C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

City on tentative list of UNESCO heritage sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The city of Chandigarh has been placed on the tentative list of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, thereby becoming India’s first such city. A series of discussions and exchange of information took place among officials of the Chandigarh Administration, the Le Corbusier Foundation, UNESCO, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the French Government in Paris in this regard last week.

Chandigarh has got the rare distinction of being the only city of India to secure a place of pride in this coveted list. Tel Aviv, Brasilia and Le Harvre (France) are some other cities of Modern Heritage on the list of the World Heritage Sites. By being placed on this list, Chandigarh is likely to get a fillip in its efforts to promote tourism.

All modern World Heritage cities are major tourist attractions, and the number of tourist arrivals in each case goes up significantly after the heritage status is accorded. Chandigarh’s modern architecture is a source of attraction for tourists from all over the world, especially students of architecture.

The necessary dossier of documents was earlier submitted by the Chandigarh Administration to the Government of India through the ASI, which is the nodal agency for such matters. The dossier had then been forwarded to UNESCO by India’s Ambassador.

A high-level meeting was held in Paris for this purpose last week, which was attended by UT Home Secretary Krishna Mohan and Director Tourism Vivek Atray on behalf of Chandigarh. The candidature of Chandigarh as a city of modern heritage is being followed up by the Le Corbusier Foundation in Paris, with UNESCO along with the Nodal Officer, Prof Kiran Joshi, with the support of the Chandigarh College of Architecture and the Architecture and Engineering Departments of the Administration.

The application for permanent nomination of Chandigarh on the World Heritage list of UNESCO would be sent by January 31, 2007. The process of permanent nomination is likely to take 18 months and would involve visits by experts from UNESCO, and a series of meetings.



Sec 16 school in 'molestation' controversy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
With allegations and counter-allegations flowing freely, reports of a girl student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, being harassed by a contractual teacher left the functionaries of both the Education Department and the school in a tizzy.

Senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Education Department neither denied nor confirmed the reports and maintained throughout that it was a case of a "mentally upset and non-performing child" being reported to the Psychiatry Department of the PGI.

Intriguingly, no one denied that an unusual sequence of events had preceded the start of controversy with reports alleging that a teenaged girl, a student of Class XI of medical stream, was "molested" by one of her teachers in the school today.

The Director of Public Instruction (Schools), Mr Ashwani Kumar, however, maintained that no such incident took place.

He, however, admitted that a "non-performing student of the school had been referred to the PGI for treatment."

He refused to elaborate as to why a student had been referred to the PGI for treatment and if so why was he aware of an incident which according to him never took place.

Sources said the girl, a student of Class XI, was molested by a physical education teacher. In the wake of this shocking incident, students of the school, along with the victim, approached the Principal for action against the teacher. Unable to get a positive feedback, they had threatened to go on strike tomorrow.

The agitated students, sources alleged, added that the accused teacher had been on contract for the past few years and was transferred earlier from the senior wing to the junior wing following allegations of similar nature.

The DPI (Schools), however, denied knowledge of any such thing. He maintained that even the Principal of the school had denied occurrence of any such untoward incident.

Sources in the school reiterated that the girl student, after the alleged incident, was under treatment at the PGI. Attempts by the Chandigarh Tribune to contact her or her parents proved futile.



Rotary 'politics' puts question mark on future of 165 slum kids
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 13
Four months after the Rotary Club took charge of educating 165-odd slum children, it has decided to wash its hands off the project completely citing paucity of funds.

The students of the "Rotary school" spent an uncomfortable day attending classes amidst a lot of uncertainty.

The day went by in wait of a formal announcement of the school's closure which did not happen though a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors held late last night.

Sarabjit Kaur, a Class VII student, like her other classmates, sat numbed by the decision to close down "their" school.

"Things were beginning to settle down for us. The teachers were good, the place was nice. However, we had an indication that all was not well with the project. The final decision of the Board of Directors has come as a blow to us, our future and our dreams," she said.

Rani, Sulekha and Ruby, all four- year old, though too young to understand the undercurrents of tension, knew the doors of the club had been closed on them. "We don't know where we will go," they said.

