C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

10-storeyed project grounded
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has grounded its 10-storeyed housing project in Sector 63. Now, it’s coming up with a three-storeyed housing complex spread over 40 acres at the same venue.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Amar Nath, chief executive officer, CHB, said: “We have grounded the 10-storeyed project because we did not have requisite experience to implement the scheme. It was also discussed and decided that the tall buildings did not gel with the architectural plan of City Beautiful.”

He said under the new scheme the board would construct 1,590 houses. The housing complex would have different demarcations for economically weaker sections, low-income group, middle-income group and high-income group categories. The project would probably be the first initiative of the board to employ a public-private partnership for its implementation.

The price of the houses in the economically weaker sections and low-income group categories would be controlled, while the remaining categories could be expensive, sources said.

As many as 63 parties had responded to the CHB advertisement for the 10-storeyed project following which the CHB shortlisted 26 architects. Ultimately, nine parties submitted the design and it shortlisted one of the architects.

The project had invited criticism when a group of citizens had called on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and raised objections to the changing skyline. The delegation had sought the formation of a regulatory body to retain the city’s special character. In fact, two more high-rise building projects are currently stranded at the clearance stage, one of which is the 11-storeyed building in Sector 17 and another business towers in Sector 34.

The UT administrator, Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, during a recent visit to the proposed site in Sector 17 had expressed apprehensions about traffic bottlenecks at the site. He had asked officials concerned to review the necessity of the apartment Act in the city.

The Urban Planning Department had also expressed concerns over the problems the apartment rules could pose at a later stage. The administration had also drafted an architectural and urban heritage plan for the city earlier this year.



Lightning leaves a trail of destruction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The best day of the monsoon season wreaked havoc across the city and nearby areas as lightning struck at several places, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Although from the weatherman’s point of view the day was welcome as it brought 38 mm rainfall in a single day - the highest on any given day in July - thunder and lightning ensured that the good news was accompanied with bad.

In Sectors 12, 15, 16 and 38, where lightning struck around 5.15 pm, electronic goods worth lakhs were damaged. Such was the impact of lightning that in several houses in Sector 15 regulators of fans flipped onto floors, detached as they got from their base.

Among the goods that were damaged were air-conditioners, televisions, BSNL modems, computers and computer printers.

Losses, however, could not be estimated precisely, although some residents called up The Tribune office to list the damages.

Arvind Sharma, a senior resident with the department of neurology, PGI, and resident of Sector 15-A, returned home from work this evening to find that his electronic goods were damaged soon after the lightning.

“My TV was not working, my charger which was in stand-by mode burnt, so had the computer printer which was, incidentally, switched off. Even the refrigerator’s stabiliser was gone,” he said.

At least 40 houses in Sharma’s vicinity reported similar kind of damages. Electricity complaint booths of Sector 15 and other sectors close by, however, did not get any complaints as power breakdowns did not happen.

Sharma said: “Power supply in the house was fine only the gadgets were gone.”

Weather-wise the day brought good news as the rain deficit of the city reduced. By tonight, Chandigarh had received 373.4 mm of rainfall - about 184.7 mm short of the normal rainfall. The weather office said last year until August 11, the city received only 349.2 mm rainfall. The monsoon had later caught up and by the end of the season the city had 541.5 mm rain - just a little below normal rainfall for monsoon season which is 558.1 mm.


Even though rain gave some respite from oppressive heat on Saturday, residents remained without power for hours in various parts of the town.

According to information, underground cables got damaged near Bassi cinema in Phase II which affected power supply to some parts of the town. Power breakdowns and trippings were also witnessed in other areas.

Areas that got adversely affected were Phases II, III A, III B 2, VI, VII and X.

H.S. Bains, deputy chief engineer, said due to rain a few insulators on some feeders got punctured and power remained suspended. The 66-kv sub-station also tripped during the rain.


