C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 lose lives on Holi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Three persons lost lives, all suspected to be drunk, and at least two were injured in in the city despite the police cracking down on Holi hooligans.

Amit Kumar (27) of Panchkula died at the GMCH after his motor cycle skid on a road at Behlana. He was returning home after playing Holi with his friends when the mishap took place. He was a factory manager of a unit in Dera Bassi. His father S. D. Bhargawa is working as a Superintendent in the Haryana Irrigation Department.

Mangal Singh (44) of Sector 56 got injured when he fell from the stairs of his house. He succumbed to injuries at the PGI. A person who was found unconscious at Maloya died on his way to the PGI. The cause of the death is not known.

Amardeep Singh of Sector 32-D got injured when his motorcycle collided with another being driven by Vinod Kumar. The accident took place near the Sector 22 rehri market.

A paedestrian, Bably of colony No 4, was injured when he was hit by a car (CH03 E 5578) near the kerosene pump in Sector 29. Saganpreet of Zirakpur was reportedly driving the car. The Chandigarh Police arrested 19 persons in apprehension of breach of peace. Seven persons were arrested for creating nuisance after consuming liquor.

The Traffic Police booked 583 offenders and impounded 123 vehicles in the city.

Sonu, Karambir, Jugnu Prasad, Anand and Roop Lal of Ram Darbar; Rakesh, Vijay Kumar and Guddu of Hallo Majra; Ram Lakhan and Kanhaiya of Kajheri, Vikash Kumar, Akash Kumar, Arshad Mohmmed, Baldev Singh, Vijay Kumar, Sushil Kumar and Rakesh Kumar of Dhanas and Rahul of Sarangpur were taken under preventive arrest.

Gagan Sharma, Navdeep Singh, Rupinder Singh and Satpal of Faridkot, Kulwinder Singh of Kotkapura, Kamalpreet of Muktsar and Sandeep Singh of Moga were arrested for allegedly creating nuisance after consuming liquor. Mohindero of Daddu Majra was arrested for possessing 4.5 gm of smack.

Sarabjit Singh of Faridkot was arrested in the Sector 9 Market for carrying a sickle in his vehicle. The vehicle was also impounded.

Playing Holi with an unknown person led an 18-year-old girl receiving burns on the neck. Sonika of Sector 21 received burns when a boy Rajiv, of Mohali, threw tea on her, apparently to avenge the girl’s splashing him with water colours. The girl was sitting on the front seat of her parent’s car when an irritated Rajiv threw tea on her neck. The parents of the girl had parked the car in the Sector 10 market, leaving her in the car to buy something. Rajiv has been arrested. 



40 injured in Holi revelry
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 27
Though the Panchkula police made special efforts to make its presence felt in various parts of the district on account of Holi, revellers managed to have their way.

More than 40 persons were injured in separate road accidents and drunken brawls.

Triple riding, helmetless driving, use of pressure horns and playing loud music were more of a rule than exception. Though the police was making its presence felt, especially at all entry and exit points in the district, its emphasis was only on avoiding law and order problems. The police had made arrangements to keep tabs on revelers going uphill and passing through Pinjore and Kalka.

About 40 persons were rushed to the General Hospital here for injuries sustained in drunken brawls or fights and road accidents. Armed clashes were reported in Sector 11, Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony. In Sector 11, Vishal Ahuja and Vijay were injured when they were assaulted by armed men who came in a car. The police said the clash was a result of enmity between two groups.

The Holi spirit, however, ruled the scene. Most of the resident welfare associations had organised Holi celebrations in their sectors. Other than playing with colours, tambola and dance were arranged.

A number of persons celebrated Holi in Town Park and the Vatika garden. The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, who is also the local MLA, played Holi with residents. While moving about the district, he stopped those who were violating traffic rules.

The Panchkula Press Club had organised a Holi milan function last evening. Mr Chander Mohan was the chief guest while the SP, Dr R.C. Mishra, was the guest of honour.



