C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Mayoral elections on January 1
Parties announce candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The BJP, BSP and the Congress today announced their candidates for the upcoming mayoral elections to be held on January 1.

The candidates for the post of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor were also announced.

The Congress has fielded Pradeep Chhabra as its candidate for the post of mayor, while the BJP has announced Gurcharan Dass Kala for this post.

The BSP has fielded Jatinder Bhatia as its candidate.

For the post of senior deputy mayor, the Congress has fielded Anju Beniwala, BJP Surinder K. Jagota and BSP Ram Sumer Morya.

For the post of deputy mayor, H.C. Kalyan from the Congress will contest the elections. Rajesh Gupta has been fielded by the BJP and Gurnam Singh of the SAD will be supported by the BSP.

Harmohan Dhawan, convener of the BSP, addressing a press conference here today, said he had supported the BJP in the last elections on the condition that it would support them this time, but the party had backtracked on its promise.

“During the mayoral elections of January 2007, BJP president Rajnath Singh had called me and said coalition was very important for the elections as Punjab was nearing the Assembly polls at that time.

All promises have been forgotten now and its unfortunate,” he said.

City BJP chief Kamla Sharma, however, said no such promise had been made.



Mayoral Poll
Acid test for Pawan Bansal
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
With election scene for MC mayor’s post hotting up after three parties announced their candidates today, it’s a must-win situation for Congress MP and union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal.

The minister is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that a Congress candidate won the post.

Considering the alleged cross-voting by his party candidates in the previous elections, which helped SAD’s Harjinder Kaur win by just one vote, Bansal, who was here to decide party candidature today, has his task cut out for himself to ensure that there is no repeat of cross-voting in the forthcoming elections i.e. on January 1.

The Congress holds a majority in the house with 13 candidates and one vote of the MP.

The BJP with six candidates, the SAD with two and the BSP with five candidates along with nine nominated councillors will also vote to elect the mayor.

“There has been a consensus among our members on the mayoral candidate — Pradeep Chhabra. I am hopeful that the future mayor will be from the Congress,” said Pawan Bansal while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

While the Congress derives advantage from the fact that the BJP and the BSP have fielded separate candidates for the post, a mayor from the Congress will also help Bansal strengthen his base at the Centre for the upcoming general election to be held in 2009, feel political observers.

With the BJP riding high after Narendra Modi’s win in Gujarat, a win here will be all the more crucial for the Congress.

Bansal felt that Modi’s win would result in a rift within the BJP. “We are not affected by their win. Modi’s win will lead to infighting within the BJP at the national level and it will not have any impact on Chandigarh electorate,” he said.

“As for the general election, schemes like 
mid-day meal and national rural employment guarantee are sure to work in our favour. The tremendous impact that the Prime Minister has made in the lives of the people by implementing these schemes will ensure our victory,” added Bansal.

It’s unfair

Senior Congress candidate Chandermukhi Sharma, whose name was in the fray for mayoral elections, said he is disappointed at having been denied the nomenclature for the contesting candidate. Congress has fielded Pradeep Chhabra as its contender. “As I don’t indulge in sycophancy I have not been selected. It is unfair,” said Chandermukhi while talking to Chandigarh Tribune. On contesting as an independent candidate, he said: “I will decide tomorrow on this as it’s the last day of filing nominations.”



Nominated councillors hold the key
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Navratnas, the nine nominated councillors, are again set to play kingmaker in the mayoral elections.

With no single party or combination of parties having absolute majority, their support would be a deciding factor for candidates of all three major parties.

Lobbying has intensified for their support.

Observers said the configuration of the parties in the 36-member house only underlined the importance of the nominated councillors like last year’s elections.

While the Congress has wafer-thin edge with 14 councillors, the BJP-SAD has eight members followed by five of the BSP.

This would mean that even the majority Congress needed the support of five nominated councillors to get its candidate Pradeep Chabbra elected as mayor.

While the BJP-SAD and the BSP hardly stand a chance to win in isolation, efforts are on to work out a patch-up between the alliance and the BSP to defeat the Congress, like last year.

In a master stroke, BSP convener Harmohan Dhawan announced the candidature of Jatinder Bhatia for the post of mayor while extending support to the alliance’s Gurnam Singh for the post of deputy mayor.

Sources said this indicated a “compromise” on other posts if the mayor’s post was given to the BSP. Last year, his erstwhile outfit, Chandigarh Vikas Manch, had teamed up with the alliance to get SAD candidate Harjinder Kaur elected to the top post.

