C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

 


52 confirmed cases of dengue in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Panchkula, October 7
Dengue has started raising its ugly head and creating panic among the public as the number of confirmed cases of dengue has reached 52 in three premier city hospitals in the last one week.

The number of dengue cases, tested positive, has increased to 33 at the PGI, with today’s addition of 11 more confirmed cases to 22 cases found positive till Friday.

Seven more cases were tested positive for dengue at the GMCH, Sector 32, raising the tally to 19.

GMSH, Sector 16, was last on the list, having only two confirmed cases of dengue.

With the arrival of 20 more suspected cases, the total number of cases had gone up to 83 at the PGI since September 30.

The new arrivals were being monitored and tested for the disease. The GMCH today reported 21 suspected cases, out of which seven were confirmed positive.

The GMSH, had only 14 suspected cases of dengue in the last one week. Only two patients belonging to Chandigarh, had been confirmed positive. Only two new suspected cases were admitted in the hospital today.

The GMSH had been low on priority of patients due to its unhygienic conditions and lack of facilities. The PGI and the GMCH had always being the first and the second choice of the patients from the city and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, the UT Health Department today claimed that 24 new suspected cases had been reported by the PGI and the GMSH, , out of which four were highly febrile cases. Two suspected cases pertained to Chandigarh.

Even as the total number of confirmed dengue cases was still 20, two more cases were reported at the Panchkula General Hospital in Sector 6 today.

According to Dr G.P. Saluja, Civil Surgeon, a suspected dengue patient from Bir Ghaggar and another from Kaithal were admitted to the hospital today. Three patients were discharged today.

The Health Department today carried out fogging operations in Abheypur, Railly and Sector 12-A while the Army authorities undertook the operation in MDC, Sectors 1, 2 and 6, Old Panchkula and areas adjoining the cantonment.

PATIALA: The local Rajindra Hospital today received its third patient suspected to be suffering from dengue while the other two suspected patients, who were admitted in the past two days, were responding to treatment.

Santosh, a 27 year-old married woman of Gidderbaha town in Muktsar district, was admitted the hospital after her temperature was not coming down for the past six days.

Earlier, Gaurav Bhargav, a 17-years -old youth, who came to attend a marriage in this town, was admitted in the hospital yesterday after he was referred to it from a private clinic, where he was getting treatment for the past few days.

Day before yesterday, a local youth Harpreet, an engineer working at Ghaziabad, was admitted to the hospital after it was suspected that he was suffering from dengue.

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Complimentary passes ‘sold’ to spectators
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, October 7
Tight security arrangements were witnessed at the first match for the ICC Champions Trophy played between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here today even as allegations of complimentary passes being sold did the rounds.

While the police was seen posted at the barricades, the work of checking tickets was being done by members of the private security. Only persons carrying tickets were allowed entry into the stadium.

The area around the stadium wore a deserted look as one could only see police personnel and others on duty. Very few spectators had come to watch the match till late in the afternoon. The area, however, looked much more cleaner as no rehris were allowed.

Even though one failed to see any long queues of persons eagerly waiting for their turn to gain entry into the stadium. There were some cricket lovers who had allegedly purchased complimentary passes to gain entry into the stadium at a cost of about Rs 300 per pass.

Mr Rajender Sharma and Mr Manoj Kumar said they loved cricket and had come to see the match from Karnal. As they did not have tickets, however, they were able to get complimentary passes for Rs 300 each.

They, however, could not specify who had sold them the passes but were certain that the seller was a government employee whom they had met near the stadium.

Kush, a Class VII student of Ryan International School, was also carrying a complimentary pass to enter the stadium which he said it had purchased by his mother for Rs 300. However, the police had detained some persons for carrying complimentary passes which were allegedly purchased by them.

It is alleged that some complimentary passes were also sold by a contractor working at the stadium. Persons carrying such passes had gained entry into the stadium from gate number 6 and 12.

Despite the tight security arrangements, reports of persons reaching near the stadium even when they were not carrying any tickets for the match were received.

