C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Height control restriction decision
UT, Punjab set to cross swords
Former objects to planned colonisation to north of Capitol Complex
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 7
The decision of Punjab’s Local Government Department to relax height control restrictions in its municipal areas is set to intensify the war of words between the UT and Punjab, as the former has repeatedly objected to the colonisation to the north of Chandigarh, behind the Capitol Complex.

While the local government has stated that there would no restriction of height on commercial and group housing projects and the cap on the density of dwelling units per acre has been removed, UT officials believe that dense colonisation in this area would put extra burden on the infrastructure of Chandigarh.

It may be mentioned that the state local bodies department has planned a 30-metre wide road through the UT to connect Kansal and Nayagaon - two villages included in the Nayagaon NAC. Since UT’s Khuda Alisher village was cutting into Punjab’s territory, the integration of essential services like road, water and sewerage was not possible, unless allowed by the UT.

“The existing urbanisation had preceded the infrastructure. There are hardly any roads, water and sewerage network in badly insufficient. Further relaxing the bylaws would only aggravate the urban disaster. Urbanisation would mean more flow of vehicular traffic towards Chandigarh,” observed an official of the Punjab’s Town and Country Planning Department.

If the new bylaws are made applicable to the Nayagoan NAC, anyone who has 2500 sq yard plot can construct more dwelling units per acre, against the existing ceiling of 60 units. “As in Zirakpur, no consideration is made on ground to supplement the basic infrastructure for the group housing societies.”

Since the Tata housing has bought approximately 52 acres here for the setting up of a multi-storyed housing colony, sources did not rule out the possibility of the relaxations affecting the fate of the housing project in the area.

In the light of a previous announcement by the Punjab Government decision on not allowing any high-rise construction within 1 km of Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh ‘Capitol Complex’, it has not been made clear whether the entire area of the controversial housing project was covered under the ban.

While pointing out that the 1 km radius from the Capitol Complex includes some of the area that had been bought by the private company, the sources did not rule out the possibility of the rules being amended to benefit the mega builder.

As per the previous decision, the height of buildings within 1-km radius of the Capitol Complex from the eastern end of the Secretariat building would not be more than 15 m. Here the buildings can only be mirror images of the structures built in Sectors 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the UT.

Barring the area covered under the 1 km radius, height relaxations in rest of the area would certainly add to the chaos. No one is checking the haphazard construction in the NAC area.

Fixing the height of buildings in various zones in the Nayagaon master plan has always been contentious issues for the local government department.

Compared to the new norms of the local government in the Mullanpur master plan, the overall height has been fixed at 20-mt, 30-mt and 40-mt as the development slope moves away from the base of ecologically sensitive Shivalik hills. The intention is to develop the area in such a manner that the view from atop the Shivalik hills could be maintained. The logic of gradation of height in relation to the hills needs to be followed in case of the Nayagaon NAC, as the area is also close to the hills.



Rathore lodges complaint with IGP
Seeks registration of attempt to murder case against Utsav
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore has lodged a complaint with the UT IGP seeking registration of an attempt to murder case against Utsav Sharma, who allegedly stabbed him outside District Courts on February 8.

Terming the incident a conspiracy against him, Rathore accused the media of perpetrating a hate campaign against him, misguiding the youth, which ultimately resulted in deadly assault on him. Rathore sought that Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC should be incorporated in the case already registered under Sections 324 and 506 of the IPC in this connection at the Sector 17 police station.

Insisting that a serious consideration was required in the matter, Rathore asserted that new generation of criminals should be discouraged, as such hate campaigns could lead to assaults against ex-governors, ministers or any judicial officer.

Rathore, in his complaint lodged about a fortnight ago, alleged that the Chandigarh police had not approached him till February 16 to record his and his advocate ND Sharma’s statements under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code regarding the incident, even as they had requested the police to record the same after the incident.

