C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


  Beant Singh’s grandson held for creating nuisance
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
The local police today arrested 12 youths, including a grandson of a former Punjab Chief Minister, the late Beant Singh, who were throwing eggs on girls and passersby on the Panjab University campus.

The police booked the youths under Sections 34, 5 and 61 of the Police Act for creating nuisance and also impounded their two Jeeps and a Ford Ikon car. The miscreants were later released on bail.

The accused, Harkirat Singh, grandson of the late Beant Singh, his gunman, Amrik Singh, and his friends, Harvinder Singh, Kawaldeep Singh, Navjot Singh, Vikramjit Singh, Prabhjit Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Rupinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Vikramjit Singh, who were in two Jeeps and a Ford Ikon car, were creating nuisance on the campus this afternoon. They were driving rashly. A journalist flashed the numbers of their vehicles to the Police Control Room (PCR) and also kept on chasing their vehicles.

He intercepted a Jeep in Sector 15 and asked the occupants to behave. Soon, a Ford Ikon came from which the gunman disembarked and threatened the journalist. The police came and arrested two youths and impounded their Jeep, while the other members of the group escaped in the Kaimbwala village area.

Meanwhile, a message was sent out by the PCR and the police arrested the other youths with their vehicles within half-an-hour.



Celebrating life at 100!
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 25
It is a celebration of a life... and of a life well lived. Mrs Sham Dulari Nehru, fondly called Shona by friends and Amma by most of her family, was glowing as she cut her favourite chocolate cake and celebrated her 100th birthday.

Relatives from all over— her children and their families, grandchildren and their families and great grand-children — were all there to cheer her up. Her late husband’s contemporaries and distant relatives too cheered her... and Amma as she is now called, was her radiant self as she enjoyed her favourite Geeta Dutt numbers played specially for her.

“Its a great occasion for me. Though I am not in the best of health, but I am happy that my children, their children and grandchildren have made such an effort to celebrate my birthday,” she said. She added that she was lucky that in today’s age she was so well looked after by her son, Justice R.K. Nehru, and daughter-in-law, Kamini.

Her granddaughter, Manjari Kaul, says that Amma has been her best friend. “When I was in college, Amma, who was not just fashionable herself, would also give up tips on latest trends. When we wanted to go for a movie, she was the one who took us out. Those days, girls were not allowed to go for movies alone,” she reminisces.

Chips in sister, Puneeta Nehru, “We had been looking forward to this day, when we could celebrate her birthday. After all, more than our mother, it has been Amma who has taught us about life, and about duties and responsibilities. Thus we decided to make her 100 th birthday celebrations a special occasion”.



City all set to celebrate Holi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Its Holi and everyone is talking colour. Revelers are geared up for North India’s most boisterous festival and so is the city. City markets are decked up, making a quick buck offering special holi discounts on everything under the sun. But it is the colours and pichkaris that are selling like hot cakes.

Tips for safe Holi:

  • Use a hat, cap or anything like that to protect your hair. Oil your hair well, so that colour doesn’t stick on your hair and can be washed off easily later.
  • Make sure that your face is well creamed before you start playing Holi.
  • Apply thick coating of paint on your nails- both in fingers and toes so that they remain protected.
  • Keep your eyes and lips tightly shut when you are being coloured. If you are prone to skin allergies, avoid playing with gulal altogether.
  • Out on the road, keep the car windows shut.
  • Don’t get too boisterous. Avoid being a prey to hooligans. Rotten eggs, tar, engine oil, stones, cow dung could be on your way.
  • Avoid over indulgence in bhang, drinks. And do not drive if you are drunk.

The after care:

  • Make a paste of soyabean flour or besan with milk. Apply it on whole body and wait for the paste to get dry and then scrub it off before having a bath.

Historically, holi symbolised the triumph of good over evil and traditional spring rites.

But it is most well celebrated as a riot of colours that takes place on the full moon day of the month of Phalguna, heralding the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

While officially Holi is tomorrow, the city saw the first set of over enthusiastic youngster drenched with colours on their bikes and jeeps taking rounds of the geri route. A good sign of what you can expect tomorrow.

At homes, with exams over, children are mixing bucketsful of water colours. Balloons are filled with water and stacked, all set for the Holi morning. Those who intend to out better be warned. There are host of children ready with their water grenades aimed at you.

