C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

CH 03 X 0001 goes for Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The craze for VIP vehicle registration numbers in the city seems to be waning. The proud owner of the prestigious No. 1 of the new CH 03 X series was happy to have bought it for Rs 2 lakh at an auction conducted by the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh.

Last time the VIP number was auctioned for Rs 3.05 lakh (CH-03V-0001). The auctioned price for the CH 03U 0001 was Rs 5.05 lakh.

Sources in the department said the highest bid for the coveted number CH 03X 0001 was Rs 2 lakh when the bidding took place at the auction yesterday. There were seven bidders for the number and the reserved price was Rs 25,000.

Since the applicant is yet to get the vehicle registered, the make of the model of the vehicle to be registered could not be known, said an official concerned.

The number CH 03X 0009 was auctioned for only Rs 70,000 against the reserve price of Rs 15,000. The number CH 03X 0018 fetched Rs 38,000 against the reserve price of Rs 10,000. The number CH 01 X 0786, considered auspicious, fetched Rs 12,000.

A senior official said, “There has been demand for the first 10 numbers because they are thought to be status symbols. Another major reason for the heavy bidding is the superstition that people associate with the numbers based on numerology.”

The bidders are required to deposit the money within three days, failing which a penalty of 10 per cent is charged on the balance amount.

The recipient of the reserved number is required to get his vehicle registered within one month from the date of auction.

In case the vehicle is not registered the auction stands cancelled. The department earned about Rs 5 lakh from today’s auction.



NGO saves girl from child marriage
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 1
Timely intervention by an NGO today saved yet another 13-year-old girl who was forced to marry by her relatives after the death of her father. Geeta’s father Karam Singh, an auto driver, died in September, 2005, and her paternal uncle Bhag Singh had took the responsibility of looking after his brother’s family, including Geeta, her mother Rajinder Kaur and two younger brothers Davinder Singh and Balbir Singh.

Left with hardly any money and property, Rajinder Kaur and her three children started living as a joint family with Bhag Singh, a lineman with the UT Electricity Department.

In less than a year of being a part of the joint family, Rajinder Kaur approached Bal Niketan, Sector 2, Panchkula, and requested the management for adopting her sons Davinder Singh and Balbir Singh as she was unable to bring them up for her poor economic conditions.

The management reportedly told her to approach Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, a Panchkula-based NGO, in this regard.

The case of the child marriage came to light after Mr Mansa Ram Ahuja, a founder president of the Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, enquired Rajinder Kaur about her family background, and reason behind her request for adopting her sons and not the daughter.

Mr Ahuja told The Tribune that she disclosed that her daughter was likely to be married to a Balachaur-based boy (a taxi drive) this month.

After coming to know the age of the would-be bride, Mr Ahuja and Mr N. Paul Sabarwal, chairman of the NGO, intervened before the paternal uncle of Geeta had taken any wrong step.

Mr Ahuja, along with other members of the NGO and Rajinder Kaur, visited the house of Bhag Singh in Mauli village and advised him against the child marriage. The members of Bhag Singh’s family were also told that they had been going against the guidelines of the Child Marriage Act in marrying the girl.

Mr Ahuja claimed that after much persuasion Bhag Singh dropped the idea of marrying Geeta and she was brought to the Ashiyana, a government-aided home for orphans in Sector 16 last night. The NGO has adopted the widow’s family and they have been provided accommodation in Ashiyana, claimed Mr Ahuja.

Rajinder Kaur said she had been under the obligations of Bhag Singh so she kept mum when the issue of her daughter’s marriage was raised.

“I broke my silence when members of the boy’s family visited the house to finalise the proposal of the marriage and that, too, without the consent of the girl. I told my brother-in-law and other members of his family to search for a suitable match for Geeta after she is 18 years of age”, claimed Rajinder Kaur.