In one case two boys who managed to pass a barricade opposite gate number 7 without having any ticket were stopped by the police and later asked to leave .

The police has also detained some persons on charge of trespassing. The spectators were quite happy with the security arrangements made by the police this time. Some persons living very close to the stadium also did not feel harassed as they had been issued passes by the police to move about freely.

However, shopkeepers of the Phase X market complained that they had not been issued any passes and as such had to cover a much longer distance to reach their shops.

Students from DAV Public School were seen distributing feedback forms to persons coming to watch the match. The response was needed by the police to know about its arrangements and to bring about improvements if needed during the forthcoming matches to be played here.

The SSP, Mr Naunihal Singh, said action would be taken against persons indulging in trespassing. He suspected that trespassers must have used the area which had not been properly barricaded. He said so far only 95 per cent of the barricading had been done but the loopholes would be certainly plugged before the next match.

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UT’s dossier for nomination to World Heritage Sites ready
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
After years of persuasion, the Government of India has agreed to place Chandigarh on its tentative list for entry into UNESCO's World Heritage List. Besides, the Chandigarh Administration has also prepared a detailed dossier, which will be part of the India list for further nomination to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

“ The approval guarantees us a nomination for the status we have long been working to achieve,” Prof Kiran Joshi told TNS in an interview today. She has been officially nominated by the Government of India to prepare the dossier - a final copy of which was handed over to Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues this morning, when he inaugurated the Heritage Walk organised as part of Chandigarh Heritage Week celebrations.

Titled “Urban and architectural works of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh”, the official dossier of the UT Administration is a 30-paged document, profiling the incredible talents of Le Corbusier. This dossier will finally become part of the trans-border serial nomination of Le Corbusier’s heritage works across the world to UNESCO. Apart from the heritage of Chandigarh, the international nomination will include Corbusier’s works in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Argentina.

“ Chandigarh is special because it is the biggest city Corbusier ever designed,” said Prof Joshi, who has laboriously worked on the dossier to bring the magnificence of Corbusier’s heritage in the city alive.

The dossier is a vital document that projects entire Chandigarh as a heritage city. The Archeological Survey of India, India’s nodal agency for official nominations to UNESCO, does not have on its list a single entry for a full city seeking heritage status.

“Chandigarh’s status is unique as it mirrors an immense range of Corbusier’s talents. His involvement in the city ranges from the monumental Capitol Complex to the tiniest of details as lights along the Sukhna Lake's promenade,” Kiran Joshi says.

Last but not the least, the dossier includes a statement to establish Chandigarh’s outstanding universal value (OUV). These include - the property should be a work of creative human genius, it should talk of the interchange of values in a particular historical period of the world and it should influence developments in architectural town planning elsewhere in the world. Chandigarh meets the criteria.

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Views sought on speedy disposal of child rape cases
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The Chandigarh Administration has written to various departments seeking a view on the draft guidelines framed by the National Human Rights Commission concerning speedy disposal of child rape cases.

The draft guidelines read that the identity of the victim be kept secret and the victim’ protection ensured. The complaint regarding rape can be filed even by representatives of a non-government organisation, besides the victim.

It has been pointed out that the reporting officer must ensure psychological counselling in case the complainant is a child. The counselling needs to be done before a complaint is filed. “A child who is raped is a mental wreck. Counselling is an important suggestion and needs consideration,” a senior official said.

The draft guidelines have specified a maximum limit of 90 days for speedy disposal of the compliant. The officials admit that there is undue delay in justice due to procedural impediments in the executive and the judicial system.

The investigation officer is required to secure the possession of the clothes of the victim and the accused at the earliest and send these for forensic examination . This is important for DNA profiling and sampling of blood groups.

Delay in disposing the cases due to technical contradiction in framing of charges and subsequent trial has been cited as the biggest reason for the commission seeking comments from different state governments.

