C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cable thieves throw telecom services out of gear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Around 5,000 telephones went dead late last night when thieves struck in Sector 45 and decamped with telecom cables priced in lakhs. The telecommunication in Sectors 45, 46 and 32 was severely impaired.

SDO (Cables) Avtar Singh said it would take around two days to restore telecommunication as the thieves had cut the cables in a manner that was creating several complications.

The cables were cut after damaging the underground manhole. It has affected 1200 pairs at three places, 800 and 400 pairs at separate places. The manhole damaged by the thieves by itself will cost around Rs 1 lakh to rebuild, it is said. Though, the exact cost of the damage would be ascertained by the ‘Commercial’ section of the BSNL, the SDO estimated that it would run into lakhs.

A complaint has been lodged at the Sector 34 police station under Section 380 of the IPC against unidentified persons. The police has not made any breakthrough in the case so far.

“Since every pair has to be tested for breaks before the line can be restored, it is estimated that the communication would be restored in about two days,” the SDO said.

He said the thieves first cut the lock on the manhole over the underground cables and then cut the cables, possibly with the intention of selling these in the market.

He said mostly residential areas had been affected by the theft. Educational and medical institutions in these sectors were linked to the Sector 32 exchange, he added.

It may be mentioned that a gang has been actively involved in stealing telephone cables; earlier a similar incident had taken place in the Sector 26 timber market and in Sector 61, rendering phones non-functional in many areas of Chandigarh and Mohali last week. Some of these phones continue to be non-functional even now.

Even as the BSNL authorities think the cables were cut for being sold in the market, the police has not ruled out the possibility of sabotage.

A police personnel said they were also looking at the possibility of some private telecom operators being involved in the incident. “Many operators are trying to convince customers that wireless operations are always more reliable than the conventional phone lines and such incidents always help them in marketing this viewpoint,” he said.



2 years gone, no clue to marksheet ‘smuggler’ 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Around 20 blank marksheets and certificates of Classes X and XII examinations went missing from the regional office of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) here in 2003. But, instead of reporting the matter to the police or conducting a departmental inquiry, board officials at Delhi preferred to keep mum on the issue.

Two years down the line, the board has no idea about the employee(s) who managed to ‘smuggle out’ the documents. The possibility of the documents being procured by some organised gangs that issued fake certificates and marksheets for various board examinations could not be ruled out.

The documents were reported missing between May, 2003, and June, 2003, from the drawer of an Assistant.

Investigations by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that the documents for Class X examination (2000) and Class XII examination (2002)were reported missing by the official concerned on two separate occasions, within a span of two weeks. The documents were issued to the regional office for the purpose of issuing duplicate marksheets and certificates.

Interestingly, no action was initiated against the persons responsible when the documents were reported missing for the first time. Another theft was reported within two weeks of the first incident.

Sources in the department said the seal of the packets containing the marksheets and certificates were opened in front of the then Assistant secretary. The packets contained 400 certificates and 40 marksheets for Class X examination and 12 marksheets and certificates for Class XII examination. The documents were found missing during the stock entry in the board’s store by a Junior Assistant.

It may be mentioned that a case of tampering with an answer book in the Answer Book Cell in the regional office was being probed into by the board. A preliminary probe by the board had revealed that some officials had managed to smuggle out the biology answer books of a Class XII student and attached supplementary answer book so that the marks of the student could be increased in re-checking.

The Chairman of the board, Mr Ashok Ganguly, had earlier indicated of handing over the probe to a police agency. He had said that some wrong elements were still left in the regional office and the matter was being taken very seriously. But so far investigations in the case has not been handed over to the police.



UT vermiculture projects fall flat
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Launched with much fanfare in May 2002, the Vermiculture Scheme in the city is all in a shambles. The pilot projects located in Sectors 15 and 27 are pictures of neglect. There is no trace of worms required for the process, so, naturally, there can be no trace of the compost, the expected result.

Sahyog-15, a joint initiative of the Chandigarh Animal Welfare and Eco-Development Society and LIC Colony, Sector 15-D, is a picture of general neglect. The pits are empty, roofs have vanished and the site is permanently locked. The compost production has stopped even at the site in Sector 27.

Vermiculture is a system of rearing earthworms for decomposition of organic farm and home waste. It has immense potential for waste reduction and fertiliser production. It boosts growth of plants.

The two sites were developed as pilot projects under the leadership of Ms Neeru Nanda, former Adviser to the UT Administrator.

“Ms Nanda used to visit these sites regularly, but no official after her departure showed any interest in the scheme,” said Ms Payal Sodhi, consultant of the Chandigarh Animal Welfare and Economic Development Society which was one of the frontal agencies in implementation of the project.

Ms Sodhi said, “No official showed interest in the scheme after her, so it collapsed. The scheme has immense potential for using garbage for fruitful results. Quality leadership is needed. It is not owned by anyone at the moment. The Administration has literally washed its hands off the scheme and the corporation also showed no interest.”

Ms Harpreet Babla, a councillor, said the scheme worked nicely in Sector 27. “We were selling compost to residents of the sector at a price of Rs 5 per kg and it went on nicely for about two years. Meanwhile, the contractor got additional business to handle. There was little financial support from the corporation so things took an awkward turn and manufacturing of compost was stopped.”

Ms Amar Kulwant, a councillor, said, “The climate of the city was not suited for vermiculture. It is very difficult for the worms to survive in extreme temperatures of the North. Sahyog-15 was inaugurated by Ms Lalit Joshi, former Mayor, on May 28, 2002, and the project continued for a very short period. I can say any scheme of the corporation can be effective only if there is substantive support and participation of the residents.”



Love birds at receiving end of police, relatives
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
It is a story straight from a Bollywood potboiler:An inter-caste marriage involving a Brahmin boy and a julaha(weaver) girl has kicked up a storm with the police and the girl's family playing the spoilsport.