In this situation, the merit of the candidates would also come into play, a nominated councillor told The Tribune.

Except for the reported political affiliations of a couple of nominated members, a majority of members are apolitical and vote en masse for the deserving candidate.



3 killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Ambala, December 25
Three persons were killed in a road accident near Naraingarh Majra village on Ambala-Jagadhri road today.

The deceased were identified as Aslam Ali, Saleem Ali and Iqbal Khan, all residents of Pipli.

According to information Asalam, Saleem and Iqbal were coming from Pipli to attend a marriage when a speedy truck coming from opposite side hit their motorbike near Naraingarh Majra. The three died on the spot.

However, the truck driver managed to flee from the accident site. The police registered a case against the truck driver and impounded the truck.

The bodies of the deceased were sent to civil hospital at Ambala Cantt for postmortem.



Cops get taste of their own medicine
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
For once, it was not the common man who was at the receiving end of drunken cops in a jeep with a red beacon.

Two beat policemen on duty last night realised that their colleagues could be as menacing as criminals, if not more. Even police personnel who reached there were reluctant to help them.

Constables Devinder Singh and Mahinder Singh beat PCR cops posted at Phases 9 and 10. They were abused, manhandled and dragged by at least six men who said they were commandos with the Punjab police.

The two were surrounded by the commandos in front of a liquor vend. Pulling the two by their collars, they roughed them up.

The group was hooting and honking the siren of their “official Gypsy” (PB-12-H-8051) for almost half hour before the two police personnel arrived there.

Outnumbered, they requested to be left alone and that their uniforms not be touched.

At this point, the group started abusing them and started dropping names of senior police officers, including a DIG Dhillon whose Gypsy escort, they claimed, they were driving.

The hapless cops pleaded with them to go away, but the commandos, however, continued to misbehave and rasped out at a passerby who tried to intervene.

They then dragged the cops to the back of their vehicle with a view to kidnapping them. “Le ke chalo ena noon, pher dasan ge,” (Take them along and we will teach them a lesson) said one of them, dragging a constable to the Gypsy.

When they noticed a passerby, they did not spare him either. “Tehnu vi le ke chaliye? (Should we take you also with us) they asked him.

The passerby had by then called the police. Two policemen in another jeep (PB-65-D-8616) reached the spot, but only after the group had its fun and left the scene.

Instead of coming to the rescue of the PCR cops, the policemen asked the passerby what he was doing at the spot? “If someone is troubling police personnel what is your problem?” they asked.

When he told them that he had written down the number of the Gypsy, they said: “Do we need to trace the vehicle because you are telling us? We will look into it in the morning,” they said.

The PCR cops were so scared that they even requested the passerby not to report the matter to higher officials and let the matter be.

By this time, the SHO of Phase VIII, Deepinder Singh, also reached the spot. He and the PCR cops rushed to the Commando Complex in Phase XI to locate the vehicle.

“We could not find anything last night. Since today was a holiday, we have not been able to trace the vehicle. We would be following the matter tomorrow,” Deepinder Singh said.



Consumer Courts
Second fine in 10 days on Dr Bhambra
Told to pay Rs 1 lakh for negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has directed Dr N.S. Bhambra of Chuttani Medical Centre to pay Rs 1 lakh in compensation, along with Rs 2,100 as the cost of litigation, for medical negligence.

Dr Bhambra has been asked for second time in less than 10 days to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for medical negligence.

A Kullu resident, Kusum Lata, who had been facing problems with digestion, had approached Dr Chambra for medical examination.

The doctor advised her to undergo gallbladder operation through laparoscopic surgery at the centre.

She was operated upon in December, 2003. On reaching home after the operation, Kusum ran high fever. Also, puss developed in the port holes of laparoscopic surgery.

She approached Dr Bhambra, who after running a test for tuberculosis (TB), started treatment for the disease.

She took medication for TB till September, 2005. Kusum alleged that she had no symptoms of TB before she was operated upon for gall bladder.

She asserted that the equipment used for the operation was not sterilised, which had resulted in her catching tuberculosis.

She pointed out that she was again operated upon in December, 2006 for removal of gland abscess, which had appeared on her body.

In reply, the hospital authorities stated that the complainant didn’t suffer from TB after the operation.

