C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Now dealer can register your vehicle
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The Chandigarh Administration is all set to revive the practice of dealers issuing registration numbers of vehicles. A recommendation to this regard has been made by the sub-group of the Administrator’s Advisory Council for Review of Existing Law\Rules and Simplification of Procedures.

The Administration had introduced the practice during the 1990s and at least a couple of dealers in the city were authorised to issue registration numbers. Following certain problems, the practice was discontinued.

Under the recommended change for registration Under Section 41 of the Motor Registration Act, a dealer will issue certificate of registration in a form as prescribed by the Central Government. The certificate will also specify the type of motor vehicle, its design, construction and use.

The dealer has been specifically asked to assign a distinguishing mark to the vehicle as allotted by the state or the Central Government as notified in the official gazette. The registration will be valid for a period of 15 years following which it will need renewal.

The administration will authorise testing stations for grant or renewal of certificate of fitness to vehicles. Currently, the board of fitness of the state Transport Authority constituted as per Rule 38 of the Chandigarh Motor Vehicle Rules is discharging the function for grant of certificate of fitness or renewal.

It has been pointed out that the state Transport Authority does not have basic infrastructure to inspect vehicles as per the procedure specified in the rules.

It was pointed out in the meeting that a majority of service stations were equipped with infrastructure required for the inspection of vehicles. Therefore, authorising these stations will be a healthy step for appropriate inspection. All service stations which fulfil the requirements under section 63 of the rules will be authorised to issue the certificate of fitness to vehicles.

The record of selling vehicles will be maintained separately by the RLA and dealers. The dealer will submit a report to the RLA by the 15th of every month, failing which he will be charged a fine of 18 per cent of the interest amount and Rs 500.



Be careful with your pocket at Mountview
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Guess who ‘stole’ the show at this marriage! No not the dazzling bride and the groom, but pickpockets, who managed to decamp with jewellery and cash worth Rs three lakh from the unsuspecting guests at Hotel Mountview, here this afternoon.

And to add to the woes of this marriage party was the alleged misbehaviour of the hotel staff, who refused to take any responsibility for the incident or entertain their complaint. It was also alleged that on the contrary, the staff were making fun of them and cracking jokes. The wedding party arrived from Tarn Taran in Punjab.

According to Ms Paramjit Kaur, an NRI and a cousin of bride, the incident took place during the ribbon cutting ceremony as in that commotion, some pickpockets managed to search their purses and took away their cash and other valuables. She in her complaint to the police alleged that Rs 50,000 and ornaments were stolen from her purse. A case of theft was registered on her complaint in the Sector 3, police station.

Mr Harpreet Ghuman, who lost her expensive goggles, said the matter came to light when they sat in the hall after the ceremony and searched their purses only to find their valuables missing. When other women search their purses, they also raised the alarm and it was found that some gang had targeted them.

She further alleged that when the matter was reported to the hotel staff, they just steered clear of the matter, saying they had nothing to do with it. Some of them even told the complainants that even the Pakistani cricket team had fallen victims to pickpockets here. When they tried to contact the manager of the hotel, he said he was busy at his home and could do nothing at that time.

Later the family contacted the general manager of CITCO, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, who reportedly in his reply expressed that he was sorry for the incident. It was only after the family called the mediapersons that a senior officer of CITCO arrived and tried to pacify the guests.



Watchman found hanging from tree
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
A 36-year-old watchman of the Sector 20 market was found hanging under mysterious circumstances from a peepal tree in the locality early this morning, here. Though the victim’s relatives were expressing suspicion over the incident and were alleging it to be a case of murder, the police said it was a case of suicide.

A father of four children, the victim, Tilak Basant, was found hanging from the tree with a nylon rope and his feet were hanging about four feet from the ground. No stool or any other object, on which the victim might have mounted to hang himself was found. He was wearing blue uniform provided by the market association to watchmen. The left arm and leg bore rub marks on them, which the police said, were caused while climbing over the tree.

The matter came to light at around 6 am. Soon after the word about a body hanging from tree spread in the locality, a large number of people gathered there. They were also casting doubts on the police theory.

Mr Janak Basant, a colleague of Tilak Basant, who is also the victim’s brother-in-law, told Chandigarh Tribune that Tilak was with him on duty last night. He added that he was making a round near gurdwara in the locality at around 3 am while Tilak was on duty near the liquor vend there. He noticed five or seven unidentified men, who were under the influence of liquor, near the gurdwara, who without any provocation, threatened to eliminate him.

