C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


DGP: No need for media passes
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 7
The Mohali police has refused to issue passes to mediapersons for covering the Indo-Pakistan ODI match at the PCA Stadium tomorrow for no apparent reason.

The DGP, N.P.S. Aulakh, said: “Journalists have no reason to be present outside the stadium before the match begins tomorrow. And for tomorrow we will see what we have to do.”

Coverage passes are issued to the local press by the Mohali police during international matches to cover the action outside the stadium on the day of the match and preparations before the match. Since the security arrangement are with the the Mohali police, these passes allow the journalists to move freely between outer barricades. However, these do not allow journalists to enter the stadium for which separate passes are issued by the PCA.

The DGP maintained that journalists had no justification in trying to get near the stadium. To a query what if there is a lathi charge outside the stadium, he replied : “We will ensure there is no such thing.”

“If we allow mediapersons, the place will be full of cameramen. Besides, it is not the job of the police to issue passes. The public relations department can do that,” he said.

When told the police had issued passes during the ICC Champions Tournament, the DGP said: “I was not the DGP during the last match. You can show the last year’s pass to the IG. He can take a decision.”

Members of the journalists’ association of the district have brought the matter to the notice of the media adviser, who has said he will look into the matter.

The SSP of Mohali, RS Khatra, could not be contacted. IG (Patiala Range) M.K. Tewari said he would look into the matter.

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All set for Mohali match
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 7
Elaborate arrangements are in place for the one- day international between India and Pakistan to be held at the PCA stadium in Mohali on November 8.

The match would begin at 2pm and go on till 11pm. Parking and seating arrangements are coordinated based on the ticket bought by the spectator. Route diversions have also been planned as the entry and eating arrangements.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

In case of any emergency during the match either contact the policeman on duty or dial police helpline numbers 5027444, 5027555 and 5027666 between 2pm to 11pm on November 7.

In case of any other emergency call police control room 100 and 5044631-35.

NOT ALLOWED INSIDE THE STADIUM

  • Mobile phones
  • Bags
  • Mirrors
  • Any weapon
  • Eatables
  • Water bottles
  • Inflammable material
  • Any other material that can be used as a missile.

SEATING AND PARKING ARRANGEMENT

Seating area Entry gate Parking area
Corporate Boxes Level 1 No. 1B Inside sports complex
Corporate Boxes Level 2 No. 1B -do-
AC Lounge No. 1A   -do-
Pavillion Terrace No. 1C -do-
PCC members block No. 14 Market area Phase 10
VIP Block No. 5 Inside sports complex
Chair Block No. 6 In park opp. Hotel Majestic
Student Block No. 7 In park behind stadium
Chair Block No. 12 Near octroi Guru Nanak chownk
Student Block No. 11   -do-
North Pavilion No. 9 In park behind stadium

Graphic: Entry & Seating Plan

ROUTE DIVERSION

  • Road opposite PCA stadium would be blocked completely

  • Commuters coming from Phase VIII would be diverted to the NIPER road to enter Phase 9, 10 and 11 and beyond

  • Commuters coming from Chandigarh towards the stadium road would be diverted from the Guru Nanak chowk towards the Sectors 48-49 chowk from where entry into Mohali would be through phase 11

  • Road opposite PCA stadium would be blocked completely

  • Commuters coming from Phase VIII would be diverted to the NIPER road to enter Phase 9, 10 and 11 and beyond

  • Commuters coming from Chandigarh towards the stadium road would be diverted from the Guru Nanak chowk towards the Sectors 48-49 chowk from where entry into Mohali would be through phase 11.

Graphic: Route Diversion

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Sania charmed by Shoaib Akhtar
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Sania Mirza Chandigarh, November 7
“Chandigarh has great potential to become a vibrant nursery for tennis in the country. The infrastructure at Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) has been improved tremendously”, opined tennis sensation Sania Mirza, who is in town along with her father Imran Mirza to watch the high-profile India-Pakistan cricket match at PCA tomorrow.

Sania has a strong connection with the CLTA complex. For it is on one of the courts here that she won the first National Under-18 Tennis Tournament in 2001.

