C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

City receives water from Kajauli’s Phase IV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
After a prolonged wait, the city finally received the water supply through the Phase IV of Kajauli Water Works. The water supply will also benefit residents of Mohali and Panchkula. The matter regarding supply of 20 MGD through this supply line had been hanging fire because of no orders of release by the Punjab Government where the water works are located.

The water supply had become a political issue with Punjab leaders saying that the water was first the right of the people from the state.

After a long wait, the intricate issue of release of water for augmentation of water supply scheme phase IV was resolved with the personal interest taken by Gen S.F. Rodrigues, the Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, during parlance with Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, and Mr Bhupinder Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana. The additional supplies of water against this scheme were received today in the water works, Sector 39, which will prove a boon to the citizens of Chandigarh and Mohali in this scorching summer heat.

Interestingly, with the commissioning of this scheme, Chandigarh will rank as number one in the country in terms of per capita availability of water per day and duration of water supply hours.

The water from Bhakra Main Line Canal was released by the officers of Punjab Irrigation Department in the presence of Superintending Engineer, Executive Engineer, and other officers of Municipal Corporation as well as officers of Punjab Public Health Department this forenoon.

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has already made elaborate arrangements for the treatment of this additional quantity of water with the construction of a new filtration plant and pumping station at water works, Sector 39, Chandigarh.

The official communication with regard to 20 MGD water supply from the Phase IV earlier had said that the UT will get 14.5 MGD of supply, Punjab (Mohali) will get 2.5 MGD, Haryana will get 1.5 MGD and Chandimandir cantonment will get 1.5 MGD. The finer details of distribution have been worked out.

Official sources said that it will take around seven to ten days for stabilising and enhancing the supply hours to 16 hours in the city. Currently, the city residents enjoy about 10 hours of supply.

The Engineering Department of Chandigarh Administration has also constructed a new water works to boost the water supply to Phase-III sectors of Chandigarh. Water supply line from Sector 39 to water works Sector 52 and other infrastructure at water works is almost completed and is likely to be tested and commissioned within the next fortnight. With the commissioning of new water works, Sector 52, the problem of low pressure water supply in Phase III sectors shall be solved.

Augmentation of water supply from Phase IV is another milestone in this ambitious project conceived in late seventies for the augmentation of the water supply in six phases, for Chandigarh, by laying rising mains (27.5 kms length) from Bhakra Main Line, near village Kajauli, Punjab, to water works, Sector 39, Chandigarh, to carry 20 MGD of water in each phase. The phases I, II and III were commissioned in the years 1983, 1989 and 1995 respectively.



PU in fleecing mode
Makes booklet mandatory with each form
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Panjab University has hiked the cost of the admission form and made it compulsory for the applicants to purchase the information booklet with each form.

The information booklet that was earlier available at Rs 250 is now priced Rs 275. In case someone has to apply to more than one department or course he or she would have to purchase the booklet also. Earlier, an applicant could pay for just the form separately and purchased a single booklet even when the applicant had to apply to more than one course.

Some of the university student union members have already shown resentment against the move but the university authorities say the applicant can download as many forms as he wants from the university website. The applicant would have to just pay Rs 25 for each form when he go to submit the form.

The hike in the form rates has, however, not dampened the response to the admission notice. The notice appeared less than a week ago and the last date for the receipt of forms for admission to most courses is June 30. Candidates are already queuing up for the forms. Candidates, who have appeared for various entrance tests for some of the courses, would also be applying for admission.

The application forms for admission to various government colleges in the city would be available from June 6. The cost of the prospectus is Rs 50 and it contains two forms. A candidate can, therefore, apply in two colleges with a single prospectus.

Other than government colleges, the prospectus would be available at some book shops in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

Students seeking re-admission to their colleges can buy a single form, which costs Rs 5. The forms can be downloaded from the website of Government College, Sector 11, also.



SC order upsets farmers
Our Correspondent

Mr Harvinder Singh, former sarpanch, gives his views on the Supreme Court verdict in Kambali village on Saturday.
Mr Harvinder Singh, former sarpanch, gives his views on the Supreme Court verdict in Kambali village on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 3
The Supreme Court’s approval of an award of Rs 1.75 lakh per acre compensation for land in Kambali village, near here, has caused disappointment among affected farmers. It’s a case of too little and too late for them.

The affected farmers, many of whom were youths when the case of compensation began in courts years ago, feel that the amount of relief is mere peanuts. Land prices in the open market in the area are more than Rs 1 crore per acre.

