of the bus lost control and the bus broke the railing of the road divider, hit a motor cycle and crashed into the boundary wall of the CRPF cantonment before coming to a halt. Luckily, there were no passengers in the bus.

Four persons sustained minor injures. The bus (belonging to Sukhmani Engineering College, Dera Bassi) driver, Kartar Singh fled from the spot. The accident took place at around 3 pm.

As per police sources, the bus was on way to Dera Bassi from Chandigarh when it rammed into the tractor coming from Raipur Khurd village. The tractor driver, Parvinder Singh and his father, Mangal Singh, who was also on the tractor, sustained injuries. Both are residents of Raipur Khurd village. The motor cyclist, Sewa Singh and Ram Krishan, also sustained injuries. The tractor and motor cycle were badly damaged in the accident. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.


Thirteen arrested for smuggling liquor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
The police has arrested 13 persons and seized large quantity of liquor from them during the past 24 hours. All liquor vends in the city closed at 5 pm today and will remain so till 5 pm of May 10, the polling day.

The Crime Branch of the police today arrested three persons from different parts of the city for bootlegging. Ten persons were arrested yesterday. All of them have been booked under various Sections of the Excise Act.

According to sources, raids were being conducted in different parts of city, especially colonies, to check illegal supply of liquor. The police said raids would continue for another 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the police took out a flag march in different parts of the city. DSPs B.D Bector and S.C. Sagar supervised the flag march.

Special police pickets have also been set up to check any untoward incident before the polling day. The police would also conduct raids to check presence of anti-social elements in various colonies of the city.


Man booked for attempting to rape daughter
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
A rickshaw-puller, Ram Bhadhur (40), was tonight booked for allegedly attempting to rape his 10-year-old daughter in Maloya Colony here. He was arrested on the complaint of the girl.

According to police sources, he was drunk when he attempted to outrage the modesty of the girl. His younger son was playing in the house at the time of the alleged assault, while his wife was not at home.

The girl reportedly raised an alarm. Bhadhur was caught by his neighbours and handed over to the police. A case was registered after medical examination of the girl.


Cool collections under a roof
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Hotel Shivalikview’s banquet hall will house an exhibition of exclusive designer wear and a variety of beautiful home accessories on May 8 and 9. Young and upcoming designers from Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar unveil their new spring and summer collections on Saturday.

In a preview, Reeti Singh and Nikku, who have put up the Gianni exhibition for the city’s women, show a sample of high fashion salwar kameezes, saris and embroidered dress material and fabric to be displayed. Trendy western wear and stylish Indo-western outfits in a maze of yellows, pinks, whites and greens complete the picture as far as clothing is concerned.

Specially pretty are the cool summer suits created by Mrs Gurpreet Gill of Jalandhar. Rahul from Ludhiana exhibits a wide range of Indian wear, with the kurtis standing out. For those preferring unstitched fabric, the stall of La Fabricas from Delhi should attract. It displays an array of dupatta sets and kurtis in gorgettes, crepe and cotton.

The dazzling diamonds, precious and semi-precious jewellery from the house of Alpana Jewels of Delhi seems to live up to its motto of “you dream, we create”.

Furnishing and apparel from Suvasa (Jaipur) in bright and vibrant florals and block prints are evergreens.

As you flirt with fashion, flipping from one stall to another, catering to a wide range of purses (from a couple of hundred rupees to thousands), the creations of Tejvir Singh stop you in your track. He brings a stunning variety of export quality furniture and artefacts in mango wood and wrought iron embellished with mosaic glass, embossing and paintings from Saharanpur. That the lamp shades, picture frames, chairs, ethnic knick-knack boxes, towel stands, candle holders and mirrors are all very reasonably priced adds to their lustre.

Bharat of Indya Lights (Jalandhar) has also displayed decorative studio pottery, lamps and designer furniture. The stalls of Mrs Indu Singh’s homemade juices and squashes and Vani Jain (Delhi) who is a tarot card reader stand out for their sheer exclusivity. Reeti Singh says the exhibition is an attempt to bring a whole lot of clothes and accessories under one roof. She says their similar exhibition held at Jalandhar recently received an overwhelming response.


Budding designers showcase creations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Indo-Western look has surely clicked with the masses. It was this look that was presented by designers from Himachal Pradesh during an eclectic fashion show organised at Tagore Theatre this evening.

The show featured creations of designers Gursharan Kaur Thandi and Rachaan and students of NIFD, Shimla. The event, Stylo-2004, was presented by Dynamic India and E- Campus. Eighteen dress designers showcased their creations before clients. Kurtis with cigarette pants in prints and intricate embroideries in various hues were presented.

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