C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Keep away from religion, Farooq advises Mufti
Says his party will re-introduce Resettlement Bill in J & K Assembly soon
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Opposition National Conference's Patron Farooq Abdullah today said that the J&K Government should stop meddling in religious affairs.

In a free-wheeling interview with The Tribune - he was in the city in connection with the installation ceremony of the new team of office-bearers of local chapter of Rotary International - Dr Abdullah said that the recent controversy over the duration of the Amarnath Yatra happened due to the questionable tactics on the part of Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed.

Book to reveal all

One thing which is taking much of the former Chief Minister's time is his decision to write an autobiography. "It will reveal everything. Many people will lose their sleep once my book comes out," Dr Abdullah told The Tribune.

He said that the autobiography would talk of various events, men, and, of course, the women in his life. Asked if he will write about his motorcycle rides with Shabana Azmi on the pillion, Dr Abdullah replied in the affirmative.

"Wait for the book to come out. It will be very juicy, have more romance than romantic novels and will present the true picture about many big people," he said.

But does he find time to write the book?

"I am a Rajya Sabha member. No work takes place there. I have all the time in the world at my disposal," he remarked. 

"I fail to understand why Mr Sayeed refuses to let the Amarnath Yatra Shrine Board do the job. After all, isn't it an autonomous board? As for the duration, even when I was the Chief Minister we were thinking of increasing the duration of the yatra," Mr Abdullah said.

It may be recalled that three ministerial colleagues of Mr Mufti - all from the Jammu region - had handed over their resignation letters to the Congress leadership in protest against the refusal of the Chief Minister to allow the yatra duration to be increased.

Referring to the rift between the Congress leaders and Mr Mufti, Dr Abdullah asserted that due to this rift, the functioning of the state administration had come to a virtual stand-still.

"What do you say when you come to hear that the Finance Minister has not attended his office for the past almost 25 days due to sharp differences with some bureaucrats? And, he is from the People's Democratic Party. All that the Mufti government has achieved is to sharpen the divide between the three regions of the state," Mr Abdullah maintained.

The NC patriarch also disclosed that in view of the "failure" of the State Government to get the amendment in the J&K Re-settlement Act passed in the legislature despite full backing of the NC, his party would now table the original Bill in the forthcoming session of the J&K Assembly.

"When Mr Mufti is in Kashmir he talks a lot of his desire to get the Bill passed, but the moment he steps outside, he conveniently forgets it. We are going to expose those whose deeds don't match their words," Dr Abdullah said.

Talking about the ongoing talks between the Union Government and leaders, including the separatist groups of J&K, the former Chief Minister said that talks should be widened to include all sections of society.

"Right now, nobody knows who is talking to whom. The Centre's interlocutor in the matter. Mr N.N. Vohra, is just a postman. He goes from one side to the other with nothing concrete but suggestions. We would like to know what has been the progress so far," Dr Abdullah said. He also advocated the need to make the talks time-bound.

On being asked if he was satisfied with the performance of son and heir Omar Abdullah, under whose stewardship the National Conference lost the last Assembly polls, Dr Abdullah remarked that his son was doing a good job.

"The emergence of young leaders is always a good thing. He is maturing as a politician," said the father.

Staying overnight in Chandigarh after a small function, Dr Farooq Abdullah took time off to engage in his current love - golf. He had an extended session at the Chandigarh Golf Club along with some old friends in the morning. "I don't find time to practice my swings due to paucity of time. When some friends asked me if I wanted to join them, I immediately agreed," Dr Abdullah told The Tribune.

One of the players, PHDCCI Resident Director PK Verma said that Dr Abdullah had a single-digit handicap and played well. Dr Abdullah and his friends played nine holes.



Cops play marriage counsellors
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
For once, the police is in the news for the right reasons. It has, to its credit, the task of reconciling broken families. Over a dozen couples vouched for the positive role the Chandigarh police had played in their lives, here today. The crime against women cell of the police, put on show its work of last year, inviting couples living happily.

Cell pro-women, say husbands

Most men among the couples present at the counselling session felt that the cell was women-centric. They held that since the laws are pro-women, at the counselling sessions they have to give in to the demands of the women, however unjustified, to save their skin. “The counsellers are just not bothered about our side of the story, the unreasonable demands of the women and the misuse of law. We can either take their advice and patch up by agreeing to what our wives demand or face the wrath of the police,” they rued.