The affected farmers plan to consult their lawyers to decide the future course of action.

When The Tribune team visited Kambali village today to find out the reaction of the affected farmers to the approval of the Supreme Court it could only meet a former sarpanch, Mr Harvinder Singh. The other affected persons had gone out of station .

Mr Harvinder Singh said the award approved by the Supreme Court was very low as compared to the current market prices. He said the Railways had recently purchased about 2 kanals for making a passage at the rate of Rs 1.50 crore per acre.

Earlier, the Punjab Mandi Board had acquired 6 acres at a price of Rs 4.25 lakh. The compensation, however, in this case was raised to Rs 7.85 lakh per acre by a sessions court.

He said the award of Rs 1.75 lakh per acre was a joke on farmers. A private coloniser was at present offering Rs 1.5 crore per acre in the area but the offer had been rejected by the villagers.

Mr Gurmel Singh, who had gone to Rajpura, told Chandigarh Tribune on telephone, that the award for the land was too little and had been approved too late. He said that 3.5 acres of his land was acquired and he was paid a compensation of only Rs 85,000 per acre. He said farmers would welcome the additional amount but they would not be able to purchase any land with the additional sum, as the prices had gone up drastically over the years. He said had this amount been given to the affected farmers when the land was acquired, they would have been able to purchase land elsewhere.

Mr Chuhar Singh, who was speaking on telephone from Amloh where he had gone in connection with paddy plantation, said that affected persons would get together to decide the future course of action. He said that 32 kanals of his land was acquired in 1992 but adequate compensation had not been given in this regard. He demanded that higher compensation amount should be given to the affected farmers.

The land in Kambali village was acquired for the expansion of the Mohali industrial focal point.

The Supreme Court had now approved the award of Rs 1.75 lakh per acre compensation for land in Kambali village and rejected the Punjab Government’s petition challenging the enhancement of the amount by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The High Court, in its order of January 1989, had enhanced the compensation to Rs 1.75 lakh per acre overruling the Ropar District Judge’s verdict, fixing it at Rs 85,000 per acre in 1983.



Wife ends life, man in PGI after suicide bid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 3
A woman of Jhanjeri village allegedly committed suicide while her husband's simultaneous attempt to end his life failed. The woman died at a private hospital here today while her husband was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Sitara ( 23 ) died at Apex Hospital in Phase III B 2 while her husband, Sadeef Mohammad, ( 22 ) was sent to the PGI after his condition deteriorated. The couple had reportedly got married about four years ago and had two children.

Even though the couple, who had attempted the suicide bid on May 31, and were admitted to the local hospital the next day, the police was not informed in this regard till Sitara died. The couple was not even referred to the PGI.

Relatives of both the families gathered outside the hospital. Even though the doctor concerned recommended for a post-mortem examination , the body of Sitara was taken to Jhanjeri village for burial by her relatives. The body, however, could not be buried as police reached the village and told family members that the burial could take place only after a post-mortem examination. If they did not want to get a post-mortem examination done, they would have to seek permission in this regard from the SDM, they were told. It is learnt that the SDM had declined to give his permission for a burial without a post-mortem examination.

The police initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPc today in connection with the case.

Mr Saudagar Khan, an uncle of the deceased, said nobody knew why the couple had made an attempt to take the extreme step but Sadeef Momammad had allegedly a quarrel with his brother a day before the incident.

He said the couple was admitted to a hospital at Chunni village after they allegedly consumed something poisonous. From there they were brought to Phase III B 2 hospital.

Dr Vinod Kumar of the hospital, told Chandigarh Tribune that the couple had allegedly consumed some pesticide. He said both of them were kept in the ICU on ventilator. He said the woman developed some respiratory and heart problems after 2 am today and later died at 10 am.

When asked why the police was not informed about the case, Dr Vinod Kumar said that the father of Sadeef Mohammad was not interested in a medico-legal case and he had given this in writing to the hospital.



BRO appraisal shows huge backlog
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Performance appraisal of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed a huge backlog in the construction works pertaining to vital bridges and roads in border areas.

“While it would take 10-13 years to clear the backlog in road works, more than 20 years would be required to clear the backlog in bridge works,” the CAG, it its latest report tabled in Parliament a few days ago, observed. The observations were based on the average annual pace of execution of works in the past five years. The report said that there was a shortfall in achieving targets every year. Also, there was a delay of 3-12 months every year in preparation and approval of the annual works plan.