Water-logging plagued the entire city on Saturday, disrupting traffic on roads and causing inconvenience to residents as also exposing the claims of the municipal council. While most of the roundabouts remained water-logged for a long time, the road towards Mansa Devi and the one towards Swastik Vihar remained water-logged till evening. Shopkeepers rued the fact that roads were in dire need of recarpeting and that the water-logging had adversely affected their business.



RLA Office
Booklet set to replace loose forms
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The registering and licensing authority, Chandigarh, is all set to discontinue the sale of loose application forms to those applying for a driver’s licence or registration of a vehicle.

Instead, booklets containing a complete set of forms will be sold to the applicants.

Depending upon the nature of job, the booklets have been classified into 19 different categories.

While the cost of the booklet to be used for registration of vehicles will be Rs 20, that being used for getting a driver’s licence will cost Rs 10.

Around eight years ago, glossy booklets were introduced under the ‘Sahayata’ project of the Red Cross Society. But these were discontinued by the RLA following objections over the use of expensive quality of paper and practice of sponsorship.

Now, the RLA has used ordinary paper, as is being supplied by the Red Cross to print applications forms.

To make the booklets user-friendly and cheap, all application forms concerned have been clipped into one booklet.

Extra sheets of papers have been provided in the booklet where the applicant can paste necessary supporting documents.

Ankur Garg, officiatin registering and licensing authority, confirmed that the new booklets would soon be introduced.

After buying loose forms, the applicant had to buy a file cover costing Rs 5 each, which added to the cost of the complete set of application form.

However, those requiring individual forms for jobs like deposition of road tax will have to shell out more money.

Under the existing practice, forms are sold for 19 different jobs. An official of the RLA said the new arrangement will lead to stacking of booklets as compared to loose forms, which were tagged in a single file cover. The RLA office has also introduced token system. Those visiting the office will be issued tokens before they are called at the counter concerned. 



PU student battles for life after electrocution
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Live wires hanging from an electricity pole on the Panjab University campus almost cost a student her life tonight.

Earlier during the day, another student had a close shave after she received an electric shock from the same pole.

Heavy rainfall today exacerbated the situation by causing dampness in live wires.

More serious among the two is the first-year pharmacy student, Eva Rai, a resident of Kasturba hostel, who received shock around 8.30 pm after coming in contact with naked wires that, the hostellers said, had not been repaired for a long time.

Eva, who suffered repeated convulsions after stepping on the wires, was shifted to the emergency of Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16.

She was first discharged and brought back to the hostel where she could barely get on to her feet. Her condition worsened and had to be brought back to the emergency care.

Dr Deepti, a friend of Isha Sethi, Eva’s local guardian, who reached the hostel after learning about the accident, told Chandigarh Tribune that the wires were hanging “lethally” from the pole and there was no lighting in the street to make them visible.

“Hostellers told us that this is the third case in recent months. The pole is located near the entrance to Kasturba hall, between Kasturba and Sarojini hostels.

Eva, a resident of Rampur Bushair in Himachal Pradesh, is a fresher and was strolling in the area when she was electrocuted.



Officiating SSP goes soft on young couples
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
“Let youngsters enjoy” was the reply of UT officiating senior superintendent to police (SSP) Dinesh Bhatt when asked about youngsters indulging in obscene acts in parks.

He made the remark at a meeting with representatives of residents and market welfare associations at the police headquarters in Sector 9 this afternoon The meeting, which was organised by the police, lasted over two hours.

All deputy superintendents of police and the station house officers of the city police were present at the meeting.

Some senior citizens had pointed out the rising menace of public display of love by young couples, much to the chagrin of elderly persons and children accompanying them in the parks.

Dealing with the point with much ease, Bhatt said: “We should not impose emergency on the freedom of youngsters.”

Apprising the SSP of nuisance created by mushrooming paying guest accommodations in the city, the concerned representatives termed it a threat to the culture of the city, as they found it difficult to go to parks and other public places due to the objectionable activities of youngsters.

