C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman falls to death
Husband, his family members arrested
Tribune News Service

The police is investigating why Asheema chose to jump from the fourth floor of the building when the family lives in a flat on the third floor. Also, the police is suspicious about scratch marks on the outer wall of the balcony from where Asheema jumped.

Panchkula, July 6
Asheema, 23, who was married to Atul Bhatia of Sector 20 some months ago, fell to death here today. Her parents alleged that she jumped from the apartment building in which her in-laws had a flat, after an altercation with her mother-in-law. The police has arrested Asheema’s husband, his brother and his parents.

Anuj, brother-in-law of Asheema, said following an altercation with his mother, she bolted the main entrance to the house, locking the family members inside, and jumped from the fourth floor.The family lives on the third floor.

Subhash, a security guard, said he was the first to find Asheema lying in a pool of blood. A few minutes later, the sister-in-law of the deceased, Isha, reached the spot. Soon there was a crowd.

Asheema was taken to the Civil Hospital in Sector 6 where she was declared “brought dead.”

Vimal Bhatia, father of Asheema, said he received a call from Atul informing him about the incident. “Unhappy with her mother-in-law who harassed her over trivial matters , my daughter was depressed. This morning she phoned me to tell me about her altercation with her in-laws,” he said.

Said Asheema’s mother: “ Problems began after the marriage of her brother-in-law. Asheema was often rebuked by her mother-in-law in the presence of her sister-in-law Isha. She felt belittled.”

Atul denied there was any pronblem within the family. He said they returned from a jagran last night and he left for office at 10 am. Later in the day, he got a call from home informing him that Asheema had had a fall and was in hospital. A case under Section 304-B has been registered against the accused.



Kidnap call has cops in a tizzy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The local police received a call from the wife of a bank manager in Mukerian, alleging that he had been kidnapped from Chandigarh this evening.

According to sources, Sumit Gupta, manager with Land Mortgage Bank, was allegedly kidnapped while on his way back to his home in Mukerian. He called his wife from his mobile phone, informing her that he was forcibly taken away by unknown persons to Chandigarh.

He also made a call to an STD booth in Sector 37. Gupta’s wife informed the Punjab Police, which got in touch with its UT counterpart. The police has questioned the owner of the STD booth of Sector 37.



Sports Quota Admissions
PU rules play spoilsport
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Cumbersome PU rules are hampering the admission of students under the sports category. Students seeking admission under this category are required to fill two forms, one to be deposited with the department concerned and the other with the sports department.

The university authorities have been following this rule over the past several years, unmindful of the inconvenience caused to students.

The students have to spend Rs 400 on a form and they can get the second one photocopied. Most students who are from far-off places or belong to rural areas are not well versed with English and miss such conditions mentioned in the handbook of information.

Some students who had come to participate in the trials at the university today were told that they were ineligible for the trials as their forms had not reached the sports department.

Two students were declared ineligible as they had certificates of National School Games conducted by the CBSE. The authorities reasoned that these certificates were not mentioned under the certified authorities given in the prospectus.

The students said if that was the case, their forms should not have been accepted in the first place.

“Why can’t this process of submitting two forms be made simple? The respective department should send a list to the sports department on its own for gradation,” a parent said.

This is for the first time that the university has kept three days for the trials. Prof R.C. Sobti, VC, said: “We have already formed a committee to look into the matter.”


Town’s lung choked
Chitleen K. Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 27
Asia’s largest Leisure Valley in Phase IX can be called Mohali’s shame. The green belt planned and developed as town’s breathing lung is a picture of neglect.

The joggers’ track is broken at several places, the lights inside the parks are broken and most light bulbs atop poles are not functional. The smaller poles which light the tracks are also out of order.

Hardeep Singh Uppal, president of the Citizens Welfare Council, Phase IX, said the number of people coming to the valley had increased manifold - at least 500 daily.

“The choe that passes through the valley here carries sewerage. The problem becomes worse with rainwater and sewer water collecting at some places,” said Uppal.

