C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Battery-operated buses for city’s V5 roads
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
After Ahmedabad and Agra, the City Beautiful has decided to opt for battery-operated buses. To promote the use of renewable energy, the Chandigarh administration has decided run buses on inner sector roads (V5 roads) and those connecting to villages.

Initially, the administration would procure 10 buses.These would be run on an experimental basis before augmenting the fleet, said S.K. Sandhu, finance secretary.

The low-capacity buses (20 seater) would run on the inner sector roads as envisaged in the new transport policy. Sources said the sole problem was that the battery had be recharged after every 40km-60 km. The advantage was the cost that came to Rs 1.20 per km as compared to the buses run on petrol or the CNG.

To further promote private battery-operated vehicles, the excise and taxation department has been directed to waive the value-added tax (VAT) and road tax on the vehicles.The charging points for such vehicles would be all petrol stations in the city.

The department of science and technology has also proposed battery-operated three-wheelers in a phased manner and has stopped issuing fresh permits for three-wheelers. Different departments have been directed to implement decisions to promote the use of renewable energy.

The chief architect, the Chandigarh Housing Board, CITCO and the director of rural development had been asked to go for solar power streetlighting in all government buildings and all new parking lots.

The chief architect has been asked to amend building bylaws so that solar lighting was made mandatory in schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutional buildings. The order to replace the conventional incandescent lamps with CFL lamps has to be implemented by January 2008.

Other initiatives include installing grid interactive power plant at the secretariat and solar water heating system in government buildings.

  • Solar-powered streetlights in parking areas
  • Battery-operated buses on inner sector roads
  • Battery-operated three-wheelers to replace old ones
  • New building of the Chandigarh administration to be eco-friendly
  • Sales tax and VAT exemption on battery-operated vehicles

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PU dons serving after 62 to be paid wages soon
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The salary of Panjab University Professors, who were allowed to continue in service after attaining the age of 62, will be released soon.

Appearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, university counsel Anupam Gupta made a statement to his effect in response to an application filed by 10 professors of various departments. The applicants had claimed they had not been given salary.

In their petition they had claimed that the authorities were not complying with the provisions pertaining to extension of age from 62 to 65 years, following which the High Court had granted a stay on their retirement.

Those who had moved the petition were Prof DD Bansal of bio-chemistry, Santosh Kumar Sharma of the department of correspondence, Naresh Kochhar of the department of geology, Mohinder Singh Johal of the department of zoology, Sudesh Verma of the department of chemistry, Paramjeet Singh of the department of chemical engineering, ML Sharma of the department of botany, G Kumara Verma of the department of Indian Theatre, DS Gill of the department of chemistry and Mina Surjit Singh of the department of English.

In their fresh application, they had maintained that their salary was not being released by the university. Accepting the notice on behalf of the university, counsel Anupam Gupta submitted before a Bench, comprising Justice SK Mittal and Justice KC Puri, that as per instructions from the VC, the salary of the petitioners would be released shortly, without prejudice to the rights of the university.

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MCI: Act against medical supdt of INSCOL
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Medical Council of India (MCI) has recommended legal action against a medical practitioner and Dr Jayant Banerji, medical superintendent of INSCOL, a Sector 34-based private hospital, in an alleged negligence case. The MCI has asked the SSP to let the council know about the outcome of the case. A complaint in the matter has been lodged by a local lawyer.

The council has taken the decision on a complaint lodged by advocate Jagjit Singh Arora. The lawyer had alleged that his wife was treated by an “unregistered” medical practitioner at INSCOL in August 2005.

MCI, in its letter to the SSP dated November 20, has mentioned that the ethics committee had held a meeting on October 15 and 16 to consider the complaint lodged by Arora. It had requested Dr Paramjit Singh Mann, who had treated Arora’s wife, to appear before it but he did not do so.

The committee in its letter asked the police to constitute an inquiry against Dr Benerji of INSCOL for appointing Dr Mann, who was not registered with any state medical council.

The committee also requested the police to hold an inquiry on the degrees and working experience of Dr Mann. The latter reportedly holds a medical diploma from Ukraine (Russia).