The residents rued that the traffic police had failed to check violations on internal roads, where young motorcyclists ran their machines at break-neck speed, making it vulnerable for others to venture out on the roads.

They also demanded strict enforcement of rules and regulations on those providing paying guest accommodations.

A specific case of Burail guest houses was raised by a resident, wherein rooms were being rented out to revellers on hourly basis without maintaining any record pf their credentials.

The senior police officials were urged to take concrete steps to curb the menace.

Similarly, residents of Sector 38 rued that youngsters who indulged in hooliganism had held their lives to ransom.

A senior citizen from Sector 35 said elderly persons had decided to act as vigilantes to tackle the problem. He asked the SSP to provide station constables at each park in the city during the morning and evening hours.



2 killed, 5 hurt in mishap

Ambala, August 11
A man and a woman were killed and five were injured in a road accident on the Ambala-Hisar road, near Ambala, today.

Eight persons were coming from Arunay temple located near Pehowa in an autorickshaw. The autorickshaw collided with a truck when it was near Saini Majra village.



Book to mark IMA’s platinum jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
To mark the Platinum Jubilee of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), a retired city-based officer is compiling a book detailing the academy’s history. The book, the first of its kind, is expected to be released in a few days.

The book, authored by Brig M.P. Singh (retd), will have eight chapters and include over 75 historic pictures of activities at the IMA and visits of dignitaries since its inception. A number of appendices include the text of speeches of the first commandant during the inaugural function in 1932 and of Viceroy Lord Willington during the colour presentation in 1934, a replica of the orders appointing the first batch of officers to the IMA and pre and post independence gallantry awardees.

Brigadier Singh is from the 27th Batch of the IMA and served as an instructor there on two occasions. Being head of the IMA’s academic department, he had an access to a lot of documents and information on the IMA’s history. He retired as Colonel Commandant of the Army Education Corps.

The book is divided into eight chapters and covers topics like officer training during the Raj, the formative years till World War-II, the most eventful years between 1946-1950, post emergency period, the era between 1971-1982 termed as triumph to jubilation and the present era.



Musical treat by Ghulam Sabir
S.D. Sharma
Chandigarh, August 11

The Pracheen Kala Kendra featured the noted Delhi gharana maestro,Ghulam Sabir Khan in a captivating Sham-e-Ghazal held at the Kendra auditorium here today. With his distinctive style of expressing the delicacy and fineness of feeling with musical dexterity Gulam Sabir impressed the audience by rendering all his ghazals.

The opening spell of Adim Hashmi's ghazal 'Toot jaye na bharam honth hilayoon kaise' in raga Kirwani established credentials of the Ustad while audience keenly relished poet Hali's classic creation 'Jab tak chirag-e-Ishq mein kuch roshni rahi.'

Ghulam Sabir concluded the programme with composition of Ahmed Faraz 'Zindgi mein to sabhi pyar kiya karte hain', immortalised by legendary Mehndi Hasan.

Well known musicians Ziauddin Khan on tabla, Rauf Khan on sarangi and Danish Ali was on violin supported Gulam Sabir Khan gave audience a musical treat. The chief guest, Krishna Bhanu, resident editor, Ajit Samachar, Shimla and Kendra director M.L. Koser honoured the artists.

Earlier in an interaction with the Chandigarh Tribune Ghulam Sabir Khan opined that 'ghazal gayaki' is not merely music but a passion. He lauded the keen interest the NRI's evinced in 'ghazal' recalling his performances in UK and Middle East countries way back in 1990. 



Jean Rodrigues visits Money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Lady Governor Jean Rodrigues today called upon Money, who was treated for rheumatic heart disease with severe mitral valve regurgitation (leakage) and moderate pulmonary artery hypertension at Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

Money is the daughter of a poor labourer residing at Fatehgarh Churian, Gurdaspur district, and the hospital had adopted her for free surgery when a report about her condition appeared in the columns of The Tribune.