He reportedly fled the spot to save his life. After mustering courage, he went to report the matter to the cops posted at the beat box, but he found no one there. After that, he went to the liquor vend and to his utter shock, he found Tilak hanging.

On seeing this, Janak raised the alarm and ran for help. When no one came for his help, he went to the Sector 31 market and informed the victim’s brother-in-law, Yudh Bhadur, about the incident. They reached the spot and in the meantime, the police also arrived.

Janak was trying his best to convince the cops in front of the people about the hand of the unidentified men behind the incident, but the cops did not believe in what he was saying. Instead of paying attention to his allegations, the cops asked him to climb the tree.

When he climbed, down the police officials showed him the rub marks on his body in order to drive home the point that that the victim had received the similar marks by climbing over the tree. The police officers maintained that Janak was under a state of shock and thus, did not know what he was saying.

The police then took him along with them to the police station. The police also rounded up several people living in the market area for their suspicious behaviour.

Talking to this correspondent, Yudh Bhadur asserted that Tilak could not commit suicide as he was planning to go to Dubai and have applied for a passport of late. He also added that Tilak had purchased land in his native village in Nepal.

Mr Anil Gupta, president of the Sector 20 market association, said Tilak was a sincere man and was working as watchman in the market for the past over six years. He stated that Tilak could not commit suicide.

DSP (East) Prem Kumar Malik, and Sector 19 SHO Sukhdev Singh Bhullar maintained that it was a case of suicide. The symptoms found on the body indicated that the death was caused due to hanging, they said.

The SHO added that the victim, a father of four children, was depressed as he had taken a loan which he was finding unable to pay back. Meanwhile, the police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this connection.



Staff shortage makes PU outsource examiners’ job
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Faced with an acute shortage of examiners, Panjab University has brought about major changes in the appointment of examiners and sub-examiners to handle its annual examinations. In the new system, retired teachers, serving teachers of other universities and members of the board of studies will examine papers of PU students.

The controller of examinations has had to dilute earlier norms. For the current academic year, he has specifically asked department heads to take note of the shortage of examiners, asking them to be prepared to appoint the same examiner for four papers.

Sources add that in a healthy system, one person should be examiner only for one paper, in which he or she is an expert. He has also asked departments to consider retired teachers and teachers from other universities for appointment as examiners.

According to the instructions given out, even ad hoc faculty and guest faculty can be appointed to examine answer books in the forthcoming examinations.

Typically, following the norms of the university, the university needs between 400 and 500 examiners for spot evaluation in popular subjects like Punjabi, Hindi, English and history. Less than 200 teachers from the university and its colleges are available as examiners in any particular subject.

The shortage is made worse by the fact that the faculty of the university and its colleges do not consider it a big deal being appointed an examiner and hence, a large number of them either refuse to work as examiners or simply do not turn up for spot evaluation. This is the situation even when the university has increased the payment to be made for the evaluation of each script.

In addition, every paper also has a ‘head examiner’ whose task is to cross-check 15 per cent of the answer books for consistency of evaluation and fairness. During last year, there were numerous complaints from various examination centres that junior teachers had been appointed head examiners.

This year, therefore, departments have been asked to take care to appoint head examiners on the basis of seniority. Only teachers with a minimum of 10 years’ teaching experience can be appointed head examiners while retired teachers and those from outside of the jurisdiction of the PU are not to be appointed.

Interestingly, even members of the various boards of studies can be appointed examiners and head examiners. These members are also charged with the task of appointing examiners for the examination in the first place.

In other words, as of now they can appoint themselves as examiners. Many of them have not completed 10 years of service. Then will they still be appointed head examiners, even in case of an emergency, as stated in the communication.



Manmohan Singh ‘failure’ as economist: Jaitley
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,November 26
Training his guns on the economist-turned-Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the BJP general secretary, Mr Arun Jaitley, today termed Dr Manmohan Singh as the "weakest" Prime Minister and a "failure" as an economist alleging that his position in the UPA set-up had jeopardised the national security.

Coming down heavily on Dr Manmohan Singh at a rally here, Mr Jaitley alleged that his position via-a-vis other power centres in the UPA like Ms Sonia Gandhi and the Left forced him to toe a "softline" on the national and international issues, particularly the national security. In fact, the Congress-led UPA government was sacrificing national security at the alter of vote bank politics.