Now after being allegedly harassed by the police, the couple is on the run and has moved the National Human Right Commission(NHRC) for the protection of their life and liberty.

In fact, for the couple, Netar Pal, a resident Shadipur village in Yamuna Nagar district, and Renu of Saharanpur, their marriage after a brief romance was a dream.And for the fear of their families, who disapproved of their relationship, they had married here on February 2 in the presence of close friends.

However, soon after the marriage, their nightmare began. With Phul Raj and Mukesh Kumar, father and brother, respectively of Renu, complaining to the Saharanpur police against Netar Pal, the couple was allegedly hounded by the police which forced them to go underground.

"When my father and brother were informed about the marriage, they threatened to eliminate us ," Renu told The Tribune last night. "As the premises of our relatives' houses are also being raided by the police, we are forced to hide at the our acquitances' places", she added.

"Is it a crime to fall in love?" asks an angry Netar Pal. "Being a major, we have married on our own will and it is our fundamental right to live our own lives as we desire", he argued.

Netar Pal alleged that the Saharanpur police had forcibly taken the signatures of his parents on blank papers which could be used to victimise the family. "The police was raiding our house in Shadipur village and compelling my parents to produce us before it , he added.

Meanwhile, the couple, in a representation to the NHRC through their counsel, Mr G.B.S. Dhillon, urged the commission to restrain the Saharanpur police from registering any case against them. "The Indian Constitution has granted us the right to life and liberty under Article 21 and that right can only be taken away in accordance with the provisions of the law", the representation added.

Renu and Netar Pal informed that they might take recourse to legal remedy if they were further victimised by the police.



Labour reforms in N-E to benefit 37 cr workers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The Union Government has initiated major labour reforms for the work force in the unorganised and rural sector in the North-East, apparently to curtail insurgency.

Under the programme, efforts are being made to uplift the socio-economic status of the strong workforce through self-help initiatives and an educational programme.

To initiate the reforms, the Central Board for Workers Education (CBWE), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Labour, has been appointed the nodal agency, said Major-General Samayram (retd), Chairman of the CBWE.

Talking to The Tribune, the General said the mantra of the labour reforms, which would also benefit 37 crore workforce in the country, was to run a common man-oriented educational programme.

Acknowledging that unemployment in a number of states, especially those which were affected by insurgency, could be checked by initiating a labour-related educational programme, he said it would help in bringing the youth back in the mainstream.

To reach the unorganised sector and rural areas, the Labour Ministry had given its nod to the CBWE to upgrade and increase the strength of its Regional Directorates from the existing 49 to 70. An independent Zonal Directorate was being set up for the North-Eastern states at a cost of Rs 75 lakh. The Chairman admitted that there was a shortage of education officers with the department.



Overcrowding caused pneumonia among Army recruits: study
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Inadequate space and poor living conditions have been cited as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia among recruits at a regimental training centre, an Army study has revealed. The study was undertaken after 31 cases of pneumonia, most of them young recruits, were admitted to a military hospital some time ago.

"Epidemiological investigations revealed overcrowding in the regimental centre," the study team observed in its report. "The floor and air space available per recruit was below the standards recommended by the Manual of Health for the Armed Forces," the report stated. In fact, the available space was less than even that recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency shelters.

The study, conducted by nine specialists from the Armed Forces Medical College and various military hospitals, was published last month. It is stated to be the first study of its kind.

Though the study cites overcrowding as the primary reason for the outbreak of pneumonia, it lists chilly weather conditions and stress due to training activities as other contributing factors

The study team also noted an increase in other respiratory diseases like common cold and bronchitis. It also observed that at the time of the outbreak, no unusual instances of pneumonia- like disorders were reported amongst the adjoining civilian population.

The team also visited the regimental centre to ascertain the living and environmental conditions there. Though the centre has not been identified in the report, it is situated at an altitude of about 1,800 metres.

The study found that the floor area available per recruit was 3.4--4.2 square metres, where as the recommended area was 5 sq m. Similarly available airspace was 10--13 cube metres.



Passing Thru

Ruby Bhatia — anchor, model and actress
Ruby Bhatia — anchor, model and actress.

From where do you draw your inspiration in life?

My dad has been my hero and my source of inspiration. He has always guided me to follow the right path and supported me in every decision I took. Also, I believe each one of us can be an inspiration for the other.

What is your magic mantra?

I always try to keep my body and soul occupied and healthy. I believe in S S T mantra that is “Sasta”, “Sundar” and “Tikau”. According to me, how well one carries oneself is what really matters. I always stick to simple and economic clothes and I don’t even mind buying stuff from roadside shops.

What are the projects you are working on right now?

Right now I am working on “Modeling Zone” on Star One. There are three segments in the show and one of these is on spirituality. This show has got me interested in spiritualism.

Puneet K. Pardal 



Couch love in helmets, not roses!
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh Police has blocked the 'Geri route' between the new OPD of the PGI and a small round about near Mountview Hotel. There will be pickets near schools and colleges between 7 am and 4 pm. No triple riding will be allowed. There will be a special vigil on those aboard open jeeps. Entire police force from Sector 3 and 11 police stations will be on Valentine Day duty.

Chandigarh, February 13
Don't be surprised if you get an unusual gift on Valentine's Day.
If the Traffic Awareness Organisation (TAO), Chandigarh, is to be believed, it will like each lover to gift a helmet to his beloved instead of flowers. And seek nothing in return but a promise to wear the helmets gifted.

The message has been communicated in a poster titled "A gift from heart to her head…!" The poster has been issued on the eve of Valentine's Day and made by Satwant Singh, a member of TAO. "Beauty is what a lover cherishes but an unprotected head in case of an accident may create permanent scars on one's face apart from even taking life ," says president of TAO Amar Manchanda.

Love seeks long life for the cupid-struck and helmets can help lovers life a long and injury-free life, he adds.

