C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Carnival ends with fashion fiesta
Tribune News Service

Artistes perform a Rajasthani dance at the Chandigarh Carnival in Sector 10, Chandigarh
Artistes perform a Rajasthani dance at the Chandigarh Carnival in Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Sunday.

A blindfolded Nihang breaks a coconut placed on the head of a person at the Chandigarh Carnival in Chandigarh
A blindfolded Nihang breaks a coconut placed on the head of a person at the Chandigarh Carnival in Chandigarh on Sunday.

A cyclist tries to balance his bicycle at the Chandigarh Carnival in Sector 10, Chandigarh
A cyclist tries to balance his bicycle at the Chandigarh Carnival in Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
— Tribune photo
s by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 27
A grand fashion fiesta based on exclusive creations by the outgoing batch of the National Institute of Fashion Design brought the curtains down on the two-day Chandigarh Carnival at the Leisure Valley here today. The fun and frolic had everything for the visitors, right from toddlers to senior citizens.

The day saw an overwhelming response to the event which this year saw introduction of new concepts. The film city pavilion put up by ITFT, Institute of Tourism and ‘Apna Vehra’ by CITCO was the favourite with the holiday crowd. Floats on rickshaws designed as ‘Santa Claus’, ‘Pokemon’ and ‘Fairy Queen’ were visible all around.

If there were dancing troupes in one corner, there were joy rides in the other. Artistes from Kala Chetna, Panchkula, presented bhangra, Jhummar and Himachali Natti dance. Bazigars from Zira and gatka performance added to the variety. For art lovers, a stall had been erected by the Fine Arts Department to allow the budding artistes to paint a picture, draw a sketch, shape a mud sculpture or spin a potter’s wheel.

Continuing with its practice of putting up a stall on traffic awareness, the Chandigarh traffic police conducted a test to judge the awareness of the participants on traffic signs and traffic rules. Of the 200 participants, the winners were Arvind Seth 1, Puneet Talwar 2 and Tarun 3. They were awarded Rs 1000, Rs 500 and Rs 250 each.

The film city pavilion which had been erected to familiarise people with media and entertainment industry, attracted huge crowds. At the pavilion information about the complete process of film making and production of radio and television programmes right from their launch to completion was disseminated to the people. Lookalikes of Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Krishma Kapoor and Govinda added to the excitement.

At the entrance to the venue, a replica of the Eiffel Tower of Paris was an instant hit among the visitors. A French villa had been erected which depicted French cuisine, French culture, French films, French music, French costumes and French games.

As the day advanced, the NIFD annual passing out fashion show featured 24 different collections conceptualized and prepared by over 84 students. The themes were metamorphosis, jewelled fantasy, mosaic, parinaya, caught in the web, aadab arz hai, and rise of the machine, yards, tattoos, 9 yards, sultanat and 9 to 5 phenomenon.



Park to commemorate Sahibzadas’ martyrdom
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
A theme park will be constructed at Chamkaur Sahib to commemorate the 300 years of martyrdom of Sahibzadas Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh of Guru Gobind Singh in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib.

According to Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Punjab Tourism, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister, the theme park would depict Sikh historical events with focus on the battle of Chamkaur Sahib. He added that a world class memorial to preserve and promote the saga of events linked with the martyrdom of the elder Sahibzadas would be built at a cost of Rs 13 crore.

Mr Kang said approximately 10 acres would be acquired for the purpose. He stressed that the park would be designed to project the valour of the Sahibzadas who fought the formidable army of the Mughals. Mr Kang pointed out that the announcements were made by the Punjab Government on different Sikh religious centenaries were being honoured.

At Muktsar a memorial park and Mukate Minar at a cost of Rs 191 lakh had been constructed and four gates at different entries to Muktsar had been constructed at a cost of Rs 76 lakh to commemorate the martyrdom of 40 Muktas (liberated ones). Similarly the stadium in Government College, Muktsar, is being constructed at an approximate cost of Rs 2 crore.



