C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Another helmetless woman killed
Tribune News Service

If only they had worn a helmet

  • Santosh Devi (60), a Panchkula resident, died on January 25, 2003.
  • Santosh (55), a Panchkula resident, died on February 24, 2003.
  • Surinder Kaur (24), a resident, of Mauli village, died on March 22, 2003.
  • Payal Malhotra (24), a Sector 28 resident, died on May 22, 2003.
  • Rajwinder Kaur (42), a Panchkula resident, died on June 14, 2003.
  • Mandeep Kaur (17), a Mohali resident, died on August 9, 2003.
  • Shashi Arora (55), a Panchkula resident, died on September 3, 2003.
  • Neena Bansal (35), a resident, of Sector 4, died on September 5, 2003.
  • Brij Bala, (45) resident, of Kansal village died on February 20, 2004.
  • Asha Rawat, (29), a Sector 28 resident, died on May 3, 2004.

Mohali, June 3
A helmet could have saved her life. But for various Sikh organisations, which are protesting against the Chandigarh Administration’s move to make helmets compulsory for women, two-wheeler riders, the death of Vimla Saini is just another accident.

Driving a Kinetic Honda without a helmet, 45-year-old Vimla was hit from behind by a speeding bus on the Chandigarh-Sirhind road while she was returning to Mohali from her place of work at Bassi Pathana. Following grave head injuries, Vimla died on the spot. The police said the front tyres of the bus virtually crushed her head leading to immediate death. The vehicle that hit Vimla’s scooter sped following the incident.

Vimla, a resident of Phase IX, was working as a gram sevika at Bassi Pathana. Commuting daily between Mohali and Bassi Pathana, Vimla had gone to a village today morning to arrange for the setting up of a sewing centre. The accident took place near the Akal Ashram gurdwara in Sohana at about 2 pm while she was on her way back. Onlookers told the police that Vimla was hit from behind by a speeding white bus. The bus driver did not stop following the accident and neither the bus number nor the driver could be identified by the onlookers. Onlookers told the police that Vimla was hit on the head and as she fell, the bus’s tyre went over her head.

The police was called to the spot who identified the body from Vimla’s identity card. Since no one was home, the police informed the neighbours who arrived at the spot. Her body was later taken to the Civil Hospital for postmortem.

Vimla’ husband, Sukhbir Singh, a cloth merchant, had gone to his paternal village near Saharanpur was due to return today and came to know about the death of his wife only in the evening. Vimla’s three children too came to know about their mother’s death on their father’s reaching home. Vimla’s eldest daughter, Preeti, is an ITI student while the younger daughter Nidhi is studying at Sohana Nursing College. The son, Nishant, is a Class XI student.


...meanwhile Sikh bodies protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 3
Members of various Sikh religious bodies took part in a scooter rally organised in protest against wearing of helmets made compulsory for Sikh women by the Chandigarh police.

The scooter rally started from Gurdwara Amb Sahib, Phase VIII, and after passing through Phases VII, III, I and II entered Chandigarh from near the furniture market.

A number of women, who took part in the rally, sat pillion on two-wheelers and carried placards with slogans written on them. They also raised slogans against the Chandigarh Administration during the rally. The protesters stopped at Amb Wala Chowk for a while resulted in traffic blockade. The free flow of traffic was also disrupted when protesters gathered on the main road in front of the gurdwara.

Before moving in the form of rally, the protesters gathered at Gurdwara Amb Sahib where slogans like “Chandigarh prashasan murdabad” were raised by them. Many representatives of the Sikh religious bodies condemned the decision of the Chandigarh Administration of making the wearing of helmet compulsory for the Sikh women.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Amrik Singh of the Akali Dal (Mann) said that the Sikh religion did not allow wearing of helmets but the Chandigarh Administration was trying to impose helmets on the Sikh women by making them compulsory. He said 95 per cent of the Sikhs had made sacrifices during the freedom struggle but now they were being humiliated on minor pretexts.

Mr Gurbachan Singh from the Namdhari Samprada said the issue of making the wearing of helmets compulsory for the Sikh women started in 1978 when a case was filed in a court in this regard. In 1999 it was again made compulsory for the Sikh women but the authorities concerned had to withdraw the order.

