C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Getting NOC now easy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The UT Estate Office has simplified the issuing of the no-objection certificate (NOC). In an investor-friendly decision, the Estate Office (EO) will now issue NOC irrespective of the violations of the building bylaws and the misuse of the premises. The new decision has already been implemented.

Clarifying that the NOC has not been done away with, a senior official said the owner of a property would no longer face harassment with the decision. The proceedings of any sort of violation would be de-linked with the issuing of the NOC. Earlier, the NOC was issued only when the violations were removed.

Earlier, the investors had to wait for months together to get the NOC so that they could get the property transferred in their name or apply for conversion from leasehold to freehold or mortgage their property.

In many case, the properties were bought and sold on general power of attorney (GPA). Complaints were often received that bribe had to be paid to get the objections cleared.

Apart from a source of harassment, it was an unnecessary formality. Often, the allottees had to repeatedly visit the building branch of the Estate Office to get the regular NOC, a mandatory requirement for the transfer of property, mortgage and the conversion of property from leasehold to freehold.



Locomotive snag delays train
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadhbhawana Express train was delayed by about two hours when the engine locomotive of the train developed a technical fault between Ghaggar and Dappar stations.

The train remained stranded on the Chandigarh-Ambala section till a relief engine was rushed from the Chandigarh railway station to bring the train to Chandigarh. The passengers on board the train had no option but to wait in the sweltering heat for the new engine to arrive.

Railway officials disclosed that as per the safety procedure, the main line had to be cleared before the Chandigarh-Mumbai Paschim Express could be given the go ahead. The Station Superintendent, Mr SS Dutta, was directed to make arrangements for bringing the stranded Sadhbhawana Express to Chandigarh. The Paschim Express was delayed by about an hour.

Yesterday the Chandigarh-Lucknow train was cancelled following a derailment between Bareilly and Shaharanpur. Due to the derailment, the reverse pair of the train (Lucknow-Chandigarh Express) was late by at least 11 hours and ultimately it was cancelled. 



Business cashes in on football mania
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The ongoing FIFA World Cup has given a great opportunity to business houses, corporate establishments, and small and big traders to cash in on the mania that is likely to continue during the month-long tournament.

Extensive media coverage during the buildup to the World Cup has generated a lot of interest in both young and the old apart from business establishments here.

Let alone multinational companies, even small traders here have introduced schemes linking their sales with the tournament.

Big companies like Samsung, Onida, Sony, etc. have come out with “no” or low interest schemes offering big-screen television sets on easy installments, luring people to watch Brazilian, German and Argentinian football stars come alive in their drawing rooms.

Enquiries from dealers in the city revealed that the sales of television sets, especially LCD and Plasma TVs, have gone up. Add-on like “Buy Back” offer of old television has further boosted the sales.

Small traders like Giny Johny and Ruff Garments in Sector 17, who otherwise have no linkage with football, have floated schemes that offer a free football with the purchases over Rs 1,500.

Similarly, companies like Adidas and Reebok are offering special discounts for “Celebrating the football month”.

Japanese electronic company JVC is selling its video cameras with slogan: “Capture the memorable moments during the World Cup with a JVC recorder”.

Even some juice shops are offering extra quantity of juice just “to infuse josh” during the World Cup.

The phenomenon is universal, while marketing wings of business establishments consider a great opportunity to make the most of it, the mass hysteria is catching on and paying rich dividends.

Companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi and even chocolate manufacturers are putting special FIFA logos or information pertaining to the World Cup. Many shops in Sector 17 have displayed footballs, irrespective of what they are selling.

It is certain that over the next 30 days, the city can hope to see a lot more happen in the name of football.



Nahar surges strains of music on violin
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 10
The innate glory of the traditional purity and historical continuity of Indian classical music was brought alive by the young maestro, Dr Santosh Kumar Nahar, in his violin recital organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy at its auditorium here today.

The animated session of inspired music from the musical genius created elation in the minds of the audience with a live feel of swar, raga and its psychic habitation all through the captivating concert. Having performed extensively abroad, Dr Nahar is the one of most accomplished and cultivated violinist of the region.

Dr Nahar gave a majestic start to the musical soiree with the exposition of raga yaman in “Vilambat Ek Taal” which later melted into the faster tempo of teen taal. He established the raga form delving deep into the lower, middle and tenor of octaves to bring out the essence and melodic content of the evening raga.

Having established an instant rapport with the elite audience, Dr Nahar presented the captivating compositions in raga khamaz. Initiating with a thumri in romantic mould he went on to present dadra in the same raga.

