C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Search for DAV boys may have reached dead-end
Pradeep Sharma & Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Rajpura, November 25
With the divers searching for two students of DAV College, Sector 10, gone missing on the Marina Beach, drawing a blank, there seems to be a remote possibility of their survival and a pall of gloom has descended on Rajpura and Bathoni, the native places of the students.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune from Chennai over phone, Dr Naresh Sharma, uncle of Davinder Sharma, said despite efforts by the authorities, including the Tamil Nadu Governor, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, no headway could be made in tracing the missing youths. Dr Sharma informed that two students had seen the missing boys "drowning" in about 50 feet deep sea water. Even as an alarm was raised by one of the students Sunil, it seemed to be too late, Dr Sharma added.

It seems the promised fee waiver of Rs 10,000 each for attending a national championship seems to have cost the duo their lives. The boys were promised that they would get a fee concession of Rs 10,000 each in the total fee of Rs 14,000 if they participated in the championship, Sukwinder Singh, brother one of the missing boys, Gurwinder Singh, said today.

"Today also there was a high tide in the sea. Even after the tsunami not all bodies floated towards the sea shore as the sea in that area was muddy. We have been told to wait till tomorrow afternoon to know about the fate of the boys," Dr Sharma added.

An inconsolable Manjit Kaur, Gurinder's mother, said only God could help and the family had left everything to Almighty.

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A special day of leisure for everyone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Amist the Carnival frenzy, marked by a parade of floats and bikes, a group of 30 special children found their own reasons to celebrate. Tucked away in a corner, they seemed at home with the space Chandigarh Administration had allotted them for the day. Here, they exhibited their talent to hook the most restive of revellers.

Right at the entry to Special Children’s Corner sat Sunil, a class IX student of Saket High School, who has dysfunctional upper limbs. But the disability did not hinder him from expressing himself in colours and adding purpose to the Chandigarh Carnival, which was all about fun and frolic.

Concentrating on rural life — one of the themes for the Carnival (the other being Singapore) — Sunil captured the village ambience brilliantly on his sheets. His effort was special as he was drawing with his foot.

Accompanying Sunil were others like Ranbir and Kuldip, also from Saket High School, who conquered the odds to participate in Chandigarh’s favourite event with unmatched zeal. They also had company of partially-sighted and visually-disabled students from Institute for the Blind.

Together, all these students emerged as real heroes of the Carnival. No wonder UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues, who inaugurated the show, desired that these works should be preserved well. Government Museum will soon provide them a gallery. Also in the offing is a section where artworks of senior artists will be displayed.

Loyal participants of the Carnival nearly 20 senior artists including S.S. Bhatti, J.R. Yadav, Shiv Singh, Aditya Prakash, Malkit Singh — were very much present today also. While Shiv Singh, in his work, beckoned all to follow him on the road to celebration, Yadav painted nostalgia on the canvas. Bhatti’s work was on the reflective side as he painted the sea and the space. Earlier, he sang a K.L. Saighal song for visitors.

His zeal was matched only by folk performers from 10 states, including Punjab and Haryana, who were here on the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi’s invitation. The most interesting were “jogis” and “been” players who literally swept the visitors off their feet.

Opposite the special children’s corner were two special pavilions — Himachal and Singapore. The Singapore section was all dragons and lions, especially blown up to lure tourists. The Airlines also offered free coupon entries for free trips to Singapore. Naturally, everyone was charmed.

Himachal was muted in its response. It was happy showcasing handlooms and dances.

On the art side, the Lalit Kala Akdemi held the fort. It took the occasion to launch Tej Pal Singh, who demonstrated fine paper cutting and folding techniques. The Akademi also exhibited works of 50 students who could sell artworks from the counter. There were, however, few buyers. People were more interested in the Friends of Children’s Corner, which taught them more about science and maths through easy puzzles. These puzzles were designed by the volunteers of Centre for Education and Voluntary Action.

Though most organisers repeated themselves, The Traffic Police brought in some novelty by displaying special literature which the Ministry of Road Transport has designed to sensitize children on traffic rules.

A brand new entrant to the Carnival was the British Library, which wanted to shed its “elitist image”.

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Carnival Sidelights
Child Labour Act flouted
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
At least 12 children below the age of 14 year were seen selling eatables in the Leisure Valley complex today. While two were accompanying their mothers, the rest were all by themselves, busy selling their products to make a fast buck. Amidst the revelery of the carnival, no one seemed to remember the modified Prevention of Child Labour Act.