There are no toilets and no shelters for people in case of rain.The fence around the valley is torn and stray dogs and cattle enter the valley with ease.

“The district authorities had spent over Rs 50 lakh to lay pipes across the valley for a special fountain sprinkler system. But we have yet to see the system work. Wonder, why so much money was wasted,” said Uppal.

Similarly, the authorities spent Rs 15 lakh on a special tubewell to supply water to the valley. “But that too does not function. There is a compressor which does not work,” he said.

The two bridges over the choe, that forms part of the valley, are in a dilapidated state. Their poles are blocked with debris. One spell of heavy rainfall and these bridges will be washed away,” warned the residents.



Warrant of Precedence not the last word on status
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The government, it seems, is not aware of its own conventions and regulations. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s name not featuring in the Warrant of Precedence was cited as the reason for confusion over protocol for his funeral last week when, in fact, the warrant is not the last word for distinguished citizens.

It was as far back as 1956, when the Prime Minister, while dealing with the issue of the Warrant of Protocol (WoP) recorded, “It should be remembered always that non-officials, although not included in the WoP, can always be given a high place and sometimes a very high place in accordance with their general standing.”

“It is absurd for instance, to put a great scientist or a writer at the bottom of the scale simply because he is not included in the warrant.”

“There can be no hard-and-fast rule about this matter and some discretion has to be exercised on particular occasions. This should be made clear to state governments, as well as at the Centre.”

The Prime Minister’s remarks go on to state that special officers need not be included in the warrant and yet should be given an appropriately high place whenever necessity arises.

A letter (12/2/56-Public) containing the Prime Minister’s remarks verbatim along with appropriate directions was sent to all state governments, central government ministries and statutory bodies by the Ministry of Home Affairs in August 1956.

“There is no requirement of featuring on the Warrant of Precedence to be accorded the status of a national hero,” Major Navdeep Singh, a local lawyer who has obtained a copy of the letter, opined.

“In any case, the warrant is meant to decide the seating arrangement at state functions and has nothing to do with according a state funeral to a person of eminence,” he added.

Army officers say that the rank of a Field Marshal is a rank for life and in military protocol, it is on top of the hierarchy above a full General. If a General is featured on Article 12 of the Warrant of Precedence, naturally a Field Marshal has to be accorded a status above Article 12.

Sam Manekshaw, the first Indian officer to be accorded the rank of Field Marshal after the 1971 victory over Pakistan, had passed away last week. The government had announced a state funeral for him.

However, a large number of top central and state government functionaries, including the three service chiefs, were not present for the funeral. This had raised a controversy over the insensitiveness of the government.



Ex-servicemen vow to form vote bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
As part of the ongoing Indian military veterans' movement against the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, military veterans of the tricity today submitted memorandums to the political leadership of the region requesting them to espouse their case with the Prime Minister, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and in Parliament in the forthcoming monsoon session.

Their demands include one-rank-one-pension, guaranteed government employment up to 60 years of age, representation of ex-servicemen as recommended by Standing Committee for Defence in its 20th report and their representation in various government and elected bodies.

The politicians, who were given memorandums included Pawan Bansal, union minister of state for finance, Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Hooda, Chief Minister of Punjab and Haryana, respectively, and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, leader of opposition in the Punjab legislative assembly.

Prominent among signatories to the memorandums were Lieutenant-General R.S. Dyal, former Governor Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar, Lieutenant-General V. Oberoi, former vice-chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General P.N. Hoon, former GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieutenant-General Harwant Singh, former Deputy Army Chief Lieutenant-General Deepinder Singh, former overall force commander of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka Lieutenant-General Harbhajan Singh and Air Marshals Randhir Singh, R.S. Bedi, and P.K. Jain.

The veterans felt that the recommendations were "unjust and humiliating" for the defence services.

In no other major democracy in the entire world, pay, perks and status of the military are as low as that in the Indian military.