Mr Ravi Kamal Bhargava, secretary -general of the National Human Rights Commission, in a communication to Mr Krishan Mohan, Home Secretary, has sought comment on the draft guidelines for handling child rape cases.

The letter reads that “ incidents of sexual assault on women, including minor girls, have reached an alarming proportion in the country. The victims hardly get justice and are left in the lurch as the accused go scot free due to delay in investigation and the justice delivery system.”

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Kapil sells Sec 35 hotel
Rajmeet Singh & Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
There is bad news for those frequenting The Kaptain’s Retreat here to tickle their taste buds. The ownership of the Sector 35 hotel owned by legendary allrounder, Kapil Dev has changed hands.

The property has recently been purchased for over Rs 15 crore by a group owned by the family of a local politician, which is coming up with chain of hotels across the city, including the Industrial Area.

Soon after India’s triumph at Lords 23 years ago, the cricket icon opened Kapil Hotel in the city.

The compact 12-room (plus a suite) hotel was refurbished about two years ago and rechristened ‘The Kaptain’s Retreat’.

Kapil confirmed that the hotel had been sold. He said a recent incident of alleged case of food poisoning at the restaurant and the media bashing over the incident forced him to sell the place.

“I still have a partnership in the restaurant”, he said, adding that a new hotel was soon to start at Ludhiana.

To another query, the former cricketer said he had no plans to start another restaurant in the city.

“I still love the city and it was a very difficult decision for me to sell the place”, he said.

Sources in the Estate Office revealed that no papers of change of ownership or no-objection certificate had been with the Estate Office.

As per the agreement, the name of the hotel would be continued for a few months.

Kapil had displayed the bat with which he scored 175 runs against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup as well as the flannels he put on in his last Test appearance in Hamilton.

Now the memorabilia has been shifted to Kapil’s new hotel, starting soon at Ludhiana.

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Living the dream called Chandigarh
Nostalgia runs high at official celebrations
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
If you have to hold a gathering, speak the truth. That’s what celebrated art historian Dr B.N. Goswamy did this morning when entrusted with the job of putting Chandigarh — its past and present into perspective. The day was special, as it was today 53 years ago that Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, formally inaugurated Chandigarh.

The revelry was intact today, and sharing it were people who played a part in making Chandigarh a reality. Among those who assembled to celebrate an era at the auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, were men of eminence and erudition, including Dr B.N. Goswamy, the chief guest, Mr S.D. Sharma, a distinguished member of Le Corbusier’’s team which designed and made the city, Aditya Prakash and many others who have lived the dream called Chandigarh.

The toast of the day was Dr Goswamy’s heartfelt address. In his inimitable style that steered clear of pretensions, he spoke of the realities of Chandigarh and of the need to keep its integrity alive. “Chandigarh is a city of human dimensions. If we are at a point in time where this dimension may be lost, probably it is time to worry,” Dr Goswamy said on the occasion of the inauguration of week-long heritage celebrations, as Director Tourism UT Vivek Atray and Chief Architect Sunita Monga listened.

The address came like a whiff of fresh air, free from frills and froth. It featured two sets of references to the city - one which reconstructed its enviable status and another that mirrored its reigning rot. “When we celebrate a festival, we must also reflect into the future. We need to figure out whether we want Chandigarh to resemble Los Angeles which is more like a city of 72 suburbs in search of a city or like Rome, a city that stands out in the memory of man,” the chief guest said, evoking deep empathy from those who listened.

The crux of his talk was the need to wake up to the call of a city, conceived with much hope and labour. “All inheritors have a responsibility to keep the inheritance intact and its integrity in place. We too have a responsibility and it is up to us to see whether we can make this city survive in the memory of man as a city which it quintessentially is - a city of human dimensions, which was the basic premise of Corbusier’s philosophy,” Dr Goswamy said, admonishing the UT Administration to raise its defences against haphazard growth into the vitals of the city, which is a living specimen of Corbusier’s immense intellectual capacities.

