C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


All set for cantonment board elections
Thirty-three candidates in fray
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Ambala, May 15
The stage is set for the Cantonment Board elections to be held on May 18. Thirty three candidates will fight it out in eight wards. As many as 27,000 voters will decide their fate.

The last elections to the board were held in 1998. Earlier, there were seven wards.

Wards No. 3, 5 and 7 are reserved for woman candidates while Ward No. 2 is reserved for Schedule Castes.

The campaigning will end on Friday evening. The polling will be held from 8 am to 5 pm and the results will be declared on May 19.

The Congress, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Vikas Parishad have fielded one candidate each in all eight wards. The Indian National Lok Dal has fielded only six candidates. The party has not fielded any candidate from Wards No. 5 and 8.

The last elections, held 10 years ago, had seen the BJP and Congress win equal seats. This time around, however, the Viaks Parishad feels that it will give a better alternative to the people. “Our party is doing very well. We will definitely get the maximum seats. We did not participate in the last elections. People here have many problems. There is inadequate supply of electricity in many areas and lack of civic amenities,” states Anil Vij spokesperson of the Vikas Parishad.

“The Congress and BJP have done nothing for the people. If they had, the situation would have been much better,” he states.

The BJP is, however, confident to win the majority of seats this time. “The BJP had won three seats last time. We expect to win five to six seats this time,” states Raj Singh, spokesperson of the BJP.

The board officials, on their part, have set up 33 polling booths. Staff on election duty held a rehearsal today.



Traders’ panel urges CM to keep his word
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, May 15
The Punjab Pardesh Beopar Mandal, in a letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, has urged him to keep the promises he made with the organisation at a meeting held on May 4. The meeting was held at Amritsar under the presidentship of state president Amrit Lal Jain.

Local president of the mandal O.P. Gupta, in a press release issued here today, said the working committee of the mandal had held a meeting with the Chief Minister, chief secy, FCT, Punjab, and excise and taxation commissioner wherein it was decided that all sales tax cases up to 31.3.05 would be assessed with token charge of Rs 300 per lakh without submission of "C" forms. Besides a number of other things, it was also decided that VAT on pulses and pure ghee would be reduced from existing 12 per cent to 1 per cent.

Apart from this, it was decided that representation would be given to the mandal in the small trade/traders’ boards, SSI and Infrastructure Development Boards and persons having no connection with the promotion of trade in the state would be removed from the boards.

The mandal demanded implementation of the demands as soon as the model code of conduct in the state was withdrawn.



Rs 2 lakh stolen from bus
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, May 15
Local schoolteacher Om Prakash today claimed to have lost Rs 2 lakh to pickpockets.

According to the police, Om Prakash had gone to his bank to withdraw Rs 2.35 lakh here this morning. He told the police that he had to give the money to two persons and he had noticed someone watching him carefully at the bank.

Om Prakash left the bank and went to Dera Bassi to deliver Rs 35,000 to someone. After that, he boarded the bus to Ambala where he had to give the rest of the money. He saw three youths boarding the bus and disembarking midway after about 10 minutes. After a while, he saw his bag and realised that it had been cut open from the bottom and the money was missing.

He got off the bus and contacted the police. A complaint has been registered. The police has asked for the footage of the CCTV cameras from the bank.

Om Prakash told the police that the three youths, who boarded the bus, did not include the person who was watching him withdrawing the amount from the bank.



Residents act where cops fail
Megha Mann

Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 15
Residents of Thermal Colony here today caught hold of a thief, who, along with an accomplice, had stolen more than 300 brass taps from the colony.

Deputy chief engineer S.C. Chabba said the thieves were on prowl for the past one week and had caused a great loss of water in the colony. They operated in the late night hours from midnight till 3 am or 4 am. "On an average, more than 30 taps were found missing everyday," Chabba added.

Officials of the colony had repeatedly made complaints at the nearby Ghanauli police post, but to no avail. Then they decided to catch the thieves on their own.

They formed a team, including XEN S.K. Jindal, a junior engineer, two workers and two security personnel, to patrol the colony at nights. They succeeded in their endeavour and caught the thieves on Tuesday night at around 2.30 pm after giving them a chase. The thieves gave them a tough fight and even hit them. One of them, even succeeded in absconding from the place while the other one was caught and handed over to the police at the Ghanauli police post.

“Police officials said they were busy with the elections and hence could not take any action," said sources. Meanwhile, in charge of Ghanuali police post Baldev Singh said a case had been registered against the minors, but no recovery had been made.



Winners celebrate victory
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, May 15
Most of the candidates, who won the zila parishad and block samiti elections from the Bassi Pathana block, today took out processions and paid obeisance at various gurdwaras.

SAD candidate Inderjit Singh Sandhu, who won the Fatehpur Arian (general) zila parishad seat by a record margin, took out a large procession from Bassi Pathana to Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib and paid obeisance at the gurdwara. He was accompanied by former minister R.S. Cheema, MLA Didar Singh Bhatti and a large number of supporters and party workers. They were presented siropas by head granthi of the gurdwara.

Similarly, other candidates, who won the elections, went to various gurdwaras to pay obeisance. While talking to the mediapersons, Sandhu said people had reposed faith in the leadership of Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal. He said the SAD recorded a clean sweep by winning all zila parishad and 14 block samiti seats out of 15 due to the intensive campaigning done by R.S. Cheema and Didar Singh Bhatti.

Meanwhile, R.S. Cheema and Didar Singh Bhatti thanked the gathering for maintaining peace and helping the administration in conducting the elections in a free and fair manner.



Sikh varsity to get recognition
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 14
Sri Guru Granth Sahib world Sikh university will get recognition within a week after the government comes out with its gazette.

Dr Jasveer Singh Ahluwalia, member secretary of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Fourth Centenary Memorial Trust, a constituent unit of the SGPC, said this.

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University Act, 2008, on April 16. Under the Act, the SGPC would establish the proposed university with nine schools in various disciplines.

In the first academic year, it would start five courses in religion, including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, information technology, nano-technology, biotechnology and management studies.

He claimed that faculty from across the country would be recruited.

Situated on 84 acres, the first phase of the university was coming up at a cost of Rs 270 crore.

Meritorious students from rural areas would be given preference and scholarships.



Man beaten up for choice of party
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 15
The police has booked three persons for allegedly beating up a resident of Bras village for not casting his vote in favour of a particular party.

In his complaint to the police, the victim, Naresh Pal, accused the three of beating him up. The victim was rushed to hospital where he was said to have received internal injuries in his stomach.

One of the accused has been identified as Kirpal Singh. The police is conducting raids to arrest the accused.

A case has been registered under Sections 451, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC.



Inter-house TT match at DAV
Tribune News Service

Ambala, May 15
An inter-house table tennis match for junior and senior boys and girls was held on the school premises of Maj R.N. Kapoor DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Ambala Cantonment.

Apple House bagged the first position in junior boys, Bhaskar House bagged the first position in junior girls and in senior boys, the first position went to Rohini House.



Fire in junk market
Tribune News Service

Lalru, May 15
A major tragedy was averted when a fire broke out at a shop in the crowded Kabadi Bazaar here this afternoon.

The shop belonged to Brij.

Thankfully, the fire did not spread to other shops.

Four tenders from Dera Bassi and Ambala were rushed in. It took an hour to douse the fire.

Though the exact cause of the fire could not be ascertained, it seems the fire was sparked due to short circuit.



Golf Club to have faster, smoother greens
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, May 15
New captain of the Chandigarh Golf Club Brig H.S. Bath is determined to give the players a taste of faster and smoother greens before the next major golf tournament gets underway on May 28.

In an exclusive chat, Brig Bath, who plays with a handicap of 18, said the fourth and 15th greens would be relaid with the twift dwarf grass grown in the seventh hole nursery. This would be a big saving as earlier either this brand of grass had to be imported from Florida or from the nurseries near Delhi. But here he hastened to add that the greening of the holes was an ongoing project.

The club had also appointed a professional course manager who would see to it that the greens were in top shape. “Col Navkesh Singh has done a number of stints manning the courses at army golf clubs. He has already had a feel of the greens although he is to officially join on May 22,” said Brig Bath.

With coring and top-dressing of the greens completed, the greens have acquired a faster pace. This was evident in the previous tournament when the players fired sub-par scores.

The new captain is hopeful of implementing the plan for a concrete golf cart track. "That is if the funds permit," he added. Also on the cards is a computerised watering of the course at night. This watering will take away the weeds and other material from the untreated water.

Although he was hesitant, the new course captain said he wanted to relay the 12th and 13th fairways.
Laying stress on transparency, the Brigadier said samples of the sand from the Yamuna for bunkers had been placed at Tee No 1 and the reception asking the members to give their views. The bunkers should have the new sand before the start of the pro event.

Brig Bath appeared excited while answering a mobile phone caller. The good news was that the BMW Amateur Golf would be played at Chandigarh on October 25. And to top it, they had promised a BMW car to the person striking a hole in one.

Club president D.S. Bains had ordered a classification of caddies. Brig Bath said this was the result of the meeting between Bains and Punjab Governor S.F. Rodrigues, who was eager to promote the caddies. Thirteen caddies had been classified as those who could play on the circuit.

Sixteen amateur caddies would be allowed to practice and play on the greens free of cost. Another seven caddies were cleared for playing in the practice area. These 23 amateur caddies would be given free training by Ajay Gujral every Monday from June.

With club president Bains keen to have a faster and smoother greens with stress on transparency, Brig Bath is all set to set the greens in top order.