“Bridge works were affected by design problems, improper selection of sites and award of contract to incompetent contractors,” the report revealed. “Frequent changes in specifications and design, commencement of work without land acquisition and delay in environment clearances resulted in cost overruns of Rs 70.85 crore in 21 cases,” the report added. A job completed 27 years ago was still awaiting financial closure, the report revealed.

Abnormal delays in the procurement of construction equipment have also been pointed out. “More than 50 per cent of the construction equipment was not received during the year in which it were required, necessitating outsourcing of jobs and underutilisation of the equipment on receipt,” the report said.

Underutilsation of equipment, to cite examples, was as high as 100 per cent in Project Himank, up to 74 per cent in Project Deepak and up to 83 per cent in Project Beacon. Road works valuing Rs 131.36 crore were outsourced from 2000-2004 in violation of rules while BRO resources remained idle.

As far as procurement of equipment went, of the 207 dozers ordered, BRO received only 96 the same year while the remaining 110 arrived the following year.

CAG also observed that jobs executed by BRO did not satisfy the users in terms of quality or timely delivery.

CAG has recommended that the Defence Ministry may critically review the working of the BRO’s Bridging and Tunneling Directorate in the light of its continuing failure in designing and executing bridge works.

Suggesting that BRO devise a long-term procurement plan covering five years’ requirement based upon the Army’s perspective plan, CAG has also advocated against outsourcing works, especially when department resources were available.



Copy of original inquiry report not with CBI
Corruption case against BBMB, UT dept employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
In the case of corruption against seven officials of the BBMB and the UT Electricity Department for allegedly facilitating power theft by Bhushan Industries, the CBI today admitted that it was not in possession of the original copy of the inquiry report which led to the registration of the case 13 years ago.

The CBI filed the charge-sheet in February 2001 and the charges were framed in February this year. The case was transferred to the CBI Special Court in November 2005.

The case today came up for hearing before the recording of evidence before the CBI Special Judge, Mr Jagdeep Jain.

The then Deputy Director (Enforcement-I), Haryana Electricity Board, Mr P.P. Gogia, submitted his report on November 19, 1990, but the investigating officer of the CBI did not take the original copy into his possession. The copy was still lying in the office of the Chief Engineer (Commercial), Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam, Panchkula.

Seeking directions to the Chief Engineer of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam to produce the original copy of the inquiry report, the CBI counsel said the production of the document was necessary in the interest of justice. The next date for producing the document has been fixed for July 22.

It may be mentioned that the Punjab and Haryana High Court while acting on a petition filed by Brij Bhushan Singhal, MD of Bhushan Industries, and the power department employees, had restrained the CBI special court from continuing with the placing on record of the evidence. While not staying complete proceedings, the CBI had been directed to fix a date after the next date in the High Court for evidence.

Following the High Court directives, the CBI Special Judge fixed the next date of hearing for the recording of evidence and statement of the sanctioning authority to August 11. Mr Ranjit Issar, Secretary, Urban Housing, Government of India, who was the sanctioning authority as the Chairman of the HSEB, and Mr Gurcharan Singh, sanctioning authority in the PSEB, were present to record their statements.

It may be mentioned that on December 14, 1993, the CBI had booked V.K. Mahendru, XEN, UT Electricity Department, Mangat Pal Gaur, Junior Engineer, BBMB, Tarsem Lal Aggarwal, Junior Engineer, UT Electricity Department , Brij Bhushan Singhal, MD of Bhushan Industries, Harjinder Singh Brar, Assistant Executive Engineer, UT Electricity Department, Deepak Chopra, Commercial Engineer, UT Electricity Department and Jagir Singh, Sub-Station Engineer, BBMB, under the Prevention of Corruption Act and various sections of the Indian Electricity Act for causing loss to the government by allowing Bhushan Industries to be consumer power through a feeder with the meter installed at the BBMB substation, Industrial Area. The officials were also accused of not taking the proper meter reading, thereby causing loss to the government.

While framing charges against the accused, the CBI Special Judge, Mr Jagdeep Jain, observed that the accused during the period April 1985 to July 1988 connived with Brij Bhushan Singhal to do an illegal act by willfully and fraudulently preventing the meter from registering the correct reading and allowing theft of electricity from D 3 feeder, BBMB sub-station, Sector 28, thereby causing a loss to the tune of over Rs 3 crore to the UT Electricity Department and HSEB. At least 11745096 units of electricity, which were consumed by the unit, were hidden.



