C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ugly spots on city’s beautiful face
No water taps in 16,000 houses;
Over 84,000 families live in one-room set
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

  • 1.26 lakh married couples have independent room.
  • 31,152 families have cars.
  • Sector 27 and 28 have 96 per cent literate males.
  • Sector 20 and 33 have 98.7 per cent literate females.

Chandigarh, February 11
It may seem odd but in Chandigarh which boasts of the second highest per capita income in the country, close to 30 per cent of families are not availing banking services. And surprisingly, another 16,000 families do not have tapped water supply.

There are a total of 2.01 lakh families in the city which live in the urban and rural areas. The city has a population of 9 lakh, says data of the Census Department as per the 2001 Census. Out of these 1.30 lakh families avail of banking facilities. There are 1.80 lakh urban families and 1.20 lakh use banks leaving close to 60,000 families without any banks services.

Out of nearly 16,000 families who do not have tapped water supply. 13,000 live in the urban areas. The definition of the urban area is the municipal area and this includes several slums and also illegal constructions in villages.

Out of the 2.01 lakh families, 1.95 lakh have power connections. The remaining 6,000 use kerosene, solar power, and other methods to light up their homes and also for cooking. Out of these 6,000 families, only 500 are in the rural areas while the rest are in the urban areas. Other than these, another 427 homes have no system of lights and 376 of these are in the urban areas.

In the city there are about of 1.82 lakh married couples and only 1.26 lakh have an independent room. About 6,750 families live in grand houses which have more than six rooms. On the other end, 84,489 families have only one room.

About 5,600 families have five-room houses while 15,400 families have four-room houses and 37,500 families have three-room houses. And about 5,000 families are residing in dilapidated structures. Once again the fact that slums are part of the municipal area make the number of dilapidated homes seem huge for the planned city.

The Census also talks about assets of the family. And if one thought Chandigarh was the city of big cars take another look. Cycles are owned by 1.37 lakh households and 87,198 families own two-wheelers while cars are owned by 31, 152 families.

On the literacy front ward number 13 of the MC, which comprises sectors 27 and 28, has a total of 96 per cent literate males. In the total 11 of the 20 municipal wards, 90 per cent of males are literate. The least literacy among males is in ward number 14 which has at 75 per cent. This ward comprises Sector 26, grain market, police lines, transport area and Bapu Dham.

Among females the highest literacy is in ward number 11 which is Sector 20 and 33 where 98.7 per cent women are literate. On the flip side, ward number 14 has the 58.8 per cent literacy rate.



2 shopkeepers held with porn CDs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The Chandigarh Police today stumbled upon a widespread porn material circulation racket in the city while investigating a two-day-old case related to a porn MMS, apparently featuring a local woman.

Gurinder Pal Singh and Rajiv Kapoor, two Sector 22 B-based shopkeepers, were today arrested with two pornographic CDs and as many computers allegedly being used in circulating the porn material through the MMS, DSP Central Subhash Sagarh told mediapersons here this evening.

The two used to provide pornographic clips on the MMS charging Rs 100 for a minute clip.

The women in the two CDS are Indians.

The arrest of the two has opened up the possibilities of the MMS clip having have been part of a seized CD or picked from a website.

According to the police, it came across the fact that the woman, apparently from the city, who featured in the MMS was seen in a CD that had been in circulation for the past three months.

DSP Sagar said during investigation it was found out that the circulation was widespread amongst young children.

The police randomly checked mobile phones of young boys and girls in which porn clips were found.

A police officer said when the police team raided the shops, it found a few persons standing there. When the police approached them, they posed as customers who had come there for repair of their mobile phones.

The police said it was still clueless about the identity of the woman and the man in the video grab.

The police said it had searched two websites that featured 1,500 Indian women and were being run from the USA.



Volvo, a poor competitor for Shatabdi

As a Delhi Transport Corporation-owned Volvo bus remains impounded at the Sector 17 police station, A. J. Philip narrates a journey he made in such a bus recently.

THE brightly-painted Volvo bus was parked at the Sector 17 bus stand when I reached there, as advised, half an hour before its departure. The Delhi Transport Corporation, which introduced this luxury bus service between Chandigarh and New Delhi last month, had not thought of the need for advance reservation.

