C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Price fixation panel decides relief
Land owners to get Rs 8.5-11 lakh per acre
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Land owners of 10 villages around Mohali, whose land is being acquired by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would get Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 11 lakh per acre as compensation. This was decided at a meeting of the members of the Land Price Fixation Committee held at Ropar today.

The meeting, chaired by the Ropar Deputy Commissioner, was attended by all government officials, who are members of the committee. However, various elected representatives, who are members of the committee, including the local MP, the local MLA and the Sarpanches of the villages concerned kept away from the meeting.

While land owners in Kumbra village would get Rs 11 lakh per acre, the land owners in Landran and Mouli Baidwan villages would get Rs 10 lakh per acre. Residents of Chilla and Manoli villages would get Rs 9 lakh per acre while residents of Sohana village would get Rs 10.6 lakh per acre. Land owners in Lakhnaur and Raipur Khurd would get Rs 9.50 lakh per acre. Residents of Manik Majra and Behrampur villages would get the lowest price of Rs 8.5 lakh per acre.

Other than the fixed price, a solatium of 10 per cent of this amount and 16 per cent interest would be given to the villagers. In the end the land owner would get at least one and a half times the fixed price.

More than 600 acres in these 10 villages had been notified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, in January last year for the establishment of sectors 81 to 90 in Mohali. While over 300 acres was to be acquired in Chilla village alone, another 80 acres was to be acquired in Maouli Baidwan village.

Interestingly, a rally was organised by the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee outside the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) office here today in protest against the government’s move to acquire their land.

The protesters included sarpanchs of these villages. Mr Bir Devinder, Kharar MLA, and Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP from Ropar, boycotted the meeting.

Among those who attended the meeting were the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Mohali, the Additional Chief Administrator (finance), PUDA, the Estate Officer, PUDA, and the Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Mohali.



Farmers protest PUDA’s land acquisition move
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 14
Hundreds of farmers from the nearby villages whose land is being acquired for Mohali’s expansion staged a protest outside PUDA Bhavan here today demanding a share of 42 per cent in the area to be developed by PUDA after acquiring their land.

The protesters, who arrived in tractor-trailers and other vehicles from nearly 80 villages, began gathering outside the PUDA office since morning. The farmers then staged a rally in support of their demands. Slogans were raised against the Housing Minister, Punjab, and the alleged anti-farmer policies of the PUDA authorities.

The protest was withdrawn in the afternoon after Mr A.S. Chhatwal, Chief Administrator, PUDA, met the representatives of the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee (Periphery Area) and took a copy of the memorandum from them. Mr Chhatwal told them that the government had already constituted a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Punjab, to look into the demands of the farmers of the periphery area whose land was being acquired.

The protesters, including women, moved towards PUDA Bhavan, holding black flags, after gathering at Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan, Sohana, where bhog of Shri Akand Path was held today on the completion of 300 days of chain realy fast in support of their demands. The protesters blocked both entry gates of the bhavan by parking vehicles in front of them.

Mr Tejinder Singh Jakhar, president of the periphery area committee, told Chandigarh Tribune that the PUDA authorities had been claiming that only a few people were making various demands from PUDA but the strength of the gathering at the rally today should be an eye - opener for the authorities concerned. A large number of farmers felt that they were being uprooted by PUDA as agriculture was their only source of income which they would lose if their land was acquired.

Mrs Jatinder Kaur of Kumbra village said that PUDA was forcibly acquiring their land but not giving them adequate compensation.

We have to sell our ornaments to hire a lawyer for going to court against the wrong policies of PUDA. The land does not belong to the government. It had been with the family for the past many generations and now PUDA wanted to make them landless.

The protesters said farmers had been protesting against the alleged high-handedness of PUDA since long. They had started a chain realy fast on May 17 last year and had approached to PUDA authorities in connection with their demands several times but to no avail.



Paper leak rumour keeps students on tenterhooks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Confusion prevailed over the Class XII mathematics paper of the CBSE here today, which began amidst rumours of leak of the question paper in New Delhi.

Though the examination began as per schedule, students appearing for the paper expressed apprehension of its cancellation at the examination centres in the city since news of the alleged paper leak was coming in since morning.

Just before the students were allowed entry into the examination centres, the regional office of the CBSE was flooded with phone calls by centre heads asking for directions and the fate of the paper. Some even called up the Delhi office of the Board to find out whether the paper should be held at all or not. Since the Delhi office was still not sure of the incident, schools were directed to hold the examination as per schedule.

Though the students appearing for the paper went ahead with attempting it, mid-way through the paper the Board officials confirmed that the news of paper leak was false and that everything was under control. “It was only a rumour and there is no substance in the news,” an official said.

However, the anxiety of parents waiting outside the examination centres got the better of them. They went in and out of the principals’ room looking for answers to the “paper leak” rumour emanating from New Delhi, the latest on that front and the Board’s stand on the issue.



Sorry state of sports in govt schools
Admn spends 6 paise per child per month
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Chandigarh Administration’s much-hyped thrust on providing grounds for sports activity in schools stands exposed. The Chandigarh Administration spends abysmally low Rs 63 per month to maintain grounds for sports activity in government schools. When calculated on the basis of spending per student it works out to be just 6 paise per month per child.

In 104 government schools in the city the Chandigarh Administration spends only Rs 79,500 every year on maintaining grounds for sports activity, say documents tabled in the Lok Sabha on March 1. This, when calculated on the basis of spending in each school per month, works out to an abysmal Rs 63. The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, had asked the question in the Lok Sabha to which the Administration had replied stating its funding in schools.

