C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Confusion marks Pulse Polio drive
Only select areas covered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Mohali, January 9
Confusion prevailed over the Pulse Polio campaign in the two satellite townships of Chandigarh, as a large number of people continued to look for booths to get polio drops for their children.

However, the Pulse Polio campaign, which has been widely advertised in the print and electronic media, was restricted only to select towns, Union Territories and states, where polio cases had been detected recently. Residents of the two townships were unaware that the campaign was not being held here.

Throughout the day, the General Hospital, Panchkula, and the Civil Hospital, Mohali, besides the government dispensaries and Primary Health Centres, received a number of visitors, along with children between the age group of 0-5 years, wanting to get polio drops administered to the latter.

In Panchkula, Mr Arvind Jain, father of a six- month- old boy, said that he went to the General Hospital, Sector 6, to get polio drops administered, but was told that the campaign was not being held in Panchkula. “I later went to Chandigarh, and was told that the campaign was not being held there also. But the doctors administered the polio drops,” he said.

Doctors at the General Hospital said that since 10 a.m. there was a steady inflow of parents with their wards to get the pulse polio drops.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Satbir Chaudhary, said since no polio case had been detected in Panchkula during the past three years, the campaign was not held here.

“Last year, the pulse polio drive was held four times and, during this year, it is scheduled to be held twice, in April and in October,” he said.

In Mohali, Mr R.S. Batra, a resident of Phase VII, said he had visited both the Primary Health Centre in Phase VII and the civil dispensary in Phase 3B1 but found no pulse polio booths.

“There is a national advertisement on TV about the campaign being on today but there are no arrangements in Mohali for it,” he said. Similar experiences were related by Mr Rajesh Ahuja, a resident of Sector 68, who spent most of his morning trying to look for the pulse polio booths in the township.

When contacted, the Ropar Civil Surgeon, Dr Rana Harinder, clarified that today’s campaign was limited to select Union Territories and Bihar, so there was no campaign in Punjab.



Dosanjh arrives in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Indian-born Canadian Federal Health Minister, Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, arrived tonight in the city on a five-day personal visit.
Mr Dosanjh and his wife, Ms Raminder Kaur, reached the city by the Shatabdi Express. Mr Dosanjh, former Premier of British Columbia, was received at the railway station by a few of his local friends and officials of the Chandigarh Consulate of British Coloumbia.

Mr Dosanjh said the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Paul Martin, was cancelled because of the tsunami tragedy. He said there was no other reason of the cancellation of the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister.

Mr Dosanjh will now join a delegation of his Prime Minister in Colombo on January 14.

Mr Dosanjh will go to Nawanshahr for a function tomorrow and to Dosanjh village in Jalandhar the next day. He will have a breakfast meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister on January 12 and meet the Press during the day. He will be given a reception on the same evening in Chandigarh.



Traffic Awareness Week has little impact
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Traffic awareness campaigns launched recently seem to have little impact on people with Chandigarh alone recording five deaths, Mohali two and Kharar, Derabassi and Panchkula one each while the 16th Road Safety Week was being observed across the country.

Twenty persons were injured in Chandigarh alone, while Mohali saw at least 10 and Panchkula 14 persons injured in separate accidents. Last year, 147 persons were killed and 352 injured in Chandigarh.

In fact, the beginning of the year has been black with 22-year-old Joginder Singh being killed in a road accident. This was the first FIR of the Industrial Area police station this year. The same police station registered the second case involving the accident of Aman Jain during the week.

Shiv Kumar died in an accident happened under the Sector 31 police station area. An 18-year-old Jaishree died in an accident in the Sector 19 police station area. This was the second FIR of the year in the police station. Harnam Singh died in an accident in the Sector 36 police station area, official sources said.

During the Road Safety Week 691 challans were issued by the traffic police, including 50 for wrong parking. Thirtythree vehicles were impounded. The challans were issued against a high number of 1.07 lakh last year.

The Chandigarh police had collected penalties worth Rs 1.91 crore last year through challans. The police last year detected 1.57 lakh offences. The Chandigarh traffic police impounded 5,199 vehicle, including 2,743, for wrong parking.