Sania took stock of the infrastructure at CLTA and met the young players of the academy. While visiting the rural wing of the academy, Sania opined that these programmes helped the players from humble backgrounds to have exposure.

She had a word of advice for the parents too. “There is a very fine line between academics and sports. Both are important ingredients for the overall development of the personality. It is the parents who have to maintain proper balance between both.” About future plans, Sania said at present she was in a holiday mood. “I was off to Goa for a holiday. Now, I am here to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match, the other sport I like to watch the most.”

Sania, a great cricket fan, said she was charmed by Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. “I like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik but the agility and stamina with which Shoaib Akhtar plays is simply mind-blowing. I personally like his ways,” she said.

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City one of the best, says Sachin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar today took time off to relax with his family. Visitors at the Sukhna Lake and the Rock Garden were awestruck to encounter Sachin, his wife and two children.

Obliging fans with autographs and photographs, Sachin was a picture of tranquility, far away from cricketing pressures and enjoying the beauty of the lake.

Sachin described the city as one of the “best places” in the country. “We visit many places. I want my children to know a lot about their country. Chandigarh is very beautiful and Arjun and Sara are excited to be here. They enjoyed the shikara ride at the lake”, said the little genius.

Showing interest in sculptures and other articles made of waste material, Sachin was seen making queries from his security men.

His wife Anjali Tendulkar was also full of praise for the city. “This is the first time that I have come here with my children. We are here not so much to see the match, but for sightseeing”, said Anjali.

On cricket, Sachin said the morale of the team was high. Asked as to why he had turned down Test captaincy, he smiled enigmatically and got into his car.

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Pak Fans Here
Say Indian warmth matchless
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
A warm reception awaited buses carrying Pakistani fans from Wagah at the cricket stadium in Sector 16 here this evening. The visitors alighted from the buses, excited on finally reaching “home” and elated at the welcome accorded to them by friends.

Even before the buses came to a halt, an elated Abbas Waraich greeted a restless Arvinder Singh Bedi, awaiting his “brother’s” arrival from across the border. “We are not blood brothers, but our ties run deep. We met during Bedi bhai’s visit to Pakistan for a match. The moment I crossed the Wagah, he was the only person on my mind. I am elated to be here,” he remarked.

Adding that the match was only an excuse to come to India, Waraich said: “Matches can be seen on the television and much better at that. The love and enthusiasm with which we are greeted here is matchless. It’s a pleasure to be here.”

Asim Saeed Sufi, a purchase manager at an oil mill, too, seemed at home. “This time the visa rules were more stringent. I wish these were relaxed to encourageinteraction between the two countries and their people. This is my second visit to India and I am particularly impressed by the fact that most Indians seem well-read and well-behaved,” he exclaimed, adding that life in Pakistan was unaffected post-Emergency.

A mother of a two-year-old, Maria’s sole agenda for the visit was to see India and its people.

“I had heard so much about the country and I wanted to experience it first-hand.”

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Green Diwali ? No way
Sale of crackers doubles

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 7
No one in Chandigarh is heeding the “Green Diwali” call of Nobel Prize winner Rajendra K. Pachauri. Last week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman had urged people to keep off plastics and gift a plant this Diwali. But here in the city, no one is listening.

The sale of crackers has doubled over the last year, reveals a survey of cracker stalls in the city, especially hotspots Sectors 22, 19 and 34. A small cracker stall owner who was investing Rs 60,000 on cracker purchase until a year ago is now investing Rs 1 lakh.

“Eighty per cent of our consumers are paying guests who, before leaving for their homes in faraway Punjab and Himachal towns, buy crackers in bulk. The demand for fancy crackers that leave patterns in the sky is the highest,” says Ram Kumar, whose three generations have been in the business.

Sellers say the demand for high-vacuum bombs is plummeting. “People like beauty, not noise. That’s why we have cut out demand orders for high-vacuum bombs by one-third over two years. Fancy crackers are being preferred despite their cost. One such pack costs Rs 200 to 1,500,” says Ramesh Sharma, a seller in Mani Majra.