Suicide by retired roadways employee
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, November 27
Children playing in the Sector 14 park noticed the body of 58-years-old Om Parkash hanging from a tree opposite his house in Government Housing Board colony here today. Incidentally a grievances removal meeting under the chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister took place nearby but the body of the deceased was not spotted by anyone due to dense foliage. According to police sources, Om Parkash, a head mechanic in Haryana Roadways, had retired about two months back having attained superannuation. As per the family members the deceased was missing since today morning and left home on the pretext of throwing garbage in nearby garbage bin.

Om Parkash is survived by his wife Surinder, two sons, Balbir and Varinder and two married daughters.

The reason of the suicide is yet not known as the deceased did not leave any suicide note. The police has stated the investigations and proceedings under Section 174, CrPC.



Traffic cops beware, she is watching you
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, November 27
The Chandigarh Traffic Police has assigned a policewoman armed with a video camera, to keep an eye on policemen indulging in corrupt practices. Not only this, a computer will now decide and assign the daily area of duties to various traffic police personnel which was earlier being done by a traffic administrator.

The sources in the Traffic police said woman Sub-Inspector (SI) Jaswinder Kaur has been deputed in charge of the Chandigarh Traffic Police’s internal vigilance cell.

The officer will keep an eye on those deputed at ‘lucrative’ points and initiate action on the spot by recording the statements of the people being harassed by policemen unnecessarily. The sources said, “Generally it is found that reaction to a complaint is instant. During the course of inquiry they give up due to tedious proceedings or are influenced by guilty policemen in the process. Taking note of this flaw, the vigilance officer has been given a camera to record the statement on the spot and to leave nothing to chance”.

Taking a step further in this direction the mobile phone number of the incharge of the traffic police vigilance cell has been put on a signboard outside the Sector 29 Traffic Police Lines. The officer will initiate inquiries against the accused cop on the basis of the allegation levelled by the complainants. Besides this, the vigilance officer will also keep an eye on the internal activities of the Traffic police. The traffic police has a force of 140 Home Guard jawans and constables, adds the sources.

The sources say that further two high powered radars have been purchased to check the drivers zipping on city roads and violating speed limits. The radars are capable of recording the speed of a vehicle from about half-a-kilometre.

While confirming the developments, the UT Superintendent of Police (Traffic and Security), Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, said, “We are taking various steps to keep the corrupt elements under check and the vigilance cell is a step in this direction. Earlier, there were complaints of favouritism in assigning duties in the areas as the officer incharge was putting his men at certain points. Now we have eliminated this practice by entrusting this job to a computer. The data of names and number of policemen have been fed in the computer.



“Teacher not taking classes”

Chandigarh, November 27
Residents of Masol village, Kharar, have complained that the teacher posted at Government Elementary School in the village was not regularly taking classes.

The issue was highlighted during the visit by the Animal Husbandry Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, to the village yesterday.

The teacher was on leave and the circle in charge of the area had not posted another teacher in his place.

The villagers lamented that a standby teacher was sent for two days. But after that no teacher came to take classes. The village is located in an inaccessible area. TNS



Passing Thru

Pavneesh Kumar
Pavneesh Kumar, Controller of Examinations, CBSE, Delhi

When will the grading system be introduced in the CBSE?

The new grading system is being introduced from Class V to IX in all schools from the 2007-08 academic year. A five point grading system upto Class V, a seven point grading from Class VI to VIII , and a nine point grading in Class IX has been recommended. We have also decided that continuous and comprehensive evaluation of students, throughout the year, will be done.

What are the other reforms in the examinations to be conducted by CBSE?

Students will now get an additional 15 minutes for reading the question papers. During this time, a student can plan his strategy to attempt the examination, besides be relieved of stress. Besides, new subjects have been introduced like skill education and creating virtual laboratories. Practical marks in science have been increased from 25 to 40, while practicals in social science have been introduced.

Though a lot of emphasis is laid on sports, schools affiliated to CBSE do not have the basic sports infrastructure. Comment.