This injustice as compared to their civilian counterparts has caused grave individual and collective hurt to both serving and retired military personnel.

Thousands of officers want to quit the Army due to lack of incentives. The vast existing shortage in the officer cadre, which already is to the tune of about 13,000 officers, will affect national security adversely.

The military veterans have never voted collectively or formed a "vote bank" earlier because they did not have a "cause" and a "motive" to do so.

Now the sense of individual and collective grave "hurt" has given them a compelling "reason" to unite, according to Brigadier Harwant Singh, member of the steering committee of the Indian Military Veterans' Movement.

Accordingly, all their organisations have take a vow to form a "vote bank" and vote collectively in elections so that they are no longer neglected.

“In states where we have a sizable concentration like in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Western UP, we along with our families and friends can influence people many times our number,” he added.



Record rain in 20 years
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
June, which used to be one of the hottest months, has had a record rainfall of 376.4 mm this year. The city experienced the highest rainfall in June in the past 20 years, breaking the record of 256.6 mm in 1988.

The city recorded 179.6 mm rainfall on June 30. The previous highest record of rainfall on a single day was 195 mm in June 1988.

As per Met officials, monsoon arrived well before time and there was plenty of rain last month. The city received 436.4 mm rainfall till July 6, which is 266.9 mm higher than normal.

Usually, the monsoon touches the city by June 29 or early July but this year, it arrived on June 14, providing relief to residents from the sweltering heat.

The met department said early and heavy rains had occurred because southwest winds from the Indian Ocean encountered fewer obstructions.

Until June, the region had scattered heavy rain, but now it would be more organised.

The department has forecast heavy rain in the coming weeks.



Off Natural Course-III
Flooding: Artery drain may be way out
Tribune News Service

Storm water drain must be kept open so that it can be cleaned

G.S. Dhillon

Drainage from tributaries as well as the quantity of water flowing should be studied

Iqbal S. Kalsi

Chandigarh, July 6
To tackle the problem of flooding, experts have sought a multi-pronged approach towards storm water management in the city. SP Malhotra, a former engineer-in-chief, Haryana, said: “Alternative arrangements, like an artery drain flowing into the main stream, must be made.”

GS Dhillon, a former director of the Irrigation and Power Research Institute, said storm water drain must be kept open so that it can be periodically cleaned.

“If the system was to be designed again, we would maintain the natural course of the drains. The system should be designed to withstand heavy rain,” said Iqbal Singh Kalsi, a resident of Sector 10 who has been studying the problem for long.

A former project engineer with ONGC, he said certain pre-requisites for landscaping and drainage need to be followed. Drainage from tributaries as well as the quantity of water flowing should be studied. Most importantly, suggestions from the public should be sought. — Concluded



Youngsters try their hand at stunt biking
Sandeep Rana


A young cyclist during a free style stunt competition at Firefox Bikes station in Sector 22 of Chandigarh
A young cyclist during a free style stunt competition at Firefox Bikes station in Sector 22 of Chandigarh. — Tribune photo by Pardeep Tewari

A young cyclist in action during a freestyle stunt competition in Chandigarh
A young cyclist in action during a freestyle stunt competition in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 6
“Gone are the days when cycling was done to travel from one place to another. It has taken a new avatar now and has become an adventure sport among the youth,” said Jeevanjit Singh, manager of a bicycle store, during a freestyle stunt competition organised by a bicycle manufacturer here today.

Jeevanjit trained budding cyclists in performing various stunts.

“Helmet and other kit should be worn while doing a stunt, as our aim is to mix safety with adventure and make people explore the potential of cycling,” said Jeevanjit.

Rupesh, a cyclist, says: “I have played at the national level for Chandigarh in cycling and was also selected for an MTV show ‘Mountain Biking’.

It is an amazing sport and I want to make it my career.”

While Gurkaran, another cyclist, doesn’t want to take it too far and wants to keep its just as a hobby. “Though at the initial stage of learning it takes time but once you learn, it becomes your life,” he quips.

These bikes are not everybody’s cup of tea, as these come a decent price tag.

While an ordinary bicycle can cost anything between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,000, these special bikes begin at a price of Rs 5,000 and go up to lakhs of rupees.

“The costliest bicycle that we have in the store is for Rs 47,000 and if one demands an advanced bike, we can get it from the US, which can cost over Rs 1 lakh,” says Gulshan, a staff at the store.

With youngsters getting exposed to stunt biking through sports channels, more and more are stepping forward to try their hand at the sport.

“India may also have a same perception about the sport as other countries. But we don’t get sponsors here because for a sponsor a single player can cost around Rs 4 lakh,” says Pranav, a young cyclist.



Sec 45 residents block traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Irate over lack of basic amenities and poor sanitary conditions, residents of Sector 45 blocked traffic on road separating Sectors 44 and 45, here, today.

The blockade was lifted only after city mayor assured the protestors of immediate solution to their problem and announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh from his mayor fund for the development of the area.

Talking to the TNS, Gopal Shukla, president of the Residential Welfare Society, Sector 45-D, said a delegation of residents of their locality had met city mayor Pardeep Chhabra and councillor Vijay Rana to apprise them of the poor state of streetlights and sanitary conditions in the locality, which was plagued by overgrown weeds. Both mayor and councillor then visited the area and assured them of immediate action, but to no avail.



CHB Pricing Row
Confusion on role of govt: Panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Angrez Singh (Badheri), president of the Pind Bachao Committee, in a statement has said that the ongoing debate on the prices of CHB flats has created a lot of confusion on the role of the government.

He said the CHB had failed in its duty to provide affordable housing. The pricing policy would further affect the already high cost of living in the city.

The Chandigarh administration decision to reduce the conversion charges in the Industrial Area based on the past three auctions was welcome.

The committee has requested the administration to apply the same yardstick while calculating the market price for the land they acquired.

The unjust evaluation of market value leads to unwanted litigation in courts. It is a colossal national loss and waste of time and resources, it added.



Bansal gives Rs 30 lakh for Sec-42 lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Pawan Kumar Bansal, minister of state for finance and parliamentary affairs, has announced Rs 30 lakh for the construction of a lake in Sector 42 for chhat puja on the demand of the Poorvanchal Sabha.

A delegation of the sabha had demanded a new water body or access to the existing ones in Dhanas and Dadu Majra as considered appropriate by the chief engineer to perform Chhat puja by migrants from Poorvanchal.

The Chandigarh administration had recently banned chhat puja at the Sukhna Lake. Meanwhile, Bansal has also announced Rs 5 lakh for developing parks in Mauli Jagran during his visit there.

He said a new sewerage line had been put laid in Mauli Jagran and Rs 47 lakh had been sanctioned for the widening of roads and pavements.

Some residents demanded a madarsa and he assured them that a madarsa equipped with modern infrastructure would be constructed in the locality.



Circle spreads awareness on life support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Basic life support and safety awareness were the highlights of an awareness programme organised by the Safety Circle in association with a telecom company at Sukhna Lake here today.

Over 500 persons got safety tips from Vandana Sharma and Rajesh Sharma of the circle.

Basic safety tips were demonstrated in a lucid manner in handling emergency following choking and shock.

Practical demonstrations were given for revival of such victims through abdominal thrusts in case of choking and first aid for shock.

The circle is an international training centre for the National Safety Council, USA, founded in 1913.

NSC is the world’s largest health and safety organisation devoted to protecting life and promoting health.

Its mission is “to educate and influence society to adopt safety, health and environmental policies, practices and procedures that prevent and mitigate human suffering and economic losses arising from preventable causes”, said B.P.S. Bakshi, managing director, Safety Circle.



Prominent Sikh personalities honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The US-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) under Excellence among Sikhs honoured prominent Sikh personalities and organisations for excellence in their fields and humanitarian service here today.

The SAD general secretary and MP, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, was the chief guest.

Those honoured included Balbir Singh Seechewal, an environmentalist, Rabbi Shergill, a singer, Ranjodh Singh, head of a business establishment, artist Arpana Caur, Inderjit Kaur, head of Pingalwara institution in Amritsar, and the Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council, a Delhi-based NGO.

The chairman of SCORE, Rajwant Singh, said individuals and organisations honoured today had provided succour to society in general and were role models for the youth.

“It will give a boost to NGOs and self-help groups and will facilitate funding for noble causes,” Inderjit Kaur, head of the Pingalwara institution, said.

“I am proud to be a Sikh and such awards will motivate other Sikh youths to work for the welfare of the community,” Rabbi Shergill said.



Citizens' Grievances

The Tribune has always strived to be the Voice of the People. To provide our readers another opportunity to speak out, the Chandigarh Tribune is starting a weekly column, Citizens' Grievances.

If you feel you have been wronged or have a grievance of not having been heard by the administration or any other public institution, write to us. We will carry forth your voice to the men/women whose duty it is to serve you- the people.

You can email your letters, with relevant documents as attachments, to citizensgrievances@tribunemail.com <mailto:citizensgrievances@tribunemail.com>or send them to The Tribune Office marked to the City Editor.




Stop unnecessary strikes

Constitutional right of freedom of expression has grossly been missused by politicians by inciting the sentiments of the innocent people using the card of religion, cast and language. On drop of a hat, a bandh call is given just to get the political mileage without realising the ultimate consequences. Bandh calls have become order of the day, may it be for Gorkha Land State issue, dera sacha sauda issue, Gujjar agitation or VHP/BJP bharat bandh.

The bandhs and strikes continue causing immense loss of life and property and adversly affecting the economy of the country. Has any of the political parties ever analysed how much time and energy of government machinery is lost in such moves, which can be utilized in some productive work. This is high time that public outrightly condemns such unproductive moves of the politicians so that the common man’s life is not affected and schoolgoing children and sick requiring urgent medical aid are not put to avoidable harassment.

S.S. Arora

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



PU joint action committee plans to invite PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A department-wise time schedule has been prepared by the members of joint action committee (JAC), Panjab University to facilitate extensive participation of students, teachers and other staff in the ongoing agitation for the central university status for PU today.

“Soon a deputation of JAC would knock at the doors of MHRD with a request to expedite the formalities at its own end. JAC leadership is also trying to have an early appointment with Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, and invite him to PU to make historic announcement of elevation PU to central university,” said Prof A.S. Ahluwalia, PUTA president.

“At present there is Rs 47 crore deficit in our current budget which could be taken care of in one go once the university is declared central,” said Prof Rajan Gaur, vice-president, PUTA.



Avoid pressure on children, says VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
“Mother is the first teacher of a child. A child, who grows in a positive environment, leads to a healthy society,” opined R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, while speaking during a workshop on parenting and quality education. The three-day workshop was organised by Banyan Tree School, Sector-48, which concluded at Arya Samaj Hall in Sector 7 here today.

Sobti stressed on to provide a conducive environment at home for the holistic development of a child.

R.S. Gupta, director, education, IILM, Ravinder Talwar, director, Banyan Tree School, Varinder Srivastva, regional head, education, Delhi, C.B. Bhardhwaj, psychologists Bharti Kapoor, Mukta Misra and principals of various institutions werealso present.

V. Srivastva, an education officer from Delhi and C.B. Bhardhwaj spoke on issues like parent-teacher participation, quality education and value-orientation.

Mukta Misra spoke on parenting and quality education and guided the parents to overcome anxiety in dealing with problems of children.

Bharti Kapoor, an educationist and psychologist from Chandigarh, apprised the parents on using various skills to help them solving their behavioral problems.

R.S. Gupta advised the parents not to stress their children and discard the rat race for outscoring other children in the percentage race.



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