C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Masterpieces restored; back in home gallery
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Conservators from National Museum, New Delhi, have resurrected 17 contemporary artworks from the collection of Government Museum, Sector 10. Valued at several lakhs in the international market, these originals by masters like Jamini Roy, Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Amrita Shergill and Sobha Singh, among others, were in poor condition and in danger of being lost when these were handed over to National Museum experts for restoration.

It took four conservators two years to nurse them back to life. In Chandigarh to complete the formalities, S.P. Singh, director, conservation, National Museum, said 16 works had been returned to the home gallery. Only one work, of Kirpal Singh, a contemporary of Sobha Singh, remained to be restored.

“This is seriously damaged. We are trying to block further loss of sheen,” said S.P. Singh, who met some UT officials.

The works, most of them 100 years old, belong to leading lights of the Indian art world. Each is valued at lakhs, especially the ones from the repertoire of Abanindranath Tagore, father of Bengal School movement which began as nationalist reaction to colonial influences in art.

Jamini Roy and Gaganendranath Tagore belong to the same school. Among the restored works are two of Jamini Roy’s, one each of Abanindranath and Gaganendranath Tagore, Satish Gujral, Kirpal Singh and Nicholas Roerich.

Amrita Shergill’s legendary “On the Beach” - the only Shergill work in Government Museum collection - has been conserved with tremendous care to retain originality. There are three works of Sobha Singh, the finest being his classic ‘Guru Nanak Dev’.

“De-lamination of paint was another major problem. Since most of these works are on paper, there were tears. Oils on canvas had problems of flaking. Each work had to be cleaned, flattened to prevent uplifting, consolidated and then mended for strength and support. It was a painstaking task undertaken under great care,” said M.S. Gill from National Museum, who worked on the project.

For Government Museum, the project has been crucial as it involved preservation of priceless works from its own collection. 



Manisha Attri’s Death
Car driver held guilty
But six other accused acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Twelve years after the Manisha Attri murder case hit the headlines, a city court today sentenced one person acquitting six others.

Additional and sessions judge R.S. Attri convicted Jatinder Mohan Singh under Sections 302 and 307, IPC. The quantum of the sentence has been deferred to January 23.

Manisha was killed in an accident on February 25, 1996. During the trial, video-conferencing was held to elicit the opinion of experts from London if the accident was an intentional act, tantamount to murder.

Relieved, one of the acquitted said: “Our personal and professional lives received a major setback during the trial. Many of us were divorced with the case in the court.”

Counsel and father of the deceased, advocate Ishwar Pal Attri, said: “I will appeal in the High Court. I cannot let those responsible for my daughter’s death go scotfree.”

Manisha, accompanied by her mother, was hit by a speeding Esteem car carrying six youths. The car was driven by Jatinder Mohan Singh, who has been convicted.

Advocate Attri approached surface transport experts in London to prove that his daughter, who was an advocate, had been done to death. Manisha died 12 years ago while on her way back home from the District Courts near the Sector 23-24 roundabout.

A report was prepared under the guidance of Dr K.R. Dharam of the department of physics, Panjab University, one of the witnesses, to prove that the death was not an accident.

It was argued that the accused trailed the victim, who was on a scooter, and after identifying her, drove towards the Batra roundabout and rammed the car into the victim’s vehicle “diagonally at high speed.”

The victim was taken to hospital by a senior IAS officer, who appeared as witness. Manisha died on March 12, 1996, at the PGI. Initially, a case of accident was registered by the police.

The court examined 67 witnesses in the case, 61 of them defence witnesses. 



Cashier looted of Rs 5 lakh at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 18
Criminals looted more than Rs 5 lakh from the cashier of Berkely Automobiles, a dealer in Maruti cars, here today. The cashier, accompanied by the driver, was robbed when he was going to deposit the money in a bank in Sector 11 market.