Panchkula: Just as the road safety week concluded, a 22-year-old resident of Sector 12- A succumbed to his injuries, sustained in a road accident on Sunday. On Friday, the victim, Dinesh Kumar, was driving down on his motor cycle along with a friend from Delhi when his vehicle skidded. The police says the duo were not wearing helmets when the accident took place.

In Panchkula, a helmetless driver losing his life in a road accident is not a rare instance. In spite of the best efforts of the short-staffed and ill -equipped traffic wing of the police, traffic rules and regulations, it seems, are meant to be flouted. Wearing of helmets, as most drivers would agree, is restricted only to Chandigarh. As soon as most of the drivers of two-wheelers enter Panchkula, the helmets go off instantly.

Over-speeding, underage driving, triple riding, driving on the wrong side, drunken driving, use of mobile phones and smoking while driving — you name it, and the township, it seems, is a haven for traffic violators.

The fact that one person was killed and over 15 were injured in road accidents during the past week, which was celebrated as the Road Safety Week, proves the callous attitude of drivers to follow traffic rules.

S P Mamta Singh says she has made numerous efforts to ensure road safety. “The station house officers have been asked to hold ‘nukkad’ meetings to create awareness about road safety norms. We have also been educating schoolchildren about following traffic rules and regulations,” she said.

Though the strength of the traffic police, at least in the town was increased recently, the number of traffic cops in the town alone is around 35. Over 15 women police personnel were recently deputed on traffic policing, but they are deputed only from 9 am to 5 pm.

The SP says after they leave, two other policemen are deployed on duty. However, residents say they have hardly seen any traffic policeman in the evening.

Also, with the traffic wing not having wireless sets, alcohometers (to check drunken driving), or speedometers, the traffic violators are having a field day.

Mohali: In the past one week two persons had died in road accidents while at least 10 persons were injured in various mishaps on city roads.

In Kharar four persons were hurt in a mishap when the car in which they were travelling was hit by a bus on January 2. The same day three person were injured in Mohali when two cars collided near Puncom factory.

The same day at Dera Bassi one person was killed and four injured in three accidents involving a bus two cars and an ambulance. Mr Rameshwar Chauhan, a Delhi resident, died on the spot when the Qualis he was driving collided head on with a bus near Dappar.

On January 4, two persons were killed on Mohali roads. Ripan (23) of Guru Sar Sadhar, Ludhiana, died on Saturday when a truck hit his motor cycle. His friend Charanjit, who was riding pillion, was injured in the accident. In another incident, an engineer of Punjab Communications Limited, R.R. Pillai, was killed near his house in Phase IV.

On January 6, Jaspal Kaur was killed and two persons were injured in two accidents at Kharar. Jaspal Kaur was run over by a bus. Five persons were injured when a car hit a motorcyclist at Mohali on Saturday.



2,000 take part in Road Safety Week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The 16th Road Safety Week, which attracted participation of around 2,000 persons, concluded here today.
Inspector-General of Police Rajesh Kumar distributed prizes and commendation certificates among winners of various competitions which were held during the week.

Amarjeet Singh of Sector 35 D stood first in the road rules test while Rohit and Mohit of Sector 23-D won second and third position respectively.

Harmandeep Singh of Mohali won the best Internet message downloaded award. Ajay Sharma of Sector 40, Manu Bhutani of Sector 11 and Prabhjot Singh of Mohali were given consolation prizes in this category.

Himanshu of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41-B, was adjudged winner in the primary-group category of painting competition for schoolchildren. Nitin Chadha of New Public School, Sector 18, won the secondary group of painting competition. Ritu Beri of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, got prize in the senior secondary group.

Mr D.S. Kapoor, Mr R.P Verma and Swadesh Talwar were judges for the painting competition.

A driver of the Chandigarh Police Control Room, Constable Mita Ram, was adjudged the best driver of the Chandigarh police. Best taxi driver award went to Baljit Singh of Sector 43 taxi stand.

Daljit Rai Chauhan of Sector 23-D and Guram Singh of Sector 10-A were honoured for their services as voluntary traffic marshals.