A total of 1.01 lakh students study in these government schools, which include model schools. If the per student cost of maintaining these play grounds is seen, it works out to be a lowly 6 paise per month per child. A shocked Mr Sunder.P. Khosla, whose child studies in a leading model school, said there was a need to see the core areas and maintain the grounds and promote sports activity.

The government schools collectively occupy an area of about 400 acres. The area can be imagined in the light that one sector in Chandigarh is about 250 acres. Mr Bansal, when contacted for his comments on the issue, said how such a huge area comprising grounds was maintained to promote sports in schools was anybody’s guess.

Sources in the Administration, however, added that every school was charging sports fee, which was deposited in the kitty of the Administration. Most of the grounds were not even properly levelled for a field sport like hockey or cricket.

Interestingly, the Administration scores well on one point. It spent Rs 91 lakh this financial year on the maintenance of government schools. This means the buildings were in a good shape and also provided an easy access to students.

Also another Rs 45 lakh has been spent this year on the purchase of furniture for students of primary school. The idea is also to remove the system of children below Class V having to sit on the floor covered with mats. Now close to 75 per cent of children use furniture like tables and benches.



Cycling across the globe for peace
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Ram Chander Biswas has been trotting the globe on his bicycle for the past nearly 23 years. He has visited 159 countries in all continents.

Travelling across the burning deserts of Sahara, the freezing lands in Greenland, the scenic Alps in Europe, the serene Savannah grasslands in South America and the rugged Rocky Mountains in North Americas, the cyclist on a mission of global peace is currently in the city before he crosses over the border to Pakistan.

Biswas set out on his mission on April 21, 1982. He was flagged off by Mrs Indira Gandhi, a former Prime Minister, from Delhi. His passport weighing nearly 300 grams bears testimony to his visits to all the subcontinents. Biswas also carries along a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from publications all over the world.

Biswas carries along one picture album showing him standing in front of the visible landmarks in different continents. He also carries along one out of total nine volumes of letters of appreciation signed by Mayors and police chiefs in different cities of different countries.

Born in 1953, Biswas served as a postman with the Indian Postal Services in Kolkata for eight years. He then served as a photographer in a publication from Kolkata. He said: “I realised that instead of wasting my life doing just the routine, I should undertake some task that would lend some grace to my being. The idea of appealing for peace struck me the most.”

Biswas starts talking about his intentions of spreading the message of peace right from the word go and does not rest a minute. He supports his arguments reciting verses from different religions. He begins by quoting the Japji Sahib from Guru Granth Sahib and then explains the message. This is followed by the Gayatri mantra, which is followed by a recitation from the Quran.”I understand that all religions have a common message on peace”, he said. He also recited his entire travel route without a break.

“I have realised that the Americans and Europeans show greater respect for adventure tourism. I was given five-star services in a large number of countries. I plan to travel for five more years and cover as many countries I can out of those left out, he added.

Biswas performs shows of jugglery and magic for schoolchildren during his travel.



Singapore firm to build 1855 houses at Chandimandir
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Shortage of accommodation for the married, it seems, is a problem of armed forces the world over. Even the US Army, which prides itself on providing the best facilities to its personnel, is afflicted with this malady. Army Officer's Guide, a comprehensive 600-page book on career planning and management brought out for US Army officers clearly states, "In general, you should assume that there will be a waiting period for on-post quarters. The actual waiting period may vary from a few days to many months. In some cases, such as in Washington, there is no post-housing available at all."

Chandigarh, March 14
To offset shortage of accommodation for married Army personnel stationed in Chandimandir and nearby establishments, plans have been drawn up to construct 1855 houses in three military stations near here. A Singapore-based firm has been contracted to execute the works.

While the majority of the houses will be built in Chandimandir, some houses will come up in N-Area near the Chandigarh airport and in K-Area near Zirakpur.

Chandimandir houses the Headquarters of Western Command. Besides, a large number of units as well as static establishments are also based here, resulting in a large service population. Several army units and support elements are located in N-Area and K-Area.

Presently, there is a waiting period of about three--four months for officers to get permanent accommodation allotted. Recently, several steps have also been taken by the Army to improve the situation.. Officers on study leave, for instance, are not allowed to retain accommodation within military stations, but are allotted army-hired houses in civillian localities. Over the past few years, there have been sporadic construction activities to increase the number of dwelling units within military stations. Sources said eight officers quarters and a number of JCO quarters were built in Chandimandir three years ago.

"The concept project has been approved," a senior officer at Chandimandir said. "The detailed project report, which contains minute architectural and financial aspects, is expected any time, following which construction would commence," he added.

The project will be undertaken in two phases and various categories of houses catering to different ranks will be built. According to information obtained by The Tribune, the first phase will entail 125 dwelling units in the major--colonel category, 32 units from JCOs and 1019 units for other ranks. In the second phase, 18 units in the major--colonel category, 16 units in the lieutenant--captain category and 465 units for other ranks will be constructed.

The construction comes under the purview of the mammoth Married Accommodation Project (MAP) launched about a year ago. Under MAP, a total of 3,00,000 dwelling units in 79 stations are to be constructed at a cost of Rs 17,800 crore. The project covers all three services. Under phase one of the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2008, about 61,000 units are to be constructed. Construction began at 10 stations last year.

In the Western Command area, 15 stations are to be covered. To streamline the execution of the project, a Command MAP Committee has been set up in each command. Headed by the respective chief of staff, the committee had been delegated financial powers up to Rs 20 crore. Larger financial matter will be dealt by an apex committee headed by the Defence Secretary.



Centre directed to reconsider amount of relief to armymen
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Government of India to reconsider the amount of compensation paid to two Armymen, Lance Naik Jagsir Singh and Sapper Mohammad Arif.