Interestingly, pollution and SPMs spoil skin but helmet can prevent this. Why a lover will not like to preserve the glow of his beloved's skin and hair, feel lovers

Love is not dependence, a burden which an incapacitated woman can become because of injuries. To stay afloat in modern competitive life a woman requires protective gears and most importantly for head.

TAO has urged women, who use helmets even while riding pillion, to come forward to promote the cause and become ambassadors of the organisation. 



A change becomes part of city life
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Change is a small adornment time always carries along. A change that is strong enough to sustain all pressures of time becomes a part of life. Valentine’s Day celebrations are one such change that has etched its name permanently on the socio-cultural life of the city.

From the image of a whimpering child in the early eighties, the day has assumed a Herculean dimension today. The change is visible in the range of cards on shelves of stores. simultaneously with the burgeoning strength of the crowd.

The popular belief was that the occasion was only an “excuse” for youngsters to express their love or “attempt for befriending their crush”. It was a surprise to see Neeta, an eight-year old, tagging along with her at Dewsun. She had picked up three cards which she was showing her mother. “ One for my English teacher, one for my Science teacher and one for Neha, my best friend”, she said while showing them to her mother.

“ It is quite normal”, the mom said “ I remember in the early nineties the parents used to ask thei girls not to go near shops Valentine’s Day cos boys would be out to catch hold of them and give them cards. The occasion was thought off as only one for sharing feeling among lovers”.

A general perusal of cards at Nazrana, Sector 10, showed a wide rane of subjects that had been picked up by card printing companies, mainly Archies. The names on the list ofcards include friends, loved ones, parents, teachers, classmates and friends.

Jai Pratap Singh, a business executive, said “ I vividly remember the times when Valentine’s Day had not arrived on the scene in the ity. I was a student of plus two in 1988 when a few cards could be seen, however it was not much of a fashion. It was a fashion for certain gangs of lads who would follow girls and give the cards”.

Mr Dilip Singh, an HRD consultant, said during early nineties Valentine’s Day had become among the youth. The route between the market of Sector 10 and Sector 11 became popular as the “geri route”. On this day hundreds, perhaps more, mobikes and scooters with youngsters(larely guys) could be seen travelling to and fro. It was a difficult times for girls, however, a section of the girl also had a good time freaking out.

“Cards and roses would be picked from the stores and then there was a common scene of hoolanism. This was followed by police “lathis”. I remember that Nazrana, a shop, had given youngsters the option of buying pigeons, along with the cards. This was going along with a hit Bollywood film “Maine Pyar Kiya”. I am noticing that from the past couple of years the police has become a little strict and the hullaballu has come down. The occasion is now more decent”, he said.

Mr V.S.Sohal, director of Nazrana, said the event had started to get heat in the late eighties. “ Despite cyncism about the day being a Wesren concept invading the Indian culture, the day is becoming a permanent part of life. The noise the festival created in the earlier years has died down and now the day has gained acceptability as a part of our lives. The crowd consists of visitors from all walks of life against an earlier misconception of the day being just for just young lovers.”

Mr Sohal said because of the police action in the recent years the element ofrowdyism had died. Earlier a card was thought to be sufficient for the occasion. These days a whole range of gifts have been specially designed.

Mr Diwakar Sahoonja, director of Dewsun Greets and Gifts, Sector 11, can trace the history of the event in the coty vividly cods this store opened way back in 1976. “ Despite criticism from certain sections of the society during the earlier days the occasion has become a part of the city life.

It was in early eighties that we received a couple of cards for the occasion, however, they hardly sold. It was the Archies which nearly revolutionized the entire market. I gave advertisements in The Tribune explaining the importance of the occasion and the event slowly caught on to its current status”.

Mr Sahoonja said “ it is unfair to call the occasion as n infiltration into the Indian culture. It is just a small way of expressing one’s love for the dear one. Undoubtedly, Western companies have effectively marketed the product through packaging and advertisement but this does not mean the day was bad. Dewsun had in 1996 organised the Mr and Miss Valentine show which was televised, however, hooliganism had marred the occasion.

“I was thoroughly against the occasion, however, over the years I have accepted it as a normal part of my life and I always buy a card for my husband. I wish some Indian companies could design a package for expressing love for dear ones on a day which was part of our culture”, said Mrs Anshu Rishi, a housewife.



2005 — A love story
Rajiv Bhatia

Valentine’s Day now involves a lot of commercial interests so much so that the warmth of this pure feeling gets blocked by advertising slogans. But as someone said love never ends and even though it may seem to vanish, it remains alive like a scent which one can’t see but which one can experience .

Today, I narrate a story about a girl whose memory will be very difficult for me to erase and although our interaction was only for a few days, I still believe, those were one of the best days, I have ever spent in school times, but I lost my love somewhere in the globe. I will love to meet this lovely girl again and get to know about her and, hope God will hear me again this time.

It was a pleasant Sunday morning. I was walking with my friends on lakeside listening to light music. Birds were chirping all around. Everybody was in action doing exercises. I saw an old lady with her granddaughter, who was very beautiful. She was wearing a black track suit. I looked at her. She gave me an impressive smile.

She removed her cap and came to me. We knew each other. She was my classmate of school times. She belonged to a rich Sikh family. I was very fond of her during my school days. She also knew about my love for her. She always helped me in those days. She was the captain of the school basketball team. And she was married to a Delhi-based businessman. I recalled with regret.

I was surprised to see her on the lakeside. Last month, she came to meet her parents. She got divorced from her husband. She told me that her husband didn’t love her. “He was already married. His first wife was with her. He was not interested in me. He loved his first wife very much. He married me only for money. He would always quarrel with me and beat me up. He always wanted money for his drinks and gambling. Then, I discussed my problem with my parents and brothers. They suggested me to divorce him. Last month, I got divorced from him.”

“Are you married?” she asked me. I said, “No, I could not find a suitable girl like you”. Tears rolled down her cheeks. Her grandmother was also weeping. Both of them left the place.