Kiron Kher’s work on display

Another interesting work that caught the attention of discerning viewers today was the one which Kiron Kher painted two years ago. The famous actress had drawn a female form on the canvas when she was a part of the carnival revelery on November 27, 2004. The work, signed “I love Chandigarh” by Kiron Kher, is on display at the Senior Citizens counter in the Leisure Valley.

500-metre-long kite, weight 25 kg

In city on the invitation of the Chandigarh Administration, skilled kite flier Jamaluddin took the visitors to Leisure Valley by storm this afternoon as he sent up in the air his 500 metre-long kite, which weighed not less than 25 kg. Held by a single string were 100 kites, each set in the three colours of the Indian flag. No one could pass Jamaluddin by without pleading for a chance to hold the string and see how it feels to “fly high”.

Principal’s zeal

Davinder Kaur is no ordinary teacher. As principal of Government Senior High School, Sector 25, which imparts education to slum-dwelling children, she has won the state award and also the President’s Medal on Teacher’s Day this year. Known for her determination, she was seen sweating it out for the Chandigarh carnival float this morning. Her school was supposed to prepare one on the theme of rural Punjab and Ms Kaur was at work all night, sourcing rural artifacts. Finally her school’s float looked the best as it featured every minute detail of a Punjabi village — right from “jaago”, the traditional village well and swings to phulkaris and spinning wheels.

Craft meditation

At the Friends of Children’s Corner put up by the Centre for Education and Voluntary Action, youngsters were busy teaching visitors the art of craft meditation. They had on display small little things that could be moulded into interesting works of craft. One of such thing was a basket made out of paper. The idea was to get the visitors hooked to craft and help them unwind.

Traffic ludo

Among the interesting stuff, the Chandigarh Traffic police counter had to offer was special ludo, designed to apprise children of the basics of traffic regulations. Called Traffic Genius, the game works simply. Each of its boxes has a traffic rule written therein. As you play, you can’t help glancing through the written notes. It’s virtually learning while playing. The ludo has been designed by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways.

Swastika or Nazi?

Two year’s ago, a senior UT officer had painted the Swastika in the reverse when asked to splash some colour on a barren canvas mounted during the Chandigarh Carnival. The officer’s hurried reaction led him painting the Nazi symbol instead of the Swastika. It was then up to Chandigarh Carnival organisers to ground the “artwork.” But they displayed it again at today’s Carnival. Yet another blunder!

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Vintage cars unleash charm
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
As many as 43 vintage and classic cars sashayed down city roads and wowed residents with their impressive “looks and style”.
Curious visitors thronged the Sukhna Lake to have a look at the “old beauties” where the cars, which were in town as part of the two-day inter-state classic vintage car rally, were parked for a two-hour break.

Earlier, these well-kept cars charmed motorists on city roads after their flag-off from the Hotel Taj in Sector 17 by the DC, Mr RK Rao. The bemused residents looked on as the cavalcade went around the city for the “local lap” at a leisurely pace.

However, at the Sukhna Lake, a substantial number of visitors had the time of their life as they posed for pictures with vintages cars. Sunita and Abhishek, a newly-wed couple from Hoshiarpur, were excited to have a picture with a vintage car saying, “It was for the first time they had seen a vintage car.”

Inmates of the SOS Children’s Village, Rajpura, could be seen posing for pictures around these beauties.

Meanwhile, Baljit S. Manco, secretary-general of the Vintage and Classic Car Club, Chandigarh, said that though the cars belonged to the pre-1960s, no car had developed any technical fault during the course of the rally. The oldest car in the rally is the Ford Tourer (1933) owned by the president of the club, Brig J.S. Phoolka (retd).

Besides, certain cars like the Chyrsler (1947) owned by Mr K.C. Anand had a history attached to it. Brought by his father, Mr Dharam Chand Anand, from Pakistan in 1947 after Partition, the car is undivided Punjab’s link with India. And not surprisingly, the car is a precious possession for Mr Anand and “just like a son”.

“Every year, we try to organise a couple of vintage car rallies to preserve the rich heritage of the country for future generations,” Mr Anand told Chandigarh Tribune.

And this time, the event had a noble cause behind it as it was organised to highlight the need to be socially-conscious about the underprivileged children in the country being given shelter under the SOS Children’s Village.

On his part, Lieut-Col Harinder Singh (retd), Director of the SOS Children’s Village, Rajpura, expressed his gratitude to the organisers for supporting their cause.

Meanwhile, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, flagged off the rally from the lake to Kasauli in the afternoon.