Maintaining that internal bickering in the club was coming between the children and a promising future, the president of Jeewan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, Mr Mansa Ram Ahuja, said: "This July, the Rotary Club had agreed to fund the education of these children after they were turned away by a private school.

“All these children used to beg outside temples before we enrolled them. Now, they'll be forced to go back to begging again because two members don't see eye to eye on anything," he said.

The association, in collaboration with various temples and schools, has been running schools for nearly 1,400 children.

"The children get their preliminary education at these informal schools. The brighter ones are picked up and admitted to formal schools from where they take their exams. Rotary should have thought before taking the project in its hands," Mr Ahuja maintained.

Supported by a Rotarian, Mr N. Paul Sabharwal, the project was given a nod by the Board of Directors of the club. Everything was fine till another Rotarian, Mr Parveen Goyal, began interfering.

"He has a personal score to settle against me and is doing it by ordering closure of the school. I don’t understand how the club can even think of closing down the school when literacy is high on the Rotary agenda. Many neighbours used to come in with food for the kids, stationery and other things,” he stated.

Maintaining that this was the only school running in the entire Rotary District, he added that he had taken up the matter with the District Governor as well.

Refuting the allegations that the Rotary Club was a divided house on the issue of closure of the school and that he had a score to settle with Mr Sabharwal, the president-elect, Mr Parveen Goel, maintained that the association had promised funds at the rate of Rs 800 per child to run the school which did not happen.

“A couple of months back we informed the members of the association that we had no funds to pay for the education of these children.

“We asked them to get the due funds and gave them two months time to arrange these. They have failed to keep up the promise and we have no resources.

“The school has no affiliation, we have no authority to run a school. It only amounts to misguiding the poor. In the face of all this, the board decided to put a seal on the school’s closure,” he claimed.

The president, Wg Cmdr Pradeep Prabhakar, said the literacy class would continue but the school would be closed down in consonance with the decision of the Board.

“They are claiming a student-strength of 165 when, in reality, their number had dwindled to 62 only.

“We don’t have the staff or infrastructure to run the school. In fact, they only misused the name of Rotary for their benefit,” he emphasised.

There’s no going back on the decision for now and the future of the children seems in jeopardy.



CBI raids top income tax officer’s residence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 13
The CBI raided the residence of Mr N.K. Saini, Deputy Director, Income Tax Investigation, in Sector 12-A here today. The official was allegedly demanding money for returning five passports of a Zirakpur-based builder, Mr Rajiv Kumar.

In his complaint to the CBI, Mr Rajiv Kumar said that the Deputy Director had carried out a raid at his residence and office in August. During the raid, he took five passports, that of his wife, children and parents-in-law, in his possession. However, the confiscation of passports by the official found no mention of the case registered against him.

“We repeatedly frequented his office since the raid in August 10, demanding our passports. He brazenly demanded money for the passports, asking Rs 5 lakh to give these back to us. When nothing worked, we decided we had had enough. I approached the SP, CBI, who agreed to help us out,” said Mr Kumar.

The complainant got in touch with the CBI official and fixed a meeting for November 11. However, the meeting was postponed till this evening. “I got in touch with him again and he asked me to come with the money to his residence between 5 pm and 6 pm. I got in touch with the CBI, which sent a team from the department. One of their officials accompanied me to Mr Saini’s residence,” he said.

Inside, Mr Saini told them that Rs 1 lakh was very little for the release of five passports. “He reiterated that he wanted more money. As soon as he took the money, I gave a missed call to the team of the CBI waiting outside. They all came in, and he stood exposed, money in hand. Now, I have come back and he is being questioned in this regard,” the complainant said. The raid was on till the filing of the report.



Watch out

Tejinder Singh, a special child from the city, is in Mumbai basking in the glory of victory in the first Special Olympics International Cricket Cup Tournament which India-A won in Mumbai on Sunday.

Tejinder was the only boy from Chandigarh who formed a part of the 'Bharat' team that trounced the mighty teams from various countries.

The international sporting event for special children saw teams from Afghanistan, Australia , Bangladesh, England, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies.

