C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Handicap fails to put him down
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 23
When existence is at stake, the soul assumes enormous proportions. This holds true for Mr Sumit Mehta, who despite suffering from muscular dystrophy believes that an enlightened human spirit can make the world go round. Though life is a daily battle for him, his is a success story - of the victory of the human spirit.

Twentyone-year-old Sumit Mehta has hardly any formal education in school. He began school at the age of nine, and attended school till the age of 13. For a person, who has remained confined to the bed in his room, or occasionally on a wheel chair, his pursuit for learning and success in getting a good education is commendable.

After clearing his plus two as a private candidate, he completed his Bachelors degree in Music, and is now preparing for admission to a bachelors course in computer application.

He never had a formal training in computers, but took a fancy for the machine two years ago. “My father bought me a computer, and wanted me to learn computers. However, all computer institutes are located on the first or the second floor, and I could not go there to learn. Though we arranged for an instructor to come home, I had bought some basic books, and began learning computers on my own. When I began learning computers, it took me five hours to create my e-mail account, but I have come a long way since then. I have learnt various computer languages, and am doing an advanced JAVA course.”

Sumit has also developed two basic softwares — one for issuing a computerized pollution control check certificates at petrol stations and named it “pollution check” , and another for maintaining accounts by traders “sale purchase spectra.” The “pollution check “ software is now being used by a petrol pump in Panchkula, and in Hisar.

“I have always believed in counting my blessings. Since there was no special school for physically challenged persons like me, I was sent to a school for mentally challenged children for two years in Class III and IV. I could never adjust there, as I had a well developed brain, and in Class V, I shifted to St Michaels School, Panchkula, where I was taught with normal kids. It was then that I realised how lucky I was to have a good intellect. After all, I only had a physical deformity to counter,” says the ever-optimistic Sumit.

He says that he has received a lot of support from his family, especially his parents- Mrs Sangeeta Mehta, and Mr D.D. Mehta. “As a kid, when I was unable to sit and attend school, my neighbours, who were teachers in local schools, would take turns to teach me. I want to have a complete education, and then give back to the world what I have received,” he says.



City echoes with din of Dashera
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
The two-day Dasehra celebrations concluded with the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna going up in flames here today.

Thousands of people thronged Dasehra venues, particularly the Parade Ground, Sector 17, and Dasehra Ground, Sector 46, to witness the bursting of effigies marking the victory of good over evil.

The main attraction in Sector 46 was an aircraft, specially requisitioned from the Aviation Club, Patiala, to shower petals and confetti over spectators and colourful tableaux as they entered the venue.

The Parade Ground attracted maximum visitors, including a large number of children. It was all chaos as police remained busy ushering VIPs and their relatives.

A majority of persons having valid entry cards were left high and dry and were forced to enter the ground through general gates.

The characters of Ramlila, particularly the Ravana, was a hit with children.

The lighting of effigies of the demons was preceded by entry of colourful tableaux in the ground.

A character playing Lord Rama lit the effigy of Kumbhakarna around 5.50 pm followed by that of Meghnad. Ravana’s effigy was the last one to go, marking the victory of good over evil.

The UT Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, was the chief guest.

However, the function ended with a traffic chaos, as police failed to regulate it.

At Sector 46, “Lanka dahan”, symbolising the burning of Lanka by Lord Hanuman, was another highlight.

As over 20 tableaux exhibiting various legends of the Ramayana entered the ground, the aircraft showered petals and confetti.

Meanwhile, the Shri Sanatan Dharam Dasehra Committee, Sector 46, honoured Ms Harinder Shergill, widow of Brig B.S. Shergill, who made supreme sacrifice for the country in Jammu and Kashmir in 2000.

At a function in Ram Darbar, cricketer Dinesh Mongia and former CTCC general secretary Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy were the chief guests.

Reports of Dasehra celebrations were also received from Arya Samaj Mandir in Sector 7, Railway Ground in Mauli Jagran, Ground near mosque in Ram Darbar, Dasehra Ground in Sector 27, Exhibition Ground in Sector 34, Maloya Stadium, Sector 32 market and Panjab University campus.



