C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The face of tragedy
Rs 17 lakh relief changes little for this accident victim
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Life has indeed been cruel to 17-year-old Akash. For the past seven years, life has been a miserable existence for this victim of road accident.

Even the announcement of a compensation of around Rs 17 lakh by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT), Chandigarh, has failed to bring smile to his face. For the boy is suffering from 100 per cent disability and his world is restricted to a small room in a Sector 40 house.

Completely paralysed, he requires a permanent attendant to look after him, according to his father, Avtar Singh, who fought back tears while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

At a time when Akash should have been playing with his friends, he cannot even step out of his bed. From feeding liquid diet through a pipe to keeping him clean, all has to be done by his parents.

Sitting along her husband, Balwinder Kaur, mother of the boy, says: “As if the tragic accident of our only child was no enough, money spent on his treatment made us penniless. We are under a huge debt incurred by medical expenses.

“We are also living under the threat of losing the house due to a case. Where will we go with our son? My relatives want to throw us out of the house. It has become difficult to meet even the daily expenditure of Rs 200 for his medication. A year after the accident, Akash started having fits and had to be put on liquid diet through a pipe. He now breathes through a pipe,” said the distraught father.

“With this money, I can at least afford the treatment, which could improve his health.”

When the boy was admitted to the emergency wing of the PGI, his father had to pursue the case of accident with the local police and attend on his son. He almost lost hope when the police recommended closing of the case as untraced.

Not willing to give up, Avtar Singh approached a lawyer in the local court to pursue the case in the MACT Tribunal in 2003. After a hearing, Additional District and Session Judge B.K. Mehta recently announced the compensation.

Unable to forget what the family had gone through in the past seven years, the victim’s father said it was on the morning of September 10, 1998 when his son was hit by a speeding Tata Sumo.

He was taken to the ICU at the PGI, from where he was discharged after 30 days with little improvement.

Doctors at the PGI declared him 100 per cent disabled and said he could not be operated upon as the injury was on a sensitive part of the brain.

“The doctors at the PGI told us that a surgery of the brain could have meant loss of life. We wanted to see our son alive and have been trying whatever possible with limited resources,” said the parents.



Wounds that will never heal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
Pushpa Sharma (65) has lost the will to live. A resident of Phase 11 here, Pushpa Sharma lost her entire family, including a son and two daughters, in a fatal accident that took place on Pathankot-Mukerian road this morning.

Pushpa’s son Dr Surinder Sharma (45), his wife Dr Sunita (40), their son Naveen (23), his wife Roshni (20), along with Pushpa’s two unmarried daughters Poornima (22) and Kavita (20), were killed in the accident.

The family was returning after paying obeisance at Vaishno Devi shrine for which they had left in their Maruti 800 on Friday.

The accident took place early this morning when the car had a head-on collision with a military truck. While Surinder, Naveen, Roshni, Poornima and Kavita were killed on the spot, an injured Sunita was taken out of the damaged vehicle and rushed to the Pathankot civil hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Fast losing her senses to shock, Pushpa is quiet but her daughter Madhu, who lives in Sector 66, Chandigarh, is inconsolable. The neighbourhood, in a state of disbelief, is now waiting for the dead bodies to arrive which are expected by tomorrow morning.

The neighbours said Surinder Sharma was a doctor and practising with his wife at Manikaran where their son Naveen was also working.



City records 1.3 °C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
There seemed no respite from the cold wave in spite of bright sunshine all through the day. The mercury dipped further to 1.3°C, the temperature falling to six degrees below normal, the lowest in the past four years. A maximum temperature of 17.6°C was recorded during the day.

The only other time the minimum temperature went lower than this was when the city recorded 1°C in 2001. The Director, Meteorological Centre, Mr Chatar Singh Malik, said, “The fall in the temperature is due to the dry and cold winds coming from the land. In the absence of moisture in the air the heat from the sun received during the day, escapes. This results in falling temperature.”

