C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

MC poll: 177 to battle it out
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
As many as 177 candidates will contest the coming municipal corporation elections in the city. A total of 229 candidates had filed their nominations. While 40 candidates were rejected during scrutiny, 12 candidates withdrew their nominations today.

The maximum number of candidates (19) will contest from ward No 23, which is reserved for the Scheduled Castes. The Election Commission has decided to use two electronic voting machines in this ward as each EVM can accommodate only 16 names. Only two candidates are contesting from ward No 16, the minimum from any ward.

Dry days

December 18, 19, 20 and 22 will be observed as dry days in the city due to the MC elections. The State Election Commission has also requested the districts of neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab, bordering Chandigarh, to observe these as dry days. December 20 is the polling day while counting will take place on December 22.

In the general category wards, the maximum number of candidates (13) will contest from ward No 13, followed by 12 from ward No 24, 10 from ward No 14 and eight from ward No 25. Three candidates each are contesting from ward Nos 2,15 and 17, reserved for women, and ward No 3. The maximum candidates contesting from wards reserved for women are from ward No 20. Nine are contesting from ward No 26. Five candidates each are contesting from ward Nos 5 and 6, reserved for the SC women

Interestingly, despite threats of getting expelled from the party, none of the rebel candidates of the Congress withdrew their nominations today. Mr B.B. Bahl had yesterday issued notices to Mr S.M. Khan, Ms Shyama Negi, Mr Anand Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh and Ms Nirmal Kaur to withdraw their nominations.

Today, 10 Independent candidates withdrew their nominations and one from the LJP. No candidate has withdrawn his nominations from ward Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, 22 and 25.

There will be 529 polling stations for the MCC elections. One polling station has been set up within a radius of 3 km for 1,450 voters. The maximum polling stations (29) will be set up in ward No 25 while the minimum polling stations (12) will be set up in ward No 6. On an average, there are about 20 polling stations in each ward.

Meanwhile, Ms Lalit Bhardwaj (Joshi) today asked the state Election Commission to seal the records that had been accepted in the case of rejecting her nominations. She, along with her legal representative approached the office of the commission in this regard.

According to Mr V.K. Harit, joint state Election Commissioner, her request has been accepted. Sources said Ms Lalit Joshi had requested for the sealing of records so that they were not tampered with in light of the possibility that she might file an appeal after the election procedure was over.



Ward watch
Added responsibility for Ward No. 13
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A well functional garbage disposal system is the much-appreciated fact of Ward No. 13 by almost all residents. The ward consists of Sector 27 and 28 (before delimitation). Also for the upcoming MCC elections area Councillor Harpreet Kaur Babla’s husband Davinder Singh Babla will be contesting the elections.

It will now also have the added responsibility of Sector 31 and after de-limitation is known as Ward No-16. The ward has re-carpeted roads and well maintained parks and green belts.

Talking to TNS Mrs Gurmeet Sandhu said: “All roads have been recarpeted, streetlights are functioning well and there is no problem as far as sanitation is concerned.” Shopkeepers too are pleased and fail to find a point to grumble. “Almost all our demands have been met. Street lights have been repaired and provided where required. The parking area too has been re carpeted and extended. Residents also give credit to Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is a resident of sector 28 for the development of the ward. “With his being an MP our ward is always well maintained,” stated a resident.


Harpreet Babla
Harpreet Babla

To begin with it was one of the most neglected wards. We have been able to fulfil all promises made to people. Our was the first bin-free ward and the most elaborate SSK centers in the city. All back lanes of the ward and wall ceilings have been closed. All parks have been upgraded with new railings, swings and playing equipments, benches and shelter huts. The ward has four green belts, one community center of sector 27 has been made functional and we have a membership of about 150 people and another one is being constructed in sector 28-B.

All roads V-4, V-5 and V-6 have been re-carpeted. Market parking has also been re carpeted. Pedestrian’s footpaths have been made. With the inclusion of Sector 31, we will try and ensure that we bring at par with Sector 27 and 28.



Chhabra begins poll campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Mr B.B. Bahl, president, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, today inaugurated the poll campaign of Mr Pardeep Chhabra, Congress candidate, Ward No 3, for the upcoming Municipal Corporation Elections in Sector 22 C.

The campaign was joined by Mr Manish Bansal son of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Ministry of State for Finance, Rampal Sharma; president, INTUC, Kuljit Nagra, convener of the Punjab Kisan Keth Mazdoor Congress, Subhash Chawla, former Mayor, D.D. Jindal, Amarjit Singh Sethi; Spokesman CTCC, Subhash Kataria, Jagdish Pal Kalra, Bhupinder Singh Badheri, B.S. Negi, H.S. Ahluwalia, A.S. Sandhu, Iqbal Gulati, Suresh Goldi, Rajeshwar Pathak, Rajiv Awasthi, Rakesh Garg, Deepak Mittal, Surinder Nagpal, Brij Sharma, Ajay Joshi, Chanan Ram and large number of residents of the area, including women and children.

The poll campaign began Sector 22 C and 22 D areas. A meeting of all candidates of the Bharatiya Jan Shakti was also held today at Sector 46 under the chairmanship of the state president, Mr Des Raj Gupta. The candidates chalked out the election strategy and the issues on which the party would contest the MCC elections.



In haste, MC compromising on quality
Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
In an apparent haste to build up its “development-oriented” image just prior to the civic body poll, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has expedited the process of completing the on-going construction works in different wards across the city.

If in the image-building process the “requisite quality standards” are being demolished, the authorities concerned are just not bothered about it, apparently.

Treading on the election path, the corporation is walking away from “construction norms” for laying footpaths. Not only is the planning faulty, the corporation staff is not even waiting for the concrete to set in before laying down the slabs.

The result is there for all to see. The slabs are breaking in less than a month they were laid in different parts of the city. As the authorities concerned are unwilling to come out with the costs involved in laying the trails of inconvenience, it is difficult to calculate the exact loss.

But a senior corporation officer admits that the loss may be running into lakhs.

The situation is worse in Sector 24. Walk on the path running in front of the sector market and you can actually feel the slabs giving way under your weight. At several places, broken pieces jutting out of the concrete make it difficult for you to walk.

The shopkeepers assert that the matter was brought to the notice of the authorities concerned soon after the process of laying the boardwalk started in the sector. “Yet nothing was done to rectify the mistake,” says an STD-booth owner.

Describing the entire operation as sheer wastage of precious resources, including manpower and public money, he asserts that the corporation will have to relay the entire path all over again “if not before, than around the next civic body elections”. “And then, they will spend double the amount — for lifting old broken slabs, and replacing them with the new ones,” he says.

A survey of the city reveals that things are a little better in Sector 18. The problem is not that of quality, but planning. “Instead of laying the path along the green belt, the authorities are constructing it in front of the houses,” says vice-president of the Sector 18 Welfare Society Col Harjinder Singh Sarao.

“As a result, the path, instead of being smooth, has breaks in front of the gates. You have to hop on and off after every few metres.”

This is not all. Col Sarao says the authorities have done precious little to create slopes at the beginning and the end of these stretches for enabling wheelchairs and prams to move about. “In any case, the footpath should be free from obstacles so that even a blind man with stick can walk at ease. But here you have telephone junction boxes and letter boxes on the boardwalk,” he says.

A senior corporation officer says the civic body has set high standards for itself and the same are not being compromised within the process of completing the ongoing construction works.



Panchayat Samiti poll

Two candidates filed their nominations today for the Panchayat Samiti elections, scheduled for December 20. The nominations have been filed by Mr Karnal Singh of Makhan Majra Village from constituency No 2 of Makhan Majra and Raipur Kalan. Mr Surinder Kumar of Daria village has filed his nominations from constituency No 6 of Daria- II. The last date for filing nominations is December 9.



Bansal advocates better use of school premises
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The infrastructure of schools, a majority of which close by 2 p.m., can be put to better use by the Administration, feels Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister of State for Finance and local MP.

A majority of the schools built prior to 1980s have a huge expanse of land which remains unutilised even during school hours. Official records say that the city has a total of 165 schools, out of which 104 are government owned. Only 46 are senior secondary and have classes running till late in the evening. There are more than 70 schools that have play ground facilities which are under or unutilised.

Residents of Sector 21 have been protesting and even sitting on dharnas against park land being given to school. The administration had put on auction about half a dozen sites recently and there were more sites under consideration. A cross section of city residents and senior officials of the administration felt the issue definitely needed deliberations in all possible contexts.

The issue also requires deliberation in context of possible alternatives for utilisation of workplaces. Computer classes, dance, aerobics, libraries, playgrounds, beauty courses and a number of other areas were definitely worth considering for possible utilisation of space.

Mr Bansal feels that existing buildings can simultaneously run more schools. “The city in a changed scenario has the potential to run evening schools. Even if parents are not keen on sending their children to evening classes, we can work on more schools in the existing sites with private partnership”.

Mr Bansal opined that “new schools can be run concurrently in a number of buildings. Give new ones to private parties to ensure good maintenance and provider new facilities for their government counterparts”.

A senior official of the administration said “looking for alternative to have better utilisation of the existing infrastructure is a good idea and worth exploring. Incase, a module can be worked out. It can save UT land from being acquired to build schools. I, however, feel that the public-private partnership is a ticklish issue and requires serious groundwork”.

Principal of a government senior secondary school said “the issue of better utilisation of infrastructure even for alternate events is worth consideration. Parents these days are very concerned about academic interests of their wards. Alternate modules can definitely be worked out.”

“The current strength in UT schools is 1,78,707 and I am sure the number of schools in different categories are sufficient to sustain even further growth”, he added.



It’s not chilly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
If you thought rains brought chill in their fold, think again. Rainfall may not always be accompanied by cold, as was proved today when the city recorded an unusually high night temperature (minimum temperature), as against expected.

In fact, night temperature has been rising consistently for the past three days, hitting the 13°C mark today — which is five degrees above the normal temperature for the season. Met officials told Chandigarh Tribune that the minimum temperature was increasing due to the reigning weather conditions marked by an overcast sky. While day before yesterday, the night temperature was 10°C, yesterday it rose to 11°C (two degrees above normal), rising further to 13°C today. Chill is expected to return once the sky gets cleared out.

But till then, the nip and the warmth will move hand in hand. Thanks to the prevailing weather systems, the city had its share of sun and rain today as well. Although the sun made a brief appearance, it served to balance out the chill — which struggled for its place in the day. As for rain, Chandigarh recorded a trace this morning but by the evening the showers had been heavy enough to take the rainfall measurement to 4mm. Amritsar received the heaviest rainfall in this region today — 15.4 mm.

The maximum temperature is also not in a mood to indicate cold. Although yesterday it was a low of 18.6°C — minus five below normal), today it rose again to hit a high of 23.2°C — 4.6°C more than yesterday. The rise in both day and night temperature explains the warm and cold conditions that prevailed through the day.



Cyclist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A 24-year-old cyclist was crushed to death by a speeding Toyota Qualis at Tribune Chowk, here this evening. His colleague, who was riding pillion on the cycle was seriously injured in the mishap and was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.

The victims, security guards in a private company in Phase I, industrial Area, were on their way back home to Burail village, when the accident took place.

According to the eyewitnesses the speeding vehicle (CH-03-D-1913), which was coming from Zirakpur side collided with the cyclists, who were coming from Phase I, Industrial Area. The man who was riding the bicycle was dragged by the vehicle up to a distance of about 15 feet before halting. As a result the victim’s body was badly mauled and he died on the spot. The body kept on lying on the spot for some time as the police was waiting for its photographer to reach the spot.

The second victim sustained bruises and injuries on other parts of the body. He was rushed to the hospital, where his condition was reported to be stable. The driver of the Qualis was nabbed on the spot, said a police officer.

The victims have been identified as Rakesh Kumar (24) and Sanjiv Kumar (22). Rakesh died on the spot and his body was shifted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. They both hailed from Yamuna Nagar district.

The Qualis driver, Hanuman Prashad of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, has been arrested on the allegations of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. Sanjiv has narrated the incident to the police, but he was ye to be declared fit to record statement by the doctors, said the SHO of the Sector 34 police station.

He further added that the extent of injuries suffered by Sanjiv was yet to be ascertained as the doctors were examining whether he suffered any fracture or any other serious internal injury.

Hanuman was coming from Ambala and he failed to control his vehicle while negotiating the roundabout and rammed into the bicycle, said the police.



In Town

Manhar Udhas, a leading name in the field of playback singing, will be in the city on Wednesday to participate in the "Murti Sthapana Divas Samaroh" of Lord Shri Sai Baba. The event, which is of great significance to all Sai Baba devotees, will be made special by the presence of Manhar Udhas who will sing glories of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. Although a qualified mechanical engineer, Manhar started singing when he came in contact with Kalyanji Anandji. His first break was in the film 'Vishwas' in which his the song 'Aap se hum ko Bichhade hue' became a top charter in 1969. Later he sang for 'Purab Aur Pachhim', 'Rajasaab', 'Fareb', 'Kagaz ki nao', 'Saathi', but his major break came when he sang a duet with Lata Mangeshkar for S.D. Burman. The song was "Lute Koi Man Ka Nagar". Manhar, himself a Sai Baba devotee, will be present throughout the function.



Passing Through
I. D. Kamboj

A Yamunanagar-based industrialist and senior vice-president of Indian 20-20 Cricket Federation.

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I have been appointed convener for the Northern Region by Sector 10 DAV College Centre of Cricketing Excellence. The centre has invited the Alberton Cricket & Hockey Club from South Africa, Johannesburg, for a bilateral and reciprocal 40- days long cricket tour to India.

How do you manage your business alongwith your passion for Cricket?

I have never allowed my passion for the game to interrupt me in my work. Ours is a leading group in the name of Gold Laminates (Ltd) for manufacturing decorative laminates popularly known as ‘sanmica’ but I ensure to spend some time for cricket.

What is the scope of 20-20 cricket?

The idea of 20-20 cricket is gaining popularity among all cricket playing nations. As it is a less time consuming and at the same time it is ultimately a result oriented concept.

It is more of a power play speedy game and the spectators too find thrill in it . At the same time they don’t have to wait for too long to get results.

Is this concept given due recognition in India?

Yes, at present there are 30 affiliated units of Indian 20-20 Cricket Federation (ITCF). There are more than 50,000 registered associate members and it will cross over 1 lakh soon.

G.S. Paul



British Columbia to have 3.5 lakh spare jobs in 10 years
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
“In 10 years from now we will need people not only from all over Canada but also from overseas to fill 3.5 lakh spare jobs in our province,” says Mr Dave S. Hayer, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Immigration of British Columbia, Canada.

“Since our economy is booming and we are back at top in Canada, we propose to create 1 million jobs in next 10 years. And if all students of grade X and above are to be given a job each, we will still be left with 3.5 lakh jobs. It is why we are looking for import of human resource from Asia Pacific and India,” reveals Mr Hayer.

Before the Liberals were voted to power, the economy in British Columbia had got a drubbing and it slipped from top to the 10th position. “But steps taken by us to revive the economy have shown good results. Both British Columbia and Alberta are now vying with each other for the top position. Alberta has more of oil and gas resources while we have, besides oil and gas, minerals, lumber and agriculture also,” says Mr Hayer.

Son of slain editor of Indo-Canadian Times, a Punjabi weekly published from Vancouver, Mr Hayer is second- time member of the British Columbia Provincial Assembly. Accompanied by his wife, Isabelle, he is here to celebrate his 25th marriage anniversary.

Though his father was assassinated in the driveway of his own house in 1988, the police was yet to nab the assassins. “They were paid assassins. Everyone knows who the assassins were. But since our law or judicial systems is pro-criminals, it takes so long to dispense justice. The Kanishka bomb tragedy is another case in illustration,” he said, hoping that killers of his father would soon be brought to the law.

“I could not have given Isabelle a better gift than making her maiden visit to India possible,” quipped Mr Hayer, hoping to return soon to Punjab and Chandigarh as part of the Business Delegation from British Columbia.

“Both India and China are important to us. By the end of December, we will have our India and China Advisory Committee reports released. Once they are out, we will know all areas we have to focus and concentrate for accelerating trade and business partnerships,” adds Mr Hayer.

Immigrants from India in general and Punjab in particular have done exceedingly well in Canada. In British Columbia, there are eight legislators, including one Ismaili, who are of Indian origin, and thus constitute 10 per cent of the total strength of MLAs. In some areas, the population of people of Indian origin is 45 to 50 per cent.

Coming to education, he talked about the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Panjab University and Fraser Valley University College which permits Indian students flexibility to pursue their courses either here or in Canada.



Feeding a starving mouth
NRI plans kitchen projects for children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Reaching out to starved children, an NRI of the region is coming to India for the launch of a 24-hour kitchen in Varanasi. A similar project for Punjab and Haryana is in the offing.

In Varanasi, Sweden-based NRI Parul Sharma and the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has identified more than 500 children in 10 villages as suffering from severe malnutrition.

To begin with, a round-the-clock kitchen would come up.

Subsequently, a school with a toy bank would be set up in the vicinity of the villages. The PVCHR has finalised the location for setting up the kitchen. Out of a total of Rs 5 lakh required for the project, half of the amount has been collected.

“We are not involving government institutions in the fund-raising process,” says Ms Sharma. “The idea behind the operation is to encourage the common man to come forward with his drop in the ocean. Individuals will realise small is beautiful when they see the difference each and every rupee donated by them has made,” she says.

A lawyer by profession, she says she believes in encouraging the idea of minimal volunteerism. “You can play your part by just being vocal about unfair circumstances. Or, at least by not turning a blind eye towards the problems brought about by the circumstances. It’s just about looking around, reacting and reaching out”, she says.

Once the kitchen is established in Varanasi, Ms Sharma plans to do her bit for this part of the region by launching a similar project here. She is already getting in touch with NGOs to shortlist a location.

“As my roots are in Punjab, I wish to nourish children by coming up with similar kitchen and breakfast projects here with additional focus on the girl child,” she says.

Elaborating the need for starting such projects, she says: “A starving stomach has no ears. If hunger is prevailing, you have no ears to talk to. That’s why I insist democracy and human rights begin at breakfast. For me, it’s all a matter of law and order.

“Our breakfast project has brought immense changes in the lives of approximately 50 children of Mushahar village in Uttar Pradesh. The community there eat rodents for survival. We have schemes running in Delhi, Jaipur and Wayanad in Kerala”, she adds.

Malnutrition fact

India’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) needs to undergo significant changes to address the malnutrition crisis in the country. Quoting a World Bank report, NRI Pural Sharma says the prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world. It is nearly double the number of underweight children in the sub-Saharan Africa.

Malnutrition in India is a concentrated phenomenon. A relatively small number of states, districts, and villages account for a large share of the burden. Five states and 50 per cent of the villages account for about 80 per cent of malnutrition cases in the country.



Punjab Govt signs pact on urban planning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
In an effort to boost further the economy of Punjab, the state government has signed an agreement with Jurong Corporation, Singapore to design a detailed plan of the infrastructure and land use of Mohali and its surrounding towns, that are part of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority .

"Work on the project starts in a week" , said Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, the Punjab Chief Secretary A high-level team led by Mr Lakhanpal had signed the agreement in Singapore last week. The Punjab Council of Ministers has already cleared the project . The company will be paid approximately 1.8 million dollars for its services.

According to the agreement, the company will plan proper road and rail services, water supply, sewerage lines, power supply, bridges, and flyovers in GMADA. The company will also specify land use for the entire area and demarcate it into different zones. The opinion of the Punjab government is that the Mohali area will boost the economy of the entire state, as Gurgaon does for Haryana. Without a concrete plan, haphazard growth in the area will slow down development .

The Punjab Government will form a special committee that will interact with the Jurong team on a daily basis. The final plan will be made ready by the middle of the next year.



Recommendations may improve lot of denotified tribes
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 5
They are more discriminated than the rest of Indians. Hidden in jungles, living in primitive times and eking out an existence, they are cut off from the progressive India where e-tutoring is the buzzword and plans are afoot to land an Indian on the moon.

"It's a living hell in these jungles where most of these tribes stay. Some of them have never heard of elections, never cast a vote or heard of things like schools and hospitals. The word television is alien to them and electricity is unfamiliar. We were shocked with their admissions after our meetings with them," says the Chairman of the National Commission for Denotified Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes in India, Mr Balkrishna Renake.

In the district to visit the habitation of such de-notified tribes, Mr Renake said the commission was formed in February this year to frame recommendations for these tribes living in absolute penury and dejection.

"The semi-nomadic tribes are in a terrible condition where their life is worse than that of animals. In Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh, plagued with problems of income and livelihood, lack of dignity and facilities, they are all facing gradual extinction. If they are Indians, they should get their rights," he maintained.

Mr Renake, a social worker from Maharashtra, has no qualms in admitting that he himself is from one such denotified tribe. "I was begging till the age of 12 and could rise only because I got the opportunity. There are many others who are not as lucky as me. Our recommendations would be aimed at improving this particular lot which is uncovered by any government scheme. Interestingly, while there are scheme for the SCs and STs, these tribes have gone unnoticed in all these years after independence," he stated.

Registered under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 by the British for Indian kings in fighting against the English, these were denotified as criminal tribes in 1952 after which they were left to their fate. The Union Government, for the first time, has initiated this step to rehabilitate them in the social fabric in a meaningful way. The commission has already visited 12 states and is hopeful of visiting the rest of the states by next year and finalising their recommendations.

"They are in immediate need of a rehabilitation scheme so that they at least have a roof over their heads. Then follow facilities like education and health services. Also, instead of suffocating their trades in the name of restrictions, we must encourage them to carry on with what they are trained for or provide alternative ways of income generation. They cannot be left to perish in this fast changing competitive world," he emphasises.

With the recommendations of the commission, their lives will certainly change. His list of 400 such tribes will definitely benefit in the times to come. Mr Renake is sure. For now, however, they'll just have to fight to survive.



He virtually lives for chrysanthemums
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
What is now Virender Sharma’s passion started as a reprisal. It happened 14 years ago when someone refused to give him a bud of ‘carpenter’, a variety of chrysanthemum at one of the shows. Since then not only ‘carpenter’ but some rare and many other varieties of chrysanthemums have found their way in his life. A regular participant at the Chrysanthemum Show for the past 14 years, Virender had set a record in itself last year when he won all the 36 prizes. Once again he is all set with his chrysanthemums to participate in this years’ show scheduled for December 8.

Virender has about 100 varieties of chrysanthemums, some of which are the rare varieties that he picked up from various places like Lucknow and even from England. ‘No pains no gains’. This saying goes very well in Virender’s case whose day starts quite early in the morning “Every morning from 6.30 to 10.30, I work upon my chrysanthemums at my office premises then I go back home only to come again and start my usual work” says Virender.

And for those who still doubt his devotion towards his passion, well, he has been maintaining an daily diary ever since on the progress of his flowers and noting down even the minute details like when a particular plant started budding, shooting and the colour and shape of the baby flowers et al. So much has his experiences have taught him that now he feels he can write a book on how to grow and nurture chrysanthemums. Interestingly, now he is even called to judge various flower shows for which he used to participate earlier outside the city.

“In 1999, I was adjudged king of the show for bagging maximum number of prizes at a flower show, and just recently I was one of the 12 judges for the same show in Delhi”.

Giving final touches to the 300 pots of chrysanthemums that he would be taking to the show, Virender would be participating in the forthcoming Rose Festival in February 2007 as well.

Tips to grow Chrysanthemums by Virender Sharma

1. Adequate humidity for rooting of the chrysanthemum plants.

2. Digging up the earth in the pots so as to facilitate air to go down the roots.

3. A weekly spray of pesticides is a must to keep diseases at bay.



Work for uplift of women: Asha Hooda
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 5
The Haryana State Social Welfare Board organised a day-long orientation training programme for the functionaries and office-bearers of voluntary organisations at Aggarwal Bhavan, Sector 16, Panchkula today.

Mrs Renu S. Nagar Poswal, Chairperson of the Haryana State Social Welfare Board welcomed chief guest Asha Hooda, wife of Chief Minister, Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda who inaugurated the programme by lighting the lamp and in her inaugural speech appealed to the organisations to work for the welfare of women and children.

The gathering was also addressed by Ms Kartar Devi, Minister for Social Welfare, Haryana and Mrs Renu S.Nagar Poswal.

Mrs Anuradha Gupta, IAS, Commissioner and Secretary to Government of Haryana, Department for Woman and Child Development impressed upon the representatives to ensure that Government schemes reach to those who really need it.

Mrs S. K. Koul, Secretary of the board, welcomed the guests and the participants and spoke in details about the programmes of the board and requested voluntary organisations to implement these programme effectively in areas not yet covered in the state while discussing the problems being faced by the organisations in implementing the various programmes.

Mr A.K. Sharma, Assistant Project Officer clarified the role of the office-bearers, sub-committee members and programme functionaries in the delivery of the programmes, including professionalism in programme implementation as per the revised norms of the schemes and scientific management of maintenance of records, accounts, report writing and documentation.

A procession was also organised on female foeticide with the theme “Balika Bachao Abhiyan”.

Over 150 participants representing aided institutions of board participated in the training programme.



Youths rally behind Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Navjot Singh Sidhu, an ace cricketer-turned-politician, was welcomed by approximately 100 youths with lighted candles at the railway station here this evening. Navjot Sidhu was accompanied by Mr Arun Jaitley, the general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The gathering was here to support the former Member of Parliament held guilty in a murder case by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court is likely to pronounce the quantum of sentence tomorrow.

Mr Gurparvez Singh Sandhu, advocate, who led the procession, said “We are not casting any aspersions on the judgement. We only want to say that the case under question was an accident and does not fit in the category of a big punishment. The contribution of Sidhu towards the national interests cannot be ignored”.

Mr Sandhu said “We only want to tell Navjot that he has a big public support in his favour” The gathering also raised slogans “Sidhu bhaji, asin tuhade naal haan” (Sidhu brother, we stand with you). Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former local MP and Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit, were also present at the railway station.

Navjot was engaged in a discussion with his lawyers late in the evening.



He needs renal transplant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
After getting a renal transplant of his wife Nazma done five years ago, Nafiz Ahmad (34), is now undergoing another agony as he has himself fallen prey to the same disease.

Hailing from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Nafiz has been suffering from renal failure for the past over two years. Diagnosed for renal failure at a hospital in Muzaffarnagar, Nafiz has been struggling for life at the PGI for the past over six months.

Though his mother, Shabra Begum, has decided to donate a kidney to him, yet the family is not in a position to carry on with his dialysis at private clinics in the city because of a financial crisis. He was admitted to the PGI, where doctors asked the family to arrange Rs 3.5 lakh for his renal transplant.

The patient, his mother and brother have been putting up at Janta Serai in the PGI and eat langars.

The family is in desperate need of financial assistance. Donors can contact Mr Nazif Ahmad, S/o Shabra Begum, Room No. 4, Janta Serai, PGI, Chandigarh. Phone: 09915338130. Donations can also be made to the PRO, PGI: 0172-2756003.



Engine failure hits rail traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Passengers had to face inconvenience as the trains departing from the city this evening were delayed by an hour due to the engine failure of a goods train near the Ghaggar railway station. The evening Shatabdi departed from the city 50 minutes behind schedule.

According to railway officials the engine of the goods train failed near the Ghaggar railway station at 5.15 pm. The train was coming from Ambala to Chandigarh. An engine was immediately sent from the Chandigarh railway station to Ghaggar.