The reported statements of Dr Manmohan Singh at Havana recently that Pakistan was a victim of terrorism and organisations sponsoring terrorism in India were beyond its control could have far-reaching consequences on the national security. Even during Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit there were reports about the"disputed" status of Arunchal Pradesh exposing poor diplomatic management by the Union Government.

Saying that the current economic regime of the Central Government was "anti-poor", the BJP leader scoffed at the claims of the government saying that the prices of the essential commodities were getting out of the reach of the common man.Even as the oil prices were coming down in the international market, the Indian prices remained high, fuelling inflation.

Expressing concern at farmers' suicides, particularly in Punjab,Mr Jaitley alleged while farmers received unremunerative prices for their produce the consumers got the commodities at a higher price which defied logic.

Terming the December 20 elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) as dress rehearsal for the next year's assembly elections in Punjab, Uttaranchal and UP, Mr Jaitley, who is also in charge of the party affairs in Punjab and Chandigarh, claimed that the Congress was a divided house.The opposition parties should put their differences on the backburner and forge alliances to defeat the Congress and its allies, he added.

The general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD), Capt Kanwaljit Singh, said the UPA government was taking people for a ride on several issues, including Women' Reservation Bill, and it would have to pay hefty price for this in the coming assembly elections.

The "Vikas Yatra" by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was the last-ditch effort by him to "retain power", the Akali leader said.



Watch out

Vijayant Malik, a trainee of the Sector 10 Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Academy, will appear for the ITF Junior Grade 4 Tournament at Mumbai from Monday.

Spotted under the Chandigarh Academy for Rural Tennis, a specially designed programme, to uplift the upcoming tennis talent, Vijyant was picked up by CLTA from a village in Haryana at the age of 11 years.

As a member of Indian junior Davis Cup team, Vijayant Malik has played in the international tennis circuit in the Middle East Damascus (Syria) and Brunei (Malaysia).



In Town

Malaysia-based Bharatnatyam danseuse Shangita Namasivayam along with her troupe “Kalpana Dance Theatre group” is in city on the invitation of the Pracheen Kala Kendra to present a classical dance show at Tagore Theatre on November 28 from 6.30 pm. The event is part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Kendra.

Shangita is a highly talented, gifted, polished and accomplished dancer who has toured extensively all over the world with renowned dance choreographer Chandralekha. Regarded as an ambassador of Indian classical dancing arts, she mastered the art in her formative years in Sri Lanka.

Shangita then proceeded to one of the foremost centres of Bharatnatyam - Kalakshetra College of Fine arts, Madras.



Passing Through

What brings you to the city?

Yash Pal SinghI am here to participate in a seminar on hallmarking of gold/ silver jewellery. Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in gold. Since, this is a guarantee of purity of gold jewellery, we have made it mandatory for the jewellers to sell only hallmarked jewellery from January, 2008. In the seminar, jewellers from the city and surrounding areas were told about the objectives of hallmarking scheme and its benefits to the customers and jewellers.

Yash Pal Singh, Additional Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards

How will jewellers benefit?

Hallmarking will provide clear indication of a jeweller’s capability, strong evidence of commitment to quality and assurance of consistency in purity and quality of gold jewellery.

How has hallmarking progressed in the North?

In a recent survey conducted by the BIS, ten samples of gold were collected in Chandigarh and all had failed. The average impurity was 10. 4 per cent, though the maximum impurity was 18. 71 per cent. The progress of the hallmarking scheme has been slow. Only 166 jewelers in North India have obtained licenses under this scheme.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Three hurt as trucks collide
Police takes its time as public pulls out victims
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 26
Last night, life dangled between pain and death on the Ramgarh-Barwala highway as frantic screams filled the air. Three victims of a head-on collision between two trucks on the highway sat in the mangled remains of the truck, trapped inside and desperate to get out.

Hearing their shouts for help, people from adjoining villages along the highway began gathering around the crushed fronts of the two trucks, HR 46 4771 (coming towards Panchkula) and WB 23A 4005 (going from Chandigarh to Kolkata). It was 9:30 pm. The air was chilly and all the hope for the victims came from the increasing numbers before them. Help was at hand, but they hoped that it would come before it was too late.

