C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Major traffic jam for 6 hours
Haryana Minister Venod Sharma stranded
Our Correspondent

Chandi Mandir, July 2
Hundreds of tourists and other passengers were put to a great hardship throughout the day following a major traffic jam due to re-carpeting of the Chandigarh -Shimla highway by the Haryana Public Works Department, here today.

The traffic jam lasted for over six hours between the Majri Chowk-Chandi Mandir stretch of the highway that forced the vehicles to cross the highway at a snail’s pace.

Following the blockage, traffic on the highway was disrupted and there were long queues of vehicles on either side of the highway. Vehicles were lined along the either side of the highway starting from Pinjore.

The Panchkula police had a tough time in controlling the heavy volume of traffic. While passengers travelling in the long route vehicles were the worst affected, local residents took link roads to reach their respective destinations.

A large number of tourists heading towards Shimla and other tourist places in Himachal from Chandigarh and the National Capital Region of Delhi and in reverse direction had a tough time as they remained stranded in the traffic jam for hours in this sweltering heat of July. The heat was untolerable for the kids accompanying their parents.

“It took me three hours to reach my native place, Surajpur, from Panchkula as the motorists, especially a cavalcade of VVIP’ and VIPs violated the rules in taking their turn to cross the stretch first,” claimed Mrs Surjit Kaur, a resident of Surajpur village.

The traffic was completely restored late in the evening.

Mr Venod Sharma, Excise and Taxation Minister of Haryana, also got stranded in the jam when he was heading for Pinjore to inaugurate Mango Mela being organised at the Yadvindra Gardens.



ZP poll: workers to get two-hour leave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
In the wake of the Zila Parishad election tomorrow, the UT Election Commissioner has directed the owners of private establishments, factories and shops to allow short leave of two hours to their workers so that they can cast their votes tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr S. P. Marwaha, State Election Commissioner, Chandigarh, said all arrangements for a free and fair conduct of these elections had been made.

As many as 784 Chandigarh police personnel have been deputed at 50 polling stations. The Election Commissioner said the IGP, Chandigarh, had informed the commission that no polling station in the city had been marked as sensitive.

Mr Marwaha said nearly 43,500 voters were expected to cast their votes. When asked about the voters whose names were missing from the electoral rolls, he said these persons could show their voter ID-cards to cast their votes.

He said election observers had been directed to videograph any election-related irregularity. The expenditure on the conduct of these elections was expected to be nearly Rs 40 lakh.

Mr Marwaha said there were 36 candidates in the fray in nine wards of the Zila Parishad.

The counting of votes would be done at three centres-the Government College for Boys, Sector 11; B.Ed College, Sector 20; and Engineering College, Sector 26. Counting will begin at 8 am on July 5.



3,209 varieties of mangoes on display
Our Correspondent

Pinjore, July 2
The two-day annual mango mela has transcended beyond its normal ‘mela’ significance and attained excellence in innovative research and strategic marketing of mangos in Haryana, observed Venod Sharma, Haryana Minister for Excise and Taxation and Forests.

He inaugurated the 14th annual mango mela organised by Haryana Tourism and the Department of Horticulture at the historic Yadavindra Gardens here at Pinjore today. The mela has been gaining popularity in view of its varied achievements in the field of germ plasm collection and identification of new mango species through an interstate participation of mango growers, added Venod Sharma.

He went round the mela and evinced keen interest in a number of varieties of mangoes displayed there. Talking to mediapersons, he disclosed that the steps would be taken to make the mela more useful for mango growers and entrepreneurs engaged in the producing mango products.

Besides, it was aimed at acquainting the people, especially the mango growers, with the latest technical know-how and providing them a common platform to share their experiences with each other. He reiterated that closing of zoo at the Yadavindra Gardens was inevitable under national policy.

Earlier R.S. Tyagi, Joint Director, disclosed that in all 3209 entries had been considered for participation. These included 2569 for mango varieties and 640 for mango products from Punjab and Himachal, while Haryana lead with 2720 entries. In all 106 prizes for individuals and institutions will be awarded to winners in respective categories by the Haryana Chief Minister tomorrow.

The noted scientist and extension specialist of PAU at Chandigarh, Dr Satish Narula said that besides traditional varieties, the farmers had put up various new species grown with innovative research and experimentation. This would help in sharing expertise by the research institutes and fellow mango growers through exchange of ideas.