Remembering legacy of Amir Khusro
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The Haryana Urdu Akademi and the Doordarshan Kendra have joined hands to organise a retrospective on the life and times of the great Sufi saint Hazrat Amir Khusro.

A thinker, philosopher and poet par excellence, Hazrat Khusro has gone down in history as the finest proponent of Sufism - a discipline which he shaped and enriched with his classic style and timeless verse. Remembering the legendary Sufi for his matchless contribution to the world of literature and music will be eminent scholars from all over the country. Discussions will take place on June 6 and 7 at a place in Panchkula.

The need to hold a seminar on the life of Hazrat Khusro stems from the lingering neglect of his memory.

It was way back in 1975 that a national seminar was organised in Delhi to observe the 700th death anniversary of the Sufi saint who lived in the 13th century. Since then his legacy has hardly been revisited, except in an occasional concert by established or upcoming Sufi singers of our times.

Khusro is famous in history as the first poet of "khari boli" -- a tradition that later led to the birth to Urdu.

In a way, therefore, it was Khusro who infused Urdu with rare punch and grace and lent it the dynamism which that hardly ever waned with times.

Even in his poetry, the great Sufi singer imbibed the finest nuances of the language, loading his verse with choicest phrases. His poetry drew heavily from the social and political goings-on of the Sultanate period when he lived.

He was particularly famous when Ghias-ul-din Balban was reigning. Even later for 72 long years, Hazrat Khusro remained associated with the kings who ruled over Delhi from time to time.

But his poetry flourished in real sense only after he fell in the company of Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Aulia. It is said that he used to spend most of his time under the tutelage of Aulia, who considered Khusro as his best disciple.

Such was their bonding that Khusro passed away just six months after his master died. As chance would have it, the two died on the same date in different months. Even today those seeking the blessings of Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Aulia have to first pay obeisance at the dargah of Khusro, who lies next to his spiritual master.

The akademi seeks to bring on one platform the entire research that has been conducted on the singer in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.

The occasion will further be made worthwhile by the special exhibition of publications on Khusro which the National Book Trust will put up. The seminar will be inaugurated by Haryana Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai and presided over by Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune Group of newspapers, Mr H.K. Dua, will be the guest of honour.



Passing thru

Acharya Karmveerji
Acharya Karmveerji Founder President, Maharshi Patanjali Yog Foundation, Mumbai

How is yoga helpful for sportspersons?

When you practise yoga, you develop a harmony between the mind and the body. Almost all sports require concentration, flexibility, strength and rhythm. In some games, your reflexes have to be sharp and you have to take decision in a fraction of a second. That’s where yoga helps because it makes you mentally alert and physically lithe.

Is there any age limit for yoga exercises?

No. Any person, irrespective of age, sex or stature, can take yoga classes. Only the exercises are different.

Any tip for our readers?

Steady breathing is very important because it increases vital air or energy in the body, which in turn leads to good health. Sedentary lifestyle is responsible for various diseases. But these can be prevented if you practise yoga for just 20 to 25 minutes a day.

— G. S. Paul



Shatabdi delayed due to power failure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The evening New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi was today delayed by over an hour due to power failure. The train which was scheduled to arrive at the station came to a halt at 8. 30 pm between the Ghaggar and Chandigarh railway station at gate no 121 near Hotel Mark Royale due to the tripping of the overhead electrical equipment.

Emergency services were immediately put into action by the Railway Electrical Engineer Track Distribution Department (TRD) and the overhead transmission was restored, however, not before the hour had passed. The train finally left for the station at about 9: 30 pm, arriving more than an hour and-a-half behind its scheduled time of arrival.

According to station superintendent R.K. Dutta, the exact cause of the tripping was not known. “We do not know the reason of the tripping. We have, however, been making regular announcements at the railway station to inform relatives and friends of the passengers who have come to receive them.”

Meanwhile, relatives and friends at the railway station had a harrowing time waiting for the train. The announcement being made stated that the train would arrive only once the electricity was restored, while there was no announcement when the electricity would be restored.



Shatabdi food bad, says passenger
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Despite repeated complaints against deteriorating food being served on ‘Shatabdi’, officials seems to take things non-seriously and have failed to take action.

Another complaint of bad service was witnessed on the evening “Shatabdi” today, when “worms” were allegedly found in the evening snack served to passengers. A senior citizen, Kuldip Singh, resident of Sector 18, alleged that when he opened the “patisa” served with the evening tea, he was aghast to find a live worm in it. Kuldip Singh, a businessman travels at least thrice a month by Shatabdi.