Mr Hardeep Singh, member SGPC, said that even women who wore “dastar” had been challaned by the Chandigarh police. They were made to stand on roadside which led to humiliation and all this would not be tolerated by the Sikh community. He said hundreds of people in Chandigarh moved on bicycles. Why was the administration not worried about their safety, he questioned.

Mr Dalip Singh Malhi, president of the Phase IV gurdwara, appealed to different sections of Akalis to fight for the cause from one platform.

Mr Arjan Singh Shergill, from gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib said that the Chandigarh Administration would be opposed for passing such orders.

It is learnt that the protesters were not allowed to reach the Sector 34 gurdwara from where they had planned to move back to Mohali. They, however, moved in other parts of the Union Territory (UT) and passed from near the Aroma lights, the Yatri Niwas and also through Sectors 36, 37 and moved on the dividing road of Sectors 34-35 and 42-44. At one point the protesters had some argument with the SP (Traffic), Mr Amitabh Dhillon, in Chandigarh.

It is learnt that the SP (Traffic) Chandigarh, met the protesters at the Phase VIII gurdwara when they came back from the UT. He tried to convince the gathering about the safety aspect involved in wearing a helmet but somehow failed to do so.


Helmets have nothing to do with religion
Kuljit Bains

To implement the helmet rule for women in Chandigarh, the police is fighting the battle at two levels. One, challaning women on the roads; two, doing it in such a way that it does not spark a major reaction from religious organisations.

Why should the police have to fight this second battle is beyond comprehension, given that so far it has not come across any religious argument from women themselves on the roads. However, the protests against the helmet order by religious organisations are gaining momentum. If this opposition grows big enough, the administration may well have to take the order back, as was the case with its earlier drives.

That would be sad, for lives would then continue to be lost, and all because of a trivial issue.

While these organisations continue with their protests, virtually no one dares to debate their claims, fearing unreasonable reaction. But this is too serious an issue to let go without examining the case, whether religious or that of lives being lost for no good reason.

To begin with, ego and emotions should be kept out of this debate, and, more importantly, politicians would do a service by not trying to get mileage out of this.

The most serious argument against the use of helmets is an order quoted from the scriptures against the wearing of any form of “topi” or “tope.” This requirement when it was laid down had a definite purpose. The Gurus who have guided us on how to conduct ourselves were never arbitrary and had clear logic and purpose in what they advised us to do. With time, requirements change, and that is where the role of the leaders of a religion comes in, to interpret religion in today’s context while maintaining the true spirit.

Anyone who sees a piece of attire or clothing in a helmet is deliberately trying to create an issue where none exists. A helmet is simply a piece of safety equipment that is put on the head and, preferably, also covers the face of a driver to protect the most critical part of the body in case of a road accident. For that reason it is also referred to as a crash helmet. It is worn only while one is driving and removed immediately after getting off the two-wheeler. No one can under any circumstance, thus, confuse it with a piece of clothing or garment, which a “topi” is. Not even in the most outlandish fashion show is a helmet ever part of a dress ensemble.

All pilots in the Air Force have worn helmets for long. Similarly, patients as well as doctors irrespective of their religion wear a cap-like cloth covering on the head during surgeries to keep hair out of parts of body cut open during operations. If one were to extend the “topi” argument to all such devices that essentially are meant for our protection, it would only be making mockery of a very progressive religion with a positive outlook.

In protests against drives for helmets a few years ago, certain organisations had staged demonstrations in which coconuts were placed on women’s heads and cracked open with sticks to prove that the heads of women of a particular religion were strong, and did not need helmets. One wonder’s why responsible religious organisations did not step in to stop such nonsense, as the foolishness of such claims is all too plain to see. These demonstrations went on for several days all over the country and were broadcast on national TV networks. Any self-respecting member of that religion must have squirmed to see this.

The only intent behind these protests seems to be gaining publicity by small-time leaders, bereft of any constructive ideas.

If anyone is still not convinced that there is no religious offence in using a helmet and is prepared to risk her life for the sake of religion, it is advised she should quit driving rather than quit breathing; that would be a simpler way out.

Let’s preserve our lives for other higher causes and not die at the instance of a few individuals.

The views expressed in this article are entirely the writer’s own.