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On Carnival’s bright face, Shibani leaves dark spot
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
After a smooth start this morning, Chandigarh Carnival hit a roadblock in the evening when the “star attraction” of the show Shibani Kashyap did not turn up for her scheduled performance. Thanks to her, the show, slated to start at 7 pm actually started only at 9.25 pm.

Visitors were naturally anxious over the delay, which was unacceptable to them considering the singer in question is still a struggler. Assistant Director, Tourism, Mr Vinod Kalia, however, thought this could happen to anybody. “We must wait,” he said.

So the patient ones in the lot waited till Shibani turned up on stage and began apologising for the delay. She supposedly had a fall before boarding her Delhi flight from the Mumbai airport. And this was because she had been travelling on an empty stomach! Having missed the flight she had to drive down and hence the delay.

Even after making it to the concert, Shibani Kashyap, who had a small band-aid on her forehead, could not make an impact or contribute to the Carnival revelry. In fact, she was only doling out the usual Bollywood songs which were not even her own. The only original scores she presented were “Zinda Hoon Main” and “Ho Gayi Hai Mohabbat.”

No wonder people started leaving by the time her show entered the third song. Soon after, a handful were left. The person there only hoped tomorrow’s night does not turn out like tonight.

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Effluence
Shivalikview on notice
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Shivalikview Hotel in Sector 17 is in the dock for infringing the provisions of the Prevention of Water Pollution Act.
The Pollution Control Committee, Chandigarh, has issued a notice to the authorities at Shivalikview Hotel to explain the reasons for discharging untreated water from the hotel’s laundry.

The Member Secretary of the Pollution Control Committee, Mr P.J.S. Dhadwal, confirmed that the notice had been issued. But he refused to divulge the contents of the notice.

To avoid being noticed, the untreated effluent is being discharged in a specially made drainage outlet at the rear of the hotel. From the outlet, the effluent is being discharged into an underground pipe, which joins a storm water line, running along the slow carriageway of the Udyan Marg.

Earlier, the waste water generated from the laundry was being discharged into the open. But following objections by the enforcing authorities, the underground pipes had been laid. A senior official in the administration said if the storm water line had been punctured to discharge the effluents of the laundry, it mounted to being a criminal offence.

On the face of it, the cut on the road on the slow carriageway and caving of the freshly compacted earth over the specially laid pipelines from the hotel’s rear wall to the slow carriageway clearly indicate that the soil was dug for some purpose. The alignment of the freshly made gully trap (less than two-feet deep) on the line indicates the exit point of the laundry water.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director of the CITCO, said he was aware of the notice. “At the time of constructing the hotel, various provisions like putting up a treatment plant had not been complied with,” he said adding that he had already directed the concerned officials to strictly follow the guidelines and do the needful.

Throwing untreated laundry water into the storm water drain could lead to unrepairable consequences, believe experts on water pollution. The discharge in the storm water drain ultimately flows into the Leisure Valley stream. Incidentally, the water in the storm water drain is recycled for irrigation purposes.

Sources reveal that during a surprise inspection at the hotel’s laundry by the officials of the Pollution Department, the water samples taken from the spot did not fulfill the laid down criteria. The BOD and COD levels of effluents were found to be higher than the permitted levels. As per provisions, the laundry water has to be treated before being discharged into the drainage system.

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Next time, don’t even look at tipsy cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
A Sector-32 resident, working as driver with a call centre in Mohali, was allegedly roughed up by a tipsy policeman late this evening. He was returning home after leaving behind the company’s vehicle in the Sector market when the incident occurred.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the victim, Chandar Shekhar, alleged that he was slapped and pushed around by the policeman in mufti without any provocation. “I kept asking him to tell me my mistake, but he continued to hit me,” said Shekhar.

The incident has once again brought to the fore the “ruthless attitude” of men-in-khaki. Though senior police officers refused to comment on the issue, sources in the police headquarters agreed that cases of brawl involving police officials were not uncommon in the city.

Incidents of late-evening “free-for-alls” were on the rise in the city. In the absence of regular late-night patrolling by “sober police personnel”, cases of drunken wrangles were reported from different parts of the city every other day.

Giving details, Shekhar claimed that the policeman, in an inebriated state, was standing next to a motor cycle. “I just happened to glance at him. Somehow, that infuriated him and without any provocation he started slapping me,” Shekhar said, adding that he knew the attacker as he had been posted in the Sector for a while.

Station House Officer of the Sector 34 police station Jagir Singh said he was looking into the matter and would ensure the victim’s safety. “In case the police official is found guilty, action would be initiated against him,” he concluded. 