Disposing of a petition filed by World Human Rights Protection Council seeking adequate compensation for the sufferings of the families of two officers "due to the gross negligence" on the part of army authorities, the Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice Viney Mittal asked the government to reconsider the compensation in its wisdom and act accordingly.

After counsel for the government stated that the two had been given Rs 25,000 each as compensation, the petitioner's counsel, Ranjan Lakhanpal, argued it was not enough and amounted to adding insult to injury.

The Bench, however, found a part of the petition seeking that return of the two be expedited infructuous as the two have already returned to India.

The petition had stated that the two armymen of 108 Engineer Regiment were serving in the Kargil area before they went missing on September 17, 1999. The Army declared them deserters and froze their salaries. The police of the area where they belonged to were informed that they had been declared deserters, and thus disgrace was brought to their families, The petition added that later the Army was informed that the two were, in fact, captured by the Pak Army while doing anti-mining operations in the Kargil area.



Passing Thru

K Alalgiri Swamy
K Alalgiri Swamy, a Free Mason from Chennai

Who is Free Mason?

A Free Mason is a member of a religious society or brotherhood of like-minded people across the world. These persons are not bound by any religion but believe in a universal God or the creator. People join this organisation voluntarily and not through persuasion.

What is the central idea of your belief?

Free Masons try to make a good man better. Free Masons have high principles in life and try to work for the betterment of fellow beings. The entire Free Mason brotherhood across the world is very tightly knit and networked.

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I have come to participate in the annual Grand Lodge of Upper India. This is the annual meeting of the Free Masons that belong to the region. These also happens to be decennial celebrations.

How is Free Mason brotherhood different from other similar organisations?

Free Masons are first of all not very open about being members of this society. We like to work silently, freely and voluntarily. We do not look for publicity nor do we pursue people to join us. We work for social causes at the individual level rather than the level of the community.

— Sanjeev Singh Bariana



Chandigarh Calling

CITIES have a way of earning phrases in glory and sometimes in slander. Delhi has long been described as ‘Dilli Dilwalon ki’. Well, that had to be, for, Delhi gave poetic legends like Ghalib, Zauk, Zafar and Khusro and all through its tumultuous political history. Chandigarh, which is an infant in comparison to the wizened Delhi, managed to earn an appreciative title in the last week of cricket. It is now being called ‘Chandigarh Chahane Walon Ka’. For the city rose up to the occasion welcoming the Pakistani cricket fans with a never-before enthusiasm. It is the first time when people opened their homes to the winged visitors. The city folk have shown that this capital town built to replace Lahore is not lacking in the Lahori hospitality.

Gala event

The Punjab-Punjab bonding was at its best to be seen at the dinner hosted for the Pakistani visitors at the Chandigarh Club by the Punjab Chief Minister. Never before had the club hosted such a big event, and wasn’t it a grand success? A Pakistani passport served as the invitation card. So, as soon the thousands who came in showed their passports one by one, they were given a rose each and a bear hug and welcomed in. Much revelry followed besides the delicious food with the grand finale of rabri-jalebi. The largesse of the host is still being talked about. But of course it was all done with the royal touch of a raja of Patiala descent.

Chacha cricket

The city had a well-known columnist called Chacha Chandigarhia who has left a legacy of socio-political satire and laughter. He was none other than late Gurnam Singh Tir. However, the city got to see another chacha. Television cameras captured the old man known back home in Pakistan as Chacha Cricket. Cricket is his passion and he has a reputation for accompanying the Pakistani team wherever it goes. This jolly old man when asked to comment on the match while it was being played said that all he could say is:

Balaji sanu vi bachao

Saade vi chauke lagvao

A happy draw

It was a happy draw and this was one cricket match where it was no longer important that who won and who lost but that the two teams of the neighbouring countries were playing together and not fighting. Supporters on both sides cheered the best. Let such good days carry on and even when the match is not a draw let people cheer the winners. Sports lovers say that hostility of armed contact has long haunted the cricket fans and now things have changed for the better.

Breaking the ice

“Aap kya pehli baar aaye ho? is the question everyone here is asking us”, said Shaukat Ali, a real estate practitioner from Lahore, who was here to watch cricket on visit to India in connection with the ongoing Indo-Pak cricket series. “I always get confused. I think these are secret service agents or police people. We have come here in an atmosphere of bonhomie. I was expecting questions like how was your travel? Could we help you?” However, Shaukat Sahib should not have been so sore. Breaking the ice is not easy and can mean an awkward question or two even when the intentions are good.

Man and monkeys

Photo by Karam SinghLunch break is a happy, hour for all those who toil hard and so it is with these pair of monkeys, who were photographed along with their trainer after noon on a city road last week by Tribune photographer Karam Singh. This pair is finally up to monkey business after having done their act and dance all morning. While the monkey girl is perching all docile in her finery on the trainer’s shoulders, the monkey boy is not so ready to get onto the carrier of the bicycle as he wants his afternoon snack. So the saga of the stomach does its rounds from monkey to man.


Now that the festivity is over and the scene of cricket shifts elsewhere, the Chandigarhians are back to the nitty-gritty of life in this charmed city, and environmentalist Vikramjit Singh of Paryavaran Rakshak has come forward with a valid suggestion to the Chandigarh Administration. The suggestion is to now bring CNG to town for buses and auto-rickshaws. Oh! Yes, wouldn’t that be lovely so that air pollution is checked. The status of environment report shows that the going is not very good.

Turning point

The new road under construction in the Phase II of the Industrial Area will be a boon for drivers. But the intersection of Sectors 31 and 47 at the 3 BRD Chowk is dangerous to say the least. The nullah here makes the turning point narrow and more often than not traffic is held up here. Unfortunately last year a car fell into the nullah and the driver was drowned. The turning point on the nullah should be broadened to avoid accidents.