Bit by bit, he drove the point home, finally questioning the audience: “Are we replacing the vision of Corbusier or are we creating something fresh and new and different? How much of that vital thought are we giving to this city?” His winning statement was, of course, this one: “We must realize this city is like a spaceship and we are not passengers. We all are crew. We have to determine the future course for the city.” And as he wrapped up, the Administration had got the intended message, which was administered in the form of a sugar-coated pill. The scholar did not, however, fail in his duty to recollect his association with Chandigarh and the people who nursed its foundation.

The tradition of paying tributes to heroes was carried further by Prof Rajnish Wattas, Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, who used the podium to remember the genius of Corbusier, Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew, Pierre Jeanneret. He also saluted the Indian associates of Corbusier like MN Sharma, Aditya Prakesh, Jeet Malhotra, Eulie Choudhary, Prabhawalkar and Mr SD Sharma.

His final utterance was a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the city itself. “Chandigarh will re-invent itself again and again to meet the future challenges.

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Artists awarded for visual representations of Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Art is a true reflection of life. In that sense then, the artists who bagged top awards or their classic visual representations of Chandigarh today deserved every bit of the honour they got.

More so because they had competed against 108 entries of others to emerge as winners of the competition organised by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi as part of the week-long heritage celebrations of Chandigarh. The theme of the contest, which drew response from as many as 75 artists - established and budding -, was “Chandigarh: A Heritage City”.

Members of the victorious brigade included veteran photographer Dr S.P. Sharma, Sarvesh Kumar, Kush Jamwal, Alka Kalra, Manoj Sharda, Anjali Agarwal and Kuldip Dhiman. Incidentally, Gandhi Bhavan outnumbers all other motifs in the 52 works chosen out of 108 for the exhibition on display at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, till October 12.

Another interesting fact is that maximum awards have been given away under the category of photography. Among the winners in this section is Kuldip Dhiman, whose depiction of The Tribune building as an integral part of Chandigarh’s heritage landscape is delightful. Sarvesh Kumar, SP Sharma, Kush Jamwal are the other photographers who bagged the prize money of Rs 7000 each.

Manoj Sharda and Alka Kalra, however, won the prizes for their paintings that bring the diverse facets of Chandigarh alive. Sharda’s “Images of the City - II” is a collage of impressive images that define Chandigarh. Kalra’s work is more basic and simple compared to Sharda’s whose command over the medium is as much commendable as is his choice of colours, green dominating the canvas.

The only drawing among the awarded works is signed by Anjali Agarwal. She has drawn a maze of landmarks that come together to make Chandigarh.

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Capitol Complex illuminated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The Capitol Complex here bore a majestic look this evening when it was illuminated as part of the Chandigarh Heritage Festival.

A number of other projects associated with Le Corbusier, the French architect who designed the city, were also illuminated, including the Open Hand monument near the Punjab and Haryana secretariat, Le Corbusier’s erstwhile office at Sector 19 and the UT Secretariat Building, to commemorate the inauguration of Chandigarh by the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, on October 7, 1953.

The Department of Tourism as part of the Chandigarh Heritage Festival organised a Heritage Walk and Talk on Chandigarh’s Heritage Seminar at the Chandigarh College of Architecture, besides the Classical Evening at Sukhna.

The Heritage Walk was flagged off by the UT Administrator, Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues. It commenced from the Open Hand monument and culminated at the Chandigarh War Memorial. About 300 citizens, including senior officials of the Administration, senior citizens, officers of the SBI led by its Chief General Manager, Mr Hemant Contractor, members of INTACH, led by its convener, Mr V.K. Kapoor, officials from the Western Command, Chandi Mandir and schoolchildren.

The Army Band of 2 Sikh Regiment, led by Naib Subedar, Jastej Singh and brass band of the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8-B, Chandigarh, led by Preeti impressed the walkers.

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Watch out

Rakesh Mohindra
Rakesh Mohindra

A local cyclist Rakesh Mohindra and secretary of the Chandigarh Amateur Cycling Association is leading the under 40 + category in the ongoing second edition of the 10-day Hercules MTB Himachal 2006 event, India’s first mountain cycling ride and race, which was flagged off from Shimla recently.