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Watch out

Prof Kiran Joshi, Chandigarh College of Architecture, is currently camping in France, arguing the case of Chandigarh as a nomination to UNESCO. The French World Heritage Committee has selected works of Le Corbusier as the French nomination out of three dossiers on different projects which will be forwarded to UNESCO in January 2007.

Professor Joshi is now engaged in arguing the case of the city at different fora for strengthening the case of Chandigarh as a heritage city. She is associated with the project for the past more than two years and has helped in chalking out the submission, including the city’s history, project formulation and its implementation, besides of course, its unique character. 

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In Town

Dr Steve Taylor, Principal Lecturer in Sociology within the School of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Teesside, UK, will be in town tomorrow. He previously researched in the areas of the sociology of employment and cultural sociology, with a particular focus upon ‘emotional labour’ and call centre employment. He has been working with Professor Manjit Singh of Panjab University for three years. In 2004, the two together embarked upon a joint project examining Eastern Punjabis as a Transnational Community spanning Punjab and northern England. 

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Passing Through

Maulvi Aijaz
Mr Maulvi Aijaz, Srinagar based advocate

What brings you to the city

I have been visiting the city to contest the case of two clients who have been booked in the Jammu and Kashmir sex scandal.

How do you feel about the city ?

It is great and planned city. I wish to come again and again to fight cases in the district courts and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The legal faternity in the city is very cooperative

Any observation about the city ?

The Sukhna Lake needs better maintenance. Trees should be planted on all sides to add to the beauty of the water body

— Rajmeet Singh

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France finds city heritage material
To nominate Le Corbusier’s works to UNESCO
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The city now forms part of the French nomination for getting heritage status at the World Heritage Centre. In a landmark development, the French World Heritage Committee has decided to forward the nomination of trans-border “Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier” to UNESCO.

The French Heritage Committee forwarded the official communication to Prof Kiran Joshi of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, who is also member of the Chandigarh Administration’s committee on the project, in Paris where she is currently camping to project the case of Chandigarh.

The committee has decided to forward the name of Le Corbusier’s works in January, 2007.

The city is now vying for a seat in the coveted list of UNESCO as an independent entry as well as on the list of the French World Heritage Committee.

The high-level committee of France consisted of 20 conservation professionals, government officials and political representatives, besides others.

The committee had to take a decision on three nomination dossier. The nominations “from several influential quarters also included serial nominations on the work of Vauban, a 17th-century military engineer known his works along the borders of France”.

The team for “The Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier” was led by Jean-Pierre Duport, president of the Le Corbusier Foundation.

Following a presentation on the uniqueness of trans-border nomination and the contents of the dossier, interventions were made by representatives of the participating state parties, including Switzerland and Argentina.

The formal report said: “Prof Kiran Joshi, representing India, underlined the intangible values of Chandigarh as a symbol of progressive aspirations of the Indian democratic republic. She also elaborated the nature of legislative and other measures adopted by the Chandigarh Administration.

Chandigarh might become first city in the country to come under the project of the WHC, which will include financial and technical assistance for preparing a conservation management plan, for its modern architecture.

The draft proposal points out that the city is located 333 metres above the sea level and is gently sloping with two seasonal rivulets- Patiala-ki-Rao and Sukhna Choe — marking its NW and SW boundaries.

The city forms 78 sq km of urban territory in the total area span of 114 sq km.

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WARD WATCH
Where are the streetlights?
Tribune News Service

Geeta Chaudhary
Geeta Chaudhary

Chandigarh, November 25
The vast area of Ward No. 7 gives it immense scope for improvement, while at the same time a lot of work has already been done. Ward 7 consists of Sector 39, 40, EWS Colony, Maloya village, water work area, new grain market area, area acquired for development of Sector 55 and 56, Pir colony, Palsora colony I and II, Indira colony with boundaries, Ambedkar Awas Colony, Lal Bahadur Shastri Colony, Housing Board complex and boundaries. The area ranks low on the scale of development.

Garbage bins filled with refuse; ill-maintained green belts and dysfunctional streetlights are a common sight. Palsora and Maloya colonies are facing problems of sanitation and bad roads.

According to residents of Sector 40, a lot still needs to be done. “Street lights are not functioning, roads need to be re-carpeted and in some places, open areas need maintenance,” said Mr Jagtar Singh, a resident of Sector 40 C.

While some residents of the colonies are satisfied with the work done, many were unsatisfied. According to Ram Shekri, the inner roads of the colonies needed immediate attention.

Residents of Sector 55 are not happy with the condition of the streetlights. “Sector 55 and 56 are new sectors and can be developed as we want, however no attention is being paid,” saidd Mr Kishore Sharma, a resident of Sector 55.