Scooterist killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 23
Hari Kishore, a resident of Maloya, died in an accident when his scooter was hit by an unknown vehicle near the Grain Market chowk in Sector 26, this morning.

The police said, Hari Kishore (22) was a shopkeeper and he was going to the market to buy vegetables. The accident occurred at 7 am. He lost control over his scooter and fell down on the road. His head hit the road side berms causing serious head injuries. A Police Control Room (PCR) vehicle reached the spot and took him to the PGI where, he succumbed to his injuries.

The body was handed over to the family members of the deceased after a post-mortem examination. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered in Sector 26, police station.



Pregnant women dies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 23
A 27-year-old pregnant woman died mysteriously at her house in Ramgarh late last night. Reeta Sharma, who was full-term pregnant, had complained of a stomach ache. Her husband, who is an employee in Fun City, rushed her to General Hospital, Panchkula, where she died. The doctors at the hospital tried to save the child, but the boy, too, died. The victim’s body was blue when she was brought here , and foul play was suspected.

In another incident, Nathu Ram, who had gone to attend a wedding in Sector 19 here last night, died after he complained of chest pain. He was rushed to General Hospital, Panchkula, and a post-mortem was conducted today.



VIP security tents in park irk residents
Ramanjit Singh

Chandigarh, October 23
Residents of Sector 42, are exposed to unhygienic conditions as unauthorised lavatories have been set-up by the security guards of a commandant of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in a park in their locality.

The residents had written to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South), Senior Superintendent of Police and Deputy Commissioner, a month ago about the matter but no action has been taken.

In a joint application, residents of Housing Board flats in the locality complained that Commandant A.J. Rasool, had accommodated his security guards in a park in front of their houses nearly one and a half month ago. About 10 security guards had pitched unauthoriesd tents and set-up a lavatory of tin sheet in the park. The residents said it was causing inconvenience to the women living in the locality as well as the children who play in the park.

In the complaint, they said the guards had placed a steel pipe across the road for water supply which could cause an accident any time.

The residents said, there was some open space near the house of the commandant and despite this he had accommodated his guards away from his house in the park.

A resident told Chandigarh Tribune that he had asked the commandant not to pitch tents in the park on the very first day. But, the commandant told him that he would remove the tents within a few days. He said their repeated requests to the commandant and the authorities had fallen on deaf ears.

The commandant was not available for comments. His wife asked the Tribune team to contact the ITBP. Mr A.P.S. Nibodia, who is next to, Mr Rasool, in seniority when contacted over phone said it was a common problem near the houses of VIPs in the city.

He said they could not put their officer at risk by taking away his security and also assured that they were responsible for any complaint of indiscipline or misbehaviour by their security guards.



Territorial Army officers call on Verma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
As part of the ongoing Territorial Army Day celebrations, officers and men from this force’s Western Command Group called upon the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma (retd) today.

The Governor lauded the role and contribution of the TA in various fields, including internal security and ecological development.

He also stressed upon the importance of imparting military training to citizens as provided by the TA to strengthen overall defence preparedness and deal with any eventuality.

The Group Commander, Brig G J Singh, briefed the Governor on activities of the TA.



Corps of Military Police anniversary observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
The Western Command Provost Unit observed the 65th anniversary of the Corps of Military Police (CMP) at Chandimandir Military Station today.

Addressing a special sainik sammelan, the unit's commanding officer, Col S K Chauhan, greeted all ranks and their families on the occasion and lauded the hard work and dedication of the CMP personnel in performing multifarious tasks assigned to them.

Officers from Headquarters Western Command and senior officers at the station, along with retired CMP officers attended a tea party organised on the occasion, according to a statement issued here.

Chief of the Army Staff, GOC-in-C, Western Command, and the Adjutant-General at Army Headquarters, who is also the Colonel Commandant of the CMP, have in their respective messages, extended their felicitations.



Two wheelers at ISBT parking ‘unsafe’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Hundreds of two wheelers parked outside the Inter State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 in the official parking are a risk of being stolen. The place, even though auctioned by the Chandigarh Administration to a contractor, has no barricading or fencing to keep the two wheelers safe.

