C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Flats to replace single-storey govt houses
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

  • About 850 govt houses which are 50 years-old are to be demolished in the first phase.
  • To be replaced with 2,000 flats.
  • Are located in elite sectors of the city.
  • A few houses to be retained as token of the city’s heritage.

Chandigarh, February 24
To create accommodation for more government employees, the Chandigarh Administration is to demolish single-storey houses which are more than 50 years old and replace them with three or four storey flats.

About 850 such single storey house which are under type X, XI, XII and XIII categories have been identified for demolition in a phased manner. These houses are located in Sectors 11-A, 11-C, 23-C, 23-B and 27. All these houses were built between 1954 and 1956. In total there are about 3,000 such houses.

Some of these houses have developed cracks and their roofs leak when it rains. Repairing them is impossible so it was planned to demolish and build afresh, say officials.

The Chief Architect has been asked to phase out these old houses and plan the multi-storey flats. The administration also plans to retain some of these old houses to depict the heritage of the city.

Official sources said the flats will provide better living accommodation for employees in the lower strata.

The houses listed for demolition are occupied by Class III and Class IV employees. The idea behind building the flats is to fully utilise the vacant land and build commodious flats which will house more employees. Rough estimates indicate — keeping the circulating area, roads, trees, services and other things in mind — about 2,000 families could be accommodated in the very space where 850 families are living now. Some of these houses are of 12 marla (300 sq yd) while the majority are between 6 and 8 marla.



Body of newly married youth found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 24
Gloom descended on a family of Kumbra village here after the recovery of the body a of newly married boy from the Sirhind canal today.

The body of Kuldeep Singh was seen floating near Jalkheri bridge some distance away from Sirhind by his relatives.

Kuldeep Singh and Ranjeet Kaur, who got married on February 13, went missing on February 17. According to relatives, the two had left Kumbra village in the morning in their car for Faidan village, near Sector 47, Chandigarh, where Ranjeet’s parents live. They had cash and jewellery with them. But they did not reach Faidan village. Their car was found lying abandoned near the canal at Sirhind.

All these days the relatives of the couple had been making frantic efforts to find them. When no information about them was forthcoming, the police suggested them to keep a look out in the canal fearing some untoward incident.

Mr Karamjit Singh, brother-in-law of Kuldeep Singh, told Chandigarh Tribune today that the body of Kuldeep Singh had been traced while that of Ranjeet Kaur was still missing. He said a person hailing from Wazirabad village near Sirhind had told him last night that the couple had jumped into the canal on the afternoon of February 17.

He had told him that a person who was on the other side of the canal had seen the couple roaming about in the area for hours. Around 3.30 p.m. the two jumped into the canal holding hands. The witness had tried raise an alarm but nobody could hear him.

Mr Balwinder Singh, DSP, said the body was recovered from a distance of about more than 12 km from the point where the car was found lying abandoned. The body had no injury marks. A mobile phone was recovered from the pocket of the deceased.

He said a worker of Mr Tarlochan Singh, who was working in the fields on the other side of the canal, had seen the couple roaming about for some time. He had even seen them jumping into the canal. The DSP said it was a clear case of suicide though the police was working on different theories earlier. The body would be handed over to members of the family after a postmortem was done.



Market committee chief Badheri voted out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Chairman of the Chandigarh Market Committee lost the confidence with seven votes polling against him and three in his favour by a 10-member committee. The government nominee, Ms Padmani Singla, SDM also voted against him.

With Mr Badheri losing the confidence, the Congress group led by sitting M.P. Pawan Bansal has suffered a blow. Mr Badheri was also removed as the Chairman of the Chandigarh Panchayat Samiti in December 2004 after vote of no-confidence against him.

Yesterday, Mr Badheri called for a meeting today after a six of the nine elected members wanted a no-confidence to be brought about against him under the bylaw 4 of the committee. Since the law says that the letter must be addressed to the Chairman, it was Mr Badheri in his capacity as chairman, who called the meeting for today.

The six members who had been demanding the ouster of Mr Badheri were Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Anand Singh, Mr Deshraj Gupta, Mr Sita Ram, Mr Bhajan Singh and Mr Ramvir Singh. All six voted against Mr Badheri today.

The three members who voted in favour of Mr Badheri include Mr Karam Singh and Mr Subhash Chander. The third vote Mr Badheri got was his own.