Readers Write
Exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets

As per rules, Sikhs wearing turbans are exempted from wearing helmets . Any other person from another community who wears a turban is not exempted. That means the turban is not considered a safe headgear but is taken as identity of a Sikh. Therefore, Sikhs are exempted from wearing helmets due to their religion. As such their wives and children belonging to the same community should also be exempted. The only problem is that the authorities do not understand the correct rules.

The point to note is that nowhere in the rule women and children are mentioned. This rule cannot be applied on them. In fact women and children are not mentioned because the above rule deals with religion and not with persons.

Lt Col H S Sambi
SAS Nagar

Ugly spots

Despite the utmost efforts the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation for keeping Chandigarh neat and clean and pollution free, there still exit some ugly spots in the city which become an eyesore for the public.

Two of such places are very prominent. The first one is the ground in front of the SBI main building in Sector 17, the back side of K C Cinema and the second one is the one adjoining the SBI building on its left side. When seen from a distance, their configuration looks good and lush green, but when one goes near these grounds, one feels horrified. The whole place is littered with human excreta. Nobody can walk even a few steps on these grounds. Labourers, chowkidars and servants of the area defecate there in the night and in the wee hours and spoil these nice parks.

These are black spots on the face of the City Beautiful. There may be many other places like these. The authorities should take appropriate steps to keep these places spick and span.

T R Goyal

Water wastage

I would like to draw your attention towards a few issues regarding Sector 15, Chandigarh. Gallons of water is being wasted from the main pipe over the bridge next to the petrol pump, Sector 15, on Madhya Marg. It is over two months but no one has taken notice.

Every Wednesday when apni mandi operates, it is a total traffic jam . Even if a traffic policeman is on duty, he, too, disappears as soon as he can. Streetlights in the inner roads are hardly taken care of.

Gurmeet Anand


Sale of helmets zooms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
With the Chandigarh Police coming down heavily on the helmetless drivers, the sale of helmets has gone up and cashing on this boom are those selling the non-ISI mark helmets in the city, who have jacked up their prices considerably. While the prices of ISI-mark helmets have remained the same, those of the regular non-ISI ones have almost doubled in the past few days.

The figures from the market reveal that the ISI helmets were available for anything between Rs 300 -Rs 650, the non-ISI ones which were normally priced between Rs 100-Rs 250 were now being sold for prices as high as Rs 500-Rs 600.

Hence, it is the consumer who bears the brunt of paying a heavy price for a helmet, which bears a fake seal of ISI brand mark and does not even promise security for his head. Ironically, the Bureau of Indian Standards has not been able to check this practice of selling helmets carrying the fake seal of ISI. Similarly, the thrust of the Administration is to ensure that women wear helmets and that they buy the ISI ones.

The Deputy Director at the Regional Office of Bureau of Indian Standards, Mr K.K. Sharma, said the ISI-mark helmets were priced Rs 200-Rs 300 more than the regular ones since the manufacturers of ISI branded helmets were required to pay anything between Rs 24,000 -Rs 30,000 as the annual licencing fee, besides bearing the cost of the lab testing fee.

As per the BIS guidelines, the process of testing a helmet goes on for 6-8 hours and it is ensured that the helmet does not break or crack even as an object of 5 kg is thrown from a height of 2.5 mts with a force of 2000 kg. The original helmets have better quality safety material inside the helmet and does not weigh more than 1.5 kg, whereas the duplicate ones weigh upto 3-4 kg. They have a width of 500-640 millimetre and that of the strap should not be more than 20 mm.

Mr Sharma said ISI branded helmets bear the licence code, IAS: 4151, besides 7-8 digit licence number, name of the manufacturing company, shape, year of manufacture and the standard mark, whereas the fake ISI mark ones will not have any of these, rather they will contain frivolous instructions like ‘as per ISI specification’, ‘fitted with ISI element’ over the symbol or bear the stamp of SSI or wrong IS code: 3191 instead of 4151.

The bureau norms stipulate imprisonment of two years and a fine of Rs 50,000 for the manufacturers of helmets bearing fake ISI mark. The ISI-branded helmets available in the market include Aerostar, Siglite, Concard, Aero, Shell, Hunt, NP, Sleek, Steelbird, Habsolite, Studds, Vega and Volga.