Rakesh, the founder member of CACA, who started the concept of mountain biking in the city in 2000, has four silver medals in All-India inter-varsity cycling competitions.

He is braving the extreme conditions of the Himalayas to paddle a distance of 600 km.

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In Town

Daksha ShethIndian martial arts dance forms meeting contemporary dance — kathak dancer Daksha Sheth has always been something of a rebel in the Indian dance world. The Daksha Sheth Dance Company comprises performing artistes from diverse backgrounds.

Artistes of the company have received initial training in the Indian classical dance, predominantly Bharatnatyam. After joining the Daksha Sheth Dance Company, they have undertaken additional comprehensive training in yoga, kalaripayattu, mallakhamb and gymnastics, as well as in a diverse range of musical instruments. Today, they will together perform at the ongoing Pinjore Heritage Festival at the Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore.

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COMMUNITY
 

Cactus lovers contest
Vastu shastris on thorns
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 7
Flanked by Turks' caps and Living Stones, the prickly mother-in-law's cushion sat with aplomb in the midst of its brethren, other rare cacti. Under the sun and in the Cactus garden, Sector 5, it was a reunion of sorts for 1100 members of the cacti family and cacti-lovers who had nurtured these thorny beauties.

The young and old, the flowering and non-flowering varieties, the exquisite and rare, each of the cactus varieties vied for the various prized titles, as they were judged on the first day of the two-day 29th annual show of Cactus and Other Succulent Plants.

The "King and the Queen of the Show" went to the D.S. Sharma's Ferrocactus hererie, a barrel-shaped cactus, and Ms Ravi Lal's 20-year-old Panchypodium, a two-feet tall plant with lovely leaves.

Standing out in the herd of cacti was a Euphobia Milli Hybrid with nearly 40 blood red flowers dotting it all over. Belonging to the president of the society, Brig C.S. Bewli, this plant is bestowed with flowers which last about five months and is very sought-after among cacti-lovers.

"The most important thing about bringing up a cactus is that its soil must be porus so that any extra water can drain away. The cactus plant doesn't like wet feet at all. The soil has to be a sandy mix," he says.

With only 100 active members in the region, the society gets five to six new members from the region every year. "These Vastu Shastris are wrecking havoc as far as the art of growing cacti is concerned. They keep propagating that thorns are not good for the house without realising that the rose and the bougainvillea are both thorny plants growing in people's homes. Why this discrimination against the cacti?" he asks ruefully.

Winning the "Best Flowering Cacti plant" and with a collection of nearly 3000 varieties, Mr Ramji Lal can't help smiling at the ignorance of Vastu Shastris. "The thorns of the cacti keep unwanted elements at bay, they don't interfere with prosperity or robustness at all. This is all superstition. Go abroad and you will see how loved the cacti is," he asserts.

Infact, he's against the art of bonsai-making. "The cactus certainly does not bring any ill-omen with it. I have brought my cacti up like my own children. When I can't, they just happily grow on their own unlike the bonsai. In fact I am personally against bonsais because it involves cutting and pruning the plant. Why should we not allow a plant to grow the way it wants to? We are nobody to tamper with nature," he states.

With 100 active members all over the region, the society's membership may be growing at a snail's pace, but Brig Bewli is not sad at this. "We add just about five members a year. However, I am happy even with one genuine cactus-lover a year, as long as he loves the plant," he says. He believes that the cacti will come back into fashion. We sure will tow the line of the West as we do so many other things too, he believes.

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Foreign cadets take part in anti-terror drill
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Foreign cadets from France and Australia are participating in a counter-terrorism exercise being held to train gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun.

A senior officer at the IMA told the Tribune that two officers and five cadets from the Royal Military College, Australia, were here for the exercise. Their visit was part of the cadet exchange programme undertaken between select foreign countries.