As per the bylaws of
the Market Committee a two thirds majority among the elected members
is required to clear a motion of no-confidence. The meeting on no-confidence motion was chaired by Vice-Chairman Harbhajan Singh.

Mr Badheri told the Chandigarh Tribune that he accepted the verdict and would step down. He accused Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar of “politicising the institution by asking the SDM, a government nominee, to vote against him. He has shown his support for the BJP”. He said that the SDM who has not been present in any meeting before, was sent by the DC to vote against him, he alleged.



Controversial research project at IIAS may be shelved
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Prof J.S. Grewal
Prof J.S. Grewal

Chandigarh, February 24
It’s time for change and restructuring at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, for its Chairman Prof J.S. Grewal himself says that “more than NCERT books, saffronisation is more at intellectual centres like the IIAS.”

And the first project apparently on the verge of discontinuation at the IIAS is the four-year-old “controversial” project on “Indian civilization” as the one-man commission headed by former bureaucrat Mr D Bandhyopadhay in its latest report submitted last month has recommended the discontinuation of the project in its “current form.” The project was granted a funding of Rs 1.38 crores by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development in 2001 when the BJP-led NDA was the ruling party at the Centre.

“It is a recommendation to discontinue the project but the final decision is to be taken by the General Body meeting of the IIAS which meets on March 24,” says Prof Grewal, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the IIAS while talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the national seminar on the “Future of rural development in North-West India” at Panjab University today.

While lack of a wide scope and the fact that “non-residential” scholars have been working on the project are the primary reasons for the recommendation to discontinue it, the Chairman himself agrees that the project, which had around 20 scholars working on it for four years does not do justice to the term “Indian,” as the project was not comprehensive in its approach.

“Any study has to be balanced where all the sections are adequately represented. But under the ongoing project all the facets of India are not represented,” says Prof Grewal.

Moreover in the “first deviation of its kind”, the project had around 20 scholars working on it who were not the fellows of the IIAS and were not the residents of the Institute.

“All the research projects at the IIAS are undertaken by the resident scholars only. But under this project the persons residing anywhere in the country were working on it. The auditors may also raise objections on the manner in which the funds have been utilised in the project,” says Prof Grewal.

Taking steps to review the functioning of the IIAS, Prof Grewal, at the latest General Body meeting held on January 28, has constituted a committee for reviewing the present system of selection of fellows, the themes on which seminars are conducted, the publications of the IIAS and the manner of its publicity.

Prof Grewal candidly agrees that the “trend of saffonisation” has led to making the changes within the existing framework.

“We will continue to hold seminars and add scholars to our Institute. But it needs to be seen on which themes are the seminars being held and the kind of scholars we are taking in,” he says.



Suraj Bhan shows concern at atrocities on SCs in Punjab, Haryana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Lack of penal provisions in various rules and instructions on reservation for the Scheduled Castes has encouraged various departments of the Central Governments and different state governments to blatantly ignore the guidelines, said the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Mr Suraj Bhan, here today.

Terming it a serious violation of the rights given to the Scheduled Castes under the Constitution, he said the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and other backward class (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2004, did not have any room for legal provisions. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in the last winter session.

Addressing a press conference, he said to create awareness on the issue he was going to convene a meeting of Members of Parliament, representing the SC, before the new Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha during the next Budget session. “ We will demand more teeth for the Bill and create an opinion on the issue.

He demanded reservation for the members of the Scheduled Castes in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats, autonomous bodies, government undertakings, technical and education institutions, judiciary, private sector and other bodies which were deriving some sort of concessions from the government. He hinted several instances of indifference towards promoting a member of the SC category in government departments.

Coming back on the issue he said the Bill which should have been presented by the Ministry of Social Welfare was instead presented by the Department of Public Grievances.

“The 31-member Standing Committee which studied various provisions of the new Bill did not have any member from the Scheduled Tribes and backward class. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, where there was no reservation. Actually, it should have been tabled in the Lok Sabha where there are 120 parliamentarians from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes”, he added.

He opined that to give more teeth to the reservation guidelines, the Act should be included in the Ninth Schedule.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Mr Suraj Bhan, said the commission was concerned over the atrocities and custodial deaths concerning the members of the Scheduled Castes in Punjab and Haryana in recent months. The commission was studying cases reported from Jalandhar, Ferozepore, Bathinda, Nawanshahr, Ludhiana and Ropar.