While moisture absorbs the heat, the clouds also act as a shield, trapping the day’s heat and relieving cold weather conditions. However, with the western disturbance still located over north Pakistan, it is unlikely that the cold wave will show signs of letting up.

“The winds sweeping across the region are coming from the land. These too are devoid of any moisture content, leading to fall in temperature. The moment it rains or clouds appear in the sky, the temperature will automatically rise,” he said.



School timings remain unchanged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
While the cold winds continue to keep the city residents indoors the school students are still braving the chill. Although schools in the Capital have been closed in view of the cold and foggy conditions the bright sun in Chandigarh has prevented the Education Department from changing the school timings.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the District Education Officer, Mr R.S. Goraya, stated that since the days were clear and sunny in Chandigarh, school timings had not been changed and there were no plans to take such a measure.

Meanwhile, some private schools have already changed the school timings. In government schools the timings remain the same. However, the parents do feel that the school timings should be changed, especially for the junior sections.



Cops shielding murder accused: aggrieved ASI
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 8
An Assistant Sub-Inspector, posted at the Police Headquarters here, has accused the Ambala police of shielding those involved in the murder of his 22-year-old son in May last year.

Addressing a press conference today, ASI Roshan Lal said the body of his son, Navneet, was thrown in the bed of the Tangri river after a brutal murder on May 16, 2005. A case was registered at the Mahesh Nagar, police station in Ambala.

The family came to know about the murder the next day after an employee at the Civil Hospital, where the body was taken for a postmortem, identified the victim as Navneet, who had been stabbed in the eyes, while multiple injury marks and abrasions were found on his neck.

The ASI alleged that though he raised suspicion on 15 persons, the police did not even question the suspects. Karamjit Singh and Babita were arrested in the case and the investigations were closed.

Later, Roshan Lal gave a representation to then DGP, Mr A.S. Bhatotia, stating that the main accused were still at large. He again approached the present DGP, Mr Nirmal Singh, who ordered that an inquiry be conducted by a two member committee. “However, no investigation was conducted in spite of the instructions by the DGP to the then SP (Crime), Mr Mohammad Akil,” he said.

Roshan Lal said those involved in the murder were influential persons and were threatening to eliminate his family. He said he was now planning to move court to plead for an inquiry into the matter by the CBI.

Meanwhile, Mr Mohammad Akil said investigations were conducted in a proper way. Two persons, including a woman, had been arrested in the case who had also admitted to their involvement in the case. “Roshan Lal had raised suspicion against some people, but he has failed to give any substantial reason for suspicion,” he said.



Cyclist succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 8
A cyclist yesterday succumbed to his injuries in the PGI after he was hit by a roadways bus on Friday.

Giving details of the accident, sources in the police said 40-year-old Gauri Shankar Yadav of Colony No. 4 was hit by a Haryana Roadways bus (HR-68-0648) near the Transport traffic light point.

The driver of the bus reportedly sped from the spot. The victim sustained serious head injuries in the accident and was taken to the PGI, where he died yesterday.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered against the unidentified bus driver in this regard.

The police said efforts were on to trace the accused.

The police said the body had been handed over to family of the deceased after a post-mortem examination. The victim is survived by his wife and children.



Parking passes to be issued today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
For the convenience of the public, the Municipal Corporation issued a press note today stating that passes for paid parking of four-wheelers and two-wheelers would be issued tomorrow and on January 10 from 9 am to 7 pm.

Passes for February would be issued from January 25 to February 10.



Mayor, team honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The newly elected Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh, Senior Deputy Mayor Shyama Negi and Deputy Mayor H.S. Lucky were felicitated at two civic receptions today. The first was organised at the Rajiv Gandhi Congress Bhavan, Sector 35, by Congress workers.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, urged the newly elected team to work for the welfare of people. He also called upon Congress workers to take up the issues concerning the general public. The Mayor stated that he would take special care of the areas falling in villages and colonies.