It was further asserted that equipment used for the operation was sterilised and the abscess could not develop on account of surgery.

They further added that the complainant got her stitches removed after the surgery from some other place and suffered from typhoid at that time.

Dr Bhambra, in his reply, denied that Kusum contracted TB after the surgery. He added that the complainant was not a healthy female, as she was already suffering from back problem.



Murder accused finds his muse in jail
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
It was an extraordinary day for Rajinder Mehra, a murder accused lodged in Burail Jail for over a year.

After having composed over 250 lyrics, he performed in front of an audience comprising inmates and officials. His performance had everyone asking for more as he doled out his numbers.

Asked him about his source of inspiration, he said he owed it to separation from his wife and daughter. He has also penned a lyric depicting his innocence and his belief in the Almighty.

About his jail experience, he says it has added a meaning to his life. He now teaches music to inmates and recognising his talent, the jail authorities have purchased a music system worth over Rs 70,000. He began with singing hymns in praise of Jesus Christ and later sang Punjabi songs on the demand of inmates.

Impressed by his performance, the jail authorities said they were contemplating to release his album.

Father Sebastian from the Sector 24 church hugged Mehra and congratulated him on his performance.

Mehra said he had been implicated in a murder case in October last year and the sessions court had rejected his bail thrice. “I now try to find solace in my lyrics. I had got a role in a Hindi movie “Jane Bhi do Yaro”. I was also taking training in vocal music, but destiny had other plans for me,” he said.

The IGP (prisons), Dinesh Bhatt, congratulated the inmates on Christmas and asked them to shun bad habits.

Giving an account of the vocational activities being conducted in the jail, Additional IGP (prison) Randhawa said training courses, including adult education, beautician courses, and scooter and refrigeration repair were being conducted.



Discharged by Fortis against wish, patient complains to CEO
Octogenarian fights for his right
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Blame it on the provisions of the ex-servicemen’s contributory health scheme (ECHS) or anything else; 86-year-old Capt Attam Singh Kohli (retd) has been facing a double whammy. On the one hand he is suffering from terminal cancer of kidneys, on the other he is fighting for what he says is his right to be nursed at any hospital approved under the ECHS scheme.

Only recently, the octogenarian was treated and discharged by Fortis, Mohali, on grounds that no curative treatment was available for his ailment. While Fortis cites ECHS rules, which they say does not allow hospitals to keep patients solely for palliative and nursing care, Singh claims Fortis discharged him at a time when he was not fit for discharge.

Cross with hospital authorities, who, he says: “detained him in the emergency for four hours without admission on November 30”, Singh has shot off a complaint to Shivinder Mohan Singh, CEO, Fortis, and asked for remedial measures. “I was discharged despite scrotal oedema. Even when I got a reference from ECHS polyclinic, I was not admitted,” he says.

Medical director, Fortis, Dr Ashok Chordiya, however, explains his position. “We did our best for the treatment and care of Attam Singh and discharged him in consultation with the treating doctor, who said that the patient could continue seeking the same treatment from home. Moreover, ECHS does not allow us to keep patients merely for palliative and nursing care. But we kept the patient for as long as we could. We discharged him after explaining the position to the patient’s family. We even gave him an ambulance to go home but he took it to ECHS polyclinic and came back with a reference, which we could not accommodate due to the reasons cited above.”

While the Fortis claim regarding ECHS clarifies its position, Singh maintains the hospital should have been considerate enough to admit him when he was suffering extreme swelling of the lower body. Caused by renal tumour (both his kidneys are damaged by cancer), the swelling (oedema) has been somewhat under control ever since Singh on December 1 sought admission to Mukat, another ECHS-approved hospital.

He says: “My condition is improving because I am getting proper care. I have written to Shivinder Mohan and told him his management should be more sympathetic towards patients who are critical.”

Dr Chordiya, meanwhile, said Fortis had left no stone unturned in ensuring care for Attam Singh.

At Mukat, meanwhile, where Singh is still under care, the management is facing the same problem as Fortis had faced. “He has been here for three weeks, but under ECHS we can’t keep him for long even though we want to.

In case of Attam Singh, we have been grappling with rules which require that preference be given to patients who need treatment and can be given one,” said a senior urologist attending to Attam Singh at Mukat. 



Pensioners demand tax exemption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Retired Central government employees have demanded exemption from income tax and other levies on their pension.

In a statement issued here, members of the All India Central Government Pensioners’ Association have also demanded interim relief of Rs 1,000 per month.

The pensioners have also sought that free and proper medicare be extended to pensioners residing outside the jurisdiction of Central government health service establishments.

Other demands raised by them include the restoration of commutation of pension after 12 years, additional pension for service beyond 33 years and additional pension at the rate of 5 per cent on attaining the age of 65 years and 10 per cent on attaining the age of 75 years. 



Harkirat best  in painting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Oral health and hygiene is an area of concern among children and general population these days as a result of increased availability and consumption of tooth-decaying foods and products and casual attitude towards regular brushing.

This was stated by Dr Sanjay Kalra during a dental camp organised by the Chandigarh Press Club in collaboration with Trigon Dental, a Panchkula-based dental clinic, here today. Dr Kalra claimed that as a result of technology advancement, now anybody could get a perfect smile with the cosmetic smile designing.

Meanwhile, Harkirat Singh and Manasi Bhargava won the first and second prizes in the painting competition organised on the occasion. Divyanshu Sharma won the consolation prize. Ankita Sharma won the first prize in the slogan writing competition while Manik Ahuja and Anubhav Gulati bagged the second and consolation prizes, respectively. A special prize was bagged by Ritika Sharma.

Arjun Nanda won the first prize in the fancy dress and milky smile competitions while Khayati Goel won the second prize in the milky smile contest.



Special kids celebrate Christmas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The three-day Christmas celebrations at Samarth, a residential care centre for the welfare of special children, concluded here today. The celebrations were organised in collaboration with the Rotract Club.

A Christmas party, featuring dance performances by the children, was the highlight of the day. Santa Claus distributed gifts among the children.

The president of the parents/guardians society of children of Government Institute of Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, thanked the Rotract Club for organising the celebrations.



Christmas spirit pervades city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Red was the colour of the day, as city residents put their best foot forward to welcome Santa Claus from all directions. But the toast of the day was Chandigarh administration’s idea of packing off around 100 Santas for a trip across the city.

Boarding the hop-on, hop-off bus of CITCO from Shivalikview this afternoon, the Santas drove across the town, sprinkling the festive flavour at various city’s landmarks, including Sukhna Lake, which was alive with Christmas festivity.

Elsewhere across the city, too, Santas remained the norm of the day, gifting sweets and happiness to anyone who cared to take.

At city churches, it was a special time as always, with the tone for the festival being set last night when mass prayers were held to usher in the divine.

At the Catholic Church, Sector 19, a special slid show in the life of Jesus overwhelmed the gathering.

Today, it seemed all roads led to city’s churches, with people from all walks of life and communities partaking of the Christmas feast.

As for the feast, it came wrapped in many flavours, with most of the city’s hip joints throwing the Christmas bash.

Discs and clubs were choked with partygoers even as the ambience of the city came alive with the melody of Christmas carols at churches.

Commercial joist and establishments made every possible effort to cash in, with Sector 17 shops stationing Santas outside to lure customers.

Newly-opened Dhillon Six Miles resort in Zirakpur had created a prefect ambience by organising a special bash on the day.

Crowds partied on all three floors here; while at Copper Chimney another disc a lavish spread awaited the visitors.

It was all about turkey, traditional food and wine. At Kid’s Own Mall in Sector 17, children had a blast, with Santa distributing gifts.

On the other hand, Aerizzona allowed its customers to rock through the day. At another end, Antidote put up some competition for Aerizzona.

Away from the frenzy of celebration, members of We Volunteers, an NGO comprising some present and past PEC students, chose to be with slum children at YTTS Pustak school, Sector 25.

They danced for them and cheered them on to spread some light in their dark lives.

“That’s what Christmas is all about. Light and more light,” said 20 volunteers who made the day of slum children special.



Complaint filed against info officer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Surinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 22 A, has complained to the appellate authority, estate office, that the central public information officer has failed to provide information pertaining to cooperative house building societies in Chandigarh within the stipulated period of 30 days.

Moving an application under sub-section (1) of section 7 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, the applicant has stated that after the lapse of one month, the CPIO asked him to deposit Rs 38 so that the requisite document could be provided.

“The latter is signed on November 30 and was received by me on December 8,” he added.

On December 12, the requisite fee was deposited. But due to lack of communication between the two departments, the applicant was again asked to deposit the requisite amount on December 13.