The event also marked the official launch of cricket as a sport for Special Olympics globally.



In Town

Management guru Shiv Khera is here on a 'motivation' mission to enthuse and encourage youngsters of the city towards a sense of direction at Leisure Valley at 5:30 pm. An educator, business consultant, speaker and entrepreneur, Khera lives by a simple mantra, "Winners don't do different things, they do things differently". But inspiring people to give their best did not come easy to him. Khera left India for the USA after losing his family business and took up odd jobs like washing cars and selling insurance until he attended a lecture by Norman Vincent Peale whose motivational teachings changed his life forever. He has authored three best-selling books-'You Can Win' (1998), 'Living with Honour' (2003) and 'Freedom is Not Free' (2004).



Passing Through

Prof Mark S. Rosentraub, Dean and Professor, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA Prof Mark S. Rosentraub, Dean and Professor, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA

What brings you to the city?

I am here to explore the idea of collaboration between Panjab University and my institute. A collaboration will, however, be formalised in the form of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA and Panjab University.

What can be the common areas of research between CSU, Ohio, and PU?

The contours of discipline of Public Administration have experienced phenomenal changes. The discipline of Public Administration, along with traditional functions such as maintenance of law and order and revenue-collection, has geared towards the process of economic development and engaging private capital for the provision of public good and community services.

For this purpose the discipline of Public Administration needs to develop and sharpen entrepreneurial skills among its students.

Will the collaboration entail an exchange of students?

The exchange of students and faculty between both the institutions will focus on developing new skills needed in the delivery of public goods and services.

Course content in US is more applied in nature ensuring regular interactions of students with government departments through internship programmes.

— Chitleen K. Sethi



Chandigarh Calling

The patch of land opposite the entrance to Panjab University’s Vice-Chancellor’s office in Chandigarh had a very mundane outgrowth of grass, which was heightened during the monsoons. The venue looked very shabby after rains.

Prof R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, after he took over the university reigns in July, earlier this year, ordered that this landscape should be decorated to give a polished look to the entrance of the VC’s office. The entire VC office compound now has a very impressive outlook.

Roads in bad shape

While most city roads have been re-laid, a few still stand unrepaired. One stretch of road from Sectors 18/19/20/21 roundabout to Sectors 19/27/30/20 chowk cries for a fresh resurface. The stretch has been a victim of neglect over the years by the Administration. On the other hand, some roads despite being in good shape are unnecessarily resurfaced time and again. The roads, especially those around these roundabouts, are so bumpy, uneven that one gets “bone-shattering” experience. Moreover, the other roundabout (Sectors 27/28/29/30) road also epitomises neglect. One wonders what are the ward members doing in this regard. Is it too much to desire smooth and well-maintained roads that are always welcome as these add to the city’s glory ?

Science and Chandigarh

Can Science save Chandigarh’s heritage? Well, if an eminent architect, Dr SS Bhatti, is to be believed, SCIENCE—Save Chandigarh by Insightful Endeavour that Naturally Conserves — can conserve city’s unique heritage.

However, the forum should consist of well-informed, vigilant individuals who can persuade the politicians and bureaucrats alike not to ruin the city by raising personal monuments to their bloated egos by ignoring the underlying planning principles.

Dr Bhatti emphasised that unless we understand Le Corbusier’s written word we cannot appreciate the heritage value of his dream project — Chandigarh. Pointing out the inevitability of growth to avoid being shy of changes, he quoted Le Corbusier’s little-known dictum: “You know, its life that is always right and the architect who’s wrong.”

Well its time for the bureaucrats to take some conservation tips from experts!

Toughest interview

What’s the toughest interview of them all? The four young MTV Roadies from Chandigarh, who participated in this year’s reality road show, in its fourth season now, confirm it is the interview conducted by MTV and its celebrity judges that really prepares you for the very worst in life. Going by the number of people who wept during the interviews it might well be true but what about one cool mother who actually sent her daughter for the motorbike ride of her life? Chandigarh Roadie Gurbani Judge’s mother saw an advertisement for Roadies and asked her to go for it. “My mother is awesome, she wants me to travel and see the world,” says this young self-possessed youngster. And how was the experience? For that answer you need to watch the show!

