P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



City Centre Scam
Sandhu, another lawyer took  Rs 3 crore: VB
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
The Vigilance Bureau today claimed before a local court that former Additional Advocate-General Harpreet Sandhu and R S Gill, a senior lawyer of Jalandhar, had received kickbacks of Rs 3 crore from G K Gambhir, managing director of Today Homes, to ensure the allotment of the City Centre project to their company.

R S Gill is the son-in-law of senior lawyer Harbhajan Singh Sandhu, who was appointed special public prosecutor by the previous regime to handle the disproportionate assets case against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Meanwhile, duty magistrate Randhir Verma remanded the accused in police custody till October 2. The special public prosecutors of the Vigilance Bureau, M L Solanki and Sukhchain Singh, had sought the police remand for 10 days.

The Vigilance Bureau named IPS officer A S Rai during the arguments for the police remand of accused, alleging that he was a close friend of Sandhu and Richi (son-in-law of Capt Amarinder Singh) and that he had also accompanied them to Delhi in connection with a case.

They pleaded that they wanted to know the details of the money pertaining to Capt Amarinder Singh, sent by the accsued to foreign countries through hawala transactions. They said the accused had been present at several important meetings during the finalisation of the City Centre project on behalf of Capt Amarinder Singh.

Special public prosecutors claimed that at a meeting held at Park Plaza on May 10, 2005, the accused was present when the tenders were illegally opened in the presence of the then local bodies minister, Chowdhary Jagjit Singh. Thereafter, fresh bid of Today Homes was prepared to get them the project.

The defence counsel alleged the accused was given third-degree torture and harassed a lot. He was picked up from his house at 1.30 pm. Even his wife, who was at an advanceed stage of pregnancy, was not allowed to meet him nor was she told the reasons for arresting her husband. It was a sheer case of political vendetta, alleged the defence counsel. The judge declined the request of the defence counsel to remain present during the interrogation of the accused. However, he allowed him to meet his client twice a day and also allowed his wife to meet him once a day. 


Nari Shakti ransacks daily offices
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, September 29
Women belonging to the Nari Shakti Jagriti Samiti, reportedly connected with the Nurmahal-based Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, ransacked the local office of a Mohali-based Punjabi newspaper, Spokesman, today. They also allegedly manhandled one of its stringer present at the office at that time.
The “Spokesman” office that was ransacked by a mob in Ludhiana
The “Spokesman” office that was ransacked by a mob in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

The women, led by its district president Gurwinder Kaur, broke a computer, table, chairs and window panes in the one-room office of the newspaper at Nirmal Complex near Namdev Chowk. They were protesting against the publication of a news-item which appeared in its edition in which a former driver of the sansthan had levelled serious allegations against its chief.

The assailants also manhandled stringer Tarlok Singh Khalsa, alleged staff reporter of the newspaper Ravinder Singh Laadi.

A large number of police personnel led by DSP Mukhwinder Singh reached the spot but they did not arrest anyone. He said they thought the women were only blocking the road but later they came to know that they had also broken items lying in the office. He said an FIR under relevant sections was being registered against them at the police station concerned.

The paper had published a wrong report pertaining to a complaint against the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, which had already been inquired
into and found baseless

— Gurmeet Kaur, 
NGO head

Gurwinder alleged that they had gone to the office just to lodge their protest.

Denying any direct connection of her samiti with the sansthan, she alleged that a person present in the newspaper office pulled their duppattas and that person himself broke the items lying in the office just to implicate them.

On the other hand Mukhwinder Singh said no woman protester had lodged such a complaint.

Patiala: Followers of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan today ransacked the office of a vernacular daily, Spokesman, here. They were protesting against a news in the said newspaper.

About 70 to 80 women followers of the sect came to the local office of the newspaper located at Chhoti Baradari, which houses offices of almost all major newspapers, in four Sumo vehicles at about 2.30 pm. Most of them were armed with lathis. They raised slogans against the paper and starting breaking the equipment.

The reporter of the newspaper was not present at that time. However, the peon attending the office had to run to save himself. A few women chased him, but he escaped.

The protesters burnt these in the corridors of the office complex.

Thirtyfour protesters, including 32 females, were arrested. The protesters also tried to attack other journalists who tried to question their action.

