C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

 

Nine plans rejected in 5 years
UT stalling KC conversion
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Approximately five years after the local KC theatre applied for conversion into a multiplex, the Chandigarh administration is dilly-dallying with the proposal, pointing one fault or another and never really suggesting what it wants. The administration has rejected at least nine plans submitted by the KC management.

All earlier plans submitted by the theatre did not adhere to the architectural controls and had to be rejected

The latest proposal under study is a unique structure designed by an architecture firm from Australia. The magnificent structure with a dome will have four screens, shopping mall and food courts.

The structure has a specially designed dome, fit to house enough commercial and film screening infrastructure which was not possible in the original theatre complex.

Interestingly, the administration had cited the missing dome as the reason for rejection of the earlier plans.

A trader asked: “Can’t the team of official architects suggest structures that best suited the site instead of rejecting the plans. The loss of time is crucial for the business establishment and the administration. A team of experts should have a kitty of designs for special structures needed at the spot for entrepreneurs.”

He said the work was not visible even in the case of conversion of other theatres like Jagat and Neelam theatres, both in Sector 17.

A senior official said: “All earlier plans submitted by the theatre did not adhere to the architectural controls and had to be rejected. In fact, in one of the maps, the management showed an area which was not even under its control. They did not adhere to floor area ratio (FAR) norms. We have got the latest plan and will constitute a committee which will decide the issue.”

Sources said the administration pointed out flaws in the FAR, rain water management and fire safety standards, besides others, as the reasons for rejecting the designs till April when the office of the chief architect wrote “adherence to the special character of the site was envisioned by Le Corbusier as a building of special architecture viz shell architecture.” This followed a legal opinion sought by the administration.

Ashok Kumar, a managing partner of the KC, refused to comment on the issue, saying that the matter was under consideration of the administration and “I will not like to say anything on the issue till the scheme is finalised.”

Allotted in 1978, the theatre had become functional in 1982. The total area of the site is approximately 1.5 acres. The area will have a twin double basement with a parking area for approximately 180-190 vehicles.

In one of the representations to the UT administrator, the KC theatre management has pointed out that the theatre was losing an average income of Rs 2 crore per month. The administration was also losing at least Rs 1 crore a month on account of VAT and other taxes.

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DSO functions from under a tree
Rajay Deep

Mohali, June 22
One can well imagine the future of sportspersons of the state after seeing the condition of the office of the District Sports Officer (DSO) at Phase 3-B1 here.

Shockingly, Uttam Kaur, the DSO, takes care of all sports affairs of the district from under a tree in the parking area of a Government Senior Secondary School here.

Braving everything, the whole staff, including six coaches, one clerk, one peon, one ground man and three class IV employees, have been forced to do all the office work in the open. Forget about facilities like a telephone, an official vehicle and other necessary infrastructure, the office doesn’t even have a correspondence address.

Interestingly, the DSO deals with all kind of sports issues such as gradation, competitions and financial matters.

To brave the scorching heat, the staff members were seen using paper fans. “With the monsoon round the corner, how can we work in the open?” was the big question on every employee’s mind.

It is learnt that Uttam has sent three applications to the Director Sports, Punjab, to get a place for the office. She even met the deputy commissioner and the additional deputy commissioner for the same, but all efforts were in vain.

Thanks to the school authorities, the office has a small dilapidated almirah to keep its documents. “Many important files have been eaten by rats,” said an employee.

While, on one hand the sports department claims to work for the upliftment of sports, the pathetic condition of the sports office just tells otherwise.

When contacted, Punjab director sports Pargat Singh said, “I have taken the case with the authority concerned. For the time being we are looking for an office on rent.”

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Sunday show sold out
A phenomenon called Rajni
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Rajnikant secured superstar entry into the city today. By the end of three shows on day one, he had shown who the boss was.

At Fun Republic where director Shankar’s Tamil blockbuster “Sivaji, The Boss” was showing, the mood remained peculiarly jubilant. Celebrating the film’s arrival were hundreds of Tamils, some of who had booked as many as 200 tickets in advance.

The high point of the day was the arrival of 100 labourers. Each one makes less than Rs 60 a day but did not hesitate to buy “bronze” ticket for the Sunday show.