A visit to the place revealed that the parking attendants had to keep themselves attuned to activity not only inside the parking stand but also outside the stand. Anybody can enter on his sweet will. Just a rope separates the two wheelers within the parking stand from the road.

Attendants at the parking stand have to keep on running in the open be it raining or cold. This to keep an eye lest a two-wheeler is stolen. The Administration charges Rs 1.51 lakh as monthly rent.



Road to Railway station closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
One of the roads to the Chandigarh Railway station has been closed following commencement of work to build an over bridge near the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) workshop.

This road was a short cut to the railway station and now the only route to reach the station from Chandigarh is from the Chandigarh-Panchkula road. The other option is to go via Panchkula using the road between Sector 17 and Sector 18 of the township.

Railways has started work to build the overbridge which can take up to six months to complete. The over Bridge will be for the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link.

The Chandigarh Traffic police has put up diversions on the road.



Young man electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 23
A 19-year-old boy died of electrocution while watching Ram Lila on a stationary train in Mauli Jagran, today.

According to the sources Ram Pal Yadav, a resident of Sector 56, came in contact of overhead high tension electricity wires, accidentally. He went to the station to catch the Sadbhavna Express train. He probably climbed atop a stationary train to watch Ram Lila which was being performed some distance away at Mauli Jagran, when the accident occurred.

He was rushed to General Hospital in Panchkula where he was declared brought dead. Ram Pal was a student.



Readers Write
MC must maintain vacant plots

THE Municipal Council, Panchkula, collects a large amount of money as extension fee for non-construction from the allottees of residential plots. However, it is not spending the funds on maintaining vacant plots which have become a source of nuisance to neighbours. The plots usually have wild growth and are dumping points for garbage and debris. Safai karamcharis, too, throw garbage in these plots.

The council authorities should find a lasting solution to the problem as persons who own houses adjacent to the vacant plots are exposed to unhygienic conditions. Welfare and environment associations should also discourage their members from throwing garbage in the plots.

The administration must come to the rescue of the affected persons. The council should get the plots cleaned regularly. HUDA could also resume such plots and allot these to the needy.

K.M. Madan, Panchkula

Hats off !

Hats off to Mr Prem Pal Singh Sood and his colleagues, employees of the State Bank of India, Treasury Branch, Chandigarh, for setting an example by returning Rs 54,000 to the rightful owner, Mr Mohinder Pal Singh, a stamp vendor (CT, October 7).

In my view, Mr Sood and his friends deserve encouragement. They should be given awards in the shape of advance increments by the bank besides honouring them on Republic Day.

Suresh Khosla, Chandigarh

Harassment at parking lot

On October 7 I went to Government Primary Health Centre, Sector 22, to see the dentist. But I was confronted with a shocking situation when I parked my two wheeler in the parking lot. The parking lot owner wrote the number of my scooter on a slip and asked for money. As I had no change, I gave him a Rs 10 note. He handed over the slip, a Rs 5 note, a Rs 2 coin and two toffees. I insisted that he give me Re 1 instead of the toffees, telling him that it was not a candy shop.

Irritated by this the man snatched the slip from my hand, tore it up and threw it away. Then he pulled a drawer, took out a Re 1 coin and put it on the table. This clearly shows that these men are trying to make an extra buck.

He told me that as the slip had been torn up and that he had given me Re 1 I had earlier asked for, I should take my scooter out of the parking lot. I asked him to either return my Rs 10 if he didn’t want my scooter parked there or issue another slip. Upon this the man began to threaten me. He told me that now if I left the scooter there to go inside, he would not let me take away the vehicle without paying an extra Rs 15 apart from the money he had already taken from me. It was after an altercation that he agreed, under public pressure, not to charge the extra money, but he still did not give me the parking slip.

Gagan Khattar, Chandigarh

Accommodation for students

Lately, Chandigarh has become an educational centre for the whole of North India. A large number of students come to the city to make use of the excellent educational centres manned by well-qualified staff.

The facilities available in college hostels are extremely inadequate both in terms of quantity and quality. Students are compelled to find suitable accommodation in private houses. Unless the Chandigarh Administration provides student hostels through government agencies and NGOs, students from outside the city will face tremendous difficulties.