It may be mentioned here that the complaints against the “Shatabdi” food have been increasing. In the past few days complaints of the AC not working and food being bad are not uncommon.



Traffic snarls a major issue among city residents
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Concerned over the growing traffic menace in the city, several individuals and organisations are coming out openly to express their resentment at the poor traffic management. The cycle tracks built throughout the city have come into sharp focus for their poor maintenance and the traffic police failing to divert slow-moving traffic onto these tracks.

In their own individual ways, many concerned residents have launched a campaign of sorts by way of mouth and by writing letters to officials to make roads safe and traffic “disciplined”.

A lawyer, Mr S.K. Chhabra, has written an open letter to the Inspector- General, asking him to ensure proper use of the cycle tracks on which crores have been spent by the Administration.

Mr Chhabra has pointed out that barring the cycle track near Sector 23, no effort is made to divert slow-moving traffic onto these cycle tracks anywhere else in the city. At several places the tracks have been encroached upon and even turned into parking spaces illegally. He has asked the IG to depute home guards at the entrance of every cycle track. This, he says, will make the traffic flow smooth and avoid several accidents.

Panchkula-based Indian Citizen Forum has lauded the Chandigarh police for taking timely steps to discipline the motorists and make them follow traffic rules.

“But since the traffic has increased a lot and is increasing tremendously, the police has not bothered to regulate the traffic.”

The organisation has complained that police personnel deployed at traffic lights do not bother to ensure that traffic rules are followed nor do they intervene to regulate the traffic systematically.

For instance, there are different lanes meant for cyclists, two-wheelers and for four-wheelers. But these rules are never followed and the traffic police personnel standing nearby hardly ever intervene to educate the offenders.

The only way to ensure a smooth traffic flow is by educating the people about the traffic rules and by ensuring that cycle tracks, etc, used to divide the slow and fast-moving traffic is properly implemented.



Beer companies told not to form cartel
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Following a “threat” of being blacklisted for not maintaining the supply of beer, at least breweries located near Chandigarh today resumed the supply of its brands to retailers in the city.

Three other companies — Rochees Breweries, Millennium Industries and Devans Modern Breweries — also today assured officials of resuming their supplies in a day or two.

The UT Excise and Taxation Department had suspended the wholesale beer licence of the companies for a week.

It is learnt that officials of the Administration today categorically told representatives of the companies not to form a “cartel” against the Administration stand of not agreeing to increase in ex-distillery price.

The companies were also told not to sell liquor and beer at increased rates till the issue of the ex-distillery price was resolved. A meeting has been fixed for June 15 to resolve the issue.

Enquiries by The Tribune revealed that in the past few days some of the companies were selling their stocks to the retailers at increased rates. This has been happening despite clear instructions from the Excise and Taxation Department.

The Tribune procured documents which revealed that wholesale licencees were selling their stocks at increased rates.

“To evade the attention of the Excise and Taxation Department, the companies were sending their consignment without bills to their godowns. In some cases the increase was being transferred on to the customer,” said a retailer.

A senior official said though it was an issue between the companies and the retailers, surprise checks would be conducted if the companies were resorting to such tactics.

The reason for the peculiar situation has arisen because of differences between the Administration and the liquor companies.

A liquor contractor said: “The situation has arisen because the liquor companies have formed a cartel against the Administration stand not agreeing to increase in ex-distillery price. The companies are telling us that the money would be adjusted later on.”

Sorting out the issue soon will result in better response to applications for the grant of 36 more retail sale licences of country-made liquor for the remaining period of the financial year, said a licencee.



Panchkula youth figures in Rahul Mahajan case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 3
The house of a Sector 2 resident, whose name figured in the Rahul Mahajan incident, wore a deserted look, here today.

Rahul Malhotra, a son of a Chandigarh-based industrialist, Mr Vinod Malhotra, was working as a software engineer with a multi-national company in Delhi. Earlier, he had been working with Quark, a multinational software company at Mohali.

According to his neighbours, Mr Vinod Malhotra had been residing there along with his two sons, Rahul, Rohit and a daughter Ruchi for the last many years. The Malhotras was reportedly a descent family.

The younger son of Mr Malhotra, Rohit Malhotra, has been pursuing his master of business from AMITY, in Delhi.