Led by 50-year-old Srinivasan, they all had similar reasons for watching the film---“Rajnikant, like us, had humble beginnings. We feel inspired every time we see him. We feel like smiling and dreaming and looking forward in life.”

That’s what the Rajni phenomenon is all about. The actor, with his unassuming presence, reaches across to the rich and poor alike. No wonder his popularity in Chandigarh was like a writing on the wall, just as it was in Chennai and Malaysia where frenzy preceded Sivaji’s opening.

Most visitors seemed happy that they had watched the film for a meagre Rs 150. “Back in Chennai, a ticket would have cost Rs 1,000. And yet, booking would not have been possible. My family is on vacation. They were surprised to hear that FR was offering the film at such a low price,” said N. Rajapandian, a field engineer, here for the first day first show, which had a dull response.

The evening show, however, was impressive with 50 per cent occupancy. But the real rush is reserved for Sunday, when the house is full. Ninety per cent of advance bookings have been made by Tamils and some by Malayalis, said Navtej from FR marketing, who led the campaign for “Sivaji”.

“We went to Murgan and Ayappa temples for our campaign. We also tapped a Sector 47 store which exclusively sells South Indian stuff. We have sold hundreds of tickets already. There are people who have blocked 200 tickets, individually,” he said.

Govind is one of them. “This is the first time a Tamil film has come to the city. I couldn’t resist the temptation of blocking 200 tickets for family and friends. We are going for the Sunday show,” he said.

J.S. Jolly, in charge of affairs at FR, is happy with the turnout. “We are not screening the film for profit. We just want to set a trend by bringing culture-specific films to the region. We plan to bring more Tamil and Malayali films. The idea is to offer wholesome entertainment to people from all communities,” he said. 

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SI in CBI net for graft, drugs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Friday is the day that the city police dreads the most. And for good reason. In the past two months, CBI sleuths have arrested six policemen from the city on charges of graft on this day.

Today a sub-inspector, in charge of the Sector 61 police post, was nabbed by the CBI sleuths following a trap laid down by them with the help of Sector 52 resident Harpal, alias Raju. CBI caught Ved Prakash taking a bribe of Rs 15,000 for “saving” Harpal from a case of drug peddling. Harpal contacted the CBI and the trap was laid.

Harpal who is allegedly a drug peddler told CBI officials that Ved Prakash had threatened to slap a case against him and had demanded Rs 30,000 for saving him. Half of this amount was to be paid to Ved Prakash today at a dairy at Kajheri village. At the fixed hour, CBI sleuths arrested him on the spot.

This is not all. CBI officials brought Prakash to the police post where following a search two packets of smack were seized from his office drawer. He has been booked under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Narcotics Act.

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‘Jugnu’ a ray of hope for Bapu Dham kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Advocate general, Haryana, Hawa Singh Hooda launched an innovative adult literacy programme and a children wall newspaper, “Jugnu”, at Bapu Dham Colony here yesterday.

The programme of Yuvsatta involves illiterate adults of the area as learners and schoolgoing or dropout adolescent children of the slum settlement as coaches.

Advocate and Yuvsatta secretary Madhu P. Singh said Kim and Marga of Creative Learning from Germany designed the programme.

“This programme can make illiterate women independent in life. Twenty adolescent youths of Bapu Dham Colony will be trained as coaches and they will in turn teach five adults each or make 100 more people literate in two months,” she said.

Hooda said: “In order to realise the dreams of free India, each one of us has to rise to the occasion with commitment and integrity towards developmental goals.”

He exhorted the audience never to damage public property while protesting for a cause. “There is no substitute to self-help and ‘Jugnu’ is the perfect example of the same,” he said.

Sharing their first-of-its-kind wall newspaper in Chandigarh, Yuvsatta coordinator Parmod Sharma said they had formed a team of child reporters in Bapu Dham Colony to prepare “Jugnu”.

And for the children involved, it was a first lesson in participation, self-expression and grassroots democracy.

“We wanted to show children that what they have to say is important and so is their participation. The idea was to show them that using paper and pen and working together is the best way to put your ideas forward,” explained Parmod.

Those who participated in the programme were Dr Satinder Dhillon, principal, Dev Samaj College of Education; Vikas Chatrath, advocate and senator, Punjabi University, Patiala; Pooja Sharma, member, Chandigarh Social Welfare Board; Krishna Devi, principal, Government High School, Bapu Dham Colony; and Prof Anil Sarwal, president, DAV College Teachers Union.

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Residents impede demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A demolition drive was today carried out by the district administration in a Sector 48 group housing society raising many an eyebrow.

The district magistrate had today directed the enforcement staff of the estate office to remove iron grills raised by occupants behind the flats in the Bank of India cooperative house building society.

The enforcement staff had to face the ire of residents who alleged that selective demolition was carried out at the behest of certain vested interests. Two sets of rules were being followed to tackle such cases.

“While the estate office was postponing the hearing of hundreds of cases being tried under Sections 8 and 15 of the capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, the district magistrate passing the orders of demolition in one specific case was questionable,” said Jai Narayan, a resident.

The cases were being heard by the land acquisition officer for the past one year before the quasi judicial powers were withdrawn recently.

The residents lamented that the administration acted at the behest of a well-connected person living in the society. They demanded that the district magistrate should pass similar orders in all cases.

“The district magistrate, who is also the estate officer, should have used his quasi judicial powers under the Act while passing the orders,” said K.S. Lamba, an advocate.

Interestingly, the administration is yet to distribute the cases to allow the designated officers — estate officer R.K. Rao, chief executive officer, Chandigarh housing board, Amar Nath, and additional deputy commissioner I.S. Sandhu — to discharge quasi judicial functions under the Act.

On June 2, the adviser while divesting the assistant estate officer, had empowered the three officials to discharge quasi judicial functions of the estate officer. However, the distribution of the cases never took place.

Soon after the drive started, occupants of the houses gathered and objected to the selective action of the enforcement staff. On their insistence, the staff had to demolish encroachments allegedly done by the president of the society, P.K. Bhandari. 

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GMADA inks pact with Jurong International 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 22
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today executed an agreement with M/s Jurong International Private Limited (a Singapore-based company) for reviewing and preparing the regional development plan and master plans of the areas and towns situated within the jurisdiction of GMADA.

The agreement was signed here today between Krishan Kumar, chief administrator, GMADA, and Seetho Kum Chum, vice-president of Jurong International in the presence of R.I. Singh, chief secretary, Punjab, and Arun Goel, secretary, housing and urban development. Raymond Kwok and Rapheal Chua, also accompanied Seetho Kum Chum on this occasion.

In its endeavour to continue with the legacy of Le Corbusier, who had prepared the master plan of the Modern Town of Chandigarh, the Government of Punjab selected M/s Jurong International for preparing the regional development plan of the whole area of GMADA spreading over 1350 sq km.

M/s Jurong International will also prepare or review the master plan of six towns - SAS Nagar, Zirakpur, Kharar, Banur, Dera Bassi and Mullanpur - situated in the GMADA area. The consultant is expected to accomplish the task within 12 months from the execution of the agreement. The council of ministers had already approved hiring the services of M/s Jurong International.

This company has also undertaken important projects in Asia and Africa and in India it has recently completed an SEZ in Navi Mumbai and Mahindra's SEZ in Jaipur.

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MC okays development agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The environment and city beautification committee of the municipal corporation, held under the chairmanship of Gurcharan Dass Kala, has accorded approval to various development agenda items, including the policy regarding railing, play equipment and benches.

The committee has approved to provide 2’3” railings in parks/open spaces which are less than 0.75 acre; huts (rain shelters) will be made using money from the ward development fund and the MPLAD fund in parks and green belts which are more than 0.75 acre; and lights will be provided only in gardens and green belts.

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Poor train service at Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 22
Although Mohali has come on the rail map, residents are unhappy with the slow pace of work and inadequate train services at the station here.

Residents say that in terms of facilities and services, the rail track is no more than a link between Una and Nangal. Some benefit has been gained through the opening of the passenger reservation facility at the station though industrial unit owners who have been demanding a Chandigarh-Ludhiana link are still to get the goods transport facility.

When The Tribune team visited the railway station at noon, the area wore a desolate look. Some persons were seen at the ticket booking counter but nobody was seen on the platform even as three fans were cooling vacant chairs. The rooms of the station superintendent and assistant station master were lying locked.

At present, trains run from Ambala to Nangal and Ambala to Churaru Takrala, passing through Chandigarh and Mohali.

S.S. Barnala, councillor, said mostly workers employed in industrial units in the town travelled by the train from Una and Nangal. He said Mohali residents would benefit only when the rail track was extended till Ludhiana.

The train facility was almost non-existent for many industrial unit owners because no arrangements had so far been made for the booking of material from Mohali, said D.P. Singh, president of the Mohali chamber of commerce and industry. Moreover, till the trains are made to run till Ludhiana, the industry would not benefit at all. He was of the view that one coach for Shatabdi Express should start from Mohali and get linked to the main train in Chandigarh for the benefit of Mohali residents who had to go to Delhi.

Balbir Singh, president of the Mohali industries association, said the track should be extended to Ludhiana on a priority basis so that the industry could avail the benefit.

He said once the track was extended till Ludhiana, the frequency of trains would also have to be increased. 

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Bus routes a casualty in northern sectors
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The tall claims of the CTU authorities that its buses are available every seven to 15 minutes under the grid system seem to have fallen flat going by the frequency of service in the northern sectors of the city.

At many bus shelters in the northern area (near Sukhna lake), buses have been plying at half-hour frequency, reflecting the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities.

Taking advantage, staff have been missing the routes here with impunity.

“Waiting for a bus here for more than half an hour is not unusual for us. Rather it is commonplace in most of the northern sectors. Reason? Only a handful people use local buses in these posh sectors. The routes have apparently been altered as some of the routes in these sectors aren’t as lucrative as others,” said Satwant Singh, a commuter at the Sector 4-5 bus stop.

When it was pointed out that the bus had to follow its route and it had to reach a bus shelter within 15 minutes, he quipped: “Then this system is on paper only.”

Another commuter Amar Singh, who travels from Mani Majra to his workplace in Sector 5, said there was no bus after 7 pm from the sector.

“I have to walk down to Sector 9 (Madhya Marg) to catch a bus for Mani Majra,” rued Amar Singh.

The authorities should make regular checks to ensure that the system, made for public convenience, is being followed, he added.

Deserted bus shelters is also a common site in the city. In Sectors 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 most buses run with very few passengers.

“The number of private vehicles in this posh area is perhaps double the the people living here. Since very few avail themselves of the bus facility in these sectors, we practically ply empty buses on these routes. Due to inadequate transport service, tourists who visit spots like Sukhna lake and Rock Garden, too prefer three-wheelers, taxis or rickshaws,” said a bus conductor on the condition of anonymity.

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Officials earn Capt Kanwaljit’s ire
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The alleged inaccessibility of officials in the Banur assembly segment to the general public has earned the wrath of the cooperation minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh.

In fact, the displeasure of the minister, who represents the Banur assembly segment in the Punjab assembly, was more than evident at a meeting of officials, attended among others by Sohan Lal and Gurtej Singh, SDMs of Dera Bassi and Rajpura, respectively, official sources said here today.

Directing the officials to be present in their offices between 11 am and 1 pm for the redressal of people's grievances, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said their "non-availability" in the offices was the main impediment in delivering justice to the common man.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of a majority of the officials in the segment, the minister said his feedback was that even minor complaints were not be redressed by officials, giving a bad name to the SAD-BJP government.

The sources said a substantial number of SAD-BJP workers had complained to the Akali leadership that the "officials’ behaviour" with them was not proper. This might have goaded the minister to direct the officials to accord respect to the alliance workers.

The minister also did not miss the opportunity to serve a veiled threat to the officials, saying that he would monitor the performance of the officials during a tour of the area shortly. “I will take feedback from the people directly,” the minister is stated to have remarked.

Reiterating the commitment of the SAD-BJP alliance to provide a transparent government, the minister said the accessibility to the general public was high on the agenda of the government.

The SDMs assured the minister that they would personally monitor various development works of the government and implement its programmes and policies in an effective manner.

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Admn gives wings to lecturers
Policy provides grant to research, present papers abroad

Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Chandigarh Administration has formulated a policy to encourage lecturers employed in government colleges in Chandigarh to undertake research and present papers at international forums.

The policy, which was notified recently, also provides for financial assistance to permanent lecturers so as to present their research papers at international conferences.

“It is generally believed that research is something that is done at the level of the universities. College lecturers do undertake research projects but could do with some support from the administration,” said Raji P Srivastava Director Higher Education UT.

College lecturers will be given 50 per cent of the total expenses for attending international conferences. The scheme can be availed up to a maximum of three times in a lecturer’s entire career. The lecturer’s research paper should also broadly fall under the subject specialisation of the lecturer.

“Schemes of this nature are intended for highly-qualified professionals in different fields of academic endeavour whose horizons can be broadened by international exposure,” said Srivastava, adding that Rs 5 lakh had been set-aside in the UT budget for the scheme.

A similar scheme is already operational in Government Medical College and Hospital Sector 32 and the PGI for medical professionals.

“A UGC scheme is also open to government college lecturers, who would be covered by this policy. The UGC scheme, however, operates at the national level and lecturers from Chandigarh would therefore be competing against their own colleagues from across the country leading to a reduced chance of success. A local level scheme means more teachers will get an opportunity for international exposure,” said Srivastava, adding that they had already received two proposals from college lecturers under the scheme.

Srivastava, who is also the Director Public Instructions (Colleges), UT, added that the administration had conducted an informal survey about the amount of research that government college lecturers had undertaken. “It was a pleasant surprise to note that there were at least five to six lecturers in all colleges, who had undertaken serious sociological, psychological and scientific studies. While some were sponsored by the UGC, many were self- sponsored. Some teachers in these colleges have also authored books,” said Srivastava.

The administration is also formulating a similar scheme for college lecturers to attend seminars and conferences at the national level. “College teachers have a tendency to stop growing academically once they get a job. The UGC realised this and now offers grants for small research projects that the college lecturers can take up. The UGC pays a fixed amount for the research project. However, it has always been a financial constraint on college lecturers to be able to go abroad to attend international seminars. Hopefully the scheme will solve that constraint,” said a college lecturer.

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Raising the Bar
UT students to design model jails for Punjab 

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22 
Model jails of Punjab will be fashioned by young minds. With the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), New Delhi, handpicking Chandigarh College of Architecture to do designs for the first-ever model prisons in the state, inmates can look forward to healthy confinement.

To come up at Kapurthala and Faridkot, the prisons will have to follow the standards and norms laid down by BPR&D after extensive research on the matter. The objective is to rid the prison buildings of their archetypal ugliness. 

Kiran Bedi, director general, BPR&D, who is the force behind the new jail manual, told The Tribune today, “Architecture is reflective of the mission statement of a building. If our prisons are meant to be security holdings, we need not spend time and energy rejuvenating them. But if they are meant to be reformatory, we must add cheer to their spaces. We are talking about intensive care units for inmates, who need to be treated at many levels. We have identified Chandigarh College of Architecture to do the work.”

The bureau has provided to the college the requisite standards and models of modern prisons like Tihar and those in Andhra Pradesh. The college authorities anyway feel challenged by the assignment, prison architecture being a forbidden area. The principal and students plan to visit some jails in Punjab before designing model prisons that will have to be like mini cities. 

A formal arrangement has been made, principal secretary, home, BC Gupta, confirmed to TNS today. “We met the college principal yesterday and asked for designs by August-end. The prisons will have to have an international look, with well-fitted and warm interiors that serve the purpose of correction. They will have hospitals, drug de-addiction centres, technical training workshops, marketing channels and adequate security networks.” 

The real aim is to humanise jails by using an environment-friendly architecture, which will also make provisions for use of alternative sources of energy. “On the security front, these jails will have in-house courts and video-conferencing facility,” Kiran Bedi said.

Punjab’s minister for prisons Hira Singh Gabria seemed happy with the progress made on the model jail front. “We have completed the soil testing on 175 acre of land meant for the model jail at Kapurthala. The portion has been demarcated. Each model jail will house 2,500 to 3,000 prisoners. It will help us deal with overcrowding. Our current capacity is 12,000 but the prison population is 15,000.”  Land for Faridkot model jail has also been identified. 