The administration should consider the ground realities before taking any decision relating to paying guest arrangements and the utilisation of the available accommodation in private houses.

Air Marshal P.K. Jain (retd) Chandigarh

Sampark Centre

It is a matter of pride for residents of Chandigarh that the administration has started Sampark Centres in Sectors 18 and 43 and Mani Majra. This will go a long way in helping people solve different kinds of problems at one place.

Sector 47 is situated in one corner of Chandigarh and its residents, particularly senior citizens, face difficulty in paying various bills, depositing forms, etc. The Welfare Association of Sector 47-D has been seeking the opening of an office to pay water/electricity bills, but the demand has not been conceded by the department concerned on the plea of shortage of staff.

A Sampark Centre should be set up in the sector in the Community Centre, which is easily approachable by residents of the area and nearby sectors.

Jaipal Chaudhary, Chandigarh



Purse stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 23
A shopkeeper of Sector 23 filed a complaint that 29 mobiles phones worth Rs 2 lakh were stolen from his shop on Friday night. The police had not registered a case of theft as yet saying that it was investigating the matter.

Baldev Raj, owner of Janta Department Store, Sector 23, said that 29 mobile phones were stolen from his shop by breaking open the shutter of the shop. He came to his shop at around 9.40 am and saw the shutter broken.

The police said that the preliminary investigation did not indicate that a theft was committed at that place.

In another incident, Bhavneet Bains of Sector 28 reported to the police that her purse containing one gold ring, one mobile phone, driving licence, ATM card, some documents and cash Rs 7,000 was stolen from her car, parked in Sector 19-C, Market. A case of theft had been registered.

BEATEN UP: Harpal Singh, a resident of Sector 46, filed a complaint to the police that he was beaten up by Master Iqbal Singh of Sector 22 and two or three persons accompanying him, on Friday night. The police said Harpal Singh and Iqbal Singh were drinking liquor together. They had an altercation over some old issue after which Iqbal Singh left the place and came back with his two or three friends. They then attacked Harpal Singh, injuring him in the process.

Harpal was later admitted to the PGI. The police has registered a case. No arrests have been made.

In similar incident in Mani Majra, Krishan Kumar of Pipliwala Town reported to the police that Satbir Singh and Kali Ram of Shanti Nagar assaulted him and caused injuries to him. The police has arrested the accused.

A case has been registered. The accused have been sent to jail till November 6, the police said.

ARRESTED: Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Mauli Jagran, was arrested while transferring gas from a cylinder. He was caught red handed from Sector 23. A case under Section 420 of the IPC and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act had been registered against him.

STOLEN: In another incident, Gian Chand of Sector 38, reported that his scooter (CH-01-X-0644) was stolen from out side Hotel Heritage in Sector 35, on October 19. A case of theft had been registered.

LIQUOR SEIZED: Mumtaz Shama of Maloya Colony was arrested with 18 quarters of whisky on Friday. A case has been registered.

Theft: Sandeep Kumar, assistant cameraman of Sahara TV, reported to the police that his house was burgled this evening. He is going to get married shortly. According to Sandeep, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, thieves entered his house after breaking the locks. He was away with his family members to watch Dashrea. His tenants too were not at home when the incident occurred.

The thieves decamped with cash of Rs 5,000 and jewellery worth Rs 15,000. On the other hand the thieves stole Rs 1,000 and a gold ring from his tenant’s house.

A case of theft has been registered in Sector 39, police station.



Woman alleges assault by cop
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 23
A middle-aged woman today alleged that she was assaulted by the In charge of Sector 21 Police Post, Mr Maamraj, The police, however, termed the allegations as false.

The woman, Sarabjit Kaur, alleged that the cops asked her to come out of her house on the pretext of asking about a clash that took place near her house last night. “When I came out, Maamraj abused me for siding with Mr Hawa Singh Malik and his family, when they were assaulted by some jhuggi dwellers. When I argued with him, he pushed me and kicked me,” she alleged.

Some jhuggi dwellers were using a vacant plot adjacent to Mr Hawa Singh’s house as an open urinal.