Efforts of Work Inspector Tarlochan Singh, Assistant Education Officer Prem Puri, President of the Chandigarh Motor Spots Association S. P. S. Garcha, Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, Dilbagh Singh and Nari Jagriti Manch President Neena Tiwari to make the week a success were appreciated.

Planning Officer of the Punjab Mandi Board Raghubir Singh Bhullar, who had choreographed several cultural programmes, performed at the opening and closing functions. Delhi Public School students who dramatised a talk show on traffic chaos were rewarded.

Saurabh Prashar of Saint Peter School, Sector 37, who enthralled the gathering with his bhangra was awarded. IGP Rajesh Kumar gave him a special award. Anchor Khiyali Saharan was also awarded.



PEC yet to clear theses of 2001 ME batch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The research scholars of the 2001 batch at Punjab Engineering College (PEC) have not been able to complete their Masters in Engineering (ME) due to the inability of the authorities concerned to clear their theses.

The scholars, around 19 in number in the Department of Production Engineering, have sought the intervention of the director of the college in the matter.

Talking to The Tribune, the scholars said while they were waiting to complete their masters, the junior batches were already completing their course.

Explaining the lacuna, they said a fixed time period and clearance of the thesis was decided by the authorities from 2002, whereby it was provided that the whole course of ME would be limited to two years, of which one year was prescribed for submission and evaluation of thesis.

The rationale behind the decision was that the course had become full time and it was advisable to limit it to a fixed duration, as the students need their degrees to pursue their career options. Earlier, in the part-time course, the research scholars used to work side by side. But the decision was made applicable to the batches after 2002 and the students of the pervious batch were left out.

The research scholars also lament shortage of thesis supervisors who act as guides to the research scholars. The shortage has led to a delay of three to four years in the clearance of the theses.

In a representation to the Director of PEC, they have pointed out that they had joined to complete their Masters in Engineering in Computer Integrated Manufacturing in July 2001. It is mandatory for submission and evaluation of research theses.

Prior to 2001, the research scholars were working and side by side completing their course and it used to take three to four years to submit and evaluate the research theses.



Pak journalists meet MC officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Members of the Lahore Press Club today had a meeting with the officials and councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal. The Pakistani journalists had breakfast in the Municipal Corporation where they were welcome by Mayor Anu Chathrath.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bansal shared his experiences of Pakistan and said the government was making efforts to ease the people to people contact to allow the people of the two countries understand each other.

The Pakistani delegation included two councillors Rana Ikram and Dr Kazafi. The Pakistani councillors said Nazim in Lahore is more powerful than the Mayor of the city. He said Nazim has authority to pass the budget while in Chandigarh the elected representatives were dependent on officers. He said Nazim had powers to supervise law and order, education and health set up.

The two councillors said while India was still discussing the issue of granting reservation to women in legislature, Pakistan had already given 33 per cent representation to women in the councils.



Finding AIDS vaccine a big challenge, say experts
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Prof Susan Zolla-Pazner  makes a point while Dr Fredrick Valentine looks on at the PGI on Sunday
Prof Susan Zolla-Pazner (right) makes a point while Dr Fredrick Valentine looks on at the PGI on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tiwari

Chandigarh, January 9
“We were totally convinced that it was the HIV. We had no doubt about it. Yet there were all sorts of ideas doing the rounds, then, as to what could be causing it.” Dr Fredrick Valentine and Prof Susan Zolla- Pazner recalled in unison, when asked if there was any trace of doubt about the first AIDS case in the world, discovered way back in 1983 in the USA.

Yet the two renowned experts from New York University, who are credited with the diagnosis of the first set of HIV patients in the world, say that still a lot remains under wraps about HIV and finding a vaccine for HIV\AIDS is the biggest challenge for the world in the coming years.

The knowledge levels about the HIV have definitely increased since 1983 as today we have come to know about the gene pattern and the protein of the virus. But till date we are far away from finding any vaccine to cure the deadly disease,'' said Dr Fredrick, while talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the Indo-US CME on HIV\AIDS at the PGI here today.

The main hindrance in achieving a breakthrough research is that it is still unknown which part of the immune system actually protects the human beings against various diseases. The research trails too, being carried out in the world are far from showing any positive results for finding the vaccine that would cure HIV\AIDS.