For the mobile mad city, holi sms messages too have started trickling in. Be equipped for the network jams tomorrow morning when everyone gets down to exchanging a whole range of “colourful” messages. One message received by a city resident today said: 1 day 2 go.... holi aane mein... aur aapke... nahane mein... happy bath anniversary and happy holi too.

Holi celebrations planned

Thunder Zone on the Mohali-Fatehgarh Sahib road is going to come alive with DJ Avi On March 26. A host of singers are going to perform live during he celebrations.

Chandigarh Club: Harbhajan Mann would be regaling its members on March 26, 11 am.

Fun City: March 26 would see a plethora of singing sensations performing live.

Golf Club: Special holi games would be organised for members from 9 am to 10 am on March 26.



Holi celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
With Holi, festival of colours comes, comes fun. To have the best of festive flavour, people thronged Fun City near Ramgarh. The bash started from the morning and continued till the evening. Dancing to Punjabi tunes they unleashed vibrant energy. Boys looked towards girls, eyeing for a dancing partner .But very few girls accepted the invitation.

Water parks were filled with the colours of red, green and yellow. Youngsters could be seen enjoying water games. Punjabi singers, including Romey Gill, Jinda, Bai Amarjeet and Pappi Gill rocked the gathering with peppy numbers. The Holi will be celebrated tomorrow also here.

Puja was organised by the Rajasthani Parishad on the occasion ‘Holika dahan’ at Rajasthani Bhavan, Sector 33 today. It was followed by cultural programmes. Few students celebrated holi at Student Centre, Punjab University also.


Holi celebrations kicked off to a colourful start at the Mohali Club Phase XI in Mohali. A team of UK Municipal councillors led by Mr Pira Singh Clair Lord Mayor of Leicester was the guest of honour. Dr B.C. Gupta, Financial Commissioner, Punjab also graced the occasion. The foreigners jived to the tunes of folk singers — Gurmeet Sandhu, Rammi Singh, Jange Germanywala. A lot of fun games were also organised.


The Panchkula police made elaborate arrangements to check any lawlessness on Holi. Superintendent of Police Dr R.C. Mishra, said that drunken driving, overspeeding and other violations of traffic rules and regulations will be dealt with strictly. He said that he had deputed police personnel to ensure that rules are followed.



Rodrigues greets people on Holi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) has greeted the people of Punjab and Chandigarh on the colourful festival of Holi.

General Rodrigues further said this day has a great significance in the annals of Sikh history as after a day “Hola Mohalla” is celebrated at Anandpur Sahib with rejoicing and martial arts display.

He exhorted the people to celebrate Holi in spirit of amity, mutual love and brotherhood.



17 Holi revellers challaned
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 25
Seventeen Holi revellers were challaned by the police for violating various traffic rules and also for creating hooliganism in the town. A number of boys were let off after a warning.

It is learnt that one police personnel got injured on the dividing road of Phase II and IV while trying to stop a Holi reveller, who indulged in traffic violation, from running away. While 10 challans were issued by the staff of the police control room, seven were issued by the traffic wing of the police in connection with the Holi revellers.

A number of youths were seen moving about scooters and motor cycles creating noise in various areas of the town. While two persons were seen riding most of the two wheelers, but in some cases persons were seen indulging in triple riding. Some youths had even removed silencers of their vehicles, apart from using pressure horns.

It is reported that almost 100 boys had come from Kharar to the town to celebrate Holi. They joined some local youths and moved about in groups on their vehicles which were driven in a rash manner.

Mr Ashwini Sachdev, who said that he was the president of the Press Bureau of India, Ropar, complained to the district SSP that some youths from Kharar had come to Mohali to play Holi with their friends. He alleged that the staff of the police control room challaned the vehicle of some boys even on the day of the festival for no solid reason.

He alleged that police even used abusive language. The matter was brought to the notice of officials concerned but to no avail. He demanded action against police personnel.

Mr Baldev Singh, in charge of the police control room, said that complaints had been received that boys moving about in groups on two wheelers allegedly indulged in eve-teasing.

He said that they had been given instructions by senior police officials not to allow hoolganism in connection with the festival of Holi. He said that some boys who apologised for their unruly behaviour were let off after a warning. Vehicles of about 10 persons were challaned for not possessing documents and for removing the number plates of their vehicles.

