C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Canadian MP to take up problems of Punjabi youth
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 9
Canadian MP Gurbax Singh Malhi has assured to take up the problems being faced by Punjabi youths regarding the issuance of Canadian visas with the authorities concerned.

Malhi was speaking at a function organised here yesterday by the World Sikh Intellectual Council to honour him.

Malhi said Punjabi youths were facing a number of problems related to issuance of visas by the Canadian authorities. He also admitted that Punjabis were allegedly subjected to discrimination when it came to issuance of visas as compared to south Indians. “I am going to take up this matter with higher Canadian authorities and also in the Canadian parliament,” asserted Malhi.

Malhi advised that intellectual forums like the World Sikh Intellectual Council should also write to the Canadian immigration authorities in India and apprise them about genuine problems of Punjabi youths and others.

“Nothing is going to happen if you remain silent on issues affecting you. If Punjabis in Canada come across any problem, they are free to call on me anytime,” said Malhi who is known for his efforts towards the upliftment of the Punjabi community in Canada.

Apart from council president Baldev Singh Balluana and standing committee member Mohinder Singh Jassal, senior Akali leaders Harmel Singh Tohra and Inder Mohan Bajaj were also present.



Punjabis in Canada indulge in foeticide too: Dosanjh
Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Sanaur (Patiala), January 9
Female foeticide might have brought bad name to Punjab, but it was also widely prevalent among Punjabis in Canada.

It was ironical that though the general ratio of females was higher and around 52 per cent in Canada, it was not in the case of the Punjabi community. “The ratio of girls among the Punjabi community is much low compared to the Canadians,” disclosed former British Columbia (BC) Premier Ujjal Dosanjh. He was here to meet his friend Karanbir Singh Cheema.

Dosanjh said though exceptions were there, the evil of female foeticide among Punjabis was a matter of concern for one and all. “Unborn female child was subjected to death. A number of people go to the USA for sex determination tests,” he said.

Reacting to the state government-sponsored Punjabi NRI Sammelan, Dosanjh said it was sad to note that most of announcements generally failed to take shape of reality. “There was hardly any need for setting up exclusive NRI police stations, but the need of the hour was to set the system right in the existing police stations. How can one expect any positive changes or reforms if policemen taken from the same force were deputed to the proposed NRI police stations,” said Dosanjh.

Referring to the oft-repeated appeal of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to NRIs for investing in Punjab, Dosanjh said the approach towards this issue was good, but hardly 2 to 4 per cent of Canada-based NRIs had adequate spare money for investment in Punjab. “Most of them have money which is just sufficient for meeting their own needs. Punjab is in need of administrative reforms and only after these come into force NRIs can invest in Punjab,” said Dosanjh.

Earlier, Dosanjh went to Patiala-based Moti Bagh Palace of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and met his wife MP Preneet Kaur as Amarinder was said to be in Dochi with his Pakistani friend Aroosa Alam.



Chandigarh Automobiles penalised for tax evasion
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 9
The district excise and taxation officials today detected tax evasion by Chandigarh Automobiles.

In a press release issued here today, the assistant excise and taxation commissioner, Ropar, said a surprise check was conducted on the premises of Chandigarh Automobiles.

Vigil was maintained on the activities of the dealer for a fortnight.

The dealer owns eight godowns in addition to his shops whereas he had declared just two godowns to the department. He had allegedly suppressed his purchases as well as sales. He was also not paying tax and VAT returns.

An unaccounted stock worth Rs 6 lakh was also detected and the dealer admitted his fault, the assistant commissioner said. She said tax and penalty of Rs 2,25,000 was imposed on the defaulter.



Goods train derails
Our Correspondent

Ambala, January 9
A bogie of a goods train derailed on Ambala-Ludhiana rail section near Ambala Cantonment railway station yesterday morning. The train was coming from Tuglkagabad and was on way to Dandari Kalan.

Station superintendent R.N. Meena and technical staff of Ambala railway division immediately reached the spot. The bogie was put back on track after an hour’s efforts.