Two arrested for stealing Rs 2 lakh
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, February 24
The police has arrested a minor boy and his maternal aunt from a slum colony for involvement in a theft case here today.

According to the police, the woman, Shivali Bai, and her 16-year-old nephew, had stolen a purse of Arvindar Kaur, a Delhi resident, from Gurdwara Baulisahab on January 23.

The boy had stolen the purse containing a sum of Rs 2 lakh in cash from a marriage ceremony held at the gurdwara.

Mrs Arvinder Kaur, along with her family members and relatives had gone to the gurdwara for performing the anand karaj of her son’s wedding.

Taking the benefit of the gathering the boy took away her purse.

The police later identified the boy after watching the video film of the marriage and circulated the photo of the suspect.

The boy was noticed by Mr Kuljeet Singh, a resident of Diyalpura village, at Gurdwara Nabha Sahib. Mr Kuljeet Singh informed the police and the boy was nabbed. During questioning the boy admitted that he along with his aunt had stolen the purse.



Passing Thru

Sohan Bir, Member-Convener of the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).
Sohan Bir, Member-Convener of the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).

What are the objectives of the council?

The council tries to supplement government efforts in rural development by assisting Non-Government Organisations to undertake development activities in villages. The council has funded over 12,000 NGOs and given Rs 1000 crore in the past two decades. The council also acts as a link between the government and over seven lakh NGOs across the country.

What is the system to monitor the funding of the projects?

We have three-tier system. First we study the project. Then we get it examined from an expert. Then an instalment of the finance is released. The funds are released in phases according to the progress of the project. Credibility of the NGO is also monitored.

What are the focus areas of the council?

We give funds for activities like watershed development, public cooperation, rural housing and agriculture. Funds are also sanctioned to issue-based activities.

— Rajmeet Singh



Festival of Gardens begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Annual festival of Gardens at the Rose Garden will open at 11 a.m. tomorrow. UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues will open it and also inaugurate the green belt, Sector 44.

Folk dance competition will be held tomorrow at Rose Garden, Sector 16 followed by “Sukhwinder Nite” at Leisure Valley, Sector 10.

On February 26 Mrs Jean Rodrigues will be the Chief Guest on the occasion of Rose Prince and Rose Princess competition to be held at Rose Garden, Sector 16. Rose Quiz Competition will be organised at 2.30 pm. On February 27 an on-the-spot painting competition will be held at 10.30 am, followed by Antakshari competition.

Home Secretary Krishna Mohan will be the Chief Guest at the prize distribution function on February 27.



Senior citizens resent commercialisation of festival
Tribune News Service

The Excise and Taxation wing will send special teams to the rose festival starting tomorrow and take stock of the goods at each of the stalls. Sales tax will be charged on the goods sold. Even traders coming from outside will have to give accounts of their sales. Most consumer goods attract 4 to 8 per cent sales tax on cost price.

Chandigarh, February 24
The rose festival starts tomorrow and one of the broadest arcades in the city, the Jan Marg, will be taken over by the kiosks selling everything from jeans to DVD players.

Besides this, eateries will be set up by Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation and private entrepreneurs.

Some of the old timers in the city are livid at converting this into a shopping festival rather than festival of flowers. Officials of the Chandigarh Administration defend their decision saying the festival celebrates the start of the spring season.

For the past five to six years Jan Marg gets converted into a commercial street when the three-day rose festival in on. Thousands of shoppers descend here to shop and eat. Sector 17 and Sector 16 and parts of Sector 10 look like an overcrowded parking bay.

Former UT Chief Architect Mr M.N Sharma asks, “Is it a Dasshera mela or a basant mela. Rose festival should be a about roses. I had designed the rose garden for people to enjoy roses.”

Mrs M.S. Randhawa, wife of Chandigarh’s former Chief Commissioner Dr M.S. Randhawa — credited with planning the rose garden — says “A rose festival should be for roses.” The old lady has not visited the rose festival for years despite living in Sector 9. When asked if the administration ever invited anyone from her family she said “never.”

One of the oldest residents of Chandigarh, Mr Mac Sarin, who is very vocal about protecting Chandigarh’s heritage, says “this is commercial exploitation.” He says he went to sector 17 and the kiosks being set up next to the rose garden did not give him a happy feeling.