Councillorspeak

Major works in the ward have been done. In Sector 55, 56, Palsora colony, three tube wells have been put up. In Maloya and Palsora, water connections have been provided. In Lal Bahadur colony, four toilets have been made. In Maloya and Colony 35, parks have been made. A ring road has also been made there.

Inner roads could not be made there, as there was very heavy encroachment. In Palsora colony, parks were improved, benches and swings were provided. In Sector 39, a community centre was constructed at a cost of Rs 34 lakh.

The Sector 40 community centre has been repaired. In Sector 39 and 40, streetlights and parking areas in markets have been provided.

Small sub parks have been made in Sector 39 and 40. Railing and swings have been provided in Sector 39 and 40. In the EWS colony in Sector 40 B, the roads were full of potholes and there were no lights, which has been changed now. All V-5 and V-6 roads have been repaired.

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Jain denies differences among alliance partners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
In an effort to dispel “rumors” of an “impending breakup” of the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance, BJP leader Satya Pal Jain today said a joint workers’ rally of the three parties would be addressed tomorrow by BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP office in the afternoon, Mr Jain said there was no question of “problems” in the alliance. “These are just rumors being floated by the opposition,” stated Mr Jain.

He added that taking “important” decisions like seat sharing took time.

“A final decision will be taken next week. We have decided on our choice of 26 candidates for the elections. What remains to be seen is which all wards they will contest from,” he said.

The Janata Party today also announced “unconditional” support to the BJP.

“We will support the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance for the upcoming elections,” stated Janata Party president Ajay Jagga.

Meanwhile, Lok Jan Shakti Party’s UT senior vice-president Ved Prakash Jundla has joined the BJP.

In view of the upcoming elections, a Chandigarh Citizens’ Forum (CCF) has been established, members of which will contest the elections.

The CCF is being considered as part of COSWAC, which is the breakaway faction of FOSWAC.

According to CCF convener Dr Satnam Singh, Market Association, Sector 42, president Naresh Arora will contest from Ward No. 10, while Burail resident Baldev Singh Bajwa will contest from ward No. 14.

The CCF intends to field its candidates on half of the total seats.

On the second day of filing of nomination papers too, no one came forward with their papers.

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Morcha candidate opens office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
In the runup to the MCC election, scheduled to be held on December 20, Sanjha Morcha candidate from Ward No. 1 (Sector 1 to 11) Gurnam Singh Sidhu opened his poll office at Sector 8 today.

Jan Morcha president Tarlochan Singh Bittu inaugurated the office.

Those present on the occasion included Youth Jan Morcha president Naresh Kumar Bobby, Sanjha Morcha convener Jaswinder Singh Brar, Jan Morcha candidate from Ward No. 17 Narinder Singh and office in-charge Basant Singh Khalsa.

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NRI land-grab case: accused alleges police hand
Tribune News Service

ADGP speaks

Haryana ADGP John V. George, who forwarded the complaint to the local SP, said: “I only forward complaints to the officers concerned and have no personal interest in any of them. In fact, after reports of this property takeover came to light, I have received another complaint from a resident of Pinjore, an elderly man. He alleges that his property, too, has been taken over in a similar fashion through forging of papers. This, too, has been forwarded to the office of the SP.”

Panchkula, November 25
In a twist to the grabbing of property case filed by Canadian NRI Ramesh Chander, one of the nine accused in the case, Ajay Sangroha, today alleged involvement of senior police officials in the matter.

Alleging threat to life in a written statement, Mr Sangroha said three gunshots were fired at him by armed men who tried to forcibly enter his house and intimidate his maid into signing blank sheets of paper.

In hiding since last afternoon, Mr Sangroha said the NRI had disposed of all movable and immovable assets in September, 2005.

“He even sold all household items through classified advertisements. So, the allegation of theft of his items is concocted. The Panchkula police has entertained the NRI’s complaint because he has a relative in the police and directions have come from a very senior officer who is interested in this piece of property,” he maintained.

Stating that he had procured a copy of the FIR registered against him in the grabbing of property case of Sector 21, as alleged by Mr Ramesh Chander, Mr Sangroha added that he would come out of hiding only when he got bail from the court.

“All documents are in my name. On learning about the complaint, I wrote to the DGP praying that the case be transferred from the Panchkula DSP (HQ) to another officer. However, this fell on deaf ears because of the involvement of a senior officer,” he said.

Maintaining that the sharp hike in property prices in the past year was the cause for such complaint, Mr Sangrogha said Mr Sharma had demanded another Rs 8 lakh for the transfer of property in the former’s name.