Replying to this grouse of the men, the counsellers said that at times it becomes difficult to establish the truth and the rules in the book were to the advantage of the women but they tried to be fair. “We try and do whatever is humanly possible though we know at times that the husband is being victimised. Our efforts are to arrive at the real problem between the couple and address that,” they said.

Most of these couples, in their 20s, had broken up on account of “interfering in-laws” and had come together after resolving their differences through counselling.

From conversations with a few such couples, it emerged that in most cases the counselling had borne fruit and worked out only where husbands had agreed to part ways with their families and live separately with the wife and child.

Says Raj Kumar, a homoeopath and taxi driver married for four years, “I used to be out all day and when I got home, I was flooded with complaints by my wife. Our fights got more and more serious and we wanted to call it quits. It is then that we were directed to this cell where, during the counselling sessions, I realised how troubled my wife was. I left home bag and baggage. Now, my wife is not complaining. We are happy though I miss my family.”

For Balwinder and Ashok Kumar, tied in wedlock for five years, trouble began within six months of marriage. “My in-laws would keep cribbing at whatever I did and, in turn, I kept pestering my husband to shift out of the house. Things came to such a pass that I contemplated leaving him altogether when the police came to our rescue. We began staying together again once the counsellers urged my husband to live separately and he agreed. Now, we no longer fight and our relationship is blossoming.”

Govind Hari, a stenographer, got his wife of two years back after cops from the cell stepped in. “My wife didn’t want to stay in a joint family. She threatened to register a case of dowry if I didn’t give in which she eventually did. This got us to the cell where I was told in clear terms that I should either shift out of my house, away from my parents, or face the consequences of a case. I hardly had any option. We are together again if you call that a compromise,” he said.

Counselling couples to live together, Ms Pammi Mann, Ms Indu Thapar and Ms Amrita Kohli claimed that almost 50 per cent of the cases ended up in a compromise. “These are primarily cases where the husband is an alcoholic or beats up his wife or the joint family system becomes a problem. At the moment we have 15-odd cases going on and settlement takes five to eight sittings. Only in 20 per cent cases, we are unable to find a middle path and it ends up as an FIR in police records,” Ms Kohli maintains.


Chandigarh second most crowded city in country
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
It may seem unbelievable, but going by data of the Census Department, Chandigarh is the second most crowded city in the country. The seemingly calm and serene city has a population density of 7903 persons per square kilometre, which is the second highest after Delhi, which has a density of 9294 persons per square kilometre.

The density of population in 1961 was just 1052 persons per square kilometre. In 1991, it was 5632.

The Census Department today organised a seminar on the eve of the World Population Day and disseminated data in this regard. The “Abstract”, which comprises a major portion of the Census operations, was released.

The city has a population of 9,00,635. Out of this 5,06,938 are males and 3,93,697 are women. The rural population is 92,120.

The sex ratio, that is the number of females for every 1,000 males, is among the lowest in the country. It has dropped in the last decade. It now stands at 771. This is largely attributed to the migrant population, which comes here in search of jobs. It usually comes alone, while the womenfolk stay back in villages. On the other hand, the literacy rate is the 81.76 per cent, which is among the better ones.

Among the interesting facts in the data is that more than half of the city population does not do any work. A total of 5,60,213 people do not work. This is 62.2 per cent of the population.


Experts concerned at rising traffic on city roads
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 10
With the development of urban complexes at Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur, Naya Gaon and other developing areas in the city periphery, traffic on city roads has increased. To counter the compounding traffic problem, there is a need for constructing more road dividers, over-bridges, more roads linking Panchkula to Chandigarh, a six-lane road connecting Chandigarh with Information Technology Park at Kishangarh, and shifting of the National Highway -21 to the south of the city.

These were some points which were discussed by the experts at a seminar — ‘Emerging scenario of traffic and transportation in Chandigarh’ — organised by the Chandigarh Chapter of Association of British Scholars at Hotel Parkview in Sector 24, here today.

Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, UT Chief Engineer, said main roads (V-2s and V-3s carrying heavy volume of traffic) were to be developed in four stages. The administration had a proposal to build a flyover at the transport chowk, two more links between Chandigarh and Panchkula and construction of subways for pedestrians, he said.