Citing the medico-legal report Rathore said his jugular vein was injured and sought an in-depth probe to unearth the conspiracy to eliminate him and his family. He said a man with a camera attacked him thrice on neck, saying he would kill him (Rathore) when he was coming out of the District Courts premises on that day.

Rathore further stated in his complaint that he had interaction with police officials around 5 pm in the hospital and he and his advocate suggested them that since they had left the spot for hospital, it would be appropriate that the case should be registered by any person who had nabbed the assailant.

Sources said a police team would be sent to record the statement of Rathore and his advocate in this connection.



International Women's Day Special
She gives decent last rites to unclaimed bodies
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Amarjit Dhillon
Amarjit Dhillon

Chandigarh, March 7
Former banker Amarjit Dhillon, who is on a unique mission to give decent last rites to unclaimed bodies in Chandigarh, says it is the God's will for her to do the noble job, which "gives me serenity".

"Everybody deserves a decent life. If we cannot provide a nice life to less-fortunate, the least we humans can do is to provide a decent cremation to everyone after death," Dhillon, who has cremated over 200 bodies in her nearly decade-old social service career, told The Tribune humbly on the eve of the International Women's Day here.

It all began in the year 2000, when Dhillon, who was an officer in the Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) here, saw a 26-year-old Bihari married youth die of heart complications at the PGI. As she helped the young widow perform the last rites of the deceased at the Sector 25 crematorium, the plight of unclaimed bodies haunted her for several weeks.

"I was in a Catch-22 situation, as mine was a cushy job with over eight months' earned leave. However, emotions overcame monetary considerations in 2001, as I took VRS at the cost of several lakhs of rupees to convert my part-time social work into full-time passion," Dhillon quipped, adding that even before 2000, she had been doing fund-raising activities for heart patients.

Within months, Dhillon was a known name in the medical and police circles and she was regularly informed about any unclaimed body. "And being a human being, it is natural to establish an emotional bond with the deceased.” “While for the young, I feel motherly love, for the old, it is the sisterly affection. Every day I visit hospitals to find any unclaimed body, who are like my "relatives", she said.

About the funding for her social work, she said she never faced any resource crunch. "While there is no dearth of philanthropists for these noble works, I can always draw on my account for rituals and other things associated with the cremations," she said.

Nearly two years ago, PUNSUP, a Punjab Government undertaking, donated an ambulance for the transportation of bodies, which Dhillon drives herself. A local immigration firm had taken the responsibility of the fuel and maintenance cost of the vehicle.

Though recognition, including Punjab State Award and eight documentaries on various national TV channels, have come her way, it is "internal satisfaction" which keeps her going. "I thank the Almighty that He had chosen me to cremate universe's supreme creation - human being - in a graceful manner. What better service to society than this? she asks.



500-gm gold stolen from house
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 7
Negligence on part of a Phase IX family here cost it dear when burglars decamped with 50 tolas of gold and silver jewellery from their house while the family was away to Barog in Himachal Pradesh.

In the complaint lodged at the Phase VIII police station, the family stated that on returning home, it found that the gold jewellery, valued at around Rs 12 lakh, including a diamond ring, were missing and the entire house was ransacked. Around Rs 20,000 was also found missing from the house.

The burglary took place at the house of retired SDO of the Irrigation Department, Nanak Singh.

A police team from the Phase XI police station visited the house to verify the facts. DSP (City-II) Swarandeep Singh said a case had been registered on the basis of the statement given by the family.



Open House Response
First streamline the MC garbage collection at source

From the painstakingly-collected data and perceptive analysis done by Sanjeev Singh Bariana in his grim reminder "UT needs a vision of garbage processing", the problem seems somewhat intractable unless experts in the fields of "Solid Waste Management" and "Alternative Technologies" are selected on merit for consultation followed by an action plan. This Action Plan should then be publicised as "Request For Proposals" [RFP] eliciting response from well-known companies, including foreign, dealing with the problem. The final selection of the competent company should be made by a committee of planners, architects, public health engineers, social workers, environmentalists and corporation representatives.