He said that some youths had covered the number plates of their vehicles with colours.

SP, Rakesh Agrawal, said that the police had been told to give some relaxation to youngsters celebrating Holi in the town.

But moving about on vehicles after removing number plates and silencers was totally illegal. Eve-teasing would also not be allowed in the town, he added.



Paid parking in more sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Municipal Corporation has decided to introduce paid parking in Sectors 22, 34 and 35. Details of programme implementation pertaining to increase in the parking areas, fee and fund utilisation have been worked out.

The city already has provision for paid parking in Sectors 8, 9 and 17.

The corporation will ask the Chief Architect of the UT to provide new drawings showing reduction in area of pavements and increase in the parking area. A working group of the corporation has recommended that 25 per cent of the total revenue generated be spent on development of the area.

The corporation is awaiting administrative approval for construction and widening of parking area in Sector 35-C. The parking place has already been planned by the Chief Architect.

The working group has also approved a reserve price for various parking in different sectors. These include: Sector 22-B, along Himalyan Marg (Rs 26 lakh); Sector 22-C, along Himalyan Marg (Rs 16 lakh); Zone I, Sector 34 (13.25 lakh); Zone II, Sector 34 (Rs 10.50 lakh); Sector 35-B (Rs 25 lakh); and Sector 35-C (Rs 24 lakh).

The parking sites in these sectors will be auctioned and the period of license will be one year. The licensee is required to pay an Income Tax of 2 per cent. Contractor is supposed to install suitable boards indicating that the user is responsible for getting his parking slips issued at the entry point.

The contractor is required to make the parking charges according to the ones approved by the Municipal Corporation. He is also required to print the prices on the slips issued to the users. Charges recommended for scooter are Rs 2 for every entry and Rs 5 for each entry of car. A provision has also been made for monthly passes.

It has been clearly pointed out that the contractor will be responsible for the theft of vehicle. The contractor will , however, not be responsible for the articles kept inside a vehicle. Employees of the contractor are required to wear a proper uniform. All the parking areas are required to have complaint boxes. The complaint box is required to be sealed .

Passes issued by the contractor will not exceed two times the capacity of the parking area. All government, semi-government and government undertaking employees working in the area of respective sectors of paid parking will be given free parking facility of two wheelers subject to availability of space. Employees will be issued stickers by the corporation.

Separate space out of the parking area will be earmarked, with proper symbols, for the physically challenged Parking contractor is required to engage a registered private security agency for regulating the parking area.

The terms and conditions for the parking areas will be tabled in the corporation house meeting for a formal approval.



MC to get 17 pc of UT’s tax revenue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Chandigarh Administration has agreed to 10-year-old demand and decided to allow payment of 17 per cent of all tax collection in the Union Territory to the MC.

A nod is required from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. This would be a formality said a senior officer.

The payment of 17 per cent tax to the MC will work out to be Rs 85 crore for this year. The money will continue to rise each year as the tax collection of Chandigarh rises by a few crore every year.

The move of the administration is in line with the recommendations of the Second Delhi Finance Commission which allowed 17 per cent of tax collection to be given to the MC while another 1 per cent of tax collection be given to panchayats in the Union Territory.

The Administration recently informed Parliament that it was aware that functions performed by the MC and the panchayats constitute a major chunck of the total civic services provided in Chandigarh. Local MP Pawan Bansal raised the issues in parliament on March 1.

Officials here have pointed that the MC was already getting paid from the budget of Chandigarh. This year alone Rs 79.76 crore was paid to the MC while another 6.92 crore were paid to the panchayats. The actuals as per the tax sharing formula should have been 85 crore to MC and Rs 5 crore to panchayats.

Chandigarh is the only revenue surplus territory in the country. It earns more than it spends. The entire budget is passed under the head of the MHA in Parliament. This year ending March 31, the total revenue generation for Chandigarh will be Rs 917 crore this includes collection from taxes and also non taxes like sale of lands. The tax collection is a just more than Rs 500 crore.



Corbusier’s style symbolises freedom: expert
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Those who think little of Pandit Nehru’s passionate references to Chandigarh as a futuristic city may do well to look at Le Corbusier’s modernism from a fresh perspective. In fact, so sensitive was Corbusier to Nehru’s ideals that he actually designed the open hand as a symbol of Nehru’s Non-Align Movement (NAM), of freedom from false choices.