At the Counter
Railway station leaves much to be desired
Tribune News Service


Mr Amit Dullat, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Ambala), stated that efforts were on to improve the ticket reservation facility. He said a new, better reservation facility was being completed at the station.

Chandigarh, June 3
The Chandigarh Railway Station is, officials, tell you, a light railway station. Light because the station witnesses average rail traffic. Infrastructure is also similarly not too well developed.

But, the amount of passengers booking their tickets from the railway station is growing with each passing day. Just three counters are functional for railway reservation. Of the three, one is exclusively meant for Army personnel.

That leaves only two counters to cater to the needs of the civilian passengers. “That will not be that bad if the staff is a little courteous. Even the person sitting on the enquiry counter refuses to answer any queries. I once brought it to the notice of the station superintendent, but to no avail,” laments Mr Ram Kumar Sharma, who works in a private concern in the city and travels frequently to New Delhi for work.

Mr Sharma says the main reservation point in the station is so small that very often people do not find space to stand in the queue. “Though the authorities have started a new reservation centre on the other side of the railway station (towards Panchkula), it is inadequate as only one counter is functional there. Why can they not plan in advance,” he wonders.

Another passenger, Ms Rakshita Singh, a student, points to the lack of civic amenities and other infrastructure at the station.

“There is very little place to sit. The waiting room is generally so full that there is no place for women to sit. Cold water for drinking is rare here. It is high time more care is taken of the passengers coming to the railway station,” she says.

Interestingly, the Northern Railway earns over Rs 2 crore every year just from selling advertisement space at the station. “Where do they use that money? The least they can do is make this place better,” remarks Mr Ajay Srivastava, an Army officer.

One of the biggest complaints of passengers and other visitors to the station is the rude behavior of the staff.

“I wanted to know about the timing and seat availability of a Chennai-bound train from New Delhi. But, the person manning the enquiry counter told me to stand in the reservation queue to make the enquiry. Does it make sense for me to stand in a long queue only to seek the reservation status of a train,” asks Mr Rajinder Singh, a harried passenger.

Passengers also point to the poor facilities at all platforms other than platform 1. “Many trains such as Jan Shatabdi leave from platform 1. But, there are no proper seating arrangements on this platform,” says another passenger.


Park-and-pay plan approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The proposal of park-and-pay in the three paid parkings in the city has been given the go-ahead by the legal affairs committee of the Municipal Corporation.

While the contractors will continue to charge visitors to the markets of Sectors 8, 9 and 17 at entry points, all fresh contracts given after floating of tenders will have to abide by these new guidelines.

Doing away with the earlier understanding of charging visitors at entry points, under the newly approved proposal, the visitor will be allowed to park in the area earmarked for parking. An employee of the contractor will be asked to issue the parking slip, meaning that the contractor will have to employ more hands.

The Corporation has felt that the contractors have been making profit at the cost of the visitors by charging them at entry points. With parking areas overflowing with vehicles at weekends, a visitor who fails to park in a particular lot, too, ends up paying for the same, leading to inconvenience.

The new guidelines will ensure that the visitor is saved the harassment of being charged for something he has not availed of.

This clause came in for a lengthy discussion at the meeting of the legal affairs committee of the corporation, at which where the various parking bylaws were approved.


Ancient idols found under temple land
Monica Sharma

The discovery of idols can open a new chapter about city’s history, if it is confirmed that the deities actually belong to the Jain community — at least this is what a Professor in Panjab University’s Department of History believes.

Chandigarh, June 3
Breaking up earth in the basement of Burail’s Pracheen Shiv Mandir, labourers have discovered ancient idols — believed to be hundreds of years old. The deities, reportedly belonging to Digambar Jain community, have been taken into possession by the UT Administration.

A meeting is scheduled to be held on Friday regarding the “future course of action”, the sources in Administration claim. Authorities belonging to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) have also been alerted regarding the find, sources said. They too are reportedly looking into the discovery.

Temple authorities claim that the idols were unearthed between May 29 and June 1 while the labourers were digging in the basement. Temple’s sabha general secretary Kashmiri Lal Gupta says about 10 to 12 idols have been pulled out with great care and caution. All idols have been carved out of stone.

Even though the temple itself is believed to be centuries old, the find took everyone by surprise. Residents and experts who witnessed the “great discovery” claim that the idols are of Lord Mahavira in standing and sitting positions. Sculptures carved in the shape of elephant and lion have also been found. The witnesses claim that some of the idols were broken. For so many days they were lying without security, they allege.