Asserting that he was being victimised by “corrupt police officers”, he sought help to save his and that of his family’s life.

He expressed fear for the lives of his maid and her son, too, who are presently staying on the premises of the disputed property.

The case had first come to light when the NRI met the SP and sought registration of a case against nine persons for forging property documents and taking over his property.

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Anomaly in lists irks job-seekers
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Recruitment of teachers in Punjab has come after a long gap of five years. The tentative lists of the results of near-successful candidates was put up outside the office of the Subordinate Services Selection Board, Punjab, but there was hardly any cheer among the candidates.

Outside the Board’s office, candidates who came to check their merit in science and Punjabi subjects from all over the state had a harrowing task as lists pasted on the walls remained incomplete for the better part of the day.

They also alleged that they had been running around urging officials to complete the displayed lists and also to rectify mistakes which had found their way into the list.

Seventy-year-old Balbir Singh from Kapurthala came looking for the result of his daughter. “We came here on November 15 to get our documents verified. It is not easy to come here again and again. Today, we came with high spirits only to discover that the Board had found no domicile certificate in my daughter’s documents. Hence, her name is nowhere in the list.”

“Though we have provided them with the required documents, these recruitment letters will never be issued. This is only a poll gimmick and I am sure that the election code will be implemented well before the letters see the light of day,” he rued.

“There was a huge rush in the morning and it was virtually a free-for-all as people tore down lists to have a look at the results unmindful of the others standing behind them. We approached the Board and after a long wait, we were able to get them to put up new lists,” said Satwinder Singh from Gurdaspur.

Abohar resident Dilbagh Singh maintained that there were a number of candidates whose names appeared in as many as three lists. “The Board must ask them their option and then display the final list so that we know exactly where we stand on merit,” he said.

Candidates who had applied in the “poor vision (female) category” complained that their lists had not been displayed by the Board.

When contacted, the Board Chairman, Brig Charanjeev Singh Harike, said that they were aware that candidates were constantly tearing away their results on display outside the Board’s office.

“We displayed the list four to five times to ensure that the public was not put to any inconvenience. Also, we are aware that there are certain discrepancies in the lists that were put up today. We have invited objections and told the candidates that the final lists will now be put up on Wednesday in the light of the changed merit. We have 110 such applications which have come in for corrections. Besides, we have displayed separate lists for all the categories under which applications were sought,” he said.

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Sangarsh committee seeks possession of plots
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 25
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangarsh Committee, Sectors 76- 80, burnt an effigy of the Punjab Government outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today in protest against the failure of the authorities concerned in handing over the possession of plots allotted to them over five years ago.

The protesters raised slogans against the government and demanded possession of plots so that they could build houses.

Committee president Sucha Singh Kalour said the Punjab Chief Minister had come up with various mega housing projects but failed to help the allottees who had paid around Rs 88 crore to PUDA for the plots.

He said even the local MLA had not provided any help to the affected people and had started blaming the SAD government in this regard.

He said if the government did not acceded to their demand, the committee would intensify the stir.

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Police interfering in civil matters, say lawyers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 25
The Punjab unit of the All India Lawyers Union said here today that the police force in the state was unnecessarily interfering with the civil matters, adversely affecting the liberty of residents.

Representatives of the union and lawyers from Kharar, Ropar and Anandpur Sahib said at a press conference that various problems being faced by lawyers would be discussed at the eighth biennial conference of the Punjab unit to be held on December 16 at Anandpur Sahib. The union would discuss the delay people had to face in the decision of civil cases and appeals, as the strength of judges was inadequate and not in proportion to the litigants. The issue of curtailing the powers of civil courts in certain matters by way of constituting various tribunals and forums would also be taken up.

The names of delegates to participate in the three-day ninth biennial national conference to be held at Siliguri from December 27 would also be decided. A charter of demands regarding the problems of lawyers would be submitted to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and also to the Bar Council of the state. 

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Visually challenged pick up acting skill
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Hope floats and catches each of these special children in its wake as they come together to present a theatrical production on the life of Swami Vivekananda. These youngsters from the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, are an exceptional bunch and they bring their own special gifts to life as they play their parts proving they are better than the best.

There is an air of heady excitement during the rehearsals and the 22 youngsters cluster around chatting, giggling, singing songs and enacting their roles in perfect tandem with one another.