“We had just got into bed when a loud thud prompted us to investigate. Since it was dark outside, all we heard were shrill shouts as other villagers also gathered in the village. We rushed to the spot to find that two trucks had driven right into each other and the victims inside were still alive,” says Mr Ram Singh, a resident of Ramgarh.

In excruciating pain, the victims were faces of desperation. “Get us out, get us out” was all they kept repeating between bouts of crying. It was their scariest and most agony filled night on the highway, which they usually drove through without the slightest anxiety. Yesterday, as they sat in the truck, hoping to break free of the mangled iron that forced them to remain glued to their seats, Ram Kumar, C.B. Yadav and Asheesh Kumar, prayed to come out alive of an accident, which could well have cost them their lives.

With no streetlights lighting the highway, the villagers brought in torches to light up the trucks. The villagers managed to pull out the cleaner of the truck while the two truck drivers awaited their turns.

Outside, the accident led to a complete hold-up of traffic on the highway as vehicles came to a grinding halt. Hundreds of people were stranded in the jam, that stretched on till as far as the Ghaggar bridge towards Panchkula and well beyond Ramgarh towards Barwala. And while all this went on, the police was conspicuous by its absence.

The first PCR arrived only after 10:30 pm, one painful hour later after the public had extracted two of the three men out of the crushed trucks. After they arrived, they began streamlining the traffic to restore its flow on the highway while the public continued to hammer away at the doors of the truck to help in the safe exit of the third victim.

The ASI in charge of the police post, Mr Satveer Singh, said, "Nobody told us about the accident on the highway. We came to know of the accident when long queues of traffic crossed our police post. We had a tough time driving through the heavy traffic rush, but we were on our toes as soon as we got wind of it,” he justified.

Adding that the public was working on opening the trucks to pull out the victims, he maintained that restoring traffic flow was their other priority after the victims and the staff of three at the post got busy with that.

The third victim was also pulled out by the public and the three were sent to General Hospital, Sector 6, past 11 pm where they received treatment. A crane, however, only arrived after 11:45 pm.

The trucks were pushed to the roadside to make way for traffic. Admitted to hospital, the three accident victims could not thank their stars enough for living through a night which could well have put them to sleep forever.



Price rise to be poll plank of BJP-SAD-CVM alliance
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Putting its reported differences on seat-sharing on the backburner, the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance today kicked off its election campaign for the December 20 election to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), saying price rise will occupy the centrestage of the electoral battle.

Calling upon the electorate to repeat the 1977 experiment when the Congress suffered its “worst-ever” defeat, the combine’s star speaker and BJP general secretary, Mr Arun Jaitley, came down heavily on the UPA government’s “anti-poor” policies, which had resulted in spiralling prices.

However, Mr Jaitley, who preferred to concentrate on national issues apparently in view of his limited knowledge of the local political scenario, also exhorted the alliance partners to make “sacrifices” in seat adjustments. The Congress was a divided house and the combine should take advantage of its weak position by forgetting minor differences.

Saying that the rising prices was the main election issue, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), alleged that the Congress-led UPA government seemed to be least bothered even as different sections of society were finding it difficult to make both ends meet. Even the Congress-ruled MCC had failed to provide basic amenities to the residents, he added.

The Congress defeat in the civic body elections in Chandigarh would pave the way for its rout in other state Assembly elections, including the Punjab Assembly elections next year, he asserted.

Though the other speakers were guarded in their criticism of the local Congress leadership, a former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, launched a scathing attack on the Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, alleging that the the Congress had gone back on its majority of promises made during the 2001 MCC poll and the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

Discounting differences among the alliance partners on the seat-sharing issue, Mr Jain claimed that the alliance was united and geared up for the crucial polls.

Earlier, the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) leader Mr Harmohan Dhawan, entered the pandal along with a number supporters apparently in a show of strength. Addressing the rally, Mr Dhawan termed the corporation elections as referendum on the policies of the UPA government.

Prominent among those present were Mr Yashpal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the BJP, and Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of SAD.

With the last date for filing nominations, December 1, nearing, the parties seemed to have got into the election mode.

Today’s rally is considered to be the first show of strength by the combine, which is reportedly stuck on issue of seat-sharing among its partners. However, whether today’s momentum was maintained by the alliance partners would be known in the days to come when the candidates for various wards are selected by the parties.



Padyatra by Cong leaders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The Chandigarh territorial Youth Congress and the Chandigarh pradesh sewa dal today took out a Padyatra in Ward No 15 (comprising of Sectors 34, 35 and 44). The activists carrying banners, placards and flags raised slogans in favour of the Congress and its leaders.

