C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


College sans water source
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 18
Government College here has been without an independent source of water supply for about a year and is wholly dependent on the Civil Hospital for its needs, thanks to the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned.

The sole tubewell on the college premises began discharging muddy water in June last. Expenditure estimates prepared by the officials concerned for sinking a new tubewell were sent to the DPI, Colleges, last year but these have yet to get administrative approval.

While the officials of the DPI (Colleges) has failed to realise the urgency of the situation, the institution has been compelled to beg for water from the Civil Hospital across to road. The day the Hospital authorities decline to allow any more diversion of water, the college will have to be closed untill such times as arrangements are made for the supply of potable water.

According to sources, the Public Health wing of the Public Works Department had written a letter on June 18, last to the college premises was on the verge of failure.

The discharge of water had reduced drastically and it was even giving muddy water not fit for drinking.

A new tubewell was to be sunk on the college premises and the tubewell machinery also needed to be replaced, as it was very old. An estimate of Rs 27.1 lakh had been prepared by the officials concerned for sinking a tubewell and replacing the machinery. It is learnt that a copy of this letter was also sent to the DPI (Colleges).

On getting to know about the failure of the tubewell from Public Health Officials, the college authorities again requested the DPI (Colleges), through a letter sent on August 11, to give administrative approval for the tubewell, estimates for which had already been sent earlier.

The funds for the tubewell have to be sanctioned by the Finance Department. It is learnt that Public Health Officials, at a large stage, cut down expenditure from the estimate of Rs 27.1 lakh prepared earlier. In order to make funds easily available for the new tubewell, it was decided that the old machinery and the earlier pump chamber could be used for some time more. It was also decided to reduce the depth of the tubewell to cut down on costs. The reduced estimate stood at Rs 16.46 lakh.

It is learnt that the water problem had been brought to the notice of the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, during a meeting in September. The meeting was attended by the Municipal Council President, Mr Kulwant Singh.

At that time the MLA had asked the council to help the college out of the problem. The council, too, had prepared an estimate of about Rs 16 lakh for the sinking of the new tubewell. The college was intimated in this regard through a letter sent on November 12.

The case had been sent by the civic body for technical and administrative approval to the Director, Local Government, Punjab. But going by the rules, the council cannot carry out any type of work in government institutions.



Amartex MD’s arrest stayed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 18
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr L.N. Jindal, has stayed the arrest of Mr Arun Grover, managing director of Amartex Industries, till August 19.

The court also directed that the SP, Panchkula, should be informed that the investigating officer was not present in the court during the hearing “for taking necessary action against him”.

Taking up the anticipatory bail application filed by Mr Grover’s counsel, the Judge observed the police had failed to file a report in the matter. The anticipatory bail was filed yesterday and a notice was issued to the state for today.

Meanwhile, the managing director of Gawritex Industries, Mr Amar Gawri, has said that he faces threat to his life and that of his family members. He alleged that during the past one week, three attempts had been made to eliminate him and some of his employees by his rival, Mr Arun Grover.

“The matter was reported to the police on August 8 and a written request was made to the SP for security cover on August 10,” he said.

Till date the man behind the conspiracy, Mr Arun Grover, had not been arrested as the investigating officer was in collusion with the accused, he alleged.



Strike gave them chance to kick TV addiction

The two-day strike by cable operators gave an insight into the impact of the idiot box on the daily routine of a common man. While it left many city residents bored. For some it was an opportunity to kick the TV addiction and to experience the other things of the life.

Many housewives, retired employees were deprived of their daily dose of melodydrama for over one-and-a half day.

According to Saroj Kapur, a housewife, “ I don’t get much time to watch TV but “ Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin” is the only serial which I don’t miss. I am just wondering what happened in the last night serial.

Ms Dolly Kapoor, resident of Sector, 8 too missed her favourite serial “ Astitava” on Zee network.

Ms Promila, a housewife, Sector 22 was more concerned about her children”. It was just okay for me but for my two daughters aged between five to seven it was a disappointment. Since our neighbourhood had no children of their age group, TV was a big saviour. Now the end of the strike is a big relief they can watch their favourite cartoon network.

For a college student, Akanksha Tuesday was a blessing in disguise.” With nothing to occupy my time, I got in touch with my creative self. I reverted back to my hobby of painting. It gave me a lot of satisfaction”. Now the strike is over I have decided to devote less time to watching TV”.

For many shopkeepers the wait for customers seemed to endless as they had nothing to engage on.

The end of the strike is a welcome relief for a owner of a crockery shop, in Sector 18,” Since I am hooked to TV programmes, It was not easy for me. I felt bored and sleepy”.