However, reason behind the derailment could not be ascertained. According to sources in the Railways, the incident occurred due to some technical fault in the bogie alignment. Some trains coming on the same track had to be diverted to some other track due to the derailment.



MC chief absolved of corruption charges
Our Correspondent

Ambala, January 9
Neelam Sharma, president of Ambala Sadar council, was absolved of corruption charges today.

Some councillors had levelled several corruption charges, including the misuse of Section 35 of the Municipal Council Act against Neelam and demanded a probe into the matter. The deputy commissioner had asked the Naraingarh SDM to look into the matter.

The SDM submitted the report to DC in which he stated that the charges were baseless. However, he suggested disciplinary action against two council officials in this regard.



Chandigarh gives 3-1 thrashing to Punjab
Tribune News Service

Aditi from Andhra Pradesh plays softball during the National School Games in Chandigarh.
Aditi from Andhra Pradesh plays softball during the National School Games in Chandigarh. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 9
Chandigarh boys emerged champions in the softball matches in u-14, 17 and 19 categories, held at various venues. The matches were part of the National School Games being hosted by the Chandigarh Education Department.

In softball finals u-14, Chandigarh boys beat Punjab 3-1, in semifinal tie held at GGSSS-23 ground. In u-17 final, the team beat Punjab 2-0 in another semifinal played at GMHS-36 ground and in the u-19 category, Chandigarh beat Chhattisgarh team 4-2 in semifinals held at GSSS-37 grounds.

In girls’ hockey, Chandigarh beat HP team 3-0, in the semifinal encounter held at Sector 42 Stadium. From Chandigarh side, Monika scored two consecutive goals in the 5th minute by converting a penalty corner (PC) and in the 23rd minute through a field goal. The third goal was scored in the 28th minute by Sandeep.

In another semifinal match, Rani and Bharti fashioned victory for Haryana team opposite Punjab team 6-0. Rani scored three goals (3rd, 18th and 21st minute) and Bharti bang the board twice (8th and 17th minute). Sandeep also enhanced the margin by scoring another field goal. Now, Punjab girls will take on HP girls for 3rd place.

In boys’ hockey semifinal match played at Sector-42 stadium, Punjab boys beat Orissa 3-1 and ensured their berth in the finals. Barkat Singh of Punjab team opened the account for his team during the 7th minute by converting a PC. Thereafter, Deepak Kumar of Punjab scored two consecutive goals during the 9th minute by converting a PC and another field goal during the 17th minute of the play. On the other hand, Orissa could score only one goal during the 40th minute through a field goal scored by Aijub Ekka.

Chandigarh boys’ team will take on Punjab, whereas, Chandigarh girls will face Haryana team in the final matches, to be played tomorrow at Sector 42 Stadium.

Meanwhile, Orissa secured 3rd position in boys’ category beating Haryana 3-1 in a match played at Hockey Stadium-42.

However, the softball matches for girls have to be postponed for tomorrow because of bad weather in the evening.

Other results: Softball semifinal match boys’: U-14: Chandigarh b Delhi 5-2, Punjab b Maharashtra 2-1; u-17: Chandigarh b Delhi 6-0; Punjab b MP 10-0; U-19: Chandigarh b Punjab 5-1; Chhattisgarh b Kerala 8-2.

Softball semifinal match girls’: U-14: Chandigarh b MP 15-3; Punjab b AP 12-5; u-17: Chandigarh b Chhattisgarh 10-3; Delhi b Punjab 15-3; u-19: Chandigarh b Kerala 12-0 and Punjab b Delhi 8-1.



Poor start by Saaniya, Irina in Delhi Golf Tour
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, January 9
Irina Brar and Saaniya Sharma of Chandigarh started badly with nine over par 81 scores on the opening day of the DLF Women's Professional Golf Tour seventh leg, which saw the country's top professional Smriti Mehra take the lead with a one-under par 71 on the par-72 greens of the Army Environmental Park and Training Area (AEPTA) at Dhaula Kuan in Delhi today. Although, Smriti hit only eight greens she putted brilliantly. She had five birdies and four bogeys in just 24 putts.