Advocate Arora had lodged a complaint with the SSP on April, 20 this year, alleging that his wife, Inderjeet Arora, was treated by an unregistered medical practitioner in the hospital in August, 2005, thus endangering her life. He alleged the hospital had committed a fraud and criminal breach of trust by providing false information pertaining to treatment to his wife. He alleged that no action had been taken on his complaint till date.

Advocate Arora had earlier also sought information from the police about the status of his complaint through the Right to Information Act. He accused the police of delaying the issue by referring it to the deputy district attorney (DDA) for legal opinion and later to the UT director, health.

The hospital has all along denied the allegations and maintained that it had all started because of non-payment of bill.

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Kaif ‘thrashes’ scribes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Cricketer Mohammad Kaif, skipper of the Uttar Pradesh team, today allegedly thrashed Dainik Bhaskar photographer Ravi Kumar and the paper’s sports reporter Umesh this evening.

The incident took place outside a cinema hall in Sector 34 where Kaif, along with his coach Gyanendra Prasad and others, had gone to watch the evening show of ‘Om Shanti Om’.

In a complaint to the police given in the presence of other reporters and photographers, the victims said they got news that Kaif had come to watch a movie at the cinema hall. When the show was over at 9 pm, they began clicking the cricketer’ as soon as he emerged from the hall.

Irked, the cricketer asked the photographer to delete the pictures he had clicked. The scribes maintained that even before they could act, Kaif tried to snatch their camera, which fell down and broke.

They told the police that Kaif, Prasad and others later gave them a thrashing. They demanded that a medical examination be carried out on Kaif and his fellow companions to check if they were under the influence of liquor. No case has been registered so far.

Kaif is in city as captain of the UP team for the Ranji Trophy.

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Commissioner protests, but Budget okayed for 
mayors’ meet

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The finance and contract committee meeting today cleared the budget estimate ( Rs 15 lakh) for the controversial mayors’ conference scheduled for December at a meeting held today.

The meeting yesterday had cleared all items on the agenda except that of the conference. Today, it was argued that the F and CC had no authority to take a decision if such conferences could be held.

It only had powers to clear the budget. Eventually, despite opposition from the MC commissioner, the budget of Rs 15 lakh was cleared.

It is learnt that no aid will be forthcoming from the Centre for the conference. Sources say aid is provided only in case of 70 per cent attendance.

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VC’s directive cold-shouldered?
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
PU vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti’s directives seem to carry little weight with the clerical staff. The staff has shown a casual approach towards instructions by him that all pending files be placed before him for early clearance.

The deadline for the same was initially November 15. But unable to elicit a response from various departments, including examination, establishment, finance, migration, R and S (registration and stores) and the thesis section, the VC extended it by another week. He has warned the departments will have to submit affidavits maintaining that there are no pending files if these were not produced even now.

In order to clear the backlog of files, many lying unattended for the past 10 years or more, Prof Sobti held a meeting in the first week of November calling for all pending files from the departments. To his surprise, his office didn’t receive any file even after the deadline. He held another meeting with the department heads and set November 22 as the cut off date, saying no file would be entertained after that.

“ A student came to me who hadn’t received his detailed marksheet for the examination for which he appeared in 1999. It took only two hours to get the marksheet. Why should the people be subjected to unnecessary delays ? The lackadaisical attitude of some people is the biggest hindrance in the smooth functioning of the university,” he said.

“It’s my New Year resolution to clear all pending files and make a fresh beginning,” he added. 

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When words become images
Profiling Nehru through his metaphors
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Effective art is one that sustains the inquisition of truth. Rakesh Gupta’s visual portraits of dark social realities do just that.

In quest of harmony, the writer-painter broaches issues of domestic and social violence in a manner that they anguish and agitate. “They are meant to,” says the academician, whose primary occupation is to teach political science at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). On the sidelines, he writes poetry and also paints, each painting presenting itself as text.