Later, a civic reception was organised by residents of Manimajra. The team was honoured by the Manimajra Beopar Mandal.

Meanwhile, the residents Coordination Committee, MIG-I Houses, Sector 40-C, Chandigarh, honoured the newly elected Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh, Senior Deputy Mayor Shyama Negi, and Deputy Mayor H.S. Lucky, besides Ward councillor Geeta Chaudhary yesterday.

Mr S.K. Khosla, general secretary of the coordination committee, spoke about the problems being faced by the residents. A memorandum of demands, including cleanliness of the forest area, recarpeting of internal roads, reopening of the post office and installation of streetlights in parks, was given to the Mayor.

Mr Surinder Singh assured the residents that since there was no financial crunch in the corporation, he would consider the demands. Committee president S.S. Negi thanked them for their visit.



Indo-Pak relations still not at pre-1965 war stage
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
“Despite the growing people-to-people contact, the relations between India and Pakistan have still not reached the stage at which they were before the 1965 war.”

This was stated here by Mr Imtiaz Alam, Secretary-General of the Pakistan chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), during an interaction with the mediapersons at the Chandigarh Press Club today.

Mr Alam is leading a 30-member delegation, which comprises politicians, businessmen, agriculturists and mediapersons.

Strongly advocating the need to continue the process of people-to-people contact, the veteran Pakistani journalist said the process should be taken to such heights by citizens that the ruling elite in the two countries would feel compelled to find solutions to the disputes marring the relations between Pakistan and India.

“As the politicians would find the ‘peace constituency’ growing, they would not like to lose the votes of its constituents,” he remarked.

He suggested that the citizens should increasingly tend to make the performance of bureaucrats, diplomats and others in the field of reducing tension between the two countries as the benchmark to judge their value.

“The solution to the problems between the two countries should be a byproduct of the people-to-people contact process, which should not depend on the solutions found by the rulers. Since war is no option to resolve the disputes, the negotiations as well as the people-to-people contact are the only alternatives available to us.”

He also expressed concern over the statements being issued by certain quarters in both countries and expressed the hope that instead of raising the tempers, the rulers should resort to diplomacy to keep the tempers cool.

Agreeing with an Indian journalist, Mr Alam said the media had been part of the problem. One of the objectives of SAFMA was to make the media a part of the solution (of the problems between the two countries).

Mr Alam said SAFMA would urge the Foreign Secretaries of the SAARC countries to implement at the earliest the decision taken by the Foreign Ministers at Dhaka last year that the mediapersons should be exempted from visa formalities while visiting the SAARC countries. He said visa formalities should be liberalised to promote tourism also in these countries.

The ideal situation, he said, would be when visas would be granted on the Wagah-Attari border itself.

Mr Alam also reiterated his demand for setting up of a “Peace Park” in no-man’s land along the Wagah-Attari border.

The 8 km x 1 km park would not need any visa or any government’s permission for visitors, who would be able to stay there. He said there would be resorts and conference halls in the park, where the people from the two countries would be able to exchange their views freely.

He said in near future exhibitions on mangoes, potatoes and industrial goods would be organised jointly in the two countries. He said Pakistan economy was strong enough to withstand any flow of goods from India. Earlier it withstood the invasion of Chinese goods.

The only problem was of the tariffs and para tariffs, which had to be resolved sooner than later. He said the things in which particular countries had advantage should not be included in the negative list on export-import business.

Earlier, the delegation was welcomed by the Club President and the General Secretary, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu and Mr Balwant Takshak, respectively.



IAF to train Navy MiG-29 crew 
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
With the Navy acquiring MiG-29K fighters for its fleet air arm, the Indian Air Force will be training some of the naval aviators and engineers on the technical aspects of the aircraft in Chandigarh.