Contributed by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Tarundeep Aggarwal, Pradeep Sharma and Gayatri Rajwade



IAS officers find in-service training programme ‘boring’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 13
For the 30 odd senior IAS officers from across the country the weeklong in-service training programme on social conflicts conducted by the Institute of Development and Communication (IDC) began on a ‘disappointing’ note today.

At least for the first half of the day, many IAS officers with over 15 to 20 years of service behind them found the “classes” boring and vague, if not entirely irrelevant. Some officers who had obviously come with high expectations and were all ears through the lectures made their dissatisfaction vocal.

The inauguration of the training programme was done by Punjab Governor Lt-Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) who repeated the example of Macaulay’s Minute having been designed to produce clerks. Since the audience was outside of Chandigarh, the contents of the Governor’s speech was new but for those who have heard the City’s Administrator before it was a repetition of what he has been saying at many others such forums, maybe in an effort to drive the point home.

The first session began with a lecture by Prof Y.K. Alagh on Conflict Resolutions: Land Relocation in which he said India’s net sown area under crops had fallen drastically for the first time. Prof Alagh who was the former Union Minister for Power and Planning added that also for the first time in India’s history, the area under canal irrigation had fallen. This statement was rejected forthwith by some of the officers specially those who had served in various parts of the state as in charge of revenue or irrigation.

After a convoluted discussion over the issue during which IAS officers admitted that the figures collected by the various agencies of the government are faulty and should not be used to come to such conclusions – the lecture continued.

Prof Alagh ended his lecture stating, “relocation from land will be the most vexed question in India in the years and decades to come. The more we build up transparent institutions at the local level in the details of solutions to these questions the better off we will be.

Inheriting the revenue traditional panchayat are the obvious candidates to underpin a sensible national rehabilitation policy one we get going. The employment guarantee scheme is also a way of empowering the poor to participate. But the rehabilitation policy is in doldrums.”

The moment Prof Alagh’s lecture ended the relevance of the lecture to the course which was on social conflict-was questioned which followed a lively discussion.

Prof G.S. Bhalla, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, lectured the officers on ‘Deepening crisis in Indian agriculture in era of Globalisation’ stating that transitional economies face peculiar problems and there had been a deceleration of agriculture growth in the 1990s in a scenario of acceleration in growth of GDP in both India and China.

Prof Randhir Singh, political theorist and Professor Emeritus, IDC, reflected on conflicts in Indian society.



IAF upgrading fighter aircraft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The IAF is upgrading its existing fighter aircraft to maintain their combat potential in the absence of new inductions. Stating this here today, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal A.K.Singh, said that requests for proposals (RFP) for the 126 multi-role aircraft required by the IAF had still not been issued.

"It would take seven or eight years after the deal has been cleared to build up force levels. To meet requirements in the meantime till then, the existing fleet is being modernised to make it compatible with the new generation fighters," he said.

The Air Marshal was on an inspection visit to the MiG-27/29 TETTRA School at the Air Force High Grounds.

He said that one squadron of the MiG-27 had been upgraded. The upgradation of the MiG-29 is in the pipeline, while the MiG-21 Bison upgrade was well underway, he added.

He said the IAF had introduced computer-based training on a large scale, where computer simulations are used to teach various subjects. The IAF is also evolving its own training procedures as original equipment manufactures are reluctant to part with certain technical details of equipment.

On the Siachen demilitarisation issue, he said we must demarcate the area before any withdrawal takes place so as to avoid counter claims at a later stage.

Earlier, the Air Marshal was briefed about training programmes and other activities of the TETTRA school by the Station Commander, Gp Capt B.K. Sood..

He also visited various sections of the school, newly set up MiG-29 training complex and the X-ray model of the MiG-27.

Air Marshal Singh also interacted with a batch of six Sri Lankan technicians who are here on a training course on the MiG-27. The Sri Lankan air force is purchasing four MiG-27 aircraft from Russia and these airmen have been sent here for advanced training.

This is the third batch from Sri Lanka to be trained on this aircraft here.