Another resident Mr Arvind Jain gets worked up on the issue. He says, “It is my city where I live and this has to be saved from such misuse. The mela next to the rose festival is totally illegal and should not be allowed. This has become a trading centre for traders coming from outside who set up stalls here. Mr Jain admitted that stalls of eateries, drinks, ice creams, and water were required but there was no justification in setting up stalls of other goods.



Flower competition results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The following are the results of flower competition at the annual Festival of Gardens (potted section class D & E) held on Thursday: Class D: Aster — Ram Asre Mourya 1; Antirrhinum — Principal S. Marriya 1; Verbena — Ram Asre Mourya 1; Salvia — Virinder Sharma 1; Brachycome — Principal S. Marriya 1; Cineraria — S.S. Gill 1; Carnation — Gurdwara Sant-Sar Sahib 1; Collection of different foliage plants — D.S. Sharma 1; Collection of Cacti — D.S. Sharma 1; Collection of Succulent — D.S. Sharma 1; Bonsai large-size format upright style — Rupan Deol Bajaj 1; Bonsai medium informal upright style — Rupan Deol Bajaj 1; Bonsai miniature — Rupan Deol Bajaj 1; Bonsai grown as group planting style — Rupan Deol Bajaj 1; Dahlia — Ram Piara Mali 1; Dianthus — Virinder Sharma 1; Geranium — Ram Sanjeevan 1; Kale — Aydhya Parsad Marsa 1; Marigold — S.S. Gill 1; Nemesia — Ram Sanjeevan 1; Nasturtium — S.S. Gill 1; Petunia double hybrid — Hans Raj 1; Petunia single hybrid — Hans Raj 1; Pansy — Ram Sanjeevan 1; Phlox — Jaswant Lal 1; Rose hybrid tea — Principal S. Marriya 2; Any other flower — D.S. Sharma 1.

Class E: Aster — Continental Device India Ltd 1; Antirrhinum — CITCO, Hotel Mountview 1; Verbena — CITCO Hotel Mountview 1; Brachycome — Ranbaxy Lab 1; Cineraria — Puspanjali Nursery 1; Carnation — CITCO, Hotel Mountview 1; Collection of different foliage plants — Defence Nursery 1; Collection of cacti — Cactus Garden 1; Collection of succulent — Chief Administrator, HUDA 1; Dahlia — Director PGI 1; Geranium — Puspanjali Nursery 1; Marigold — CITCO, Hotel Mountview 1; Nemesia — Continental Device India 1; Nasturtium — Director PGI 1; Petunia double hybrid — CHB 1; Petunia single hybrid — Defence Nursery 1; Pansy — CITCO, Hotel Mountview 1; Phlox — Institute of Microbial Technology 2; Rose hybrid tea — CHB 1; Rose floribunda — CHB 1; Salvia — Defence Nursery — 1; Stock — Defence Nursery 1; Kale — CITCO, Hotel Shivalikview 1; Any other flower — CHB 1.



Strawberry Fields gets best campus award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Strawberry Fields, a school project of Durga Das Foundation, have again secured the first position in the Festival of Garden’s “Best Maintained Campus category”. What strikes a casual walk-in is the supreme serenity and overall ambience which the Sector 24 campus gently envelops you with.

“A lot of planning has gone into creating straight and simple lines, none of which intimidate or overpower you. Rather they calm the mind, heighten the sensibilities and bring out the best in both the adults and students,” said Mr Atul Khanna, Director of the school.

For Group Captain S.N. Mohanty, Commanding Officer, 25 Squadron, Airforce Station, Chandigath, the results declared yesterday came with two good news. “We got an award for our house garden and another for the office. It is a great feeling. We have got an award earlier for my house garden but I am proud that we have been able to extend the same care to the office garden,” he said, adding that his wife Sanjugta Mohanty chose to work in the house garden herself and supervised the malis in the office.

For Dr Arunanshu Behra of the PGI too it is not the first time that this award has come his way. “This is the sixth time that I have got this award. And normally, I get this award alone. But this time it has been clubbed,” he said. Dr S. Marriya, Principal, DAV College, too is a proud man today. “This is the third time we have got the first prize for the house garden and also the third time that we have got the second prize for the college lawns. I have to tell you that our pet dog Cooper, a golden retriever, protected the garden from monkeys. My wife, Kavita, who works in Home Science College, takes care of the whole place. We have 2-feet diameter dehlias and the entire garden is surrounded by fruit trees,” he said.