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PU alumnus is mayor of NY village
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22 
Harvinder S Anand, a Panjab University alumnus, has been elected mayor of the upscale village of Laurel Hollow in New York State. A graduate from the chemical engineering department of PU, he is the president of Royce International; a multi-national corporation involved in manufacture of industrial chemicals for textile, aerospace, electrical, automotive, marine and construction industries.

Laurel Hollow is a waterfront community on the North Shore of Long Island, in Nassau County, which has some of the most expensive real estate in the country - prices of homes range from from $ 2 million to $ 15 million.

Anand has been a resident of the village for over 10 years and an active participant in community service. He served as the president of Harbour Ridge Homeowners Association, an exclusive gated community in the village. Anand was also appointed to the planning board of the village.

Talking to TNS Anand’s teachers were very elated to hear of his success. “He was one of our brilliant students,” stated Dr VK Rattan. “A very good student he topped in the undergraduate BE (Chemical Engineering). He is a very helpful student and has also just completed his Ph D in USA,” informed Prof RC Katyal of the department of chemical engineering. 

Laurel Hollow is home to the 107-acre Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an internationally recognised genetic and cancer research centre that is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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PU results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Panjab University today declared the results of the following examinations held in April/May, 2007: M.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry) 1st Semester; MA (Women Studies) 4th Semester; MA-I Ancient Indian History; MA Sociology 4th Semester, BE (Mechanical) 1st and 3rd Semester, BE (Bio-Technology) 2nd Semester, M. Phil (Guru Granth Sahib Studies) 1st Semester; M Phil (Punjabi) 1st Semester; M.Sc (Statistics) 2nd and 4th Semester; BE (Computer Science and Engineering) 3rd Semester; MA-I and II Indian Theatre.
 

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Lok adalat on banks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The special lok adalat to be organised by the Haryana Legal Services Authority to deal with bank loan cases would be held on July 28 and not on June 28 as reported earlier, an official spokesman clarified here today.

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Help for patient
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Acting on a news item in a newspaper about the plight of a poor lady deserted by her husband, employees of the Nicholas Piramal Group made a voluntary contribution of Rs 32,575 for her son with the PGI Poor Patient Welfare Fund.

The boy is suffering from congenital heart disease and needs to be operated upon.

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Tributes paid to Bal Krishan Mutzar
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 22
The Haryana Urdu Akademi paid rich tributes to legendary patriot poet Bal Krishan Mutzar at a function held at Red Bishop Complex here yesterday.

Credited with over 50 publications on fiction, theology and contemporary literature, Mutzar had joined the national freedom movement in 1936 at a tender age of 15 and was jailed many times. Born in 1921 and brought up at Kurukshetra, Mutzar emerged as a close confidant of Neta ji Subhash Chander Bose during the struggle for independence. “The great scholar had been associated with the Urdu akademi in various capacities till his demise in April last,” recalled Padma Shri K.L. Zakir. Noted litterateurs, including Dr K.K. Rishi, Dr Kumar Panipati and Dr Rana Ganauri, read out exhaustive papers on the life and achievements of Mutzar.

C.R. Moudgil, director, Haryana Punjabi Akademi, also paid tributes to the legend. Guests of honour and well-known poets from Pakistan Aijaz Ullah Naaz and Agha Ali Muzzamil read out their poems.

Haryana education minister Phool Chand Mullana was the chief guest, who exhorted the writers to emulate the patriotism and ideology of Mutzar in the larger interest of society. 

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Tips for safe driving
Rules of the Road

Don’t drink alcohol then drive. Alcohol slows human reactions, affects judgement of distance and speed and invariably makes a person inordinately aggressive. Even if you drink the evening before, you might still be unfit to drive the next morning, as alcohol takes time to leave the body.

‘Alcohol and Driving Cocktail For Disaster!’

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Letters
Display sector numbers at chowks

The Panchkula police deserves to be complimented for installing vertical signposts indicating sector numbers on either side of road dividers at various roundabouts and T-junctions in the city. In Chandigarh, signboards indicating Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg, Udyan Path, etc., are displayed in the roundabout, but display of sector numbers in chowks is missing. It will be very useful if the Panchkula-practice is emulated in the city as well for the benefit of the locals as well as thousands of others who visit Chandigarh daily.