We make sure that schools adhere to the CBSE norms, including norms for school sites. However, in metros, where land prices have shot up and large sites are not available, we have relaxed the norms for size of school site. Regular checks are done to ensure that sports is encouraged in affiliated schools.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Crime against women on the rise
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Chandigarh continues to be unsafe for women and girls. The registration of three criminal cases regarding violation of their dignity in the city during the past 24 hours is a testimony to this.

Sources in the local police said the cases included an attempt to rape a minor after kidnapping her and a harassment for dowry matter. An eve-teasing case was also registered by the police.

Giving details, the sources said a case of attempt to rape, criminal intimidation and other offences was registered by the local police against Bapu Dham Colony residents Mohammad Sakil and Gulsher under Sections 363, 366, 376, 511, 342, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

They had allegedly kidnapped a minor belonging to the same colony before attempting to rape her. The victim was also threatened, the sources said, adding that accused Mohammad Sakil had been taken into custody by the police. Further investigations into the matter were on.

Regarding the dowry harassment case, the sources said Seema Jaswal of Sector 44 alleged that she was harassed by her husband Jagdeep, alias Lucky, of Mohali’s Phase IX. Taking up a complaint in the matter, a case of criminal breech of trust and subjecting a married woman to cruelty was registered at the Sector 34 police station under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC.

The sources added that a Hallo Majra resident was arrested by the police for indulging in eve-teasing in a case registered under Section 294 of the IPC. The accused was later bailed out. Further investigations in the matter were on, the sources said.

They further added that such cases of kidnapping, molestation, eve-teasing and even rape were on the rise in the city. They added that 43 cases of kidnapping and abduction had already been registered by the police from January till September this year, against a total of 54 last year.

Otherwise, as many as 255 cases of kidnapping and abduction were registered by the police from January 2000 to December last year. In a substantial number of these cases, the dignity of women victims was violated. Otherwise, 18 cases of rape were registered by the Chandigarh Police last year. As many number of FIRs were registered the year before that.

The sources agreed that “statistics do not provide the real picture”. For, a large number of cases involving outrage of modesty and eve-teasing go unreported because so many women prefer not to talk about it.



Priest who is also a lawyer
Tribune News Service

Father Shaji George
Father Shaji George

Chandigarh, November 27
As a priest, he preaches family bonding and values, but as a lawyer he fights for the rights of his clients filing for divorces.

Father Shaji George has managed to maintain a fine balance between his duty as a priest, and his profession as a lawyer. One of the first priests of the Indian Orthodox Church to have undertaken the study of law, and begin practice in the Rajasthan High Court, Fr. Shaji George is now planning to start his practice in Chandigarh.

Currently the priest of the St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Sector 46, Fr. Shaji says he took up law as a profession to help the poor. “Legal services, as are education and healthcare, the most expensive. As a result, a lot of poor persons cannot afford legal aid. My clientele is generally the lower income group from the parish of the Church,” he says.

Ordained as a priest in 1993, he has worked primarily in North India. “ During my first tenure in Hauz Khas, Delhi, a fellow priest was suspended and he could not fight for his legal rights because of legal aid being expensive. When I was transferred to Udaipur, I enrolled at the University Law College. After completing law, I practised at the Rajasthan High Court and later in Dubai, during my posting at St Thomas Orthodox Church. I have been taking up civil cases, mostly related to family disputes,” he says.

He says he had obtained the permission to practice law from the Supreme Head of the Indian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews I. When asked if he faced any predicament in dealing with divorce cases, while he preached on family bonding, he says, “ I try and counsel the couples, but if they are adamant to annul the marriage, as a lawyer, my professional ethics demand that I take up the case”.