2 hurt in clash at Fun City
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 27
Two Chandigarh residents sustained stab injuries in a clash between a group of Holi revelers and security guards of the Fun City near here, on Saturday.

According to the police, the security guards of the Fun City and the Holi revelers indulged into a scuffle over a tiff when the youth were entering the Water Wonder of the park. Exchange of heated arguments worsened the atmosphere and the security guards allegedly attacked the revelers with sharp-edged weapons and sticks.

In the clash, Ravinder and his friend Sonu, who had gone to Fun City to celebrate colours, sustained injuries on their heads. Sonu was admitted to the PGI and Ravinder was taken to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh.



Holi celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 27
Holi, festival of colours was celebrated with fervour with residents painting the city in the hues of red, green and yellow. Groups of youngsters zipped on the city roads in their cars, bikes and scooters honking and making geris. Police officials were deputed at many places to check rowdyism.

A musical live show was held in Chandigarh Club, Sector 1 and Hrabhajan Mann and Gursewak Mann regaled the audience.

Mukesh Bassi, president of the club said, “Earlier the strength of families used to be very less but this time the members came along with their families. It made the occasion very special”.

Fun City, amusement park near Ramgarh witnessed heavy rush on the occasion. A cultural programme was also held where many Punjabi singers made the audience to dance on their peppy numbers.

Residents of Sector 38 too celebrated Holi in a traditional manner. Nearly 200 of them got together on the occasion. The programme was organised by Residents’ Welfare organisation of the area.

They could be seen dancing on the Punjabi music. Similar scene was witnessed in Sectors 20, 21, 22 and other sectors.



Chandigarh all set for CPI congress from tomorrow
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
To evolve a political tactical line that while thwarting the threat of communal fascism will facilitate Left democratic alternative at the Centre, the top leadership of the Communist Party of India (CPI) will have brain-storming sessions during its 19th National Congress starting here on March 29.

The party General Secretary, Mr A.B. Bardhan, will address the opening session at the Sector 22 Nehru Park on March 30 to mark the beginning of the Congress. The venue for the national congress, however, shall be the Sector 35 Kisan Bhavan which, some years ago, had successfully hosted a similar congress of the Communist Party

A mass rally will be organised at the Sector 17 Parade Ground on March 29. A spokesman of the party said that besides delegates, alternate delegates and invitees, delegations from 30 fraternal parties from 28 countries have also confirmed their participation in the conference which will continue till April 3.

Leaders of various Left parties, including the CPM, All-India Forward Bloc and CPI(ML), have been invited for the opening session of the Congress.

According to party sources, the congress will debate current political scenario in the country and the subcontinent. It will also work out strategies and plans for the implementation of common minimum programme demands, continuous mass mobilisation and campaign.

Three seminars, Future of socialism — tasks ahead, Imperialist globalisation — challenges and strategies of the struggles; and seeds and patent laws — effects on Indian agriculture will be held simultaneously during the congress. The Election of the new leadership will be held on the last day.

While finishing touches were being given to holding of the March 30 rally and the subsequent business sessions at Kisan Bhavan, the Punjab unit of the party, which is hosting the Congress, also plans to organise an exhibition on the history of the party as well as of the Ghadari Babas’ role in the freedom struggle.

The Punjab unit has involved top intellectuals and prominent personalities from all walks of life in the reception committee headed by the State Secretary, Dr Joginder Dyal and assistant secretaries, Mr Bant Singh Brar and mr Jagroop besides the national executive invitee, Mr Hardev Arshi. All the district units were asked to organise general body meetings to mobilise resources for the conduct of the conference.

The Punjab unit will also bring out a souvenir . A special team of 150 volunteers has been trained to ensure smooth conduct of the proceedings.



More facilities at licensing office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The Office of the Registration and the Licensing Authority in Sector 17 is all set to don “people-friendly” look with the addition of several new facilities.