Meanwhile, president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Regional), Mrs Priya Singh was briefed about the welfare activities by the local president, Mrs Preetika Sood. A special ladies meet was also held.



Kids’ lunch date with CM
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
It's a luncheon date that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has planned with great care. No wishy-washy "affair" this, the rendezvous is all about winning over lots of "little" hearts. And it's all happening at his residence tomorrow morning.

For Children's Day this year has brought with it an invitation to lunch with the Chief Minister for the state's meritorious few who topped in the recently concluded first semester examination of the Board classes.

The Education Department would also use the opportunity to confer awards upon these children in recognition of their performance while emphatically driving home the point of the government's commitment to education.

So, as the CM residence gears to play host to its youngest-ever list of invitees, there's excitement in the Education Department over the sheer novelty of the programme. As many as 128 district-wise toppers of the first semester examination conducted by the Haryana School Education Board in all 20 districts of the state are on the guest list. While all toppers at the district-level have been invited for the function, toppers from government schools have also been especially invited.

Says Secretary, Education, Mr R.S. Gujral, "It is for the first time that a function of this kind is being organised for the children at the CM residence. It will give a fillip to the semester system we have introduced in our Board classes. Ours is the first state in the country to introduce semester system at the school level to ease the academic burden on the students."

As awards, the Education Department will gift away Oxford dictionaries as also medals and pen sets to the toppers at the middle, secondary and senior secondary levels.

Notwithstanding the elaborate menu, great care has been taken to ensure variety for the children and prepare items that will interest them.

"We have everything that the children will relish. The menu has been prepared keeping in mind children from rural areas and a feast awaits them. Besides the regular food, there will be burgers and chat, noodles and dahi vadas, ice-creams and juices. The idea is to make them feel special on their day," said Additional Director, Mr M.L. Kaushik, in-charge of organising the programme.



Loudspeakers disturbing residents’ calm
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 13
Life has become hell for Ms Ravi Kiran thanks to the loud music which often emanates on weddings and other social functions from the Community Centre in Phase II here.

The administration doesn’t care two hoots about the blarring loudspeakers. The family now plans to shift to another locality. “I suffer from high blood pressure,” Ms Ravi Kiran says. “Loud music played at late night at the nearby Community Centre disturbs me. I get tense as soon as I see preparations being made for celebrations at night. It takes me two more days to recover after spending a sleepless night. Moreover, the studies of my children get adversely affected,” she says.

Residents living near places where loudspeakers are used brazenly in violation of the rules are having a harrowing time. Those using loudspeakers care little for those who may be sick, students busy with their studies, elderly or just the fact that everyone has the right to live in peace.

Residents in certain other localities feel disturbed by loudspeakers played at places of worship.

The SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans, said when residents came to his office seeking permission for use of loudspeakers , it was given only till 10 pm.

He , however, said he would try to bring about some changes in the form filled for seeking permission for use of loudspeakers. Spelling out the terms clearly, the form would also state the penalty to be imposed in case of violations.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had, under notifications dated November 22, 2000, and February 14, 2000, placed restrictions on the use of loudspeakers and public address systems. The ministry in its notifications said, among other things, that a loudspeaker/public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the specified authority. A loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used between 10 pm and 6 am except in closed premises for communication within e.g. auditoria, conference rooms, community cells and banquet halls.

The State Transport Commissioner, Punjab, had sent copies of the Union Ministry’s notifications to the SDMs and others concerned for implementation.

SP (City), Mr Varinder Pal Singh, could not be contacted for comments despite several attempts.



Fauji Beat
Which force can tackle terrorism?

In its recent report to the government, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has recommended that there should be a separate specialised force to handle internal security operations, including terrorism. The Army, it says, should not be involved in these operations. No one would disagree with this recommendation. But the question that arises is, which “special force” will meet this baffling requirement?

We already have several forces such as the CRPF, BSF, RAF, besides the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), which is a part of the Army.

Over the years, the gap between the external threat and internal security has narrowed down to notional dimensions and the nation has to repeatedly protect its integrity and sovereignty against escalating levels of low intensity conflict (LIC) or “proxy war”. The current security scenario in J&K and the North-East amply proves that external threat finds an easy expression in LIC or “internal war”. Which force will fight this war?