Only this time Gupta’s texts are located in unusual spaces -- spaces that only a political scientist who is aware of the dynamics of violence can see and share. Called “Cuisines of the other Kind”, his art show that opened today at the Government Museum Gallery, Sector 10, deals with the pains and pleasures of being in matrimony and in society, where violence is imperative and ravenous forces abound. Put together in Gupta’s artworks is the philosophy of life and love; each works a mirror to the hurts and aches people cause to those within their families and within larger social spaces.

“Family these days can dehumanise you to the extent you may even want to kill your own people. In a world overtaken by consumerism, people have lost the capacity to balance their priorities. Tensions dominate relationships between husband and wife, between sister and brother, between man and man. This tension causes what I call cuisines on the wall - something we get when a woman fed up with her man’s imperious ways throws a plateful of food to the wall. My art seeks to awaken people to their own issues which have long been slipped under the carpets,” says Gupta, known better for his bold commentaries on the state of nations. His books - “State in India, Pakistan and Central Asia”, “Communalism and other Challenges to India’s Security” and 10 others are rated among major academic contributions to the field of political science.

But what is likely to bring this teacher-painter greater repute is his latest work that views Jawaharlal Nehru through the prism of metaphors he used. Called, “Use of Metaphors by Jawaharlal Nehru”, the just-released book brings out the lesser known aspects of Nehru’s character - aspects that Nehru’s use of language amply bare and demonstrate.

“Nehru was a whirlwind, a titan who could not be reduced into ideological slots or anything else. I was tempted to study his personality in a way that no one has. He was famous as a communicator and I was interested in trailing his personality using as radars the words he chose,” says Gupta whose book is gleaning rave reviews for his ability to paint a hugely realistic and truthful portrait of the personality of Nehru through the selection of the leader’s metaphors. In his book, Gupta has also graphically brought out Nehru’s disdain for the rise of absolutist states in Europe and Machiavelli’s power-vacuum and balance of power theories meant to justify imperialism.

So much can an artist do with words; “Just as much as a writer can with images,” smiles Gupta, whose late father N.L. Gupta was the first academician to record Nehru’s views on communalism.

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Standardising Hindi teaching in USA
Ex-PU prof heads ambitious project
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
At a time when Hindi is struggling for identity at home, the USA is all set to standardise the teaching of India’s national language in its academic institutions.

The purpose is to streamline the instruction of this important South Asian language, which has seen a surge in the numbers of learners in the recent past.

Heading the project is Susham Bedi, a Punjab-born professor and founder head of the department of Hindi at Columbia University, now heading the US committee for standardising Hindi. A leading South Asian author, academician and actor, Susham has published eight novels and has, during her teaching tenure of 22 years, developed authentic Hindi reading and listening comprehension materials for students.

In Chandigarh today on the invitation of the Readers and Writers Society of India, she spoke to The Tribune about the project, which the American Council on Teaching for Foreign Languages is supporting. “It’s a big project for us -- one that will ensure a unified Hindi teaching material for institutions across the USA. Right now there is complete lack of coherence and the learners of Hindi are a confused lot. We will standardise teaching texts and tools so that there is conformity,” says Susham, who has borrowed from the NCERT the text of Hindi syllabi developed by it.

“We are looking at all kinds of available texts. Eventually, they will be modified to suit the needs of our students. We have to use functional Hindi considering our students are not growing up in a “Hindi” atmosphere,” says the author, famous for writings about the Indian diaspora settled in the USA.

“Havan”, her first Hindi novel that explored the issues of dislocation, identity and transformation, is being taught at all major foreign universities that have departments of Hindi. “Havan’s” English translation “The Fire Sacrifice”, published from the UK, is part of the syllabi at many departments of South Asian studies across Europe and the USA. “The novel is important to the evolution of Hindi literature at global level. It was translated into Urdu and English and is still in circulation. All my works on cultural criticism and academics are about belonging in many different places at the same time,” says Susham, who hails from Ferozepur. She moved to the USA in 1979 and began teaching at the Columbia University in 1985. Prior to that she taught at Panjab University, Chandigarh, where her research on drama and theatre is still highly rated.