The activists covered all three sectors, starting from Congress Bhawan, Sector 35, reached the Sector 34 gurdwara, where the Congress leaders including mayor Surinder Singh, deputy mayor H.S. Lucky, vice-president CTCC Mr Pawan Sharma, Mr A.S. Gujral organising secretary, Chandigarh pradesh sewa dal, paid obeisance at the gurdwara and went on to Sector 44.

The Congress leaders appealed to the residents to vote for the Congress in the municipal corporation elections as the Congress party alone could ensure all-round development of the city.

“With the Congress government at the Centre and in neighbouring states, a vote in favour of the Congress will certainly be beneficial,” they said. Later on the Vikas yatra was also taken out in Burail, where local Congress leaders participated.



Door-to-door leprosy awareness drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
To make people aware or leprosy, the District Leprosy Society, Chandigarh, will launch a door-to-door campaign from tomorrow.

The society in collaboration with the German Leprosy and TB Relief Association, today organised a one-day reorientation-training programme for paramedical workers, functioning as district nucleus staff in the city, at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, here.

At least 36 participants — community health workers, lab technicians, pharmacists, nursing staff and paramedical workers of urban slums of the city — benefited from the programme.

Teams would be constituted to visit Ram Darbar, Bapu Dham Colony, Colony No.4, besides other slums of the city. Almost 80 workers would make people aware on how to suspect the leprosy. Free treatment would be given to the confirmed cases.

Dr Vanita Gupta, district leprosy officer, Chandigarh, informed that new case detection ratio in the city had come down from 5.0 per 10,000 in 1996 to 2.4 per 10,000 in 2006. The target was to eliminate the leprosy from the city.

Earlier, director, health service, UT, Dr M.S. Bains, in his inaugural address, motivated the workers to ensure that each suspect case of leprosy be treated thoroughly at any of the leprosy clinics in the city.



Woman accuses brother-in-law, nephew of fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
A woman has accused her brother-in-law and his son of defrauding her of Rs 54.50 lakh by fraudulently withdrawing money from her account. She has also accused a senior official of a bank of being hand-in-glove with the accused.

Ms Anita Rani of Kurukshetra has alleged that her brother-in-law, Mr Ashok Kumar Goel, and his son, Arun, withdrew money from her account in the bank, located in Sector 9, by submitting two cheques worth Rs 9.50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh respectively. She has alleged that the signatures on these cheques were forged and the bank had issued a cheque book to the accused without approval.

The accused had also transferred Rs 20 lakh from her account to their account in the same bank through a written application. Ms Anita Rani said though they had detected the fraud in March and brought this to the notice of the police, but no action had been taken against the accused.



Charges denied in property grab case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 26
After Ajay Sangroha, an accused in the property grab case, Manoj Kumar, also named in the FIR, has said the transaction in the property was absolutely legal and the whole exercise had been carried out in accordance with the law.

In a letter to the Superintendent of Police, he has urged him to verify the claims of the NRI, Ramesh Chander, to get to the facts. Claiming that he does not know the other accused named in the FIR, Manoj Kumar said he bought the house for Rs 20 lakh from the NRI after selling his plot on VIP road, Zirakpur, and pooling money from friends.

“He signed a receipt that he had received the amount in full for sale of his house on August 30, 2005. All the original documents pertaining to the property were handed over to me except the original re-allotment letter which they said had been misplaced,” he said.

Mr Manoj Kumar maintains that the dispute arose after a notification of the Government of Haryana banning transfer of property on GPA basis. “I asked him to personally make an appearance for which I offered all expenses. However, he demanded more money which I turned down after which he began creating problems for us,” he maintains.

Stating that a false case was being made up against him, he has demanded to know why the police registered a case in a hurry without verifying the facts. Meanwhile, Mr Ramesh Chander said the accused had fabricated documents and dismissed allegations that any of his relatives was in the police and harassing the accused.



Feverish rush at Leisure Valley as carnival comes to a close
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Sunday rush added to reigning festivity at the Leisure Valley today.

No wonder, day two of the Chandigarh Carnival was all about confusion on the roads and inside the venue. But part of the celebrations as it was, no one seemed to mind the inconvenience. Children seemed to enjoy the most, thanks to novel floats designed by students of the Arts College.

After parading the city, the floats entered the Valley this morning, only to hijack the show. And once they were in, it was time for everyone to get into the joyride mode. Rickshaw pullers naturally made hay while the winter sun shined.

At another corner, folk dancers regaled visitors. Star attractions were the rustics from Punjab and Haryana. With their contribution, rural tourism— this year's theme for the carnival— came alive. So much so that the sound of music emerged a clear winner over the noise of celebrations which lagged behind. The credit for folk performances went to the North Zone Cultural Centre and Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, which successfully showcased the rural culture through 'bhands', 'naqqals', 'been' players and other musicians who handled folk instruments with admirable passion.

Yuvsatta organised a contest on "2007 - Year of the Cycle" and received 40 entries. The age of the participants ranged from 10 to 60.

Carnival sidelights

A unique feature at the carnival was the mobile literature van, created by Yuvsatta, for disseminating Gandhian literature at low prices.

All roads leading to the carnival venue were jammed this afternoon. The one opposite Government College of Art was specially burdened.

The students of DAV-15 managed to sell out several of their artworks through a counter provided to them by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi. — TNS



Carnival wraps up on romantic note
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Chandigarh Carnival ended on a zesty note this evening with the spirited performance by Javed Ali and Santokh Singh.

After Shibani Kashyap's dull presentation yesterday, the audience were high in spirits today.

Though the show started a little late, the audience didn't seem hassled. They enjoyed the melodic offerings that came from the little known but very promising duo. Interspersing the concert were some dance performances and fire juggling acts by the troupes accompanying the lead artistes.

Finally, it was Javed Ali of 'kajrare kajrare' fame who stole the show. He went on the stage singing his first number of the evening 'bin tere sanam'.

No sooner did the singer started churning out his other numbers like 'bheege honth tere', "you are my sonia", than the audience put on their dancing shoes.

He handed over the stage to Rohit of the Laughter Challenge fame. Rohit brought the splits back into the show. After the two of them, it was the turn of Santokh Singh, the music director of 'channa wey' fame.

The show left the audience thrilled.



NRI directs English film in Australia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Chandigarh-bred Navneet Choujar, who is now settled in Australia, has achieved what can be an unusual dream for a first-generation settler in a foreign land. He has written, edited and directed an English film, Snakes and Ladders. It is slated for release on December 17 in Australia.

The movie has been completely shot in Sydney and employs an all-Australian cast and crew. For Choujar, who has worked with major producers and directors during the 1990s in India, film-making has come by accident and not design.

He belongs to a well-established business family of Chandigarh, but prefers to work in corporate sector since he has a degree in business management. He has started his own manpower agency that has coordinated work to provide the support staffing films.

Choujar says, “At one of the several meetings with the director of a serial, I remarked that I could write a better scene than what their writers had done. The director asked me to prove my statement. I came up with a scene that he liked, and I joined the team as a writer”.

That has opened the doors and he claims to have worked in various capacities with Raman Kumar (Tara), Vivek Agnihotri (Ye kahaan aa gaye hum), Raahein, Aarohan, Gubbare, Zee Live etc, Ravi Behl (Boogie Woogie), Suneil Darshan, Anupam Kher, Dimple Kapadia, Sunny Deol, J.P. Dutta, Rajeev Kapoor and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

In 1999, he started his own production company, ‘Fountainhead’ with the first Punjabi serial on Indian TV, ‘Kacchi Kandh’. It was a success and was followed by six more Punjabi serials, written and directed for many producers, including Ramesh Sippy.

In 2002, Choujar moved to Australia with the intention of making a mainstream ‘Hollywood’ film catering to the masses. Despite delays, Snakes and Ladders got completed. It tells the story of a fugitive John Barrot, who is being chased by two detectives. He breaks into a film director’s house.

There he finds the director’s alone in the house and forces her to provide him with a hiding place for the night. It is the story of one fateful night when all the characters learn that life is a game in which winning or losing can make the difference between life and death.

Choujar says he is working on two more projects ‘The Enemy’ and ‘Black’. Both films are planned to start in 2008.



Tribune Youth Club organises shabad kirtan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The 6th Shabad Kirtan Darbar was celebrated here today by the Tribune Youth Club at The Tribune Colony. It started with the path of Shri Sukhmani Sahib followed by shabad kirtan by Shri Harpal Singh and others (of Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Sector-30).

The programme was followed by the langar.