He concluded the concert with compositions in raga Bhairavi. The city pride, young Avirbhav Verma, gave perfect accompaniment to the violin maestro and articulated the melody meter.

Earlier, the akademy Chairman, Mr Kamal Tewari, disclosed that the instant programme was the 17th in the row envisaged at promotion and propagation of the classical and folk arts. Mr N. Khosla, IAS (retd), honoured the artist.



Undisputed master of violin
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Dr Santosh Kumar Nahar
Dr Santosh Kumar Nahar 

Chandigarh, June 10
Born with a musical vein, Dr Santosh Kumar Nahar never quite charted the course for his sensibilities. One of the three musically inclined sons of the celebrated vocalist Prof Prahlad Prasad of Mishra gharana (Banaras), he took off on a plane no one had ever expected or imagined.

And as he soared in unfamiliar musical spaces, he imbibed the skills needed to conquer them. Today he is the undisputed master of the violin - an instrument considered alien in origin as well as conception. For Dr Nahar, however, there is nothing as close to home and heart as the violin. "I love the humility of the violin, and also its timidity," he says.

In Chandigarh today to present a violin recital on the invitation of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Dr Nahar spoke to The Tribune about the classicism of this foreign instrument which did not take long to get domesticated: "Violin is a very tough instrument to master. It challenges the aspirant with its minimalist structure which offers little or no support at all. Hence the addiction and the urge to strive towards excellence," says the musician, who is certainly among the best in the younger generation of violin players in India; veterans being the legends like Dr N. Rajam, M.S. Gopalakrishnan and L Subramaniam.

For Dr Nahar, the road to perfection has been long and tiresome, especially considering that the country still does not have an emotional response system towards the violin and the melodies it unleashes. The musician explains: "The myth is that the violin can only evoke pathos. That is not true. Violin is equally capable of invoking bliss through heartfelt, happy, inspired rhythms. That is one reason why it is so extensively used in films to create pieces to suit every possible setting - when the principal characters are separating, when they are meeting or when they are anticipating to meet. The greatest asset of this instrument is its power to express the "navrasas" with integrity."

Closer to human voice like its cousins, sarangi and israj, the violin is different from them only in one way. It does not have any supporting strings. The onus of composition thus lies squarely on the musician who is likely to get intimidated by the loneliness the instrument begets. But a seasoned musician will find company in the humble fingerboard of the instrument which can be truly charming if played with imagination and intuition.

Dr Nahar is one of the few friends the violin has in India. Committed to the task of enlarging the scope of the instrument, the musician is now planning to open a violin academy either in Allahbad or Delhi. He is also composing ragas which he plans to document in the form of books. Last but not the least in the list of Dr Nahar's engagements is another book on the relationship between vocal and instrumental music. "This is a fascinating field in which I will explore the compatibility of ragas and musical realms. It is common knowledge that certain ragas are best reflected in the vocal tradition while others are best expressed in the instrumental arena. The enigmatic question is "why"," the musician wraps up.



passing thru

How do you rate Indian baseball players?

Masakazu Satake, Japanese baseball coach
Masakazu Satake, Japanese baseball coach

Indian players have good potential. They are quite sharp and attentive. They understand the basics of the game and grasp things quickly. With practice, they can be proficient in this sport.

How do you compare Indian players with Japanese?

No comparison can be made between them as Japanese players are technically very sound as this game requires skill, stamina, speed and strength. The reflexes has to be very sharp as the game is fast and one has to take decision in a fraction of a second. Japanese children have an edge over Indians in this tact.

But as far as strength is concerned Indian children seem better placed?

Yes, Japanese children have short stature and Indian children look stronger physically. But this game require a lot of technicalities. You need to twist your wrist at a certain angle at the right time to play a shot and send the ball home. Similarly, you have to be agile to field the ball.

What are the job prospects of a baseball player in Japan ?

I have been associated with this sport since 1970. After representing Japan in the World Cup, I was appointed as manager of the national team.

How do you find City Beautiful and its people?

The city is quite clean and well planned but the roundabouts, though they look good, appeared confusing to me. Punjabi people are warm and hospitable. I like butter chicken and daal. — G. S. PAUL



Electricity Dept-MC row delays development 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A stand-off between the Electricity Department and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation over the laying of underground electricity cables is delaying the development works in the bridge market and adjoining areas in Sector 17-C.

This is causing inconvenience to the visitors. Traders of the area alleged that the Electricity Department had deposited about Rs 4 lakh with the Municipal Corporation for permission to lay the underground cables for the new transformers in the shopping centre. After giving permission, the MC reportedly directed the Electricity Department not to dig the roads.