Theatre blues

Ticketed shows are good in many ways. But their best advantage is that they inspire the audience with a sense of discipline. Had Rani Balbir Kaur demanded money in return for the tickets of the play on Kaifi Azmi’s life the other day, she would perhaps have managed to keep the uninterested audience at bay. Unfortunately, she had gone for a corporate sponsorship. What happened at Tagore Theatre that evening was rather disturbing not only for those who had come with a heart to soak in the verses of Azmi, but also for the theatre artistes. Families of the sponsors were there in full force with the children making a din, munching wafers and spilling soft drinks.

Attitude, what else?

The job fest at Panjab University threw up interesting results. Least interested in rosy degrees, the corporates were taken in by confidence alone. No wonder then that out of the 2000 students that turned up for the fest, only 150 walked out with appointment letters in hand. Ask them what clicked and bang came the reply, “Attitude, what else?” Most jobs went to Chemical Engineering and Pharmacy students.

Weighty word

Attitude, numerologists say is a weighty word, if the number of each alphabet of the word be added up. In old times it was attitude to something or someone but in present-day slang, the word stands on its own strength. For the trendy young, attitude also includes bunking classes and not bothering about them. The science of numbers does not consider ‘lecture’ as a weighty word but it can cause a lot of trouble to the students at the end of the academic year. Students short of lectures are now realising the merit of the word as they go around begging for grace lectures.

The colour black

The association of old people having grey or white hair is so strong that people tend to dye their hair as long as they can never mind the harm the chemicals may be doing. But this can cause problems other than medical. A lady who tried to take the benefit of entering the Sector 47 homoeopathic dispensary out of turn, as there is a special queue for the older lot, found many tittering. The reason being that her hair were dyed the colour black. Well, why not if the colour black can make one feel young?

One for the road

Drivers, be they of heavy or light vehicles, have their own repertoire of road lore, including songs, jokes and verses. Here is a verse one heard from a city cab driver:

Ban ja puttar drivera, phutte tere karam Roti mildi kadi kadi, sona agale janam

— Sentinel



‘Citizens charter’ yet to see light of day in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
On World Consumers Rights Day tomorrow, consumer is not the king in the Union Territory. Years after a proposal to have a “citizens charter” was first mooted, the city still awaits the charter leaving the residents at the mercy of the bureaucracy.

In fact, the formulation of the charter, intended to make various departments of the administration consumer-friendly by fixing a deadline for the completion of various jobs, had been a tale of missed deadlines. For the past over six years, the charter had been at the “draft stage”, sources said.

It was on January 26,1999, that the then Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Jagdish Sagar, announced at the Republic Day parade that the Chandigarh Administration intended to come out with the charter. The same year, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) reportedly came out with a “draft charter”.

However, even as years went by, the “draft charter” never took concrete form. Repeated representations by various NGOs, including the Consumer Forum, to the civic body and administration to formulate the charter seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

“Ad hocism rules the roost in various UT Administration with no deadline for the completion of various jobs putting the consumers to harassment,” alleged Lieut Col Sarwan Singh, chairman of the Consumer Forum, here today.

“The babus, who call the shots in the administration, have been blocking the formulation of the charter. The bureaucracy feels that its powers would be greatly eroded if time-frame for various jobs detailed in the charter,” Mr R.K. Kaplash, vice-chairman of the forum asserted.

The seriousness of the administration towards the formulation of the charter could be gauged from the fact that no administration representative attended a seminar on the “citizens charter, organised here by the forum in December last year, Mr Kaplash alleged.

The administration, it seems, had got its priorities wrong. While it had been taking steps like setting up of samparak centres for the transparent working of various departments, the idea of having a charter has clearly escaped from its mind, Colonel Sarwan Singh added.

The only silver lining seems to be the reported announcement of the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) that every department should have a charter for the convenience of the general public, Mr Kaplash added.



The ‘Awaam’ of the two nations has won
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

A purse belonging to Khalid Tehami, advocate, Lahore High Court, Pakistan, containing his ID Card, Driving Licence and some Pakistani currency was lost in Sector 17 on Saturday. Finder may please contact Vishal Kapoor at 9888014000.

Chandigarh, March 14
“India jiteya na Pakistan jiteya, eh ta dono mulkan da awaam jiteya”, This was the slogan Pakistani visitors were carrying along while departing for their destinations. Around 200 Pak visitors left for Wagah border, Amritsar in 5 buses of Punjab Roadways from the Sector 16, Cricket Stadium today. The last convoy of buses left between 5.30 am and 10 am. The cost of the match ticket included to and fro journey fare.

The authorities had made elaborate arrangements for their return journey. It would have been nice if some arrangements for water, tea or snacks had been made at the Sector 16 stadium.

“We were ready to serve the guests with tea and light snacks here today morning. Since buses had to reach the Wagah border before 4 pm and keeping in mind that they might not get late, we dropped the idea,” said Subhash Gupta, organiser, managing committee, transport, PCA.

He further stated that arrangements for brunch had been made at Lovely Institute, Chheru near Phagwara, under the supervision of Dr Sanjay Modi, director of the institute.

While the visitors left with fond memories, some of them were not much satisfied with the rickety condition of Punjab Roadways buses with not so comfortable seats and absence of Airconditioner. The journey fare was already adjusted with the cost of the ticket. So they were left with no choice but to go by the available buses.

Apprehensions were the main reason for the less number of women visitors. However, with their doubts cleared, the Pakistani visitors agreed to come along with their families the next time.

Interestingly, many of them purchased helmets. “Since they are much cheaper here, I have purchased four pieces. This would be the nice gift for my brothers and friends over there,” said Hasan Raza who came along with his wife and a three-year-old son.