Jan Hit Samiti function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Jan Hit Samiti (Regd.) Patiala, organised its annual function at Central Library today. Mr O.P. Kaushish, Founder, Jan Hit Samiti, welcomed Mr Vishnu Sharma, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Patiala. The function was presided over by Mr K.V.S. Sidhu. The other guests of honour were Mr B.K. Kalra, AGM, OBC Bank, Mr K.S. Sandhu AGM, SBOP, Mr J.Roy Mangla, Chairman, Pulkan Press and others.

Winter uniforms were delivered to 860 adopted and needy students. In addition old age pension was also distributed to 95 aged persons.

The Jan Hit Samiti was founded by Mr O.P. Kaushish, in 1987. Mr Vinod Sharma, secretary of the samiti revealed that the samiti had adopted more than 200 students and was giving financial aid and sewing machines to poor girls on their marriage.

Mr B.S. Saini, President, Jan Hit Samiti, appealed to all the members to donate generously.



Gurpurb celebrations in Sector 38-West
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated by residents of Sector 38-West in the park opposite the MIG/LIG houses here today.

Kirtan by ragi jathas, including Bhai Nirmal Singh, hazoori ragi, Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Bhai Harinderpal Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib, Bibi Baljit Kaur of Talwara, and Bhai Sirtaj Singh of Sector 38 gurdwara (Shahpur) was performed after 'akhand path'.

'Guru Ka Langar' was also served on the occasion.



Reduce price of CHB flats in Sec 49: BJP

Chandigarh, November 27
The local unit of the BJP today urged the Chandigarh Administration to reduce the prices of Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flats being built in Sector 49.

According to a press note, the exorbitant rates for one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats in its recent housing scheme was shocking. The CHB was behaving like a private builder, it alleged.

Owning a flat in Chandigarh would become just a dream if the CHB did not bring down the price of a two-bedroom flat fixed at Rs 32 lakh, it added.

It urged the Union Home Ministry to convene an all-party meeting to frame a proper housing policy. TNS



Strike to hit power supply on Dec 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The power supply to the city is likely to be affected on December 8 with the UT Powermen Union deciding to observe a complete strike.

According to a press note, the union has decided to boycott the work on December 7. A legal notice has been served upon the UT Administration in this connection.

The press note alleged that the administration had been dilly-dalling on the implementation of the demands, which had already been agreed upon by it.

The employees are also agitating for redesignating of the post of the RTM to ALM, creation of new posts, filling of vacant posts and taking back of the charge-sheets and suspension orders to certain employees.



Sector 38-West HIG (L) agency office-bearers

Chandigarh, November 27
Mr SK Budhiraja was elected president of the HIG (Lower) Group Agency in the elections held today. The other office-bearers are : vice-president — Mr S. Kumar ; general secretary — Mr KM Bhandari; treasurer — Mr OP Soni; and executive member — Mrs Vinod Yogita. — TNS



4 held for carrying liquor illegally
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 27
The local police has arrested four persons from different parts of the city for carrying liquor illegally. In two separate accidents, a scooterist and a cyclist and his pillion rider were injured. Besides this a scooter was reportedly stolen from the city.

About the seizure of illegally liquor, sources in the police said Rakesh, alias Kalu, of Sector 38-D, was held on the allegations of allegedly carrying seven bottles and 27 nips of countrymade liquor from near the crossing of Sector 38 and 40 on Saturday. Similarly, Tinnu of Dadumajra Colony was taken in custody for illegally carrying four bottles of countrymade liquor from his residence. Amrik Singh of Maloya village was arrested with three bottles while Muni Lal, alias Manu of Dadumajra Colony, was picked up with five bottles of countrymade liquor. In all the four different incidents, cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them.


A scooterist, Mr Mahavir of Transport Area, Sector 26, was injured after his scooter was hit by a Himachal Roadways bus near the Transport traffic light point, late last night. He suffered serious injuries in the accident and was admitted to the PGI. A case of causing hurt by rash and negligent driving has been registered against Kuldeep Singh of Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, the driver of the bus.