We can go on deliberating on this point for years. But eventually we would reach a conclusion that this internal was has to be fought by the Army. Any “special force”, that the Standing Committee on Defence is visualising, has to be carved out of the Army by enlarging its size. This force needs to be composed of infantrymen, as it is their battle. We should also revise the composition of RR units on the same lines.

Goa operation

After India got Independence in 1947, the Portuguese continued to hold Goa, Daman and Diu. A stage came in 1961, when the Disobedience Movement of the civil population was dealt with a hostile action by the Portuguese troops in Goa. India got alerted when intelligence reports revealed that the Portuguese had planned to establish a joint naval base in collaboration with Pakistan at Goa.

Goa had 4,500 Portuguese and Goan troops. The task to bring Goa under Indian control was given to two brigades of 17 Infantry Division and 50 para Brigade. This brigade with 1 Para, 2 Para and 2 Sikh LI launched the operation on the night of December 17/18. Because of the lack of information, 2 Para’s progress initially was slow. But it made up when its one company under the then Capt K.S. Pannu almost raced on foot and was in Ponda by 5.30 pm on December 18.

On December 19, by 9 am, 1 Para, which was commanded by the late Lieut-Col (later Brigadier) Sucha Singh, along with 2 Sikh LI, entered Panjim and liberated it, resulting in the surrender of the Portuguese senior commander with his troops to Lieut-Col Sucha Singh at Panjim. A gallant and well-decorated soldier, the late Brig Sucha Singh was Vir Chakra and Military Cross winner. After his retirement, he had settled down in Chandigarh.

ECHS membership

One of the documents to be submitted with the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) membership application is the Pension Payment Order (PPO). Since the JCOs and other ranks who had retired before 1986, were not issued PPOs, a copy of the Pension Book in their case was accepted in lieu of the PPO. But about two months ago, the ECHS authorities had made submission of the PPO mandatory even for the pre-1986 retirees. For want of this document, their applications are not being accepted for the ECHS membership.

Prior to 1986, each JCO and other rank official was given a Pension Book at the time of retirement. But a copy of his PPO was sent to the Records Office, CDA (Pension), Allahabad, and the Defence Pension Disbursing Officer (DPDO). In view of this, there is no reason why the DPDO concerned should not issue PPOs to the pre-1986 retirees. It has been reported that the DPDOs have declined to issue this document.

The Army authorities must step in to help the needy JCOs and other ranks by approaching the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts, who should issue executive orders to the DPDOs. — Pritam Bhullar



Parking woes spill over to roads, courtesy conventions
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
A three-day hoteliers' convention that concluded on Sunday may have brought good business to the hoteliers but it also resulted in inconvenience to the city residents.

With visitors leaving their vehicles all along the road leading to the venue, due to inadequate parking space inside, traffic bottlenecks were created, thus resulting in jams on all three days. And this was not for the first time when lack of parking space resulted in spilling over of vehicles on the road around a venue.

The residents complain that traffic problem is created every time a large-scale function is organised in a hotel.

True, most of the big hotels in the city were set up when the business was not so brisk and the number of vehicles hitting the roads daily were far less. But not much has since been done to accommodate the rush of vehicles.

Though hotels, like the Mountview, have since then constructed underground parking lots for two-wheelers, the trouble continues.

As if problems due to crunch of space are not bad enough, the hotel authorities make the matters worse by often allowing the organisers to pitch the tents in the parking lots within the hotel premises.

The process is carried out to accommodate more within the existing space. As a result, hardly any space is left for the visitors to park their vehicles within the boundary walls.

"If you haven't experienced the problem, it is just because you haven't travelled on the road running between the Parade Ground and Hotel Shivalik View when an exhibition or a marriage ceremony is on in the hotel," says Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer Anil Pal Singh Shergill.

"With the tents covering the parking lots, the visitors are left with hardly any option but to leave their vehicles on the roads,” he adds.

He further says that the problem becomes worse in case of VIP weddings not just in the hotels but also in the clubs.