According to official sources, the estimates for the provision of new facilities, likely to cost about Rs 30 lakh, have been prepared. The new-look office, which will be fully air-conditioned, is expected to be operational by June this year.

For the convenience of general public, an information and facilitation counter is being set up at the entry gate with an independent telephone number — 2700076. And the check lists have been amended as per the provisions of the new Motor Vehicle Act and various other rules.

An official said for the awareness of the aspirants for learner’s licence, sign boards showing road-signs have been prepared and placed near the window passing the licences.

Besides, the installation of a new complaint and suggestion box, new furniture and computers have been purchased for making the functioning more-efficient.

Any suggestions for the improvement of the office can be sent to the DC’s office in writing. The suggestions and comments are also welcome on the telephone numbers 2712334 and 2709000.



Baby girl run over by train
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, March 27
A baby girl was removed by a train on the Kalka-Ambala line this evening.

The baby was reportedly walking along the railway line along with her lunatic mother and brother near Gajipur village when the accident happened.

The villagers informed the police. After getting the news Mr Ram Pal, in charge of railway police post, Lalru, along with his team reached the spot.

According to eyewitnesses, a police party reached the spot after one and a half hours. The woman was unable to give her address.



Garbage back as MC mop moves ahead
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
As the massive sanitation drive of the Municipal Corporation to clean the city draws near its conclusion filth is back on the streets, road berms and back lanes in the residential quarters of the city. The month-long drive was launched on March 1.

Heaps of unattended garbage lie in different sectors which have been covered under the drive. Garbage can be seen scattered at different places in Sectors 47, 46, 45, 35 and 36. While the major roads bear some imprints of a recent cleaning, interiors of the Sectors still cry for MC attention.

The drive was really appreciable in terms of its immediate results. On the first day of the drive in Sector 47, the entire area bore a very neat look by the evening. This was because all wings of the corporation had joined hands to collaborate in their efforts at one place.

Mr Jatinder Bhatia is the councillor of Sector 47 where the drive started. Reacting to the filth back on the street he said: “I have always maintained that no sanitation drive will be successful without active participation of local residents. Everyone cleans his own house and dumps the waste in the streets. We have an existing bye-law under which people involved in the unhealthy practice of littering the streets can be challaned. The corporation needs to set an example by challaning the defaulters”.

Mr Pradeep Chhabra, a former Senior Deputy Mayor, said “the corporation can never maintain a 12 month vigil on cleaning the streets. Public participation is a must and sadly people of the city are very poor participants in the cleanliness drive. They are expected to at least maintain the cleaned portions”.

As an indicator of poor public participation in sanitation drive, no one(individual or society) has applied to the MC taking up the responsibility for maintaining a park. The MC in September 2004 had announced a drive to involve public participation for the maintenance of parks.

Following evaluation of the upkeep of different parks a committee of the corporation was supposed honour the winners. No one applied for the work. The Corporation put advertisements in newspapers and also issued communication to all councillors.

The associations have the liberty to explore different possibilities in landscaping the parks. A formal approval of the administration is needed before any work commenced.

A senior official of the corporation said: “The House must decide to take strict action against the people who don’t clean their immediate environments. Defaulters need to be challaned heavily.” 



Carrying of firearms banned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The carrying of firearms has been banned and the registration of tenants made compulsory in the city as per a new proclamation under Section 144 of the CrPC (Prohibitory Orders).

District Magistrate Arun Kumar today promulgated an order in this regard to be in force with immediate effect. Two separate orders have been issued in this regard. They will be effective till June 28.

The breach of the order will invite punishment up to six months under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, an official release said here today.

As per the promulgation, no landlord, owner or a manager of a commercial establishment shall rent out an accommodation unless details of the tenants have been furnished with the Station House Officer (SHO) of the area concerned.



Passing Thru

Doug McCallum
Doug McCallum,
Mayor of Surrey, (British Colombia, Canada)

What is your trip to India for?

We came to exchange ideas, to see how your systems work and to establish friendship links with Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

What is your impression of Punjab?