Dr Fredrick said that the two major vaccine trails were on in Thailand and the USA but any breakthrough was still a distant dream. The inherent difficulties in carrying out the vaccine trails in finding suitable animal models and judging the vaccine efficacy are the main reasons for delay in finding a cure.

`There is no suitable animal model for carrying out the trails for the HIV vaccine and unlike other diseases, the human trails are difficult as the persons who are once infected with the virus are never treated. So gauging the efficacy of the vaccine becomes extremely difficult,'' explained Prof Susan.

In the absence of any effective vaccine, both Dr Fredrick and Prof Zolla want that the existing Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) drug treatment should be less expensive and devoid of its severe side effects to reduce the patient's suffering. The ART is given to the HIV positive persons for slowing down the disease progression.

``The ART has several side effects as the patients can develop diarrhoea, liver disease, skin rashes, wasting of fats around the face, and other metabolic changes. Majority of the patients' trouble would fade away if the drugs without the side effects are available,'' said Dr Fredrick. The government of each country has to play a more proactive role to combat the HIV epidemic, they say.

`In the initial years of the discovery of HIV\AIDS, all the countries used to think that it infects the persons in the western countries alone. Then the reports of the HIV started coming from Africa, then Europe and then in Asia. Now the countries like China have acknowledged that they have the disease. It's better if the governments acknowledge the disease presence rather than treating it someone else's concern,'' advised Prof Susan. 



Artist uses cinema to revisit Chandigarh’s architectural complexity
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Australian artist Callum Morton and curator Stuart Koop mount "Tomorrow Land", a unique show in Chandigarh's architecture, at Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10
Australian artist Callum Morton (left) and curator Stuart Koop mount "Tomorrow Land", a unique show in Chandigarh's architecture, at Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh January 9
Callum Morton's "Tomorrow Land", commissioned by the Australian Council as this year's entry to the Triennale India show, is a truly unique interpretation of Le Corbusier's design for Chandigarh.

An artistic critique of Corbusier's concepts as applied to Chandigarh, "Tomorrow Land" bares the genius of Morton who manifests links from cinema, commerce and architecture using digital images to reconstruct the past from a critical perspective. Brilliantly conceived, this first of its kind art work which dispassionately analyses Corbusier's controversial hugely designs, will be presented at Government Museum of Chandigarh from January 11. The show is being funded by the Australian Government's art funding body and supported by the Australia-India Council.

In Chandigarh today, Morton spoke to The Tribune about what makes him compare Chandigarh to Disneyland and to the flamboyant screen elements in Michael Crichton's 1973 film "Westworld". For his part, Morton looks at Chandigarh as a theme park gone wrong. In fact, Roy and Walt Disney were building Disneyland, including Tomorrow Land, in California at the same time as Le Corbusier was building Chandigarh. In his work, Morton has interestingly merged Chandigarh's iconic architecture with aspects from Crichton's film "Westworld".

As Morton and his curator Stuart Koop explain, "Across four prints and one model, Corbusier's iconic buildings for Chandigarh - the Secretariat, the Assembly, the High Court, the Tower of Shadows and the Open Hand Monument - have been blended with elements of "Westworld". The film builds around a theme park which brings to life different world epochs through highly stylized architecture and robotic inhabitants. We compare Chandigarh to "Westworld" which about fantasy worlds promising to fulfil the desires of visitors in many ways. But just as these worlds fail technically, Chandigarh's design has often been critically examined for its impracticality."

Morton draws much of his inference from the accounts of Vikram Prakash, Professor in Architecture at the University of Washington. Prakash notes, ironically, that villagers today hang laundry and bathe water buffaloes in the reflecting pools of Capitol Complex. "In this sense, Chandigarh, like Brasilia and Canberra, comes closest to a theme park. It has all the ingredients of modern world dominated by capital developments and all that reflects the aspirations of capitalists. Many of its proposed buildings may never be completed, leaving holes in the town plan. It's this very gap that I have tried to showcase," says Morton who exploits cinema to reconvene the architectural complexity of Chandigarh.