Quoting an example, he says the entire traffic on the road leading to the Chandigarh Club is affected right up to the Sukhna Lake every time a VIP wedding is organised.

A senior officer in the police headquarters asserts that the Chandigarh Administration may very well be violating the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while clearing the architectural plans of some new hotels and other buildings.

The High Court, he asserts, has clearly directed that building plans should not be cleared till adequate space is provided for the parking of vehicles.

Otherwise also, the High Court had directed the authorities concerned to ensure free flow of traffic.



Self-help groups a tool of empowerment: NABARD official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13.
The NABARD today conducted a state-level sensitisation-cum-review meeting of NGOs working in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

The meeting was conducted under the chairmanship of Mr S.R. Aluru, Chief General Manager, NABARD, who set the roadmap for promotion and bank-linkage of self-help groups (SHGs).

He laid emphasis on the basic qualitative aspects to be covered at the time of formation of SHGs while sustaining the SHGs already in existence.

He pointed out that a SHG was vehicle to not only to reach "the unreached i.e the Poorest of the Poor but also to reach out to activity groups like farmers' SHGs, artisans SHGs, agricultural labourers' groups, landless labourers' SHGs , etc.

Mr Aluru reiterated that SHGs were not only facilitating economic empowerment but also social and political empowerment.

He further clarified that SHGs were not only for peo ple 'below poverty line' (BPL) but were also meant for people who needed collective input sourcing and output marketing.

At the same time, banks were also expected to play an active role in extending timely loan and on flexible terms and conditions.

It was pointed out in the meeting that at all-India level, more than 22 lakh SHGs had been linked to banks with a cumulative loan of more than Rs 11,000 crore.



Missing jeweller’s family alleges tardy probe
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 13
Members of the family of Mr Satish Kumar (42), a jeweller missing from Kharar, have alleged here today that the police is not properly investigating the matter.

Mr Narinder Kumar and Ms Kavita Gupta, brother and wife, respectively, of the missing person, said at a press conference here today that 14 days had passed since Mr Satish Kumar went missing but the police had so far failed to provide any information about him.

Mr Narinder Kumar said the police was working on the theory that the jeweller must have committed suicide.

His scooter was found parked near a canal near Ropar. But if he had committed suicide by jumping into the canal why had his body not been found so far.

He said the members of the family suspected that Satish Kumar must have either been kidnapped or murdered by someone. He said the police had so far not filed an FIR in this regard.

Ms Kavita Gupta said that on October 31 Satish Kumar had come home for lunch but was reported that he did not go back to the shop after he left home. She said the family wanted Satish Kumar back and this could be made possible only if the police took up the case seriously.

Shikha and Hitesh, both daughter and son of the jeweller, also accompanied her mother to the press conference.



JD (U) men seek CBI probe into institute’s working
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
Activists of the Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal (United) along with parents of aggrieved parents of certain students of the Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training, Sector 34, today held a protest rally in Sector 17 Plaza demanding a CBI inquiry into the functioning of the institute.

Later, a delegation submitted a memorandum to the DIG of the CBI, Mr B.L. Soni, for the CBI inquiry into the collection of advance fee from the students of the institute and alleged diversion of the funds to other projects, a press note said here.

Meanwhile, Mr Samir Walia, vice-president, Corporate Communications of the Frankfinn, claimed that the Janata Dal press note was “nothing but a bunch of lies to malign the image of the institute” at the “behest” of some small academy.

The institute has also written to the UT Administrator to take action against the party leaders for spreading “baseless” rumours.

Till date, the Janata Dal leader had not been able to provide name of even a single student, who had been a victim of exploitation, Mr Walia added.



Ward No 3 gets facelift
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Consisting of Sectors 16, 17 and 22, Ward Number 3 has approximately 22,000 voters majorly made up of traders based at the two most important markets of Sectors17 and 22.

The Sector 17 plaza has been renovated. New lighting has been installed.

However, though streamlined parking has been introduced, parking in front of the Deputy Commissioner's block and Mehafil hotel is always chaotic.

Sector 16 too has its fair share of parking problems. A shopkeeper laments, "There is an urgent need of parking space in the market."