That apart, Susham considers her Hindi language pedagogical research as her best work to date. “My research has contributed to the enrichment of Hindi language in foreign lands. I am now developing a virtual project on Hindi fiction writers. It will be a good resource for the learners of Hindi and will be available online,” says the academician-author, extremely rueful about the state of Hindi in India: “The problem is this - we don’t think in Hindi.”

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IAF to airlift relief material to B’desh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The IAF has planned to undertake three sorties by IL-76 strategic aircraft to airlift emergency relief material for cyclone-affected victims of Bangladesh.

The first aircraft from 44 Squadron is scheduled to leave for Dhaka from New Delhi tomorrow.

Air Force sources said an IL-76 from 25 Squadron, Chandigarh, has also been tasked for undertaking humanitarian assistance. According to the tentative schedule, the aircraft, captained by Wg Cdr S. Sood, would depart on Friday. The flying time to Dhaka from Delhi is about two-and-a-half hours and the aircraft is expected to return the same day.

The IAF would be airlifting about 40 tonnes of material, including tents, blankets, made ready-to-eat food packets and medicines, according to an IAF spokesperson.

Bangladesh was hit by a severe cyclone on November 15, which reportedly left more than 3,000 persons dead, several thousands homeless and severely damaged the infrastructure.

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Spreading harmony through verses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
It was a different sort of gathering - rooted and inspired. The occasion was informal interaction with Ramesh Kumar, acclaimed Punjabi writer and poet from Yamunanagar, and the moods were solemn, thanks to Kumar’s touching poetry.

He was in Chandigarh today on the invitation of the Readers and Writers Society of India and American Centre, Centre State Library, Sector 17.

Beginning with deep, incisive one-liners on the state of human relationships, growing malice between man and man and widening chasms in society in general, he went on to recite some of his celebrated nazms from published anthologies like ‘Hanger Te Latakde Pal’, ‘Baunian Kirnan Aur Udas Gulmohar’ and ‘Dhaul Dharam Daya Ka Poot’.

In his short presentation, Kumar offered glimpses of his literary genius and had the gathering longing for more. His most recognised poem ‘Bua’ (about his old, ailing aunt) won many hearts as always, so did another of his poems titled ‘Aarukh’ (Not a tree). In plain, simple thoughts, Kumar bared the crux of life and showed how people were deserting their roots in the pursuit of spurious attractions of modernity. The underlying message of the litterateur’s works was ‘harmony’.

His range of work spans varied genres, including poetry, poetic sketches, literary criticism and short stories. Interesting it is that Kumar is an ardent blood donor, having donated blood 80 times over and won acclaim for the same.

Principal of Mukand Lal National College, Yamunanagar, Kumar has published 11 books; research has also been done on his life and works.

Virender Mehndiratta, former professor of Hindi at Panjab University, presided over today’s informal session with Kumar. The presentation was followed by a discussion with the lovers of literature, who made the show a success.

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Out-of-school kids display talent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Saraswati of Nehru Colony, Sector 52, bagged the first place in the face-painting competition (10-14 years) while Pinki of Colony No. 5 emerged winner in the mehndi competition (6-10 years) during the activities organised for out-of-school children by the education department at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, here today.

Results: Face painting: 1 Saraswati, 2 Yaadali, 3 Ishan; best out of waste: 1 Sitra, 2 Sunita, 3 Khushmin; gift wrapping: 1 Rajni, 2 Neetu, 3 Rasso; pot painting: 1 Kabit, 2 Happy, 3 Krishana; greeting cards preparation: 1 Vipin, 2 Aarti, 3 Babli; kite making: 1 Sumit, 2 Ramesh, 3 Premwati; rangoli competition: 1 Sunny, 2 Monika, 3 Agiman; mask making: 1 Deepu, 2 Kamal, 3 Seema; paper cutting: 1 Renu, 2 Akram, 3 Meera; musical chair: 1 Rahul, 2 Junaid, 3 Krishana; on-the-spot painting: 1 Sanjay, 2 Sonu, 3 Vishwanath; mehndi competition: 1 Mehinu, 2 Farheen, 3 Neelam; fancy dress: 1 Simon, 2 Ranjeet, 3 Seema.