Though exact information about was temple’s history is not readily available, experts claim that there was a mount where the temple stands today. They add that “samadhis” of nine sadhus is also present on the temple premises. The ASI authorities, however, refuse to confirm the claim.

A delegation led by president of Sector 27 Shri Digamber Jain Sabha M. S. Jain also visited the temple and reportedly asked for the idols.

When contacted, ASI’s Deputy Superintending Engineer R. S. Jamwal said, “We came to know about the idols late this afternoon. As the site is not under our jurisdiction, the idols have been taken into safe custody by the Administration authorities”.

Subdivisional Magistrate (South) Madhvi Kataria added that UT Deputy Commissioner was expected to decide on Friday whether further studies would be conducted by the ASI or museum authorities.


A Rock Garden in Pakistan?
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Sharjeel Anzar
Sharjeel Anzar

Chandigarh, June 3
Heartening results of the ongoing Indo-Pak peace process are only beginning to show up. Within two days of the conclusion of the 10th World Punjabi Conference, another good news comes.

Highly impressed with the environmental architecture of Nek Chand, the creator of Rock Garden, two highprofile Pakistani Government officials recently in Chandigarh for the Punjabi Conference, have mooted the idea of evolving a similar space in Pakistan.

Not only have they expressed an urge to oversee the development of a Rock Garden in their country, they have also consulted Nek Chand, who has promised to offer his expertise for the project, as and when it matures.

In Chandigarh today, poet-writer Sharjeel Anzar, also the force behind the "Save Apna Wazirabad Association" which has also been finding dislocated Wazirabadis in India, said, "As a delegate of the World Punjabi Conference, I got the opportunity to visit Rock Garden. Accompanying me to the garden was Khalid Sultan, Commissioner, Lahore. The idea struck us there and then. We found that Rock Garden was a fine example of junk utilization. We, in Pakistan, also have loads of unused material which can be used for the creation of such a garden."

Sharjeel Anzar personally met Nek Chand today to collect concept papers of the garden. Overwhelmed by the humility of Nek Chand, Sharjeel said, "I asked him if he would be available for the project when it matures. He said he would come rushing because he would be coming home. Also he said he would not charge us for consultation."

For his part, Nek Chand is happy about the development. Excited about the project, he said, "I was born in tehsil Shakkargarh. For me, this development is nothing less than an honour. They asked me how much consultancy fee I would charge and I told them I would humbly accept whatever they would pay."

Meanwhile, Sharjeel Anzar said the concept of such a garden would be prepared and submitted to the ministries concerned at the earliest. "We have worked out a cost of Rs 2 crore for the project. It could come up in the vicinity of Lahore because Lahore has a lot of waste material. We have no doubts about the project being approved, especially after India and Pakistan have decided to walk the road to peace. We have already been working to locate dislocated Wazirabadis in India. Through six exhibitions of paintings, wood carvings and photographs of Wazirabad, we were able to trace 20 Wazirabadis in Delhi, Panchkula and Punjab."

Back home in Pakistan, Sharjeel was instrumental in establishing the Allabaksh Library in Wazirabad. The library contains literature on famous Indians writers, including Krishan Chander and Kumar Vikal, who were Wazirabadis. Also associated with the "Save Apna Wazirabad Association" is painter-photographer Akram Varaich, who has just released a VCD containing pictures and paintings on Wazirabad, besides addresses of displaced Wazirabadis which have been located in India. Wazirabadis are being helped by India-based group Eclectica in this venture.

In October, Wazirabadis plan to host a special event in which they will invite their long-lost friends from India.


Garbage collection contractors may be shown the door
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Contractors carrying out house-to-house collection of garbage may be shown the door by the Municipal Corporation if its pilot project in Sector 11 is successful. Under the plan, instead of a private contractor, the corporation will have its own channel to collect garbage.

A non-government organisation will be involved and the reduction in cost evaluated over a month. If the saving is substantial in comparison to having garbage collected through contract, the project will be extended to otaher sectors. The modalities of the project will be worked out gradually.

The sanitation committee of the Municipal Corporation approved this at its meeting here today. The members of the committee would take on themselves the additional responsibility of supervising sanitation in sectors.