Proper approach road elusive
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 26
Years after the Highland Cooperative Housing Society on the Zirakpur-Kalka road came into existence, a proper approach road still eludes the colony.

The matter had been brought to the notice of the Zirakpur nagar panchayat several times. In the absence of the approach road, residents are at the receiving end of a host of problems, Mr Rajiv Bhatia, a resident, alleged.

In fact, the bad condition of the approach road had made it a motorists’ nightmare. At night it was difficult to pass through the road and it become accident-prone area, with the functioning of streetlights remaining much to be desired.

However, the electricity supply had only improved with the onset of winter. During summer the regular unscheduled cuts had made residents lives miserable. And on the water supply front, the civic body cannot claim much credit as tubewell had been installed by the society itself.

Meanwhile, official sources informed that the civic body was in the process of initiating major development works, including the recarpeting of roads in the township.

The recarpeting of this particular road would be done soon if a proper representation was received from the residents and the area councillor, sources added.



Hindi should not have been made India’s official language: celebrated critic
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Celebrated writer Prof Namwar Singh has long stirred the social conscience with his thought-provoking works. But more than his critiques, the most acclaimed being “Doosri Parampara Ki Khoj”, he is known for the sharpness of stands he takes.

This despite the fact that he has served the government in different capacities and is currently Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya at Vadhra which he helped set up.

And yet, the academic minced no words while reflecting on the standard of Hindi education in India. In an interview to The Tribune today, he said Hindi should never have been made an official language in India. “It was a politically-wrong and an unfortunate decision. It is because of this decision that Hindi has not got the due it deserved and it continues to suffer,” said Prof Singh, who was here to deliver the first Dr Ravinder Ravi Memorial lecture organised by Dr Ravinder Ravi Memorial Trust and the North Zone Chapter of Progressive Writers Association.

Having spent a lifetime in the enrichment of Hindi language and literature, Prof Singh is now also lending direction to the Progressive Writers Association of India which he heads. A professed Marxist, he has published over 24 works, including highly-respected criticisms like “Kavita ke Naye Pratiman” for which he got the Sahitya Akademi Award. For years, he taught Hindi at Jawaharlal Nehru University, where he is now the Emeritus Professor in the same subject.

Having witnessed a gradual decline of Hindi, Prof Singh feels, “Hindi was not the only national language at the time it was declared one. The Communist Party of India was always opposed to the move. In its resolution it had said that all languages of India are national languages. All of them have a history and a base. Actually, it was the future we were looking at. And today as things are, Hindi has not even developed as a national language, what to talk of it being an international language.”

Singh, however, feels Hindi’s reputation can be redeemed. With this very objective he took up the assignment of a Chancellor of Hindi Vishwavidyalaya which is now developing software to facilitate language teaching in Hindi, on a global level. “We are coordinating with all the universities teaching Hindi in the world. We are also building on the archives by collecting rare letters of Hindi writers from abroad. Also on the cards is a Hindi manuscript library,” said Prof Singh.

Besides, the university is helping in the development and documentation of 20 Hindi dialects which have long been ignored for various reasons. “We will take inputs from dialects to build a base for Hindi language which will also have a rural base,” he said, while also referring passionately to the central theme of today’s memorial lecture which revolved around the premise that Marxism is still relevant.

Rubbishing USA’s capitalist economy which is producing waste in the form of weapons, Prof Singh, a diehard Marxist, said the US capitalism, like Soviet socialism, would collapse under the weight of its own policies.

“The resistance will come not from outside but from within,” said Prof Singh, who delivered the memorial lecture after the formal ceremony in which Dr Ravinder Ravi Memorial Trust presented its annual award to Dr Karanjit Singh, the famous Punjabi writer and poet who is presently the Convener of the Punjabi wing of the Sahitya Akademi in Delhi. 



3-day yoga camp ends
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 26
The three-day yoga camp organised by the Women Welfare Society concluded here today. Addressing the participants, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Banur MLA, stressed the need for making yoga a way of life for leading a health lifestyle.

The yoga was an ancient science and various organisations, including NGOs, should come forward to poularise it.

An exhibition was also organised during the course of the camp, held under the supervision of Shashi Shah and Sohan Lal.

The society president, Ms Alka Saini, highlighted the activities of the society.



Proclaimed offender in cases of robbery held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The crime branch of the Chandigarh police today claimed to have arrested a notorious robber involved in three incidents involving robbery and theft in the city. The police recovered a stolen scooter from his possession.