“We got married just two months ago and it was quite a memorable honeymoon for us”, exclaimed Shehzaad Anjum. His wife Shazia Shehzaad expressed her emotions as “bayaan karne ko lafz to hain par aapke pas itni siyahi nahi hogee”. Their host Manjinder Singh, a resident of Mohali presented a bottle of honey to his guests. “Taan ki rishte di mithaas barkarar rahe”, he said.

The Pak visitors were bowled over by the hospitality they received here and are looking forward to reciprocate double the amount of love and affection they got here. “Agar tusi saanu 101 da shagan pa ke bhej rahe ho te asi 501 da pawange”, exclaimed Khalid Tehami, a lawyer by profession.

“I was really apprehensive before coming to India but it’s all cleared after receiving so much love and care. Shopping for jewellery, shawls, cloth, especially sarees, added extra charm to our visit to City Beautiful,” admits Aziz Ali Sheikh, a free-lancer with many Pakistani dailies.

“India jitte Pak jitte iko gal hai, iko gal hai, tuhadi Dilli saada Lahore, iko gal hai, iko gal hai, halwa puri mithe chowl iko gal hai iko gal hai,” the most famous cheer leader Abdul Jalil known as Jalil Chacha alias Cricket Chacha expressed his feelings in his own style while leaving the house of his host Subhash Kapoor, who lives in Sector 15 here.

“We felt great to have them here. It was indeed a wonderful experience for all of us also. Actually, my roots are in Hafizabad, and it is also mentioned in the page no. 421 of book titled ‘History of Hafizabad’,” Mr Kapoor said.



Hard times for young kidney patient
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

A rare thing

Doctors at the PGI say that less than 5 per cent people are born with just one kidney. The reasons lie in the person’s genes only, but it is also possible that the person with one kidney may never get to know about this unusual fact, as there is apparently no real danger if a person has merely one organ and not a pair. “Such cases are very rare. But it depends upon individual case if there is an added danger on the functioning of the kidney of such patients. If that one kidney is healthy, there is no real reason to worry,’’ says Dr Kamal Sud of the nephrology department, PGI.

Chandigarh, March 14
With her 18-year-old son, Sunil, ailing from chronic kidney failure, Ram Payari decided to donate her kidney to save her son’s life. But little did she know that destiny had not chosen her to play that part, as her case for dnation was rejected when doctors found out that Ram Payari was born with just one kidney. And doctors say that her son’s case is critical, which requires immediate transplant. Hers is among the very rare cases that have been seen at the PGI.

Accepting it to be a miracle that remained under wraps all her life, Ram Payari (38) says she never had any medical problem, which could make the family suspect that she had something uncommon with her body.

“I never had any major ailment in my life. And it is only now that I have got to know that I just have one kidney. My only regret is that I cannot donate for Sunil, who is the eldest of my four children. When doctors rejected my case for donation, they advised me to take medicines to avoid infection in my only kidney. But so far I have been concentrating on the son’s life rather than mine,’’ says Ram Payari.

After Ram Payari’s case was rejected, Sunil’s grandmother volunteered to donate. The women never wanted their only earning member, Ram Payari’s husband Hoshiar Singh to part with his kidney. But the old lady’s case, too, was rejected as she was diagnosed with diabetes.

However, with all options getting exhausted, Hoshiar Singh (42), a carpenter by profession, finally decided to donate his kidney. The family’s only worry now is to arrange Rs 5 lakh for the transplant which, after unfolding many disturbing facts finally has found a donor within the family.

The family hails from a remote village of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh.

Those willing to help can send in their donations in favour of Director, PGI, through the PRO. The phone number is 0172-2756003.



Warmth in Indo-Pak ties rekindles her hope
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Surjit Kaur with a photograph of her husband, Capt Bhajan Singh, in Mohali
Surjit Kaur with a photograph of her husband, Capt Bhajan Singh, in Mohali.
— A file photograph

Mohali, March 14
The Pakistanis might have left but the euphoria continues to move the spirit of many in the city.

For 65-year-old Mohali resident, Surjit Kaur, who believes that her husband, Capt Bhajan Singh Katwal, is in Kotlakhpat Jail in Pakistan, the wave of cooperation between the two nations has brought hope.

For the past 33 years, she had thought that her husband had been killed in the 1971 Indo-Pak War. But in November last year, the news that some officers of the Army who had fought the 1971 War are lodged in a Pakistani jail, changed her life. She “feels” that he is one of them.

Full of expectations that he might be among the 200 Indians to be released from the Pakistani jails, Surjit Kaur is praying hard. “Never before have relations between the two nations been so good. Pakistanis were here in Chandigarh and Mohali and so many stayed with Indian families. It is time that Pakistan answers with a similar gesture.

“I have read in the papers that the men they are releasing are the ones who have been jailed for civil crimes, but I feel my husband is alive and it is just a matter of time before he is released too,” she said.

According to the Indian Government estimate, over 1,400 Indians, including 54 Prisoners of War (PoWs) were lodged in Pakistani jails. A fact Pakistan has denied all along.

Capt Bhajan Singh, a commissioned officer of the 82 Light Regiment in the Indian Army, was declared ‘martyr’ in December, 1971. Surjit Kaur was 30 then. The only proof she was given of his death was her husband’s service book in which the word ‘serving’ had been replaced by ‘dead’.

‘‘The last letter I received from him from the Rajasthan border dated December 16, 1971. I received a whole bunch of letters from him in the last week of December. We were in fact waiting for him to come back as we knew that the war was over,’’ she said.