Not just that, the architect who refused to take sides with the US or the then USSR during the 1950s chose to offer independent services to help Nehru realise his dream of building Chandigarh as a new city, unfettered by traditions of the past.

And though Nehru’s description of Chandigarh is often subjected to criticism, it seems apt when seen in the backdrop of modernism which Nehru used as a symbol of freedom. At least that is what Dr Vikramaditya Prakash, the renowned scholar, presently Chair, Faculty of Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle, believes and advocates.

In Chandigarh today to revisit Chandigarh College of Architecture, his alma mater, Dr Prakash spoke to The Tribune about Corbusier’s “idealist” modernism which symbolises freedom in every sense of the word. Rising in defence of Corbusier and his unique conception of Chandigarh, Dr Prakash said, “Past for Nehru was a neo colonial past. He picked modernism as an expression of liberation. He wanted to dissociate from the colonial past. Chandigarh is, indeed, an expression of that aspiration. Hence, Nehru’s historic statement regarding Chandigarh as a “new city” is not a sign of weakness. It must be seen in the context of India’s urge for a new future.”

Presently writing a book which would redefine instruction in architecture the world over, Dr Prakash shared the concept of the project with The Tribune. Titled “A Global History of the World Architecture,” the path-breaking work will, for the first time, document periods in architectural history of the world. Being written in collaboration with Mark Jarzombek, Professor at the Massacheussets Institute of Technology and illustrated by Frank Ching, the book records landmarks in architecture.

Said Dr Prakash, “This is the first work of its kind in the world. We are developing a new textbook on architecture. Until now, whatever we have studied has been from the western perspective. Now, we, will talk about what was happening to world architecture at various times.

Sourcing authentic information has been tough for the expert, now on the verge of completing the project. The most exciting of all periods has, however, been the 16th and 17th century when monumental architectural tasks were being undertaken the world over right from the Taj Mahal and the Madurai temples to China’s Forbidden City and St Peter’s.

“The research has been tough due to lack of literature, especially with regard to India and China. But we are almost through,” said Dr Prakash. He added that the city should continue to grow on the lines of high density sustainable living. 



Chevening scholarship for Tribune staffer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Staff Correspondent of The Tribune Aditi Tandon has been selected for the British Council's prestigious Chevening Scholarship programme for Young Indian Print Journalists. Aditi is among the 12 journalists from India who have made it to the scholarship this year.

Of those selected, only three are from North India, the rest being from South and West India.

The Chevening programme will enable the selected scholars to pursue an advanced study programme in print journalism at the University of Westminster for three months from November 7, 2005, to February 3, 2006. The study programme will be followed by attachments with British newspapers and magazines in London or other regions of the UK.

The scholarship is funded by Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and will be based in the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster which has been judged the best modern university in the UK in consecutive surveys by the Financial Times.

Among other scholars selected for this year's programme are Malika Rodrigues, Editor, Brand Equity, The Economic Times (Mumbai), Sumeet Chatterjee, Bureau Chief, IANS (Mumbai), Ashok Raaj, News Editor, The Times of India (Ahmedabad), Meera Pillai, Chief Sub Editor, Malayala Manorama ( (Kerala), Padmapriya Jayaraman, Principal Correspondent, The Economic Times (Hyderabad), Ritu Gupta, Senior Sub Editor, Down to Earth (Delhi), Anto Tharakan, Special Business Correspondent, The Economic Times (Mumbai), Anindita Dey, Principal Correspondent, Business Standard (Mumbai), Ishita Dutt, Special Correspondent, Business Standard (Kolkata), Jayan PS, Sub Editor, The Mathrubhumi (Thiruvanthapuram) and Kavita Suri, Senior Staff Correspondent, The Statesman (Jammu).



Passing Thru

What brings you to Chandigarh?

Gurdip Singh Sandhu
Gurdip Singh Sandhu, UK-based journalist

I am leading an eight-member team of Sikhs to the Hola Mohalla celebrations. Every year, we come to the Hola Mohalla to pay obeisance and do community service at the fair.

Can you tell us something about your magazine — Punjab Mail International?

It is the first bi-monthly Punjabi magazine in the world working for the preservation of Punjabi culture and heritage in the UK.