To get rid of parking blues, the administration is also thinking of constructing underground and overhead parking lots in sectors 17, 22, 34, 35, and other places. The proposals for constructing a flyover on a stretch of Madhya Marg and two railway over bridges on the link roads to Panchkula need to be given a serious thought, said Mr Bhardwaj.

Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, SP, Traffic and Security, Chandigarh, claimed that against the registration of 6,000 vehicles in 1970, the number of vehicles in the city had increased to 2.73 lakh in 1993 and 9.54 lakh, in 2003. The number of persons died in accidents had also increased.

He said a CD on traffic rules would be prepared and shown to the students visiting Children Traffic Park, Sector 21.

A ‘Black Book’ containing picture of fatal accidents would be released soon, he added.

Mr Harish Bhatia, former professor of the Punjab Engineering College, Mr Harish Sethi, former Engineer-in-Chief, PWD (B and R), Haryana, and Mr Amit Bhat, traffic and transport consultant from Delhi, also expressed their views, said Mr D.V. Bhatia, president of the chapter. 


City to get 100 low-floor buses within a month
Art college students design new look for the fleet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
UT’s public transport system is all set to be revolutionised. Encouraged by the response that low-floor buses got, the Administration plans to make the entire city operation buses low floor in near future.

There is a proposal to replace the existing fleet of CTU buses operating in the city with the new low-floor buses.

UT Home Secretary R.S. Gujral said here today that the Administration was planning to procure over 100 low-floor buses. The proposal would be implemented at a cost of Rs 10 crore, with each low-floor bus costing about Rs 10 lakh.

“The proposal has been worked out with the aged and the disabled in mind. The new buses, with lower floors than the others, make commuting easier and are extremely passenger friendly. We are in the process of working out modalities. The procurement would be done within a month,” said Mr Gujral.

Not only is the Administration keen on implementing the proposal fast, it is also keen on giving a new look to the new fleet. Officials admit to having asked the authorities of the Government College of Art, Sector 10, to submit designs highlighting the possible colour combinations for the buses.

Meanwhile, the art college authorities said one of the designs out of the 12 submitted by them had been approved by the Administration. Confirming this, Mr R.S. Gujral said, “We had not given them any parameters. All we had told them was that the buses would operate in a grid pattern. The idea behind inviting designs is to have a fresh perspective for a fresh fleet. The designs were examined by a committee before the final design was taken.”

While the stage is set for implementing the proposal, some bottlenecks remain.

The CTU Employees Union has been complaining of certain deficiencies in the 14 low-floor buses already plying on city roads. They have pointed out certain structural problems in these buses, like the existence of rear engine, which demands high maintenance.

Mr Gujral said, “Before we make procurement on such a large scale, we want to ensure that the fresh stock of buses is free from deficiencies that have been pointed out by the union. We will go ahead with the placement of order and floating tender only when we are satisfied in that regard.”


Rising inflation should be checked, says Sinha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Amidst the usual Congress-bashing and oft-repeated issue of tainted ministers in the government, removal of Governors and growing terrorist activities, the BJP spokesperson and former Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, had a piece of advice for the present incumbent, Mr P Chidambaram.

In the city to attend the birth anniversary of the party’s founder, Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, at the local BJP office, Mr Sinha said Mr Chidambaram’s should put on his thinking cap and thinks of ways to deal with rising inflation levels.

“We were following a policy of low inflation and soft interest. Contrary to that, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is already facing rising inflation levels on account of its policies. We can only hope that the monsoon is as per expectations and does not upset the Finance Minister’s apple cart. Rising inflation and a bad monsoon, at this time, could prove to be terrible for the economy,” he claimed

He was critical of the fact that the UPA government was giving the impression that this was the first Budget to have targeted agriculture and economy with the aim of making it more buoyant.

“In fact, we have done that all along. Also, they have chosen to continue with most of our ongoing programmes and are trying to take credit. They have given the impression that they are pro-poor though what is gradually unravelling reeks of a hidden agenda, aimed at taking the people for a ride. What we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg, what lies beneath, between the lines, will slowly manifest itself and we will be proved right,” he added.