In Chandigarh, 560 licences for cracker sale have been granted this year. The quantum of crackers (in tonnes) for which the licences have been granted has, however, increased significantly.

Now about plastic. Its sale is 30 per cent more than the usual this month. Naresh Mittal, president, Chandigarh Plastic Traders and Manufacturers Association, says his sale has increased by 30 per cent in the run-up to Diwali.

“Normally it is Rs 10 lakh a month, but this time it is about higher. The supply of plastic products is also higher — close to 10 tonnes a month before Diwali,” he adds. Mittal’s annual turnover from plastic is Rs 1 crore. He supplies approved graded plastic, over 30 micron in thickness.

Kuldip Singh, another manufacturer admits that plastic sale has never shown a decline in the past many years. “That’s because of increased consumption. Moreover, there are no viable alternatives to plastic. We are not against plastic. We are against bad plastic.”

Even Verka uses four tonnes of plastic a day for packaging, says Kuldip Singh, adding that every industry - from cracker to gift wrapping - uses plastic, which does no harm if it meets standards. “But during Diwali, we have a lot of unapproved plastic coming into the tricity from neighbouring states. Fifteen units can’t meet local demand which doubles during Diwali,” he explains.

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Anti-cracker rallies, celebrations on Diwali eve
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Diwali was celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm in Kendriya Vidyalaya, AFS High Grounds, on the school premises today. In a special assembly ‘Lakshmi pooja’ was performed. Lending a fascinating authenticity befitting the occasion was an ‘inter-house pageant competition’. Various scenes from ‘Ramcharit Manas’ depicting Sita Swayamar, Lord Rama’s exile from Ayodhaya, Sita Haran and finally Rajya abhishek of Lord Rama proved educative as well as enthralling for all.

Bapu Dham School: The greeting cards engraved with 25 informative quotes of Mahatma Gandhi were sold at KB DAV School in Sector 7. These cards were prepared by 40 children of Bapu Dham Government School and the idea was jointly initiated by the education department, KBSS School and NGO YUVSATTA. Krishna Devi, principal of Government High School, Bapu Dham colony, where this workshop was going said the students were preparing lot of things like wall hangings, potteries, diyas, candles, greeting cards, decorated pooja thalis etc.

GMSSS-19: ‘Crackers crack-Light light’, ‘Patakha Diwali- Polluted Diwali’, ‘Safe Diwali- Happy Diwali’. Such slogans and many more written on colourful banners and placards, were raised by the young rallyists of Vasudha Eco Club, Govt Model Sr Sec School, Sector-19, Chandigarh, against the use of crackers this Diwali here today. Saroj Gupta, principal, flagged off the rally.

MCM DAV College: An exhibition was organised by the students of department of fine arts, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36. The exhibition inaugurated by Dr Puneet Bedi, principal, portrayed the true colours of Diwali with traditional items like diyas, pooja thali, murals etc. to the most contemporary glass paintings, wall hangings and aquariums on display. Dr Bedi complimented the students for their great effort and creativity. She encouraged the students to celebrate it with minimal use of crackers.

INIFD: The students of INIFD, Sector 8, celebrated the festival of lights today on their premises. Students along with faculty members decorated the campus in the festive colours of auspicious red and shimmery gold. Complimenting the decor were the colourful rangoli patterns laid down at the entrance with glittering earthen diyas and candles. Competitions were held in singing, Rangoli and Mehendi to mark the festivities. Results: Singing competition Sa Re Ga Ma: Rahil Jain, BSc (Interior Design-II) Ist, Anshul Dona, BSc (Interior Design II) 2nd; Mehendi competition: Swati Sood, (Advance Diploma Interior Design II) Ist, Tanu (Diploma Fashion Design) 2nd; Rangoli competition: Sangeeta, (Advance Diploma Fashion Design I) Ist, Tanuja and Raman (Advance Diploma Interior Design I) 2nd.