Our mission should be to find economical and socially responsible ways to manage our municipal solid waste resources. This includes diverting a large percentage of recyclable materials for reuse and studying new methods of converting solid waste to renewable energy sources.

Experience of different countries should be used to tackle our own problems without wasting time, money and energy. For instance, according to one report, the City and County of Los Angeles, California, which I visited recently, were in agreement that selecting a new landfill site within their City and County limits was no longer acceptable since solid waste could be better managed with Alternative Technologies processes. Therefore, both agencies were focusing resources on identifying "Alternative Technologies" to divert a significant amount of municipal waste from existing landfills.

Conversion Technologies refer to a wide array of state-of-the-art technologies capable of converting un-recyclable solid waste into useful products such as green fuels and renewable energy, in an environmentally-beneficial way. Utilising Conversion Technologies to recover solid waste from disposal can: reduce greenhouse gas emission and other criteria pollutants; reduce dependence on land-filling and imported fossil fuels; and enhance recycling efforts.

"Lets remember that the city was originally planned for five lakh population" is a sane pointer from Bariana with whom I am in total agreement. Planning, in my view, is the 'Mother Strategy' that anticipates changes well before they actually take shape on ground. In this respect, however, we continue to perform dismally. To maintain quality of life in new planned towns such as Chandigarh we must regulate the total population by building more and more towns. We will require 1,600 towns of the size of Chandigarh to urbanise the entire country. And if we build 40 towns at 25 years intervals we will be busy for the next one millennium, generating widespread prosperity in fulfilment of Corbusian dictum that "Good urbanism sells", which stands proven here on the very soil of the City Beautiful!

Dr SS Bhatti, Former Principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture

City lacks regular garbage collection

Sanjeev Singh Bariana in his 'Open House' article has academically touched a number of aspects on sanitation in the city, along with relevant data. The Municipal Corporation house has witnessed animated discussion on the subject but without any plan in place for the future requirements of the city and upgrading the existing lopsided disposal of the waste. The MC had privatized sanitation services and renewed the contract this year also. The Garbage lying in the open, choked drains and overflowing sewages were some other issues. Regular collection of garbage is not taking place and dumped at the designated places. Foul smell emanating from the area makes life difficult for residents. There should be totally scientific manner involving the process picking of waste, storage and collection, including its transportation, processing and disposal.

The residents feel inconvenience living around the dumping site in Dadu Majra. The Municipal Corporation signed an MOU with Jai Prakash Associates to set up a garbage processing plant near the Dadu Majra dumping site. The Chandigarh plant is first of its kind installed in India. There is need to improving the dumping site and controlling of gas emission. New technology should be adopted for sanitation so that waste material is settled at proper place.

M L Garg, Chandigarh

Expert committee is the need of the hour

Sanjeev Singh Bariana in his 'Open House' article has highlighted the issue of garbage clearance, in the overall perspective, very comprehensively. Contrary to popular notions, sanitation is not just a poor people's problem. Even major cities in the so-called developed world do face problems, but, people there do not die of cholera or diarrhoea like they die in India.

The government of India has been spending a lot on sanitation but most of it goes waste. The fact that the Prime Minister spoke at the third South Asian Conference, on sanitation, shows how serious the government is about sanitation.

Keeping in view the gravity of the situation, it is really a matter of pride for the city to have established a Solid Waste Processing Plant at Dadu Majra. Majority of the cities and towns in the city cannot even dream of the facility, at least in the nearing times.

With claims and counter claims by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh officials and councillor flying thick, the Dadu Majra garbage processing plant has been overshadowed by petty politics. The plant seems to be jinxed since its conceptual stage. Let us assess the realities and plan reforms, instead.

Taking cognizance of complaints of residents and councillors about the foul smell and in the backdrop of the allegations of non-functioning of the plant, the administration had constituted a committee to look into the problem. However, in its report, the committee gave a clean chit to the firm. Another committee was also constituted by the MCC to see the functioning of this project. The MCC was to discuss the report of the committee in an emergent meeting on 28 August 2009. Nothing concrete has happened, ever since.