Allotment of sites at IT park to be revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
To facilitate entrepreneurs, especially those of the medium and small scale companies, to set up their ventures and to give a major impetus to the upcoming Chandigarh Technology Parks, Gen (Retd) S.F. Rodrigues, the UT Administrator, has given sanction for the revision of allotment rules of sites at information technology parks in the city.

A notification to this effect has been issued. These rules will also be applicable to the existing Chandigarh Technology Park (CTP) in respect of sites, which are yet to be allotted, and to the upcoming project of the Technology Habitat.

As per the amended rules; IT/ITES/BPO companies which are of small or medium size can also be allotted land subject to certain conditions, including that they should have a sustainable project and are capable of investing and setting up their facility as per the rules.

The rules have been amended to encourage companies of all sizes, large, small and medium and to encourage investment in the high-end areas, including software research and development. This will provide employment to the youth and to boost the economy.

The revised rules along with the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status of CTP would provide great incentives to technology companies to invest in the city.

The company will not be allowed to transfer or sub-let the premises for a minimum period of six years. The allotment will be conditional and will depend on the fact that the company will build and occupy the space within one year from the date of allotment. The applications will be screened by a high-powered committee of the administration.



Docs warn against viral fever
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Sore throat, mild to moderate fever and a slight pain in the back are afflicting many city residents, who are increasingly falling a prey to the seasonal viral fever. Doctors across the city clinics agree that the number of viral fever patients increases around this time of the year as seasonal factors cause infections resulting in sore throats, cough and fever.

“Though all fevers cannot be described as viral, in general viral fever cases do take place in this season. People experience mild to moderate fever, a sore throat, mild headache, bodyache, ache in the spine and a bitter taste in the mouth,’’ Dr G. Dewan of General Hospital, Sector 16, says listing common symptoms of the viral fever.

“Along with viral fever, gastro cases (stomach ailments) and dysentery are other common problems among city residents. Due to heat and humidity, people have to pay a lot of attention to what they are eating in the summers to avoid the common ailments,’’ says a private doctor at a Sector 29 clinic.

Viral fever, say doctors, lasts anything between five to seven days. But what they warn against is self-medication or overlooking the symptoms, delaying treatment. “It is a must for the patient to consult a doctor in case the fever persists. Many a time patients indulge in self-medication, which should be completely avoided. In fact, all investigations, including the diagnostic tests, should be carried out to rule out any complications,’’ adds Dr Dewan.

However, till a patient reaches a doctor, he can safely rely on a dose of paracetamol and go in for tap water bath, if the body temperature is not more than 102 degrees. In case the body temperature is fairly high, sponging the forehead, chest, abdomen and legs is the best option to provide some relief.

“Viral fever is contagious in nature. That is why patients should be isolated quickly, especially in an air-conditioned environment where the chances of spreading of the infection are far greater due to closed doors and circulation of the same air in the room,’’ adds the doctor. 


  • Mild to moderate temperature
  • Sore throat
  • Bodyache and backache
  • Bitter taste and fatigue
  • Avoid self-medication and consult a doctor for an antibiotic dose for treatment.



Passing Thru

How did you get into career counselling?

Usha Albuquerque
Usha Albuquerque, career counsellor
and guide

A few years ago I was producing a television show called ‘Hum Honge Kamyaab’ for Zee TV after which I was often asked to speak on career opportunities. That marked a shift towards this profession.

What kind of services does your organisation ‘Careers Smart’ offer?

We provide guidance to young students and conduct workshops all over the country on education opportunities in India and abroad and career counselling in different professional steams. We also focus on personality development, communication skills and also help in preparing resumes.

What are the most sought after career options these days?

Most fields are booming but the IT and related sectors are doing well. Of late, biotechnology management has really come up in a big way. Medicine and management are also high on youngsters’ agendas.

What are the five tips that you would like to give aspiring students.

First, follow your heart and give your best to whatever you do. Collect as much information from the Internet and research your options well. Look at alternatives. Your first choice may not always work out.

— Mehak Mehta



Father of accused writes to UT Administrator
Chandani suicide case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Adding a twist to the controversy, the father of Samidha — named as an accused in Chandani suicide case — today expressed apprehension that the police was acting with mala fide intentions to extract money by implicating her in the matter.