The robbers, in their thirties, threw a stone on the car, damaging a window and parked their Zen car in front of Wagon R of the victims. Pointing a pistol, they snatched the bag containing the cash and fled. The robbers took away the car before fleeing.



Encroachments in CHB flats removed
Drive against jhuggi dwellers also launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The enforcement staff of the Chandigarh Housing Board today removed encroachments from housing board flats in Sector 51-A.

The enforcement staff removed angle iron, barbered wires, fencing, hedges, bricks and stones used for landscaping in the 320 ground- floor houses from outside the boundary wall to the road.

Sunil Malik, XEN, said the drive was carried out from 10 am to 4 pm and encroachments from 200 houses were removed. “This will be a regular feature.”

A few residents protested and alleged that they were manhandled. Preet Karam Singh alleged manhandled his mother. “They cut down the trees that was just a foot away from the wall.”

Another resident Abhnash Singh Luthra protested when the staff destroyed his plants. He said they should have been given prior notice.

Meanwhile, the enforcement wing of the MC along with officials of the estate office removed encroachments in Motor Market, Sector 28, Sadar Bazar, and Palika Bazar, Sector 19.

The district administration initiated a major drive against jhuggi dwellers for encroaching on public land.

At least 11 FIRs were lodged at Sectors 19 and 31 and the Mani Majra police stations.

District magistrate R.K. Rao, who is also officiating MC commissioner, said all markets would be covered under the anti-encroachment drive in days to come.

A special drive to make Sector 17 free of squatters would be launched.



Bird Flu
UT intensifies surveillance of migratory birds, poultry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
In the wake of bird flu outbreak in West Bengal, UT forest/wildlife department has intensified surveillance of migratory birds in and around the city. Under the forest guards' scanner these days is the 10,000-strong migratory bird population at Sukhna Lake and another about 500 birds that have flocked to Patiala ki Rao water body in the Dhanas area.

Additional forest staff has been posted at both the locations to monitor the birds twice in a day. Although both the UT animal husbandry and forest department said that right now there was no cause for alarm at all, they added that precautions needed to be taken. While Sukhna Lake is under intensive surveillance of two forest guards all day long, we have staff for the forest lake at Dhanas as well, said Ishwar Singh, chief wildlife warden, UT.

Last year 10 migratory birds from Sukhna had died of an unknown infection. It was, however, not the H5N1 virus, regional disease diagnostic lab at Jalandhar had confirmed. This year the forest department is taking no chances. "We are looking out for these signs in the birds - isolation, drooping neck and eye secretions. Right now there is no problem," said Singh.

Meanwhile, the animal husbandry department has been sampling the 6000-strong poultry population on a fortnightly basis. Samples are being sent to Jalandhar for regular checks.



85 donate blood at two camps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
As many as 85 persons donated blood at two separate camps here today.

According to a press note, 60 persons donated blood at a blood donation camp at Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Sector 26, here. The principal, Dr KK Dhiman, inaugurated the camp, which was conducted by doctors from the Rotary and Blood Bank Society, Sector 37.

Members of the Chandigarh Adventures, Treks, and Sports (CATS) donated 25 units at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. The blood was required for the free cardiac surgeries on children conducted at Fortis Hospital under the Rotary Club's Heartline project.



GMCH-32 inspection concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The two-day inspection of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, by a team of the Medical Council of India (MCI) concluded here today.

According to sources, the inspection was done at the GMCH about one and a half years back. The periodical inspection is carried out for running various courses, including the MBBS.



Youngsters ransack shop, injure three
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 18
A group of youngsters carrying swords, hockey sticks and baseball bats allegedly ransacked a mobile phone shop last night before grievously injuring three.

According to Saudagar Ali, one of the victims, the group ransacked his shop as he had refused to give a mobile phone to one of the youngsters some days back.