Mohali

ANEES SCHOOL: A rally on the theme ‘Save environment: say no to crackers’ was organised. The students demonstrated the problems caused due to burning of crackers. The staff of the school also participated in it. On the other hand the Diwali celebrations comprising inter-house rangoli competition followed by Laksmi and Ganesh puja. Jagnoor, Khushpreet and Tavinder enacted Rama, Lakshman and Sita. School director Aneel Goel highly appreciated the creativity of the children, which they had shown through the making of rangoli. Principal Navdeep Verma said such competitions should be held frequently to enhance the spirit of competition as well as developing the psychomotor skills of the students.

IIFT: International Institute of Fashion Technology (IIFT), Phase VII here organised a designer Diwali festive competition in the Institute. Students of fashion technology participated in the competition based on themes. Ritu led one team with ‘Historical theme’ and the other by Tanvir with ‘Traditional theme’. Students competed in innovation in card making, Candle designs, wall hangings and rangoli in a creative way. Director of the institute Kawaljeet Singh and Shameer Kaur, principal, judged the students efforts and declared Tanvir, Tarunjot, Parul, Surbhi, Neha, Kusuma Devi and Kamal as winners.

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Three UT policemen dismissed for graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The Chandigarh police has suspended three police personnel, including a sub-inspector, involved in corruption cases.

Constable Jai Bhagwan, arrested by the UT vigilance cell while accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from Pawan Kumar of Mohali in Sector 16 on July 23, 2001, was dismissed from service today.

He was posted at the Sector 17 police station.

SI Raj Pal Singh, who was arrested by the CBI on November 30, 2004, while accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a Ram Darbar resident, was dismissed from service on November 1.

He was posted at the Sector 31 police station.

Head constable Balwinder Singh, who was arrested by ASP (Central) on August 11, 2000, while accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from one Rajinder Singh of Sector 40-D near the ISBT, was dismissed on November 2.

He was working at the Sector 17 police station.

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At 50, rocking time at Nek Chand’s garden
20 international art experts in city for celebrations
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Ahead of the largest conclave of conservation experts in Chandigarh, Rock Garden is wearing a bridal look. For the first time in the garden’s history, economic considerations have been put aside to ensure a world-class event in the form of Rock Garden Festival beginning tomorrow.

Lights worth Rs 2 lakh a day have been installed in four phases of the garden to make its spaces come alive.

The stage for the two-day international event was set more than a year ago, when the Nek Chand Foundation (NCF) desired serious discussions to chalk out a strategy for future conservation of the garden. The foundation’s experts detailed the losses which vandalism had caused to the garden’s architecture.

In its report to the UT Administration, it described 1,250 sculptures, of which hundreds were damaged.

FACTS ABOUT ROCK GARDEN
l Number of mounted rocks and sculptures in phase 1 and II: 2,335
l Number of works with visible repairs: 803 
l Number of works which are damaged: 321 
l Overall area of the garden: 18 acres, 
calculated by GPS in March 2006 
l Visitors in 30 years: 20 million

More than 54 were in critical condition; 275 exhibited bad damages that could become severe, while 519 showed early signs of damage in the form of cracks. About 189 sculptures demonstrated aesthetic damages in the form of broken or missing embellishments on the sculptures.

The UT administration is already conducting repair work on the basis of the damage report which was written by conservators Zuleyma Aguirre, director, Watts Towers, Los Angeles, Preston Smith, examiner, University of Indiana and Tony Rajer, NCF trustee, all of who are in Chandigarh for the two-day event.

They are accompanied by 20 international experts, who will present papers on the promotion and preservation of folk art, with reference to Rock Garden. Children’s folk art will be under special focus. Twenty-six papers in all will be presented; the highlight being a paper on folk art environments in South-east Asia, to be presented by Tim Holland from Vietnam.

The other significant aspect will be the inauguration of two brand new landmarks in the garden - the soundproof conference hall and the Canal Theatre in Phase II, which is the latest creative fantasy from the repertoire of Nek Chand.

The entertainment part is being taken care of by the UT Administration which has decked up garden spaces with generous abandon. Lamps for more than 20 floodlights installed in the garden have been imported from China and Japan.