Already two naval pilots have been trained at the MiG-27/29 TETTRA (technical type training School) at the Air Force High Grounds here, IAF sources revealed. Their course concluded a few days ago. The IAF also expects the Navy to send its engineers and technicians for training here.

The IAF moved its MiG-29 TETTRA to Chandigarh from Pune only a few months ago. It is responsible for training IAF pilots, engineers and technicians on all aeronautical, technical and structural aspects of the aircraft, including its airframe, engines, avionics, weapons systems and various sub-systems.

This is perhaps for the first time that the IAF is training naval aviation personnel. The MiG-29K, the naval carrier-borne version of the MiG-29 counter-air fighter in the IAF inventory, will be joining the Navy when the Admiral Gorkhskov (to re-christened INS Vikramaditya) aircraft carrier is commissioned in 2008.

IAF officers said it was still not clear whether the Navy would be setting up its own training establishments at a later stage to train its personnel on the MiG-29 or send its personnel to the IAF training establishment here to avoid duplication of basic infrastructure.

The MiG-29 would be the only fighter aircraft common between the two sister services, though there would be some differences between the two versions on account of different roles and performance requirements.

Presently, the Sea Harrier is the only combat aircraft operated by the Navy. Besides being a western-origin aircraft, its technology is also vastly different as it is a vertical take-off aircraft. Though the Navy operates several other aircraft and helicopters the only other aircraft in common with the IAF are the Chetak helicopter, the Do-228 light transport aircraft and the recently inducted Dhruv.

"Even if the Navy feels that it requires a separate training facility, the aviators and engineers we train now would form the core group of its establishment," an Air Force officer remarked. The Navy already has its own training institute, the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology, at Kochi which is the alma mater for the pilots, engineers and technicians in the naval air arm.



Celebrating girl child
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
Actions speak louder than words. While politicians and NGOs clamour incessantly against female foeticide and in favour of female empowerment, here is a community based effort that would go a long way in spreading the message.

Residents of Sector 71 here got together today to celebrate the first Lohri of the five girl children born in their locality during the past year. The idea was to welcome the children into the households, thank the Almighty for this precious gift and spread the message that girls are as welcome as boys.

Organised by members of the Park View Enclave Residents Welfare Society, it was an idea put forth by the newborn children’s grandparents.

“We have a very close knit group of 100 families living here and we noticed that in the past one year most of the couples in the colony have been blessed with daughters. This gave us an idea that this year we would celebrate a special lohri to welcome these girls,” said Mr Jagdish Kalra.

His son Harpal and daughter-in-law Preeti have been blessed with daughter Gursakhi.

For Wing Commander Bakshish Singh, it was a day of double celebrations. His daughter and son have been blessed with daughters Aiza and Manik. “Normally first Lohri celebrations are organised for son. But we decided that it is high time that daughters got their due. As far as we are concerned daughters are no less than sons,” he said.

Manmeet, daughter of Perneet and Major H.P.S. Sidhu, and Mehak, daughter of Sumit and Gitesh Malhotra, are the other two girls who are centre of all attention during the big bonfire that was lit up for the celebrations here this evening.

The women residents had another reason to cheer. “On this momentous day we have also decided to hand over the working of the Residents Welfare Society to women. Our association is managed by Defence officer and from today all powers have been transferred to women. If the country can be run by a woman then why not a welfare society?” said Mr Kalra.

And to start with, Mrs Sangeeta Aggarwal was unanimously chosen as the head of the society who would be choosing her own team to carry on the good work forward.



Karoran NAC: residents rue govt apathy
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
Residents of Karoran, Nayagaon and Kansal today protested against the failure of the state government to implement the notification by the Local Bodies Government to form Karoran NAC, comprising the three villages.