We have driven through fields and villages and have been greeted with big smiles. The warmth and hospitality has been outstanding. Indians are very hardworking and I have learnt a lot by observing your customs. The friendships we have made here are long-lasting.

Have you tried the local cuisine here?

I have been eating too much and my plate is always piled up. I like everything, especially the missi roti here.

What are your achievements as Mayor of Surrey?

I campaigned on running the city as a business of providing facilities to the residents as it brings accountability back to the residents. We have a very pro-active approach to problems. We lay a lot of emphasis on education, youth welfare and sports, which leads to healthy lives and therefore our healthcare system is not taxed by social problems like drug abuse.

— Gayatri Rajwade



What inspired him to overcome disability
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 27
The next time you move your hand to pick up a glass of water to drink, remember that a simple task like this is an almost impossible achievement for some. In fact, every small chore is a test of their complete mental and physical prowess.

Chandigarh resident Gurbir Singh Kochar has been, for over 25 years now, suffering from muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder having no cure. A disease that slowly eats into voluntary muscles of an otherwise normal person till the time most muscles of the body degenerates.

Gurbir, who led a normal life till he was 28, graduated as an electrical engineer and started working with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in 1976 at Patiala. "I started feeling a little weakness in my lower limbs but didn't know the cause. Doctors passed it as general weakness and prescribed some tonic that did not help.

"I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy by PGI doctors in 1980. Initially, it came as a big shock when I came to know that that the disease had no cure. We tried homoeopathy, Ayurveda, magneto-therapy, but nothing helped," he recalls.

Slowly his upper limbs also became weak. He could not walk on his own. Things of daily chore like getting up from the bed and taking a bath etc. became more difficult. "I started spending more time in painting and gardening.

"Though it was not easy to hold the brush for long, I never lost hope. I continued with my job and my hobbies. I am married and have two sons who, along with my parents and sister, supported me all through," he said.

Nine years ago Gurbir fractured his ankle and could never walk again. He has been on the wheelchair since.

"I looked for therapies that would help me walk, but nothing helped. That is when I contacted muscular dystrophy associations abroad. I contacted Dr J. Rao, founder President of the Indian Muscular Dystrophy Association. He asked me to get in touch with others who are suffering from the disease and we founded the Chandigarh chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association," he said.

What began with only four members now has 50 patients as members who get together and camp every year. "These camps are a source of motivation and courage to all of us. With no known cure for the disease, it is not easy for such patients and their families to come to terms with the harsh reality.

"We talk to each other, and everyone returns home from these camps filled with hopes. One example is Jaswinder Kaur, a patient from Nawanshahr who used to remain very depressed and was deserted by her husband. "She now runs her own school and wants to live a dignified life. Another such example is of Neeraj Sharma who used to spend his time watching TV. After joining the association, he started learning computer and now runs his own computer centre."

Now Additional Director with the hydel design unit of the PSEB, Gurbir advises all such patients to have faith in God and engage themselves in productive work. 



Sidhu panel wins Press Club election
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The Jagtar Singh Sidhu panel today swept the Chandigarh Press Club elections trouncing their opponents led by the Sanjiv Shukla panel.

Mr Sidhu (226) defeated Mr Shukla (164) for the post of president and Mr Balwant Takshak (242) beat Ashwani Bhatnagar (129) for the post of general secretary.

Ms Nanki Hans (232) romped home defeating Dr Chander Trikha (138) for the post of senior vice-president.

Mr Vishal Gulati (271) beat Mr Mahavir Jain (107) for the post of treasurer. Mr Gulati got the maximum votes.

Mr G. C. Bharadwaj (239) and Mr Girish Upadhyay (220) defeated Ms Harvinder Khetal (141) and Ms Gajinder Singh (114) for the two posts of vice-president.

Ms Ranju Aery (208) defeated Mr Prabhjit Singh (166) for the post of secretary.