The Lady Governor wished her early recovery, while presenting a basket of fruits.

Chandigarh Industrial Association president M.P.S. Chawla, who was also present, said the association had decided to bear the postoperative expenses of Money.

She will need to take blood thinners lifelong to prevent clot formation due to the presence of an artificial valve.



Four stabbed in attacks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Four persons were stabbed in two separate incidents at Hallo Majra on Friday night.

The police said all four victims sustained minor injuries and were taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, from where they were discharged later.

Police station-31 SHO Har Sahai Sharma said the first incident took place around 10.15 pm when Subash Yadav, who resides at the village, was waylaid by three persons near the poultry farm chowk.

In his complaint, Yadav said he was on his way back home from Industrial Area, Phase I, where he worked, when the attack took place.

The three, two of whom were unidentified, asked him to hand over the money he had on him. On refusal, one of the assailants stabbed him.

He parried the attack with his hand but received injuries on the hand and neck.

The assailants stabbed him again and fled.

The police said the victim was admitted to the hospital and a case under Sections 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC had been registered.

The victim told the police that he recognised one of the assailants.

The second incident took place around 12:15 am when Vijay Yadav of the same village was returning home along with his friends Bhupinder and Rajesh.

He was stopped by a man in an inebriated condition near sabzi mandi in Hallo Majra and was asked to hand over a knife.

On expressing his inability to do so, the man called over his two accomplices and they assaulted him. The complainant’s friends also joined the scuffle.

During the melee, the assailants stabbed the three and fled.

The police said the victims suffered minor injuries.

A case under Sections 324 and 34 of the IPC has been registered in this connection.

The SHO said the matter was under investigation and no arrest had been made so far.



Kinnow farmer turns author
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The muse for Khushwant Singh’s debut narrative “Sikhs Unlimited” was, interestingly, an onion crisis way back in 1997. While an article emanated from the crisis for a newspaper, which the author subsequently used to ‘market’ his writing skills, it was a call from his more famous namesake, the eminent scholar and writer Khushwant Singh, declaring how he had never grown vegetables before that made the writing bug bite! This is how Khushwant Singh, a kinnow farmer from the heartland of Punjab in Hoshiarpur and unlikely journalist, turned author.

Today, a decade later, his book “Sikhs Unlimited” was released in the city at the UT Guest House by Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal at a function attended by authors, authors-in-waiting, friends and family.

Badal said, “We both make a living selling kinnows, so I am really happy to see this book. The pen is a powerful instrument of change and I wish I was co-authoring it with him to be there in all those moments of adventure.”

The book maps the lives of 14 extraordinary Sikhs living abroad and is not the clichéd rags-to-riches tales. “These are not the people who have made big money or drive large cars. These are the people who have achieved through their talent, business acumen or sheer determination,” says Khushwant.

What is also interesting is that it also includes Westerners who have become Sikhs as a “way of bringing the Eastern and Western Sikhs together and accepting them into the mainstream,” avers the author.

But, what really appeals to Khushwant is that each of these lives appealed to his heart and that is why they have made it to the book. This is something that even Badal spoke eloquently of.

“Sikhs Unlimited”, however, is no pontificating tale. As Neel Kamal Puri, author of “Patiala Quartet” who introduced the book, said: “It is a biography and travelogue which allows the author to make first person observations not just of a world left behind but of a new world emerging.”

Interspersed with “robust Punjabi humour” the book makes for a lively travelogue, which he likes to refer to in private as “from London to LA” (spoofing on film-maker Gurinder Chaddha’s “Bride and Prejudice”, which when translated to Hindi was called, “Balle Balle from Amritsar to LA”!)



Constable killed in accident

Chandigarh, August 11
In a hit-and-run case, a Chandigarh Police constable, Tarlochan Singh, lost his life after he was hit by an unidentified vehicle on the road separating Sector 31 and Industrial Area, near Kanthala Sahib Gurdwara, last night.