Geeta, whose aim is to become a doctor, said her sisters-in-laws had been mounting pressure on her parental uncle for the married even though he was a little bit reluctant to it. “Since our family was being looked after by Bhag Singh, there was no other alternative but to get married”, lamented Geeta.

Meanwhile, Bhag Singh has claimed that the age of the girl was around 17. 



Open city-Morinda rail line: BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) today demanded that the already completed Chandigarh-Morinda rail section should be inaugurated by a worker who was involved in its construction rather than the Railways waiting for a VIP to inaugurate it.

The railway overbridge at Dera Bassi has been inaugurated in a similar manner on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former Member of Parliament from Chandigarh.

Demanding early opening of the 45-km line, Mr Jain, along with party workers, staged a protest and marched for a short distance on the new line. Mr Jain said delay in opening the line reflected the callous attitude of the Congress-led UPA government towards Chandigarh.

The former MP said it was sad that despite the track having been given clearance in April, 2006, the Central Government was waiting for a VIP to inaugurate it. The delay in starting the line was causing loss of lakhs to the Railways.

Stating that the BJP-led NDA government had approved the project and started work on it in 1999, he said the UPA government, after coming to power in May 2004, sabotaged the project by not releasing money for electrification at that time. The line should be opened for the general public even if no VIP was available for its inauguration.



Langah enters verbal duel with SHO over son’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 1
A war-of-words erupted today between former PWD Minister, Punjab, Sucha Singh Langah along with his supporters and a Mohali police team headed by SHO, police station, Phase I, Rajinder Singh Sohal.

The incident took place when the police were getting five youths, including Sukhjinder Singh, son of Mr Langah, who had been arrested for attempting to murder two policemen, medically examined.

The five had allegedly bashed and later tried to run over the policemen who tried to stop a fight between them. The police alleged that the car driver tried to run over one of the policemen, who got hit. They were taken to a police station and arrested. The police had claimed that the medical examination of the five proved that they were drunk.

Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, president of the Truck Operators Union, Mohali, whose son was also arrested in the same case, came to the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, along with his supporters and accused the SHO of influencing the doctors conducting the medical examination.

He demanded that a fresh examination be got conducted at a private hospital. When the police objected, Mr Dhillon and other accompanying him got into a verbal duel with the SHO. Mr Langah too arrived on the spot and accused the police of trying to implicate the youths.

In the evening Mr Langah tried to give a political turn to the case, alleging that the boys had been booked at the behest of the ruling party.

Addressing mediapersons, he alleged that district police officials were acting at the behest of his political rivals and trying to implicate his son and his friends in a false case.

He also claimed that the police had registered a case of attempt to murder against the five youths with the sole purpose of saving their skin. Mr Langah also said the junior officials had misled the senior police officers, including the SSP, Mohali.

However, the police denied the allegations and said the law would take its course. Meanwhile, Mr Dhillon is also learnt to have given a complaint against the SHO to the SSP.

Meanwhile, a Kharar court today sent the five accused in judicial custody till July 15.

The accused are Sukhjinder Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Gurkirat Singh, Gursharan Singh and Anwardeep Singh. Anwardeep is an absconder in rape case registered against him at Tarn Tarn last year. 



Now BBC decides to portray Partition
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Fiftynine years after the borders of religion, caste and creed were converted into political and geographical boundaries; the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has decided to portray Partition in "right perspective" through a "season of India-specific programmes".

For the purpose, it is looking for "contributors" who saw and can still pull out the blood-spattered tumultuous experiences of Partition from the recycle bin of their memories. Or else, present a point of view that will shed a new light on the circumstances leading to the division of hearts.

It has already embarked upon the task of talking to people who became the victims of mutual suspicion and violence that swept the countryside way back in 1947, resulting in relocation of millions and the loss of approximately 500,000 lives.

"So far we have interacted with several journalists, civil servants, retired brigadiers and other army officers, including the ones involved in the evacuation of people from Lahore and other places in trains before hostility resulted in indiscriminate killings and abductions," says Chandigarh-based Project Consultant Mandeep Singh Bajwa.

This is not all. Mr Bajwa and other members of the crew have even talked to people involved in the landing of an aircraft on a chunk of village common land across the border to pull the victims of circumstances away from the jaws of certain death.

The project includes a visit to the border village of Pul Kanjari. The village built by Maharaj Ranjit Singh a few kilometres from both Amritsar and Lahore was a bustling trade centre before Partition.

After Pakistanis raided the village to take away the wealth, the dwellers were forced to migrate to Amritsar, New Delhi and even Mumbai. Some of them visit the village every year in mid-August for remembering the victims during an annual fair. In an attempt to restore its past glory, the Border Security Force (BSF) recently took the initiative of rebuilding the historic village.

In all, the team hopes to interview over 100 persons with emotive stories of individual loss, of escape and survival in a new land of opportunities and freedom. The intention is to prepare four documentaries, each of one hour-duration, to be aired next year in connection with the 60th anniversary of Partition.

"For bringing out the truth, the dramatised version of certain events in the history of Partition will be interspersed with original footage of so many people we are talking to," Mr Bajwa asserts. "Producer Ricardo Pollack is expected to reach India this fortnight for talking to the contributors after visiting the venues and the shooting will begin next month."

A defence analyst and a military historian, Mr Bajwa has been associated with the BBC for over 10 years now and has produced a couple of documentaries for them, including one on sports.



This device can check toilet water wastage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The application for patenting a water-saving device technique invented by a junior engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr Vijay Kumar, has been accepted by the Indian Patent Office and its filing No has been issued.

This was stated by the Junior Engineer during a press conference organised at Press Club here today. The technique can help save millions of gallons of water wasted in the common household toilets daily. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has filed the patent application on behalf of the Chandigarh Housing Board in the name of the Junior Engineer.

The invention has also been sent to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Vijay Kumar said the innovation could help the Ministry of Urban Development to rethink about its move asking housing boards and other housing authorities in the country to replace the old cisterns.

The average water consumed by the old cisterns was 12.5 to 15 litres in operation. A new standard of 10 litres has been suggested. The new technology can alter the use of the existing tanks by reducing the supply by more than 3 litres.

Demonstrating the pratical application of the device, he said, “I have tested the technology and displayed its practical application to the DST. It is a very cost-effective technology and will help the government use the existing infrastructure instead of replacing the cisterns. Replacement means a very huge expenditure”. The modification can help in improving the existing structures. The technology will be of immense use, particularly in toilets of old government and private buildings, schools, colleges and hospitals.



Projects at rly station to be reviewed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The ongoing development projects and basic amenities at the Chandigarh Railway Station would be under the scrutiny of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways scheduled to come here soon.

The Standing Committee, comprising 31 members of Parliament is scheduled to visit the railway stations at Chandigarh, Patiala and Rajpura on July 8 and 9. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the members would be querying about the progress of the Chandigarh-Morinda rail link.

In the light of the visit of the Standing Committee, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Mr R.K. Tandon, and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Mr M/s Chalia, today visited the Chandigarh Railway Station.

Mr Tandon told The Tribune that the issue of using the Platform no 2 and 3 to accommodate 24 coach train was discussed with the officials of the construction wing.

Fault rectified: For the past two days, the reservation system at Chandigarh and at some other station had developed a snag due to which an amount Rs 20 was being added in the amount of rail travel. It was an error which has been rectified The passengers who have been issued the ticket with the additional amount can ask for the refund of the extra money.



HUDA’s move resented

Panchkula, July 1
Members of the Panchkula Public Peace and Welfare Association and local property dealers have threatened to move the court against the move of the HUDA of not transferring property purchased under the general power of attorney . Mr Hemant Kingar, president of the association, in a press note said the move was unjustified and illegal. TNS



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