Since this project is of an immense importance and huge public money has already been spent, it is not desirable at present to deliberate about viability of a new garbage dumping site. It is always better to know the known rather unknown. Under such a piquant position, it is in the fitness of things, if an independent committee of experts preferably from Union government, could be constituted to make the existing plant viable.

S.K. Khosla, Sector 40C , Chandigarh

Improve waste collection from sectors

MSW Rules, Schedule 1, quote the implementation schedule for waste processing and disposal facility, in which it clearly mentions that waste processing facility should have been installed by December 31, 2003. On ground, not many municipal corporations, in the entire country, have succeeded in it. Till date not many cities have a waste processing facility. In that way, we are more privileged ones, compared to many. We are processing our solid waste scientifically. Imagine just four years ago the dumping site at Dadu Majra was a place no one could even stand for a minute.

Since past 25 years crude dumping of waste is going on in the city. No one till date knows how much methane would have been released into the atmosphere. Methane being 22 times more the cause of global warming gas than carbon-di-oxide is very much a cause of concern. When conferences like Copenhagen are going on around the globe, we need to think of our local duties, as well. A couple of times it was found that residents of Dadu Majra just dug into the soil and lit a matchstick which caught a dangerous fire. The result could have been lethal, for obvious reasons. Even in the open dumps, cows used to mulch garbage, dogs, and other scavengers, were seen hanging around in uncountable numbers. No records show the ground water contamination caused due to ruthless dumping over years. God knows how much contaminated is Patiala ki rao flowing just adjacent to the landfill, With the commencement of processing facility, even if the amount of waste disposed of in the landfill has reduced to half it is an achievement. This means the landfill which should have filled in 10 years will now take 20 years to get filled and also halved are the amount of emissions of methane in the atmosphere, and no contamination of ground water. I would say this is blessing in disguise and a relief for the residents but we definitely need to improve on collection of waste in sectors.

Sunidhi, Sector 38, Chandigarh

Allow more competitors for bio-waste disposal

In the name of bio-medical waste disposal, doctors (private practitioners) are being charged a heavy amount by a private enterprise. The issue needs to be highlighted more because the waste appears not being properly disposed off as exposed in his article by Sanjeev Singh Bariana. Our meeting with the secretary of the Central Pollution Committee and representatives of the Chandigarh Administration, in the past, has also produced no results.

We seek: initiative by the MC for proper collection of BMW (in form of cotton bandages and plastic syringes). A streamlined process will ensure that: it is not dumped hazardously; regulations and checks on prices and services of private enterprises are being followed and also a check on their incomes; and entry of more companies (private or government) to allow more competitors for better services.

Dr D.V. Yadav, Convenor, National Integrated Medical Association Chandigarh.



Surgeons’ conference concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The concluding day of the Northern Chapter of ASI-2010 at the PGI started with a master video session where three surgical procedures were presented by eminent surgeons from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, Lakeshore Hospital, Cochin, and Manipal Hospital, Mangalore.

It was followed by a session on bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Expert surgeons from the PGI, the SGPGI, Lucknow and Manipal Institute of Surgery, Bangalore, participated in that session.

During the discussion, it was highlighted that laparoscopic cholecystectomy has to be taken seriously and it should always be done by experienced surgeons. For management of bile duct injury, a patient has to be referred to the tertiary centre with experience in dealing with bile duct injuries.

In the session on hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery, Dr Darius F Mirza, liver transplant surgeon, University Hospital Birmingham, UK, discussed about recent issues in Liver Transplantation. Others experts from PGI, SGPGI, Lucknow, Lakeshore hospital, Cochin, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi discussed about management of acute and chronic pancreatitis.