Addressing a gathering, Dashmesh Nagar Welfare Association president Dharam Dev, general secretary Pritpal Singh, cashier Jaswant Singh Cheema, member Arun Sharma, Ghar Bachao Committee chairman Surjit Singh, president Harbant Singh Bajwa, general secretary M.P. Singh and cashier Pritpal Singh said residents had the property in the village under habitation and cultivation and the village was no longer an erosion-prone area.

Member National Executive BJP Youth Wing and in-charge, organisational affairs, Jammu and Kashmir, Vineet Joshi said the folly committed by the present Punjab Government of making false promises of declaring Nayagaon as Notified Area Committee (NAC) needed to be condemned.

While on the one hand Cabinet Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang was making announcements like declaring NAC for Nayagaon, on the other nothing was being done in that direction.

Joshi further added that Nayagaon was not a lone case in Punjab as at least 470 villages were under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 — 157 in Ropar comprising Mohali, Kharar, Anandpur Sahib; 242 villages in Hoshiarpur comprising Mukerian, Garhshankar, Dasuya; 29 in Gurdaspur and 42 villages in Nawanshahr and Balachaur.

He further added that the Act, a century-old law formed under the British rule, was aimed at checking soil erosion due to rain and surprisingly even after Independence, Punjab was governed by this stringent Act.

Interestingly, Haryana, which was also part of Punjab till 1966, had already scrapped the Act.

They said the Act, which otherwise needed review after every 10, 15 and 30 years, had not been reviewed in people’s interest.



Road Safety Week concludes
Our Correspondent

An award distribution ceremony in progress on the conclusion of the traffic week in Chandigarh on Sunday.
An award distribution ceremony in progress on the conclusion of the traffic week in Chandigarh on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 8
Road Safety Week concluded at the Traffic Auditorium, here today. The UT SSP (Operations), Mr Dinesh Bhatt, was the chief guest.

A spokesman for the UT police said prizes were given away to those who participated in various events organised by the Chandigarh Traffic Police during the week. The Indian Oil Corporation assisted the police in organising events. Schoolchildren also participated in cultural events on the occasion.

Mr Bhatt emphasised that road users should make a habit of obeying traffic rules.

The traffic police launched a CD on road safety and traffic rules.



Safety week fails to curb traffic violations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Road Safety Week, currently being celebrated by the Chandigarh Police, has failed to curb habitual offenders from violating traffic safety norms. The traffic police, too, has been unable to target on all aspects of traffic safety as it has remained confined to educating people about wearing helmets, using seat belts, refraining from over- speeding and driving on low beam during the night.

Slow moving traffic like cyclists, rickshaws and carts are not on their priority list as there are no effective means and laws leading to a punitive action against this class of offenders of road safety norms. Scooter and motor cycle riders, especially youngsters, are the ones who drive along the wrong side of the road.

According to Mr Rakesh Kumar, a city resident, “The Chandigarh Police has been educating the city residents about safety practices to be followed on the road. But there is a certain breed of people who never learn. In the process they not only jeopardise their own lives, but also those of several others. The residents generally blame the city traffic police for failing to curb violations on the road, but there is nothing to deter the habitual offenders from repeatedly violating traffic norms”.

In the accompanying picture captured by The Tribune lensman, the body of a four-wheeler is being transported on a rickshaw along the wrong side of the Chandigarh - Ambala highway. If the car had been on its own wheels, it would have been challaned for moving along the wrong side, but nothing much can be done about the same being carried on a man-driven cart along the wrong side of the road. The slow moving traffic on the wrong side is a hazard to people travelling on the proper side of the road.

The Chandigarh Police had put 153 city residents in the list of habitual offenders, who have been barred from driving. But all these people committed violations while driving two or four-wheelers. There is no action till date against offenders driving a non-motored vehicle on the roads.

The Chandigarh Police could cancel the licence of a driving licence holder and debar him or her from driving a two or a four wheeler under Section 19 of the Motor Vehicles Act 88 & Rule 21 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 89, but there was no legal provision to dissuade a rickshaw or cart owner from moving along the wrong side of the road or prevent him from causing a traffic hazard. Though the Municipal Corporation could impound a rickshaw or cart for obstructing traffic, but there was no bar on such a offender from doing the same again.