He also deftly uses links from the film and Disneyland to make projections into the city's future. As Kopp points out, "The work is replete with skeletal remains beneath a slowly turning open hand indicating the way that once led to Tomorrow land, overturned chariots in front of the assembly at Roman World, pooling blood in the High Court's moat at Medieval World, and the smouldering remains of the Secretariat-cum-fort at the West World. Inside the Tower of Shadows -converted in Morton's work as a car park for tourists to Chandigarh - we hear the footsteps of Crichton's robotic, dysfunctional citizens looking for an absent prey. The scene is forlorn: Chandigarh's future as envisaged by Disney, Corbusier and Crichton, lies abandoned. WestworlThe exhibition opens day after tomorrow.



7 live shells found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 9
Panic gripped Bhud Mandlai village in the Raipur Rani area when farmers found seven mortar shells while tilling fields. The farmers informed the police party which reached the spot under SHO Raipur Rani Harbhajan Singh. The SHO who took possession of the shells and informed DSP (Headquarters) Deshbandhu.

Considering that the shells could be live, the DSP informed the Army either to take the possession shells or defuse them. The area has firing ranges of the Army. The villagers say that several persons of the area have either lost lives or limbs because of the presence of mortar shells.



Inequalities breed terrorism: Kidwai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
In the backdrop of globalisation, the fastest growing area in the legal field is international law and it requires constant reviewing to enable it to keep pace with developments in other areas to ensure justice and enforcement of law.

Stating this in his valedictory address on the conclusion of a workshop on international law organised by the Army Institute of Law (AIL), Mohali here today, Haryana Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai said that regulations needed to be evolved which not only confined to the country, but were applicable elsewhere too.

He also stressed upon worldwide uniformity in laws and said that unless there was uniformity in laws, society cannot progress. He opined that terrorism was the result inequalities and non-uniformity of laws.

In a session on emerging international criminal law held earlier during the day, Wg Cdr U.C. Jha from the National Human Rights Commission dwelt upon issues relating to the use of prohibited weapons in armed conflict, while Captain J.S. Gill, a specialist on international maritime law, spoke on piracy and murder at sea.

Professor R.S. Grewal, from Panjab University stressed upon the need to strengthen the International Criminal Court (ICC) which was followed by Prof Gurjit Singh from Guru Nanak Dev University discussing constitution and functioning of the ICC. Jasmeet Kaur Egan from the AIL made a presentation on the challenges of implementing the Rome Statute.

In the session on to international trade laws, Mr Biju Mathew from New Delhi talked about jurisdictional issues in cyber space, while aspects and issues related to cyber crimes were discussed by Professor Veer Singh of AIL. Ten years of WTO regime were discussed by James Nedumpara from UNCTAD, New Delhi, while Prof B.K. Kaul from Delhi University discussed international trade and copyright protection in India.Product and process patents under international law were discussed by Dr Harpal Kaur from Punjabi University.



DC orders to check defacement of property 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 9
Deputy Commissioner-cum-chief electoral officer Neelam P. Kasni today held a meeting of officers and asked them to follow the direction of the Election Commission regarding defacement of public and private property.

The officers were instructed to tour their respective areas and get all posters and election-related material pasted on the walls of any public or private property removed. They were asked to complete the exercise within two days. Ms Kasni said the administration had already earmarked specific places for pasting those posters and setting up hoardings.

She asked the officers not to pass any orders for promotion, issue appointment letters or open tenders for new construction works, as the model code of conduct is in force. She asked them to report the matter to either the heads of the department concerned, or to the district administration.

The District Education Officer was instructed to personally check that no election-related material was pasted on the walls of government schools. She asked her to initiate action against the school principal, in case any election-related poster was found on the walls of the school.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the sub divisional magistrates of Panchkula and Kalka, tehsildars, block development and panchayat officers and the City Magistrate to visit and check all polling booths. There are 38 hyper-sensitive and 19 sensitive booths in the Kalka Assembly constituency.

She also said campaigning time in urban areas of the constituency had been fixed from 6 am to 10 pm, while in rural areas campaigning had been allowed from 6 am 
to 11 pm.



Volunteers take to cycling for cleaner Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Volunteers of the Greenpeace and the Greentire today jointly launched the campaign to promote cycles and raise awareness against the use of cars in the city. Environment activists of the two voluntary agencies also participated in a four-hour cycle tour of Chandigarh and its countryside up to Perch Dam via Panjab University, Nadda and Perch villages.

Explaining the rationale behind the project meant to raise awareness against cars, Mr Manish Kumar of the Greenpeace said a car was like a nail in the climate’s coffin. He also talked about Chandigarh having the highest per thousand car numbers in India. “With increasing urbanisation and industrial and commercial activities, the transport demand has also increased. Due to inadequate public transport system, the use of personalised vehicles has been increasing.”

Mr Manish also talked about the global threat to environment as posed by cars. “Cars are the main producers of Co2. Worldwide emission of Co2 by 500 million cars is 20 per cent of the total quantity produced by mankind. The number of cars on the road is growing rapidly — currently twice as fast as the world’s population.” It is well known that this number will reach 2 billion worldwide by 2030.

Mr Vikramjit Singh, in charge of the Greentire Programme of Yuvsatta, said the problem of polluting cars had become more acute with new models of cost-effective diesel cars hitting the road every day. “Diesel engines are responsible for harmful emissions of SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter), which are tiny particles suspended in the air. Almost all of the diesel particles (SPM) are very tiny, less than 1 micron (1 millionth of a metre) in size and hence dangerous. Owing to their small size they can be inhaled and can penetrate into the respiratory tract and cause asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer and premature death.”

Mr Pramod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, was of the view that although Chandigarh is a busy place where people need to travel, but most people can travel and move easily under their own power ie by cycling and walking, both are cheap and clean. “Chandigarh is a small city with distance from one end to another, not more than 10 km and it can be covered easily on cycles,” he said.

In the future too, the Greenpeace and the Greentire plan to organise join cycle rallies, exhibitions to project perils of vehicular pollution. Also on the agenda are painting/ debate competitions and workshops involving young and old to raise awareness against vehicles and to promote bicycles in Chandigarh.



CHB house owners demand ownership rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Transfer of ownership rights to residents and regularisation of modifications in residences were among the main demands of residents at the seventh monthly meeting of the CHB Residents Federation held here today.

Attended by councillors of various political parties, speakers rued that despite full payments to Chandigarh Housing Board, made over 10 years back, residents were still not given ownership rights.

They said the affidavit clause in the procedure for transfer of ownership was a major hurdle and demanded that this be dropped. The speakers said that the CHB was doing nothing to regularise need-based changes and adopt a liberal approach in dealing with alterations in the residences.

Meanwhile, the Residents Coordination Committee, MIG I houses, Sector 40, handed over a draft for Rs 14,000, collected for the tsunami-hit people of the coastal areas to Mr O.P. Popli, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation.

The draft, in the name of the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, was collected from the residents of the sector as well as children who made contributions from their pocket money. A one minute silence was also observed.



Real estate prices up 
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 9
An unprecedented hike in property prices in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur in the past one year has affected the real estate here with property prices in the town and adjoining areas getting a flip in the past one month.

Earlier, Zirakpur had been a hot market for real estate for over six months after certain property dealers from Bathinda, Delhi, Gurgaon and other cities came into play.

A survey by the Chandigarh Tribune to Dera Bassi and its surrounding areas has revealed that while the prices of residential property have witnesses a hike of approximately 80 per cent, the prices of commercial property have shoot up by 100 per cent in various parts.

Mr Bhupinder Saini, a property dealer of Dera Bassi, claimed that the prices of residential flats had doubled in the past one month. “The prices of residential land have increased from Rs 1,000-1,200 per square yards to Rs 2,000-2,500 per square yards. Similarly the prices of commercial property have also doubled,” he claimed.



British Library membership opens
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 9
The British Library, Chandigarh has re-opened its membership from Sunday so that the people can utilise this holiday to enroll themselves as members of the library. Re-opening of this library’s membership was a long-awaited event for many.

Library authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the opening of new membership. Many people, including bureaucrats, students, businessmen, housewives and others thronged the library in large numbers to enroll for the membership. The long queues outside the library confirmed that city has no dearth of book lovers.

The library is aiming to enroll 1,500 members. Membership is open for all categories, including individual, classic and family. Membership will be offered strictly on first-come-first-served basis. Considering the great demand for membership the process will continue on Monday, January 10 also. 