How are the UK Punjabi periodicals different from their Indian ones?

Originality and enterprise take back seat as a majority of the British Punjabi newspapers and magazines lift up articles from the Indian media.

Can you comment on Punjab community, particularly the generation next, in England?

The one million strong community is facing identity crisis. The generation next feels “uprooted” as they seem belonging neither to India nor to the UK. Only the old generation endeavours to keep in touch with their roots in India by building houses and purchasing property.

— Pradeep Sharma



Don’t get distracted, pilots told
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come across a number of cases recently where pilots and air traffic controllers have entered into "unnecessary" arguments over radio channels and have warned them against this "unacceptable" trend.

In a directive circulated to Airports Authority of India establishments, state government aviation departments, commercial airlines and flying clubs earlier this month, the DGCA states that pilots as well as air traffic controllers work at a high level of stress which demands full concentration. Any distraction like unnecessary arguments is likely to affect concentration and the state of mind, thereby increasing the possibility of making an error of judgement and adversely affecting flight safety.

Further, such a situation blocks the radio transmission channels, thereby denying connectivity to other aircraft in need.

Directing that such a practice be stopped immediately, the DGCA order states that communication on radio be restricted to need basis only by using standard phraseology. Instructions of the traffic controllers are to be adhered to by pilots and if for any technical or operational reasons they cannot be complied with, pilots may ask for revised instructions. If any party is aggrieved by the instructions, these are not to be argued over on radio, but may be sorted out after the flight is over, the orders further state.

In fact, an in-house study undertaken by the IAF's Directorate of Flight safety some time ago stated that 48 per cent of all accidents attributed to human error (HE) are caused due to communication failure.

Inadequate and improper communication between the aircrew and other agencies directly involved with flying activity is responsible for a majority of aircraft accidents attributed to HE, the study observed.

It described communication failure not as failure in the overall system, but as a serious breakdown in communication amongst pilots in the air as well as between pilots and ground-based controllers. Sometimes there is not enough communication, sometimes there is no communication at all, but most of the time it is not done correctly, the study noted.



Tibetan women’s peace march reaches city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
The Tibetan women’s peace march from Dharamsala received a warm welcome by the local Tibetan students today. Around 130 women from Dharamsala and its vicinity are on their way to New Delhi to spread the message of peace and harmony.

The peace march, which started on March 12, has covered 260 km on foot in 14 days. The march is part of the all-India peace march organised by a Dharmsala-based NGO, the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA).

The purpose behind the march is to call on the Chinese leadership to engage in early and actual negotiation with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama or his envoys on the future political arrangement in Tibet.

The TWA has urged the Indian Government to encourage the Government of Peoples Republic of China (PRC) to cooperate with the Dalai Lama. The association believes that Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao’s forthcoming visit to India will provide a platform for the Indian leaders to urge their Chinese counterparts to facilitate the dialogue process for a mutualy beneficial solution for both Tibetans and the Chinese.

Earlier in the morning, the march started from Kurali and reached Chandigarh and finally came to the Sector 37 BJP offices. The executive of the Regional Tibet Youth Congress offered ‘khatta’ to the participants in peace march. Later in the evening, a candlelight vigil was held by the students at the Sector 17 plaza.



Programme on disability and human rights concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
“A person with different abilities is treated differently but the difference of treatment cannot be decided by arbitrary laws,” affirmed (Dr) Justice A.S. Anand, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) while inaugurating the ‘Outreach Training Programme on Disability and Human Rights’ at the Law Auditorium, Panjab University, on Wednesday.

The programme, which concluded today, hopes to change the way laws pertaining to disability are seen, perceived and constructed. It was attended by several NGOs, students of law, universities and institutions from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh.

This two and a half days training programme was sponsored by the NHRC in conjunction with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Indira Gandhi National Open University and hosted by Panjab University, was the fifth in the series of such sessions held across the country in various law faculties and colleges.

According to Justice Anand, one in ten persons in the world is disabled in some way or another. “If a person does not know what his/her rights are, is that person going to be able to protest against violation of that right? The answer lies in spreading awareness because no tangible change is possible unless the public administrators, legal practitioners and service providers at all levels are aware of their obligation under international and domestic laws towards persons with disabilities.”