But when there was no news from Surjit’s husband, his brother went to the Army Headquarters in Delhi, but could not get any news of him. Then after some days we received a telegram saying that my husband had died in action,’’ Surjit Kaur said.



Search Within
Religion, science two sides of same coin

“Millions of acts of violence, illnesses and epidemics are much less dangerous than the most purified, the slightest idea of a God. God is the personal enemy of the Communist Party,” wrote Lenin, Marx’s great collaborator, in 1912 to his friend Gorki.

But Frederic Engels, Marx’s another collaborator and chief propagator or atheism, returned to God in his old age. In his treatise about theologian David Strauss, he wrote, “Life must be brought back to the one who freely died on the cross for all men.”

As against those social scientists of old, Charles Townes, Nobel laureate in physics and winner of the Templeton prize for 2005 says: “Science and religion are often viewed as separate aspects of our beliefs and understanding. But religion is an attempt to understand the purpose of our universe and science an attempt to understand its nature and characteristics, so the two are necessarily related.”

Believers among scientists have held that religion and science are two sides of a coin. While science allows us some control over the environment, religion gives a way to explore how we should use our knowledge. Genetics tells us that each of us is unique; religion provides a way of exploring our uniqueness and discovering how we might make our particular contribution to the world.

In a recent article, the Nobel laureate wrote: “...It is time for the seemingly irreconcilable fields of science and religion to find common ground. Their differences are largely superficial and the two become almost indistinguishable if we look at the real nature of each.”

The common man views the practice of science as rigorous, objective, comprehensive and intellectual in contrast to religious practice which is frequently perceived as superstitious, parochial, and weak-minded. While it is possible for a scientist to experience tension at times between his life in science and his faith, many scientists have testified from their overwhelming experience that both science and faith contribute critically to a meaningful, fully-lived human life. To give up either would result in a regrettable “loss of understanding, depth of experience, and simple joy.”

Science and religion are two major long-term themes of human thought-indeed two dominating aspects of human culture, each making major contributions to how we live and think. At issue here is the way we understand ultimate reality and humanity: the very nature of existence,” wrote Dr George Ellis another eminent scientist and mathematician.

Townes had at times experienced hostility of fellow scientists who maintained that one could not be a scientist and religiously oriented.

He had not experienced any antipathy between his field of science and theology. He speaks of a larger truth, about how the power of revelation — not unlike that recorded in the scriptures — evidences the similarity of science and religion. He quotes an instance. It was a sudden insight that led to the discovery of the maser — something that occurred on a Washington, D.C., park bench in 1951, he recalled — was akin to a religious revelation, and it is that kind of recognition of mystery at play that unites the two fields.

That moment of revelation has been cited repeatedly by Townes during the past half century as a crystallisation of how topics normally associated with religion or science — revelation, intuition, observation, faith, and aesthetics — can easily apply to both disciplines. Ironically, the bench where Townes conceived his groundbreaking insight was across the street from the site where Alexander Graham Bell experimented with sending messages on beams of light.

“Science and religion have so many similarities,” Townes said in an interview prior to the award’s announcement. He regrets that there are still scientists who are as “rigidly fundamentalist” as some religionists. Scientists, he said, must be mindful that “no scientific results are fully provable — they are based on reasonable assumptions, and we have to recognise that.”

That is a theme Townes addressed in his prepared remarks, noting that “science basically involves assumptions and faith.” “Understanding the order in the universe and understanding the purpose in the universe are not identical, but they are also not very far apart,” the scientist maintains.

We must make the best assumptions we can envisage, and have faith. And wonderful things in both science and religion come from our efforts based on observations, thoughtful assumptions, faith and logic,” he said.

Townes believes in a personal God with whom believers can have a personal relationship. He also believes in the effectiveness of prayer, noting, “I pray regularly.” But he’s on the fence regarding the question of immortality: “I can’t prove it :.but I see no reason to disbelieve it.”

The Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities was founded in 1972 by Sir John Templeton, the global investor and philanthropist.

— MPK Kutty



Fauji Beat
Army’s role during Punjab militancy misreported

Bagpipers from the Punjab Regiment who enthralled the audience during the memorial ceremonies
Bagpipers from the Punjab Regiment who enthralled the audience during the memorial ceremonies.

IN his book, “Low intensity conflicts in India: An analysis”, a serving Lieut-Col Vivek Chadha says the state police with “little help” from the Army was able to bring peace to Punjab in the early nineties. Bringing out the difference between the Punjab and J&K militancy, he says Punjab had terrorism, while J&K has an insurgency.

Since the author’s perception about Punjab militancy is far from correct, it is considered necessary to put things in their proper perspective. The Army was deployed in Punjab in May 1990, for Operation Rakshak-I. By keeping a low profile, it performed its given tasks to seal the borders and help the state government to re-establish itself in the three border districts. Having accomplished its tasks, the Army was withdrawn in July-August 1991. After the withdrawal of the Army, it was discovered that the police was not only unable to fill the gap but its rank and file was also totally demoralised.

To bring the situation under control, the Army had to be redeployed in Punjab in larger numbers, nearly three Corps, for Operation Rakshak-II in November 1991. Without capturing the limelight, the Army again accomplished its tasks successfully. Admittedly, the operations like Rakshak-I and Rakshak-II are beyond the scope of the police, for they need highly trained forces like the Army or the Rashtryia Rifles.

The deployment of about five divisions for Rakshak-I and three Corps (nine divisions) for Rakshak-II, cannot be termed as a little help from the Army.

More hospitals empanelled

In this region, two more hospitals and diagnostic centres empanelled for Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) are Mukat Hospital, Chandigarh, and Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali. The diagnostic centres are Kidney and Neuro Centre, Chandigarh, and KAPS Diagnostic Centre, Panchkula.