In another incident, a cyclist, Sonu, a resident of Daria village, was injured after being hit by an unidentified vehicle near a small chowk in Hallomajra village on Saturday. In the mishap he and pillion rider Rekha sustained minor injuries. They were rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. A case has been registered against the driver of the unidentified vehicle.

Scooter stolen

Mr Honey Verma of Sector 22-C has lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his LML Vespa scooter (PB-44-2942) was stolen from Sector 35 market on Saturday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.



Woman’s purse snatched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 27
Two scooterists managed to snatch a purse from a woman travelling in rickshaw this evening.

Giving details, police sources said Devinder Kaur of Sector 22 in her complaint to the police alleged that two youngsters riding on a white scooter snatched her purse containing some cash and some other articles. The incident took place in Sector 22 at around 8 p.m. when Devinder Kaur was on her way to home from the Sector 20 market. Interestingly, there were two nakas nearby. Meanwhile, Chandigarh Police today set up as many as 100 special pickets in the city to curb such incidents.



TCS, Wipro to seek SEZ status
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Wipro will seek the special economic zone (SEZ) status for their ventures in Mohali. Over 60 acres of land in Industrial Area Phase VIII B here has been granted to the two companies for the establishment of their software development centres.

If granted Mohali will have four such zones. Quark and Ranbaxy here have already been granted this status by the Government of India.

The allotment committee of the Punjab government has granted 25 acres to TCS and 40 acres to Wipro under the off-the-shelf scheme.

Wipro has planned to apply for a product specific special economic zone status for the development of software and IT enabled services.

The Wipro project cost would be Rs 1336 crore which would be met through internal funding with employment potential of 9060 persons.

Sources added that TCS had informed the Punjab Government that they planned to set up a global development centre at Mohali and would also avail the SEZ status from the Government of India. The centre would have a built up area of 75000 square feet with an envisaged investment of Rs 25 crore with an employment potential of 575 persons.

However, it was noted by the allotment committee that the two companies had not submitted the requisite earnest money of 20 per cent of the cost of the plot/cost of the land.

An SEZ status for a particular industrial belt is deemed foreign territory for tariff and trade operations. Getting an SEZ status thus means getting a host of exemptions.

All SEZ units and SEZ developers are exempted from the payment of sales tax/VAT, purchase tax, octroi, electricity duty on power purchased from the Punjab State Electricity Board, stamp duty and registration fee on purchase of land by developer for establishing SEZ and first sale of plots/land in SEZ and education, infrastructure or any other cess. SEZ status for a particular industrial belt is deemed foreign territory for tariff and trade operations. Since development of SEZs is expected to promote establishment of self contained areas supported by world class infrastructure oriented towards export promotion, getting an SEZ status means getting a host of exemptions.

For units inside the zone, powers under the Industrial Disputes Act and other related Acts would be delegated to the “Development Commissioner” and the entire zone would be declared as a public utility service under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.

No authority/representative of any department/agency of the Punjab Government can carry out a physical inspection of an SEZ without prior approval of the development commissioner of SEZ.



SBOP organises customers’ meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
More than 60 customers participated in a customers meet organised by State Bank of Patiala (specialised personal banking), Sector 8-C yesterday. Mr S. Sree Rama Murty, Deputy General Manager of the bank, presided over the meet.

The Assistant General Manager, Mr S.L. Garg, sought the suggestions of the customers for improving banker-customer relationship and services provided by the bank. The business of the branch has gone up to Rs 170 crore with the active involvement of the customers, he added.

The bank would also be starting Internet banking very shortly.

In another such meet organised at Phase-7 branch of Mohali, Mr Garg elaborated on various loan schemes and assured the customers of the bank of immediate credit of outstation cheques of Rs 15,000 and immediate credit of local cheques without any ceiling. All the branches of the bank are interconnected and customers can operate their account from any branch.

The Chief Manager of the branch, Mr Ajay Sareen, said the bank was selling the products of SBI Mutual Fund, SBI Life, SBI Credit Card and United India Insurance Company Ltd. The bank, he said, was also giving free ATM cum debit cards to all customers.


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