The group of seven-eight men armed with swords, baseball bats and hockey sticks entered the shop ‘Cell Zone’ in Defence Colony here at around 9.30 pm last night. They indiscriminately hit out at Saudagar ali and his two partners Karamjit Singh and Gurcharan Singh. Then they wrecked the shop, smashing showcases and counters with bats. They even broke the windows of Saudagar Ali’s car that was parked outside the shop before leaving.

Other than these men, at least 15 more boys were standing outside the shop. The three injured were rushed to the Dera Bassi civil hospital where they are admitted with severe injuries to theirs legs, arms and head.

Relating the incident, Saudagar Ali said he recognised some boys and their names had been given to the police. “A week back, Raju’s paternal uncle had come with him to the shop and asked me to give Raju a mobile phone. He, however, took me to one side and told me not to give him the phone. So I refused. A few days later, Raju came to the shop and asked for me. Karamjit told him that I had gone to Chandigarh. Karamjit spoke to him in an irritated tone. He left the shop in a huff and came back with some 10-12 boys. That time we managed to control the situation and a compromise was reached. But yesterday, the entire gang came and attacked us,” said Saudagar Ali.

A case has been registered. Those named by Saudagar Ali include Raju, his father Gurmail Singh, Suvi, Sandeep, Gaggi and Suma.

The shopkeeper alleged that the youths had caused damages worth Rs 6 lakh to the shop and car and also stole some cash lying in the car. “The police has not arrested anyone till now and seems to be going slow in the case,” said Saudagar Ali.



Indian troops in Lebanon get UN citation
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Indian Army contingent deployed for peacekeeping in Lebanon has been awarded the United Nations Force Commander’s Unit Citation. The contingent was selected from amongst 30 units from different countries making up the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The citation was awarded to the 15 Punjab Infantry Battalion Group by the UNIFIL Commander, Maj-Gen Claudio Graziano, today for its “outstanding contribution towards maintaining peace and stability in South Lebanon”.

The citation states that in addition to operational tasks, the battalion carried out selfless humanitarian work, thereby endearing itself to the local population and enhancing the image of UNIFIL substantially.

This is the second time in a row that an Indian contingent has been awarded the UNIFIL commander’s citation. 15 Punjab’s predecessor unit, 4 Sikh, was also honoured by the UN, sources at Army Headquarters said.

On the occasion, General Graziano also presented the Force Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation to the battalion’s commanding officer, Col Advitya Madan. The battalion, comprising about 850 troops was inducted in southern Lebanon in December 2006 and is completing its tenure this month.

Consequent to aggressive patrolling in its area of operations, the battalion unearthed a large cache of arms and ammunition. The performance of the battalion in training activities with other contingents was commendable and it received appreciation for its battle procedures and discipline. It also identified the need for establishing additional UN posts for effective execution of tasks.

During its deployment, the battalion organised special camps in which disabled Lebanese soldiers and civilians were fitted with artificial limbs, called Jaipur Foot, free of cost. Free medical and eye check-up camps were conducted for which specialist doctors from India as well as Beruit were specially flown in.



MC Poll
BJP to field candidates on all seats
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 18
Enthused with victories scored by the party in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to contest on the party symbol and field its candidates on all seats in the forthcoming elections of the municipal council.

In fact, taking a lead from its rivals in this direction, the party is all set to declare the list of its candidates within a couple of days as the decision on the names of 21 candidates has already been taken and the names of other candidates would also be finalised within a day or two, said sources.

The party is occupying three seats out of 31 in the present civic body, the first elections for which were held on January 19, 2003 when it was the only party to contest on its symbol.

During a state-level meeting of the BJP at Panchkula held recently, it was decided that tickets be given to educated people with spotless image and social standing in their respective wards, said Gian Chand Gupta, state vice-president of the party.

Confirming that the names of candidates had been shortlisted, Gupta said the final decision in this regard would be taken by the BJP state election committee, the meeting of which would be convened in a couple of days, he said.