Gurkirpa Nand, coordinator of the sansthan, justified the attack. He said the newspaper had published a news report in which it had been alleged that about 5,000 sadhvis were not being allowed to meet their parents. Today’s attack was carried out by parents of the sadhvis. The police has registered a case.

Meanwhile, the Press Club here has condemned the attack.

Ludhiana: A mob comprising nearly 150 persons, mostly women, attacked and ransacked the sub-office of a Punjabi daily, “Spokesman”, at Gurdev Nagar this afternoon. The attack was in retaliation to a news item published today about Ashutosh Maharaj of the Noormahal-based Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan. 

The women belonging to Nari Jagriti Sansthan, an NGO, pelted stones, broke windowpanes and damaged furniture. They also allegedly attacked a peon present in the office. 

A complaint has been lodged with the police. Six women, including Gurmeet Kaur, head of the NGO, have been arrested. 

Harjit Arora, the city head of the newspaper, said the protesters first staged a dharna and raised slogans against the newspaper. 

They later turned violent without any provocation and damaged the office, furniture and equipment. 

Gurmeet Kaur claimed they damaged the office only after someone threw a brick at them. She alleged that the newspaper had published a wrong report and NGO activists had gone to seek an apology.

She claimed the news pertained to a complaint against the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan which had already been inquired into and found false.

She threatened to intensify the agitation if no apology was made.


Badal promises uninterrupted power supply
Prabhjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Muktsar/Lambi, September 29
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal today distributed cheques among panchayats and youth and sports clubs in Muktsar district and assured residents of the area that the state government would soon cover the entire state with uninterrupted power supply and extend the irrigation canal system to dry regions.

While the Chief Minister distributed cheques worth Rs 75 lakh to eight village panchayats of the Lambi constituency, Sukhbir gave away cheques worth Rs 31,000 each to 47 sports and youth clubs of the district at a public function in Muktsar.

Addressing the gatherings during his tour of Lambi, the Chief Minister said projects to feed the 4 lakh acres of dry region in Muktsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Moga and Mansa districts with the irrigation canal water had already been taken up by the state administration, with which the drinking water conditions of these areas would also improve.

He said the Rs 1,280-crore World Bank project for potable water in the Malwa region was also in the offing.

Besides residents of Badal village, the Chief Minister also met residents of Killianwali, Lohara, Kamhiara, Wadinkhera, Mithri and Singhewala villages.

Faridkot MP Sukhbir Badal was accompanied by information and public relations minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia, who is also his brother-in-law, and wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal.


PRTC to introduce 150 AC buses
Tribune News Service

Patiala September 29
The Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) is all set to cater the high-end customer of public transport. The corporation is inviting offers for 150 air-conditioned buses in the kilometre scheme on its various routes in the state.

Managing director of the corporation Manvesh Singh Sidhu gave this information while talking to The Tribune here today.

He said offers were being invited for two categories of buses. These included 125 simple air-conditioned buses. These buses would have cooling and heating facilities. The fare was proposed to be just 10 per cent higher than the 
ordinary buses.

The remaining 25 buses would be integrated air-conditioned coaches.

Private investors have been asked to submit their offers for investing in said categories of buses. They have been asked to offer the per kilometre amount they would charge from the corporation. The buses under the kilometre scheme would ply on PRTC permits.The owners of the buses would just get per kilometre charges. In lieu of that they would have to employ a driver. The ticket collectors would be from the PRTC.

The MD said these buses were being introduced to give competition to private buses plying illegally. Besides, the initial results of introducing buses by the corporation have shown positive results.

Sources said besides Pepsu roadways, Punjab Roadways also planned to introduce 150 air-conditioned buses under the kilometre scheme.


Landran Brawl
Victim’s mother blames it on college
Tribune News Service

Kharar, September 29
The mother of a student who received injuries during a brawl between two groups of students at Chandigarh Engineering College (CEC), Landran, today accused the college management of showing incompetence in maintaining law and order on the campus.

Reeta Sharma, mother of Jatinder Rishi — student of electrical engineering (semester V) — undergoing treatment at a Mohali hospital, alleged that the college management had not succeeded in providing security cover to students.

She alleged that the accused had been involved in criminal activities in the past as well and that the college had done little to check that. Instead, it had merely placed the accused under suspension.