As a result, the work of laying the underground cables has been delayed. Members of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal said under the beautification plan of Sector 17, the two wings should work in coordination. Since the footpaths have been uprooted for laying of new tiles, it would have been easy for the electricity department to do their work.

The issue was raised at a meeting chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, on May 29 for the revalidation and development of Sector 17. Traders of Sector 17 and MC officials are members of the development committee.

While officials of the MC, who were also present at the meeting, denied any such bar on the Electricity Department, sources said the work was still lying pending.

Mr Jagdish Kalra, general secretary of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said fast development of the sector would mean less inconvenience to visitors.



Awareness camp on welfare schemes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Chandigarh Administration will organise an awareness camp at Palsora on June 12 to create awareness about various welfare schemes for the weaker sections of society.

Ms Jean Rodrigues, wife of Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), Administrator of Chandigarh, will inaugurate this camp.

The Administration will be providing financial help under various pension/welfare schemes for old persons/children and women/disabled persons and weaker sections of society. The Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial and Development Corporation and Chandigarh Child and Women’s Development Corporation is organizing this function for wider publicity and awareness of pension/welfare schemes.

This function will be organised at Government Primary School, Palsora Colony, Sector 56, Chandigarh from 9 am to 5 pm.



Welfare scheme for ex-servicemen, widows
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Zila Sainik Welfare Office, Chandigarh, has launched various welfare schemes for ex-servicemen/widows and their dependents who are residents of the city during the year 2006-2007.

The Zila Sainik Welfare Office will impart one time grant of 40 scholarships of Rs 3600 which will be awarded to wards of ex-servicemen/widows of Chandigarh only.

These scholarships would be given to those who have passed matric and plus two examinations during March 2006 with a minimum of 60 per cent of marks and are studying in the next higher class.

The criteria will be merit.

Similarly a computer course is also being initiated from August 1, at DOEACC Centre (formerly Regional Computer Centre) Sector 17, Chandigarh.

A screening test will be held to select 25 candidates for the said course. This test will be held on July 25.

The minimum academic qualification for this course is matric pass. The application forms are available at Zila Sainik Welfare Office, Sector 21-D, Chandigarh.

The last date for submission of duly completed application forms will be July 14 and July 31 for computer course and scholarship, respectively.



FOSWAC delegation meets UT Chief Engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A delegation of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) today met the UT Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, to discuss problems of various sectors.

According to a press note, the problems concerning Sectors 18, 19, 30, 32,38, 40, 41, 51, 55, 61 and the cooperative house building societies flats relating to the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration were discussed.

These mostly related to the construction of sealing walls at unauthorised passages in different Sectors towards the V-3 roads, widening and carpeting of the V-3 roads, providing kerbs and channels and the maintenance of the berms, construction of cycle tracks along the V-3 roads, construction and improvement of crossings and roundabouts prone to accidents, development of greenbelts and providing additional light points and streetlights in the centre of widened roads.

Besides, providing blinking traffic lights at the intersections, provision of community and e-Sampark centres, pruning and cutting of eucalyptus trees posing dangers to nearby structures and high tension electric lines were also discussed.

Mr Bhardwaj assured the delegation that another meeting would be held after two months to review the progress.



Pedalling across country with message of peace
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
With just Rs 800 in his pocket, this 35-year-old lean fellow from West Bengal Bidyut Kumar Sardar, took to the arduous task of riding bicycle throughout the country. His noble mission is to spread the message of peace, importance of education and health.

Reaching Chandigarh, after covering a distance of around 7,600 km by pedalling a six-geared bicycle from Kolkata, Bidyut shared his experience with The Tribune, “I started my journey on bicycle to embark on the noble mission from my native Rameshwar Pur village in Mahesthtal, a south district of West Bengal, on February 8 last. I had been pedalling around 85 to 100 km in a day and visited states like Maharashtra, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Bihar, UP, Haryana, Delhi, Uttranchal, Himachal Pradesh and now Punjab. I have a simple reasoning. I want to spread the message of education for all, health for all and peace everywhere”.

Bidyut, a science graduate from Calcutta University, was a teacher with a Rameshwar Pur Primary School where he used to teach students up to class VII.

Having teaching background, he chooses to go to educational institutions first to tell students and teachers to percolate down the benefits of education, health and peace.

He also holds a postgraduation degree in Drama and Arts from Robindrabharati University and puts his talent to spread his message by doing mimicry. Be it any restaurant, roadside, parking place or any public place, this cyclist leaves no chance to use his mime art telling his fellow beings to send their children to schools, keep healthy life and maintain peace.