Ex-servicemen employment agency

To help the ex-servicemen to seek a second career, a set-up called Army Placement Agency was established at the Army Headquarters with its branches at all Command Headquarters in 1998. The main task of these agencies is to find employment for the ex-servicemen and to help the employer with the right kind of employee.

The Army Placement Cell of the Headquarters Western Command is located in the Command Hospital, Chandimandir. Lieut-Col D.S. Sidhu is its Deputy Director. Ex-servicemen can contact this cell on tele: 0172-2589495 or through e-mail apachd@-yahoo.com. It has been able to find employment for 353 ex-servicemen in 2004.

Seven more Army placement agencies functioning in the Western Command are in New Delhi, Ambala, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Gurdaspur. The total number of ex-servicemen registered for employment in 2004 was 5,020 and out of them 1,169 were provided employment.

First World War heroes

Would anyone believe that the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in World War I are still remembered in small towns of northern France and in the Flanders region of Belgium?

Every night at 8, the people of Ypres in Belgium play the Last Post in the memory of soldiers from all over the world who laid down their lives while fighting.

Since 2002, Mr Hans Vermeersch has been organising memorial concerts in the honour of the Indian Army. Indian bagpipers from the Punjab Regiment have left a lasting impression in the audience during the concerts and memorial ceremonies.

Station Headquarters Detachment

The Station Headquarters Detachment has come back to its earlier location in Sector 28, Chandigarh, on orders of the Western Army Commander. It stayed in Chandimandir for three days.

— Pritam Bhullar



Japanese institute to groom city police
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
With a view to creating a role model police force General S. F. Rodrigues (retd), Administrator, Chandigarh Administration, today launched a national-level pilot project, “Quality Improvement in Police Services in Chandigarh”, at the Police Headquarters, Sector 9, here. The project is jointly undertaken by the Chandigarh police and Quality Counsel of India, with expert assistance from a Japan-based consultancy institute, Kai Zen.

General Rodrigues asked the managers of the institute to work out strategies for regulating the traffic system and checking the accident rate. He said the city, being the capital of Punjab and Haryana, received a huge flow of vehicles from Panchkula and Mohali in the morning and evening. He told the managers of the institute to accomplish the job till June this year.

The Administrator asked the managers to give guidelines to improve the criminal investigation system. He also asked them to come up with studies to help in making profile of criminals and also study the psychological aspects responsible for the crime.

He also called for instituting an effective and responsive system of coordination between police forces of the northern region, comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi to bring about a qualitative improvement in service.

Mr Rajesh Kumar, Inspector-General of Police, in his welcome address said the project would select key parameters like response time, police verifications, police clearance and NOCs etc.

Lieut-Gen H. Lal (retd), Chairman of the quality council, said the Government of India had set up a quality council for improving social services and other areas of public interest. He said the project was part of that movement and Chandigarh had been chosen as a place for pilot project to be emulated by the rest of the country.



Confusion over Centre’s notification
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Confusion prevails among various officials of the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Department and the Punjab Pollution Control Board regarding a Government of India notification issued by the Department of Environment and Forests.

The said notification issued on July 7, 2004, has to be complied with by all construction projects in the country with an investment of Rs 50 crore and above or which would employ over a 1,000 persons or which would discharge 50,000 litres of sewage every day.

While the PPCB officials insisted that the department could issue licences to colonisers without the coloniser first fulfilling the conditions of the notification, the competent authority that issues these licences pointed out that colonies smaller than 10 acres in size did not fall within the purview of the notification.

The matter came to a head this week when the minister for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, declared in a meeting that the Chief Town Planner, who was the competent authority to issue licences to colonisers with less than 10 acres, could go ahead and issue licences.

The PPCB officials, however, maintained that this was wrong as every colony in the country would have to procure the requisite environment impact assessment (EIA) clearance from the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests in compliance with a July 2004 notification of the Government of India.

The Chief Town Planner, Mr Dharam Singh, said that the small colonies were not within the purview of the notification but since there was a difference of opinion, the licences that had been issued were conditional. "We have told these colonisers that in case it was decided that an EIA is required, the coloniser would have to comply with the rules," he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, PPCB, Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, would hold a meeting in this regard tomorrow.



PUDA flayed over issuing notices to religious bodies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Representatives of religious places in Mohali today condemned the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for issuing notices to their bodies declaring them as illegal.

As many as 36 religious places, including gurdwaras and temples in the township, were issued show-cause notices by the PUDA Estate Officer asking for an explanation why these not be resumed by the authority on the grounds that these had been constructed illegally.

A delegation of the representatives of these religious places led by Mr Hardeep Singh, member, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), met the Estate Officer today in this regard.

Mr Hardeep Singh told the Estate Officer that these places were decades old and had been established when PUDA did not even exist. These places were not being used commercially but were serving the public, he added.

In a press note issued by Hardeep Singh, he pointed out that PUDA was behaving like a money minting machine of the government. “It should realise that the government was a welfare state and it should behave like one,” he said.

He further pointed out that PUDA had not earmarked any space for religious places in the new sectors in Mohali.



CPI congress from March 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
A campaign to mobilise the city residents for the 19th congress of the Cummunist Party of India, which is going to be held from March 29 here, was launched by members of the Chandigarh District Council of the Communist Party of India.

The members will organise meetings in villages, labour colonies, industrial area and other parts of city said Mr Devi Dayal Sharma, secretary of the Chandigarh council of the CPI.

A general body meeting of party was held recently and addressed by Mr Bant Singh Brar, general secretary, AITUC, Punjab.

He asked the members to fight against the communal forces and struggle against the anti-working class policies of the UPA government.