“We send our children to study in a secure atmosphere and not be victim of violence. The college management needs to take strict measures and rusticate the students involved,” she demanded.

Questioning the college’s control over students, she questioned the presence of outsiders with lethal weapons on the college premises.

Rishi, a resident of Moga, today underwent plastic surgery on both hands. He was later moved from the ICU to the general ward.

Meanwhile, college chairman Satnam Singh Sandhu said the college had spent Rs 1 lakh on Rishi’s treatment and was committed to bringing errant students to justice.

He added that vigil was being kept on outsiders visiting the college campus. However, he added, the college was busy celebrating World Tourism Day the day the incident happened.

He said the college was not responsible for students involved in criminal activities outside of the campus.

“Though we have received complaints and acted accordingly, this was their (accused) first criminal act on the campus,” he said.

The police has dispatched teams to Fazilka, Abohar and Bathinda to nab the accused, said Kharar DSP Joginderpal Singh.


All set for truck movement across border
Our Correspondent

Attari, September 29
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will flag off the first convoy of trucks carrying goods to Pakistan on October 1. It is learnt that Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will inaugurate the customs complex on the other side of the border and receive the first consignment.

Enthused by this initiative by the two sides, traders here are trying to get more and more items, including the the non tariff ones, in the list to enhance trade between the two countries.

Rajdeep Uppal, a leading exporter, said at present India was exporting perishable items, including tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, livestock and meat, to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore annually and it was expected that the quantum of trade would double in the next one year in view of the changed economic scenario across the region.

He said their counterparts in Pakistan had shown keen interest to import cotton and sugar from India and were pinning hope to export cement to meet the rising demand in India.

Deputy Commissioner K.S. Pannu and SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, along with senior officers of the BSF and Customs, today reviewed the arrangements for ferrying goods on October 1.


SAD (A) opposes Dal Khalsa demand

Amritsar, September 29
Taking exception to the Dal Khalsa’s demand for setting up a “truth commission” to unearth the policy of prosecution carried out by the Punjab police using “cats”, the Shiromali Akali Dal (Amritsar) today said that such a commission could eventually lead to the “forgive and forget” policy and crimes committed by those found guilty could be ignored.

Addressing a press conference, Bhai Ram Singh, general secretary, SAD (Amritsar), said the demand for the “truth commission” was baseless and would not achieve the objective of delivering justice. — TNS


Ex-MLA’s family living in penury
SAD claims fall flat
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Phuli (Bathinda), September 29
The present leadership of the SAD will hate to listen or read this. This story appears to make all tall claims being made by SAD leaders regarding party workers and leaders fall flat.

The family of late Hardit Singh Phuli, who remained a SAD MLA thrice (1962, 1967 and 1969), SGPC member for 36 continuous years and chairman of the market committee of Bhucho Mandi once, has been living in penury. The family of Hardit Singh, who was an MLA from Nathana and Pakka Kalan Assembly segments, reportedly got no support from successive Akali governments.

The two grandsons of Hardit Singh, who spent a major part of his life in various jails in various morchas, including the Punjabi Suba Morcha launched by the then Akali leadership, have virtually been forced to do menial jobs to feed their families. Balbir Singh, the only son of Hardit Singh, died after prolonged illness as the family did not have enough money to provide him medical care.

While the elder grandson, Bhola Singh, who got his hip fractured in a road accident, has been earning little money selling candies, the younger grandson, Beant Singh, who suffered an electric shock that made him physically weak, used to transport goods from one place to other on a cart to keep the kitchen fires burning. The son of Bhola Singh is working as a labourer as the family could not arrange enough money for his education.

Residents say Hardit Singh had contributed a lot in the religious activities in this region as he was a close associate of Sant Fathe Singh, architect of the Punjabi Suba Morcha, and Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

Chitan Kaur and Balbir Kaur, both daughters of the late leader, said they never imagined that their family would be given such a treatment by people concerned.

Interestingly, Beant Singh and Bhola Singh said despite all this they would remain with the SAD.

Sikander Singh Malooka, president, district unit, SAD, Bathinda, said whenever the family approached him for any help, they were provided the same. He declined to comment on the fact that why the successive Akali government could not help the family.