A cadet from the Styr Academy, France, who is undergoing a three-month attachment with the IMA, also took active part in the exercise. Code-named Exercise Shivalik, it began on October 2 and concluded today.

As part of the cadet exchange programme, one officer and four cadets from the IMA had earlier visited Australia. In March next year, a team is scheduled to visit Thailand. Such exchange programmes have been going on for quite some time.

Also, for the first time naval cadets from INS Mandovi, the Navy's academy at Goa, are visiting the IMA for inter-service interaction which is now part of the training curriculum in all service academies.

"The visit of the Naval cadets to the IMA was timed to coincide with the exercise so that they get greater insight into our training perspective," the officer said. "The Naval cadets were not imparted any military training here, but the purpose of the visit was to witness out training methodology as well as interaction for various other co-curricular activities," he added.

Exercise Shivalik involved 682 officer cadets and its purpose was to expose cadets to various operations undertaken in a counter-terrorism environment. It was also aimed at developing leadership qualities among the cadets, with particular emphasis on initiative, determination, self-reliance, endurance, self-confidence and interaction with the media.

The exercise was a two-sided operation held over a period of a week in the forests of the Shivaliks, where the terrain and populace paint a perfect picture of the regions where regular troops are deployed for similar operations.

A section of cadets acted as security personnel, while others acted as opponents and practised every trick in the book to evade the security forces.

The exercise was reviewed by the IMA Commandant, Lt-Gen K.K. Khanna, and it also had observers from the Army's Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, located in the dense forests of Mizoram. Notes were exchanged by the two sides after the exercise

The exercise also focussed on exchange of knowledge about the ground, terrain, tactics and field-craft and other professional matters with the foreign cadets and other officers.

Over the past few years, the training curriculum at the IMA has been revised to lay greater stress on counter-terrorism operations, combat in built-up areas and low-intensity conflict. Requisite infrastructure and training aids have been put into place for the purpose.

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CM seeks report into Pir Mushalla road row
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 7
Residents of the Pir Mushalla area here are up in arms against the proposed construction of a 150-foot wide road under the master plan. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has sought an action taken report from the Local Bodies Department (LBD) into the inconvenience to land owners.

The action by the Chief Minister follows a petition by scores of villagers, who met him in Chandigarh yesterday. The alleged that the proposed road ran through the land purchased by around 500 families for construction of dwelling units.

A number of small plots had already been carved out and purchases taken place on the land. The LBD had been asked to submit a report within two weeks.

In their representation, hundreds of land owners of the village had appealed to the government to reconsider provisions of the contentious 150-foot internal road in the master plan. The construction and area to be utilised for such a wide road would not only upset the already submitted building plans, but would also lead to the dispossession for hundreds of families.

The layout plan of a road of such a width was redundant in the light of the fact that two revenue roads were already passing through Pir Mushalla and yet another internal road was simply not required, the petition alleged.

The petition further alleged that a few influential persons of the area were trying to change the direction of the proposed road to save their land, thereby putting to disadvantage hundreds of families.

The petition urged the Chief Minister to safeguard the interests of hundreds of families, who had invested their lives’ savings for the purchase of the plots. Small plot holders would stand to lose by the construction of the road, Mr Bhupinder Taneja, a resident, alleged.

Three villages — Pir Mushalla, Gazipur and Kishanpura — were recently included in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat. With the inclusion of these villages land prices had skyrocketed, with the result that the land was selling at a premium.

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Brahmakumari mission padyatra ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
At least 140 “shantidoots” to the youth wing of the Brahmakumari Ishwariya Vishvidyalaya, who were on their “Swarnim Bharat Yuva Padyatra-2006” against the ill-effects of social evils, including dowry and drugs, concluded their tour at the Rajyoga Bhavan in Sector 33 here today.

Four teams of “padyatris”, headed by national coordinator of the youth wing of the Brahmakumari mission B.K. Chandrika, were accorded a rousing welcome by prominent citizens of Chandigarh this morning.