Then I talked with my parents about her. They asked me that I could help her. They suggested me to marry her. I decided to meet her. Firstly, I met her parents and told them that I knew their daughter from schooldays. I love her. I asked them to allow me to marry their daughter. They were shocked initially. They told me that they didn’t think it was right. They wanted sometime to think about it.

After two days, her parents came to my house . They agreed to my marriage proposal. My parents were also happy about this marriage. Now both families fixed the marriage date. On February 14, I would marry my “lost love”. Unbelievable, but it is true that I have got my lost love.



Essence of love
Nidhi Hurria

Love is a lyric of acceptance. It depends upon the mind becoming a servant rather than a master. This can b achieved only through the acceptance of the other, our destiny and all individuals as they are. If the world is accepted as it is and our emotions are directed towards unconditional love, then our mind, a composite of negative attitudes, desires and regrets, subsides into silence, the intellect becomes the master.

Love is a absolute forgetfulness of oneself and identification with all. It embraces all its own part or projection. It is the service of all as our own without reservation or obligation. Such intellect love has a wider sphere than emotional love. We begin with a small group and one day it will be all embracing. Within, we become one, whilst without, we become all. We find ourselves awake and alert, using our facilities to the maximum extent.

We are prepared to do all we are asked to best of our ability. This enhances our efficiency and versatility. We, in giving love , are harnessing our body, mind and intellect for the benefit of others and our intellect remains unperturbed and poised. And this love expands such an extent, that it becomes universal love.

Universal love is meant to flow through our being untouched by our personal inhibitions or conceptions, our likes or dislikes. Infract, there is no place for any personal consideration, it has to grow to embrace the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day



Good for heart even better for economy
Chitleen K. Sethi

It’s economy Cupid. No time to pin five bay leaves to a maiden’s pillow and appear in her dreams. Nor time to put buoyant name tags in girl’s mud tablets and hope yours will be the first to appear from the bottom of a pond. If you want to snag your maiden today no amount of historical knowledge will help.

“Flowers are the only thing that have survived the passage of time in this timeless festival of lovers. Just as cards for every occasion made inroads into the great Indian middle class two decades ago, Valentine’s Day is serious business,” says 20-something Angad Singh, an engineering student.

“You may send an SMS to a friend on his/her birthday but heavens help you if you try to get away so cheaply with a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. At best you will be reprimanded and labelled a cheapskate, at worst you will be dumped and the word passed among the girls and you will never woo the fair Ellen of Lochinvar again,” laughs Angad.

This is the time of the year when you must grin and dig your pockets for the cause is not only close to your heart but also good for economy. And who knows, one kiss may turn you into prince charming. For some of the oldies, Valentine’s Day is something they missed all their lives and want to enjoy it the most, money being no consideration. “I don’t know about today, but I think Valentine’s should have been celebrated when we were in college. In any case it is not too late now. I have the heart (and the money) to celebrate. My wife is going to be my lady luck and the day would be dedicated to her,” says 50-year-old Taranjit Singh.

Chanchal, a student of architecture says it is the most stupid thing which youngsters indulge in. It’s nothing buts a big waste of parent’s money.

53-year-old S.S. Buttar says “Love and romance is life and age has nothing to do with love. I feel 18 when it comes to the matters of the heart. More than anyone else, I strongly believe that such days should be celebrated once every month. Everyone should be able to express love freely on such days.”

But there are some young women who feel differently. “Personally I don’t believe in the day. Those who are in love, are in love all through the year so why just one day for expressing it? Gifts, cards and flowers are used to express love on just one day seems rather fake,” says Shalini Sharma, a music teacher in a Chandigarh school. “Expressing love is important and the way one does it is most important,” she adds.

For Harman, a theatre artist, Valentine’s day is a big day. “For boys, it is a big day. All through the year someone is waiting to gather courage and propose to a girl. And what better way to do it than on Valentine’s Day. Thank god for this day otherwise girls and boys who like one another will never be able to express themselves. It is a day to express love, shower gifts and enjoy the spirit of this undying feeling,” he adds.



Hills beckon
Ruchika M. Khanna

Mush and romance will bloom this Valentine’s Day, but in the cooler climes of Kasauli, Parwanoo and Barog. With the Chandigarh police all set to play spoilsport yet again, local lovebirds from the city, Panchkula and Mohali are planning to romance in the serene Shivalik ranges. With the city yuppies all set for romance in the hills, the city hotels, restaurants and of course the Rose Garden will be left to the Jats from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana. For the well-heeled the destination this Valentine’s Day is at the parties planned by resorts in neighbouring Pinjore and Zirakpur, or those located in Kasauli, Barog, Parwanoo or the serene environs of Morni hills.

Ms Navita Bhasin, a call centre employee, says that going uphill is a perfect getaway for Valentine’s Day. “Each time on Valentine’s Day the police keeps a strict vigil and couples are put to inconvenience. For the young lovers it is the fear of getting spotted by the parents or some family friend. For the past two years I have been going to Kasauli with my boyfriend, and this year it would again be either Kasauli or Barog, where we will renew our relationship, ” she says.

Adds Raghav Kapoor, a student of DAV College, “This time I am busy preparing for my competitions, but a day can be spared for your loved ones. Though it is the company that matters rather than destination, but going uphill with your girlfriend, waving heart-shaped balloons is a thrilling experience." For others it is a day when you express your love and seek commitment for life. Says Shaan, who says he is waiting for this day to propose marriage to his girlfriend of six years, “I have planned a trip to Timber Trail Resorts.” Just as we will reach the highest point on the ropeway I will present her with a ring and seek her commitment for a life together. 



And my heart will go on...
Swarleen Kaur

Sniff the fresh vibes of nascent love in the air. It might not be very intoxicating but it is definitely engaging. The heart of city youths beats a little faster on Valentine Day. They yearn to express their “limitless love” to their heart-throbs. But nothing can convey the sweet scent of love better than these songs

“Love me, love me just for a day”

City’s youth affirm their faith in Bollywood stars whose achievements include linking with maximum possible beautiful girls. Many of the city handsome hunks relish changing their girlfriends with the change of their mobile sets. But the latest trend is having more than one girlfriend at one time. Imagine what would a student of DAV college, Ankit Gupta, do who has to date two girlfriends on the fateful Day. Only the Lord can save his soul.

“Hey, Mr DJ want to dance with my baby’’

Youngsters today have an attitude to ‘confront with’. Carefree and confident they do not bother that their parents do not hold their Valentine sentiments in high esteem. 20 year-old Jayasurya is an example of this lot. “If they do not understand my feelings for her, it is okay but that cannot stop me from making the most of Valentine Day, Vigorous and emotional, he says dancing brings them closer. His dance steps may falter but not his feelings for her .He say ever since he has befriended his life has acquired additional colours. “I want to dance with her till midnight less than that I won’t be satisfied,” he said.

‘’Dhoondhta hoon jise main ………. woh ladaki hai kahan’’

Singles and wannabe lovers are making all-out efforts to find a match for themselves. ‘We will gift flowers, arrange a luxury car, and candle light dinner …, but just be our valentine, say these singles. So girls be aware, they are hunting for you.

“‘Yeh teri Mohabbat Beimaan mohabbat”

“But that won’t impress me much” — Here comes the answer from smart girls of the city for these Romeos. It is easy to impress someone with style and lavish gifts but it requires much more to win someone’s heart

“I have been waiting for a girl like you”

This one is the most successful number to pamper your girl, admit city youngsters. Any method which makes her happy is applied. So it was quite surprising to know that butterflying apart, this is the truth of a small number of couples who thrive on lofty values. Such couples exchange no love-smitten words. Their silence speaks about the depth of their love. Panjab University students, Preety and Saurabh, belong to this dwindling tribe. They will celebrate their first Valentine Day in their own quite way. Sitting with them you can instantly feel the chemistry between the two. He won’t be giving gifts. It is not easy to make Saurabh say something on the relationship. “All I can say about her is that I have been waiting for a girl like her’. In her presence, I feel a high, more blissful. My prayer for a sensitive partner has been answered. I feel privileged’’, he said

Sounds unbelievable. But city has many more such wonderful persons. You just need luck to run into them.

‘’You were my eyes when I could not see…..

Sounds equally wonderful. And stands very much true for Neha Aggrawal who will celebrate her third Valentine with the same man.’ He understands me more than anyone else on the earth and he stood by me in crucial times. We will go out together on Valentine Day, she said

‘’I miss you like deserts miss the rains’’

Then there are many whose hearts will ache. The fiancé of Maneesha, BA second year student of MCM College, is in Ireland .’We will hang on the phone and exchange SMS, sighs Maneesha. 



Foretelling love stings
Swarleen Kaur

Let us find out what kind of stings our local Love pundits have predicted for the 12 zodiac signs on Valentine Day.  

Aries: Ariens will find the reflection of love in their partners’ eyes only if they gift their beaus with a Ray Ban goggles or eye-makeup kit (apply suitably). Those singles will find a suitable match only if they act more smartly. They should wear violet colour to set their hearts fluttering. If feeling depressed following refusal from their beau, they should eat wine cake to lift their spirits.

Taurus: Persons belonging to this sign may be left high and dry by their beaus. Those expecting love from their already hooked partners will be disappointed as she or he might leave them for green pasture. To check this, they should stop looking into the eyes of their lovers and focus more on shopping . Ego-boosting tactics will also prove fruitful. If they don’t invite their beau to a sumptuous lunch on Valentine day, they risk annoying their partners for ever.

Gemini: Gemini’s will find it hard to please thei beloved with roses and chocolates. A change of partner is recommended for majority of them. But those who are desireless and have given up all hopes can expect a windfall of love at the end of the day

Cancer: Though their heart is always full of love and good wishes for their partners, but sadly this Valentine may not bring any reciprocation of feelings for them. To whip up much-needed passion, they should wear the colour of the season ‘Black’. This will also help them to dispel darkness from their mind.

Leo: Your love life will glow like a 100-watts bulb. They should surround themselves with their admirers who can sing welcome songs for them. You will succeed in manipulating your beau with all kinds of false promises.

Virgo: You are likely to lose the love of life if you do not go for shopping with your beau. Make the most of sales offer on Valentine Day and ensure that his or her wardrobe overflows with winter and summer wears for the next season. If unable to carry out these measures you are advised to chant “Om mani padme hum” mantra to rescue your failing luck

Libra: To prevent themselves from feeling lonely and lethargic, gift your mate a yellow rose instead of traditional red. Cancel your interview if any and instead fix a trip to the hills with your beau. You

Scorpio: Luckiest of all, persons born under this sign will be left scurrying for covers as they will be flooded with friendship offers. They will derive extreme happiness and will be tempted to go for forbidden pleasures. However, pundits predict that they will reap a rich harvest by avoiding these offer and adopting laughter therapy on Valentine Day.

Sagittarius: Like a good Samaritans they will put their love interest behind and would help their friends to find a suitable match. So most likely they will end up feeling spent-up, tired and bit harassed on Valentine Day. Most likely, they will find solace in sleep which will be marred by not so-sweet dreams.

Capricorn: Like a nimble goat, they will climb the ladder of love to experience a new high. Being a practical sign they will strike a fine balance between their extra-marital and home life.

Aquarius: A surprise is on the cards. You may not feel like dancing or going out with your beau. Rather solitude will nourish your soul and provide insight into the fact that why you beloved always misunderstands you. This may set you on an unromantic yet spiritual Journey.

Pisces: Pisceans will suffer from heart burns and headache if they try to be possessive about their love. Sharing their love and gifts will unburden their. Dream generously about your love because you might miss this on Valentine Day.



PUDA for 2-phase acquisition of land
290 acres to be acquired within week
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, February 13
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, has decided to sequence into two phases the acquisition of land for the proposed Zirakpur Urban Estate.

While declaration of acquisition, under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, of about 290-acre land on the Kalka-Ambala highway would be done within a week another 150 acre would be acquired after six months.

Stating that the decision had been taken in view of the flow of finances to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), the Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu pointed out that the response to the urban estate phase I would determine the acquisition of land for the phase II.

The department had, in August 2004, issued a notification, under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, for the acquisition of about 450 acres of land in Nagla, Singhpura and Ramgarh Bhudda villages.

Mr Sidhu added that fair acquisition of land in the Phase I would be ensured to accommodate the various needs of the proposed Urban estate.

"The entire stretch of land to the right of the Kalka-Ambala highway would be acquired in the first phase.

Another 600 feet stretch along the left of the highway would also be acquired for the first phase," said Mr Sidhu.

The department had sought objections from the affected parties till September 9, 2004.

Over 100 residents of Singhpura, Nagra and Ramgarh Bhudda villages filed objections against the PUDA's move for land acquisition. These included members of 'Bajigar' community residing in Bajigar Basties of Nagla, Singhpura and Ramgarh Bhudda villages in Dera Bassi subdivision.

The farmers had also complained that PUDA would violate the New Capital Periphery (Control) Act 1952 by developing a township in the no-construction zone.

Moreover, the development of an urban estate would also change the land usage in this area, they had alleged. 



Campaign against use of polythene bags
Our Correspondent

Some facts about polythene

  • Autopsy reports reveals that thousand of the cattle die after consuming these bags.
  • Generally, around 10 to 15 kg such bags are found in the stomach of affected animals.
  • Burning plastic releases deadly gases in the air.
  • Chemicals added during recycling of plastic leach into food products stored in it.

Chandigarh, February 13
A small colony of 800 households uses around 5,000 plastic bags everyday or 1.5 lakh bags a month. This means, people in Chandigarh, which has a population of approximately 10 lakh, use around 6.25 lakh polythene bags daily. The figures are alarming.

This was how supporters of the Greenpeace India Society tried to make people understand the magnitude of polythene menace at a camp organised at Fragrance Garden, Sector 36, here today. The aim was to highlight the need to curb the use of polythene bags.

Activists of the society informed the public about the harmful effects of polythene. Posters highlighting various environmental issues were also put up.

Mr Manish, coordinator of the local unit of the society, said, “We will take up different themes during our camps every month.” However, because of the Basant Utsav that was also being simultaneously held in the garden, the campaign drew a lukewarm response.



A perfect Valentine gift for maid 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
It is the Valentine’s Day gift, Sunita, a maid servant, will remember for years to come.
For this 20-year-old resident of Dadu Majra Colony, marriage was the last thing in her agenda till the other day. However, courtesy several social organisations, including the Nishkam Seva Mandal and the Shiv Bhole Prabandhak Committee, she tied the nuptial knot today to open a new leaf in her poverty-stricken existence.

The Shiv Mandir in Sector 39, the venue of her marriage with a Burail resident, Sanjeev, bore a festive look. A motley crowd comprising the organisers acted as the bride’s relatives and greeted the guests, including the members of the Press, at the tastefully-decorated temple.

Anxious “relatives” patiently waited for the “barat”, which took its own time to reach the venue. Dancing to tunes of the Bollywood and Punjabi numbers, the “baratis” had a fun time enjoying every moment associated with the marriage ceremony. And while there were many an eye moist at the time of “bidai”, others held back their tears.

The bride and the bridegroom’s happiness said it all. “It is a dream come true”, said a shy Sunita, clearly oblivious of the hullabaloo associated with the festival of love—Valentine’s Day. “Sab Bhagwan ki kripa hai (It is God’s grace)”, she quipped as her eyes well up.

Organisers informed that the ceremony was the brainchild of Ms Meenakshi Gupta, president of the mandal and Sunita’s employer. Ms Gupta got in touch with Mr Arvind Thakur, general secretary of the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) last month to find a suitable match for her.

Mr Thakur, in turn, got in touch with Sanjeev, a small-time scrap dealer of Burail, who consented to marry Sunita. Meanwhile, the couple were provided with certain daily-use items such as a bicycle, sewing machine, wrist watches and utensils by the organisers.



Twentyone couples tie nuptial knot
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
It was indeed a memorable Valentine gift for 21 couples as they entered into a matrimonial alliance today following a mass-marriage ceremony organised at Aggarwal Bhavan by the Lions Club (Chandigarh Plaza) and Arya Samaj, Sector 12.

The mass marriages of 19 couples were performed according to Vedic rites. Nearby, a maulvi read out the nikah nama for two Muslim couples as relatives cheered on and enjoyed the wedding ceremonies. The celebrations were like any other wedding— a band playing and a record player blaring the latest Hindi songs.

The bridegrooms came on 'ghori' while the brides were blushing in the red outfits. The lavish breakfast and lunch was also just like any other wedding.

This is the ninth annual mass marriage ceremony organised by the Lions Club (Chandigarh Plaza) and Arya Samaj.

Till date, the organisations have organised mass marriages for almost 150 girls from poor families, The girls married off today too came from families of daily wagers and labourer community.

Mr Bhaskar Arya, vice -president of Sewa Bharti, Panchkula, said the poor girls who were married off today were identified by Sewa Bharti and the marriage ceremonies and gifts given were arranged for by the Lions Club and Arya Samaj.

"We checked the particulars of each family, the age of the girl, the financial status of their familes etc before identifying them," he 

Each of the couples were given gifts worth Rs 11,000 each, including beds, home linen, gold and silver ornaments and clothes for the bride and groom. 



Littering around marriage venues irks residents
Uday Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, February 13
The ongoing marriage season may have brought joy to some but for a majority of the residents it is proving to be a nightmare. With garbage and leftover remaining littered for days together near marriage venues like community centres and parks, the neighbours are at the receiving end.