While talking to The Tribune, the neighbours disclosed that Mr Vinod Malhotra and his wife Ms Versa Malhotra had left to a famous tourist place in Andhra Pradesh, in May-end and would be back by June 12 or 13.

The neighbours claimed that Rahul was a nice boy and they had never heard any thing against him before.

Sources in the police claimed that the Panchkula police was unaware of the news regarding the involvement of a Sector 2 resident in the Rahul Mahajan case. Efforts to contact Mr Balbir Singh, Superintendent of Police (SP), proved futile till late in the evening.



Maha panchayat’s plea on lal dora
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The maha panchayat of 18 UT villages and different political parties today decided to submit a memorandum of their demands to the UT Administrator before July 2. The meeting was held at Sarangpur village.

The main demands were regularising of structures outside the lal dora by way of exempting the inhabited areas or by extending the lal dora of the villages, non-inclusion of villages in the municipal corporation, and land compensation at market rates.

The villagers have threatened to approach the Prime Minister and the Home Minister if there was no response from the Administration.

Mr Didar Singh, Chairman of the panchayat samiti, said their demand was supported by the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution. They further pointed out that despite the Administration having made a policy to regularise such structures in June 2002, nothing had happened so far.

The speakers condemned the Administration for acquiring the land. “The land which is being auctioned by Administration is beyond the purchasing capacity of a common man. For example a five marla plot was sold at Rs 40 lakh and a plot of 10 marla was sold at Rs 1 crore”, said the leader.



Police patrolling at Sukhna strengthened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
In light of the increased incidents of suicides at the Sukhna Lake, the Chandigarh police has further strengthened its force there.

The strength of the police personnel has been increased from 13 to 22 and a 24-hour vigil would be kept at all vulnerable points. The DSP, North, Mr S.S. Randhawa, said more binoculars, ropes, and bicycles had been given to the policemen. A vigil would also be kept the tower.

The policemen have been told that in case they spot someone depressed or showing suicidal tendencies, they have to counsel such a person.



Khatu Shyam Mandal holds function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The local chapter of the Shri Khatu Shyam Prachar Mandal, organised an annual festival of Khatu Shyam Prabhu on the premises of Pracheen Hanuman Mandir, Sector 32-A, here today. A large number of devotees thronged the temple, according to Mr Jagdish Aggarwal, an spokesman of the Mandal.

The programme started at 8 p.m. with the lighting of "akhand jyoti" and offering of 56 "bhogs" to the Lord followed by celebration of Holi.

Shyam Aggarwal, Ms Nani Bai, Sanjay Khemka, Ashwani Sharma, Mr Pradeep Ashirwad, Parvesh Sharma, Kanhiya and Mukesh Mudgil presented bhajan sandhya.

Later a langar was also organised.



Female foeticide still prevalent, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The three-day northern consultation on Engendering 11th Five-Year Plan concluded at Panjab University today, with participants listing women and children friendly proposals for incorporation in the Plan.

Participants felt that female foeticide was still prevalent in several Indian states, particularly Haryana and Punjab. The practice, they recommend, should be prevented by devising measures to make PNDT Act stronger and more effective and by giving incentives to states that manage to improve their sex ratio.

Violence against women, the participants said, could be curbed by ensuring the early passage of sexual harassment Bill.



Workshop for children begins
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 3
A month-long workshop “Pithu Garam” got underway at Saranglok, Sector 65, here. Director Rama Rattan herself led the play, acting with 22 children aged from four years to 12 years.

Later, Dr B.S. Rattan initiated them into fundamentals of music while Miss Harpreet Kaur helped them take the first dancing steps in gidda.

Ms Alka Kansal will teach the students nuances of drawing, painting and fine arts while Raghbir Singh will teach them bhangra. Asha Saklani will manage the theatrical movements. The workshop would end on June 30 with a show by the participants.



Boy held for abetting suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
In the case of alleged suicide by a 22-year-year-old girl student in Sector 34 yesterday, the local police today booked the alleged lover of the victim for abetment of suicide.

The victim, a student of Frankfinn Institute of Airhostess Training had allegedly jumped to death from the top floor of the Old Passport Office building in Sector 34. The Kotkapura based boy, Ripudaman Singh, reportedly had an affair with the victim but got engaged with some other girl.

The victim has been identified as Meenakshi Chawla of Kotkapura and was staying as a paying guest in Sector 34. A police official said the mother of the girl had also come to her as she was disturbed.

Meanwhile, an addict of Indira Colony, Manimajra, Sonu, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree near the railway track here this morning. 



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