There were only a couple of passengers waiting for the bus. The ticket had to be bought from a counter. At Rs 350, the journey was definitely expensive but then allowance had to be made for the fact that DTC competed with the Railways to provide passengers an alternative to the Shatabdi express.

Besides the driver and the conductor, a young boy also travelled in the bus taking care of the passengers’ belongings. His job also included wiping the huge windscreen from time to time to keep it free from mist and dust.

It was a “semi-sleeper” bus. The passengers had the option of choosing a window seat or an aisle seat. The seat is quite comfortable and it can be slid to a degree where it is as good as a bed. There is a footrest. What’s more, a sliding leg rest tempts the passenger to coop up a little and sleep as on a bed.

The windowpanes were fixed and could not be adjusted. Five minutes before the departure, the driver switched on the engine and the air-conditioner. Cooled air came through a duct which can be individually controlled. Every passenger had access to an overhead light as in an aircraft to read without disturbing others.

On the dot at six, the bus started moving. There were not more than 15 passengers. It soon picked up momentum but only to stop again and again to pick up passengers till it crossed the Tribune Chowk. Thereafter, it was a long smooth drive.

Switching off the light, I turned sideways to continue the interrupted sleep. But even before I could have a proper wink, I was woken up by “Mein kya karoon Ram, mujhe budha mil gaya” from “Sangam”. The Sony television set was on and it was playing a video cassette of Hindi songs. From Mohammed Rafi to Manna Dey to Lata Mangeshkar, the songs continued. The bus had neared Ambala when the cassette was changed. A Hindi movie was now on, though I could not catch the title. It had a Jitendra-like person in the lead. Trying to catch up with sleep as often as possible, it was difficult to follow the story.

The only memorable scene was the washing of a new Mercedes car the villainous hero had acquired. Washing a car is unromantic but in this movie, it is a voluptuous skimpy-clad heroine who does it. At the end of the washing, she had more lather on her body than the car.

The driver deserved a prize for his perfect timing. When the screen showed “Interval”, the bus reached Nathu’s Sweets at Karnal. It was curious why he did not stop at Oasis, which is a government undertaking and had better amenities.

The bearer was quick to respond: “What would you respond: “What would you like to have, a sandwich or a parantha?”

“Anything that is quicker”, I ordered. “Both can be served quickly”, he replied sportingly. I settled for a parantha.

Within seconds, he brought a small aloo-parantha, which appeared to have been dug out from a deep freezer. When after several minutes he did not bring sugarless tea, I got up in disgust and paid the bill — Rs 17 for an uneatable parantha. Obviously, there was more than met the eye between the bus staff and Nathu’s Sweets.

We were again on the road and the cross-wearing villain had begun enticing two sisters and finally robbing one of them of her “ijjat”. The hero was, as usual, on a killing spree.

I returned to my book on G.W. Leitner, who as the blurb says, was the founder of the Punjab system of education, including Panjab University, Lahore. Every time the hero used his gun, my determination to complete the book before the bus reached Delhi was put to the test.

My neighbour in the bus, a little girl, played musical chairs as the bus cruised at high speed. The clock struck 9.50 when the bus reached what is known as the “Bypass” in Delhi. Since I had made the mistake of calling for a car at ISBT, I had to travel another half an hour while most passengers got down there. Forget the bad experience at Nathu’s, the journey was comfortable and memorable, though I would never prefer it to the Shatabdi.



Mangla Express’ run being extended to Chandigarh
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
In a move aimed to benefit people of Punjab, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh, the Railway Ministry has decided to extend the daily Mangla Express running between Kochi and New Delhi, to Chandigarh from June 1.

The superfast train will not only provide a direct connection between Chandigarh and Kerala, but also the train connection to Goa. Also Chandigarh residents will gets direct daily train to places like Bhopal and Nasik.

The train, which is among the prestigious trains of the Railways, starts from Hazrat Nizamuddin station in South Delhi at 9. 50 a.m and completes the 3,065 km journey between Delhi and Kochi in 49 hours. Enroute it touches Agra, Bhopal, Kalyan ( Mumbai) , Madgaon (Goa), Calicut and Trichur. The run between Delhi and Chandigarh is expected to take about 3 hours and 30 minutes. From Kalyan to Goa train will run on the Konkan railway line.