On the session dedicated to recent advances on laparoscopy, issues related to laparoscopic management of psuedocyst, laparascopy and malignancy, laparoscopy and pregnancy were discussed by experts from the field of laparoscopy from AIIMS, New Delhi, PGIMER, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

It was recommended that laparoscopic surgery can be done safely in second trimester of pregnancy. It was also highlighted that laproscopy can help in diagnosis and treatment of malignant patients. Endoscopic management of chronic pancreatitis was also discussed in the same session. In post-lunch session, award papers were presented by residents. Prizes for the winners of ‘SURGIQUIZ’ were also distributed.

In the general body meeting of northern chapter of the ASI that was held on March 6, various office-bearers for the year 2010-11 were elected. Prof Rajinder Singh, head of general surgery department, PGIMER, was elected as the president and Prof AK Attri, head of general surgery department of GMCH-32, was elected as secretary.


Embarrassing slip-up at PU rose fest

Rushing through the remaining cultural events that are held at the end of the academic session each year, members of the organising committee of the second Rose Festival at Panjab University appear to have ignored some errors in its brochure. Right from faulty sentence formation to errors in designing the brochure, the flier released at the press conference before the rose festival was lopsided.

In addition to this, on the festival’s second day when a banner behind the ‘tambola’ stage was spotted carrying the punchline ‘Punjab Technical University- 2nd rose festival’, one of the committee members was asked if it was an error or if the PTU was sponsoring the event. He replied, “Schoolkids were asked to make the banner and, instead of PU, they wrote PTU,” leaving listeners astonished. The roses, however, were more charming than those at the Chandigarh Rose Festival.

Garbage disposal unit impresses foreigners

The city’s garbage processing plant, the first of its kind in the country, has become well-known not for its technology but for a long list of committees that were set up by the UT administration and the municipal corporation to monitor its functioning and find out the reason for the foul smell the plant emitted. The administration recently appointed a team of environmentalists and scientists not to check whether the plant was functioning properly but to prepare a list of faults in it.

A few days ago members of a foreign delegation appreciated the utility of the plant, which they thought could be a good example to solve the garbage disposal problem in their cities. They were so much impressed by the plant that they announced they would recommend to their governments to adopt such system in disposing garbage in their country.

Giving safety norms the go-by

Builders continue to ignore safety norms while undertaking public projects. In one such glaring example a car driver fell into an open under construction drain on the roadside along the Zirakpur-Ambala highway. As there was no warning sign and no streetlight at the site the car fell into the dug-up portion of earth adjoining the road.

Congress grass a potent threat

Congress grass and other wild growth are spreading rapidly in Makhan Majra village and its periphery due to the failure of the UT administration and the municipal corporation to mount a sustained campaign to remove it. One comes across a dense growth of harmful weeds on the roadsides of the village and open spaces in its periphery. So much so that a heavy growth of congress grass can also be seen around the CRPF checkpost picket outside the village. The problem becomes more acute during the monsoon season when there is vigorous growth of the weed. The harmful weed causes skin allergies to some people, while in the case of persons suffering from asthma it spells frequent attacks.

Varinder Pandey, a village resident, said: “The open space in the area, which was earlier used as a playground by children, has virtually been abandoned since it’s not possible to even walk around. Many representations have been submitted to the civic officials but in vain.”

Another angry resident of the area says the vacant plot next to his house has remained full of congress grass most of the time and his family members have no other alternative but to clean it up themselves. He says his children have often suffered from skin allergies due to the weeds.

Fake journos make beeline for MC passes

Free parking passes issued by the municipal corporation for mediapersons have become one of the most sought after items every year. This is the time when new ‘media institutions’ and ‘journalists’ begin to mushroom here and there. Applications started pouring into the MC office not only from mediapersons but also from those who are remotely associated with news reporting.