Local architect gets top award
Tribune News Service

Ajay Johl
Ajay Johl

Chandigarh, February 24
Design up houses for the common man is his USP. Having brought the concept of low-cost housing and Mediterranean architecture to North India, Ajay Johl has many firsts to his credit.

After having been featured in top interior design magazines, Ajay Johl has now been chosen for Society Interiors and RR Kable Interiors Honour for Excellence in construction, landscaping and Space Designing. The award will be conferred on him on February 27 — the grand finale function of the Inside Outside exhibition here. The exhibition started here today.

The award has been conferred on him after the organisers studied his construction, landscaping and interior designs at various places in North India. His simple designs in construction, generally defined by straight lines and have ample space volumes — be it in commercial buildings or farm houses — have been widely appreciated. Also, his landscaping techniques, mainly for the golf courses have also been held as unique.

He has been practising architecture for 15 years and handled varied projects like shopping malls to farm houses, golf courses to hotels.

He said, “I have never believed in opulent designing, or restricting myself to the elite classes. Thus I started experimenting with low-cost construction. Instead of the usual marble or granite flooring, I would prefer machine baked bricks and also use these as exterior of the roof. Since my designs are minimalist in approach, a lot of walls are done away with which reduces the cost. In some constructions, I have also done away with shuttering and use of steel to erect huge structures- which reduces the cost by one-fifth,” he says. His own farm house in Kishangarh is a proof of his low-cost construction techniques.

“I believe in vibrancy of designs. Initially, I experimented with the traditional Indian architecture which is vibrant. But now, I have been largely influenced by the Mediterranean architecture-defined by straight lines and minimalism,” he adds.

Though retro culture or ethnicity in construction and interior design is the current fad, Ajay Johl has been practising this for much earlier. Brick ceilings and machine- baked brick floors, use of warm colours and traditional Indian fabrics as drapes and tapestry could be seen in his earlier designs. “But I do not believe in following the trends. So that is how I have moved on to Mediterranean architecture”, he says.



25 Squadron declared the best
Tribune News Service

AOC 12 Wing, Air Cmde T K Venugopal (right) presents the Best Transport Squadron trophy to Commanding Officer of 25 Squadron, Gp Capt S N Mohanty, in Chandigarh.
AOC 12 Wing, Air Cmde T K Venugopal (right) presents the Best Transport Squadron trophy to Commanding Officer of 25 Squadron, Gp Capt S N Mohanty, in Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, February 24
The Chandigarh-based 25 Squadron, popularly called the Himalayan Eagles, has been adjudged the Best Transport Squadron in the Western Air Command for 2004. The squadron, which is engaged in supporting forward positions in the northern sector, has been bestowed this honour for the second time in two successive years.

The trophy was presented to the squadron’s Commanding, Officer, Gp Capt S N Mohanty by the Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cmde T K Venugopal at a ceremonial parade organised at the Air Force Station here on Monday.

The squadron, which is playing an instrumental role in the ongoing relief and rescue operations in Jammu and Kashmir is also celebrating its 42nd anniversary this week. Besides a reunion dinner, where a large number of former squadron officers are expected to attend, several other functions are being organised to commemorate the event.

Raised at Chandigarh on March 1, 1963, with the venerable An-12 aircraft, the squadron is chiefly responsible for maintaining the airbridge to Ladakh. During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, its aircraft were used for carpet bombing operations as well as for the famous Tangail paradrop in the Eastern Sector.

Presently equipped with a mix of the Il-76 strategic freighter and the AN-32 tactical lift aircraft, the squadron took part with distinction in the recent multi-national exercises at Alaska and South Africa.

The squadron’s most visible facet is the Big Boys formation, seen flying low over Rajpath during the Republic Day parade.



Probe ordered into ‘patronage’ of slum dwellers by MLA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Acting on the complaint of a 19-year-old girl of Sector 48-C of Mohali, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has ordered an inquiry into the alleged patronage of slum dwellers by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

In his order, Mr B.C. Rajput, a PSHRC member, directed the Mohali SP, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, to submit an independent inquiry report within three weeks. Mr Rajput ordered that the complainant should not be summoned by the police for the inquiry.

In her application, the girl had sought the enforcement of her right to live with dignity. She alleged that land mafia operated in the area bordering Sector 48-C and “jhuggies” were put to rent by the land mafia. The land mafia enjoyed the “unconditional support” of local politicians, including the Kharar MLA, the complaint alleged.