Each one has a story to recount about being here, about having learnt how to act. But it is not easy. “You cannot just tell them to act. You have to explain everything physically, picking up their hand, telling them how to hold it, but it is amazing how intelligent they are and how fast they pick up,” smiles Mrs Reva Gandhi, who is a member of the Inner Wheel Club of Chandigarh and is a volunteer.

She had also been a part of their acting endeavours last year when they had staged a play on the life of Sant Kabir. “Stories from the lives of great men like Swami Vivekananda and Kabir work positively in the minds of these youngsters,” explains Ms Gandhi, a fact that is reiterated by what one of the ‘actors’ had to say.

Eighteen-year-old Shiv Kumar is one of three youngsters essaying the role of Swami Vivekananda in this play and to him has gone the distinction of playing Swami Vivekanand’s years in America. Last year, he had played Kabir.

“While acting, I really felt I was Kabir. Some roles just come into one’s heart and I really tried to mould myself to this great saint. I tried to imagine how he would have dealt with situations while acting them out,” he said with an earnestness that is inspiring.

Shiv Kumar wants to be an actor and not being able to see is not a stumbling block in the least. “I love acting because it helps get rid of inhibitions,” he smiles.

His “best friend” Rohit (21) is the music composer for the show and can play the harmonium, tabla, keyboard and even the banjo. Music is his passion and he is determined to be a music director or singer one day.

So, what did he keep in mind while creating the music for this play? “I try and ensure that the melody I create is neither too classical nor too modern so that it doesn’t sound odd. It should fall easy on the ear,” he says with remarkable poise like an expert.

Sitting next to him is chatterbox Devi Singh who plays the role of Ramakrishna Paramhans but loves Bollywood songs.

The play has evolved from director, producer, actor Shekhar Sen’s two-act musical mono-theatrical production by the same name. Ms Gandhi’s fellow helper Meetika Chauhan reworked the script which was then cut down to a little over an hour and divided up amongst the children by Indra Chibber (former Joint Secretary of the Institute and a former teacher at Vivek High School) who also got it converted into Braille.

Indeed the zest and the poise these youngsters display is stirring for not only they play their parts they also know how to have lots of fun. They also teach us, in the process, how to really appreciate life.

The play will be staged on November 28 at the DAV College Auditorium, Sector 10 at 11.45 am.

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AA bringing hope to alcoholics
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Want to quit?

Any problem drinker can contact the 24-hour AA Helpline at 9417037358. Meetings are held at different schools in the tricity on all weekdays. There is no fee or dues to be paid for recovery.

Chandigarh, November 25
There is hope at last for alcoholics as life can be beautiful and fun again without drinks — this message echoed loud and clear at the 18th anniversary celebrations of the Welcome Group of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, here this evening.

In fact, the anniversary celebrations of the first AA group in this part of the country proved to be a big draw with scores of alcoholics, filled with gratitude, shared their "recovery experience" with others in an effort to reach out to the still-suffering alcoholics.

Kicking off with the serenity prayer "God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference", various speakers at the "open meeting" narrated their life stories and how they escaped from the deadly dragnet of alcohol "one day at a time."

Sharing his story, a senior member informed how alcohol, which started merely to add some fun to life, played havoc with his personal and professional life. But soon he started drinking till oblivion. The vicious circle was repeated every day for over 22 years, he added.

Once in the AA fellowship, I was told that I am not a bad person but a sick person suffering from incurable progressive disease called alcoholism. However, the disease can be arrested "one day at a time" by attending meetings where the AA members share their experience, strength and hope. And the member is now "clean" for the past seven.

Alcohol does not differentiate between sexes, said a woman who also shared her story. Having an "unhappy childhood", this lady took to drinking early in life. Drinking pushed her to insanity with the result that she wanted to "kill herself and people around her". She was in a hopeless state of mind and body.

A phone call to Samaritans, a helpline in the UK, changed her life for the better and today she is a "loving and kind human being having an insatiable lust for life." And like over 20 million "sober alcoholics"in 150 countries, she is grateful for life the AA fellowship had given her.

AA is a worldwide fellowship for men and women who help each other to maintain sobriety.

The AA programme basically consists of 12 steps designed for personal recovery from alcoholism. Any suffering alcoholic can contact at 9417037358.

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Complaint against sweeping contractors
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 25
The Citizens’ Welfare Association today, alleged that the streets were not being cleaned and private contractors were taking the municipal council of the city for a ride.

The president of the association, Mr S.K. Nayar, said due to infighting within the council in the last four years, development works were suffering.

Garbage, too, is not collected from dustbins placed at different points in the Sector,” he alleged.