Lalit Bhardwaj
Panchkula

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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Chain snatchers have a field day
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Chain snatchers had a field day yet again today. In what seemed to be the handiwork of a gang of snatchers who had planned several early-morning strikes, the police received complaints of gold chain snatching incidents from morning walkers in Sector 40, 45 and 46.

Cops on wild goose chase

The Chandigarh police chased a young motorcyclist who seemed to be moving about in the area without a helmet. Suspecting him to be a snatcher, police Gypsies chased the youngster. Seeing the police vans, the youngster tried to run away, scared of getting challaned for not wearing a helmet. However, the police caught up with him only to realise its mistake.

All these snatching incidents took place between 6.30 am and 7.15 am.

In the first case, two motorcyclists snatched a chain of Meenakshi Mehra, a resident of Sector 40-D. Meenakshi was taking a walk outside her house around 7 am when the motorcyclists stopped their bike in front of her and tried to snatch her 
gold chain.

Showing courage, she held one of the snatchers by his arm but during the ensuing struggle, Meenakshi fell down. Her husband, Kapil Mehra, who was exercising on the roof of their house, came to his wife’s rescue but the snatchers managed to flee with the chain.

Meenakshi, who received injuries on her arms, legs and head, noted down the last digits (9339) of the registration number of the motorcycle.

In another incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the chain of Sector 46 resident Sonia when she was on her way to her house around 6.30 am after dropping her son at the stadium. After 10-15 minutes, another snatching incident took place in Sector 45. This time, the victim was 55-year-old Vimla Devi. She was also out for a walk when the snatchers struck.

According to police sources, the snatchers who struck at various places could have been the same persons who moved from sector to sector looking for vulnerable victims. 

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Ex-councillor attacked, two arrested
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 22
A former municipal councillor, Manjit Singh Sethi, was allegedly attacked by three persons at his residence in Phase III A here today.

The three had been seeking donations for religious organisations.

Gurbax Singh from Ludhiana and Satpal Singh from Khamano were caught and handed over to the police by residents of the area.

They have been booked by the police under Sections 452 and 323 of the IPC in this regard.

Two of them are close relatives. The third person, however, managed to escape from the scene.

Sethi said he was supervising renovation work at his house when two persons entered his house and sat in the drawing room.

They started asking for financial help for a dera at Anandpur Sahib.

When Sethi refused to give any donation and asked them to leave his house, they felt offended and tried to manhandle him.

One of them moved out and called the third person, standing outside, in.

They allegedly asked him to hand over a small kirpan he was carrying.

In a bid to flee the scene, one of the persons hit Sethi with a brick, injuring his arm.

In the meantime, residents of the area gathered and caught hold of two persons, who were later handed over to the police.

Sethi alleged that a gang had been operating in the area that forcibly took donations from residents.

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2 youths killed in  road mishap

Mohali, June 22
Two youths were killed and three injured in a road accident on the Kharar-Ropar road near Lakhnour village here tonight. The youths are yet to be identified and were on a scooter when a government jeep hit them.

Those injured were travelling in the jeep (PB 12A 2898). They were taken to the Civil Hospital, Kharar. Police sources said the cause of the accident could not be ascertained as the injured were not in a position to give a statement.

They said it seemed that the jeep and the scooter had a head-on collision at about 11pm. The jeep was going from Kharar to Kurali while the scooterists seemed to be coming from the opposite direction. — TNS

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Cement plant takes off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
JK Lakshmi Cement today started Punjab’s first ready mix concrete plant in Mohali. Addressing a press conference here, Shailendra Chouksey, director, JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd, said, “The concept of using concrete at the site by conventional means is gradually giving way to the more modern way of using ready mix concrete, or RMC as it is generally known.”

The site mix concrete is dependent on manual labour, on-site mixing, volumetric batching of materials without much emphasis on cleaning of aggregates, sand or on the quality of water being used.

On the other hand, in case of RMC the ingredients are properly selected, stored and mixed in a calibrated weighing mechanism. He said his company had introduced a computerised process to ensure consistency in the quality of concrete. 

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