Sampark Centres 
Revolutionising lives of UT villagers
Satinder Pal Singh

Chandigarh, December 25
Information technology (IT) has virtually revolutionised the life of 57-year-old Jaswant Singh, a farmer of Dhanas village.

He no more covers a distance of 12 km to deposit his electricity bill at the Sector 15 sub-station.

Thanks to the gram sampark centre, started in the village a few months ago, he gets his pension virtually on the doorstep.

Soon villagers owning agricultural land will be able to know the rotation schedule of water to irrigate their fields from the centre.

“It is nothing less than empowering villagers who are often discriminated against when it comes to giving facilities,” observed Amar Nath, who had come to get his telephone bill deposited.

Located at a short distance from their homes, people now find it safe to send their children to submit electricity and water bills.

“I have a school-going daughter whom I could not send to Sector 23 sub-center earlier to deposit bill,” said Amit Kumar, a shopkeeper.

Even students are all praise for these the centres, as they no longer now have to stand in queues to get bus passes.

“I had to go to Sector 23 for renewal of bus pass earlier and wait for hours. Sometimes, the centre closed at 1.30 pm, leaving me with no option but to come the next day. But now I can get it done in no time,” says Siddharth, a student of Sector 37 school.



HIV+: Panel to check exploitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
With a view to checking the recurrence of cases of PGI-type exploitation of HIV+ women in the city the state AIDS control society has formed a committee.

According to sources, the committee, comprising technical staff of the committee, will keep a strict vigil on the counselling centres of the city.The commmittee will function independently of the committees formed by the PGI and the police.

Recently, the PGI was rocked by the allegations of exploitation of HIV+ women seeking treatment by certain employees of the AIDS project.



MC sits on lok adalat order
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
On September 11 this year, the permanent lok adalat (public utilities services) passed a significant order ruling that the general power of attorney (GPA) holders in group housing societies in the city were entitled to water connections in their names on domestic rates.

However, almost three-and-a-half months later, the decision seems to have been lost in the bureaucratic red tape at the municipal corporation with lok adalat's decision remaining on papers only.

In fact, Manjit Singh Dilawar, a resident of the PSB Officers Society, Sector 49, applicant in the case against MCC, is moving from pillar to post to get the decision implemented even in his own case.

Tired at the delaying tactics of the lower-level officials, Dilawar had sent representations to the xommissioner and mayor to intervene in the matter so that the civic body complied with the order of the lok adalat. In spite of the fact that the civic body had lost several cases in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the corporation officials were toying with the idea of again moving the high court wasting precious public money, Dilawar claimed.

Meanwhile, in another application before the lok adalat, Dilawar again urged the court to direct civic body to comply with its order.

It may be recalled that the lok adalat had termed the commercial tariff being charged from Dilawar as "totally unwarranted and amount to deficiency in service”. Besides, the water connection was not released in his name in spite of the fact that he had submitted an affidavit from the owner of the house.

It was contended that the applicant was already getting electricity in his own name at the domestic rate. But the civic body was dilly-dalling on the release of a water connection in his name and was charging him commercial rate.

However, the corporation had contended that the “applicant was having illegal water connection and had rightly been charged commercial rate”.



Low-budget hotel for tourists

This has reference to the news item ‘City to house more five-star hotels’ published in Chandigarh Tribune of December 23.

City has already got an army of star hotels where a room’s rent ranges between Rs 1,700 and Rs 3,200, which is beyond the reach of low-budget tourists. I am connected with the promotion of tourism in the city for the past more than four decades. I appeal to UT administrator Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues to pass orders for setting up a big Janta Hotel in the city and a camping site for tourists.

Narinder 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



YPS alumnus booked
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
The police here booked Sunny, a member of the Yadvindra Old Boys’ Association for allegedly attacking another guest at the annual ball of the association held at the Yadvindra Public School on December 22.

According to Deepinder Singh, the SHO Phase VIII police station, the complainant Arshdeep Singh Sandhu who is also a member of the association was at the annual ball when Harjot Singh, Sunny’s brother, reportedly pushed him inadvertently. Arshdeep asked him to walk properly to which Sunny took an offence. Arshdeep has alleged that Sunny attacked him with a Swiss knife.

The police has booked Sunny, a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh, under Sections 324 and 326, IPC.

When contacted, the president of the association Dr Teja said nothing untoward happened while the ball was going on and it seemed the incident took place outside the school.