Councilor speak

"100 per cent augmentation of lights, re-carpeting of roads and railing in all parks has been carried out in my ward in the past five years. Renovation work has been done in all toilets, while many new have been constructed on the BoT basis. The Sector 17 market has been pruced up. The plaza has been renovated and paver blocks put up. Sector 16 market is the first market to have coloured checkered tiles. Shanti Kunj has been spruced up too with a cafeteria and lights. A Moonlight park has been made in Sector 22.



Function to bless orphaned girl on Nov 17
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 13
The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, said the function proposed to be held tomorrow at Silvi Park to bless the orphaned girl, Isha, would now be held on November 17.

He said that the boxes containing donations for Isha would be opened on November 17. He said that a good response had been received from the residents here for making donations for the cause of the child. Even the Punjab Chief Minister had not only sanctioned a grant of Rs 50,000 for Isha but had also taken a serious view of the negligence and apathy shown by a private hospital and ordered an in-depth inquiry in to the tragedy of Isha.

Isha had lost her parents and brother in a road accident in Phase IX.



Architects for “Greater Chandigarh Development Authority”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
Concerned about the haphazard growth in Chandigarh’s periphery, eminent architects yesterday pleaded for the constitution of a “Greater Chandigarh Development Authority” for the regulated urban development. Talking to Tribune News Service at a symposium here, the experts viewed the unregulated growth with concern saying that regulation of large-scale construction activity needed to be regulated by the Chandigarh Administration, the Punjab Government and the Haryana Government.

“The formation of the Greater Chandigarh Development Authority was the need of the hour. In fact, an integrated development plan for the Chandigarh and the satellite towns, including Mohali and Panchkula, was needed to check the haphazard growth. If this was not done, the amenities in Chandigarh would continue to be overburdened,” Mr Deepak Khosla, a noted architect pointed out. In fact, the peripheral towns of Zirakpur and Kharar were emerging as the modern day slums in the wake of the lack of control on the unchecked urban growth, he added.

Expressing similar sentiments, Mr J.K. Gupta, eminent architect, asserted that the peripheral areas should have been transferred to Chandigarh for planning.



Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 13
A woman allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the stairs in Phase XI here today.

According to the police, Dhan Kumari (60) took the extreme step by hanging herself from the stairs by using a dupatta. There was nobody at home at the time of the incident.

The son of the deceased, Mr Maan Singh, who works in the Punjab Irrigation Department, told the police that his mother suffered from high blood pressure and used to remain upset because of her health problem. His wife had gone to her parents house about 12 days ago. He said the family had cordial relations.

The police said that the daughter of the deceased had also been called and her statement would be recorded tomorrow.

The body of the deceased had been sent for a post mortem examination to the Civil Hospital.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the Cr PC in this regard.



Theft in Panchkula house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 13
Thieves decamped with Rs 15000 cash and jewellery worth Rs 25000 from a house in Sector 2 while the occupants were away. Mr Krishan Mittal, a businessman and owner of the house, said he and his family left town on November 11.

He returned this afternoon to find that the locks had been broken and the house was ransacked. Though the police has asked him not to touch anything till a forensic team examined the spot, he said his cash and jewellery were missing.

However, the loss could go up once he was allowed to go through his belongings. A case has been registered and investigation is on in this regard.



Allahabad bank officers' conference

Chandigarh, November 13
The triennial conference of the Allahabad Bank Officers Association, Chandigarh zone, was held in the conference hall of Kisan Bhavan here yesterday.

Officers of Allahabad Bank from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Chandigarh were present.

The chief guest, Mr Amar Paul, general secretary, All-India Bank Officers Confederation, along with other veteran leaders from various banks, including Mr A.K. Dogra, vice-president, and Mr Anand Rao, deputy general secretary, All India Allahabad Bank Officers Association, addressed the conference. Mr J.S. Rana, senior manager, was elected zonal president of the association, and Mr S.R. Barkhotia, senior manager, Hisar, was elected zonal secretary.

For Ludhiana zone Mr Dilwara Singh, Khanna branch, was elected zonal president, while Mr Kuldeep Singh, Nakodar branch, was elected zonal secretary. For both units the elections were unanimous. TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |