C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Aussie may coach Punjab Ranji team
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
The Punjab Cricket Association will continue to have a foreign coach for its Ranji team. This time, an Australian may replace ad hoc coach Daljeet Singh for the next season.

Talking to the TNS, PCA honorary secretary M.P. Pandove said: “Though it is too early to say anything, having an Australian coach is on our mind. Australian coaches are the best if you see their performance. But we have to see our pocket before going ahead. Pakistan or Indian coaches are other options.”

The PCA had a three-year contract with Pakistan’s Intikhab Alam till 2007. As this year Alam could not get the visa, PCA’s curator Daljeet Singh was appointed coach of the team.

“Roping in Daljeet as coach was a temporary arrangement. So the appointment of a new coach is on the cards”, said Pandove.

“We were not happy with the performance of the team this year,” added Pandove.

Like last season, the Ranji team could not perform up to the mark this year. The team lost to Rajasthan in the semifinal of the All-India One-Day Ranji Trophy Knockout Tournament. The match was held at Jaipur last week.

In Ranji Trophy matches for elite group, Punjab failed to reach the semifinals this year also.

Though the team managed to defeat Mumbai, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat in the league, it could not progress beyond the quarterfinals.

Last year too, it could not make it to the semifinals of the tournament.

On the performance, Pandove said: “I know our performance was not up to the mark. We lost some games just because of bad luck. But surely, luck can’t be blamed always. I know, there were many areas where our team needed to improve. I am not happy with the performance of the team.”

Now the team will participate in the zonal league Twenty-20 matches, starting from April 3 at New Delhi.



Now, swim year-round
All-weather pool by month-end
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Swimming enthusiasts can now look forward to the luxury of swimming right through the year. The existing yoga swimming pool in Sector 23 is being converted into an “all-weather friendly pool”.

It’s a welcome addition to the city’s sporting arenas.

Due to variable weather conditions here, summer is the only time in the year conducive to swimming.

Money Game

The tentative cost of the project (construction only), according to the UT engineering department, is around Rs 33 lakh, whereas the cost of the heating project is around Rs 31.6 lakh.

The proposal, which had been hanging in balance for over two and half years, has finally seen the light of the day and the pool in its “new avatar” will be opened to public by April-end.

UT chief engineer V.K. Bhardwaj said: “The deadline for the project is April 31. The construction part and the heating system of the pool will be done almost simultaneously and completed this month.”

The pool’s width has been increased by 40 feet, whereas its length, 75 feet, will remain the same.

With no diving facility, the existing diving area has been levelled up with the pool floor, at 6 feet.

All sides will be covered with aluminum glazing and the roof will be of pre-coated GI sheeting with a false ceiling under it.

At least 165 panels with solar heating collectors will be installed from where the water will circulate before entering the pool.

Superintending engineer, construction circle-I S.K. Jaitley said: “Solar thermal energy system is the most viable and cost-effective method of producing hot water, even on a large scale. It can maintain pool temperature of 26 °C to 27 °C even in December and January. The maintenance is cheaper in comparison to all non-conventional energy sources and the life of the system is around 20 years.”

“This system will be functional on all sunny days without any backup, keeping in mind that the city remains sunny during most part of the year. The electric backup can take over during long-drawn cloudy periods,” said Mr Jaitley.

“Additional changing rooms have also been planned where provision for ‘hot air blowers’ for drying up hair will be available. The position of the diving board will be changed but that will be decided once the pool is ready,” he added.

About the delay, Mr Bhardwaj said: “The science and technology department had proposed to do the heating part of the project, but somehow it never worked out. Finally, this part of the project was taken over by the public health department.”


Golden siblings
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The brother-sister duo of Ashish Gahlawat and Kirti Gahlawat, students of Manav Mangal School, Sector 11, Panchkula, has done the city proud by winning loads of accolades in the field of yoga.

Ashish Gahlawat, who recently took Class VI examination, won gold and a bronze medal at Invitation International Cup-2006.

This tournament was conducted by the Yoga Confederation of India at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, as part of 15th Yoga World Cup -2006.

Ecstatic Ashish said: “I had an interest in the sport from the very beginning. The high standards of coaching and infrastructure being provided in our school helped me achieve success.”

Ashish was picked up for this international competition on the basis of his performance at 31st National Yoga Championship held at Chennai in November.

Ashish had bagged a gold in athletics yoga, besides a bronze in the artistic pair category.

President of the federation, who was from Germany, gave away the prizes to the winners.

How could her equally talented elder sister, Kirti, be left behind. She grabbed a silver in the same tournament. She also won a silver in the athletics yoga category.

As many as 18 countries, including Japan, China, Germany, Brazil and Italy, had their players in the competition.

Kirti, taking her Class X exams, is a five-time national yoga champion and has won gold for India in the World Championship Yoga Sport held at Portugal in 2003.

“Representing the country is a great feeling. And my next target is to represent the country again in the next World Cup which has been scheduled to be held in Denmark in May,” said Kirti.

Both Kirti and Ashish have earned many honours in the past.

Both made their presence felt at the 52nd National School Games at Chhatrasaal Stadium, Delhi, in December where they won bronze medals in girls’ u-17 and boys’ u-14 categories, respectively.

Elated at the performance of his schoolchildren, principal Sandeep Sardana said getting three medals for India was an extraordinary achievement.

He lauded the efforts of coach Indu Aggarwal, who has been coaching schoolchildren for the past eight years.



Roller skating meet from April 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Chandigarh Roller Skating Association will hold Chandigarh Roller Skating Championship at Kailash Behl DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, on April 14 and 15.

During the meet, players will be selected to represent the city in the 44th National Roller Skating Championship to be held at Kolkata from May 11.

Entries for the championship will be received at the venue by Harpreet Singh on April 12 and 13 between 5 and 6.30 pm.



Tennis tourney from April 6
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Total Tennis Academy will conduct the YMCA Total Tennis Masters Championship (boys and girls) from April 6 to 8 at its courts at Sector 11 here.

Only top eight players of the region will be allowed to participate in the u-12, u-14 and u-16 categories. Entries will close on April 5 at 5 pm.



Registration & Licensing Authority
Contractual staff handling money counters
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has been dealing with staff shortage by outsourcing manpower from different departments.

As no additional post has been sanctioned by the Government of India, in spite of the work of the authority “increasing manifold”, the Chandigarh administration has been resorting to pooling of resources and manpower from other departments.

At least 11 officials from different departments like printing and stationery, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), and even those under the deputy commissioner (DC) have been deputed in the authority.

They are, however, drawing their salary from their parent department. Even the work of the authority is being handled by the SDM (East).

At public counters, around 30 contractual employees engaged by the UT Red Cross have been deputed.

The contractual employees get their salary from resources generated by the authority, which are then paid to the red cross for payment to the contractual employees.

Defending the practice, officials say it has been an old practice in the Union Territory.

In 1996, contractual employees from the jail department had been engaged to man the counters at the office of the RLA, before their services were terminated.

They dismiss an objection by the audit department regarding posting of contractual staff on money handling seats.

The department has been citing shortage of staff in reply to the audit objection.

They point out that with a view to strengthening the delivery services to residents, the administration has announced to outsource services like cleaning of premises, horticulture, housekeeping, transport and maintenance of buildings, besides others.



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