He was in his late 40s. He had been posted at the police station-31 around two months ago.

According to the police, the accident took place around 10.15 pm when he was returning home in Daria village on a motor cycle.

When he reached near the gurdwara, a vehicle coming from the opposite side collided head-on with the motor cycle. He suffered multiple injuries, including a severe head injury, in the accident.

He was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where he was declared brought dead. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. — TNS



Awareness can prevent cyber crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A symposium on Cyber Security, organised by CII Chandigarh State Council, reinforced the need of a comprehensive and visionary legislation to deal with cyber crime. The symposium attempted to establish a dialogue between crime-fighting agencies, the security industry, and experts.

Addressing the gathering, chief guest S.K. Sandhu, secretary, Finance and Information Technology, Chandigarh Administration, said, "We are witnessing a metamorphosis in the way extended business dominions are built, or sustained.” Dr Vijay Gupta director, Punjab Engineering College, while deliberating on the subject, said "By proactively educating everyone about cyber security, and the laws governing the attacks, nation's vulnerabilities on the internet will be lowered down which will in turn lower our collective risk."



‘Surrogate advertising influences young brains’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Surrogate advertising is corrupting the impressionable young minds in the country which needs to be restricted, felt the professionals at the panel discussion held at the Chandigarh Press Club here today.

The panelists included Pallav Mukherjee, municipal councillor, Hemant Goswami, president of the Burning Brain Society, Capt Balwant Gurunay, a management trainer, and Renuka Salwan, chairperson of Chandigarh unit of the Public Relations Society of India(PRSI).

The speakers pointed out that 57 per cent of the population of India was under 25 years of age which was most impressionable and the liquor and cigarette manufacturers in the country were resorting to irresponsible advertising to influence young brains, that is contributing to the increased consumption of liquor in the country.

Goswami underlined the need to de-glamorise the consumption of liquor and tobacco in the country by putting a ban on surrogate advertising.

Mukherjee pointed out the inadequacies of the system to curb surrogate advertising and asked for people's participation in bringing about the positive change in the society. "We as citizens abdicate our responsibilities and do not care for the happenings around us", he lamented.

Senior journalist Gobind Thukral asked the media to be responsible and stop publishing such advertising and refuse the bashes thrown by the liquor companies, which were receiving better coverage than the developmental stories in the newspapers. 



Diarrhoea deaths MC president’s resignation sought
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 11
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Jasjit Singh has demanded the resignation of president of the Mohali Municipal Council, Rajinder Singh Rana, for his alleged failure in providing sanitary conditions in the Shahimajra village, which resulted in the death of two siblings there.

Jasjit Singh, while visiting the village, said the conditions of the village were insanitary and the drinking water there was unsafe for consumption.

He said children had died due to diarrhoea at Madanpur village also but the council had failed to get its act together even after that.

He said the council president could have taken the steps to get Shahimajra and other villages cleaned after those diarrhoea deaths but he did not take responsibility.

The sanitation contractor was given a warning to clean the area in two days after the village lost two children. He said if timely action was not taken the disease might spread to other areas as well. He said he would try to persuade the government to give compensation to the family which had lost two children. 



Setback for BJP as district chief resigns
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
The already divided local unit of the BJP suffered yet another setback with district unit chief Ravinder Sehgal resigning from his post.

Sources said he announced his decision to quit as president on grounds that local leaders were not cooperating with him.

He announced his decision to quit as president at a meeting of the district unit held in the presence of state unit leaders of the party and co-in charge, Haryana affairs, Harjeet Singh Grewal. The resignation, addressed to president of the Haryana BJP unit Atam Prakash Manchanda, was handed over to party secretary Kanwar Pal late last evening.

When contacted, Sehgal said he had resigned since the members of the local unit at all levels had refused to cooperate with him.

“I will give a detailed statement after my resignation is accepted,” he said.

Though it is not known whether his resignation will be accepted or rejected by the party high, the matter has brought the division within the unit right back under the spotlight.