Ms Nisha Sharma (233) and Mr Tejinder Sehgal (188) defeated Mr Sarabjit Sabharwal (187) for two posts of joint secretary. Mr Jaswant Singh Rana (37) at the last-minute supported Mr Sabharwal who is the only loser of the Sidhu panel.

As many as 384 voters exercised their franchise out of a total of 451 voters registered with the club.



39 cr sanctioned for road projects
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Under the economic importance and interstate connectivity scheme, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has sanctioned around Rs 39 crore for different road projects in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

In most of the cases, the entire funding of the projects is being done by the ministry, said a senior officer in the ministry.

Recently, the ministry has also approved another Rs 8 crore under the interstate connectivity scheme to the Punjab Government for completing the missing link and widening of the Siswan-Baddi road. The road would ultimately provide an alternative link between different parts of Punjab and Shimla and an alternative short link between Chandigarh and Shimla.

Sources in the ministry said for Punjab around Rs 7 crore had been sanctioned for completing the 1.4 km stretch of the Hoshiarpur-Una road section and another Rs 1 crore for another project.

In Haryana, the ministry had agreed in principal to sanction Rs 11 crore for strengthening of the Palwal-Jewar-Aligarh road up to the UP border and for improvement of 14.35 km stretch of the Ferozepore-Jhirkha-Biwan road in Gurgaon district.

Another Rs 7 crore would be given for upgrading a bridge over Ghaggar River and construction of the link road between Khameri-Chhana-Agrain road and Cheeka-Pehowa road in Kaithal district.

Giving importance to Solan and Kangra districts, around Rs 13 crore has been allowed for strengthening of the 9-km stretch of the Nalagarh-Bharatgarh road and improvement of the 11-km road stretch between Damtal -Kandwal road.

The ministry has also agreed to give another Rs 3.30 crore for double laning of 8-km stretch of the Lal Dhank-Paonta-Rohru road.



Rally on road safety
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, March 27
Members of the "Road Survivors", a group of riders having a common bond of riding Royal Enfield Bullet motor cycle, today held a "ride safe" rally covering various parts of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.

According to Mr Aman Dhiman, president of the group, more than 20 riders, including three female riders, took part in the rally to create awareness of road safety measures.

He said, "We love to go distant places to satiate our thirst for exploring different areas, be it a mountain range like Ladakh or sea shore in Goa". He said on March 12 the group completed two years with numerous rides under the belt.



Chandigarh-Leh flights cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Indian Airlines has withdrawn Flight IC 7483 and Flight IC 7484 scheduled to fly between Chandigarh and Leh and back, respectively. Both flights are scheduled for Thursdays.

The flights have been withdrawn due to operational reasons till further notice, an official press note said.



Resident forum complains of poor lighting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The Resident Welfare Forum, Sector 46, has complained that several streetlights are out of order in the Sector.

Apart from security risk, poor lighting was a traffic hazard, it said, adding that despite repeated complaints to the SDO (Electricity), the problem had not been taken care of.



Boy missing, police unmoved

Chandigarh, March 27
Mr Dukhi Ram of Kansal village has been running from pillar to post to get an FIR lodged after his son went missing.

Mr Dukhi Ram alleged that his son Lal Bahadur, a class I student at a village private school, went missing on the night of March 19 when he had gone out to play at the village. He approached the Naya Gaon police post on March 22 in this connection.

However, his repeated pleas to the police to register a case failed and he was asked to come again, he alleged. TNS



Biz Clip

VAT resented: With the implementation VAT from April 1, the maximum retail price (MRP) of biscuits will go up by 5 per cent. Opposing 12.5 per cent VAT on biscuit manufacturers, the president of the Federation of Biscuit Manufacturers of India and chairman of Surya Foods and Agro Limited, Mr B.P. Aggarwal, said imposing 12.5 per cent tax on biscuits would double their burden as they had already been paying 8 per cent excise duty on biscuits. Later, he unveiled the company’s new scheme titled `` Priya Gold Khaao or Khelo''. TNS


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