Sunaina, a college student who is addicted to TV said, “The life without cable was boring as we had to stick to news channels and DD1 instead of MTV and V channel.

But For Neena Soni this was an eye-opening experience. “ For the first time I understood how many hours we waste on TV. I think we should devote our much time to the other fruitful things rather than changing the, TV channels most of the time”.

A worker of Chandigarh Cable Vision, Sector 22, Virinder Katoch said,”We had to end the cable strike because there was a lot of pressure from the public on us”. OC



Shahid pinning hopes on ‘Fida’
Swarleen Kaur

Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, son of seasoned actor Pankaj Kapoor, is pinning high hopes on “Fida” to be released on August 20. In a telephonic interview form Bombay, he talked about his experiences.

Q: How was your experience while shooting for “Fida”?

A: It was a novel experience. In this movie my role is very different from my first movie “Ishq, Vishq”. In this movie there is no comedy. It is more emotional and serious. I have watched the movie and I think it has came out well. Rest the viewers have to decide.

Q: How special is your friendship with Kareena Kapoor?

A: Very, very special. I think she’s the best thing to have happened in my life.

Q: What’s it like working with her?

A: Obviously very enjoyable. It was real fun working with her. There is a real chemistry between us in the movie “Fida”.

Q: Did you make an effort after “Ishq, Vishq” to move away from you teen age image?

A: Well, I did work on my physique. I go to the gym five times a week. But I really enjoyed doing “Ishq, Vishq”. It was so youthful. The theme was young. My looks suited the role.

Q: When did your First crush happen?

A: It happened at my school. I was in IXth standard and she was my classmate. I don’t remember much.

Q: Who is your role-model?

A: It is all-time favorites Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan.

Q: Your favorite heroine?

A: Madhu Bala and Meena Kumari

Q: What about Kareena Kapur?

A: (Laughs) Of course I like her.

Q: How do you spend your time when off shooting?

A: I love watching movies. whenever I get time, I watch it on the DVD. My favourite is “Godfather” and “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”.

Q: Do you have a girlfriend?

A: It is so obvious. Of course I have. But I won’t tell you anything about her.

Q: You dance very well. Did you take training?

A: Yes. I learned it from Shamak Davar.

Q: How would you describe yourself?

A: I am not exactly introvert. The people whom I know, I slowly open up with them. I am a workaholic. Acting is my passion. It was my childhood dream.

Q: Your favorite holiday destination?

A: Oh somewhere in the mountains. I love to be there because it is so peaceful.

Q: Do You believe in meditation?

A: Yes I do believe in meditation. But I haven’t learned any yet.

Q: Your favourite colour

A: Blue.

Q: How many films do you have on hand?

A: I choose very cautiously and yet I’m over-committed. I’ll only do two films at a time. Doing one at a time isn’t practical. Besides “Fida” and “Life Ho To Aisi”, I have Boney Kapoor’s “Milenge Milenge” with Kareena and Ananth Mahadevan’s Dil Maange More.

But I want to go slow and steady (He laughs).

So guys, watch him performing passionately in “Fida”.



An artist who paints reality
Gurvinder Kaur

The portraits of P. S. Verma are grounded in reality. The painter in him follows the style made famous by late Sobha Singh in Punjab.

Like Sobha Singh, who he claims was responsible for initiating him into this, Verma loves to make portraits of a bride, snake charmer, street singer or those of famous figures like Swami Vivekanand and Jagjit Singh. He says miniatures have always been his first love although he has also made sketches. His portraits as well as other pieces of art have been displayed at the Banasar art gallery in the Sheesh Mahal complex.

Verma says he has always tried to paint according to the social mileiu, besides keeping in view the old traditions of the country. He says he has also gone in for painting Sikh Gurus — Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. He said even Sobha Singh had acknowledged that “ the paintings of Verma speak of the extraordinary craftsmanship and captivating choice of items which portray the everlasting beauty of nature and hard realities of life”.

The artist has not relegated himself to painting alone. He says he wants students to be initiated into the joy of painting which has resulted in his residence being converted into an institute of art for the last 15 years. Besides, he has founded the Shiv Kala Mandir at Kapurthala, Fine Arts Hobby Centre and City Beautiful Art School, both in Chandigarh and the College of Arts, Panchkula. He says he has imparted fine arts training to children and also given demonstrations of fine arts at government and private art schools.

Verma says he took to art as a hobby. “However the hobby took concrete shape after retirement when I decided to devote the remainder of my life to painting.” He says painting and promoting it among youngsters keeps him young.