Addressing BJP activists, he announced the launch of a week-long “Suraksha, Swabhiman aur Loktantra Bachao” campaign wherein BJP activists would expose the ruling government’s failure and ‘misdeeds’ on various fronts.

“The UPA government has no answers about why criminals, rapists and law violators are being allowed to continue in office and as their ministers. Bihar, anyways, is known for accepting criminals as its leaders but that certainly doesn’t mean that the government should appoint them as ministers. While Dr Manmohan Singh might have a clean image, he cannot be considered above board since these ministers hold office under his leadership,” Mr Sinha opined.

“The decision to remove Governors in four states is politically incorrect. The governments should not see these constitutional posts with ‘jaundiced eyes’ just because their ideas don’t gel with the government’s viewpoint. The only motive behind installing new governors in Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Gujarat is to destabilise the state governments. In Haryana, the government has an eye on the coming elections and having ‘their own’ Governor would certainly help,” he pointed out.

He said the government was encouraging terrorist activities and giving terrorist a long rope by adopting a lenient stand and, thus, compromising on the national security. “This is a fight from the ‘sansad to the sadak’ and we will do whatever we can to make sure that the government does not expose the country to terrorists,” he stated.

Earlier, Mr Satpal Jain, former MP from the city, condemned the UPA for removal of governors and continuing with tainted ministers. He said the police had failed to register a case against local Congress councillor, Mr Balraj Singh, who was caught accepting bribe on camera. “The police is under pressure from the Central Government and the local Congress leaders. We just want the public to realise that this is the Congress style of functioning,” he said. The president of the local BJP unit, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, highlighted the work of Dr Mukherjee.


Loose cables a virtual death trap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The open junction boxes of street lights and the loose cables hanging from these, in almost all sectors of the township, are a virtual death trap. Yesterday, two buffaloes were electrocuted when they came in contact with the open cables of the junction boxes in Sector 14, while grazing. Mr H.S. Swara, resident of Sector 20, said neither the municipal council nor HUDA had made efforts to cover the boxes.

He said because of the monsoon, there was heavy growth on all central verges of roads where electric poles were installed. “Most of the time, stray animals graze here and accidents like these could be repeated,” he said.

Residents rued that the street lights remained defunct for long periods and the MC contractor who was supposed to maintain the street lights had failed to repair them.

Mr Kunal Sharma of Sector 9 alleged that the street lights in sector had been out of order for a long time. “The contractor is installing 40 watt tubes instead of the more powerful sodium vapour and mercury vapour lamps. At a number of places, the cover of the lamps and lights are missing and nests have come up here,” he said.

The MC president, Ms Seema Chaudhary, said there was a shortage of street lights and the issue of buying more lights would be discussed at a meeting of the MC general house, on July 14.

She said though they imposed fines on the contractor if the lights were not repaired, the problem had increased after rain as a number of lights had fused after fluctuations.

Regarding uncovered boxes, she said she had asked the contractor to prepare an estimate for covering the boxes. “We will pay the contractor and get the boxes repaired,” she said. 


Life for him will never be the same again
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
It was a year ago when catastrophe had rocked the Ahluwalia family. The only son in the family, Abhishek, at the tender age of 15 had to undergo amputation of his left leg due to the alleged negligence of doctors treating him at a private hospital in Sector 34. Life for him and his family has changed drastically ever since.

``I was in the school’s cricket team and used to play football actively. Now most of the time I am sitting in my classroom while my friends play outside. When I bat, its with a runner,’’ says Abhishek, now 16 years old, trying to fathom how much life had changed for him after the artificial limb came into his life. Nevertheless, he got honours from cricketer Dinesh Mongia when the Chandigarh Sports Club awarded him for his exemplary courage of continuing to play the sport that he loves.

It was on July 11 last year, when Abhishek received a fracture while playing football in school. He was rushed to Dr Sanjay Saluja as his knee had got displaced. He was then taken to a private hospital where his case allegedly got neglected, resulting in severe pain and later on multiple organ failure. When he was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, after a week’s stay in the private hospital, doctors immediately had to amputate his left leg to save his life. In all this turmoil, the family says they had to shell out Rs 80,000 in the private hospital.