In fact the problem is getting worse with the organisers and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) paying scant regard to the cleanliness of the areas around the marriage venues. “The big celebrations are okay but the sad thing is the nuisance it creates to the society,” rues Mr Sunil Gautam, a resident of Sector 48.

“Littering has become a norm rather than exception and repeated attempts to get the area cleaned from the civic body or the organisers fall on deaf ears. The parks and open grounds are for strolling and separate places should be marked for hosting these functions.” Mr P.C. Wadhwa, a retired officer of the Haryana police and a resident of Sector 28-A said.

Demanding the imposition of heavy penalty on the offenders, Mr Sunil Kumar, a resident of Sector 20, said: “It spoke poorly of the civic sense of the well-planned city. The problem becomes more acute when the stray cattle feed on the leftover.”

An official of the MCC when contacted said: “The organisers were obliged to clear off the garbage and leftovers and in fact, a written undertaking was taken from the organisers in this regard. The civic body was mulling over a proposal to come down heavily on the offenders.” 



  Manauli Fort: A dying slice of history
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 13
Barely 7 km from Mohali is a village called Manauli. Steeped in history, the village houses a Mughal fort that was won by the legendry Nawab Kapoor Singh in 1763.
The centuries-old fort, declared as a protected monument by the Punjab Government in 2001, is, however, today a poor picture of its original glory.

Wedged in a legal battle between the Punjab Government and descendants of Nawab Kapoor Singh, who are contending the declaration of the fort as a protected monument, the fort has decayed almost beyond restoration.

The grand gate that guarded the entrance of the fort has perished and only two of the four corner towers are still standing. These are, however, fissured and it is just a matter of time before the entire structure becomes a large heap of bricks.

It is among the few forts that is made of bricks and hails from an era when stone was largely used.

The small bricks, known as the Sirhindi brick among the locals, are hanging loose from almost every wall of the fort today telling a depressing tale of splendour lost. The villagers too rue the fact that the fort is dying.

"Had it been maintained, it could have been a tourist attraction. Also considering the fact that it was won by Nawab Kapoor Singh himself from the Mughal kings, it is a picture of the state's historical glory," said Mr Amar Singh, a resident of the village.

The Punjab Archeology Department officials have nothing to say about the fort and why is it being allowed to decay.

"The matter is in the court and a comment at this stage would not be advisable," said Mr K.K. Rishi, a surveyor with the department.

One of the most powerful of the Sikh leaders after the death of Banda Singh Bahadur, Nawab Kapoor Singh had organised the Sikhs first into the 'budha' and the 'taruna' dals and then into the Dal Khalsa.

Other than being a great leader, Nawab Kapoor Singh was considered to be a good warrior.

The last battle he fought was the battle of Sirhind in 1763 when he gained control over an area most of which forms the Ropar district now.

Founder of the Singhpuria misl, Nawab Kapoor Singh died childless and his nephew Khushal Singh succeeded him as the leader of the misl. Sardar Khushal Singh played a significant role in expanding the territories of the misl.

"Khushal Singh was succeeded by his son Budh Singh after whose accession the misl's power began to decline. He divided his territory among his seven sons. Gopal Singh got Manauli. Gopal Singh's son Jai Singh succeeded at Manauli and finally it came into the hands of his son Umrao Singh," related Mr Gurdev Singh of the Archeology Department, Punjab.

"We have heard about Umrao Singh from our parents. He was a generous man who did a lot of good for the village," recalled Mr Amar Singh.

Hundreds of acres of land around the fort was within its boundaries. "At least 400 acre of land was directed controlled by those who controlled the fort. There was a small gurdwara built inside and the largest gate of the fort was known as the hathi khana,"said Mr Amar Singh.



Nepalese protest against King Gyanendra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 13
A large number of Nepalese from the north gathered in the city under the aegis of the Nepali Janadhikar Suraksha Samiti Bharat Central Committee in protest against the dismissal of the democratic government in Nepal by King Gyanendra.

The general secretary, of the committee said: “February 1 will go as the darkest day in the history of Nepal when King Gyanendra grabbed power.

The monarchy in Nepal has lost the support of the people.

Rejecting the royal proclamation, he said the anti-people steps taken by the king should be scrapped and freedom of the Press should be restored.

He said the military, political and economic support provided by the USA and the Indian Government was the main cause of the survival of the monarchy in Nepal.



Basant welcomed with zest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 13
The kite flying competition held today to mark the herald of 'Basant' at Leisure Valley, Sector 10, generated much enthusiasm among the crowd.
Nearly 1200 persons participated in this competition that let their kites sway all over the sky.

Another attraction were the cultural programmes which kept the audience hooked.

An interesting item was the tug of war for women where the fair sextried to prove its muscle power. Fancy dress and dance competitions made the occasion more entertaining. Folk dances of the Multan, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab kept the viewers enthralled throughout the day.

Ms Sarita Mohan, wife of Mr Krishan Mohan, Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, gave the prizes to winners.

Mr S. C. Poddar, Special Secretary, Tourism,Chandigarh Administration, presided over the function.

Mr S.K. Sharma, President, Environment Society of India, said he was happy with the turnout. Yellow rice and delicious delicacies of 'Basant' were also relished.

The following were the winners

Fancy Dress Contest

First prize : Pooja and Sakshi

Second prize: Mansi and Yogita

Third prize: Natish and Tala

Consolation prize: Robbal and Sonita

Kite Flying Contest

First prize: A. S. Baggan and Mohan Dada

Second prize: Ravpreet Singh and Rajneesh

Third prize : Harinder and S.K. Mishra

Consolation prize: Robbal and Sonita.



Anuradha crusader of social drama
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, February 13
If someone still passionately believes in Romeo and Juliet, you won’t take long to come to the conclusion that he or she is driven by the old values which will hardly synchronise with the contemporary world.