However, people in the Police Department say that the situation is not as hopeless as it appears, there are solutions to the problem in the Capital administration Notification, Punjab Government Legislative Department Notification, Cycle Rickshaw Notifications.



Mahatma’s grandson to visit Chandigarh
Payal Pruthi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
With the prevention and healing of violence becoming an ever-increasing need in our hearts and homes, streets and communities, in our nation and our world, the research and work being done by none other than Mahatma Gandhi’s own grandson, Arun Gandhi, is only affirming the prophetic nature of Gandhi’s prediction : `Undreamed of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of non-violence’.

On his maiden visit to Chandigarh on January 12 and 13, Arun Gandhi, who is also the Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-violence, USA, is in communication with organisations dedicated to non-violence worldwide. Arun’s nationwide lecture series makes thousands aware of non-violence yearly and this has spurred the development of non-violence groups throughout the country.

While both Arun and wife Sunanda Gandhi travel almost year round all over the world speaking and teaching about non-violence and promoting the work of the Gandhi Institute, back in Chandigarh, Gandhi’s grandson will take stock of the campaign for peace city Chandigarh being run by local NGO Yuvsatta. Under the campaign, the NGO has enabled the formation of peace clubs in various schools and colleges and also encourages students and teachers of local schools to enroll themselves as peace volunteers.

Also lined up is Dr KBS Dhillon Memorial Shantidoot Puraskar, which will be given by Arun Gandhi, who would be in the city, specially for the this endeavour on January 12. Also on the agenda is an interaction with the school principals and students of Chandigarh at KB DAV School.

Talking to TNS, Madhu Bahl, Principal of the school, said this would be the first time that she and others would be meeting such a great personality. She added that this is a great opportunity not only for the students and principals but also for the city and that everyone in the school is excited to meet Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and his wife Sunanda.



Capt hasn’t kept his word: SAD
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
The Shiromani Akali Dal Mohali chief, Mr Harsukhinder Singh Bubby Badal, today said the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government had committed a breach of trust with Mohali residents by making false promises to them.

He was speaking at a function organised by the Phase 11 Shopkeepers Association. “The government has used Mohali and made millions by allotting land to private builders and while the land prices shot up beyond the reach of the common man, no major development initiative has been undertaken either by the municipal corporation or by the state,” he said.

He also called upon the youth to participate in making the township a vibrant one. “Youngsters impart character to a city, no amount of empty promises can help us; we have to take lead in social initiatives,” he said. He added that if a package was not announced soon, the SAD would hold a demonstration to highlight various problems being faced by residents.



MC poised to spruce up Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The Municipal Corporation is all set to make Sector 17 the most sought after place in the city. The MC will be floating tenders by the end of the month for such lights to be put up in the plaza which would be moth-free and dust-free.

These lights, MC officials inform, will be cost-effective and also low on maintenance, thus resulting in a huge saving for the MC in the long run. They would also be the first-of-its-kind in the region.

With the tenders being floated by the end of this month, the new lights are expected to be in place by the end of March. Meanwhile, with the deadline of May drawing near, work on putting the inter-locking tiles in the Sector 17 market is on full swing.

The work of putting the tiles over the area between the Neelam theatre and the overhead bridge has started, while the work near Sindhi Sweets is expected to start soon.

The MC is also planning beautification of the Sector 19 and Sector 22 markets on the lines of Sector 17.

The file, informed P.S. Aujla, MC Commissioner, has gone for approval to the UT administration. It has been proposed to make provisions for parking space and inter-locking tiles in these markets.



Railing not hampering business: council
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
It is not the first time the erection of the mild steel railing has attracted objection from the Chandigarh Administration. The traders of Sector 17 had launched an agitation in late seventies to remove the railing on one side of the shopping area as it was hampering their business.