An official said during these days, one comes across “never seen before” ‘journalists’ and the ‘media groups’. A group of journalists from a nondescript ‘media institution’ sent an application seeking the free passes. The application was forwarded to senior MC officials, who raised doubts over the very existence of any such institution. The officer concerned asked his subordinate to sent a communication to the institution seeking copies of any six news items its reporters had covered during the past year. As expected, a reply never came from the other side, remarked the officer.

For once, Panchkula cops act fast

The tiff between VIPs not only makes news, it makes police move as well. The Panchkula police, which takes years to arrest hardened criminals, did not take more than a month to arrest Ranjit Bajaj who allegedly attempted to kill the son of a Punjab & Haryana High Court judge. Leaving no stone unturned to trace Ranjit, the cops put all their efforts in this single case to arrest him, leaving an impression he was a hardened criminal and could harm any one in case he was not put behind bars immediately. Special teams were sent to places as far as Mumbai to nab him. The same police, however, found no time during the past eight months to arrest Ludhiana based Sumit Sofat, who it booked for attempted murder on July 19 last year. At that time Sofat had alleged that Ramesh Pashan, a Ludhiana resident, and his two sons attempted to kill him in the Morni hills, resulting in bullet injuries to his driver. He had also accused the Pashans of robbed him of Rs 33 lakh that was lying in his Tata Safari at the time of the incident. Sofat’s driver, Nelson, was received received bullet injuries inflicted by the alleged looters. Finding it a cooked-up story by Sofat to frame the Pashans, the police had registered a case against Sofat for attempting to murder his driver.

Contributed by Neha Miglani, Anil Jerath, Aarti Kapur, Rajmeet Singh, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu and Arun Sharma.



Panchkula spring fest 

(Top) Wrestlers in action; and an artiste performs during the Spring Fest at Panchkula on Sunday. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Panchkula, March 7
The 24th Panchkula Spring Festival, organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority, concluded at the town park here today amid the usual festivity, with the audience appreciating performances of the ‘bhangra’ and ‘gatka’ dances.

Results :

Healthy Baby Show:

(6 months to one-and-half years): Boys: Tanmay-1, Hardik & Yuvraj-2.

Girls: Reet Chadha-1, Angel, Mannat & Jigisha-2.

(One-and-a-half to 3 years):

Boys: Virat Tandon-1, Priyanshu Arora & Ekansh Jain-2.

Girls: Toshani Sehgal-1, Samaira Taneja & Jasnor-2.

(3 to 4 years): Boys: Swarit-1, Gandharva Sachdeva & Bhavya Kapoor-2.

Girls: Tavish Jindal-1, Khushi Bhatia & Kritika Sachdeva-2.

Duet Dance:

(Seniors): Shelpa and Lakshmi-1, Pooja-Jaspreet & Jyoti-Manu-2

(Juniors): Asmi and Vanshika-1, Rhea- Muskan & Khushi Bhatia-Ayanna-2.

Mono Acting:

(Below 10 years): Stuti Kapoor- 1, Parul-2.

(above 10 years): Sahil-1, Amit-2

HUDA chief administrator DPS Nangal distributed the prizes to the winners.

The two-day festival was inaugurated by Haryana town & country planning commissioner DS Dhesi yesterday.

A galaxy of artistes attired in different costumes brought the diverse cultures of the region to the park.



Women’s Day celebrated

Chandigarh, March 7
Women’s wing of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Mani Majra, celebrated the International Women’s Day at Lohia International School.

Former Governor of Haryana Dhanak Lal Mandal was the chief guest. On this occasion, a symposium on women empowerment was organised. Dr Manjit Kaur, Dr Shashi Kaushal, Professor Uma Joshi and Geeta Tandon spoke on burning issues pertaining to women on various aspects in the domain of social, political, administrative and cultural field.

Madhu Suri, principal, Lohia International School, presided over the function. In her address, she emphasised the importance of women in a democratic set up. She said that it is heartening to note that women are not only excelling in almost all spheres of life they have even entered domains like defence and paramilitary forces, once considered men’s domain.