Amarinder flays arrest of Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 29
Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today flayed the arrest of former additional advocate general Harpreet Sandhu by the Vigilance Bureau.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone, the former Chief Minister said it was for the first time that a counsel had been held for helping a client. If things continued the same way no lawyer would dare represent a victim of political vendetta in the court. The arrest of former additional advocate general was an attack on the freedom of lawyers to protect their clients.

Harpreet Sandhu might have given legal advice to his son in certain cases. However, he had not committed any illegal act in doing so.

Sukhbir Badal had crossed all limits to settle political scores with him. Instead of attacking him he was arresting his officers and subjecting them to torture. After the former DGP of the state, they vigilance had arrested a senior legal officer, he alleged.

While the former additional advocate general was arrested yesterday, his alleged confessions had already been leaked to the media.

It was obvious from the reported confessions of Sandhu that these were cooked up by the vigilance. Now Sandhu would be tortured to accept the confessions as his own.

Reacting to reported allegations that he had invested in property in Dubai, the former Chief Minister said he was willing to transfer the alleged property in Dubai in the name of Prakash Singh Badal if the vigilance found any proof in this regard.


No threat to Centre from Left: Ashwani

Hoshiarpur, September 29
There is no threat to the UPA government from the Left parties and it will complete its tenure. However, the Congress is fully prepared to face the mid-term poll of the 
Lok Sabha.

Union minister of state for industry Ashwani Kumar said this while talking to mediapersons at Mukerian, 52 km from here, yesterday afternoon.

Former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Dr Kewal Krishan, secretary of PPCC Sukhdev Singh and other local Congress leaders were present during the press conference. — OC


Bittu calls meeting on November 30

Jalandhar, September 29
Split in the SAD (A) is imminent with Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu raising the banner of revolt by convening a meeting of party workers and leaders on November 30 at Alamgir Sahib against the alleged autocratic functioning of president Simranjit Singh Mann.

Bittu told reporters here today their party was representative of the sentiments of the Sikh nation and the pride of people of Punjab. No individual could lay sole claim to the party, he pointed out.

On whether Mann would attend the meeting, he said they were extending an open invitation to all like-minded people and parties. — TNS


Tribune Impact
Sexual harassment case
TB sanatorium supdt divested of charge
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 29
Taking a serious view of sexual harassment charge against the superintendent T B sanatorium by a womanclerk, director research and medical education (DRME) Dr J. S. Dalal, taking disciplinary action has relieved Satnam Singh (superintendent) from his official duties.

The DRME directed the superintendent to contact the director, Health Services, Punjab, for his posting.

Indu Bala,a clerk, in a complaint to the deputy medical superintendent had alleged that on July 4, the superintendent had come to the office drunk and started teasing her besides pulling her ‘dupatta’. The inquiry committee set up by the deputy medical superintendent indicted him and recommended action against him. A report was published in these columns in this regard.

However, Satnam Singh, a handicapped person, had termed the allegations baseless and claimed that he was a victim of departmental politics. He alleged it was pre-planned as he had refused to oblige Indu Bala in allotting a residential quarter to her as it was against the norms.

Further, he had alleged that she used to remain absent from office and arrive late in the office.

Meanwhile, the DRME in a letter, a copy of which is with The Tribune, asked the TB hospital authorities to send the chargesheet against the superintendent .


Play marks centenary celebrations at Narli
Sanjay Bumbroo and P.K. Jaiswar

Narli (Tarn Taran), September 29
There was need to acknowledge common heroes of both Punjabs. Madiha Gauhar, director, Ajoka Theatre Group from Lahore, said this at a special light and sound function held here this evening to mark the birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It was organised by Springdale Public School and Punjarjyot, an NGO.

Gauhar said religious symbolism should not be important for the people of India and Pakistan and should be kept as a private affair as it was being exploited by politicians and religious fundamentalists for their selfish interests. She said there was need to adopt the philosophy of the martyr, who wanted to spread the message of secularism. She said there was a keen desire among the people of Pakistan to adopt the ideology of Bhagat Singh. She said a state-level function was organised in Lahore in which Governor of Punjab (Pak) had participated.

Meanwhile, hundreds of pigions were released by residents of the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh. Students of the local school presented bhangra and raised slogans like ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. “Kuknoos Bhagat Singh” was staged in the evening.

In the evening 25,000 candles were lit by residents of the village atop their houses.