After a long tussle with the administration, the railing was finally removed in 1977, said some members of the Business Promotion Council of Sector 17.

This time the office of the Chief Architect has objected to erection of the new railing without getting it approved from its office. The design and other related issues have to be approved in light of the Punjab Capital Project Act.

On being contacted, members of the Business Promotion Council of Sector 17, claimed that this time the railing was not obstructing their business as it had been erected on the entry points to the shopping area from Sectors 16 and 18. It should have been done in consultation with the Chief Architect.

Mr J.S. Kalra, general secretary of the council, claimed that railing added to the beauty of the area.

“But while erecting the railing, painted in blue and white, the officials in the MC did not comprehend that the railing could prove hazard for road users”, said a officer in the administration.



A patriotic yatra
Tribune News Service

Nathi Prasad Nainwal, an ex-serviceman, shows copies of acknowledgements given by different departments in support of his padyatra.
Nathi Prasad Nainwal, an ex-serviceman, shows copies of acknowledgements given by different departments in support of his padyatra. — Photo by Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, January 8
For this ex-serviceman, fighting enemies on the frontiers was much easier than taking on corrupt and anti-social elements within the country.

At 73, Nathi Prasad Nainwal of Kandamalla, Uttaranchal, is on a mission to educate people about patriotism and social values. He has been cycling hundreds of kilometres and meeting thousands of people across the country since 1999 to explain the “ideology of a revolutionary movement that is brewing” .

The former Havildar, who served the Indian Army Parachute Regiment for 25 years, claims that he is one of the 95,000 thousands ex servicemen, who are “like-minded” patriots and are on similar expeditions in other states.

His stomach bears bullet scars. He has fought against the Chinese and Pakistanis. So far, the Havildar has cycled over 60,000 km and has walked for 1400 km, propagating his mission to save the nation.

Mr Nainwal started off from his native village on February 5, 1999, immediately after the Kargil war. The septuagenarian claimed that many senior officers in the defence and administrative departments were corrupt and he had to face action for speaking against them.

He was in the city to meet the Punjab Governor, who he stated would flag off his padyatra from the city to Nepal this year.



Resident Welfare Society organises kirtan
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 8
On the Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the Resident Welfare Society, Saini Vihar, Phase II, Baltana, has organised a Path, kirtan and langar.

Captain Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister, Punjab was the chief guest. Others who were present on the occasion were the president of the Nagar Panchayat, Mr Narinder Sharma, Jathedar Harbans Singh Saini and Akali Dal workers.



Residents cry foul over demolition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
After the recent demolition drive carried out in Sector 45-C and D by the Chandigarh Housing Board, residents of the area have lamented that the board authorities were adopting a pick and choose policy in removing the unauthorised structures.

They lament that a number of residents in Sector 45-D had constructed additional rooms and additional stories which did not attract the attention of the department. In one case, a kerosene depot was being run in violation of the bylaws.

In one particular case, additional rooms had been constructed in at least 10 houses (from H.No. 2349 to H.No. 2357) on a public land.

Officials, however, said a majority of the constructions which were demolished had come up recently.



Sewerage woes galore
Tribune News Service

A cyclist crosses a road choked due to sewerage overflow in Sector 45, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
A cyclist crosses a road choked due to sewerage overflow in Sector 45, Chandigarh, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 8
Shopkeepers of the Sector 45 (Burail village) market these days are in troubled waters. One of the lanes in their market is flooded almost thrice a week due to sewerage blockage.

Complaints to the Municipal Corporation bring them respite but for not more than a day or two.

The lane has cosmetics, clothes, and ration shops among others. The shopkeepers and residents informed the TNS that the fowl smell was unbearable and though the MC had been informed numerous times, a permanent solution was needed.

“Twice or thrice a week, the sewerage over flows. MC workers come but the situation remains the same. The smell too is unbearable,” informed Tejpal, a Sector 45 resident.