In a letter to the UT Administrator, father Pawan Kumar Bansal expressed apprehension about Samidha’s safety. He added that highhandedness and haste shown by the local police may actually force Samidha to take some extreme step.

“If something like this happens, I will hold the police and the administration responsible,” he asserted.

Samidha, along with Rakesh, were booked by the Chandigarh Police under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code after Panjab University student Chandani ended her life by jumping into the Sukhna Lake last month. The victim reportedly wanted to tie the knot with Rakesh. He and Samidha were working together with a cellular operator.

Samidha’s father claimed that legally his daughter could not be made co-accused in the case on the statement issued by the victim’s sister. The statement could very well have been issued under police pressure. He added that Samidha’s name should be deleted from the first information report registered in the matter, otherwise her bright career would be spoilt.



From scrap to beauty with love
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
A tired old beetle and one man’s passion and enthusiasm to save it from being scrapped! Today, Pritipal Singh is the proud owner of a 1968 classic, original, ragtop Volkswagen Beetle, which he salvaged from Ludhiana for Rs 25,000 and laboured for a whole year, restoring it to its former shiny resplendent red glory!

This tale is one of sweet success. For Pritipal Singh, a resident of Sector 30, it was love at first sight when he chanced to see “Herbie Rides Again,” a movie about a ‘super car with supersonic powers’ when he was merely 15. It was on that momentous occasion that Pritipal resolved to own a ‘charming’ Volkswagen Beetle.

“I was always passionate about cars. My father is an industrialist fabricating metal sheets. We used to live on the factory premises in the early years and it is from seeing all the machinery and equipment that I developed a zeal for all things mechanical,” says Pritipal, who now works with his father fulltime.

A year ago, a relative told Pritipal about a Beetle that had not been used for 10 to 15 years and was going to be sold for its scrap value in Ludhiana. This was the chance that Pritipal had been waiting for! The deal was struck and the ‘scrap metal’ found place pride of in Pritipal’s factory and the restoration work began. “I ripped of all the body parts, repaired and cleaned each piece, remodelled some parts like the rear fenders which were fabricated from fibre glass and reupholstered the entire car.”

Each piece has been lovingly refurbished or carefully replaced. “I got the broken and missing windows made to original specifications all the way in Sirhind since those manufacturers specialise in windows for buses and trucks and have the knowhow about a variety of makes,” explains a visibly proud Pritipal. But, the most satisfying part of this refurbishment has been the tricky merging of a ‘Gypsy’ engine with the original Volkswagen gearbox. “It was through a series of trials and errors, putting it in and pulling it out. But today not only has it all come together but the car runs beautifully too.”

For him, the joy of restoring this beautiful car has been worth every single paisa. Completed at Rs 1 lakh, the car has caught the fancy of a number of aficionados but Pritipal is not willing to sell it-ever. “I want my son to keep this car as a heritage piece after me.” For, a legacy it already is; especially with its ragtop or old sunroof which is a rarity in itself.

Pritipal is now looking for a Karman Ghia, ‘a flattened version’ of his beloved Beetle and a Triumph Spitfire which he wants to restore as his next project. Another 1968, Volkswagen, in poor condition and lying in his factory, is being saved for his son. “He will restore it someday, just like I have done mine.”



Popular society functioning under a cloud
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
With allegations and counter-allegations flying high, the functioning of the Popular Cooperative House Building Society, Sector 48-B, has come under a cloud.

While a section of the members has alleged lack of transparency in the functioning of the society putting the members to financial loss, the president of the society, Mr Davinder Singh Aulakh, has termed the allegations as “baseless” and aimed at “blackmailing” the president and secretary.

Dr Geeta, vice-president of the society, who was served a show-cause notice for “spoiling” the reputation of the society by writing to the Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies (JRCS) about alleged irregularities, has demanded the intervention of the UT Administrator and the local MP to save ‘hard-earned” money of the members.

Dr Geeta alleged that the escalation cost had been calculated at about 60 per cent more than the original cost. While the contractor had been paid 90 per cent of the tendered amount, only about half of the work had been completed by him.

Despite the orders of the JRCS to supply certain documents to her, the president and secretary have failed to do so. The list of members along with address and updated till June 1, had not been supplied yet, members alleged.

Meanwhile, in her reply to the show-cause notice, Dr Geeta claimed that it was only the general body of the society which was competent to take up the issue regarding the expulsion of any member.