At least 1,000 ‘padyatris of the mission had covered more than 25,000 km on foot in almost all states in the tour, which began on September 3 from all four directions.

“Our main aim is to spread the message of peace and harmony among the youth,” and B.K. Chandrika. She said other main aims and objectives of the ‘padyatris’ were character-building, leading a life free from bad habits and addiction, promoting selfless service, spiritual consciousness and guiding youth towards creative and constructive activities.

A ‘shobha yatra’ was organised by the ‘patyatris’ which it passed through various sectors. It suggested to the people, especially the youth, that Rajyoga could be a panacea for all ills.

A closing function was held at the auditorium of the Rajyoga Bhavan. Project lectures were conducted by Rajyoga B.K. Chandrika from Ahmedabad and other ‘padyatris’.

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Brawl at guest house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 7
A guest house running from a residential area in Sector 17 has become the bane of residents in the area. High drama was witnessed in the Sector last night after occupants of the guest house consumed liquor and fought among themselves.

The 12-room guest house, running with a commercial electricity connection, saw a drunken brawl in which three occupants fought among themselves and then beat up the manager Papu Sharma.

Residents of the area said that around 3:30 last night, they heard loud noises of people fighting from the adjoining guest house. On coming out to investigate, they saw the manager jump from the first floor to save himself. He also informed the police who arrived at the guest house and took two accused to the police station.

However, after Papu Sharma refused to lodge a complaint against the occupants, they were let off. The chowkidar at the guest house said that the guest house was usually booked by marriage parties and company executives.

Meanwhile, seeking closure of the guest house, residents said this was not the first incident of a fight between occupants. They said it had become a nuisance for residents and the Haryana Urban Development Authority should close it down.

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12 couples tie the knot
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 7
As many as 12 couples, belonging to economically weaker sections of the society, got married at a mass marriage function organised by the Dalit Chetan Manch in Phase III-B-1 here today.

Mr Shamsher Purkhalwi , president of the manch, said all 12 barats were received separately and given refreshments after which the marriage ceremonies were carried out. The function was presided over by Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali District Congress Committee.

Mr Purkhalwi said each couple was given household items worth about Rs 40,000 which included beds, dressing table, chairs, fan, sewing machine cycle, beddings, etc.

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Army’s contact programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The Western Command today launched a wide-ranging contact programme for strengthening the bond between the Army and retired officers, next of kin of former defence personnel and war widows of this region.

This programme involves more frequent interaction between them and keeping them abreast of the latest developments and measures being taken by the Army for their welfare and benefit, a statement issued here said.

To start with, the existing data bank of their contact details will be updated and expanded. For the purpose, arrangements have been made for registering the contact details at the Defence Services Officers Institute, Chandigarh, Shivalik Officers Institute, Chandi Mandir and the Ex-servicemen's Helpline at the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir.

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Valmiki Jayanti celebrated

Chandigarh, October 7
Religious fervour marked the Valmiki jayanti here today. The Valmiki Shobha Yatra Organisation Committee organised a “shobha yatra” which passed through various sectors of the city.

Various speakers urged the general public to follow the teachings of Valmiki and wage a war against social evils. The local unit of the BJP would organise a mahasammelan at the party office in Sector 33 here tomorrow. — TNS

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CRIME
 

30 truck tyres stolen
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 7
As many as 30 tyres for trucks were stolen from a shop in Phase I here last night. The cost of the stolen tyres was estimated to be over Rs 3 lakh.

The thieves came in a truck after midnight to commit the theft and decamped with the stolen property in the same vehicle.

Mr Ravinder Singh, owner of the shop, said he came to know about the theft only in the morning. He said a person staying on the first floor above the shop saw the thieves taking away the tyres.

He tried to follow the truck on his motor cycle, but lost track of the vehicle after Balongi and came back. He informed the police control room, but allegedly, no immediate action was taken.

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Woman killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
A trip to the Chhat Bir zoo today proved to be costly for Suresh Kumar, a resident of Nayagaon.