Only last month, the top brass of the state unit had claimed to have resolved the differences within the district unit by revoking all suspensions for creating indiscipline.

Sehgal was suspended for indiscipline and served a show-cause notice on why he should not be expelled from the party. The notice was issued because Sehgal had allegedly violated the constitution of the BJP and its conventions and expelled media in charge Varinder Garg for six years. He had also unauthorisedly dissolved the local unit of the party.

Also, the notice had added that instead of resolving differences with the party high command in the state, Sehgal had gone to the media with his statements which had lowered the prestige of the party. 



Rain acts spoilsport at dance fest
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 11
The three-day Hayanvi folk dances festival and competitions being organised by the Harayna Kala Parishad opened to a mundane start at the Indradahnush auditorium here today. The incessant rains played the spoilsport leading to many teams withdrawing from participation, which invariably resulted in the late start of the event by over two hours.

Against the fifteen teams scheduled for competition from Hissar and Gurgaon zones for today only seven could make it to the venue, disclosed Usha Sharma, director Harayna Kala Parishad. The finalists would be chosen from all the four zones covering the state after teams from Ambala and Rohtak. As many as 32 teams from the state with dancers between the age group of 15 to 25 years are likely to participate in the state level folk dance competition, she added. The final winners would perform at a function to be held at the Indradhanush on August 13. The chief guest, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, will honour the winners of state and zonal level competitions. The respective top winners will be awarded Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50, 000 while winners in zonal level will get Rs 25,000 as consolation prizes.



Labourer electrocuted

Chandigarh, August 11
Sonu, a 22-year-old labourer, was electrocuted at Hallo Majra village, here this afternoon. The police said the victim was scrubbing floor with an electric machine when he the accident occurred.

Sources at the police station-31 said Sonu’s shoes were wet due to rain. He was electrocuted as soon as he turned on the machine.

He was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, but was declared dead there. — TNS



City Beautiful losing sheen

It was on October 1,1953 when City Beautiful was born. At that time UT administration was the in-charge for the development of city beautiful and it did good work.

It was a bad day when an Ordinance was passed in 1994 and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was born on May 24, 1994. It started working from May 19, 2005. Since then the cleanliness, roads, greenery, slums, rainwater has deteriorated and the city is no longer beautiful.

I have observed that the system is not successful even after a decade. In my opinion this system should be scrapped. In fact I strongly feel that there is no need of M.C. and we should go back to 1995 system I.E.

If we want to get back the status and development of the city then UT administration should look into all the matters. Only administration should run the show.

G.K. Chopra, Chandigarh

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




City resident held for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A Sector 22 resident was arrested yesterday on charges of duping a Shimla resident on the pretext of sending him abroad.

Sources in the economic offence wing of the police said Bhagwan Dass of Shimla had reported to the police that Deepak Arora had taken Rs 5.81 lakh from him for sending him to the UK. He said neither did he send abroad nor return the money.

The police has arrested the accused from his residence. A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered.

Case registered

Naveen Sharma of Sector 21, Panchkula, has lodged a complaint that Sanjeev Sharma of Sector 34-based DBS Finance had purchased a truck from him for Rs 5.50 lakh. He paid Rs 55,000 to him and took the possession of the truck. Thereafter, Sharma did not pay the amount outstanding against him. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

Leela Kumar of Phase III, B-2, Mohali, reported that his Maruti car (KA-05-Z-8216) was stolen from Sector 8 on Friday. In another incident, Gurnam Singh of Burail village filed a complaint that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (CH-23-F-6940) was stolen from his residence on August 4.


Dharam Pal Garg of Sector 42 reported that a miscreant snatched his gold chain near SD Mandir, Sector 42, on Friday. A case has been registered.

Four booked

The police has booked Sanjay of Mauli Complex along with his three accomplices for allegedly attempting to outrage the modesty of a girl of the same locality on Friday. A case under Sections 341, 354, 509 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.



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