Initially, the sweeping contract was allotted for Rs 2.75 lakh per month in 2003 and the next was allotted for Rs 10.50 lakh per month in 2004 and thereafter in 2005, it was allotted for Rs 13.5 lakh per month, he stated.

“Now again, the city has been divided into four zones but the situation has remained unsatisfactory. The MC should be made answerable since it collects public money every year as ‘house tax’ for funding all these services,” Mr Nayar said.

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Winter gets severe; temperature drops by half 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The much-awaited winter has finally taken wing. Credit it to the snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, coupled with some in parts of Himachal Pradesh, the temperature in the city its adjoining areas has been on a rapid decline.

In less than five days, Chandigarh itself has seen a significant drop in the minimum temperature. Whereas until Monday last, the minimum temperature here was 12 degree, by today it had dipped to almost half. Met Department confirmed the consistently plummeting temperature which was today recorded to be a low of 6.4 degree. This also explains the biting chill in the air. Maximum temperature today was also a low of 23 degree as compared to 26.3 degree recorded last Monday.

This massive temperature drop within a week, Met officials say, is welcome, as the winter this time is delayed as compared to the last year when it had set in by mid-November – its usual and expected time.

This year, however, there was significant delay, but winter seems to be catching up with a vengeance now, as is clear from the rising chill and dipping mercury. Eight seven percent humidity in the air also seems to be contributing its bit to the reigning cold, which is expected to become severe with each passing day. It’s time to unpack winter clothing.

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2 charged with causing losses to PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Alleging connivance of the Superintending Hospital Engineer of the PGIMER with a contractor for an allocated work order of water proofing treatment of Rs 16,72, 932 illegally, thus causing huge losses to the institution, the PGI Employees Union, Chandigarh, today filed an FIR against them.

In a complaint to the Deputy Inspector General of Central Bureau of Investigation, the union has alleged that Ashok Shreedhar, Superintending Hospital Engineer (SHE) and Madan Kharbanda, the contractor, should be booked for causing losses to the hospital apart from putting scores of patients to great hardship. The union also claims to have sent copies of the complaint to the Prime Minister, Union Health Minister, Central Vigilance Commissioner, Union Health Secretary and the PGIMER director.

Taking a note of the leakage in PGI operation theaters (OTs), the union had filed the complaint seeking immediate arrest of the SHE and blacklisting of the contractor.

Mr Ashwani Munjal, chairman of the negotiation committee of the PGI Employees Union, Chandigarh, in a press note, alleged that the contract was allocated by the SHE to the contractor at almost 6.3 per cent over the estimated cost of the work.

The SHE and contractor were not available for comments.

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One caught for filing false FIR
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Chandigarh Police today nabbed Jatinder Kumar for getting a false FIR registered at Sector 22 police post on November 3.
According to the police, Jatinder Kumar, resident of 1328, Sector 52 B, had lodged an FIR on November 3, stating that some persons had snatched his mobile phone alongwith Rs 15,000 cash after making him inhale some psychotropic substance.

After investigations, it came out that one Sanjeev was using that set, which he bought from Davinder, owner of Happy Communications, Phase I, Mohali. Davinder told the police that Jatinder himself sold the set at his shop for Rs 2200 on August 1. On enquiry, Jatinder admitted that he had lost the money in gambling and so lodged a false complaint with the police.

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Mother of abandoned foetus is a teenager
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
An unintended entry in the out patient department’s (OPD) computer led to the ‘mother’ of the six-month foetus, which was found abandoned in one of the staff toilets of General Hospital, Sector 16, on November 22.

The police believes that the foetus was dumped there so that she could escape without catching the attention of the hospital staff.

An FIR was lodged in this regard at the Sector 17 police station.

The police zeroed in on a teenaged girl after checking the computer records of the Injection Room of the hospital.

The police has collected the blood samples of the suspected mother to match with the blood samples of the foetus.

If the samples match, we will register a case against the girl, the police said.

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One killed in mishap

Panchkula, November 25
One person was killed and another was injured in a road accident on the Kalka-Zirakpur highway here this evening. While the deceased, a labourer, is yet to be identified, Pawan Kumar injured in the accident has been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6.
The deceased was on his cycle while Pawan Kumar was driving motor cycle when the accident took place. TNS

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Biz Clip

Chandigarh
Ticket dispensers
: A family entertainment centre at Mani Majra is set to launch of its ATT (auto ticket teller) machines to dispense movie tickets. Tickets for movies being screened at Fun Republic will now be available in Sectors 11 and 17. The mode of payment is initially through credit card. A maximum of 10 tickets can be drawn at one time. These machines will be open from 10 am to 8 pm. — TNS

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