Picking up holes in the show-cause notice, Dr Geeta demanded the convening of the general body meeting to discuss various issues. She also sought action against the defaulter members and get her membership cancellation approved by the general body meeting.

On the other hand, refuting allegations of financial irregularities, Mr Aulakh claimed that with the passage of time the cost of construction had gone up. This coupled with the non-payment of dues by the members had delayed the construction.

In fact, the technical committee had approved the cost escalation and certain members were dilly-dallying on the payment of the dues, Mr Aulakh said adding that the construction work had resumed.

He threatened to move court against members levelling “wild allegations” against him.



Residents demand repair of roads
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 2
Residents Welfare Forum, Sector 69, has demanded immediate repair of roads which were in a pitiable condition causing inconvenience to the residents of the area.

Mr Yogesh Gupta, president, said that the poor condition of roads was brought to the notice of PUDA authorities a number of times over the past two years.

The Chief Administrator, PUDA, had then sanctioned a sum of Rs 78 lakh for the repair of roads. He said that tenders for the work were called on March 31 but were postponed at the last minute.

The tenders had so far not been reinvited.

The matter was brought to the notice of the authorities concerned but to no avail.

Mr Gupta said that the condition of the roads was deteriorating day by day. Rain water accumulated in the pot holes leading to problems.



Scrapping of flyover project condemned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The BJP president, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, today criticised the alleged scrapping of the flyover project at the Transport Chowk on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway.

In a letter to the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Mr Mahajan claimed that then Union Minister for Surface Transport, Maj-Gen B.C. Khanduri (retd), had formally announced the flyover at the chowk at a press conference here in 2003.

However, in the wake of lack of interest by the present MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, the Congress-led UPA Government seems to have put the project in the cold storage, the party spokesman, Mr Kehar Singh Koundel, alleged.

However, the letter welcomed the decision to upgrade the Chandigarh Airport to international standards.

A press note alleged that groupism in the Congress was having an adverse affect on the development works in the city.



Additional Commissioner to deal with mill encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
A meeting of the Mani Majra Development Committee (Pocket No 1-11) was held in the committee room of municipal corporation here today, under the chairmanship of Mr Surinder Singh, councillor.

The committee confirmed the minutes of the last meeting. It asked for the planning and drawings for shopping mall, two primary schools, one high school and double-storeyd parking with basement in pocket No 1, Mani Majra, from the Chief Architect, Chandigarh Administration, at the earliest.

The committee also asked officers concerned to expedite the residential scheme of 36 plots in pocket No 2 and another residential scheme of about 210 residential plots in pocket No 6, Mani Majra, for inviting applications on the pattern of HUDA at the earliest.

The committee further authorised the Additional Commissioner to settle the matter of encroachments by saw mill owners and to expedite the report of a committee regarding storm water underground waterfall.

The committee also asked to expedite the drawings from the chief architect for four lodging-cum-restaurant, two speciality hospitals in pocket No 2 and 3. 



New Rotary president takes over
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Rtn. R.K. Goyal took over as 29th president of Rotary Club Chandigarh Midtown on July 1.

The Rotary year 2005-06 marks the beginning of 2nd century of Rotary. During this year, the club under the leadership of president Goyal would undertake the projects like distribution of textbooks to the needy children of U.T., vocational courses on plumbing and home care nursing, night school at Sarangpur, health camps, artificial limbs and intra-ocular lenses etc.



Kochhar is Rotary Asst Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Dr G.S. Kochhar has been nominated Assistant Governor of Rotary District 3080, Zone 3, for 2005-06.

A former President of the Indian Medical Association, Dr Kochhar was the recipient of the Chikitsak Ratan Award from the Union Ministry of Health last year. He was honoured for his contribution in the fields of medicine, introduction of safe disposal of bio-medical waste in Chandigarh, rendering free service to the poor patients and for conducting polio corrective surgeries on polio-effected babies in UP.

He was also the recipient of the All-India Best IMA President Award and also the Best Rotary President Award. Dr Kochhar is chairman, Media and Publicity, Chandigarh Golf Club.



MC to start removing congress grass soon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 2
The local Municipal Council will be starting the work of removing congress grass from the areas that fell under its jurisdiction at a war-footing.

The tenders for the work of removing congress grass were being opened on July 4 and the work order in this regard would be given soon after.