Inter-District Cricket Tourney
Day I: Manpreet slams ton
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
With his ton (115), Manpreet put Minor District Zone B team in the driver’s seat against Chandigarh team on the opening day of the two-day match of Punjab State Inter-District Under-16 Tournament for ML Markan Trophy 2007-08 at the Sector 16 cricket stadium here today.

Batting first after winning the toss, Zone B put on 272 in allotted 95 overs for loss of six wickets.

Manpreet, who hit 11 fours to complete his century, was supported by Arjun and Sarpinder. Arjun chipped in 48 runs whereas Sarpinder remained unbeaten on 54 runs. Jaipreet was the other notable contributor with 23 runs.

Naveen Dhiman and Vaibhav Garg took two wickets each for 92 and 35, respectively.

In reply, Chandigarh had 39 for 1 at the close of the day. Jaskaran Singh and Naveen were playing on 14 and six, when the bails were lifted. Manan Vohra was out on 12 runs. Manpreet took one for 8.

Brief score:

Zone B: 272 for 6 in 95 overs (Manpreet 115, Arjun 48, Sarpinder 54 n o, Jaipreet 23, Naveen Dhiman 2 for 92, Vaibhav Garg 2 for 35) Chandigarh: 39 for 1 in 22 overs (Jaskaran Singh 14 n o, Manan Vohra 12, Naveen Dhiman 6 n o, Manpreet 1 for 8).



Football: St John’s thrash GMSSS-10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Riding high on four goals by Aameen Goyal, St John’s High School, Sector 26, lifted top honours thrashing Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 10, by 7-1 in Pre-Subroto Cup Inter-School Football Tournament at GMSSS, Sector 22, here today.

Displaying tremendous performance, forward Aameen ripped apart the defence line of the rivals but it was Simran Sandhu who opened the account for the winners in the 10th minute of the game.

GMSSS took the lead when Pawan struck in the fifth minute. But it proved to be the lone goal as the strong Johnians did not give them any chance further. In the 12th and 15th minutes, Goyal made took the score to 3-1.

Daksh extended the lead just after three minutes. The next two goals again came through Goyal in the 35th and 45th minute before Daksh sealed the victory in the 50th minute.



Hockey: Clean sweep by GSSS-18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
In the Pre-Nehru Inter-School Hockey Tournament (girls) at Hockey Stadium, Sector 42, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, proved no match for Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Sector 18, as the latter registered 6-0 victory to secure a berth in the finals.

First goal of the game was scored in the fourth minute by Neha. Reena netted the second goal in the 16th minute. Monika (37th), Sandeep (two goals) and Navdeep were the other scorers for the team.

Putting up a bad show, their rival could not manage to score even a single goal.

Tomorrow, GSSS, Sector 18, will take on GMSSS, Sector 42, at 8:30 am.



City girls for hockey coaching camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Two city hockey girls Navneet and Babita of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, have been selected for under-21 junior coaching camp to be held at SAI Center, Bhopal, from June 1 to 30.



PGI’s renovated burns unit to open soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 15
The PGI is all set to provide upgrade services to the patients of burn injuries. The renovated burn unit is expected to start by the end of this month.

The centrally air-conditioned unit with 18-beds would be quipped with individual monitors. At present, the department is coping with 15 beds to cater to over 300 cases annually.

Dr R. K. Sharma, head of the department of plastic surgery said: “We have added extra facilities for the convenience of the patients because there has been a significant increase in the number of cases over the years.”

“Equipments are available in the department but due to lack of space, we were not able to place them with beds,” he said, adding, “But whenever a patient needs monitoring, we use it. Now, all monitors will be connected to main server, from where, condition of the patient will be observed.”

Various facilities provided by the department will also be brought under one roof.

Most of the patients suffering from burn injuries can be saved if given adequate facilities, but the absence of these facilities, rate of infection becomes exceedingly high and can claim lives.

Burn treatment is extensive, exhaustive and expensive procedure. Dressing of wounds is the most vital step in the treatment. After healing of wounds, plastic surgery is required for reconstruction of damaged skin and parts of the body.



Parking scam: 2 months on, JE booked
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Exactly two months after the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) mayor unearthed the parking scam at Sukhna Lake and Fun Republic, the police here have booked the JE involved in the scam.

According to sources, a case under sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and the 120-B of the IPC has been registered against Bijendar Singh, JE of the MC, for his alleged role in irregularities in running of the parking lots.

Acting on specific information, mayor Pardeep Chhabra along with nominated municipal councillor M.P.S. Chawla had raided the parking lots on March 16 and detected largescale irregularities. At the Sukhna lake parking, Rs 30 was being charged from buses without issuing parking slips. Besides, Rs two was being collected for keeping helmets without issuing receipts. A large number of ‘fake’ parking slips were also seized by the team.

At both parkings, labour laws were being flouted as the security contractor - Aman Security Service--forced personnel to work for 12 to 16 hours at a monthly salary ranging between Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000. All this was allegedly been done under the supervision of the JE.

The issue had raised a lot of dust with councillors at a recent monthly meeting of the MC house demanding a vigilance probe in to the matter. The house had later entrusted the matter to the vigilance department.

While the vigilance dilly-dallied on the issue, the booking of the civic body official seems to be the first step by the local police to bring the guilty to book.



Labourer killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Mohamed Kari, a 30-year-old labourer, was killed in a road accident near the traffic light point in Sector 17, late yesterday night. According to police, the victim was working as a labourer in James Plaza, Sector 17. At around 9 pm, while he was walking along the road a Skoda car (CH-03-M-33) hit him from behind. The victim sustained severe injuries and was rushed to the PGI, where the doctors declared him brought-dead.

The driver of the car Nav Raj, a resident of Sector 35, has been arrested.



BSNL leads the pack in broadband connectivity
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Aggressive marketing, restructuring of tariff plans and ensuring connections on demand has led to BSNL attaining the top slot in the broadband connections in this region. Officials in the BSNL said they had managed to be the leaders in the region as far as broadband connections were concerned.

By adding an average of 1,000 new connections a month, the public sector behemoth has managed to clog 22,000 broadband connections here.

BSNL general manager (telecom) Naresh Sharma says: “We have started aggressive marketing and restructured our tariff plans to suit every pocket. During the coming months, we hope to add 1,500 new connections every month. Instead of offering the unlimited plan at Rs 900 a month, we are offering this at Rs 700 a month. Besides, we have a cost-effective package of Rs 125 a month, which allows download of 150 mbps.”

With the tricity having one of the highest PC penetration in the country, most companies are vying with each other to get a larger share of customers for broadband connections.

Though the BSNL has managed to retain the top slot over the past couple of months, it was unable to release connections for a couple of months last year as it had exhausted its bandwidth.

This had given an edge to its competitors, especially Airtel and Tata Telecom, which managed to increase its sales in the region during that period.

Sharma, however, said they had now been allocated additional bandwidth, thus increasing the capacity to 34,000 ports (around 70,000 megabytes).

“As a result, we are able to supply the connections on demand and are also able to provide the speed of 2 mbps, while our competitors cannot provide the same speed,” he said.

“All big exchanges in the Chandigarh telecom district (comprising Chandigarh, Mohali, Kharar and Panchkula ) are now broadband ready, as broadband equipment has been installed in all big exchanges and will be installed in small exchanges soon,” he added.



Biz Word
INIFD launches Hindi, regional language programmes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Fashion, textile and interior design programmes in Hindi and regional languages were launched by the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) on the 14th anniversary of its Chandigarh-based institute here today.

Ritu Kochhar, corporate director of INIFD, said these programmes would provide platform to all those talented people, who are equipped with the art of Phulkari, Chikankari, Kantha and Tanjoi.

INIFD director Ashok Kaushik released the prospectus of these newly launched vernacular programmes. INIFD students presented dances in regional languages to mark the occasion.



Play on female foeticide staged
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 15
Gone are the days when a woman was worshipped. Now days, she is subjected to perpetual torture and inhuman tyranny in the male dominated society. The woman has been grudgingly given a secondary status and even the baby girl is regarded as a harbinger of curse.

Keeping this in mind, Roopak Kala Kendra and Welfare Society highlighted the burning issue of female foeticide in collaboration with the Bubby Badal Foundation and DPR, Chandigarh.

It was certainly the potent theme of the play which made the intrusive theatre buffs to throng the Randhawa auditorium. Based on Balram Sharma’s story, the play portrayed an inevitable struggle of woman for parity in the society.

The playwright director Sangeeta Gupta had structured the play in pastoral background to make the perceived message of harnessing the rampant female foeticide for the rural milieu.

Apt dialogues depicting the natural ambience of rural life were very close to the lower middle rural family life. The play progressed to cover many hidden facts like pre-natal tests and abortions.

Malika Bhasker as the proverbial antipathetic and nagging mother-in-law excelled while advocating for the male child for his son. Charu, Jaspreet and Rajji were simply superb. The chief guest N.P.S. Aulakh complimented the artists. Bubbly Badal exhorted them to take on the drug menace in Punjab through the vibrant medium of theatre.



SASE club holds cultural function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
To commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Defence Research and Development Organisation, a cultural evening was organised by the ladies club of Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), here today.

The theme of the celebration was based on the Rajasthani folklore and culture. SASE director Dr R.N. Sarwade was the chief guest at the function, which was attended by a large number of SASE personnel and their families.

President of the club Jyoti Sarwade presided over the function, which included various forms of classical dances, drama and other entertaining games by the ladies.



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