Theft accused was planning to open business
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Inderjit Singh of Lalru, who was arrested impersonating as civil judge junior division-cum-judicial magistrate with a stolen car sporting a red beacon on December 15, was planning to start a business of sale and purchase of secondhand goods in Lalru.

The police said he had purchased a 150 sq yard plot in Lalru with his “ill-gotten money” and had begun construction there to start his full-fledged business before he landed in the police net.

The operations cell of the Chandigarh police claimed to have solved 18 cases of theft and recovered stolen articles worth Rs 40 lakh from Inderjit Singh.

He was today produced in a local court, which extended his police remand by five days in connection with case of theft of jewellery from a car in Sector 34.

DSP (operations cell) Vijay Kumar said more cases were likely to be solved during Inderjit’s further interrogation.

The number might go up to 30, many cases had not been registered.

People would be called for identification of goods and fresh cases would be registered against him.

The DSP said 18 cases of theft had been worked out so far and articles, including three cars, seven laptops, three guitars, several garments, including Army uniform, wrist watches, seven mobile phones and a large number of mobile phone charges, briefcases, purses, three TVs, credit and ATM cards, jewellery worth lakhs of rupees and other miscellaneous articles worth around Rs 40 lakh had been recovered from Inderjit Singh.

The DSP added that the main operational area of Inderjit Singh was in and around educational institutes and posh sectors in the city.

He had committed a majority of thefts in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Sector 3 and 11 police stations.

His favourite areas were Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, Panjab University, schools and colleges.

Terming Inderjit Singh a “shrewd criminal”, the investigating officials said he had never disclosed his entire criminal past to the police when he was arrested earlier. So far, they had only been able to track his crime record of three years.

He had invested in property and pawned stolen goods in bulk.

Inderjit reportedly told the investigating officials that he wanted to start a business of his own into the sale and purchase of second-hand articles, which would also help in concealing his nefarious deeds.



Infant girl found abandoned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
A one-and-half-month-old girl was found abandoned in a jungle area near Kajheri Chowk, here, this afternoon.

According to the police, Kishori Lal of Kajheri reported to the police alleging that an unidentified female infant was lying in the area.

The police reached the spot and took the infant to the children home. The police has registered a case of abandoning the child to conceal birth in this regard.

Motor cycle stolen

Punit Bansal of Sector 15, Panchkula, reported to the police that his Bullet motor cycle (HR 03 R 3454) was stolen from Sector 9 on December 24. A case of theft has been registered.

Caught stealing

Bhupinder Singh of Sector 19 filed a complaint with the police alleging that Vivek of Phase I, Industrial Area, was caught red-handed while stealing a cash box on Monday. A case has been registered.



PU Market
No commercialisation for three decades
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
One of the most happening places, the market in Panjab University, seems to be untouched by retail revolution given the lopsided policies of the university authorities. This coupled with limited clientele is one of the main reasons why one doesn’t see much changes in university market in terms of what it was three decades and now. Moreover, with the tightened security it’s hard to spot someone from outside the campus in the market area.

A visit to the shopping area in the university reveals that how some of the oldest shops and eateries have stood the test of time. Kwality café and Ginza, one of the oldest eateries owned by the Lambas, started way back in 1970 and is one of the most visited places by the students, both old and new. “Looking back, the business has now become stagnant. One of the reasons could be the limited clientele that we cater to. Though many of our customers who are old students of the university do visit here with their families, the authorities hardly encourage food chains to open here”, voices Rani Lamba, the owner. But with the changing times, many things have been added and we do keep pace with the varying needs of today’s youth, she added while supervising the ongoing renovation work at the twin shops.

Naveen of New Modern Opticians (since 1964) seconds her opinion. “There cannot be any comparison between the shopping arcades outside city and the one here in PU. As a matter of fact, we only cater to the residents of the campus”, he added.

“The university has seen many changes and so has the business. With the increasing number of departments and students, at least the demand for books and particularly journals have gone up since the 60’s when we opened here”, said 80-year-old V.P. Arora of Lyall Book Depot. “Business might not be much here but the satisfaction comes from the fact that we are constantly in an intellectual environment, he added.

“This is an educational institution and there is a limited scope of commercialisation here. As it is, it’s not a running market like we have in other sectors but we have been making improvements with the growing demands of people. Though the things are quite better now and if the university allows the entry of retail outlets of corporates, it will do good to everyone”, says M.R. Pardesi who is running Rakesh Departmental Store since 27 years. 



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