“We don’t get coloured lamps locally. All we can do is wrap the lamps with colour. But that doesn’t give the required effect.

So we have imported the lamps,” said Vikram, Kapoor, in charge of lighting which, if charged on market rates, would cost Rs 20 lakh for two days. The lights have been procured on government rates.

For two days of the festival, entry to the garden will be located between the Rock Garden and the Sukhna Lake, just before the road detouring towards Kaimbwala.

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Punjabi weddings similar on both sides of border
In town for a wedding, a Pakistani family draws parallels between a shaadi and nikaah
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Ansa poses with her family at a wedding in Hotel Mount View.
Ansa poses with her family at a wedding in Hotel Mount View.

Chandigarh, November 7
You call it shaadi here while we have christened it nikah. Well this is the only difference, Ansa Shafiq can figure out, between the lavish and elaborate Indian and Pakistani weddings.

The customs of the wedding is almost similar. Staring from the mehendi to vidai the style of weddings is analogous.

Ansa, hails from Lahore, has come here with family to attend the wedding of Umesh Kapur’s daughter. “The style of organising a wedding is similar. Except this that on the wedding night the menu has a wide array of non-vegetarian recipes while here its pure vegetarian,” specifies Ansa. As per Paki traditions, non-vegetarian food is a must. Amusingly if at a Pakistani wedding if non-vegetarian food is not being served then it is presumed that the family is financially unsound, she adds. Missing on her non-vegetarian appetite Ansa has hogged on the Chinese cuisine at the wedding at Hotel Mount View.

Listing out the minute differences Ansa asserts, “The face of the bride is covered and the couple is not supposed to sit together. In fact the couple eats the food first after the nikah and then sits together.”

Also, for the vidai known as ruksati across the LoC the Quaran-e-pak is kept above the head of the girl when the bride walks down.

The dresses worn at a Pakistani wedding are also dissimilar. Talking of the dress code Zubaida Gulshan, Ansa’s mother avers, “It is usually suits with heavy embroidery on it. The attire worn here is very diverse. People have worn suits, saris, lahenga but it is only suits at our weddings.”

Where the sangeet ceremony is concerned the guests found dholak missing here. Interestingly, the young girls in Pakistan don’t dance publicly. Elaborating on the sangeet ceremony Ansa says, “At our wedding young girls play the dholaki and boys dance on their beats.” Across border the DJ’s is replaced by dholkis. The concept of DJ at weddings is not prevalent, she points out.

Impressed by the cleanliness of the city, Saira Wasim, another family member said, “Chandigarh is a very clean and hygienic city. The people here are also very affectionate and good looking.”

The Shafiq’s had met Umesh Kapur during the Indo-Pak match held in Pakistan. “Kapur’s had stayed at our place during the match and we had gone out for shopping in Lahore. We have been friends since then.”

The family enjoyed the only visit to the multiplex. “Watching movies in theatre is not accepted in our country. We all had gone to see ‘Jab We Met’ and children were thrilled to go there,” smiles nine-year-old Malaika.

The family faced a lot of problems in getting the visa to Punjab. “Getting the visa was a tough job but finally we got it,” said Mohammad Shafiq Iklakh, another family member.

We feel at home on coming to India as there is barely any difference in the style of living, said the family in chorus.

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COMMUNITY
 

Vishwakarma Celebrations
Cong, Akali workers clash; 10 hurt
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 7
At least 10 persons were injured in a clash between Congress and Akali workers at Chatt village here this evening. The incident took place in the presence of the Dera Bassi SDM who was holding a meeting of the two groups regarding the Vishwakarma celebrations in the village.

Tension between members of the Shiv Mandir Committee (supported by Congress workers) and members of the Vishwakarma Mandir Committee (supported by Akali workers) about the venue for the celebrations had been brewing for the past three days.

The local police had calmed down members of the two groups on Monday night when hundreds of them gathered outside the village. Yesterday SDM SL Bhumbak had met the representatives of the two groups and the matter seemed resolved. However, the two groups attacked each other today in the presence of the SDM who had called another meeting today.