US Govt to honour Neerja Bhanot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
Almost 19 years after she fell to terrorists’ bullets while performing her duty as Senior Flight Purser with Pan Am on Flight 73 that was hijacked at Karachi Airport on September 5, 1986, Chandigarh girl Neerja Bhanot continues to do the city proud.

On April 11, the US Government will give an award posthumously to her as part of its Annual Crime Victims Rights Week Ceremony.

A communiqué received by the family of the late Neerja Bhanot has informed them about the latest feather in her cap.

This will be one of the rare occasions when an Indian national will be bestowed the prestigious award by the US Government.

Neerja was shot many times while trying to save the passengers on board the Pan Am aircraft after it had been hijacked. The bullets that felled her were aimed at three small children whom the terrorists tried to kill when they were trying to escape.

Recognising her exemplary courage, the Indian Government had awarded her the Ashok Chakra, posthumously, while the airline company joined hands with her family to set up the Neerja Bhanot-Pan Am Trust.

Every year, the Trust honours the airline crew that acts beyond the call of duty and two Indian women, who have shown exemplary courage.

The latest award being bestowed on the late Neerja Bhanot is awarded every year to honour crime victims. The US President announces the schedule for observing the National Crime Victims Rights Week.

According to the letter sent to the martyr’s family, a ceremony will be held in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where the late Neerja Bhanot will be honoured with the award.

Her brother, Mr Aneesh Bhanot, who resides in the city with his parents and family, will go to the USA to receive the award.



Signature campaign for rights panel in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The campaign for setting up a human rights commission for the Union Territory of Chandigarh is gaining momentum with a human rights organisation the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) —starting a signature campaign. The LHRI, which has already collected over 800 signatures from a cross-section of residents, including lawyers, teachers, students and traders, plans to collect at least 5,000 signatures till April 30.

A delegation of the LHRI would then call on the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in May to seek his intervention in setting up a human rights commission or extending the jurisdiction of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) to the city, Mr Arvind Thakur, general secretary of the local unit of LHRI, said here today. At present, for scores of victims of rights violations, getting justice is a long drawn-out process since the city comes under the jurisdiction of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

It takes atleast 45 days for the NHRC to take cognisance of the cases. On an average atleast 100 cases are filed before the NHRC every month. Since the NHRC has no investigating machinery in Chandigarh, the complaints take longer periods for disposal.

This is despite the fact that there is a provision in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, regarding the setting up of the human rights court in the city. “For the purpose of providing speedy trial of offences arising out of the violation of the human rights, the state government may, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the high court, specify for each district a court of session to be a human rights court to try the offences,” the Act says. 



Residents complain of poor sanitation
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 25
Residents of Phase X and XI have complained that sanitation was in a state of neglect in the area.

Safai karamcharis did not sweep the streets on a regular basis and garbage was dumped at some points in open spaces much to the annoyance of those living in the surrounding areas.

Mrs Sneh Mahajan said that the park outside her house was in a state of neglect. It was littered with dry leaves.

One road gully adjoining the park was blocked with filth. She said employees of the sanitation contractor used to sweep the area earlier but they rarely come now.

She said that she had to get the road outside her house cleaned by her servant.

Col Ranjit Singh Boparai (retd) said the residents faced the nuisance of stray animals.

Even safai karamcharis, who were hardly seen working in the area, dumped garbage at vacant spaces.

He said heaps of garbage were dumped at the back of his house. These were later set on fire and the smoke that emanated caused a lot of pollution in the area.



Fire in industrial area
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 25
A fire broke out in a unit in the Phase VII industrial area here today.

It is learnt that not much loss had been caused by the fire as only the discarded wood had got damaged in the fire which probably took place due to a short circuit. The local fire brigade was called and it took about two hours for the personnel to bring the smouldering fire under control.



MLA releases book
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 25
“Aapo apne naksh,” a book written by a Punjabi writer settled in Canada, was released by Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh, here today.

Balbir Singh Momi, who is also Editor of Punjabi weekly paper, “Nagara”, published from Toronto, has written 20 books. The MLA said that he was impressed by the books written by Momi. 



Sitara Devi to get Koser award

Kathak danseuse from Mumbai Sitara Devi and Sitar wizard Pandit Mani Lal Nag of Kolkata will be recipients of the ML Koser- Shobha Koser award, instituted for the first time. The annual award carrying a citation, memento and a cash award of Rs 50,000 each is being conferred for their contribution in their respective realms of art.