GSE team from US visits Rotary centre
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
A Group Study Exchange (GSE) team of Rotary International District 6110 from Arkansas (USA) visited the Rotary Club, SAS Nagar, here yesterday.

The group was shown the Rotary Vocational Training Center in Sector 70, where students from adjoining villages take training in stitching and embroidery. The team appreciated the project being undertaken by the Rotary club.

It also visited the manufacturing unit of Punjab Tractors Limited.



Rotary DG visits prosthetic centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The Rotary District Governor (DG), Mr Ranbir Singh, distributed artificial limbs, tricycles and assistive devices to 30 persons at the Nivedic Prosthetic Centre, Zirakpur, during his visit to the Rotary Club (Chandigarh Midtown). The project has been undertaken by Rotary (Midtown) in assistance with a Rotary Club of Canada.

He also visited other projects of Rotary (Midtown). He lauded a mega eye camp held by the club in which 526 poor patients were examined and given free treatment.



Sweaters distributed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
Senior Congress leader Balbir Singh Sidhu distributed school uniform sweaters to children of primary schools in Mohali, Kharar and Fatehgarh Sahib yesterday.

Over 700 children studying in various schools at Badala, Badali, Madanheri, Dodehkalan, Navipur, Cholta Khurd, Panuaa, Malakpur, Brahmanan Di Basian, Dabali, Ghoga, Dharak Kalan, Dharak Khurd Popniyan, Niamian, Rangian and Cholta Kalan villages were the beneficiaries.

Mr Balbir Sidhu exhorted the teachers of the schools to work hard and improve the standard of education in Kharar constituency. He asked the parents to put in additional efforts to educate the girl child.



Angan Foundation donates blankets
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 8
Members of the Angan Foundation here donated 100 blankets at the PGI today. These blankets were handed over by Mr Satya Pal Jain, former Chandigarh MP, to members of the Shri Sathya Sai Sewa Organisation, PGI.

Mr R.D. Sharma, convener of the organisation, thanked the trustees of the Angan Foundation.

Meanwhile, Mr Jain also distributed blankets among labourers in the Industrial Area, Phase-I, Chandigarh.



Talk on creativity
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 8
The First Friday Forum organised a talk on creativity by Dr S.S. Bhatti, former Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, at the CRC Institute of Town Planners complex here.

He highlighted the magnificence and manifestations of creativity by referring to Hindu mythology.

The interaction, which followed the talk, transformed into a meaningful seminar. Artists, architects, scholars, bureaucrat, writers and poets attended the function.



15 kg poppy husk seized, woman held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 8
The local police arrested Neemo, alias Rani, of Langri village in Nawanshahr district from Sector 39, 40, 55 and 56 roundabout on Saturday and seized more than 15 kg of poppy husk from her possession.

A case under Section 15 of the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered in this regard.

Held for stealing

Jagdish Rai, manager of Amartex, SCO 18-19, Sector 9, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a woman, Shanti, of Sector 25 was caught red-handed while stealing 12 shawls from the shop on Saturday.

She was later handed over to the police. A case has been registered.

Scooters stolen

Paramjit Singh of Katlour village in Ropar district reported to the police that his scooter (PB-12-B-3549) was stolen from Sadar Bazar in Sector 19 on Saturday.

In another incident, Jagdish Kumar of Sector 22 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his LML scooter (CH-01-W-6284) was stolen from market area in Sector 21.

Two cases of theft have been registered.



Workshop on VAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The PHDCCI, in association with the UT Excise and Taxation Department, will organise a workshop on January 10 at Punjab Bhavan, here with regard to VAT.

The workshop will be inaugurated by Mr R.K. Rao, Commissioner, Excise and Taxation. The government’s point of view would be presented by Mr Shingara Singh, AETC, while Mr Balbir Singh, a taxation expert, would conduct the session.


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