``We are now left with no option but to take the course of law,’’ says his mother, Ms Anuradha. The family lodged a criminal case against Dr Saluja and Dr Kaplash. They also approached the National Dispute Redressal Commission, New Delhi, for compensation to the tune of more than Rs 97 lakh. The commission has decided to award compensation of Rs 15.23 lakh and has redirected the case to the district forum. It is learnt that the police had framed charges against Dr Saluja only and he is on bail.

``We are knocking all doors and had also approached the former Union Health Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj. But I want to know who is responsible for the life-long suffering of my son? His career is jeopardised, and his physical activity is restricted. From an active player he is now totally dependent on family members for daily chores. Would any of the leading engineering and medical institutes give a seat to my son who has undergone so much,’’ asks the agitated mother unsure of whom to target her anger.

She, however, is satisfied that her struggle would benefit society in the long run. ``My faith in the private doctors has gone down ever since the tragic episode. My struggle and appeals may not have adversely affected the doctors concerned, but they have created an awareness among the public to watch out for any negligence or overlooking by the doctors,’’ she says with teary eyes. 


Response to Mohali police e-mail facility poor
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 10
Response to the local police e-mail facility for lodging complaints and giving suggestions has been poor. Hardly 10 complaints have been received over the past more than six weeks.

The SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, said yesterday that the police would be compelled to be more active if residents used the e-mail facility (spmohali@yahoo.com) more often to give suggestions on matters relating to traffic, patrolling, drugs, control of crime, etc.

Complaints lodged on e-mail could be attended more quickly. He personally saw all e-mail complaints, the SP said.

One of the aims of the facility was to save people the trouble of going to police stations to get minor problems solved.

Mr Agrawal said only 10 complaints had been received since he joined on May 23. These related to among other things, dowry cases, dowry threats and fraud.


Make will registration simpler: Sabha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha has urged the UT Administration to do away with the “sperfluous” requirement of furnishing residential proof while getting the general power of attorney, special power of attorney, wills etc registered with the Sub-Registrar of Chandigarh.

In a communication to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, the general secretary of the sabha said here yesterday that the requirement was against the provisions of the Indian Registration Act and the Rules framed thereunder. These documents could be registered anywhere in the country, irrespective of whether the executant stayed there or not. For example, if a person was residing in Chandigarh and he had to proceed to Mumbai in connection with the affairs of his service or business, where he was required to live temporarily for a period of few months and in case, it became expedient for him to give general power of attorney or special power of attorney or make a will in favour of some person, why should the Registering Officer at Mumbai refuse the registration of the documents merely on the ground that such a person was not the resident of Mumbai and being so, was not in possession of any proof of residence at Mumbai having shifted there temporarily for a short period, he said.

“How for is it justified that he should return to Chandigarh to get the documents registered. Registration law on the other hand provides that GPAs, SPAs and the wills may be registered anywhere in the country or even abroad. If someone goes to a foreign country, ithe documents could be registered under the registration law of that country,” he said.


Charity saves heart patient’s life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
It was perhaps the happiest moment for 25-year-old Pradeep Kumar and his family. Seeking some monetary assistance to replace a leaking valve in his heart with an artificial one two months ago, Pradeep yesterday is grateful to the PGI and doctors at the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery for giving him a new lease of life.

In fact, Chandigarh Tribune first of all highlighted Pradeep’s case asking residents to donate for the surgery. The defective mitral valve needed immediate replacement but the major bottleneck for Pradeep’s family remained arranging the finances to the tune of around Rs 70,000 needed for the surgery. Through the appeal made in Chandigarh Tribune, donations totalling more than Rs 85,000 were collected which made the treatment possible.

“Both my father and younger brother are unemployed and I remained ill most of the time. There was an acute shortage of money, but now I am happy that everything is taken care of,’’ said Pradeep, who hails from Rae Bareli in UP.

Dr R.S. Dhaliwal, Head of Department, Cardiovascular Surgery, who performed the surgery on Pradeep said the patient was critical when he came to the hospital two months ago. “Looking at his poor financial condition, we allowed him to stay in the ward for over one month on compassionate grounds till the required money came in,” said Dr Dhaliwal.

The Director of the Institute, Prof K.K. Talwar, said PGI’s doors were open for poor patients and they would see to it that the donations were immediately availed by poor themselves. 


Search Within
Walk your way to happiness

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all medicine and psychology in the world can, wrote Paul Dudley White (1886-1973), American cardiologist and founder of the American Heart Foundation.

White emphasised the importance of prevention of coronary disease and was a strong advocate of fitness and exercise in aiding its prevention. His use of bicycle was known throughout the world and the 17-mile of bike path in the Boston-Brookline area is named after him.

We may not all be fitness freaks, but walking is excellent from another angle also. It helps in overcoming boredom and lifting up spirits when one feels dull.

If you are looking for creative ideas or struggling with certain decisions, taking a good walk helps you think better. Philosopher Henry David Thoreau used to say that the moment his legs began to move, his thoughts began to flow.

What is more you note more of the beauties of nature. Nature’s peace will flow into you. The winds will refresh you and for a moment you are freed from the monotony of concrete walls and confined spaces.

The television has colluded in making the home for many a man or woman a sort of a couch. The urban dweller, if he is employed, finds little time to stir out and meet his neighbour. He is too busy to go for a walk. He does miss the joys of a morning walk or an evening saunter; he seldom looks at the stars, flowers on the wayside; he is also a stranger to the music of birds. To that extent, he goes through life blind and deaf to the joys of existence.

“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements,” Thoreau comments in his essay on walking.

The human being is unique in possessing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. With only a little self-observation, you will quickly realise that any time your physical being is sluggish or functioning below optimum level, your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being also suffers. Those who walk regularly a couple of miles a day report improved metal clarity and emotional and spiritual well-being. This being so, we must use every opportunity that present itself in our daily schedule to keep our legs on the move.

For the city dweller, this means, avoiding elevators and escalators, and taking the stairs! If you need more vitality in your life, climbing a few stairs whenever possible will be a big step (literally) in the right direction. Also, if you ever have the opportunity to go for a walk or a hike in nature, you will be reaping even more benefit from the uneven terrain and chance to breathe fresh air, not to mention the benefits to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being!

There’s a long tradition of getting the body involved in prayer and meditations if one examines the history of monasteries. Medieval monastery or convents had large open area where the monks and nuns would walk and pray. What’s more, prayer-walkers will argue that walking and praying or meditating offers greater satisfaction than sitting at a place for quiet reflection. And if one is able to select a beautiful spot like a seashore or mountain, this adds to the contemplation of the majesty of creation and the glory of the Creator.

Dr Fred A. Stutman, a medical officer with the US air force, established one of the first walking programmes for heart patients. Known as the father of walking revolution, he did considerable research on the subject.

According to him an increased oxygen supply and reduced carbon dioxide in the blood are two physiological changes that occur while exercising. The increased oxygen supply improves one’s thinking ability and memory, lengthens the concentration span and heightens the clarity of thoughts (during walking).

Recent studies also indicate that exercise may increase the concentration of two different groups of chemicals in the brain known as endorphins and norepinephrines. These substances appear to have a mood elevating effect and tend to impart a sense of well-being to the exerciser.

So get out of your seat and sedentary existence, go for a walk and see the difference for yourself. You may have then discovered a way to change your brain chemistry and through it, your mood.

— M.P.K. Kutty


Cleanliness drive turns into nightmare
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Residents of Sector 42 could have never imagined that a drive to clean the rivulet in their sector would turn into a nightmare. Teams of the municipal corporation cleaned the rivulet and dumped the rubbish in Sector 42-B and in front of shops of Attawa village which is in the same sector.

The drive to clean the drains started last week as it was felt that trash accumulated over the years and growth of wild grass was hampering the flow of water and could lead to breach in the banks.

Last monsoon, a portion of the bridge on the road diving Sectors 36 and 42 was damaged as the flow of water was fast.

A former sarpanch Ms Parmeshwari Devi, said the drains had been cleaned and the trash was dumped in front of the houses.

At a distance of less than 50 yards from the villages is Sector 42-B and residents who have to use the road daily said the entire area stank and flies and mosquitoes had increased.

Rain during the past two days had aggravated the problem, said Mr Rajesh Bhalla, a resident. 


Identity of body dumped at GMCH established
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The man who died after being shot at and dumped outside the GMCH, Sector 32, by some unknown persons on July 6, has been identified as Hardeep Singh from Pilkhani village in Ambala. Pal Singh, his father, is a plumber by profession.

Hardeep’s family members said he used to stay away for months together. That is why they had little clue about his whereabouts and friend circle, they added. Hardeep’s aunt, who stays in the city, had earlier given his photographs in the newspapers to know his whereabouts. She took the family members to the hospital to identify Hardeep’s body. 


Population run
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
To observe World Population Day tomorrow, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be organising a run for students at 8 am tomorrow. The Nehru Yuva Kendra has been entrusted with the responsibility to organise such runs in all state capitals of the country.

The run starts from the cricket stadium, Sector 16.

The objective of the programme is to focus on issue of population and motivating youths to voluntarily participate in population awareness programmes.


Former minister’s house burgled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The Sector 2 house of senior Congress leader and former minister, Mrs Prasanni Devi, was burgled between June 18 and June 21. An FIR was registered by the police late last night.

A team of forensic experts led by Mr G.R. Jain today visited the house to pick finger prints. However, the internal locks and bolts had been repaired and not much evidence could be gathered.

Mrs Prasanni Devi said the burglary had taken place between June 18 and 21. “My daughter-in-law was away to Delhi for a few days and the house was locked. I was also away. It was only when I came here on June 21 that I noticed the entire house was ransacked and the locks of all doors had been broken,” she said.

She said two gold chains, a pearl necklace, about five watches, and approximately Rs 25,000 cash had been stolen. “My husband had saved the money from his pension and the thieves took it. They ransacked the maid servant’s room and took away Rs 1,000 from there,” she said.

She had informed the police but because of a death in the family, she had to go to Delhi. “The police, too, asked me to assess the damage before the FIR was registered. It was after I came back yesterday, that an FIR was registered,” she said.


PGI Law Officer surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
PGI’s Law Officer Tajinder Singh Bagga today surrendered before the police after an FIR was lodged against him following an alleged brawl with Deputy Director Administration (DDA) Meeta Rajivlochhan yesterday. He was, however, released on bail.

Earlier, the police called Mr Bagga to the Sector 11 police station and asked him to give an assurance, on behalf of the PGI Employees Union, not to indulge in the case in future.

Mr Bagga, who was accompanied by his counsel, got a copy of the FIR and approached the court for permanent bail. He was booked under Sections 332 and 353 of IPC yesterday. The dispute between the two officials was over the routing of files to the Director’s office.

Meanwhile, the PGI has constituted a three-member committee, including Dean PGI, Prof Sudha Suri, Prof Amod Gupta, and Prof Sarla Gopalan, to look into the facts of the matter.

However, the PGI’s Employees Union today reiterated its earlier stand on the immediate repatriation of the DDA, who is an IAS officer from the Maharashtra cadre and has been holding the post for the past four years.

The union, in a letter written to the PGI Director, has questioned as to why the woman officer directly talked to Mr Bagga regarding routing of files through her and why she did not get such orders issued from the Director? The union has further questioned as to why at her own instance, the FIR was lodged and why the police intervened during office hours without the permission of the Director.

Office-bearers of the union also met Member Parliament and member of the PGI’s institute body Pawan Kumar Bansal in that regard today.


Mango Mela a lacklustre affair
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The 13th Annual Mango Mela that began here today, was a lacklustre affair as it failed to attract mango growers from neighbouring states. However, the wide range of mango products put up at the fair seemed to have made up for a bleak participation in the commercial varieties of the fruit. From ‘aam papad’ to mango pulp, pickles to mago candies and squashes to canned mango cut fruit, the mango products attracted crowds.

The maximum number of entries in mango varieties and its processed forms were received from the Haryana State Horticulture Department and the Himachal Pradesh Marketing Corporation (HPMC) respectively. This year, there were hardly any entries from the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal, and most entries were received from growers of Haryana and Punjab. The local varieties grown in Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, sipia shahpasand and varieties in dussehri, chausa and langra, were well appreciated for their aroma, flavour and skin.

Mr Ranjit Singh, a mango grower from Chamrara village in Panipat, said the low participation in the mela was because it was held after the monsoon had set in. “When compared to last year, there are less entries and lesser varieties on display. I had come here to get the knowhow for developing exotic varieties of the king of fruits, but there are hardly any of these on display,” he said.

Each year a number of mango growers from Saharanpur, Muzzafarnagar, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Lucknow, Rampur and Malihabad (the biggest producer of dussehri variety) converge here. However, other than a handful of growers, the mango growers from these places were conspicuous by their absence.