He is also advocating people not to encourage social evils like child marriage, forged marriage and to protect the environment, forests and wildlife in a bid to maintain a rapport between mankind and animals.

He, however, has to face inconsequential adversaries and queries from fellow citizens, but all get through on his way after deliberations. His aims are high, “I aim to achieve universalisation of elementary education by making free and compulsory education to the children up to the age of 14”.

Visiting around 16 states, Bidyut found Punjab and Haryana to be the most peaceful and beautiful states of all. “The people of Punjab are very hospitable and prosperous. I never faced any difficulty in finding a place for me. I am astonished to find how gurdwaras take care of even strangers. I stayed at Sector 22 D gurdwara and I will remember the hospitality and concern they showed to my cause”.

Bidyut’s ultimate aim is to tour the world for which he will approach the Indian Foreign Ministry after completing the India tour which will take another six months.

“My ultimate aim is to tour the world and for the purpose I have preserved whatever savings I have, including donations from noble persons. My cycle is my wife, my better half, who will help me achieve my goal”, says Bidyut while pedalling off to reach another destination.



MC-PUDA tug-of-war over parks
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 10
Parks have become a bone of contention between the Municipal Council and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), with the former finding faults with the amenities being provided there and the latter accusing the council of coining “excuses” to avoid a takeover of the parks for maintenance.

The tug-of-war on the transfer issue has been hanging fire for some time and PUDA has failed each time to pass on the responsibility to the civic body.

Even an announcement by Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh on April 28 that all parks would be handed over to the civic body for maintenance has fallen on deaf ears.

Among other reasons why the council does not want to take over the responsibility of parks is that it faces fund crunch.

A meeting was held on December 30 last year, which was presided over by Additional Chief Administrator, wherein the council had agreed to take over developed Sectors in a phased manner but only after PUDA completed all development works in these areas.

As such PUDA completed development works in four green belts and parks falling in Sector 56 and informed the civic body in a letter on March 17 to take over the charge of these areas.

PUDA had even decided that no expenditure was to be incurred on these green belts and parks after March 31.

However, the council took over the charge of only four green belts on May 8.

These green belts fall along the roads separating Sectors 56-57, 55-58 and 58-59, and the one falling opposite Dara Studio.

Executive Officer in the civic body Amarjit Singh Sekhon today said parks could not be taken over till PUDA made provisions of water there.

He said the expectations of the residents were much more from the council than PUDA and it would be difficult to satisfy residents in the face of limited facilities.

It has been learned that PUDA wants to hand over 166 parks in the developed parts of the town to the council for maintenance. The area of the parks is around 163.08 acres.

Sources say efforts are now being made by the PUDA authorities to push through the transfer before fresh elections to the council, the date for which is expected to be announced soon.

At present, the council is functioning under an Administrator, who is also the local SDM.

Experience has shown, say PUDA officials, that elected office-bearers of the civic body are a hard nut to crack and it is hard convincing them to take over the charge of the parks. 



INLD protest on Monday
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
Up in arms against the allotment of 1700 acres to the Reliance group in Gurgaon, and petrol and diesel price hike, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) will hold a protest outside the officer of the Deputy Commissioner on Monday.

Mr Dilbagh Singh, district press secretary of the local unit of the INLD, said workers of the dal from the district would participated in the protest led by Pradeep Chaudhary, spokesperson for the INLD. The dal would also raise the issue of land allotment to the Reliance group and demand sack of the UPA government by the President of India.



Pension sought for writers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A meeting of Punjabi writers was held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Prof A.S. Kaang, a senior professor of Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.

Professor Kaang said practical approach of the Haryana Government was needed regarding the demand for second language status to Punjabi.

He said the pension scheme must be implemented for Punjabi writers, who are economically weak.



Punjab police under a cloud yet again
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 10
Infamous for harassing general public, the Punjab Police seems to have lived up its reputation yet again.

In a step that may bring its functioning under a cloud, the police has been accused of shielding certain influential persons allegedly harassing the residents of Amrit Danga Peerat Colony on Zirakpur-Patiala road here.

In fact, the woes of the residents of the colony seem to be unending with police functionaries in the sub-division allegedly failing to take any action against certain persons, who injured Joginder Singh, a colony resident, last month. Instead the police allegedly started harassing the residents, including a restaurant owner and a property dealer.

The residents have now approached the SSP of Mohali and the DIG of the Patiala Range to come to their rescue. In their representation, they have also alleged threats to their lives by a resort owner, who flaunts his "high connections'.