The private contractors assigned the duty of maintaining cleanliness in the sectors have been warned to comply with the terms and conditions laid down in their contract. The Municipal Corporation will take recourse to a clause in the contract, stating that if services are found deficient in any sector, the corporation will have it cleaned and the expenditure will be deducted from the payment to be made to the contractor.

The sanitation committee was of the opinion that the departments of birth and death certificates, malaria and prevention of food adulteration should be managed by the corporation rather than the Administration, as was the case nearly two years back. This recommendation would be put before the House for approval.

The president of the sweepers’ union has been told that absence from duty will not be tolerated. The committee has decided to take stern action against non-performers.


Engg Dept given schedule on IT park infrastructure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The Engineering Department has been given a schedule to complete infrastructure in the upcoming information technology Park within a specified time-frame. The Finance-cum-IT Secretary today asked the Chief Engineer to immediately start work on four-laning of the approach road to the park as major companies were expected to arrive here by the end of this year.

The road from the traffic lights at the railway station to the IT park at Kishangarh is two-laned. This will be doubled to make it a four-lane road for speedy access.

The Information Technology Department has asked the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and private service providers like the HFCL and Reliance to lay their lines for providing telephone connections to companies. The BSNL has been asked to set up a small exchange as the park may have a requirement of about 4,000 lines when totally occupied. The Software Technology Park of India (STPI), which has a node at Mohali, will set up a small node here for broadband connectivity. There is an optic-fibre cable link between the earth station of the STPI at Mohali and the park.

The 66-KV power substation being built within the park will be commissioned by the end of this month. Work on a bundh to prevent rain water from entering the park area, started on May 14, would be completed by June 30.


Tota denied custody of infant daughter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Gangster Anil Kumar, alias Tota, virtually came to tears when he was denied custody of his illegitimate child. He sought the custody of his three- month- old daughter in jail, saying there was no one to take care of her outside.

Tota’s daughter was born to his concubine Yogita, who had also been arrested in connection with the dacoity attempt at a petrol pump in Sector 37. He was denied the custody of the child and she was restored to Yogita, who would also be in jail.

Tota’s daughter was born when he was on the run. When the Chandigarh police started his chase, Yogita was pregnant.

Tota was sent to police custody again as he was demanded by the Sector 36 police station. He has three children from three women


Bid to grab HUDA land foiled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 3
An attempt to grab Haryana Urban Development Authority’s land in Sector 19 here was folied by local residents this morning.

Led by the local councillor, Mr Om Prakash, residents did not allow builders from Punjab to construct the boundary wall around the disputed land which they claimed fell in the Punjab area.

As soon as truckloads of building material arrived here, the residents were told by the builders that the land fell in Punjab. So, they were taking possession of the land. Mr Om Prakash was then called to intervene. He informed the police and HUDA officials. As soon as the police arrived, the builders left, without the building material.

This is not the first time that attempts have been made by the land mafia in Punjab to grab land in Panchkula.

It is alleged that the course of a seasonal rivulet flowing through Sector 19 was changed by the land grabbers in a bid to reclaim land, falling in Panchkula.


13th Regular Course’s golden jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Officers of the 13th Regular Course, who passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in June, 1954, will be observing the Golden Jubilee of their becoming commissioned officers at Dehra Dun on June 18 and 19.

A wreath-laying ceremony at the IMA War Memorial, address by the IMA Commandant, Lieut-Gen Negi, a visit to the IMA museum, a golden jubilee dinner and a visit to Clement Town are among the activities scheduled during the two-day event.

About 105 officers and their wives, and four widows, are expected to attend the celebrations, Col T S Sidhu (retd) who is co-ordinating the activities in Chandigarh, said.

The 13th Course had a strength of 284 gentlemen cadets. Major-Gen E. Habibullah was then the Commandant and Lieut-Gen K S Thammiya, who later became the Army Chief, reviewed the passing- out parade. The Course has produced seven lieutenant-generals, 11 major-generals and 23 brigadiers. Its officers have bagged, among other decorations, one Maha Vir Chakra, three Kirti Chakra and five Vir Chakra.


Mohali Diary
Supply of sub-standard defence components alleged
Tribune News Service

Members of the Punjab Recorders Workers Union here have, in a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, alleged that their company was supplying sub-standard components to the Defence Department used in the Main Battle Tanks ( MBTs). The workers have also demanded the registration of a criminal case against Mr Varinder Singh, the Managing Director of the company. Stating that Punjab Recorders Ltd, was a public sector concern under the Punjab Government, members of the union have pointed out that their company manufactured defence material, including parts of the MBTs, and supplied these to the Defence Department.

The members alleged that these parts were being manufactured using sub-standard material, adding that rejection reports of various samples were available with the company. They said a large number of complaints have already been made in this regard but no action has so far been taken by the Punjab Government in this regard

Summer camp

Children at a summer camp organised at Gian Jyoti Public School in Mohali
Children at a summer camp organised at Gian Jyoti Public School in Mohali.

A summer camp was inaugurated at Gian Jyoti Public School here. Inaugurated by the school Principal, Mrs Ranjeet Bedi, the camp began with Saraswati vandana” by Ms Savita. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Bedi advised the students to read newspapers and utilise waste material. Various fun games and activities were organised by Mr Ravjot Singh. This was followed by a dance workshop organised by Mr Sarabjit Singh Sabby. A quiz was also conducted.

Swimming lessons

A month-long swimming training camp has been organised at Golden Bells Public School in Sector 77 here. Based on the idea of teaching swimming along with fun and frolic, the camp has been organised for the children to utilise their summer vacation. In order to provide clean and healthy water for the swimmers, a water filtration plant has been installed in the swimming pool. The camp will provide swimming facilities to the children of 4 to 15 years.

Recording begins

Music recording of telefilm ‘Daftar’ in progress at Mohali
Music recording of telefilm ‘Daftar’ in progress at Mohali.

The recording for the music of Punjabi telefilm “Daftar” started this week. Being produced under the banner of the Sarghi Kala Kender here, the film is written and directed by Sanjeevan Singh. Speaking on the occasion, he said the subject of the film revolved around the working style of offices, the lack of work culture, corruption and harassment of people.



CTU workers’ stir on June 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The CTU workers Joint Action Committee has said employees of the CTU will observe a two-hour strike on June 9 from 10 a.m to 12 noon.

The strike will be at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17 and the ISBT, Sector 43.

The strike will not affect the local bus services and only long route buses will be affected, a press release of the committee said.

A decision to go on strike was taken following a meeting of the committee today.

The committee said it was against the purchase of low-floored buses of a particular company. The committee said drivers and conductors of the CTU faced harassment at the hands of private transporters in Punjab in areas like Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Ludhiana.


Youth dies of electric shock
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 3
A youth, Bhupinder Yadav, was seriously injured while trying to erect a tent outside Gurdwara Nadda Sahib late last evening. He suffered an electric shock and was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, where he succumbed to his injuries today.

The police says that he was working with Patiala Tent House, Patiala, and had been sent by his employers for making arrangements of erecting tents for the Pooran Mashi festivities at the gurdwara today. The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174 of Cr. P. C.

Fire Incident:- A fire broke out in the Chandi Mandir cantonement area on Thursday. Spread over several acres of the reserve forest area in Chandi Mandir, along the Panchkula- Kalka highway, the fire raged on for almost 45 minutes before it was controlled with the help of two fire tenders. The exact cause of fire could not be ascertained, and no major loss was reported.


Workshop for parents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
City Beautiful is again in the grip of summer workshop fever. There are workshops galore for children. The Joy Lall Memorial Educational Society, through its ODE (Optimising Development in Education) programme, has come up with a different workshop.

This is a workshop for the parents aimed at optimising learning. ODE works in the field of specific learning disability in Panchkula and Chandigarh.

One of the first tasks that the society would be to conduct workshops for parents. The methods being discussed in this workshop were developed primarily for children with learning difficulties but can be used for all children.

Remedial measures for optimising learning in languages and mathematics will also be demonstrated. The workshop will begin on June 7 and continue till June 15 at Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24, Chandigarh.


Man booked for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
A resident of Sector 9, Paramjit Singh Kahlon, has been booked for forgery and cheating. The complaint has been lodged by Additional Deputy Commissioner Inderjit Singh Sandhu in his official capacity.