To facilitate the train at Chandigarh the ministry has asked the Ambala Railway Division to start the work to extend the washing line to accommodate the 24-coach train. The washing line at Chandigarh is presently capable of handling only 18-coach trains. The work will start soon on extending the washing line which is a critical component to terminate any long- distance train at a station.

Sources in the Railways said a decision on extending the train till Chandigarh was taken as large number of travellers from places like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Shimla and other towns go to Goa and Kerala besides costal Karnataka. This will also enable business travellers to travel directly to industrial towns like Ratnagiri, Verna ( Goa), Mumbai and Kochi. In the reverse people from these cities can now plan an easier access to Himachal Pradesh as Chandigarh is only 100 km by road from Shimla.

Also large number of Keralites work in the industrial towns of Baddi, Ludhiana or Mandi Gobindgarh and have a presence in the banking units.



AC III coach for Sadbhavana Express
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The Railways has decided to add an AC III-tier coach to Sadbhavana Express running between Chandigarh and Lucknow. From Chandigarh, the bogie will be attached to the train departing on February 18. It will be carried out from Lucknow on February 19.

The train already has an AC II-tier coach and the addition of the AC III-tier coach has been made on a popular demand, railway officials said.



Air Force pilots slog it out in hostile weather
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
As an Air Force IL-76 aligned with the runway during an approach to the Srinagar airfield a couple of days ago, a sudden swirl of dense cloud blocked visibility and put the aircrew into a difficult situation. At the last possible moment, the “threshold”, the cloud broke and the aircraft was able to touchdown. The other option would have been to divert to Pathankot or Chandigarh, but with the aircraft low on fuel, it would have been another problem.

For the IAF’s pilots, navigators and flight engineers, the mammoth task of airlifting stranded troops in Jammu and Kashmir during adverse weather conditions, has been a test of their professionalism. Besides long hours in the cockpit, low-lying clouds, poor visibility, wet runways, wind turbulence and snow are among elements of nature aircrew are pitted against while maintaining the vital airbridge across the Bannihal Pass.

During the week, the two transport squadrons at Chandigarh executed about a 100 sorties from Jammu and Udhampur to Srinagar and vice-versa to airlift Army and Air Force personnel after heavy snow blocked the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. This is perhaps the largest such operation in recent times.

“Bad weather notwithstanding, the air-link to the northern sector will be maintained,” Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cmde T K Venugopal said. “It requires a high degree of skill and the laid-down operational procedures and safety measures will be followed,” he added.

The most challenging sorties have been in and out of Udhampur, where it is mandatory to have complete visual contact with the ground during approach. “The airfield is surrounded by mountains and approach is only through a narrow V-cut,” Wg Cdr T.K. Sinha, an AN-32 pilot said. “It is a unidirectional airfield, that is take off and landing is in one direction only and we do not have the choice of favourable wind direction,” he added.

Also during approach, the runway is not visible till the pilots cross the mountains to enter the bowl. Even the terrain is such that it gives little clue about the aircraft’s position, adding to the aircrew’s task. High tension cables in the vicinity are another factor.

Aircrew also have to combat fatigue. At times a single crew has executed nine soties in a single day amounting to over eight hours of flying time besides time on ground to attend briefings and carry out checks. “Here it is not simple flying.

It’s about repeatedly climbing, maintaining levels, descending, keeping a track of other aircraft on the route, checking terrain and keeping track of weather developments,” a pilot said.

At the centre of the relief operations are the mighty IL-76 strategic freighters. “Given its size and weight, its inertia is quite a bit and it takes time to respond to controls,” Gp Capt S.N. Mohanty said. “Flying this aircraft in low visibility conditions through constant wind drafts requires all the pilots skills, wisdom and ability to take quick decisions,” he added.

Weather, altitude and runway orientation also restrict an aircraft’s load and fuel carrying capacity. At times aircraft have to take off with much less load. However, there was an instance when an IL-76 was able to take off with a much higher passenger load than what it normally carries.

Inclement weather conditions apart, operating in Jammu and Kashmir has its own peculiarities and restrictions. It is not just the vagaries of the weather, but also flying in proximity to the international border that has to be taken into account.