It may be recalled that the 1984 riot-hit families were rehabilitated here by the SGPC.A trust under the chairmanship of Mr Gurnam Singh Sidhu was also reportedly formed to look after the welfare of the riot victims and the rehabilitated persons were not allowed to sell off the dwelling units.

However, one of the residents sold off his house to certain persons, one of them being the restaurant owner. These persons came to take possession of the house on April 19 this year, said Rajinder Singh, colony resident."When the possession was resisted by residents, these persons started threatening us and repeated pleas to the police fell on deaf ears," said Rajinder.

Colony residents alleged that the resort owner wanted to grab their land as it would facilitate a wider entry to his restaurant. They also alleged that the resort had become a source of nuisance as inebriated visitors misbehaved with the residents.



Enrolment of devotees for satsang begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 10
The Shri Yog Vedant Sewa Samiti has started the enrolment of devotees and disciples for offering services during the three-day satsang of Sant Asa Ram starting from June 16 at Seonk village.

Samiti vice-president Madan Sharma said a heavy turnout was expected and as such it was decided to enroll devotes for providing services in the pandal, parking areas and for food service.

He said the Chandigarh Administration had been requested to ply special buses during the satsang.



Protest over fuel price hike
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 10
Local leaders and workers of the Akali Dal held a protest outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner against the hike in prices of petrol and diesel here today.

They burnt an effigy of the Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, and demanded that the hike be rolled back immediately. 



Argument leads to clash, 2 hurt
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 10
Two persons were injured, one of them seriously, when a group allegedly attacked them in the Phase VII market here today. The miscreants also reportedly took away Rs 5 lakh from the office of a property consultant.

According to reports, the group armed with swords and rods, forced their entry into the office of Sabharwal Associates property consultants. They allegedly entered into a heated argument with Mr Ashwini Kumar, a partner of Mr Bhupinder Singh Sabharwal. It is alleged that they even picked up a bag containing the cash, which was lying on the counter, and fled. When they were stopped from taking away the cash, they allegedly attacked the persons present at the office of the property consultants.

Those who sustained injuries were Mr Ashwini Kumar and Mr Nilesh Kumar. While Mr Ashwini Kumar was hit on the head with a sword, Mr Nilesh Kumar suffered internal injuries. Both of them were taken to Cheema Medical Complex in Phase IV.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Sabharwal said the alleged attackers took away a bag containing Rs 5 lakh. Mr Ashwini Kumar worked as a partner with him while Mr Nilesh Kumar was his employee. He said six persons had attacked them. While five of them had left the area in a black Accent car, one had left on a scooter.

It is reported that Mr Ashwini Kumar had a heated argument with Mr Gurnam Singh, a resident of Mundi Kharar, over some issue while making purchases at a shop dealing in mobile phones in the area. People of the area intervened and brought the situation under control. Mr Gurnam Singh then left the area and later returned along with others persons. He again allegedly confronted Mr Ashwini Kumar in his office, which made the situation take an ugly turn.

It is alleged that one of the attackers was also beaten up by some persons in the office of Sabharwal Associates.

The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 452, 323, 324, 382, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Mr Gurnam Singh and others on the complaint of Mr Sabharwal. Mr Gurnam Singh has been arrested by the police.

However, the police has expressed doubts over the allegation that the attackers took away Rs 5 lakh. 



Body found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
The body of an unidentified man, aged about 45 years, was found adjacent to a showroom in Sector 5 here today.

Mr Suresh Chand, a scavenger, noticed the body lying under a tree and he subsequently informed the police. Receiving the information, a police party reached the spot and took the body into possession.

The police has sent the body to General Hospital, Sector 6, for a post-mortem examination. A case has been registered in this regard.



Advocate assaulted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
After a tiff between rival clients of two advocates, a client of a Panchkula-based advocate slapped another advocate from Chandigarh here this afternoon.

According to information, the advocate, who was assaulted had been to the district court along with his client in connection with some litigation. After appearing in the court, his client and his rival indulged in a tiff.

The Chandigarh-based advocate while trying to pacify them received a cracking slap on his cheek. The case was later sorted out with a compromise after high drama.



Discovery-Nokia collaboration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Discovery Channel today announced its second collaboration with Nokia with the launch of the Mobile FilmMakers 2006 Awards.

With the first initiative completed in December 2005, the second contest gives consumers the opportunity to try their hand at mobile film-making and the chance to walk away with a prize of $10,000 and a three-month stint with the Discovery Networks Asia based at the channel’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, during which he or she will be involved in the process of documentary film-making, a press note said here today.

The contest is open to residents of India, Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The closing date for submissions for the contest is June 30.



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