Giving details, the in charge of the crime branch, Inspector Satbir Singh, said the accused, 22-year-old-Raja of Kumhar Colony in Sector 25, was caught from near the bus stand in Mani Majra this afternoon on the basis of secret information. A Bajaj Chetak scooter (HP-22-6950), which he stole from a parking lot in Sector 17 on October 7, was recovered from him. He had displayed a fake registration number on the scooter.

Raja had been declared a proclaimed offender by a local court in four cases, involving one under the Arms Act and three of theft.

During preliminary interrogation, he admitted to his involvement in two cases of robbery committed in various parts of the city.

The other members of his gang, Raj Kumar, alias Raju, and Jaswinder Singh, alias Bobby, were arrested by the police earlier. Another member of their gang, Anand, was still at large.

Inspector Satbir Singh further said the gang, during the night of September 18, waylaid a Dell employee, Rajinder Singh, and robbed him on knife-point of his purse, a gold chain and other articles.

On September 14, they robbed a Sector 45-C resident, Mr Bhupinder Singh, when he was on his way back home from the ISBT, Sector 43, late in the night.

He was coming from Una and the foursome robbed him of Rs 14,500, a gold chain, a gold ‘kara’ and other articles.



Scooterist hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
A scooterist suffered injuries after being hit by a motorcycle near the Sectors 31 and 47 crossing here.

According to the police, Rajinder Singh of Phase III, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, sustained injuries after a motorcycle (CH-03-U-3856) hit his scooter near the Sectors 31 and 47 crossing on Saturday.

His pillion rider Subhash Kumar was also hurt in the mishap. They were admitted in the PGI.

The police has booked the motorcycle rider Pardeep Kumar on the allegation of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Ganga Prashad of Burail village lodged a complaint with the police that his Bajaj Boxer motorcycle (CH-03-K-2215) was stolen from his residence on the night of November 24. A case of theft has been registered.



Consumers losing crores due to gold impurity
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Consumers of gold in India lose Rs 10,000 crore annually, on account of impurity in the lustrous metal. Though average impurity levels in gold across the country are 13. 4 per cent, Bihar and Jharkhand have recorded the maximum impurity levels of 48 per cent, followed by Delhi ( 28 per cent impurity).

This was stated by Mr Yash Pal Singh, Additional Director-General, Bureau of Indian Standards, during an interview with The Tribune here today. He said each year 800 tonnes of gold, worth Rs 72,000 crore, was consumed in India. “A survey to check impurity levels in gold, was conducted across 16 cities, on the directions of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, which brought out startling facts about the impurity in gold. As against the North Indian states, impurity levels are quite less in Mumbai (13- 15 per cent) and Chennai (10- 12 per cent),” he said.

Mr Yash Pal Singh said lack of consumer awareness was the main reason why such high impurity levels were prevalent in the yellow metal. “In this scenario, hallmarking of all gold jewellery is the only option to check impurity and ensure that customers get the real value for money. Hallmarking is a scientific system, which is slowly gaining momentum across the country,” he said.

So far, about 2500 jewellers across the country have obtained licences for selling hallmarked jewelery. In North India, comprising the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, only 166 jewellers have so far obtained licences for selling hallmarked jewellery.

The Additional Director-General, BIS, said about 40 hallmarking centres had been established across the country.

“Though there are five such centres in Delhi, the first centre north of Delhi, is now being set up at Ludhiana. This centre will be functional within the next six months. We also propose to set up hallmarking centres at Gurgaon, Panipat, Chandigarh, Solan, Amritsar and Jammu,” he said.

Mr Yash Pal Singh said though it was mandatory to sell only hallmarked jewellery from January 1, 2008, jewellers were misleading consumers by saying that hallmarking would make jewellery prices go up drastically, and that it was a very lengthy procedure. “Some jewellers have also been selling jewellery with fake hallmarking. Realising this, The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has launched a media awareness campaign to propagate hallmarked jewellery. We are in the process of targeting consumers, so that they demand hallmarked jewellery,” he said.

  • It will soon be mandatory to get ISI certification for CNG cylinders, tyres, GI pipes and helmets.
  • Competition from Chinese wares is pushing Indian manufacturers towards quality standardisation.
  • Getting a standardisation certificate has been simplified and time period required for the same has been reduced.


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 |