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Candle March
Students want Bishnoi’s security back
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Kuldeep Bishnoi Fans Club held a march with lit candles in their hands today on the Panjab University campus. It was a symbolic protest against the Haryana Government’s recent decision of withdrawing Bhiwani MP Kuldeep Bishnoi’s security.

Over 100 PU students participated in the protest march. Leading the march, president of the club Sunny Mehta questioned as to why the security of the MP had been withdrawn.

Vice-president of the club Kartik Goyal said Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Hooda would be held personally responsible for any mishap.

Naveen Bishnoi, secretary of the club, said they had started a movement of protests from Chandigarh, which would go on and spread all over Haryana until the government resumed the MP’s security. 

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Trade Fair
City pavilion draws visitors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Showcasing Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park and promoting the city as smoke-free are the highlights of the Chandigarh pavilion at the ongoing India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2007 being held at Pragati Maidaan, New Delhi.

Participation by small-scale entrepreneurs and artisans is lesser compared to previous years.

The director, industries, Vandana Disodia, said the attractive design of the pavilion has helped to make it a favourite destination of visitors.

The covered area of the pavilion has been increased to 400 sq m from 350 sq m last year. The fair is being organised by the India Trade Promotion Orgnisation from November 14 to November 27. The maximum number of queries pertained to the smoke-free status of the city.

Nearly 40 countries are participating in the fair, showcasing achievements and the theme for this year’s fair is “Processed food and agro industries”.

The fair provides a platform for trade promotion and facilitates interaction among 7,500 national and international business persons and organisations. 

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OPDs to remain closed on Nov 24
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
All OPDs at the PGI, GMCH, Sector 32, and GMSH, Sector 16, shall remain closed on November 24, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Emergency services, however, will continue to function.

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Section 144 in northern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Chandigarh Administration, as a measure of emergency, has issued orders to prohibit the assembly of five or more persons taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans sitting in dharnas, carrying of lathis within the sectors falling north of the Madhya Marg namely and on the Janmarg stretch from the cricket stadium chowk.

The order will be valid for 60 days. The district magistrate R.K. Rao issued the prohibition orders as there are apprehensions that such groups and organisations may cause obstruction, annoyance or injury. The orders will not apply to weddings and funerals. The order will come into force from today. 

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Know Your Judges
A mix of law and literary skills

She is the first woman lawyer to be elevated as a high court judge here. Before her, all women judges elevated to the HC Bench belong to superior judicial services. She has the distinction of being the first woman Bar association president and the first woman advocate to be designated senior. An expert in constitutional and civil law, she was assistant solicitor-general in Chandigarh.

Daya Chaudhary
Daya Chaudhary
She is the first woman lawyer to be elevated as a high court judge here. Before her, all women judges elevated to the HC Bench belong to superior judicial services. She has the distinction of being the first woman Bar association president and the first woman advocate to be designated senior. An expert in constitutional and civil law, she was assistant solicitor-general in Chandigarh.
Rakesh Kumar Garg
Rakesh Kumar Garg
Son of the soil, the initial days of his youth were spent tilling land. He did law in 1975. He started his practice in Bathinda and was elected secretary of the Bar association there before shifting to Chandigarh in 1983. He has practised predominately on the civil side and was on the panel of several boards and corporations. He is a dedicated blood donor and social activist.
Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia
Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia
He has a literary bent of mind. As a student, he was the editor of his college magazine’s Punjabi section. He was awarded for his poems and would also write stories and essays. He has also won prizes in declamation contests. A postgraduate in English, he did his LLB from Panjab University. He has been practising criminal, constitutional and civil law for over 24 years. 
R.K. Jain
R.K. Jain
He belongs to a family of lawyers. His father Gulab Singh Jain was an income tax lawyer and a former MLA from Hisar. He did his LLB from Hisar in 1982 and shifted to Chandigarh to practice in the high court. Twice he remained executive member of the HC Bar association and has practised civil law. He is an expert in revenue laws.
Jaswant Singh
Jaswant Singh
An avid sportsman, he has been playing tennis and cricket. He is also the president of the Chandigarh Lawyers Sports Association. In 1991, he was appointed assistant advocate-general in the Haryana advocate-general’s office. In 2001, he was appointed senior deputy AG and in 2005 he became the additional AG. He has knowledge of service, criminal and constitutional law.