Councillors to move no-trust motion against MC chief
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
With the change of guard in Haryana, Congress councillors of the Municipal Council today decided to move a no-confidence motion against the President and the vice-president, owning allegiance to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

Turning the heat on President Seema Chaudhry and Vice-President Kuldeep Waraich, 20 councillors, three of the BJP and the rest belonging to the Congress, would serve a notice to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard tomorrow.

This was decided at a late night meeting of the councillors. They alleged that Ms Chaudhry had a hidden agenda and that the budget meeting slated for March 17 had been called to approve payments for works which had not been executed so far.



Water shortage in Mohali areas
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 14
Mohali residents went through the day with acute shortage of drinking water. While water supply remained at low pressure throughout the township, residents of Phase I and V reported that they had no water in the taps from 6 am to 8 pm.

PWD (Health) officials when contacted said the main pipeline that supplied water to Mohali had leaked at two places last night and the water supply had to be shut in the morning to carry out the repair work.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, SDO of the area, said the main pipeline that supplied water to Mohali had to be shut and drinking water supplied through the tube wells. He added that such leakages were very rare but when these happened it took time to repair them. Mr Gurpreet Singh said water supply was restored by 8 pm.

A resident of Phase I, however, said since the tubewell in the area was non-functional there was no water supply in any house in the phase. He added that people had to walk to the nearby areas to get drinking water.



Special kids visit zoo

Mani Majra, March 14
Mentally challenged children of the Sadhna Society for Mentally challenged, Chandigarh, today visited Chhat Bir Zoo, located along the Chandigarh-Patiala highway on Sunday.

This was their first visit to an animal kingdom which made them happier and excited. The children also sang songs and danced on the tunes of various Punjabi and Hindi songs during their visit.

The rambling antelopes in Deer Safari and roaring leopards in enclosures thrilled the children, informed Ms Bhavna Tayal, president of the society. OC



Paschim Express to halt at Faridabad

Chandigarh, March 14
The Paschim Express, which runs between Amritsar and Mumbai and carries six special coaches between Kalka and Ambala, will now halt at Faridabad instead of Palwal from April 1.

It will stop on the same station in the return journey also. TNS



Religious programme

Chandigarh, March 14
Albums prepared by Brig Partap Singh Jaswal (retd) of the city on the centenaries of the Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib and martyrdom of Sahibzadas are being telecast on the NRI Channel from 7 am to 7.30 am and 7 pm to 7.30 pm daily.

The programme is based on the spiritual matter available on the websites of Brig Partap Singh Jaswal: www.srigurugranthsahib.org, www.babanandsinghsahib.or, www2.sikhvideos.org and www.baisakhi.org. TNS



Four held for gambling
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
Four persons have been arrested here in separate cases of gambling in the past 24 hours, the police said here today.

Baldev Singh and Sher Singh, both residents of Sector 25, and Vijay Kumar of Sector 22 were arrested near the Bajwara market, Sector 22, for gambling at public place. A sum of Rs 620 was recovered from their possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

Amarjit Singh of Phase II, Ram Darbar, was arrested near a rehri market in the same locality for gambling. A case has been registered.

Heroin seized

Pehal Singh of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, was arrested near the crossing of Sector 15-25 and seized 400 grams of heroin. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

House burgled

Mr Jang Bahadur Singh of Sector 39 reported to the police that one gold chain, two gold bangles, some clothes and Rs 4,000 were stolen from his residence between March 12 and 13. A case has been registered.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Angat Singh of Sector 22 C complained to the police that his motor cycle (PB-08-AE-7558) was stolen from his residence during the night of March 12. A case of theft has been registered.

Held for stealing

Two women were caught red-handed while stealing five shuttering plates on Sunday. Mr Jaswinder Singh of Phase 9, Mohali, caught the accused from Sector 39 and reported the matter to the police. A case has been registered.

Man held for eve-teasing

Bhag Singh was arrested near Sanjay Public School, Sector 44, for eve-teasing on Sunday. A case under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered.


Mr Harmohan, a resident of Sector 23, reported to the police that his mobile phone, some documents and Rs 1,500 were stolen from his car which was parked out side Fun Republic on Sunday. A case has been registered.



Head Constable manhandles Inspector
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
A Head Constable of the Chandigarh police allegedly manhandled an Inspector after the former tried to prevent him from entering forcibly into Hotel Mountview along with three or four persons yesterday. Ashok Tuli, Head Constable (maintenance section), has been found guilty of his conduct during a preliminary investigation conducted by Mr Kulwant Singh, SHO of the Sector 3 police station.

Police sources said the matter would be brought to the notice of the senior police officers to conduct a departmental inquiry.

According to the police, Ashok Tuli left the hotel yesterday after calling his day off at around 8 am. He came back after some time with the other persons and allegedly tried to enter into the hotel forcibly. Inspector Anokh Singh of Recruitment Training Centre, who was on duty, tried to prevent Tuli from entering into the hotel. The Inspector, in a bid to stop him, caught hold of his arm following which the Head Constable entered into a scuffle with him.

Later, the Inspector filed a complaint at the Sector 3 police station.



Rs 2.5 cr for development in Grain Market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The projected revenue of Grain Market, Sector 26, in the coming financial year has been pegged at Rs 3.38 crore.

The budget of the market was cleared at a meeting of the market committee held under the chairmanship of Mr Harbhajan Singh Kajheri, acting head of the committee, following the removal of Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri through a no-confidence motion in February.

The committee expects a revenue Rs 3 crore on account of market fee alone. A sum of Rs 2.5 crore has been earmarked for development and maintenance works in the market.

Besides, funds have also been earmarked for the creation of new posts and amenities for farmers and a study tour.


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