Terming the slum dwellers a source of “nuisance”, the girl alleged that the slum dwellers lived in extreme “unhygienic conditions”. The defecation in the open was a common practice and women found it difficult to pass through the area during early morning, she said.

Moreover, the slum dwellers pass indecent remarks at the women passersby, which make their living in the area difficult.

A 10-member committee of the MLAs was appointed by the Punjab Government to look into issue. However, the recommendation of the committee that the slums be removed had not been implemented by the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), it was alleged.

The Sector 48-C colony was developed by PUDA for retired government officials. Repeated complaints from residents regarding power theft by slum dwellers and nuisance created by them had fallen on deaf ears, the application alleged.



Over 1 lakh visit Jayanti Devi temple
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Jayanti Majri, February 24
It takes five hours from Majri village to reach on foot historical Mata Jayanti Devi temple to have darshan of idols.

Devotees thronged the temple on the top of a hill these past two days. An important event for this otherwise sleepy village, maghi celebrations at the temple are now almost 100-year old.

Over a lakh devotees visited the temple today, the concluding day of the two-day mela. Devotees used cars, jeeps, buses, bullock carts, scooters, motor cycles and cycles to reach the village from where begins the journey uphill to the temple, the last bit staircased.

From Mullanpur Garibdass, villagers arrange food, tea, water, biscuits for the devotees.

Langar of kari chawal is being run by the Mata Jayanti Devi Mandir Prabandhak Langar and Committee, Mullanpur Garibdass. The committee has been doing the service since 1932. “We have not changed the menu for years. This time we have used more than 15 quintals of rice, five quintals of gram flour and more than two quintals of imli for the langar,” said Mr Harmesh Verma, president of the committee.

Darshan Singh, a shopkeeper of Mullanpur Garibdass, visits the temple each year by lying prostate at each step. “There are many others who do it,” he points out. “I have been doing it only for the past nine years. I have asked for something and my wish has fulfilled,” he said.

The Jayanti Devi temple was completed in maghi and since 1925 each year celebrations have been held in February. “Before the maghi mela each year, people used to visit the temple during savan (monsoons) but soon the maghi mela gathered popularity,” explained Mr Bhupinder Pal Sharma, a member of the committee.



Guru Ravidas Jayanti celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 24
The 628th Sri Guru Ravidas Jayanti was celebrated with great fervour at Sector 20 and Sector 30, where people in large numbers participated. Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor, Chandigarh, was the chief guest, while Ms Kamlesh, ex- mayor, presided over the function. Ms Chatrath highlighted the teachings of Sri Guru Ravidas and asked the people to follow his message.

Mr K.R. Punia, president, Sri Guru Ravidas Maha Sabha, said the status of man is decided by his ‘karma’ and one should not feel inferior due to his caste. Mr Punia said rather one should work for the poor and downtrodden people to improve society. A langar was also served to the devotees.

In a separate function held at Sri Guru Ravidas Gurdwara, Sector 30, a kirtan darbar was held where Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, UT, Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor, and other prominent persons, besides large number of devotees took blessings.

The Nationalist Congress Party, UT, also celebrated the prakash utsav at its office in Sector 45, which was presided over by its president, Principal Gurbachan Singh, and other party workers.



Employees protest against retrenchment
Our Correspondent

Lalru, February 24
In protest against the retrenchment of some employees, five members of Anand Nishikawa Workers Union, Lalru, began an indefinite fast outside the premises of Anand Nishikawa, an industrial unit, located along the Kalka-Ambala highway, here today.

The protesters raised slogans against the management of the unit and alleged that the management has retrenched six employees - Sunil Kumar, Surinder Kumar, Prabhu Nath Prasad, Rajbir Singh, Kamlesh Kumar and Jasbir Singh - without giving them any notice.

Mr Vinod Chugh, president of the union, alleged that the management closed the main gate of the unit on February 3 and restricted entry of the six employees without any reason. The union has given representations regarding their grievances to the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Labour Minister, the Labour Commissioner, the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Dera Bassi, and some other officials but nothing has been done in this regards as yet.

To press their demands the affected employees had to take the step, said Mr Chugh. Five employees who started the indefinite hunger strike were Sunil Kumar, Surinder Kumar, Prabhu Nath Prasad, Kamlesh Kumar and Satnam Singh.