MC’s New Mantra
Beautification of town goes in private hands
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 18
Beautification of the town with income from private parties is the new mantra of the municipal council. Claimed to be a scheme launched for the first time in Punjab, the civic body will rake in a huge amount and make the town spic and span.

The innovative scheme will get rolling next month and cover main roads connecting Mohali to Chandigarh, big parks and green belts.

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said at a press conference here today that the council would be richer by Rs 1.50 crore within two years by launching the new scheme and the town would be greener and cleaner. He said the government had given the required permission to go ahead with the scheme.

Council president Rajinder Singh Rana said 19 sites would be developed by seven private parties, which had been shortlisted out of 12 companies that had applied for the work. Tenders were floated and the work order would be given within a fortnight. He said the private parties would develop the sites by spending Rs 32 lakh and later, maintenance would also be carried out by them for a period of two years. These parties would be given the right to put up their advertisements in the developed area for which they would be making payments to the civic body. The council would be able to earn a revenue of about Rs 90 lakh per year.

Under the scheme, Rose Garden, Phase 3B1, Bougainvillea Garden, Phase IV, Silvi Park, Phase X, and the mango belt, Industrial Area, Phase II, will be maintained by private parties and the civic body will be able to save Rs 20 lakh that was spent on the maintenance of these parks. The council will also save another Rs 8 lakh, which it spent on painting metal railings and curb channels as the work will now be done privately.

Roads leading from Chandigarh towards Phase II and stadium in Phase IX here, and those leading to Sohana, Kumbra light chowk, and from there to Balongi, are covered under the scheme apart from various green belts.

The MLA appealed to the government to vacate the stay orders on estimates for development works worth Rs 4 crore cleared at a meeting in August. Estimates were stayed after councillors of the opposition group alleged that discrimination was being done against their wards. He said as private parties would be beautifying the town, the council should also carry on with its development activities.

He said he represented the Kharar constituency in the Punjab Assembly of which Mohali was an important part. He said he never allowed any discrimination against councillors of the opposition group as they, too, were part of his constituency. He was interested in the development of the entire town, Sidhu added.

The council is also planning to widen internal roads to solve the problem of congestion. Footpaths will be demolished to make more space available for parking of vehicles.



Work on highway to start on March 1
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 18
Work on the Pinjore-Kalka-Parwanoo highway will commenc on March 1 this year. This was stated by N. Gokul Ram, chairman NHAI, at Pinjore here today.

The NHAI chairman is here to discuss the projects in the region with the officials from state of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The project was awarded to Jaiprakash and Associates on a built,operate and transfer (BOT) basis in September last. The construction period is 30 months.

He is scheduled to visit sites in Pinjore and Kalka before convening a meeting of NHAI officials from Himachal Pradesh at Shimla tomorrow.



Rains, hail give city shivers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Rains and early morning hail brought down the day temperature in the city today. Hit by sudden seasonal changes, the mercury dipped by 4.4 degree, sending the city into shivers. Although the city recorded just a trace of rain at 0.4 mm, maximum temperature fell from 21.8 degree yesterday to 17.4 degree today. Night temperatures have strangely been rising since the past three days. Today it registered a one-degree rise from yesterday.

Weather experts held the heavy snowfall in Kalpa responsible for a dip in temperature in the city. Kalpa recorded 11.5 cm snowfall today, causing biting chill in the lowers regions, including Chandigarh. Rains were also primarily recorded in Himachal, with Dharamsala recording 8m. Chandigarh and the adjoining areas recorded traces. Weather is likely to be chilly and there’s little hope of sun tomorrow, if weather forecast is anything to go by.



Plot Allotment
Status of slips to be ascertained
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, January 18
UT estate office has initiated an inquiry to ascertain the official status of provisional slips issued in the early eighties for allotment of plots in rehabilitation colonies.

The number of provisional slips which could have been used for fraudulent allotment of plots is also being ascertained. A senior official said the total number of plots allotted and the actual number of plots built would be ascertained so that the vacant plots could be used for public amenities.

Sources said the issue of provisional allotment of slips cropped up after the officials found that a plot had been illegally constructed on the basis of a provisional slip in Charan Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran. “The structure has been demolished. We will lodge an FIR against the encroachers,” said estate officer R.K. Rao.

Sources suspect that fake receipts have been in circulation since 2001 when the UT vigilance arrested more than 15 persons in connection with a land scam. 



CSIR programme on youth for science concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The two-day CSIR programme on youth for leadership in science (CPYLS) for attracting young and brilliant minds in the science stream concluded at the CSIO here today.

In his valedictory address, Dr Pawan Kapur, CSIO director, said such programmes proved to be of great importance to students who were at crucial stage of deciding their options.

VPS Kalsi, scientist at the CSIO, said under the programme, the participants were taken around various labs to get a feel of how an actual Research and Development place looked like.

The programme was part of the CSIR mission to attract young and brilliant minds in the science stream and was organised in all 38 laboratories of the CSIR around the country.



Check overcharging

A few days back, I travelled by a CTU bus on Hisar-Chandigarh route. I was charged Rs 65 as fare which included Rs 5 as toll tax. Luckily, I got a chance to see the list of rates displayed at the toll tax barrier. According to the list, every bus was required to pay Rs 33 irrespective of the number of passengers it carried. Accordingly, only a fraction of rupee is payable by each passenger.

This unfair practice of overcharging by the roadways should be immediately checked and the authorities should clarify their position.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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PU Media Fest
Contests mark Soch ’08
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
‘Soch’08’, a three-day national media fest, organised by the Department of Mass Communication, PU, Chandigarh, kick-started today with Haryana governor Dr A R Kidwai inaugurating the event.

Vice-chancellor Prof R C Sobti, students’ welfare dean Prof Naval Kishore, arts faculty dean Prof B S Ghuman. In his welcome address, the vice-chancellor talked about the role of the contemporary media and the relevance of news in today’s era of globalisation.

He also mentioned that with the changing needs of the contemporary media industry, the syllabi of journalism courses should be upgraded accordingly.

The governor in his inaugural address talked about the relevance of press in India’s freedom struggle and mentioned how the newspapers played a pivotal role in bringing about awareness and were instrumental in creating a bond.

The first day of the event was marked by various activities giving creative vent to participants. The contests, include collage making, face book which included speaking, writing, t-shirt painting, face painting, and modelling it on a theme, photography, cartooning, short film making (mobile based) and copy writing.

The day concluded with a cultural evening “Tashan”, which began with a dance performance from the rhythm group. Himanshu and Dennis delighted the audience with melodious numbers on the guitar. The three stand up acts put up by Manav from GGDSD College, Kunal of UBS and Yogesh-Sangmitra from the Department of Mass Communications entertained the audiences to the hilt.

The students of the host department also presented a skit “Cholay-a-sholay spoof” which had the 
audiences in roars of laughter.

A troop from GCG-42 performed a Punjabi folk dance. Bharti Bedi, the gold medalist of the department gave a vote of thanks to the esteemed guests. 



Cheema falsely implicated: PUSU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) held a press conference today regarding a case registered against Tejpal Cheema, PUSU leader, in connection with his involvement in a molestation case.

Activists of the union, including Abhishek Puri, former president (PUSU) and Navjot Saini, chairman (PUSU), appealed for a fair and speedy investigation in the case.

Puri said, Cheema had been falsely implicated in the case with the motive to defame him and PUSU.

He said Cheema had submitted his resignation on moral grounds but the party had not accepted it yet.

“We will request the SSP to conduct a fair probe in this matter, keeping in view the fact that the names and addresses given by the complainants are fake”, he maintained.

“If Cheema is found guilty, we will expel him from the party, but if he is given a clean chit by the police he will continue to be PUSU president. He will then file a defamation case against the complainants”, he added.

It was announced that Saini would be the acting president of PUSU.



From Schools & colleges
Reekrit wins first ever spelling bee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Reekrit Serai of Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, emerged the winner in this first ever spelling bee organised by the Quizcraft Event of New Delhi in the American Corner of the Central Library, Sector 17, here, today. Reekrit edged out his rivals from DAV School-15, Carmel Convent School-9, St John’s School in the buzzer round. Host of the contest was Adittya Mubayi. Reekrit will now represent Chandigarh at the national spelling bee to be held in Kolkata in February. Anne Lee Seshadri of the American Embassy coordinated the event.

QUIZ CONTEST: Aedis team of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, won the quiz contest on vector-borne diseases. The contest was organised by the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme and the IDSP Unit, Chandigarh, at Government Museum and Art Gallery Auditorium, Sector 10, here, today. Culex team (GMSSS-16) and Anopheles team (GMSSS-8) won the second and third places, respectively. As many as 28 teams took part in the competition.

CHOREOGRAPHY CONTEST: The Theatre Age group won the first place during a choreography contest ‘Call of the Earth’ held at Sector 46 Sikhiya School, here, today. The contest was organised by Saplings - 'Care We Share', a group of environment conscious people, especially for the unprivileged children studying at Sikhiya School. The team ‘Hamari Kaksha’ occupied the second place, while the third place went to the team of YTTS, Palsora. Eight teams from various NGOs participated in the contest.

FLOWER ARRANGEMENT: Aniket Jain of class VII and Paras of class VIII , both from St John’s High School-26, bagged first place in the fresh flower arrangement contest in Group B and C, respectively, on the second day of the Winter Carnival, ‘MCC - 2008’ being held at Mount Carmel School. The students kept the carnival stage alive with bhangra, western dances, and some popular Hindi film numbers. The talented and upcoming Bollywood singer Runjhun was the star performer of the afternoon.

CHARITY FETE: The Biotech Activity Club (BAC), department of biotechnology, organised a charity fete “NEBULA’08” on the college premises, here. Principal S. Marriya inaugurated the fete and Rana, from Bio-Age, was the guest of honour. The cultural activities included tambola, on stage snakes and ladders, carom shots, a fun stall with a medley of games etc.

LECTURE: The department of biotechnology and medical cell of the college organised a lecture on ‘Values for all round health’ today. Dr Swami Brahmesha Nanda, MD, medicine, delivered the lecture. He enumerated on several factors that led to disturbed health among which he rated anger and lack of patience as the worst.

VISIT: The BPO unit of WNS visited the college today to undertake campus placements. Dharminder Sharma, HR manager, for the north zone of the company, conducted the placement drive. As many as 37 students of the college participated in the placement test. Eight students were given appointment letters.



Fateh Singh best student at robotics workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Fateh Singh Aurora of Vivek High School, Sector 38, here brought laurels to the city after he emerged as the best student during the robotics workshop organised by The Robotics Institute at IIT, Mumbai.

Although the competition was meant for senior engineering students, it was because of Aurora’s expertise that he could manage to participate in this advanced-level competition. Principal Daman Duggal of Vivek High School said, “All his models have been elaborate, complete with mechanical parts like gears, pulleys, motors, etc. Looking at Aurora’s technical prowess, the faculty at the institute included him in the workshop after conducting a telephonic interview with him to check his level of proficiency and interest in the subject.”

Equally elated Aurora said, “The workshop included an extensive programme, covering all fundamental aspects of autonomous robot design and embedded systems. The working hours were from 10 am to 6.30 pm, everyday. On the first day itself, I had won a T-shirt for being the first one to complete the given assignment. We were given a robot kit - The iBot - to assemble. It was only through this kit that we learnt about the various aspects of robot systems.”

The last day of the workshop included a choreography project for robots, which had an array of five robots synchronised for dancing. 



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