The venue at Yadvindra Gardens, in a small clearing among mango trees, was all decked up. A number of kites hung from the trees. Buntings of brightly coloured cloth were hung all over , adding colour and gaiety to the venue. The sweet aromatic flavour of mangoes filled the air, and as the evening set in, the crowds began to converge there.

As many as 3,226 entries had been received, including 2,298 entries of mangoes, and 928 of mango products. As many as 170 varieties of mangoes, including dussehri, langra, chausa, Bombay green, malika, amrapali, alphonso, ratol, safeda totapari , were on display.

In the evening, the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, inaugurated the festival. He showed a keen interest in the different varieties of fruit on display. Contests in mango eating and rangoli were organised. A cultural show, including kal belliya, Haryanavi and Punjabi dances, was also organised. 


LIC honours agents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The LIC of India, Divisional Office, Chandigarh, organised a Jeevan Anand Honours qualifying meet for agents at Panchkula today in which more than 200 agents were honoured by Mr N.P. Chawla, Senior Divisional Manager, for procuring Jeevan Anand policies in the month of June, 2004.

June 2004, was celebrated as Jeevan Anand month by the Division and a competition in this regard was floated for all agents, which evoked a good response.

Professor Ramesh Arora, a motivator from Jaipur, stressed on the need for personal and professional excellence.

Mr N.P. Chawla, Senior Divisional Manager, highlighted the performance of the Division and said the Chandigarh Division ranked first in north zone in terms of annual budget achievement. The Division has shown a growth rate of 45 per cent in first premium income. Bima Plus and Jeevan Anand policies are products in demand during the current financial year.

Mementoes were given to the participants by Mr Chawla and Mr P.L. Vidyarthi, Marketing Manager.


Prices of beer reduced

Chandigarh, July 10
The price of beer was reduced today as the Administration reduced the minimum retail price of beer. A bottle ( 650 ml) of light beer will now be sold for Rs 45 while strong beer will be sold at Rs 50 a bottle. 

The decision has been taken in view of the mild summer this year and sale of beer in the first quarter of the financial year being lower than the corresponding period last year. TNS


Market Pulse
Office furniture launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 10
TOFC has launched a series of office furniture, especially for call centres. There are partition panels of different kinds to suit requirement of different offices. Shapes like T-type, L-type, straight, and cross and many others can be used to give the office a spacious look.

A wide variety is available in storage system, including file or side-cupboard, rolling screens and moving doors.

Launched: Lee Cooper has launched a new range of denim and non-denim fashion bottoms in special fabrics. The new colour theme for this season is a mix of blues, blacks, granite, charred, smoke, gravel and ash. The men’s collection comprises damaged jeans, casual jog-in jeans. The crushed jeans is being introduced for the first time. In the girl’s wear there are colors like light pink, blue and red.

Exhibition of electrical goods: An exhibition of electrical goods is under way at Exposure Exhibition Hall, Sector 17-D. It is being organised by the LG and will continue till July 12. 


Exhibition of clothes

A five-day exhibition of designer clothes by city-based designer Neena Soin opened at Sector 10 on Saturday. Neena Soin, who is also a painter, keeps on experimenting. “ I want city women to broaden their horizons and experiment with new variety”, she says.

Her collection includes, Westerns, Indo-Westerns and ethnic Indian outfits. Her Mexican skirts, nine-and-half-meter long clothe, gives a different look and yet very feminine to you.

In her collection, the stress is mainly on cuts. Her creativity is evident in embroidery embellishments, brocade hipsters with matching sequin kurtis, straight cut skirts, wrap arounds.

She has given cut work effects with thread, semi-precious stones, sequins, zardosi and aari work to her outfits. She has used imported Japanese threads in some of the dresses.

What stands out is unique touch to the sarees. She has prepared various shapes and style of sarees with matching blouses. A wide collection of bridal sarees is another attraction.

Kurtis are also there to add the style and trendy outlook.

Nina got her training as a designer in Singapore and had also worked with a multi-national company. She intends to exhibit her collection in Delhi at Habitat Centre also.

“My clothes give a Bollywood look and my collection is meant for those only who are ready to shell out money for the quality”, says Neena. OCBack

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