Mr Tejveer Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, who was on a visit to the area along with SDM Narinder Sangha, found the employees protesting outside the industrial unit and assured them that the case would be soon.



Khuda Alisher adopted as ‘atam nirbhar’ village
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
At a meeting of the reconstituted District Advisory Committee on Youth Programmes, Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), it was today decided to adopt Khuda Alisher village as “atam nirbhar” village.

Emphasis should on job oriented vocational training programmes, said the Chairman of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar.

The District Youth Coordinator, NYK, Mr G.S. Bajwa, briefed about the NYK’s structure and various activities from April 1, 2004 to January 2005 and added that 75 per cent target was achieved during the period. He said that various youth club development programmes, vocational training programme, awareness campaigns, work camps, sports promotion programmes, adventure promotion programmes, workshops and seminars and cultural programmes had been organised during this period.



Kasturba Gandhi Kendra opens in Burail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Kasturba Gandhi Kendra, project of Yuvsatta was inaugurated by Ms Madhavi Kataria, Director, Department of Social Welfare, UT, today in Burail village.

The Centre, which came up in Colony No 5, will be run with support of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi. February 22 was chosen for inauguration of the Centre, being the death anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi.

This centre will now help poor women to produce handmade items besides assisting in marketing too.

Ms Kataria asked women volunteers associated to form self-help so that the department can provide necessary help, guidance and financial support to further increase the production and add finer products for sale.

She announced that those women who want to start their own enterprise can avail of loans and training from there Department.



Vendors protest against police ‘high-handedness’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 24
Vendors who had been prohibited by the police from plying rehris in residential areas held a protest outside the office of the SP here today. The protesters alleged that they were being harassed by the police on security grounds.

The protesters demanded the police to withdraw the order as it had become difficult for them to earn their livelihood. They raised slogans against the police.

Munni Lal, a vegetable vendor, told Chandigarh Tribune that he was beaten up by policemen when they saw him plying a rehri in a residential area. “I have not been able to earn money for the past more than 10 days”, he said.

Another vegetable vendor, Anil Pandey, claimed that SP Rakesh Aggarwal had assured him of issuing identity card on Monday. But on Monday he was told to wait till next Sunday.

Ms Pushpa Salaria, president of the Dalit Rights Protection Forum, who was present outside the SP’s office along with the protesters, said justice should be served to the poor. Hundreds of poor people could not be punished for a handful of persons who committed the crime, she said.

In a representation made to the Punjab Governor and the Chief Minister, Ms Salaria stated that some members of the Dalit Community had been detailed illegally by the Mohali police under Section 109 of the CrPC for plying rehris on the internal roads in the town. She said no prohibitory orders of this kind could be passed by the police.

She demanded the withdrawal of the “arbitrary, illegal and unjustified order of the SP.”

Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, senior legal adviser, said the police should issue identify cards to persons plying rehris in the town.

The SP, however, said various welfare organisations had requested him to prevent vendors and junk buyers from moving about freely in residential areas. He said the police had no objection to their operating in the town but if it concerned security of the area, such activity had to be stopped.

He said a meeting with representatives of welfare bodies and municipal councillors would be organised for suggestions. He said not a single case of theft had been reported since February 13 when the prohibitory orders were passed.

The SP said most of the people plying rehris were migrants. Carrying out a verification drive for them was difficult as the UP and Bihar police did not respond to queries in this regard.



Magazine launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
‘Business Rural India’ monthly magazine of Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) was launched at the regional office of the council here today. CAPART is a body functioning under the Ministry of Rural Development.

The coloured magazine launched in the country today focuses on projects funded by the council. The regional office of the council caters to NGOs working in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Chandigarh.



One arrested for trespassing, son flees
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 24
The police has arrested Surjit Singh Chauhan of Sector 40-B, Chandigarh, for allegedly trespassing into the residence of Mr Deepak Saini and throwing his belonging out of the house. Surjit Singh had sold the first floor of his house to Mr Saini about a year back.

According to the police, Mr Deepak Saini had purchased the first floor of house number 1432, Sector 40-B, from its owner Surjit Singh Chauhan about a year ago. Surjit Singh was living on the ground floor of the house.

Mr Saini in his complaint alleged that last night Surinder Singh and his son Shivdev broke into his house and threw his belongings out. They also put their own things in the house to claim the possession. Mr Saini also alleged that as the rate of property soared over the past one year, the accused asked him to pay Rs 7 lakh more to them.