Unit owners’ gesture
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
The Mohali Industries Association have decided to help Tsunami disaster victims. Mr Gurmeet Singh, President of the Association, said cheques were being received from members, and these would be handed over to the administration here for transmission to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

A three-member team of Mr Harpreet Singh Nibber, Pritika Industries Mr Ajai Rai and Mr S. Balasubramanium was flagged off by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA and Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, Mohali today for Nagapatnam, in Tamil Nadu to provide relief to 300 persons. The team will stay there for a week. Articles of daily use including medicines, value about Rs 2.30 lakh would be distributed by the team.

The MLA has set up Collection Centres at MLA Bhavan, SDM’s office and Municipal Council office to receive relief . 



Valmiki sabha honours Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh Pradesh Valmiki Sabha honoured the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, the Senior Deputy Mayor, Ms Pushpa Sharma, and the Deputy Mayor, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid, at a function held at Panchayat Bhavan, Sector 18, here today.

The sabha submitted a charter of demands in which they sought cancellation of the clause which laid down requirement of residential proof for getting a Scheduled Caste certificate, recruitment of safai karamcharis in the corporation, dwelling units under the Dr Ambedkar Awas Yojna and nomination of leaders of the Valmiki community to the Chandigarh Advisory Council.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president, Mr B.B. Behl, were the guests of honour.



Cash, jewellery stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Pallavi Gupta of Sarojini Hostel, Panjab University, reported theft of her bag containing gold jewellery and clothes from her car (CH-03-F 4868) by breaking the window panes when the car was parked in the hostel parking.

Suman Bhatia, resident of house number 558, Sector 16 reported that some one had stolen her bag containing jewellery worth Rs 30,000, Rs 7,000 in cash, an ATM card and a mobile phone from Sector 22 yesterday.

Naresh Kumar, resident of house number 1070, Sector 21, reported that some one had stolen his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH01 B 4798) from the UT Secretariat parking.

Ramesh, resident of Hallo Majra, was alleged hit by a Swaraj Mazda (HR-68 3019) near Ram Darbar turn. The driver of the vehicle was arrested and the injured cyclist was admitted to the GMCH.

Gulab Singh, resident of Nehru Colony, Sector 53, was arrested for allegedly selling liquor without a licence from the colony.



One held for banker’s kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh police has arrested one of the accused in the sensational kidnapping of banker Lekhraj at the behest of his relative in the USA.

Lakhiwinder Singh, alias Lakha, was arrested yesterday from the Sector 17 ISBT when he came here to meet his lawyer, the police said. Lakha had been eluding arrest for the past six months. The police today produced Lakha in a local court which remanded him to a day of police remand.

Lekhraj was kidnapped from his Sector 15 house at the behest of Lekhraj’s brother-in-law who wanted to put pressure on his wife Kiran to hand over their son to her US-based estranged husband. However, the alleged kidnappers had to free Lekhraj in Himachal after the Chandigarh police contacted the US police. The US police booked the US-based relative of Lekhraj forcing the kidnappers to release Lekhraj within a day.



One held for stealing car
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
The police here arrested a persons from the phase VII mechanic market. The accused Balwant Singh alias Babbi was trying to sell the stolen car (White Esteem DL-5CA 7847) when he was caught by ASI Ramesh Chander.

The Police said that Babbi was accompanied by another person Amandeep Singh when he had come to the market but he escaped. The police has registered a case against the two under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. The police said Balwant Singh belonged to Mullepur village, Fatehgarh Sahib district and the whereabouts of Amandeep were not still known.

In-laws booked: The police here today booked a couple of phase IV on a complaint given by their daughter, in-law. According to the police, the daughter-in-law alleged that her parents-in-law were harassing her and her father-in-law even tried to outrage her modesty.

The police has registered a case under Sections 354, 323 and 34 of the IPC.



Cameras stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Two cameras and a lens worth around Rs 1.25 lakh were today stolen from house number 1751/2 in Sector 43 when the occupant of the house Raghvinder Singh was away from home.

The suspected thieves entered the house during the day when the occupant had left home. 


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