There are instances where the international border on one side and high peaks on the other leave little space to manoeuvre. Further, the air corridor between Jammu and Srinagar is very narrow, with a large number of military and civilian aircraft winging over the icy heights at a particular time.



India will overtake China: Gurcharan Das
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Despite horrible governance Indian economy is doing well and will overtake China over the next 20 years, says management guru and writer, Gurcharn Das.

In town to deliver a lecture on “Knowledge Management”, Gurcharn Das is convinced that the middle class in India is growing at a very rapid rate. By the year 2010, India would have a middle class comprising 368 million people. “When the middle class crosses 50 per cent of India’s population by the year 2040, the politics will also change”.

Portraying a very optimistic picture of ‘India of tomorrow’, Gurcharn Das quoted several statistics to make his point. He said that the economic growth of the nation can be divided into three eras. The first being the colonial period from 1900 to 1950 when the GDP and the population growth were pegged at 1 per cent each making it an era of zero per cent per capita growth. The second post-Independence phase saw GDP grow at 3.5 per cent and the population at 2.2, taking the per capita growth to 1.3 per cent. He said that the reform period from 1980 to date could be divided into two - 1881 to 1990 when economic reforms started but were slow and the 1991 to 2000 when GDP went up to 6.2 per cent and the population growth came down to 1.8, pushing the per capita growth to 4.4 per cent. By the year 2010 GDP is expected to touch 7 per cent, population is expected to further come down to 1.5 per cent and per capita growth pushed to 5.5 per cent.

In the next five years the literacy in the country is expected to touch 80 per cent and people below the poverty line reduced to 16 per cent, which in real terms means that every year one million people in the country would cross the poverty line. “Over the next two decades 175 million people would be on this side of the poverty line”, he said. After a decade of liberalisation he expects the growth rate to touch 8 per cent and GDP per capita to almost quadruple over the next two decades.

He said all these figures when translated into simple English mean that India that has 50 per cent of its population under 25 years of age will overtake China by 2025 when Chinese work force will get reduced from 800 million to 400 million and Indian work force will touch 800 million from the current 400 million. Before the end of the century, India would match the US per capita of US $ 37,000.

He said that India was on the verge of a second Green Revolution. “The WTO is a friend of India and we must all dispel the fears about it. No nation can survive in isolation and any one following the policy of openness in economy will benefit from WTO”, he said.

“Focus” and “Passion” for it was his mantra for success, both as a ‘Global Corporate Strategy Specialist” and as a writer, said the Harvard Business School Graduate. Novelist, playwright, columnist, Mr. Gurcharn Das is also the author of “Indian Unbound”, a book published in many languages across the globe and filmed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). His novel ‘A Fine Family’ is being turned into a film by none other than legendry Shaym Benegal.



Passing Thru

Mr Sandeep Ahuja
Mr Sandeep Ahuja, Business head of VLCC Personal Care

How do you rate the progress of personal care centres in the last few years?

In the last couple of years, personal care centres have witnessed explosive expansion both in terms of geographic presence and product and service offerings.

How do you compare the personal care centres in India and abroad?

Personal care centres abroad are much advanced as compared to India. India really needs to bring up more range of products to compete with international market.

What is the concept of a personal care centre?

Personal care centre products range from skin-care, hair care and body care categories. All products have natural ingredients and are a result of extensive scientific research combined with age - old ayurvedic formulations, which make them suitable for all skin and hair types.

— Nidhi Hurria



Plan to upgrade firefighting services
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The local municipal corporation has decided to upgrade the firefighting services in the city with special attention on developing supportive machinery and communication for engaging allied services during an emergency. The corporation has decided to spend Rs 1.48 crore on the project out of the unspent funds.

The approval for special attention is important in context of a recent update of the Fire Department where it was pointed out that certain firefighting vehicles did not even have wireless sets. The proposal on upgrading the existing services has been cleared by the Finance and Contract Committee and also the house of the corporation. The Fire Wing of the corporation is all set for a high-tech computerised laboratory for monitoring the existing services and engaging allied services during an emergency.

The corporation has cleared a water tender, emergency tender and ‘water bouser’ worth Rs 68 lakh. The corporation will now have a new fire engine jeep, recovery van and an effective system for communication. The list of the new purchases includes a thermal imaging camera, air compressor, hydraulic pressure tools and water mist equipment, besides the apparatus for normal use.

Mr P.C. Sanghi, member of Finance and Contract Committee, said besides addition of the latest firefighting equipment, the corporation needs to give special attention to effective communication system to make the services better than the existing. The fire services need to be adequately networked with the police and the health agencies for getting them to the spot of emergency at the earliest.

The Fire Department, in a report to the corporation, had pointed out the need for new machinery at the earliest. “ Role of fire services is not only to fight fire but services are also provided when any disaster occurs”, the communication reads. “City has expanded and so has the population. The city has not bought any fire tenders for fire stations at Mani Majra and Ram Darbar. Emergency firecalls are attended by old fire tenders majority of which have already completed their life and utility”, the communication added.

The department had pointed out inadequate machinery for fighting industrial, chemical and electrical fires. Emergency tenders required in case of disasters like rail accidents, earthquakes and aircraft crash are also lacking in the city fire services.

Fire engine jeep, cleared by the corporation, is an effective tool for fighting fire in the slum areas which have narrow lanes. The corporation also does not have a workable portable pump which is used for de-watering in low-lying areas. The existing pumps are “outdated”. The Fire Wing had also drawn attention towards upgrading the existing equipment going along with the new innovations.



Bollworm hits India’s cotton production
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
In India the area under Bollgard (Bt) cotton increased by estimated 400 per cent to reach 500,000 hectares in 2004. But the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan were still awaiting approval. The three states were producing 25 to 30 per cent of the country’s cotton.

In its report on biotech crops released recently, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) asserted that India ranked third among the world’s cotton producing countries. Her share was 12.3 per cent of the global cotton production. China ranked first with 22 per cent, while the United States was second with 19.4 per cent.

Heavy losses due to severe damage by bollworms was reportedly one of the reasons behind the country’s comparative low cotton production. Quoting Government of India’s official estimates, Mumbai-based firm Monsanto India Limited revealed that Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan had earlier suffered a colossal loss of Rs 1,363. 6 crore.

Giving details of the losses, the firm in a communique added that the affected areas were assessed at “4.53 lakh hectares in Punjab, 3.55 lakh hectares in Haryana and 2.58 lakh hectares in Rajasthan”.

Referring to the findings of another survey conducted by AC Nelsen-PRG Marg, the company said better yield, low pesticide costs and higher profits were some of the benefits.

“The survey estimated approximately 30 per cent or 1.7 quintal per acre yield increase in the Bollgard fields, compared to the conventional cotton fields. The net profit of farmers growing Bollgard cotton was higher by nearly 80 per cent or Rs 3126 per acre. The farmers also saved Rs 1294 per acre due to the reduction in the use of bollworm pesticide sprays”, the firm added.

The economic benefits of Bt cotton came from its superior bollworm control. It was resulting in higher yields and cost saving of 50 per cent on insecticides and labour, said the firm’s Director of Corporate Affairs Ranjana.

The Director added that the benefits were, perhaps, the reason why approximately 8.25 million farmers in 17 countries had planted biotech crops last year — nearly 1.25 million more compared to 2003.

She added that 90 per cent of the farmers belonged to the developing countries. In fact absolute growth in the biotech crop area was for the first time higher in the developing countries than in the industrial countries. It was 7.2 million hectares in the developing countries, compared to 6.1 million hectares in the industrial countries.



Seminar on irrigation project ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
A two-day regional workshop on “ Benchmarking of irrigation projects”, organised by the Central Water Commission, concluded at Haryana Nivas here today.

Engineers from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana participated in the workshop.

Mr J.S. Ahlawat, Engineer-in-Chief, Irrigation Department, Haryana, who inaugurated the workshop, said the concept of benchmarking the irrigation schemes was already being applied in parts of the state. He advocated the engineers to adopt scientific approach while benchmarking the projects.

Mr Paramesham, Senior Joint Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources, informed the participants of benchmarking in command area development and water management projects in various states.

The Superintending Engineer, CWC, Chandigarh, Mr S.C. Gupta, highlighted the efforts made by the commission in propagating the concept of benchmarking the irrigation projects.

The inaugural session was followed by technical session on benchmarking of irrigation systems.