The symposium was followed by a cultural programme organised by the ladies wing. Urmil Dhingra, Usha Luthra and Kanchan Jain enthralled the audience with cultural items.

The chief guest lauded the role of women in building a modern society and congratulated the women wing for organising the function. — TNS



Play depicts life of gypsies
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 7
Every community assimilates its socio-cultural nuances creating its own aura and exhaling its particular environment and the great Russian writer Alexander Pushpin had illustrated the glaring fact in his classic poem Gypsy.

Going a step forward, the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala, teamed up with Chandigarh chapter of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) to stage a Punjabi play Gypsy urf Khanabadosh at the Tagore Theatre here today.

Structured in the rural open ambience, the play depicts the life of Gypsy kabila, who nourishes and ascribe to their independent concept of human rights with regard to their ambitions, joys and sorrows of life.

Veteran of over dozen films and TV serials, KNS Sekhon, with a team of over 10 actors, attempted to bring alive the emotional and psychological

feel of gypsy kabila inmates. Among others the protagonist, Teenu Sharma remained at her best while portraying the jovial and serious roles as the background music augmented the production level.

The play otherwise lacked a meaningful and real confrontation with the script and a cohesive drama action to sustain the curiosity of audience. It, however, retained flavour of IPTA’s peculiar drama style with dialogues weaved in lyrical verse.



Speaking Out
Women deserve a special day

March 8 is celebrated the world over as International Women’s Day. Is it a day when suddenly women find their ‘right’ place in society? Are women an oppressed, subdued class that needs a special day assigned to them, so that people have one day in a year to remember they exist? What exactly happens on this day? Are all mothers given the day off from their parenting duties? Do their husbands and children take a break and reflect on what their wives and mothers do for them daily? Is this the only day kept aside for to express their admiration to them Sharing their views with The Tribune staffer Tushima Rattan, a crosssection of residents react to these questions.

Nidhi Rehal I think having a special day for women is only an excuse for so-called women’s activists and feminists to conduct seminars and make speeches at which they air their useless views. What have they been able to do about dowry deaths, female foeticide, domestic violence, female illiteracy and other injustices to women, which continue to be rampant? Only when we’ll see a real change in attitudes towards women will we have something to celebrate”. — Nidhi Rehal, insurance trainer

Teena Singla A spark is necessary to begin a fire and I feel International Women's Day is one such spark that comes every year and lights the hearts of thousands of women and gives them the necessary confidence to fight for their rights. On this day every woman should pledge she should raise her voice against any wrong done to her or to her self-respect”. — Teena Singla, computer teacher

HridayI think celebrating this day is well deserved after all the trials and tribulations that women have gone through all these years. It’s a day when we commemorate the silent contributions of the women in our lives”. — Hriday, student

Alka NarangIt makes little sense to devote one day in a year to celebrate women’s contributions. The reality is that for a woman every single day of the year is a day to win a new battle of life. I wish there were some means to keep a check on dowry deaths or to know about the number of men who have decided not to hit their wives or how many more girls have been encouraged to get education”. — Alka Narang, housemaker

Charan Kamal WaliaIt's nice to recognise women every single day, especially those one works with, one’s sisters, mother, friends. But then it’s also good to know one day in a year has been dedicated to women, especially those who help in making the world a more livable place”.

— Charan Kamal Walia, mass communication lecturer



Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
An anti-encroachment drive was carried out in the Grain Market and Subzi Mandi, Sector 26. The drive was carried out under the supervision of joint secretary, Marketing Board, along with Market Committee officials and enforcement staff.

During the drive, around 450 encroachers, who were squatting on the roads and alongside the pavements, were removed. The wrongly parked vehicles loaded with agriculture produce causing congestion on the inner roads of the mandi were also removed.

Around 160 empty crates stacked by the commission agents on the road berms and the agricultural produce lying on the roads was also seized under the provisions of Punjab Agriculture Produce Markets (General) Rules, 1962.