Rattan Singh Ajnala, MP, Virsa Singh Valtoha, MLA, Jagmeet Singh Brar, Surjit Singh Kohli, brother of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jagmohan, nephew of Bhagat Singh, Abey Singh, Kiranjit Singh, Inderjit Tejpal and Amarjit Tejpal, father and uncle of Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka fame, were among those present on the occasion.


Website on martyr soon

Amritsar, September 29
Political leaders failed to carry forward the ideology of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. This was stated by a close relative of the martyr, Abhay Singh Sandhu, son of younger brother of Bhagat Singh, while expressing gratitude to both Central and state governments for celebrating the birth centenary.

He said a website on Bhagat Singh was almost complete and would be launched soon. — TNS


Granthi killed, road blocked in protest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 29
Many people along with family members of an accident victim, who was run over by a private bus today blocked traffic on the Amritsar-Pathankot road near Sheikhpur Kalan village near Jaintipur here.

They were protesting against the police for not taking any action against the bus driver who fled with the bus (PB-06-2878) from the spot.

When family members informed the Jaintipur police it expressed inability to take any action as the area did not fall in their jurisdiction and when they approached Sheikhpura police chowki it asked them to bring the body to the police station. Annoyed over the police attitude the people blocked the road and raised slogans against the police and the government.

Iqbal Singh, SSP, Amritsar ( Rural), could not be contacted despite attempts.

According to eyewitnesses the mishap occurred at 11 am when Jaimal Singh, a granthi of a village gurdwara was standing on the roadside along with a bicycle when a bus coming from Batala side crushed him to death. However, neither the police bothered to lift the body nor informed the family members of the deceased.

Though the incident had occurred on 11am, no senior police officer had reached the site of incident till 4 pm.

The peopled had not lifted the dharna till the filing of report.


Govt to launch Mai Bhago scheme
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 29
The Punjab Cooperative Department will launch Mai Bhago, women empowerment scheme, next month. Under the scheme, societies will be formed at the village level and women will be provided opportunities for self-employment, paving the way for their economic consolidation.

Minister for cooperation Capt Kanwaljit Singh stated this while talking to reporters here today. He was here to attend a function organised by Begumpur Mission, Punjab, to honour him.

The minister said the Cooperative Department would provide maximum opportunities to the women to produce various household articles. Marketing of the articles would be done by the department under the name Pride.

An organisation would be set up at the national level, which would ensure their sale throughout the country. Efforts would also be made to export the product initially to the neighbouring countries.

The department would provide technical assistance and training to the societies formed for the purpose.

The department would follow the modern marketing pattern for all the items to increase their demand in the market. He lamented that though 33 per cent seats were reserved for women in zila parishads, panchayats and other institutions, their real power was used by men.


Violation of SC Order
IMA to move court against Punjab Police
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 29
Perturbed by the increasing number of criminal cases being registered against doctors in the state without following the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, the Punjab branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to file a contempt petition against the Punjab Police in the apex court.

In an order that were passed in August 2005, the Supreme Court had made it clear that no case should be registered against any doctor without seeking an opinion from a competent medical board. The court had stated, “An investigating officer could not be supposed to have knowledge of medical science and thus he should not proceed against the doctor till the negligence is established by a medical board.”

Chairman of the Legal Cell of IMA Dr O.P.S Kande said that in the recent past a large number of cases were registered against doctors in gross violation of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court.

He said though in most the cases the accused were acquitted, the loss of reputation, which the doctors suffered, could not be undone by any means. He said the Supreme Court had asked the state government to adopt procedures that should be followed before registering a criminal case against a doctor for negligence. However, till date no such procedures have been adopted by the state, claimed Dr Kande.

The Supreme Court had stated that till such procedures are framed and adopted by the state government, the guidelines laid down by the apex court should be followed.

Dr Kande said that the IMA has already sought information for the state Home Department regarding the number of cases registered against doctors in the state in the last couple of years and in how many cases opinion from a competent medical board was sought before initiating action against the doctor. Following this the IMA would file a contempt petition in the SC. The IMA is likely to seek action against the five SSPs under whom such cases were registered.

Dr Kande said in 2004 the then DGP Dr A.A. Siddiqui had formed committees in every district, which were to be consulted before registering a case against any doctor. Dr Kande, who is also a member of one such committee in Patiala, said that till date not even a single case concerning doctors was referred to these committees.