Members of the two groups indulged in a free-for-all, throwing chairs, brickbats at one another. The district police on duty at the PCA stadium reached the spot almost half an hour later. Till then, the situation had almost turned uncontrollable.

The injured were rushed to the Government Medical College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, and the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. The injured include members of both the groups with each alleging that the other group had come armed to the teeth with weapons to indulge in violence.

According to the SDM, the two committees have differing views on Vishwakarma celebrations and this problem occurs almost every year. “The Vishwakarma committee members are insisting on having a cultural show as part of the celebrations. The venue of the celebrations is within the Shiv Mandir complex. Shiv Mandir committee members allege that the cultural show is actually a collection of vulgar dances which they will not allow in the complex. They want the Vishwakarma committee to shift the venue to a nearby school,” he said.

He added that the matter was almost resolved yesterday when the Vishwakarma Committee members assured that the cultural show would not showcase any vulgarity. “Today I had asked the two groups to sit together and finalise the issue. But they started arguing and soon it was a big showdown,” said the SDM.

The injured include Budhram, Krishan Kumar, Karamjit, Harbhajan, Devki Nandan, Naresh, Harnam, Surjit Singh, Nirmail Singh, Gurjeet Singh and Gurnail Singh.

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Drape yourself in silk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 7
No woman can claim to be immune to the lure and feel of silk. And it is no wonder, city ladies and girls have been making a beeline to the Silk Fab exhibition in Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35.

Giving credence to the sale is the fact that the weavers and handloomers from all over India have gathered here with their produce under the auspices of the National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd without the aid of middlemen.

Shruti, aarmed with packets of colourful designs and weaves of the traditional crafts of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, says that she is a regular and eagerly awaits the exhibition every year to update her collection of ethnic wear.

“Though it is slightly heavy on the purse, the saris and suits are worth it as one does not get such stuff normally. Also, the creations are fit for a wardrobe that can even be passed on to daughters,” she smiles.

The government of India is promoting the handloom sector which employs the work force of 65 lakh persons directly and indirectly and their families. They need the help as due to a change in the textile scene, the use of advanced technology in the weaving segment by using sophisticated powerlooms, productivity and computer aided designs technique fabrics are available at reasonable rates.

The handloom sector is traditional, with silk having a very prominent places.

The objective of this Special Handloom Expo Silk Fab is to provide opportunity to handloom weavers to market their products and expose consumers to genuine silk products from different parts of the country at reasonable prices.

A wide range of silk fabric made of mulberry, tassar, eri, muga etc is available in this exhibition-cum-sale

The hand picked handloom silk products drawn from some of the exotic interiors of India has created a magical spell, as ever. Silk lovers of Chandigarh and adjoining cities have a wide range of designs and textures on their list for choice.

Special among them areGadwal, Pochampally, Dharmavaramfrom Andhra Pradesh; Moonga Silk; Rajasthan: Bandhej from Assam; Tassar, Kantha, Madhubani prints from Bihar; tribal work, kosa silk from Chhattisgarh; printed silk sarees, dress materia from Jammu & Kashmir; chintamal, kasauti work, Karnataka cilk from Karnataka; Chanderi, Maheshwari from Madhya Pradesh; painthani, poona Sari from Maharashtra; Bomkai, Sambalpuri from Orissa; Tanchui, Jamdani, Jamawar from Uttar Pradesh; baluchari, Kantha Tangail from West Bengal; Kanjivaran, tassar, and kantha from Tamil Nadu.

The last Silk Fab at Chandigarh yielded remarkable support from the buyers, claim the organisers.

The exhibition will remain open till November 15.

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Hospital, fire brigade staff on toes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Hospitals and the fire brigade department has geared up to meet any emergency during the Diwali celebrations.

While all three government hospitals have deputed extra staff for treating the injured, the fire department has decided to depute tenders at different locations to minimise the response time.