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Khula Darbar
Now, pay fine for washing cars on road
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
Residents washing their cars on roads will be penalised and cases of destruction of public property will be registered against them for causing the damage.

This will, however, happen after the municipal council has run a sustained campaign to educate people to restrain from this practice.

These instructions were issued by deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria during the open darbar at the district secretariat here today. He said such darbars would be held on a monthly basis to redress grievances of the public.

The issue of damage to roads due to standing water was raised by the residents’ welfare association of Sector 16. The residents also sought that upkeep of parks and irregular speed-humps be checked.

Rehri-pheri vendors from Pinjore pleaded that they should be allowed to park their rehris along the Pinjore-Kalka highway till the time the process of road widening begins. To this demand, the DC directed SDM Saket Kumar to find an alternative place for the vendors.

As many as 40 complaints were taken up at the darbar where MC officials, HUDA officials and other officers were present. The next darbar will be held at Morni on November 30.

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Dist secretariat to have separate parking lots for VIPs, staff, public
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
In a bid to streamline parking at the district secretariat, the administration has earmarked parking places for officers, staff and general public.

To keep a tab on vehicles being parked within the earmarked areas, the administration will issue stickers to all vehicle owners.

In the markets, the administration has decided to do away with the pavements and leave corridors as the only space for movement to create more parking space.

This will be initially done in the congested markets of Sector 7, 10 and 11.

“If it proves to be beneficial, we will extend the parking area by removing pavements. This will also check encroachments which mushroom in the evenings,” he said.

Four areas have been earmarked around the district secretariat, Sector 1, and boards announcing categories of persons entitled for parking at these places has also been specified.

The general public will now be allowed to park only in the depression in front of the district court complex. “We are filling it up with earth and getting two ramps constructed. While one ramp will be readied by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the other will be made by the PWD (B and R),” SDM Varinder Dahiya said.

The parking area cleared behind the secretariat near Pir Baba’s mazaar has been identified as parking number 4 where all officers and staff working at the secretariat will park their vehicles whereas the area adjoining the secretariat has been designated as parking space for VIPs, members of the zila parishad, municipal council and mediapersons. This parking will carry an orange sticker.

The adjoining scooter parking will also have vehicles of the staff while inside the district secretariat complex parking, only official vehicles will be allowed entry.

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Bank donates mini bus to NGO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Coming forward to help inmates of the Government Institute of Mentally Retarded Children (GIMRC) to take vocational training at SAMARTH, the State Bank of India, Chandigarh, provided a 22-seater mini bus to the NGO here today.

The bus would be used to ferry children who visit SAMARTH to get training. The chief general manager of the bank, Ajay Saroop, handed over the keys of the bus to the NGO.

SAMARTH imparts vocational training to special children, apart from helping them learn daily skills. The inmates learn to make candles, table mats and “shagun” envelopes.

Members of the Parents and Guardian Society of Children of the GIMRC were also present. 

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Zirakpur hot place for marriages
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The fat Punjabi wedding has got rolling in the city and its periphery bringing cheers to the marriage industry stake holders, hotel and resort owners, jewellers, caterers and florists.

In fact, the first phase of the ongoing marriage season, which coincides with "shukl paksh”(auspicious period), will touch its crescendo on November 21 and 22. However, from December 6 to January 17 there will be a lull in the marriage season in the wake of the unfavourable position of the planet, Ravi Sharma, a Panchkula-based astrologer, told The Tribune today.

Upcoming township of Zirakpur is emerging as the favourite place for marriage parties with over 30 marriage palaces and resorts attracting people from far and wide."Till December 5, the marriage palaces and resorts are booked to the capacity both during day and night time. In fact, large capacity, affordable catering and parking space for hundreds of vehicles and strategic location in Chandigarh's vicinity score in favour of Zirakpur as the ideal marriage destination," Pradeep Aggarwal, president of the Hotel and Resorts Owners Association of Zirakpur, said.