However, the Himalayan Queen, which departs at 5:28 pm from the city had already left the station and was held up at the Ghaggar railway station for an hour. The train finally left after the goods train was moved from the tracks.

The evening Shatabdi, which departs at 6.20 pm departed at 7.10 pm after the tracks were cleared.



DBN Brigade celebrates anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Commemorating the anniversary of capturing of the strategic Dera Baba Nanak (DBN) bridge in the Western Sector on this day in 1971, the DBN Brigade today organised a number of events, including a wreath-laying ceremony at Batala and DBN War Memorials and a Barakhana in Tibri cantonment.

Several retired officers of the units, who had participated in the war, senior military and civil officers, including General Officer Commanding, Panther Division, Commander DBN Brigade; Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, and officials from the police and paramilitary forces attended the functions.

At the time of outbreak of hostilities, a double-decker rail and road bridge over River Ravi connected Dera Baba Nanak to the Pakistani town of Narowal. The bridge was of strategic importance and was strongly held by Pakistan.

The capture of DBN Bridge, to deny a launch pad to the enemy, was codenamed Operation Akal and 10 Dogra, 17 Rajput, 1/9 Gorkha Rifles, 71 Armoured Regiment, a Company of 4/8 Gorkha Rifles and 42 Field Regiment took part in the operation. Overcoming heavy enemy resistance the bridge was captured by early morning the next day.

On December 6, 1971, the brigade had the proud privilege of being the first formation to hoist the Tricolour in the captured territory of Western Pakistan. The brigade was awarded the Battle Honour Dera Baba Nanak.



‘Model’ teacher in Mrs Gladrags final
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The city is proving to be the treasure trove of beauties. Yet another beauty is set to rock the fashion world. Mohini Sahota, a 35-year-old schoolteacher, has stormed into the final of Mrs Gladrags-2007. On December 9, she would walk the ramp in Mumbai.

She would be the only contestant from this side of Delhi to find a place in the final.

For over a month now, 20 finalists had been through gruelling sessions in Goa and Lakshadweep. A rigid regimen seems to have transformed ordinary housewives and professionals into confident prospective models as was evident from the performance of the finalists during the training sessions, Mohini said over the telephone from Mumbai last night.

“I am excited to be part of the mega finals and ready to put my best foot forward to bring glory to Chandigarh.

God’s grace and support from my family and friends should stand me in good stead,” she added.

It all started earlier this year when Mohini was selected from hundreds of aspirants after the preliminary round.



Foundation stone for Ror Bhawan laid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 5
Members of the Ror Mahasabha laid the foundation stone of Ror Bhawan in the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, here today. The chief guest for the function and president of the Mahasabha, Mr Surinder Singh Babbu, said Rs 2 crore would be spent on the construction of the bhawan.

The bhawan will be a four-storey complex with a basement and house a free dispensary, library and hostel for students. Maintaining that many students of the Ror community were studying in Chandigarh, he said the hostel would cater to all such students looking for a place to stay.

He urged the members to contribute liberally towards the construction of the bhawan. Members of the Ror Community from Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Delhi and various districts of Haryana, including Kalka, Pinjore, Mohali were among those present at the ceremony.



Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Mrs Gargi Devi (82), mother of Mr Raj Kumar Maria, Executive, Circulation Department, The Tribune, died here today after a brief illness.

She is survived by four sons and a daughter.

Her funeral was largely attended. Her chautha/uthala will be held on December 8 at Baba Balak Nath Mandir, Sector 29, Chandigarh, between 2 pm to 3 pm.



Depressed woman ends her life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A 35-year-old woman allegedly drowned herself in Sukhna Lake early today. Though no suicide note was left by the woman, the police quoting her family claimed that she was suffering from depression.

The woman has been identified as Poonam Sikka of Sector 22. She was unmarried and was living with her younger brother. Her brother Rajesh Sikka is a shopkeeper.

The police said the body was handed over to Rajesh without post-mortem following his request. Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



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