SHO of the Sector 39 police station, Hardev Singh said the police arrested Surjit Singh last night from his residence while his son Shivdev Singh was still at large. The police had also confiscated the items that they had put in Mr Saini’s residence. However, his belongings, which they had thrown out, were not recovered as yet, said the SHO. He further said the police had given the possession of the house to Mr Deepak.

A case under Sections 448, 380 and 427 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 39 police station. Meanwhile, the police had produced Surjit Singh in a local court today, which remanded the accused to one-day of police custody.

One held for carrying gun

The police arrested a man accused of carrying a double-barrel gun without a licence and arrested another person accused of stealing a cycle, according to the information here today.

Sanjay Tiwari of Kishangrah village was arrested by the police while carrying a double-barrel gun without a licence from Sukhna Bridge near the locality yesterday. A case under Sections of 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered.


The police arrested Chetan of Zirakpur, who was caught red-handed while stealing a cycle from Sector 22 last night. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station.

House burgled

Mr Balwinder Singh of Sector 23 reported to the police that a gold chain, a gold ring, a gold bangle, and Rs 2,500 were stolen from his residence yesterday during the day. The complainant said he was away to his office when the incident occurred. A case under Sections 380 and 454 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station.

Mobile phone snatched

Mr Balbir Singh of Saini Mohalla at Burail village reported to the police that two persons riding a scooter snatched his mobile phone from near Sector 33, 34, 44 and 45 roundabout. A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Sunil Kumar of Sector 56 with six bottles of whisky from near the sector, yesterday. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.


The police arrested four persons accused of gambling in public place yesterday. Akram of Ram Darbar, Nanu of Mauli Jagran and Surinder and Lal Chand were arrested from Madrasi Colony in Sector 26. The police booked them under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act in the Sector 26 police station.

Cyclist dies in mishap

A cyclist, Raj Nath (26), was killed when a truck hit him from behind near Sectors 45-46 light point this morning. He was removed to GMCH-32 where he was declared brought dead.

Raj Nath, a mason, was going to Jagatpura village when the accident occurred. He was a resident of Colony Number 5 and hailed from Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh. He was going to his work place along with his brother Triloki, who was on another cycle. Triloki said a truck (PB-11-W-9775), that was coming from behind, hit his brother’s cycle at around 8.15 am. Raj Nath brother fell and his head smashed on the road. Raj was removed to the hospital by a Police Control Room vehicle, where doctors declared him brought dead.

The police arrested the truck driver, Sohan Singh, of Nawanshahr district. A case of negligent driving under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.



2 held on charge of theft
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 24
The local police has claimed to have solved more than seven cases of burglaries with the arrests of two youths who were active in the city as well as in the neighboring states. The accused Rajinder, alias Dhani (21) and Ranjit (19), both residents of Mauli Jagran Complex, were arrested.

The SHO of Sector 26 police station, Mr Jarnail Singh said that the police recovered four mobile phones, one CD player, one stereo, six mangal sutras, 74 gm of silver and one cycle from their possession as stolen property. About their modus operandi the SHO said they generally broke open the shutters of the shops during the night and were active in the region.

He also added that they were members of a gang and kept on changing their operational area. Both the accused had also been arrested earlier some six months ago in a theft case.

The SHO said during the interrogation the accused had confessed to have committed burglaries in Shastri Nagar in Mani Majra, Old Panchkula, Kalka, Baltana village, and in Parwanoo.

They had stolen mobile phones and broken into a shop in Mansa Devi Complex to steal a CD player.

Both the accused were taken in one-day police remand by the Sector 26 police before they were handed over to the Mani Majra police who has taken their remand till February 25.



Rape accused denied bail

Chandigarh, February 24
Additional Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh, yesterday rejected the bail application of Partap, a local resident accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

According to sources, the girl had gone missing on January 10,2004 from here. She was traced in UP on December 6,2004 from the illegal custody of Partap, Dinesh and Dhan Kaur.

Her medical examination had confirmed rape, the sources added. TNS



Suicide bid by youth
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 24
Rakesh Kumar (15), a resident of Chaman Colony in Dhanas village was admitted in the PGI under serious condition after he allegedly attempted suicide at his house, late last night.

According to the police, he was brought to Hospital by his family. The police received a call at midnight. Rakesh was still unconscious and unfit to record statement.

A case of Section 309 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 11, Police Station.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |