C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


8 dengue cases in tricity
Tribune News Service

2 suspected cases in PGI

Two cases of suspected dengue were detected at the PGIMER here today. According to hospital records Preeti (18), a resident of Saharanpur, and Mr Gurnam Singh (40) from Mohali were admitted with high fever to the PGIMER emergency today.

Sources disclosed that the cases were being treated for dengue. It is also learnt that patients from Haryana and Punjab have been arriving with dengue symptoms but the exact number suffering from the disease could not be ascertained.

The PGIMER authorities, however, were tight lipped about the exact number of dengue cases.


  • Wear full-sleeved clothes.
  • Wear shoes and socks.
  • Wash and scrub cooler tanks weekly.
  • Put a spoonful of oil, petrol or kerosene, on stagnant water to check larva-growth.
  • Use mosquito repellents and carry out regular sprays.
  • Paracetamol safest; avoid painkillers.

Panchkula/ Chandigarh, October 2
With two confirmed and one suspected case of dengue being reported today the total tally of reported cases went up to eight in the district.

Two patients, Raj Kumar of Sector 21 and Bimla Devi of Old Panchkula, who tested highly positive for dengue, were referred to PGIMER. Sources in the health department said the third case involved a patient who was not from the city. A resident of Sector 11, the patient, 22-year-old Sumeet, a hotel management student in Delhi, was admitted to the Emergency at General Hospital with symptoms of dengue. He is said to have got the infection during his stay in Delhi.

The seven positive cases of dengue have prompted the health authorities to take steps to check the spread of the viral outbreak. The department has stepped up the drive to create awareness about cleaning coolers to check breeding of aedes mosquito while fogging has been undertaken on a war footing in areas from where cases have been reported. The department has also directed workers to conduct a survey in the sensitive areas to remove water from coolers and tyres.

The Panchkula Chief Medical Officer, Mr G.P Saluja, today said seven persons had tested positive for dengue ‘‘on low density’’ at PGI in Chandigarh ‘‘but there is no cause forworry’’ as they were undergoing medication at their homes. He said people were advised not to take medicines on their own and go for a test even in case of a minor fever. Two cases of cerebral malaria have also been reported at the General Hospital and the patients are undergoing treatment. Doctors said the symptoms of dengue manifest themselves as high grade fever, body aches and headache as also painful eyes.

‘‘In some cases, there can be bleeding from the nose or in the urine, caused due to fall in the platelet count, which is an indication of dengue in its later stages. Excessive bleeding can also lead to shock syndrome where a patient goes into shock. This kind of advanced dengue needs hospitalisation of a patient,’’ explained Dr Sanjay Malik from the General Hospital.

While asserting that painkillers of all kinds should be avoided since these hasten the decrease in platelet count, Dr Malik opined that paracetamol is the safest drug but consulting a doctor was essential. 



Health Dept gears up to tackle dengue threat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In wake of the increasing number of dengue cases in Delhi, Gurgaon and adjoining areas, the UT Health Department has geared up for prevention and control of this vector-borne disease.

To review the steps taken by the department for the prevention and control of dengue in the city, Dr Manjit Singh Bains, Director Health Services (DHS), Chandigarh, convened an emergency meeting in the Directorate of National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme last Saturday.

In order to tackle dengue cases, the DHS has divided the city into four zones which would be headed by Senior Medical Officers (SMOs) from dispensaries, polyclinic and community health centre. Dr S.S Cheema, Assistant Director Malaria, Dr M.S Ahlawat and Dr J.R Chauhan have been given the responsibility of checking and monitoring the zones—West, East, South and North—respectively.

The State Nodal Officer, IDSP, will coordinate with the Zonal Officers for the effective implementation of field programmes. The SMOs in charge of these zones have also been directed to monitor the situation in order to predict impending outbreaks of dengue.

The Zonal Officers have been advised to maintain liason with the Medical Officer in charge of the dispensaries for effective implementation of dengue- control measures in their respective zones and areas. They have also been directed to prepare lists of all fever cases.

According to a press note issued by the UT Administration the Chandigarh Prevention and Control of Malaria, Dengue and JE regulation, 2001, has already been promulgated and Malaria, Dengue and JE Control Officers have been appointed in the city. The DHS, Joint DHS, Assistant Director Malaria, Professor and Head of the Department of Parasitology,PGIMER, Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Anti- Malaria Officer and Medical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation have already been designated as Malaria, Dengue and JE Control Officers as per a notification issued on January 27 this year.

Besides this, the Sanitary Inspectors of Health Department, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, and other institutions shall also assist the officers in the prevention and control of malaria and dengue.

Dr Manjit Singh Bains has also directed all Medical Officers and Senior Medical Officers to monitor the cases of increased fever in their respective dispensaries. They have been further asked to report about the abrupt increase in the incidence of fever to the Assistant Director Malaria and the State Nodal Officer, IDSP.

The field operations have also been intensified in Chandigarh. The Inspectorate staff has been directed to gear up the checking of mosquitogenic situation in city. The public is being made aware through IEC activities for the prevention and control of dengue.

Recently as many as 61 Medical Officers from various dispensaries, polyclinic, CHC and Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH) were trained under the integrated disease surveillance programme where all aspects of prevention and control of dengue were discussed by experts.

The DHS has also made an appeal to the residents of Chandigarh to keep their coolers dry in order to prevent Aedes mosquito from breeding in and around their houses. Special teams are already working in slums and labour colonies for carrying out vector survey for the prevention of Aedes breeding.



Dasehra goes hi-tech
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Technology caught up with Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad this evening.

Struck by their own deeds, the trio did not even wait for the burning arrows of fate to hit them.

They went up in flames amidst the bursting din of excitement and crackers, with the pressing of remote control keys during Dasehra festivities here today.

In all, the festival was celebrated religiously with hi-tech fanfare and gaiety at 22 locations across the city.

At several places, including the Panjab University grounds, the techno-savvy Ravana refused to give up the scientific struggle without protest.

As his eyes blazed with embers of anger, the Lanka king — like the fire demon — exhaled flames.

Before burning up, he turned around his head several times in rage.

For witnessing the grand finale, almost the entire city was practically out on the streets.

In fact, a large number of residents thronged venues even before the sun disappeared behind buildings in the west.

They parked their vehicles all around the locations haphazardly, resulting in the creation of traffic bottlenecks on roads leading to the venues.

The problem was worse on roads separating Sectors 17 and 22 and Sectors 33 and 34, and the Sector 32 market.

Ignoring the honking passersby, the residents came out of their cars and vans to look at the burning effigies.

Some stood next to their vehicles after parking those on either side of the roads and others climbed up railings.

More than a few stood in the middle of roundabouts.

For managing the crowd, cops erected barricades in different parts of the city.

The road leading to the Sector 32 market — the venue of another celebration — was declared out of bounds for residents, leading to further chaos.

As the burning arrow pierced the heart of Ravana, the crowd cheered from rooftops of adjoining buildings.

Those unable to make it to the rooftops climbed up bus shelters in front of the venues.

As the rockets flew in all directions showering sparklers, they clapped and screamed in excitement.

The fireworks were also better this time.

As the towering effigies were consigned to flames, the evening sky was illuminated by rockets, that exploded into cheerful and glittery stars in myriad hues of celebration.

Among the visitors were a couple of foreigners from Germany and other places.

They too were apparently elated.

“We have seen fireworks so many times”, they asserted, “but we have never witnessed this kind of excitement”.

The venue of prime-time celebrations was the Dasehra grounds in Sector 46.

A 60-foot effigy of Ravana was set ablaze with the pressing of remote control keys.

An impressive Lanka was set on fire by Hanuman.

The effigies were also burnt in green belts cutting through middle of sectors, including Sectors 18, 19 and 21.

The road in front of the venues, including the Parade Ground in Sector 17, was nothing less than a village fair.

As the residents tried to push their way back home, they were lured by roadside vendors offering bows and arrows, besides bangles, bindis and plastic toys.

The rush was no less in the city markets.

In mood to celebrate the occasion, the residents, clad in their festive best, thronged sweet shops to buy jalebis, samosas and pakodas.

The shops too were decked up for the occasion.

Garlanded by marigolds and psychedelic lights, they attracted customers till late at night.

The maximum rush of shoppers was witnessed in Sectors 22 and 17.



Victory of good over evil celebrated
Our Correspondent

A scene of Dasehra celebrations in Phase VIII, Mohali
A scene of Dasehra celebrations in Phase VIII, Mohali, on Monday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, October 2
Dasehra was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the town here this evening, marking the victory of good over evil.

A large number of residents attired in their best went to see Dasehra functions held at four places in the town. The main function was held in the Phase VIII grounds by the Dasehra Committee where Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, was the chief guest.

People watched the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna go up in flames. Children enjoyed the most who came to watch the celebrations along with their parents.

The committee had this year also burnt an effigy of the corrupt government employees.

People were seen on top of various vehicles parked near the venue to get a better glimpse of the celebrations. Some of them had also climbed on trees. Extraordinary fireworks were displayed this time at the function. Traffic jam was also witnessed despite the police making efforts for the smooth flow of traffic. People also faced parking problems.

Mr Madhu Bhushan, president of the Dasehra committee, appealed to the MLA to get some permanent site marked in the town for holding of social functions.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh assured the gathering that residents would not face any problem to organise Dasehra celebrations next year as a permanent site would be allotted by then.

Dasehra was also celebrated in Phase I and Mataur village.



Dasehra celebrated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
Dasehra was celebrated with traditional fervour in the city today. Huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath were put up at the Sector 5 parade ground. People, attired in colourful clothes, flocked to the venue to witness the victory of good over evil.

After a “war” between the forces of Lord Rama and Ravana, the effigies went up in flames, marking the end of evil.



Beware! Cops in mufti to nab traffic violators
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Beware of cops in mufti, for the Chandigarh traffic police has deployed plainclothesmen to keep an eye on motorists jumping red lights and violating other rules during early morning hours.

Traffic police sources said the drive was the result of the observation that motorists who violated traffic rules followed rules only where they spotted a cop on duty.

In the absence of policemen on duty, they avoided following rules and put lives in danger.

The drive would help in curbing such motorists and result in mending their dangerous habits.

Giving details, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Jaswant Singh Khaira said the traffic police would hold this surprise drive during early morning hours.

Traffic police cops in plain clothes would watch the behaviour of motorists.

In case they noticed someone jumping a red light or violating any other traffic rule, they would inform colleagues deployed at a naka some distance away about the violation, who would booked the offenders.

The drive would keep such motorists alert about the presence of cops even if they were not discernable.

The sources revealed that the traffic police had set up two such nakas, at the traffic lights on the road separating Sectors 22 and 23 and near the Kalibari temple on the road separating Sectors 31 and 47.

After beginning at 6:30 am, within two hours, 60 violators were booked for jumping red lights and other offences.

An officer added that such challan drives were important as motorists overspeed, jumped red lights and violated rules during early morning hours.

Teenaged drivers and school-going students usually indulged in breaking rules if they did not spot a cop on duty.

Last week, a Class X student from Ropar, driving a motor cycle with his friend pillion riding, had been killed after being hit by a heavy vehicle at the traffic light point on the road separating Sectors 45 and 46.

His friend was seriously hurt in the accident, which occurred during early morning hours.



Liquor ‘flows’ on dry day
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Drowning the orders of the Chandigarh Administration prohibiting the sale of liquor on October 2, liquor vends in and around the city today paid a ‘‘spirited homage’’ to Father of the Nation by selling liquor at a premium.

A Tribune team, which visited some of the vends, especially those bordering the neighbouring states, witnessed blatant violation of the prohibitory orders as some of the popular brands were being offered to intended customers at rates 10 to 30 per cent higher than the normal rates.

Only a limited number of popular brands were available. A small window of the vend was kept open for replenishing supplies. Some of the vends had their rear gates opened for dry-day sale.

At one such vend in Sector 48, the Chandigarh Tribune team reporter was offered a quart of a popular brand for Rs 220. The actual price of a bottle of liquor of the same brand can be bought for Rs 160 on normal days. ‘‘No one can give this brand cheaper than us today. During the day, we sold it for Rs 250 a quart,’’ revealed the ‘‘enterprising’’ salesman of vend. But before The Tribune team could buy it, another customer came to take it.

As a photographer clicked a picture, one of the salesmen ducked but did not succeed in hiding the bottles that he had in his hands. Not far away from vend was another person drinking at the otherwise closed ahata of the vend.

Ironically, neither any policeman nor any official of the Excise Department was to be seen anywhere in the area.



Four liquor shops sealed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
Despite the hype generated by ‘‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’’ about Gandhiji and Gandhigiri, liquor vends in the city showed little regard for the birth anniversary of the Father of Nation.

The sale of liquor continued unabated in the district even though October 2 is a dry day till an irked public and the police swung into action and forced the vend owners to close the vends.

Four liquor vends in Kalka brazenly continued the sale of liquor before people protested and forced their closure. The protesting public nabbed the vendors, Baldev Singh from the vend on Kalka-Parwanoo road, Prem Kumar at Old Bus Stand, Birpal at Gandhi Chowk and Rampal at Railway Road, Kalka, and handed them over to the police.

Following information from the police, sources said the District Excise and Taxation Department sealed the four vends and a case had been registered against the vendors. Meanwhile in the city, vends in Budanpur, Industrial Area and Sector 20 sold liquor on the sly through small openings in the vends. The police was informed about the illegal sale of liquor after which the vends were closed.



Special Story
Parliamentary panel for speedy disposal of cases
Compensation for acquisition of land for Defence Ministry
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Taking note that a large number of cases regarding payment of compensation where land has been acquired by the Defence Ministry are pending in various courts, a parliamentary panel has urged the government to try settling the cases out of court through negotiations and reconciliations.

In its 13th report laid before the Lok Sabha recently, the Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence has also recommended that for speedy disposal of cases, the government must request the High Courts to set up special judicial Benches in each state.

The committee's report stated that the Defence Ministry has been acquiring land under the age-old Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and the Defence of India Act, 1939, framed during the British period. "Though these acts have been amended from time to time, these are totally inadequate to meet the present day needs and aspirations of the people," the report stated.

The committee was also constrained to note that there was no policy for rehabilitation of displaced persons and it was only in 2004 that guidelines were issued in the form of National Policy on Resettlement and Rehabilitation. "In the absence of a policy for rehabilitation, the displaced persons were being given meagre compensation for land acquired for defence projects and no effort was being made to resettle and rehabilitate them properly," the report stated.

Observing that a large number of people sacrifice their ancestral land, traditional occupations and livelihood due to acquisition of land, the committee was of the opinion that it was the responsibility of the Defence Ministry to ensure timely compensation and rehabilitation for the affected people.

The committee noted that on examining various representations and oral evidences of displaced families, most of them had not been properly resettled and rehabilitated and some of them were still suffering.

Citing, among others, the example of Himachal Pradesh, the committee observed that for land acquired in 1991, only 68 oustees out of the 149 were rehabilitated. The committee did not approve the manner in which the ministry was handling rehabilitation and desired that the government should extend benefits to those who were unable to apply within the stipulated time.

In another case related to acquisition of land at Gurdaspur and then surrendering it, the committee observed that it was failure on the part of the ministry to anticipate and plan as per the requirements of the project envisioned.

The committee observed that in some cases absence of any demand from the state government result in displaced persons not getting any rehabilitation package. The committee also took serious note of the fact that Defence Ministry officials do not attend monitoring committee meetings headed by district-level officials to discuss the progress of rehabilitation and sort out the grievances of the affected persons.

The committee also observed that the Ministry of Home Affairs should be made the nodal agency on land acquisition and rehabilitation instead of the Ministry of Rural Development which holds the current charge.



Chandigarh Calling

IF you think Bollywood starts are the only ones who will go to any extent to hog the media limelight, than think again. Giving them stiff competition are our own celestial types. With so many Dashera committees mushrooming in the city, each one is trying to outdo the other in order to occupy some space in the newspapers, and as usual Ravana is the casualty here. The other day, Ravana was made to stand on the matka of the Matka Chowk and laugh his villainous laughter just to please the camerapersons who were invited by the organisers. Not only that, on the Parade Ground, 10 persons were dressed up like the mythological villain and nine of them were made to kneel down to create the ten-headed Ravana. It must have been uncomfortable, but then everything is fair in love and public relations. And the Garhwal Ramlila Committee had Ravana and other stars donating blood in their costumes at a blood donation camp that they organised (see picture by Tribune photographer Pradeep Tiwari).

Women for real

Once upon a time it might have been a taboo for women to act on stage, especially for a religious ceremony like Ramlila. But no longer! It's heartening to see young girls coming out and making the temple their stage. And they are doing a job at it. Ask them if they are not afraid to step over the age-old tradition; the answer will be that it is no longer unsafe to work in Ram Lilas as the entire unit is like one big family. Heart warming indeed! Women libbers of the city, you have one more reason to rejoice

Moody Katrina

Actor Katrina Kaif makes petulance may seem like a cakewalk both on and off-screen. Shooting for Vipul Shah's ''Namaste London'' on a hot, dusty day in the middle of emerald green fields in Kharar last week, Katrina was required to kick the tyre of a car she is travelling in (in the film!) and which breaks down bang in the middle of sada Punjab's lovely fields and Katrina was the perfect picture of crabbiness, face covered with a scarf. However, the act continued well after the shot was over. While few details escaped her lips despite the long interview session, one did gather that she spends all her free time watching old classic English films like ''Dr Zhivago'' and ''Casablanca''. Perhaps beau Salman Khan needs to show her the sights and sounds of Mumbai more, for obviously green fields and old movies is not doing the trick for her mood!

Save Sukhna

Sukhna Lake has always been a Chandigarhians' delight. But now there is a need to improve it as it is ageing, say a large number of residents following the publication of a news report in the columns of Chandigarh Tribune last week. An old-timer called up The Tribune office to convey:"On behalf of Sukhna lovers, I appeal to the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), for his immediate intervention to protect the lake from certain death." The other caller said: "Discard bureaucratic procedures to save dear Sukhna."

Prince dhaba

A colleague who shifted to city's Sector 15, which is not a post sector but perhaps one of the most lively with the student population overcrowding it, was nostalgic about her own university days. Many things remain there just as they were some thirty years ago and one of them is Prince dhaba. It certainly is Prince Charming having fed generations of students and bachelors on good wholesome food and all for very little money. The tradition continues and they have added specialities like tandoori fish and butter chicken. And the eatery also has an air-conditioner so one can eat the hot stuff in a cool way.

Shared table

Since table-sharing culture in eating joints is not so common among Chandigarhians as in the metros, people are made to wait for their turn to have the seats. Last weekend, a family of three, visited a restaurant for dinner. People were waiting for their turn to occupy seats. In the far nook, two young ladies were busy chatting on a six-seater table. The three immediately made it to them and politely asked, "May we share the table please?" A little reluctance and pat came the reply "Yes please, no problem". So with just a little effort table sharing can become a reality here the wait will be a lot less.

Contributors: Parbina Rashid, Gayatri Rajwade, Vishal Gulati, Vinod Jaidka & Nirupama Dutt



Watch out

Surinder Mahajan
Surinder Mahajan

A city coach Surinder Mahajan, will be in Hyderabad on Tuesday to start coaching the national junior badminton team for the junior World Cup Championships, to be held in South Korea from November 2 to 7. The camp, in which Commonwealth games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will be joined by 10 promising boys and girls, will continue till October 30.

Surinder Mahajan had earlier accompanied the junior badminton team for the Youth Commonwealth Games, held in Australia last year, in which India won a silver. He works with the Sports Authority of India and has been associated with training of many promising boys and girls of Chandigarh and surrounding areas.



Passing Through

Sachin Saluja
Sachin Saluja, Director, Clara International India’s Franchisee Division

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here in connection with the launch of the branch of the Malaysia-based Clara International Academy in Sector 35.The academy will offer internationally-recognised diplomas and world-class facilities.

Which kind of courses are being planned in the academy?

The local academy will offer around 15 beauty and haircare courses, including diploma in beauty therapy, diploma in beauty culture and hair designing. Besides, short-term courses such as self-rejuvenation course, certificate in nail and body art and certificate in basic spa therapy are in the offing.

What future do you see for the Indian beauty industry?

The beauty and hair care industry is one of the fastest-growing lifestyle industries in India. It is growing at a rate of 400 per cent and is already an industry worth Rs 100 crore.

Your future plans for India?

The Chandigarh academy is one of the 100 academies we are planning in India. India offers excellent scope for expansion as the job opportunities are mind-boggling in the country. In the past one year, about 20 beauty salons have come up in Chandigarh alone.

— Pradeep Sharma



UT turns blind eye to accident spot
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
“Only the Administration knows what holds it back from preventing accidents at the most vulnerable spots in Sector 38 (West). Various senior officials, including that of the police and the Administration, have been approached in this regard. The media has highlighted the issue several times, but to no avail.”

Mr Chitranjan Singh, president, MIG Resident Welfare Society, Sector 38 (West), said this while addressing a gathering at a spot in Sector 38 (West) where a Toyota Qualis met with an accident yesterday.

The Qualis overturned at least twice in a collision with a car. Three family members, who were travelling in the Qualis, were admitted to the Government Hospital, Sector 16, while the car driver was also injured.

A group of residents, including Mr Arvinder Singh, are preparing a “fresh” note to be submitted to the SSP, demanding measures to minimise accidents.

The venue has no traffic signals. The hedges along boundary walls of flats block the drivers’ vision.

“To streamline the traffic, the area needs a roundabout,” Mr Satish Kumar said.

Mr Jarnail Singh, a bank manager, said: “It is indeed intriguing to figure out the reason for the undue delay in installing a safety mechanism at the site. The accidents are frequent and have been pointed out by the residents to all officials concerned.”

Ms Amrit Kaur said: “The hedges along the boundary lines are a big hindrance for motorists coming from Punjab to see the traffic coming from inner roads.”

This is not the only point that often witnesses freak accidents. The road intersection of Sectors 38 and 38 (West), on the other side of the sector, is another accident spot in the area.

Ms Amritpal suffered several fractures in the arms and legs last month when a Travera hit her scooter.



Housing Problems
New Generation Apt residents get raw deal 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 2
Over four years after the residents of New Generation Apartments on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway were given possession of their flats, scores of residents are living with problems galore.

In fact, if the allegations of the New Generation Residents Welfare Society are to be believed, they have been given a raw deal by the builder. Certain promised facilities are yet to be given to the residents, Mr RK Saini, society president, alleges. Even repeated representations to the official agencies have failed to move things, Mr Saini alleged.

And despite repeated pleas to the builder, Mr RM Singla, the sanction plan has not been provided to the residents, alleges Mr MK Jinsi. “In the absence of the sanction plan, we are at our wits’ end about the layout plan and authorised and unauthorised constructions in the project. The provision of the sanction plan is our legal right but the builder does not think so,” he said.

Unveiled in 2000, the project promoters—New Generation Real Estate Limited—had promised state-of-the-art facilities in the housing project. However, six years down the line, the promised facilities, including the sewerage treatment plant, RO water filtration system, community centre and power back-up, are yet to see the light of the day, alleged Mr RC Bawa, another resident.

The maintenance of the complex need much to be desired and the lifts remain non-functioning for days together, says Mr Rajan Rikhey. As if this was not enough, the promoters had recently constructed a commercial complex adjoining the housing complex which virtually blocks sunlight to at least 20 flats, he further alleged.

Similarly, the power and water supplies, which are the responsibilities of the government agencies, continues to trouble the residents.

While the promoter, Mr RM Singla, could not be contacted despite several attempts for the past week, a representative of the company, Mr Pandey, refuted the allegations of the residents claiming that the new generation was one of the best colonies in the township. He claimed that certain “dissatisfied” allottees were blowing the issue out of proportion.

Official sources, on the other hand, inform that the power situation is bad in the whole of the state. As Zirakpur was bursting at the seams with the construction of scores of colonies, the supply has apparently fallen short of the demands, the sources said.

However, now efforts were being to streamline the power and water supply. Similarly, the sewerage is also being laid in the township, the official added.



16 Pak youngsters in city for peace camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
They are ambassadors of peace. Bubbling with excitement for being in India, 16 youngsters from Pakistan’s Youth Pakistan, an NGO, are here for a week long Indo-Pak joint peace camp being held at the Dev Samaj College of Education in Sector 36.

And what better day to start the camp than Gandhi Jayanti! Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, Government of India inaugurated the camp, jointly organised by the Yuvsatta, the Youth-Pakistan, Dev Samaj College of Education, DAV College, Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi with the help of the Department of Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Chandigarh Administration.

Welcoming the participants, Dr Satinder Dhillon, convenor of “Campaign for Peace-city Chandigarh”, said today was a very auspicious day as other than being Gandhi Jayanti, the day, being Dasehra, denoted the victory of the good over evil.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal said the peace process between India and Pakistan is quite fragile. Biased bureaucrats, people vested in continuation of hostilities and acts of terrorism can easily derail it. “As we approach the 60th anniversary of Independence of India and Pakistan, peoples of the region, especially the silent majority, should seriously reflect on what they want, and what would be in the long term the interest of the two nations and that of the whole region. Such initiatives of youngsters can play a great role in promoting brotherhood, peace and progress,” he said.

Mr Bansal appreciated the holding of Gandhi Jayanti as Indo-Pak peace day, thus saluting the 100 years of birth of Gandhiji’s Satyagraha. He also presented copies of the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” to all participating students from Pakistan.

Other than the youngsters from the Youth-Pakistan, 25 local students are participating in the camp. Giving information about the camp Mr Parmod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, said guests from Pakistan are staying with local families and in college hostels. This will certainly help to promote mutual goodwill and feeling of brotherhood.

The next six days of the group are packed with deliberations on the role of youth in promoting universal peace, disarmament, unity of religions and strengthening Indo-Pak relations. Alongside serious discussions, special city Chandigarh tour on bus and bicycles will also be there and they’ll also be watching “Lage Raho Munnabhai”.

Mr Mubashir Mirza, the group leader of the students representing the Youth-Pakistan, said after this camp, it would be their turn to host a similar initiative in Pakistan, in which they would request students from schools and colleges of peace-city Chandigarh to participate. Today, the group was also a special invitee of the Shri Ramlila Committee, Sector 17, to watch the Dasehra celebrations.



Prices of pulses continue to rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The prices of the pulses and edible oils continue to rise, upsetting the home budgets.

A random survey of markets yesterday revealed that the prices of the commonly used pulses had risen sharply as compared to the last month.

While the average price of masur was quoted as Rs 40 per kg, yellow dal was available at Rs 48 per kg. The gram dal was quoted at Rs 50 per kg. Rajmah was available at Rs 64 per kg. A rise of 30 to 35 per cent had been reported in the prices of most pulses since last month, informed Mr Prem Juneja, a shopkeeper of Sector 29. However, the prices of rajmah, which ranged from Rs 40 to Rs 45 last month, was now Rs 64, he added.

Similarly, there had been a marginal rise in the prices of edible oils. While soya oil was priced at Rs 58 per litre, sunflower oil was quoted at Rs 65. Groundnut oil was costlier at Rs 70 per litre.



Man in need of help for treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Suffering from acute coronary artery disease Jagdish (45), a resident of Ratnakheri village near Saharanpur, has been waiting for treatment under a lot of stress and agony at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, for the past two months.

Neck deep in debt due to the disease, Jagdish and his wife have been passing their days under a tree outside the emergency ward of the PGIMER while sheds and corridors of different buildings of this premier institute provide shelter to them at night.

After going in for treatment for diabetes from a private hospital at Saharanpur for more than two months, the couple was finally shifted to the PGIMER as there was no improvement in his condition.

At the PGIMER, Jagdish was diagnosed to be suffering from a coronary artery disease which required CART and revascularisation. According to the doctors the treatment will cost nearly Rs 1.6 lakh. The actual cost might fluctuate depending on the material used for the treatment.

Having three sons and a daughter, the couple had been earning their livelihood by working as labourers. While the couple had been struggling to get treatment at the PGIMER, the children are being looked after by their neighbours in their native place.

The couple is in a desperate need of financial assistance and donations could be made to Jagdish through the PGI Poor Patients Relief Fund. The donors could also contact the PGI, at 0172-2756003.



‘Free entry’ to zoo not free
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The magnanimous move of the Departments of Forests and Wildlife to allow free entry to the Chhatbir zoo to celebrate the World Life Week turned out to be a non-starter today.

Despite the announcement that visitors to the zoo would not be charged any entry fee, camera and vehicle charges from October 2 to October 8, zoo visitors had to pay for everything, except the entry fee.

Thought it was a holiday at the zoo, some newspapers had carried the announcement that entry to the zoo would be free and reached there.

On reaching there, they were told that while there was free entry to the zoo, visitors would have to pay for taking vehicles and cameras inside.

The visitors objected to it since it had been mentioned in the announcement that there would be no fee for vehicles also.

While the entry fee was Rs 15, vehicular entry fee was Rs 250 and the charges for the camera were Rs 50.

At least 30 visitors gathered at the gate and refused to go inside till the matter was resolved.

Senior officials of the Department of Forests were also called, who reportedly clarified with zoo officials, but no action was initiated.

The harried visitors waiting outside the zoo for officials to clarify the situation were left with no option other than to pay for the rest of the charges and then enter the zoo.



Bansal reiterates govt commitment to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, yesterday reiterated that UPA government’s commitment to make Chandigarh a world class city.

Addressing a rally organised by the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) here, Mr Bansal claimed that several new projects like the IT Park, the new Chandigarh-Morinda rail line, housing for the poor and the upgradation of the airport, had been started in the city during the current regime.

He called upon the CTYC activists to gear up for the coming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

Listing the achievements of the UPA government, including the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the RTI Act, Mr Ashok Tanwar, president of the Indian Youth Congress, said the Youth Congress had always been at the forefront of nation-building.

Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the CTYC, urged the electorate to vote for the Congress on the basis of its performance during the past about five years.

Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, Ms Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj and Ms Anu Chatrath, all former Mayors, Ms Nitu Sharma, secretary of the IYC, and Brig K.S. Chandpuri (retd), gallantry award winner.



Fauji Beat
From Quetta to Wellington

After the partition of the country, the Staff College, which was located at Quetta (now in Pakistan) since April 1907, also had to split. Lieutenant-General Shiv Verma (then Colonel) a King’s Commission Indian Officer (KCIO) of the 16 Cavalry, was a senior instructor at the college at the time. In October 1947, he got a signal from Army Headquarters in India, which red: “you have been selected to proceed, reconnoiter and located the new college. The college must start functioning by April 1.”

Col Verma went around was several places but rejected them all for one reason or the other. Finally, he took a trip to the Nilgiris and had a good look around Wellignton and Coonor. He then drove to Ootacommund (to have a look at the famous Ooty Downs) and also towards Mysore.

Finding the place suitable from all angles, Col Verma selected Wellington as the site for the India Staff College. Besides having suitable training areas, its height at 1800 metres and temperature around 23°C for nine months in a year, made the place suitable for a long course which needed hard work throughout the year.

On promotion, Shiv Verma became Commander of the college. It was on March 10,1948 that Maj-Gen Lentaigne took over as Commandant of the college and Brigadier Verma became the Assistant Commandant. The first course as the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, started on April 5, 1948.

Stress management

On September 13, a Major was shot dead by a jawan at an isolated post in Rajauri district. On September 18, a jawan shot his colleague an injured two others before committing suicide in Kupwara district. On September 20, a jawan posted at Leh, shot himself at the transit camp at Chandigarh after returning from a short leave. On September 23, an Assam Rifles jawan shot dead four of his colleague before committing suicide at Imphal.

Occurring in a span of 10 days, these cases clearly indicated that the Army is under great stress. Prolonged deployment on counter-insurgency duties in J&K and in the North East with a risk to life puts troops under great stress. Long separation from families, monotonous and weary routine adds to the stress. All these lead to frying of the tempers and onset of depression.

The anti-dotes suggested such as meditation and yoga do not fit into the hectic routine that is set for the troops in these areas. The only way to reduce stress is to lay more emphasis on man management, welfare measures and entertainment of troops, apart from sending them on the troops could be sent in batches for rest and relaxation.

Musharraf’s book

We did not need a book by General Musharraf to tell us that the Pakistani army took part in the Kargil war. We had enough evidence during the 1999 war to know that most of the so-called “freedom fighters” who were occupying the Kargil heights were Pakistani army’s officers and men. We also knew during the war that at least seven Northern Light Infantry battalions, among battalions from other regiments, were taking part in the Kargil operation. The uniforms, identity cards/pass books and other documents of those captured or killed were enough proof of their identity.

In the history of warfare, never has a country denied to accept its dead and wounded. But Pakistan is the first country in the world to have disowned the dead bodies of its soldiers. Of the 249 dead bodies recovered by the Indian Army, Pakistani Army accepted only five. What does India expect from Musharraf who as an Army Chief disowned his own living and dead soldiers?

— Pritam Bhullar



Tributes paid to Mahatma Gandhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Nationalist Congress Party today celebrated Gandhi Jayanti at its party office here today. It also celebrated the day as birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri, a former Prime Minister.

Principal Gurbachan Singh, president of the local unit, conveyed his good wishes to the residents on the occasion of Dasehra.

Certain prominent leaders, including Mr Sham Lal Kanoujia, Mr G.C. Dadwal, Mr V.B. Sharma and Mr Kulbir Singh Dhillon, were also present on the occasion.

The Chandigarh Pradesh Congress Seva Dal paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Achhe Lal Gaur and Mr A.S. Gujral highlighted the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle.



Prime accused held in Bobby murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
After the Chandigarh Police handed over the murder case of Bobinder, alias Bobby, to the crime branch, three remaining accused in the case, including the prime accused, were arrested today.

Sources in the crime branch said the prime accused, Bajinder, and his two brothers, Satinder and Sagar, were arrested this afternoon. Sources added that the police was exerting pressure on the accused, which paid the results.

It may be recalled that the victim's family were protesting against the alleged inaction of the police and cremated the body on Sunday after the investigation was transferred to the crime branch.

Bobby was allegedly thrashed by Bajinder, his sons and brothers on Wednesday morning. He later succumbed to his injuries in the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital the same evening. The police has arrested eight persons in this connection.



Pickpocket held in Grain Market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The local police has arrested a man belonging to Rajasthan on the allegations of picking a pocket in Sector 26 Grain Market.

According to sources in the Sector 26 police station Mr Joginder Pal of Sohana village in Mohali district had lodged a complaint alleging that someone had picked his pocket in the Sector 26 Grain Market on Sunday morning.

His wallet was containing Rs 400. Acting on the complaint the police traced the accused in the evening and recovered the stolen property from his possession. He has been identified as Angrej Singh of Kota district in Rajasthan. A case has been registered in this connection.

Scooter stolen

Mr Gian Singh, a resident of Sector 22, reported to the police that his scooter (CH-01-A-1014) had been stolen from Kisan Mandi in Sector 43 on Saturday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in this regard in the Sector 36 police station.



2 arrested for selling liquor on dry day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The police today arrested two employees of a liquor vend from Motor Market in Mani Majra for allegedly defying the dry day by selling liquor. It seized 140 cartons of country made liquor from them.

Giving details, sources in the Mani Majra police station said the accused were selling the country-made liquor from a make shift hut near the liquor vend. Following information, a police team raided the hut and arrested two employees working at the nearby liquor vend. They have been identified as Vijay and Mohinder.

A case has been registered in this regard.



One held, 3 motor cycles recovered

Chandigarh, October 2
The crime branch of the Chandigarh police today arrested a Mohali resident on charges of stealing motor cycles. The police claimed to have recovered three motorcycles from his possession.

Sources in the police said the accused was arrested at a naka on road separating Sectors 43 and 44 this afternoon. The accused has been identified as Amit Sharma (22) of Phase VII, Mohali. He was working as a loan recovery agent in a private finance company in Sector 40.

During the interrogation the accused admitted to have stolen a motor cycle from the Sector 37 market on August 11.

He will be produced in a local court tomorrow. TNS



Servant accused of stealing Rs 1 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
A resident of Sector 71 has complained to the police that Rs 1 lakh was stolen from her house.

Ms Anita Sharma complained that her servant Pardeep Burman had allegedly decamped with Rs 1 lakh and a wrist watch from her residence.

The police has registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC in this regard.



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