Four shots behind the leader was AEPTA player Nalini Singh who returned a three-over par 75 card. Saaniya Sharma who turned professional last year started with a double-bogey and repeated the double on the third hole.

She lost a stroke each on the second and fourth to be six-over par in the front nine.

She could manage just one birdie on the 12th and lost a stroke each on the 10th, 15th, 17th and 18th to be three-over par 39 in the return nine for a tally of nine-over par 81.

Irina Brar, who reigned the Indian amateur circuit for several years, just could not get her game in order.

She conceded four bogeys in the front nine. The string of bogeys continued in the return nine, with the 15th turning out to be a double-bogey.

Both Saaniya and Irina, who were tied third after day one, hit six greens each. But while Saaniya had 30 putts, Irina putted 32 times. Scores: Smriti Mehra 71, Nalini Singh 75, Saaniya Sharma 81, Irina Brar 81, Nonita Lal Qureshi 85, Shalini Malik 88, Preetinder Kaur 91.

B-Class professionals: Reena Singh 82, Pallavi Jain 91.



Weather becomes a cause of concern
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 9
The ongoing weather condition is now a matter of concern for the players and also for the officials of the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association that is organising the ITF Tennis Tournament.

The matches’ schedules for day 3 also got suspended today due to bad weather. Not a single match was played. The weather condition prevailing is certainly a matter of concern to complete the scheduled matches.

While talking to our correspondent, ITF referee Joy Mukherjee from Kolkatta said, “Certainly weather is a concern now. We have been forced to suspend the matches that were scheduled for today. We will adopt no-add match tiebreaker and will change the coats.

Though, we are lucky as far as the venue is concerned. The CLTA has excellent infrastructure, with both clay and synthetic coats, but still we have a lot of matches left, added Joy.

“It is frustrating. Weather does affect our performance.

I worked hard in the nets for the match, which was scheduled for the afternoon, but somehow it got suspended”, said a player from Republic of Georgia.

The matches for today got suspended after the inspection of the ground, which was done by the ITF referee, the scheduled matches have been postponed for tomorrow.



National School Games
Venue for closing ceremony shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The venue of prize distribution function and closing ceremony of 53rd National School Games to be held on January 10 has been shifted from Sports Complex-42 to the Auditorium of Government College for Men-11, here.

It was decided by the Education Department during a meeting held under the chairmanship of DPI (S) S.K. Setia. The function will start at 12:30 pm. Krishna Mohan, home-cum-education secretary, Chandigarh, will be the chief guest on the occasion.

According to Setia all cultural items that were to be performed on field had been cancelled because of inclement weather. “We have scheduled only two cultural items to be performed by students of GMSSS-10 and Shivalik Public School, Sector 41.

Meanwhile, a show cause notice has been issued to Sumati Kanwar, principal of IS Dev Samaj Senior Secondary School, Sector-21, because of her continual absence in the meetings conducted by the Education Department.

This was announced by Setia during the meeting of NSS programme held in the auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector-10.

During the meeting Setia evaluated the utilisation of funds collected from different schools for organising camps last year.



‘Level of tennis is same in India as abroad’
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Striking a balance between studies and sports, the tennis players in town for the ITF Tennis Tournament being played at CLTA, Sector 10, shared their views. The level of lawn tennis played here and overseas is almost similar, said the Indian players together.

Listing the number of times these young girls were in a fix where they had to choose between appearing for exams or go for a tournament, Rashmi Teltumbde of Mumbai said, “This was three years back when I was in Class VIII. The dates of lawn tennis tournament and exams were same. After much persuasion the school authorities found a way out. I was given the option to give five exams in a single day.”

Elaborating on it she said it was a do or die situation for me.

So, I gave the exams in a single day making history, Rashmi got a decent percentage also.

On how tough the life of tennis player is, Rashmi points out, “It’s my birthday today and nothing is going my way. The weather is bad, barring us from playing our game.

I won’t be able to party as I am away from my family but everything is fair till I am on the winning side in the game.”

Sonia Dayal from Mumbai, shares her views on it, “In India a sportsperson’s potential is not taken into consideration.

Stress is laid on completing studies along with the game.” Sonia feels that the training of the game is equally good as in any other part of the world. “It is the power with which you hit the tennis ball that matters in the game and Indian players are no less than anyone else.” Well the pressure on students abroad is not very high. The standard of sports is almost same in India. Talking on the game and cramming her lectures, Nicha Lertpiraksinc of Thailand opines, “I practice four hours a day. The pressure of studies is not that high, though the teachers are strict sometimes.” While other players nodded in agreement with her. Thai players had a tough time in comprehending the language. Their coach translated the questions asked by The Tribune correspondent.

The weather played spoilsport leaving behind a damp tennis court. The players waited for the climate to get better.



City kickboxers win laurels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The following athletes won medals at the 21st National Kickboxing Championship held at DAV School, Lawrence Road, Amritsar, recently.

Girls: Ritika Rawat (GMHS-37), gold, Komal (GMHS-38), silver, Arien (Ryan-49) and Jyoti (GMHS-37), bronze, Mudabbira Rehmani (GMHS-37), bronze, Komal (GMHS-38), silver, Nidhi Walia (GMSSS-33), bronze, Sukhdeep Kaur (SGHSSS-40), bronze.

Boys: Atharav Vashisht (St. Jones-26), bronze, Amit Singh (Dev Samaj-21), bronze, Amandeep Singh (GHS-56), bronze, Vijay Singh (GKSSS-30), bronze, Santosh Kumar (GMHS-37), bronze, Devinder Swroop Yadav (GMSSS-32), silver, Roopak Kumar (GKSSS-30), gold, Mandeep Singh Malik (DAV-8), first.



Inter-school games from Jan 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh Sports Department is organising the Inter-School Games for under-16 (boys and girls) from January 14 to 16. The competitions will be conducted in 10 sports disciplines. The games are being conducted under the Sports Authority of India's "promotion of sports and games in schools" under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The participant must be a bonafide student of a government or public recognised school of Chandigarh. The age should be below 16 years as on December 31, 2007, as per the school record.

The competitions in archery will be held at Lake Sports Club; athletics, volleyball and basketball at Sector 7 Sports Complex; hockey at Sector 18 Stadium and football at Sector 17 Stadium. The remaining competitions will be held at Sector 42 stadium. The entries close on January 10.



Support from crowd boost confidence: Rajpal
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 9
Support from the crowd always gives the strength and boost confidence, said Rajpal Singh, captain of the Chandigarh Dynamos. The team had won the first final from the best of three of the Premier Hockey League being played at Hockey stadium, Sector 42.

The captains of both the teams playing the finals, Chandigarh Dynamos and the Bangalore Hi-Fliers, appreciates the support that is being given to them by hockey lovers.

Rajpal said, “No doubt that supporters play an important part in the game. The support really boosts confidence and makes us mentally strong to fight the challenge and make the most out of it. But, at the same time, the support also gets the teams under pressure of not losing in front of home crowd”, added Rajpal.

Tushar Khandekar, Captain of the Bangalore Hi-Fliers said, “Certainly, yes the supporters does make a difference to some extent. The support from the crowd gives us strength and makes the team psychologically backed up to perform.”



Aspirant sends representation to director
PGI’s professorship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The PGI continues to turn a blind eye to the alleged following of two sets of rules for selection to post of professor in various department.

In the backdrop of the apathetic attitude of the PGI authorities, one of the affected aspirants yesterday sent another representation to the PGI director.

In his representation, Dr Yash Paul Sharma, additional professor in the department of cardiology, again staked his claim to the post of the professor in the department, according to PGI sources.

During the recent interviews for the post of professor, there was an apparent discrepancy in the minimum years required for appearing in the interview.

While in medicine and other related faculties, two years’ post-MD experience was taken into account, in certain super-specialities, including cardiology, this experience was allegedly not considered.

A minimum of 14 years’ experience is required for appearing for the post of professor at the institute.

This coupled with the deletion of a clause that “age and experience relaxable in exceptional cases on the recommendation of the selection committee” allegedly worked against the interests of Dr Sharma.

“On the day of the interview on November 14, I had brought to your notice the pendency of my representation in relation to the deletion of the clause.

However, in spite of directions to the deputy director (administration) to consider my candidature for the post of the professor, no action was taken either to reject or accept facts stated in the application on the deletion of the clause,” the representation said.

The inaction on part of the administration on the pending application in relation to the deletion of the clause would result in colossal loss to my career. Even in AIIMS, experience up to six months after the last date of the submission of the application forms is considered for appointments,” the representation added.



Diabetic retinopathy project opens
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 9
Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, chief advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister, inaugurated the Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Diabetic Retinopathy Project here today.

The project is to be run by Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib (C) Eye Hospital, Sohana, in partnership agreement with World Diabetes Foundation (WDF), Denmark.

Various prominent ophthalmologists of the region gave presentations at the function.

Describing the aim and objectives of the project, Khushwant Singh, programme coordinator for the project and general manager of the Sohana hospital, said the project would run for three years. During this period, 500 medical practitioners, 1,500 paramedical staff and nurses would be trained in patient education, 90 camps would be organised, 45,000 people would be screened out of which 5,000 diabetic retinopathy patients would be given free treatment in a phased manner.

The WDF would give a grant of $281,095 in eight instalments spread over three years for the project.

He further said there was a plan to cover five districts - Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala, Ropar, suburban areas of Chandigarh - covering a total population of 50 lakh. Community participation with involvement of social workers and local self-help groups would be sought to ensure maximum involvement.

Regular review meetings would help keep targets in focus.

Bhai Devinder Singh Khalsa Khannewale, chairman of the Sohana Hospital Trust, thanked the delegates.



Book on acupressure released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Dr Amrit Tiwari, former dean of the PGI, Chandigarh, yesterday released a book ‘Acupressure-do it yourself therapy’ written by late Dr Attar Singh.

Dr Tiwari said acupressure, the ancient system of treatment, needed to be encouraged because it could heal without medicines. The English edition of the book has been compiled and edited by Dr Attar Singh’s son Dr Rajdeep Singh.

This is the the third edition of the book. The Hindi and Punjabi editions of the book have been in circulation for over past 25 years.



2,500 given polio drops
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
Around 2,500 children were administered anti-polio vaccine by BSF personnel on January 6, 7 and 8 in a coordinated drive with the civil health authorities, government of Punjab and Chandigarh administration, in and around Mohali and Chandigarh.

According to Dr Anupam Upadhyaya of BSF, booths were established at Verka Chowk, Phase I barrier, Mohali bus stand, railway station, Sectors 34-A, Sector 43, to administer polio drops to children between 0-5 years and a door-to-door drive was also conducted. The vaccine was also administered to underprivileged children in the door-to-door drive carried out in the slum areas of Sohana village.



Two traffic cops suspended for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The police today suspended a head constable and a constable of the traffic wing for letting off a traffic violator by taking a bribe of Rs 500 from him.

The police said head constable Suresh Kumar and constable Anil Kumar deputed at the transport light point stopped a Ford Endeavour SUV (HR-51-X-7902) for taking a wrong turn.

They took Rs 500 from the driver of the vehicle and let him go.

Ashok Chopra of Faridabad told the police that the policemen demanded money from the driver of their vehicle.

Chopra made a written complaint in this regard.

Both policemen have been placed under suspension and transferred to the Police Lines.

A departmental inquiry has been also been ordered against them.



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