Precaution

  • Parents should accompany children at the time of bursting of crackers
  • Do not wear loose clothes while lighting candles
  • Wear protective glasses while bursting crackers.
  • In case of eye injury, a sterilised cotton patch should be placed on the eye
  • It should be ensured that the victim does not splash water or rub eyes in case these are pierced or bleeding

Last year 107 patients from all over the region reached the city hospitals with burn and eye injuries and 11 calls were received at the fire brigade department even as no major loss was reported from any where in the city.

The PGI has made arrangements for round the clock emergency services at the Advance Eye Centre and Government Multispeciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16 has also deputed the ophthalmologists to remain on duty round the clock till Saturday.

Similarly at GMCH, Sector 32, consultants at the departments of burn, surgery and ophthalmolgy would remain on duty round the clock, said Dr Harsh Mohan, medical superintendent.

In addition to it, the number of paramedic staff has been doubled for Diwali to meet any emergency.

The people can contact at the emergency numbers of hospitals 01722746018 (PGI), 01722665545 (GMCH), and 01722768210 while the ambulance services are available at 102.

The fire brigade tenders would be stationed at main market of Sector 22- D, Sadar Bazar near police station Sector 19, Grain Market, Sector 26, and Burail near government dispensary so that the response time could be minimized, said a spokesman of the corporation.

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Park becomes gambling den
Brijender Gaur

Chandigarh, November 7
The Moonlit Park of sector 22, inaugurated by Pawan Kumar Bansal has virtually become a place of hiding for small time gamblers and anti-social elements that are keeping the residents of sector 22 away from the park.

People are seen playing cards there especially in the evenings and indulge in gambling. They smoke there very often though; smoking is prohibited in this park. But packets of cigarette, gutkha are scattered in the park in spite of provision of dustbins there.

Women in the evening hesitate to visit in the park alone. Sunita, a local resident said, “finding ladies alone in the park, these people sometimes abuse. So I always come with my husband.”

Rajni, a local girl, “I do not walk in the park rather I prefer to move roadside to refresh myself.”

“In spite of total ban on smoking in public places people use to smoke thus helps make the area polluted as a result of which non-smokers can not escape from its bad effects,” said Priya Rani, a local girl.

Condition of most of the parks is quite similar to it. Smokers can be seen loitering in the parks. Some of the parks are even used for parking the vehicles. Railings of the parks are broken in many parks. Littering of garbage in the parks is a common phenomenon. Park of sector 15-D is an example of all these activities.

There is no check on the people who misuse the parks and the condition of the green belt parks is becoming dull.

Arun Kumar, SDE of horticulture said, “Our duty is to get the plantation and we cannot run behind such people. And if it is happening in the parks then the police should take appropriate action on these elements.”

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PSIEC workers on protest for ex gratia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Employees of the Punjab Small-Scale Industrial and Export Corporation Staff Association today held a protest in Sector 17 demanding ex-gratia. The disgruntled employees alleged that it was for the first time in the history of the corporation when the ex-gratia was not given to the employees even as the corporation earned profits.

Representatives of the protesting employees alleged that sources of the corporation were being plundered. The corporation had sent Rs 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Fund, but when the employees demanded ex-gratia, objection were raised against it. They alleged that the chief manager (finance) of the department had been following anti-employee policies and demanded compulsory retirement of the officer.

They threatened that in case the authorities fail to release the ex-gratia immediately, they would be forced to close their offices under protest and would also burn the effigy of the officer.

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LJP to ally with Cong in Gujarat, HP: Paswan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), an alliance partner in the UPA government, will contest the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh with the Congress.

The ratio of seat sharing is yet to be finalised, said the party president and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was in the city to chair a meeting of the consultative committee attached to the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers and steel.

“I have already written to the UPA president on the issue of secular forces joining hands to contest the elections. It’s an ear of coalition government and the UPA government would complete its full five-year term despite opposition by the Left on the Indo-US nuclear deal,” he said.

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Diyas lit for peace, brotherhood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) celebrated Dhanteras and Diwali by lighting 4,000 diyas at Plaza, Sector 17, this evening here today.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the front is celebrating Diwali with the aim to propagating the message of brotherhood while celebrating the occasion together.