Ramoowalia’s ‘Seema’ touches a chord
Jangveer Singh

A world which reveals the suffering of illegal immigrants through the eyes of a woman is what Iqbal Ramoowalia has tried to depict in his novel “The Death of a Passport”. How far the novel succeeds as a literary work is yet to be seen but the documentation of the travails of Seema, his heroine, in her search for the elusive foreign passport are sure to touch an emotional chord with Punjabi.

Ramoowalia, who was here for an interaction with academicians and students of the Department of Journalism, Punjabi University, Patiala, has tried to showcase the grim reality behind the El Dorado dream through his heroine Seema.

According to some academicians the sowing of the tragedy lay in the inherent weak character of Seema who could not tell her father about the love of her life and agreed to marry another person and go abroad. Ramoowalia wants us to believe that this happens in rural Punjab. Following this episode which renders Seema frigid towards Anmol, the novel sees the Seema rejected by her husband abroad and her travails at the hands of Punjabi men.

Ramoowalia, who is himself an emigrant to Canada, and has done various odd jobs before he took to studies and became a teacher, says he does not want to defend his novel adding that “the text is self-explanatory”. He says his novel shows how an illegal immigrant develops strange strategies for survival in Canada. “The idea germinated 25 years ago when I was studying for a university degree”, he says adding that the novel is taken from real life incidents. “I knew some of the characters which I have depicted in the novel, including Seema.”

Professor Manjit Inder Singh of the Department of English said the key to understanding Ramoowalia’s novel lies in its background. He said the novel depicted how Seema changed. From being a victim of exploitation she becomes complacent and gets sucked into wrong by taking away a wad of currency from the gurdwara whose priest tries to rape her. He says not only this Seema also helps in the death of Sodhi who has given her shelter by allowing the latter to drink himself to death.

The novel has also broken stereotype image of “brave and generous” Punjabi men with all of them being portrayed as debauch and mentally instable. Dr Rajesh Sharma, also from the English Department asked him whether this “was a comment on the contemporary Punjabi male as a person with a bladder inflated with booze and fantasies of bestial sexuality”. Dr Harjinder Walia, head of the Department of Journalism which hosted the talk, said the commentative value of Ramoowalia’s work was immense and that it should be analysed in the context of the Punjabi diaspora.

For students of the department, specially the girls, the fact that Seema remains a victim and fails to assert herself and take on an independent character is galling and against the principles dear to the modern Punjabi woman. But then Ramoowalia says the world is a different place if you are a woman, specially if an illegal immigrant in a foreign land.



Book on Halwarvi released

Eminent personalities from the world of Punjabi literature gathered at the Chandigarh Press Club, today to release a collection of articles in memory of Harbhajan Halwarvi, noted Punjabi writer and former Editor of Punjabi Tribune.

Brought together under the title of “Halwarvi”, the book contains articles by Navtej Singh, Harbhajan Halwarvi’s brother, and Prof Pritpal Kaur, his wife. The book has been edited by Mr Shyam Singh, News Editor, Punjabi Tribune, and Mr Kehar Shareif, a Germany-based writer.

Among those who spoke on the occasion were Dr Jaspal Singh, Associate Editor, Desh Sewak, Punjabi story writer Waryam Sandhu and noted Punjabi writer Amarjit Singh Kang.

The Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University’s Dr S.P. Singh was the chief guest.

Also present at the function which was organised by the Writers Club, Chandigarh, occasion was Editor of Desh Sewak, Mr J.S. Puar. The stage was conducted by Prof Kulwant Singh. TNS



Institute celebrates anniversary

The JD Institute of Fashion Technology here celebrated its fourth anniversary at a Sector 35 hotel today.

A dance party was organised by the institute to mark the event, in which the students had a gala time.

They danced to the western and Indian tunes till late in the night. Two Delhi-based models, Ekta and Rupika, added colours to the party.

The Managing Director of the institute, Mr Atul Mehta informed that plans were afoot to open such institutes in Panchkula and Mohali. OC



Bungee jumping from August 20

ADVENTURE sport bungee jumping will be organised at Circus Grounds, Sector 17, from August 20.

Addressing mediapersons at the Chandigarh Club, Mr Mukul Khanna, DGM, Marketing Spice Telecom, said on Wednesday, anyone between 5 and 50 years could take part. During the event, enthusiasts will jump from approximately 200 feet above the ground level. OC

Mr Mukul Khanna, DGM-Marketing, Spice Telecom (left) and Mr Praveen Krishnainan, CEO, Xtreme Zone Sports, Bangalore, announce the launch of ‘Extreme Sports’ at a press conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Mr Mukul Khanna, DGM-Marketing, Spice Telecom and Mr Praveen Krishnainan, CEO, Xtreme Zone Sports, Bangalore, announce the launch of ‘Extreme Sports’ at a press conference


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