Dr Kande also defended the three doctors of the Khanna Nursing Home who had recently been booked by the police on charges of negligence. He said though the police had sought report from a medical board in this case they registered a case and placed the doctors under arrest but even the report was submitted. He said that this was a violation of the court order. 


Raids uncover 47 cases of power theft
Tribune News Service

Kharar, September 29
A team of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) conducted raids on nearby villages and detected a large number of power theft cases.

A team comprising SDO Morinda Jaspal Singh, SDO Kharar Harbans Singh, SDO Kurali and Majra Sanjeev Gupta and additional SDO Mahinderpal Singh detected 47 cases of power theft.

The team raided houses at Gharuan, Sacrolapur, Sil, Himmatpura, Rattangarh, Kalheri, Jhanjheri, Gabbe Majra, Rattanheri, Nangal, Hassanpura and Baroli villages around 4 am.

A majority of violators had either bypassed electricity meters or installed magnets to stop them.


6 held for land grab attempt
Tribune News Service

Kharar, September 29
Six persons were arrested for forcibly taking over 10 acres of common land in Nayagoan today. The police also recovered seven weapons, including pistols and rifles, and three vehicles from those arrested.

The incident took place at around afternoon when some persons reached the village and started ploughing 10 acres of common village land. Villagers objected to this and gathered in large numbers. The accused claimed ownership of the land and said they had come to plough their area.

The police arrested six persons, including builder Jasbir Singh Sandhu, Rattan Singh, Balbir Singh, Jaspal Singh and Jeet Singh residents of villages of Amritsar district and Harjeet Singh, resident of Tarn Taran.

The SHO of Nayagaon police station, Gurjeet Singh said the disputed land is registered under khasra number 252 with the land record-keeping department. 


2 groups formed on education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Punjab Government has set up two groups for improving the standard of education in the state. Both groups have been asked to submit their reports in two months.

The first group will be headed by Suresh Kumar, principal secretary, Irrigation and Power Department. Other members of this group are: Rakesh Verma, Vikas Partap, Rahul Bhandari, Krishan Kumar, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh and Tej Partap. This group has been asked to prepare a blueprint for implementing the recommendations of the national knowledge commission.

The second group will be headed by Kusumjit Sidhu, fianancial commissioner, Cooperation. Others members of this group are: K.B.S. Sidhu, Anjali Bhawra, Satish Chandra, Seema Jain and Jaspreet Talwar.

This group has been asked to examine teaching in schools and colleges, especially in English. The group has also been asked to examine the access of students to higher education.


Patiala students participate in NASA contest
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 29
Two students of DAV Public School, Patiala, Jaskerat Singh Batra and Pulkit Sachdeva, represented Asia in International Space Settlement design competition organised by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the USA.
Jaskerat Singh Batra and Pulkit Sachdeva, who represented Asia at NASA’s space settlement design contest
Jaskerat Singh Batra and Pulkit Sachdeva, who represented Asia at NASA’s space settlement design contest. A Tribune photograph

The students said their senior Dhruv Kalia, now a student of engineering, informed them about the competition.

They designed a conceptual human habitation having scientific basis on an asteroid revolving between planets Mars and Jupiter.

The concept was named as Cassandras. It basic structure had all the features like cylinder, torus, feedline and engine that were necessary basics for habitation in space.

The 24-page presentation made detailed elaboration of how the processes of food acquisition, production, harvesting and storage would be carried out. The students proposed to grow food in space using the ultramodern hydroponics (technique of growing plants in water without the use of soil) tube culture.

Specially designed bicycles were proposed as mode of personal transport and magnetic levitation trains as mode of transport between various capsules of the space settlement.

Gas turbine modular helium reactor and lithium polymer batteries were proposed as sources of power.

The power sources would be used for creating 14-hour days and 10-hour nights in the proposed settlement. In agriculture chambers it was proposed that a 24-hour day would be maintained for better production.

The concept designed by the students stood first in the preliminary rounds on the basis of which they were made a part of team named Gauba aerospace that made the presentation in NASA contest.

The students said that participation in the competition had exposed them to latest scientific developments in the field of space science.

The principal of the school S.R. Prabhakar said that the DAV management has allowed the students to express their ideas freely in such competitions. The idea of the school is to allow creativity of the students to grow.


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