Vinod Polka of the Polka Caterers said most of hosts prefer an elaborate menu with exotic dishes also finding their way into the menu. "It is no longer typical north Indian fare as the people are ready to experiment with a variety of cuisines, including Chinese, continental, Mexican and Thai, "Polka added.

Sources in gold trade, however, feared that the high price of the gold may play a spoilsport as the price of over Rs 10,400 per tola could discourage the people from buying fresh stocks. Since an overwhelming majority of the households keep gold for the marriages of their daughters, people may use their own stock rather than going in for fresh purchases, a prominent Sector 17 jeweller Subhash Kataria, quipped.

Flowers have universal appeal and elaborate new floral and decoration design are in vogue this time, Sunil Kumar, a florist, added.

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Cops ‘acted swiftly’ in Sec 38 accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Reacting to news items about the delay in reaction time of the police in the Sector 38-West accident, in which a 15-year-old Ashish lost his life on November 17, the Chandigarh Police has clarified that the cops reached the spot within three minutes.

The police claimed that the control room received information at 4:50 pm and two police control room vehicles reached the spot within three minutes in stead of 20 minutes as reported in media. An eyewitness was quoted in these columns, who alleged that the police reached there after 20 minutes and the victim was rushed to the hospital in a private vehicle.

The police in a press statement admitted that the victim was rushed to the hospital in a private vehicle not in the police control room vehicle.

The police further claimed that the accused was arrested within an hour of the mishap, but on that day no police officials disclosed this fact till late in the night.

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Fauji Beat
India not likely to have CDS

WHEN Lord Mountbatten came to India as Viceroy, he brought General Ismay as his Chief of Staff. Since Gen Ismay had been the military secretary to the war cabinet in the UK during World War II, he was asked to advise the Government of India on establishing a higher defence organisation. But no such organisation could be evolved.

Later, when Lord Mountbatten was asked why he did not favour the creation of a unified system, his reply was: “The main reason for not urging an immediate appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was precisely that it would be number of years before a Naval or Air Force officer would be senior enough to be considered for the appointment .... But there was also another reason and that was although Prime Minister Nehru agreed with me in principle, he said it would be difficult at this moment to get through the appointment of a CDS as it would give the Indian politicians the impression of perpetuating the idea of the ‘great commander-in-chief in India’. He did, however, agree to consider it later.”

Although all formalities were completed to appoint a CDS after the Kargil war, we still do not have one. The reason is that politicians have not been able to get rid of the phobia that they suffered from during Nehru’s time. In all probability, the CDS will continue to remain a pipe dream in India.

Chandimandir polyclinic

The well laid out ECHS polyclinic at Chandimandir.
The well laid out ECHS polyclinic at Chandimandir.

After functioning from the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, for a few years, the Chandimandir ECHS polyclinic shifted to its newly constructed accommodation a few weeks ago. The new accommodation consists of a set of two beautifully designed buildings with a lawn separating the two. In the lawn are two gazebos for visitors.

In the first building are located the Western Command ex-servicemen helpline, placement cell, two medical officers, JCOs, other ranks and their families waiting room, reception counter and a dispensary. The second building was the office of the officer-in-charge polyclinic, reception counter, waiting room for officers and their families, a medical specialist, medical officer, dental clinic and a lab. The polyclinic also enjoys the facilities of a cafeteria and a spacious parking.

The ECHS members of Panchkula and surrounding areas could not have asked for better service than what this polyclinic is providing. But what it still needs urgently is upgradation from category C to category B because of its patient load. Most of the patients over 75 year of age feel that it becomes difficult for them to walk the distance between the Command Hospital and the polyclinic. They suggest that there should be a shuttle service for these trips, which are quit frequent.

Welfare of ex-servicemen

Despite Mohali having become a district more than a year-and-a-half ago, it still does not have a zila sainik board (ZSB). At present, the deputy director Sainik Welfare (DDSW) from ZSB, Ropar, is looking after three districts. Ropar, Mohali and Fatehgarh Sahib.