Sitara Devi has excelled herself as a choreographer teacher and a performer par excellence for the past six decades. — OC



Chaitanya’s ‘Appearance Day’ celebrated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
The local chapter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated the “Appearance Day” of Chaitanya at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36, here today with religious fervour and enthusiasm. A large number of devotees thronged the temple on the occasion, according to H.G. Nand Maharaj Das Prabhu, co-president.

Chaitanya was born in 1486. Although widely renowned as a scholar, Chaitanya left only eight of his verses, called “Siksastka”. The teachings of Chaitanya are practical manifestations of Lord Krishna’s sacred message from the Srimad Bhagvadgita. Mr Prabhu appealed the people from all walks of life to follow the teachings of Chaitanya to attain eternal peace.



Fasts mark Good Friday
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
Good Friday, a day of fast and abstinence, was observed by large number of devotees today in various churches of the city and nearby areas.

In Catholic Church, Sector 19, the programme featured “Way of the Cross” in all the three languages — English, Malayalam and Hindi. The celebration of the Lord’s Passion was also held. A large number of devotees also turned up in Sector 18 Church.



Video library owner injured in scuffle
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
An owner of a video library in Burail village was injured following a scuffle with an anti-piracy squad of a private company last night.

In a complaint to the police, Mr Paramjit Singh, shopkeeper, alleged that Rajbir Singh alias Sonu and Balwinder Singh—both residents of Kesho Ram Complex of the same village—attacked him and inflicted injuries on him.

The police said the accused asked the complainant that they wanted to inspect his shop for pirated cassettes and CDs. As Mr Paramjit Singh denied them permission, the accused pushed him and he fell on a window pane and broke its glass. The broken pieces of glass injured his arm and he was rushed the PGI, the police added.

A case under Sections 323, 452 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.



Two houses burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 25
Two houses were burgled in the city, according to information given by the police here today.

Mr Yoginder Singh Parihar, a resident of Sector 46 and a technician in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported to the police that thieves took away 25 tolas of gold ornaments and Rs 50,000 from his house. A case was registered in the Sector 34 police station in this regard.

In a similar incident, Mr Desha Singh of Sector 10-A lodged a complaint with the police that two gold chains, a gold ring, three wrist watches and Rs 13,000 were stolen from his residence during the intervening night of March 22. A case was registered in the Sector 3 police station in this regard.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Vinod Kumar of Behlana village reported to the police that his Bajaj Boxer motor cycle (CH-03-Q-5350) was stolen from Phase II, Industrial Area, on March 23. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered in the industrial area police station.

Two injured

Mr Deepak Kumar, a motor cyclist and a pillion rider Rinku suffered injuries when a Tata 407 mini truck (CH-01-G-0781) hit their motor cycle near Sectors 18, 19, 7 and 8 roundabout last night. The truck driver, Mohan of Maloya village sped from the spot. The victims were admitted to the PGI and a case of negligent driving was registered under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC against the truck driver.



VAT explained at programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25
The Excise and Taxation Department of Chandigarh today organised an awareness-cum-interaction programme on value added tax (VAT) for traders and income tax and sales tax lawyers of bar at UT Guest House, Sector 6, here, under the Chairmanship of the Finance-cum-Excise and Taxation Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu.

During the interaction session, each and every provision of VAT, to be implemented from April 1, in Chandigarh, was discussed and queries of the traders were entertained. The Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr I.S. Sandhu, along with the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Shri Shingara Singh, explained about the registration procedure, assessment procedure and methods to be followed during the VAT regime.

Mr S.K.Sandhu assured full cooperation of UT Administration to traders and solicited their support. He also said a book on VAT would be published by the UT Administration by April 30, 2005 and an officer would also be deputed to take care of the queries and clarifications of traders.

Among those who attended the programme included representatives of Grain Market, Sector 26, the Akhil Bhartiya Beopar Mandal, the Sugar Association, the Rice Association, the Atta Chaki Association, the Income Tax Bar Association, the Sanitary Dealer Association, the Automobile Association, the Furniture Market Association, Poultry, Feed Association, the Petrol Pump Association, Hotel Association, the Book Sellers Associations, and the Medical Association and Electrical Association.


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