But Anuradha Kapur, Professor in the National School of Drama, Delhi is ripe enough to differentiate between dram a and reality. The woman, who is credited with shaping the feminist theatre, is also a crusader of the new form of socially dramas, was here to conduct a workshop at the Indian Theatre Department, Panjab University, for their forthcoming production “Romeo Juliet’.

As she begins to unveil herself, one immediately senses her maturity and her vast creative outlook which comes by taking life head-on. Reading her radiating eyes further strengthens the feelings.

Taking art as an emotional journey has helped her bring many positive changes in her life. Though she had her share of difficulties in her life but she has successfully sailed through. Satisfied in many aspects, she still yearns to explore many hidden dimensions of the life. Talking about the play “Romeo Juliet” she said she had adhered to the original story, but had very carefully added young bubbling spirit to it.

It is for the first time that she is working with the students of Department of Theatre. She is very happy with the students here who she says are hard-working and ready to pour their energy in the subject. The plays which are close to her heart are “Giddh”, “Sundari”, “Vijaytendulkar” and “Antigony”, a Greek play which was directed by her. 



Tribune employees collect Rs 3.25 lakh for tsunami aid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
At a function held on The Tribune premises in Chandigarh on February 11 to pay tributes to Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia on the occasion of the 124th foundation day of the newspaper, the President of the Tribune Employees Union, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, handed over a cheque for Rs 3.25 lakh to the Chairman of the Tribune Trust, Justice R.S. Pathak, as relief to the tsunami victims. The amount was collected from employees who responded to a call by the union to donate one day’s salary for the humanitarian cause.

Mr Sidhu said the union had always responded promptly to provide succour to the victims of natural disasters in any part of the country.



Society to set up home for people, animals
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
The Society for Disowned Humans and Animals will set up a home for people and an animal shelter.
This was stated by the general secretary of the society, Mr Sanjay Sharma, and member B.B. Gupta, on the first anniversary celebrations of the society at DC Model Senior Secondary School here today.

They said they had already leased about four kanals at Kaimbwala village in Chandigarh for setting up the animal shelter.

The society has tied up with NGOs. It provides free evening meal to poor patients at the local General Hospital, besides running an anganwadi for children of labourers.



Residents’ body seeks changes in policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The CHB Residents’ Federation here demanded changes in the board policy of the transfer of ownership and regularisation of alterations.
In a press note today it said though full payment had been made 10 years ago, yet the ownership had not been transferred.

The federation said seeking an affidavit on the status of violations of building by laws before the transfer of ownership should be delinked and need-based changes in the house should be ignored before transferring the ownership of the house.



Businessman alleges fraud, two booked 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
A local businessman was allegedly duped of Rs 10 lakh by a businessman from Jalandhar and another from Kolkata for getting the former a distribution agency of the Paonta Sahib-based Himachal Beverages Private Limited.

Deepak Batra of Allied Agencies, Sector 37-D, complained to the police that Ajay Joshi of Jalandhar introduced him to Debashish Roychowdhary of Kolkata in Jalandhar on March 19, 2004. Joshi allegedly introduced Roychowdhary as an agent of Himachal Beverages Private Limited and offered to get the Chandigarh businessman carry-and-forward agency of the company.

A day after, Roychowdhary, allegedly posing as director of the company, and the Chandigarh businessman reportedly struck a deal for Rs 25 lakh. Deepak issued a cheque for Rs 10 lakh as advance. The cheque was drawn on State Bank of Patiala, Sector 38.

The cheque was handed over to Ajay, who got it deposited in the bank account of the company. But after the money was transferred there was no communication from Roychowdhary.

Deepak approached Ajay, who said formalities would be completed in a few days. Ajay then visited Kolkata in this regard. Deepak went to Kolkata in July last year and found out that the company which Roychowdhary claimed to represent was not a distributor of the Himachal-based company. When this fact was brought to the notice of Roychowdhary, he issued a cheque in favour of Deepak, but it was dishonoured.

Deepak got a notice issued in connection with the termination of the contract. He said he came to know Ajay had got a share of Rs 3 lakh from Roychowdhary.

The two have been booked under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120 (criminal conspiracy). 



Robbers try to break open ATM
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, February 13
Robbers struck at the local branch of the State Bank of Patiala located along the Kalka-Ambala highway and tried to break open the ATM and decamp with money late last night.

A gang of robbers broke open the shutter of the main gate and entered the cabin with the ATM. They broke the monitor of the machine but failed to break the safe.

They also sustained injuries as there were blood stains on the ATM. The police has registered a case.



Destination North, Air Deccan’s next stop 
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Air Deccan, one of India’s low-cost airlines, is set to provide better connectivity by starting direct flights to tourist destinations and smaller cities in the North.
The Delhi-Chandigarh flight by this airline is likely to take off by February 19, while flights to places like Jammu, Agra, Kanpur and Jabalpur will start operations by month end.

Talking to TNS from Chennai, the airline’s Managing Director, Capt G.R Gopinath, said: “We will be offering special packages for linking these places in the north with Delhi so as to give tourists cost-effective travelling option.”

All these flights would use a 48-seater aircraft and operate from New Delhi. The airline will be launching two of its newly acquired airbuses by the month-end, he said. The airbuses have been bought from Avions de Transport regional (ATR). The airline would offer 70 flights a day on its network with the smaller aircraft alone. The recently launched flights to Amritsar and Jaipur have drawn a good response.

He said Air Deccan had styled itself along the lines of the Irish zero-frill carrier Ryanair and British low-cost carrier Easyjet and offered fares 30-40 per cent below those of the full-service Indian carriers operating in these sectors. “The idea is to bring more and more tourists to this region”, he added.

The airline also plans to offer non-stop flights between Kolkata and Delhi and Kolkata and Mumbai. “Since east is a price-conscious market, we will connect Kolkata to the metro sectors only’’, he said. This would enable the customers to fly to these places by paying about 20 per cent more than what the first- class train fare would cost. 


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