His guile made CTU driver part with money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
It was the gift of the gab and the gentle appearance of an alleged cheat, Rajinder Pal, arrested for robbing an NRI, that had enticed many people, including three employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

Shashi Kumar, a CTU driver, and his conductor colleague, Brij Lal, narrated to Chandigarh Tribune how the master con man had duped them of Rs 5,000. Shashi Kumar said Pal met him at Jwalaji seven months ago and engaged him in a conversation.

Pal identified himself as the owner of a Sector 22 wine shop and invited him over for liquor.

The next time, Pal met Shashi at the bus stand around 4.30 am and asked if the driver recognised the “wine contractor”. The driver recognised Pal.

Pal told him that his 15-year-old child had hit his car and injured a person while coming back from Kangra and he was going to settle the case in Dehra. When a conductor at the bus stand asked Pal to buy a ticket, Shashi asked him not to charge him the ticket.

Apparently to win his confidence, Pal insisted on buying the ticket. On the way, the two discussed how the case had to be settled before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and the money involved.

Pal said he would finish the case and would return by the same bus.

On return, Shashi met Pal at Dehra. During a brief stopover, Pal told him that the victim was demanding Rs 55,000 and that he only had Rs 50,000.

Pal asked Shashi to lend him some money. Enchanted, Shashi gave him Rs 2,000 kept in his pocket for his children’s fee. Shashi then asked Brij Lal to give Pal his cash collected as bus fare. With much persuasion, Brij gave him Rs 3,000.

Pal handed over a key to Shashi and a letter addressed to Ashok of Sector 22 wine shop, asking Ashok to return him the money.

When the driver and conductor reached the city and went to the wine shop, they were shocked to find out that the owner of the shop was some other Rajinder Pal and that the cashier’s name was also Ashok.



Faux pas by HUDA
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
In a faux pas, officials of HUDA refunded the deposit money of an applicant for a plot in Sector 6 Mansa Devi Complex, when he asked for a receipt for his deposit.

The hapless victims, Mohinder Gupta and Amit Gupta of Panipat, today approached the HUDA authorities here and sought cancellation of undemanded refund so that they could still be eligible for the draw. The victims had reportedly deposited Rs 94, 991 as earnest money for a 10-marla plot in Sector 6 MDC in May, 2004.

When they did not receive any receipt for their deposit, they wrote a letter to the HUDA authorities asking for it and their registration number in December last year. However, on January 31, 2005, they were sent a refund via draft of Rs 94,991.

The Guptas today approached HUDA officials but the latter refused to relent. They then approached the Estate Officer, Mr O P Sharma, who pulled up his staff and took back their refund. He assured them that their name would be again put on the list of applicants.



Jhuggis razed in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
The Enforcement Wing of HUDA Authority today removed encroachments from Sector 14, 15 and on the new link road between Panchkula and Chandigarh via Mauli Jagran.

Anti-encroachment staff led by tehsildar, Bachchan Singh and junior engineers of the Survey Branch, demolished 30 jhuggis that had come up in the Sector 14 shopping centre.

A similar number of jhuggis that had come up in Sector 15, near the iron and steel market, were also razed by the staff.

Over the past two months, a number of encroachments had cropped up in various parts of the town. Because of elections, no encroachment drive had been launched for the past three months. A number of junk dealers had also encroached upon the new link road between Panchkula and Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh. These encroachments were also removed.

The staff also snapped illegal water and electricity connection taken by a guest house in Baltana, Punjab, from HUDA and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam.



Sikh students seek ban on ‘Shabd’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The producers of Sanjay-Dutt-Aishwarya Rai-Zayed Khan starrer “Shabd” might have some trouble in the making.

The jokes that lead actor of the film Sanjay Dutt cracks in his urge to make the audiences laugh have actually “scarred” the sensibilities of Sikh students across the city.

Over 300 Sikh students gathered on the Panjab University campus to protest against the film and its language and demanded the film be taken off the city cinema halls. They said the film should be screened only after obliteration of objectionable portions. A letter to this effect has been despatched to Chairperson, Censor Board of India.

“If our requests are not heeded we will be forced to resort to unsavoury acts, like preventing the screening of the shows in the city’s cinema halls,” said Prabh Sharan Bir Singh, vice-president, Sikh Students Federation, today.