Diyas were placed on the symbol of peace designed by Rajesh Sharma, Deepak Sandhu and Navendu Sharma. A large number of children, youngsters and old-age persons also took part in the ceremony.

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Aman Sharma awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Dr Aman Sharma, assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh won DRA Young Investigator Award at the National conference of Indian Rheumatology Association (IRACON 2007) held at Khajuraho.

He was also invited to deliver a guest lecture on his work on relapsing polychondritis. His PGIMER experience of diagnosing and treating relapsing polychondritis, a very rare disorder is first from India and is being published in the coming issue of Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology.

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Close shave for 40 as bus hits Qualis
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 7
A major tragedy was averted last night when a bus carrying over 40 passengers rammed into a Qualis late last night. No one was, however, injured in the accident even as the Qualis was crushed beyond recognition.

The lone occupant of the car, its driver, was injured but had a miraculous escape.

The bus was coming from Chandigarh and going towards Kharar and the Quails was coming from the opposite direction.

According to the police, the bus seemed to have lost control when its brakes failed. The passengers of the bus were shifted to another vehicle following the accident.

The two vehicles remained on the Kharar main road through the night causing a heavy traffic jam on the road this morning.

The vehicles were cleared in the afternoon and the traffic took another two hours to be cleared.

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Car overturns, youths escape unhurt

Dera Bassi: A Maruti Zen car overturned on the railway overbridge near Dera Bassi last night. However, the two youths in the car escaped unhurt in the incident. The one-sided traffic remained disrupted for around an hour following the incident. The youths, who were reportedly in an inebriated condition, removed the car from the spot.

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Letters
Growing traffic menace

With increasing population and the festive season approaching, traffic jams are a common scene. People get trapped for hour together and there is congestion on all major roads. People are likely to suffer from major health hazards especially those on two-wheelers due to the smoke generated from vehicles. The UT administration promises flyovers but nothing seems to be done.

Rickshaws, carts, cattle add up to the traffic misery. The administration should take stringent measures to control the growing menace rather than the police just standing and extracting money from someone who is caught without a driving license.

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

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CRIME
 

Minor abducted, raped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
A 22-year-old man of Faidan village, along with his accomplices, abducted a 14-year-old girl of his village and raped her at his cattle shed. The accused are still at large.

The incident came to light on Tuesday evening when the police received a call that there was a clash in the village. A police team reached there and learnt that some injured persons were shifted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.

There someone informed the police about the rape and said the victim was also in the hospital. The police found the girl and got her medically examined, which confirmed that she was raped.

The victim alleged that 22-year-old Babu and Ladi of her village, along with three persons, came to her house on Monday night at 10 pm. Her father and brother had gone to Ambala that day and she was at home with her mother. The accused forcibly took her out of her house. She and her mother kept on crying but no one came forward for their help. Babu, along with others, took her to his cattle shed and raped her. The other accused were waiting outside, she alleged.

The police registered a case of rape and abduction, criminal intimidation and causing injuries in this connection.

The investigating officer told TNS that efforts were on to trace the accused. The victim had named two persons and said she could identify the remaining accused if presented before her.

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Depressed, OCF worker hangs himself to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Tormented by prolonged illness, a 52-year-old driver of Ordinance Cable Factory (OCF) hanged himself to death at his Sector 29, residence, here this morning.

The deceased, Kartar Singh, was found hanging by his colleague, who came to visit him at around 9 pm. The door was opened and when he did not get any response for his repeated knocks, he went inside and found Kartar Singh hanging from a ceiling fan with a rope. He raised an alarm following which Kartar Singh’s neighbours assembled there and the police was informed.

Bhishab Mani, the deceased’s neighbour, told TNS that Kartar Singh lived alone in the house and his family had visited him about three months ago.

They took away household articles to their native village then. Kartar used to come late in the night and drink. He was also not reportedly going to the factory for the past couple of weeks. He is survived by his wife a daughter and a son. He had recently got his son married.

Kartar Singh was also undergoing depression due to financial constraints. His family had been informed about the incident and was expected to reach the city tomorrow. The body had been shifted to the Sector 16 hospital for post-mortem. Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this connection.

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