A large number of ex-servicemen from Mohali have come up with the grouse several times in the past few months that their welfare problems were being neglected. It is time that the Punjab Government spared a thought to ex-servicemen’s welfare.

— Pritam Bhullar

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Letters
Ban not late

It is a pain to see Sukhna Lake in such an appalling state. The way things are going, the day is not far when Chandigarh will no longer be known for its beauty.

I believe rituals are an important part of religion but these can not be allowed at the expense of the city’s image. In my opinion, it is still not late to impose a ban on rituals at the lake.

There is no point in making a mess and then asking schoolchildren to do kar sewa to clean it up. It’s high time that the administration should make every possible effort to implement the ban strictly by imposing penalties.

Let’s also work together to keep up the city’s image.

Aman Preet Singh, 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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4 recovery agents of ICICI Bank arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The police today arrested four recovery agents of a private bank on the charges of forcibly taking away an SUV of a Panchkula resident this afternoon.

According to the SHO of the Sector 34 police station, inspector Prem Lal Chauhan, the incident took place at around noon near Tribune Chowk.

Dhiraj Sharma of Sector 28, Panchkula, was coming in his Scorpio when an unidentified man signalled him for a lift. He stopped his vehicle and when they reached the Sectors 45, 46, 49 and 50 lights point, the man dialled a number on his mobile phone and asked Dhiraj to stop the vehicle, which he did.

The police said another Scorpio stopped near the vehicle and three of its occupants dragged him out of the vehicle. The man then sped away with his vehicle. The others snatched his mobile phone and took out the battery.

Dhiraj informed the police and named two collection managers of ICICI Bank -- Rahul of Pinjore and Jasjit Singh of Sector 33 -- and a recovery agent, Amarjit Singh.

The police has arrested the three. Interrogation revealed that the Scorpio had taken away by Ravinder Singh, an agency man employed by the bank. The police later arrested Ravinder and recovered the vehicle from him.

A case has been registered.

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Two law students arrested for assault
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The local police today arrested two law students of Panjab University for allegedly assaulting another student of the department on November 15 with swords and baseball sticks.

According to the police, Sarbdeep Singh, alias Gypsy, president of the Student’s Organisation of India (SOI), and Kulbir Sekhon, both law students, were today arrested when they came to appear for their exam.

They were later produced before a local court that released them on bail.

The police has registered a case of rioting, causing injuries and criminal intimidation against Gypsy, Sekhon and Maheshi and Sarba of Faridkot on a complaint lodged by Gurveer Singh Brar, a law student.

Brar had alleged that he was assaulted at the gate of his department by a group of boys armed with swords and baseball sticks.

He suffered a baseball stick blow on his head and a cut on his back. 

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Motorcyclist snatches bag containing Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A motorcyclist snatched a bag containing cash and a video camera here yesterday.

Hari Ram of Sector 50 has reported to the police that a motorcyclist snatched his bag containing Rs 25,000, a mobile phone and a video camera from near Colony No. 5 yesterday.

A case has been registered.

Theft

Anil Sakheja of Sector 15, Panchkula, has reported that his bag containing medicines was stolen from his scooter parked in the Sector 26 grain market yesterday.

A case of theft has been registered.

Batteries stolen

Batteries of two vehicles parked in the Industrial Area, Phase-2, Ram Darbar, were stolen within a gap of three days.

Sajjan of Phase-II, Ram Darbar, lodged a complaint with the police that the battery of his mini truck was stolen on November 10.

Similarly, Amarpreet Singh of Phase-I, Ram Darbar, said the battery from his Swaraj Mazda vehicle was stolen on November 13.

Two cases of theft have been registered.

Gambling

The police arrested Sanjay Kumar of Phase-I, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, yesterday for gambling at a public place. The police recovered Rs 1,000 from his possession.

A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

Car stolen

Balwant Singh of Sector 22-B has reported that his Maruti car (CHK-6984) was stolen from Nehru Park, Sector 22, last night. A case has been registered.

Beggars arrested

The police today arrested Mashook and Akram, both residents of Lucknow, from Sector 35 for begging. A case has been registered.

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