Sporting black ribbons and black placards, the protestors also threatened demonstrations all over the region. “We want absolute propriety in matters of arts, be it performing arts or visual arts. Even caricatures with Sikh characters at motifs are in utterly bad taste,” said Dalbir Singh, president, and Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU).

They have also forwarded representations in this matter to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Punjab Governor and the Punjab CM.



Fashion show at Goonj-2005

Chandigarh, February 11
A fashion show ‘Raga Shingar’ was held on the second day of festival Goonj-2005 at Gymnasium Hall, Panjab University. Local models sashayed down on the ramp in western, ethnic, casual and formal outfits.

Gunjan was the anchor of the show. This festival is being organised by students and faculty of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology.



Man jumps from fourth floor of GMCH, safe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
A mentally challenged patient at the GMCH, Sector 32, here had a miraculous escape today after he jumped from the fourth floor of the Block A of the hospital this evening.

The incident took place at around 5 pm and the patient was rushed to the emergency ward where doctors said his condition was out of danger.

Babu is suffering from chronic mental illness and was picked up while roaming in the city last week only. He was admitted in the psychiatry ward of the hospital.

The patient suffered a fracture in his left arm and the injuries on the body. The CT scan performed confirmed no damage to the brain. The authorities are not suspecting any foul play.



2.33 lakh penalty for power theft
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 11
A sweets shop in Phase V was imposed a penalty of Rs 2.33 lakh for allegedly indulging in power theft.

Mr V.K. Mahajan, Additional Superintending Engineer, said that apart from imposing a penalty, the power connection of Gobind Sweets was also cut.

He said that the alleged theft had been detected by Mr J.S. Sekhon, Additional Superintending Engineer, Enforcement.

Mr Mahajan said that it was found during checking that a loop was allegedly provided under the terminal block to lower power consumption by nearly 60 per cent.



Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Mrs Sheela Devi (80), mother of Mr Man Chand, senior bromide paster in The Tribune, died today following a brief illness. She is survived by three sons and a daughter.

The rasam kriya will be held on February 20 from 2 p.m to 3 p.m at Shiv Mandir, Sector 21 , Panchkula.



Tribune scribe bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Gian Kaur, grandmother of Mr Amarjit Thind, Senior Staff Correspondent of the The Tribune posted at Ludhiana, died here yesterday. She was 102.

Wife of late Bachan Singh, a contractor with the erstwhile Malaya Government, she is survived by two sons and three daughters. Her cremation at the Sector 25 Cremation Ground here yesterday was largely-attended.



Vehicle stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
A black Scorpio car was reportedly stolen from Sector 4 this afternoon. The car had Rs 3 lakh in cash and jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh. The car belonged to a guest of Mr Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab.

The police said the guests had come for the pre-wedding party of Mr Sodhi’s son at his residence here. The car was parked at some distance from the house.

Two injured

A couple was injured when the Qualis (CH-03K- 9253) they were travelling in was hit by a truck (HR- 37- 4982) near Pinjore today afternoon. They were seriously injured and rushed to the General Hospital, Panchkula. The driver of the truck has been arrested by the police and booked for rash and negligent driving.



3 powermen held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The police today arrested three electricity department employees who were accused of stealing old electricity meters and selling them to a junk dealer.

Harinder Singh, Deep Raj and Mukhtiar Singh were arrested in Sector 35 where they were told to approach the union leaders. The police got a tip off and arrested them.



Wipro, Admn sign MoU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Wipro Spectramind, an IT company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chandigarh Administration to help in implementing the C-TOSS (Chandigarh Training on Soft Skills) programme.

C-TOSS is a programme being run by the IT Department of Chandigarh Administration to provide training to school and college students in the city.

Job projection in the IT-enabled services (ITES) sector was being shown at around 10,000 jobs in the city over the next three years. Keeping these figures in mind, the MoU was good news for school and college students, said Mr Rakesh Sharma, vice-president, Wipro Spectramind.

The 50-hour course would expose the students to basic grammar, informal speech, semi-formal speech and neutralisation of accent,” said an official.

The IT Director, Mr Vivek Atray, and Mr Rakesh Sharma signed the MoU.


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