When he objected to it last night, the jhuggi dwellers assaulted him, his two sons and wife. Sarabjit Kaur had then sided with the Maliks.

The woman says that she cried for help, and soon some people came out from nearby houses, and the police after having assaulted me , left. It was then that one of her neighbours, and a son of Mr Hawa Singh, Narinder, who was also assaulted by the jhuggi dwellers, called the Police Control Room.

The Station House Officer of Sector 5 Police Station, Mr Ashok Bakshi, rushed there and pacified the residents. He heard both the sides, and later a compromise was reached between them.



Car robbery: HP police helps owner identify thieves
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 23
A team of the Himachal Pradesh police brought a Mohali resident, who had been robbed of his car at gunpoint by three armed persons, to the local police station here today to identify the persons who had robbed him.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, was shown photographs of persons who had been indulging in the theft of cars in the town and surrounding areas. It is learnt the HP police had plans to take, Mr Kuldeep Singh, to police stations at Chandigarh also to show him the photographs of car thieves.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Phase VII here, owned an Indica car which he used as a taxi. When he was at the Phase VII taxi stand yesterday, three persons — two male and one female — who came in a rickshaw approached him and told him that they wanted to go to Swar Ghat in Himachal Pradesh which fell on the Kiratpur-Manali road. He agreed to take them to Swar Ghat. The taxi fare fixed for the work was Rs 1,200.

While one of the person sat next to the driver’s seat, the other two sat on the rear seat. Mr Kuldeep was made to stop near Kurali and Ropar as the person sitting next to him had to buy some medicines. They even stopped to have tea on the way.

Later, when the taxi was moving on the Kiratpur-Manali road, the person sitting next to Kuldeep Singh asked him to stop the vehicle as he wanted to ease himself. The moment the taxi was stopped, the person sitting on the rear seat allegedly took out a pistol and asked Kuldeep Singh to leave the driver’s seat.

While one person started driving the vehicle, the other threatened Kuldeep Singh at gun point. Later, he was taken out of the car and tied to a tree. The armed persons fled with his car and mobile phone.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, somehow, managed to free himself and then went to the nearest police post to inform about the incident. The SHO of the area later informed the Mohali police about the happening.



Reliance cell numbers to change from November
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
All telephone numbers of Reliance mobiles in Punjab and Chandigarh will change from the second week of November and comprise 10 digits.

The new numbering scheme will commence with “93” followed by eight digits. There are an estimated 5 lakh subscribers of Reliance in Punjab telecom circle.

The numbering scheme for landline telephones and also box type wireless phones, will, however, remain unchanged.

The move will benefit users of Reliance mobiles and also people who call Reliance mobile holders from other telecom networks. After the switch over to the new numbering scheme, the existing system of dialling an STD code followed by the Reliance mobile number will change.

Now Reliance users will have just one 10-digit number that can be dialled on local dialling within the same telecom circle. However, when the user is outside the circle, roaming charges will apply.

After the new numbering scheme it will cost less, said a company spokesperson. Explaining this, he said a person in Chandigarh wanting to dial a Reliance mobile number of a person in Amritsar would not pay STD charges.

The system of calling Reliance numbers will be the same as mobile services offered by Airtel, Spice, Hutch or the BSNL.

The only difference being that Reliance uses CDMA-based technology while the others use GSM based technology.

The change in the numbering scheme has come about following directions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Reliance and Tata Indicom which are under the unified licence category had been recently asked to go in for 10 digit numbering.

Reliance is trying that the last five digits of the existing telephone numbers remain the same. The first two digits will go and be replaced by 93 followed by another three digits and the last five digits of the existing number, the company spokesperson said.

A special feature will be that users will continue to get calls on the old number as well as the changed number for a specified transition period. Subscribers will get SMS messages and also be informed about the change.

Users can also log on to the website of the company to know their new numbers when the change is carried out. Another special feature is available on logging onto the Reliance website “R-World”.

A user can execute a command by which all Reliance telephone numbers stored in the memory of his handset will be updated to new numbers, thus there will be no need to physically store the numbers afresh.

Reliance has already carried out the change in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh Telecom circles.

Reliance India Mobile (RIM) users in these two states now have 10 digit numbers.


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