Congress grass could be seen growing in abundance in open places, on road sides, in vacant plots etc. The problem was very acute in certain areas, including some industrial sectors as no grass had been removed from most parts of the town for the past more than six months.

The council was unable to carry out certain works relating to maintenance because the then Ropar Deputy Commissioner had put a stay on many estimates prepared for various works. Estimates for maintenance works were cleared by the general House about six months ago.

Mr Manjeet Singh Sethi, a municipal councillor, staying in Phase III A, said that congress grass was growing in plenty in some pockets of the area. He said it had become a good place for criminal elements to hid after committing a crime. He complained that road berms were being cleaned in his ward but the labourers were not simultaneously lifting the wild growth removed by them.

Many other residents had also been making complaints to the council in this regard. They had said that the presence of congress grass in various areas was creating health problems for them.

Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the council, said that the Deputy Commissioner had put a stay on the annual maintenance of various works. He said that such a move had brought all plans regarding maintenance of various works to a halt.

He said that had the congress grass been cut soon after the general House cleared the estimate for the work, the situation would not have been very bad.

But the civic body was helpless as the work could not be done in view of the stay imposed on the estimate. He said the council was unable to clean even the road berms.



Policy decision on lighting of parks sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Residents Coordination Committee, MIG-I Houses, Sector 40, has demanded that the municipal corporation should consider and make a policy decision to provide light in parks in various sectors so that people can visit them even after sunset.

They suggested that since light points were already there in the lanes of nearby parks, provision of a pole with a number of floodlights can be made by the MC.

The general secretary of the association, Mr S.K. Khosla, in a statement, said that there were more than 1500 parks, besides greenbelts, which were being maintained by the Municipal Corporation. Though many of these parks were guarded with railing and provided with playing equipments, as a matter of policy, there was no provision of light in these parks. He maintained that the horticulture department never took pain to water the plants planted by them or clear these parks of shrubs and wild congress grass.

At the onset of monsoons, the unwanted shrubs and the congress grass take the shape of a wild jungle. Consequently, these become breeding grounds for snakes. Owing to this problems, it is very difficult for the citizens of the city beautiful to make use of these parks effectively.

Apart from this, anti-social elements take the advantage of darkness and commit crimes such as unethical acts, smuggling, drug peddling, thefts and run away under the cover of darkness.



Two vehicles stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Two vehicles were stolen from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. In both incidents, cases of theft had been registered by the police and further investigations were on.

In a complaint submitted to the police, Mr Rajiv Sharma of Mani Majra said his Bajaj Chetak scooter, parked in front of a shop-cum-office in Sector 26, was stolen on July 1. In the other complaint, Mr Hans Raj Soni of Sector 39 said his scooty, also parked in front of a shop-cum-office in Sector 22, was stolen the same day.



Pickpocket, mobile phone snatcher held
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 2
The police has today arrested two thieves on charges of snatching a mobile phone and picking a pocket.

According to the police, the arrested persons are Hardeep Singh and Jaglal.

Hardeep Singh belonged to Ujala village falling under Ambala district and was staying as a paying guest in the town. He had yesterday allegedly snatched the mobile from a girl, Gagandeep Kaur, near PTL chowk. He was today arrested from Phase IV while going on a scooter.

It is alleged that Jaglal was arrested when he tried to flee after removing a purse from the pocket of a person near Bassi cinema in Phase II. An accomplice of Jaglal, however, managed to escape. The police said that Jaglal hailed from Uttar Pradesh and lived at present in colony no. 5 in Chandigarh.



Money transfer from abroad made easy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
The Department of Post is all set to launch value-added services for the public which will be made available at the doorstep of the customers.

Addressing a customer meet of the Western Union Money Transfer at her office here on Thursday, Ms Manisha Bansal, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ludhiana City Division, said by introducing the facility of money transfer from abroad through Western Union, the postal department had made the process of transfer of funds from overseas a lot easier.

“More and more people are making use of this service as receiving funds through post offices is lawful and risk-free. Moreover, the required amount of cash is always available at the post offices,” she added.

Mr Subhasish Mukhopadhyay, a representative of Western Union Money Transfer, who was present at the function, said the company had launched a promotional scheme under which bi-monthly lucky draws were being held for the customers availing the service of money transfer through post offices.

Ms Bansal handed over the prizes to the respective postal officials for being given to the winners.


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