The clerk employed with the Advocate-General, Haryana, lost his wife, Mukesh (36), in a road accident near Hallo Majra here this afternoon.

The deceased is survived by his husband and three children.

The deceased, along with a nephew, Vaneet (9), was riding pillion on a motor cycle when a truck hit the vehicle from behind the rear.

Suresh and Vaneet escaped with minor injuries.

A police official said the head of the deceased was crushed under a tyre of the truck.

Gulab Singh, driver of the truck (PB 10 V 9742) was arrested and a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC was registered against him.

Suresh along with other friends decided to go to the Chhat Bir zoo as it was a holiday. While Suresh along with his wife and nephew went on one motor cycle, the son of the deceased was riding pillion on another motor cycle.

The body was handed over to the family after postmortem at the Sector 16 General Hospital.

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Body found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
An unidentified body of a man was found lying near a nullah in Fragrance Garden in Sector 36 here today. The victim is believed in his mid thirties.

The police has found no injury mark on his body. The condition of the body revealed that the deceased had died about two days ago. The police have initiated inquest proceedings.

Opium seized

The special cell of the Chandigarh Police today seized 2kg of opium from Sukhjeet and Hoshiar Singh. The seizure was made from a SCO in Sector 34. The accused were working at liquor vend.

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Paying guest found dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 7
Saurabh Singh (25) a paying guest in Sector 8 here, was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Hailing from Gaziabad, he was a second year student of Sukhmani College in Dera Bassi. The police said that he slept last night and did not wake up in the morning.

His parents were informed at his Gaziabad home. They were handed over the body after a post-mortem examination.

The police has begun proceedings under CrPc 174.

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BUSINESS
 

Tourism industry sets up road map for growth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The conference-cum-exposition on Tourism, N’TOUR, the North India Tourism Conclave-2006, set a road map for the growth of North India’s Tourism sector on the second day of the conclave here today.

The day witnessed a host of leading luminaries from the travel, tourism and hospitality industries and allied government departments deliberated on the challenges and opportunities that the industry faces nowadays. It proved to be a unique forum to define strategies that would help the industry to boost the Tourism sector in North India.

Mr Sanjay Kothari, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Haryana, while highlighting the need for regional strategy in place of state specific strategy, said it was important that the states in the northern region evolve a common strategy to give thrust to the industry and the conclave helped churn out a comprehensive strategy to realise the vision.

The sessions in the conclave ranged from identifying the need and approach to develop a long-term vision and an integrated strategic plan for the region, which was the most critical for sustainable competitiveness, he added.

According to Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Tourism, Chandigarh Administration, “One of the biggest achievements of the N'Tour was that it set a platform for a Joint Action Plan (JAP) by the entire sector.”

Mr Atray said the JAP would help the industry to boost the growth in an organised and structured manner by covering critical issues like common branding for North India Tourism, capacity building of human resource and policy issues , including the requirements of infrastructure and sharing of resources by Public Private Partnership (PPP) for consolidation and growth as well as addressing environmental issues.

He further said going by the success of the first session of the conclave, the administration plans to make it an annual feature.

Deliberating on the sustainability of the Tourism with a specific reference to Green Tourism, Mr Niranjan Khatri, General Manager, ITC Welcome Group, urged the industry to focus on Innovative Water Management and Eco Literacy.

Dr R. Kumar, Eye Specialist and Medical Tourism Expert from PGI, deliberated on the promotion of medical tourism in the region and demanded for setting up the PPP in healthcare sector to improve the infrastructure in existing public healthcare.

Mr Manmohan Singh, Chairman, N'Tour, summed up that the proceedings.

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Bank CMD to visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Mr A.C. Mahajan, chairman and managing director of Allahabad Bank, arrived in the city to participate in the meeting of branch managers on Monday. Mr Mahajan is likely to dwell on the details of the bank’s international project, including its first overseas branch in Shenzhen and another one in Hong Kong.

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