Mr Sandhu, in his complaint to the Sector 17 police, has narrated how Kahlon gave wrong address while standing surety for getting bail. On April 17, five persons were arrested for a clash and booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the IPC. These five persons are Harpreet Singh, Paramjit Kaur, Dipin Aggarwal, Pratibha Aggarwal and Meenakshi. All except Harpreet Singh were released on bail. The same day, a woman, mentioned in the FIR as the wife of Paramjit Singh Kahlon, applied for bail in the court of Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu, who is also SDM Central.

Mr Sandhu sent the bail bond for verification to the Tehsildar. This was filed and bail was not granted. On April 19, another bail bond was presented in the court of Mr Sandhu and bail was again not granted.

On April 24, Paramjit Singh Kahlon applied for bail for Harpreet Singh. While giving surety, he said he was the owner of a flat in the Advocates Society in Sector 49 and the property be accepted as surety.

The SDM granted bail on that basis. On verification, it was found that Kahlon was not the owner of the flat mentioned. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468 , 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.


Flesh trade racket busted, 12 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Five women were arrested for allegedly involvement in flesh trade along with five men and two of their pimps from a motel in Sector 20-C.

A police party from the Sector 19 police station had raided the motel following a tip-off. Two of the women hailed from Delhi, one from Darjeeling, one from Ludhiana and one was from Sector 41 in Chandigarh. Two of their pimps, Pramod Kumar and Ankush Bansal, are residents of Phase XI, Mohali. The men had contacted these women over phone and had come from places like Bilaspur, Una, Hoshiarpur, Chandigarh and Barnala. All those arrested have been booked under the Prevention of the Immoral Trafficking Act.


More Fun Republics planned for region
Tribune News Service

Ashish Kaul
Ashish Kaul

Chandigarh, June 3
The Essel Group comprising mega brands like Zee Telefilms, Water Kingdom and Fun Republic will soon tap Punjab's market for its multiplex potential. In Chandigarh to oversee the progress of Zee TV's ongoing "India's best auditions", Mr Ashish Kaul, Vice- President, Corporate Brand Development Group for Essel, told The Tribune that the company was planning a chain of Fun Republics for Punjab.

The decision has everything to do with the tremendous response to Fun Republic in Chandigarh. In an interview, Mr Kaul said that the Chandigarh Fun Republic was the third in the line after Ahmedabad and Mumbai. "We are now planning another multiplex in Bangalore. Besides that, we are aggressively looking at Punjab where we may have two multiplexes in each city".

Dwelling upon the growth of Zee, Mr Kaul, recipient of the prestigious "Corporate Communications Manager of the Year 2001 Award" constituted by Media Meet and the Tribune Group of publications, said Zee had no major competition in entertainment. "Zee Cinema has consistently been the number one movie channel. We have reformatted Zee Music, besides producing films regularly. Along with TV entertainment, we are gaining from our projects like Fun Republics and Water Kingdom.

While Essel World is doing well, we have also conceived of the largest theme park in South East Asia. We are looking at sites in North India. Punjab, with its huge lands, is a major contender for the location," Mr Kaul said.

On the front of entertainment and cinema, Zee is planning to release three films in the near future. The first titled, "One Dollar Curry" features Vikram Chhatwal, the son of USA's billionaire,Sant Singh Chhatwal, in the lead role. Mr Kaul informed The Tribune, "This film is about how a migrant Sikh makes a living in Paris. It is being produced with France TV." The other films are "Bhagmati" and Khosla ka Ghonsla". While Bhagmati will be India's first fully animated film, "Khosla ka ghonsla" is a light-hearted comedy.

With plans to produce five films a year, Zee has also diversified into talent hunts like "India's best", which will result in the making of two films with fresh talent. Mr Kaul said: "Earlier we had talent hunts for Antakshri. The result was discovery of Shreya Gosal and Sunidhi Chauhan. Now we are focusing on films. The "Big Break auditions" are meant to select 32 youngsters from 20 Indian cities."

The selected 32 will attend a two-month long session where the who's who of the film industry will train them. Later, they will be shortlisted for the final two films to be made with Sunny Deol, Salman Khan and Preity Zinta. "We will select two girls and two boys. The rest of the talent will be accommodated in Zee serials," said Mr Kaul.

With an enhanced focus on entertainment, Zee plans to overcome competition from Star Plus.

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