The security agency and the sanitation contractor of the Mandi were found to be lacking in the performance of their duties. An action is being also initiated against them. A detailed survey of subletting of auction platform by the commission agents is being carried out by the Market Committee officials.

The secretary and staff of the Market Committee have been issued stern warning for strict enforcement and compliance of the Punjab Agriculture Produce Market Act.



82 heart patients re-examined
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
The House Owners’ Welfare Association, Sector 10, in association with Fortis Multi-Specialty Hospital, organised a free heart follow-up camp at Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 10, here today.

The camp was inaugurated by social activist Babu Ram Gupta. As many as 82 heart patients were re-examined by Dr HK Bali. Earlier, on January 3, the association had organised a free heart check-up camp wherein about 278 heart patients were examined by Dr Bali, said Bharat Hiteshi, general secretary of the association.

In 82 of these 278 patients, lipid profile was found abnormal and they were re-examined today.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Bali stressed upon the need for a change in lifestyle. He reminded the audience of simple fibrous food and regular exercise. Among others present on the occasion included special guest BB Singal, vice-president, municipal council, Panchkula, who appreciated the welfare activities being undertaken by the House Owners’ Welfare Association.



‘Palki yatra’ by Shirdi Sai Samaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Hundreds of devotees from the tricity today participate in a daylong “Palki Yatra” organised by the Shirdi Sai Samaj, Sector 29, here today.

A large number of devotees gathered at the Sai Temple in Sector 29 to participate in the “Palki Yatra”, which after passing through various Sectors of the city, culminated at Sector 9, Panchkula, in the evening. A community kitchen was also organised on the occasion.

Meanwhile, ‘Narayan Seva’ was also organised by Sai devotees at all the Sai centres in the Panchkula city where the devotees sang devotional songs.



PPCC Election
Decision of UPA chief to be final: Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Former Punjab Chief Minister Bibi Rajinder Kaur Bhattal with RK Prem Lata during Brahm Kumaris function on the International Women’s Day at Phase VII in Mohali on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, March 6
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, leader of opposition and former Punjab Chief Minister, today said the election to the president of the PPCC would be held in July and the decision of the UPA president, Sonia Gandhi, would be final.

While stating that she was one of the candidates for the post, Bhattal refused to say anything about the former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. She was in the town to attend the Women’s Day function at Braham Kumaris in Phase VII, here today.

Talking in context of the Women’s Day, she said the woman of today should realise their power and say no to harassment. The women were no more hapless and weak, she added. She said the Woman Reservation Bill being tabled in Rajya Sabha signified women empowerment.



30,000 to appear in AIEEE in city
Neha Miglani

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Nearly 30,000 students are gearing up to appear in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) on April 25 in the city. While the HRD Ministry, Government of India, has expressed its intention to merge all entrance exams under the umbrella of the AIEEE in coming years, barring IIT-JEE, the students who wish to acquire seat in the city itself, need to undergo a cut-throat competition.

Currently, there are 289 seats in the PEC and the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET) reserved for the students of the UT under the state quota. Panjab University does not have any state quota and takes nearly 318 students in the UIET and 68 in the UICET in the all-India quota itself.

As a result, the students appearing from the tricity compete with nearly 8-10 lakh students each year to get the institute of their choice.

On this issue, while some agree that limited seats in the state-funded colleges and regional engineering colleges (RECs) is healthy in terms of quality of engineers produced, many parents point out that even prestigious institutes like Thapar University, Patiala, Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) and National Institute of Technology (NITS) have state quota.

“The city has produced several meritorious students and there are not many parents who can afford to sponsor engineering degree of their children from private colleges and colleges outside the city. Many times, financially weak students, even those who a good AIEEE rank, are not able to pursue engineering studies in other states and have to opt for other courses locally,” rued Sudhi Duggal, a parent.

“While there are reports of the Punjab CET getting abolished from 2011, the same is yet to be confirmed by the PTU. Haryana and Himachal are already taking students on the basis of the AIEEE. The uniformity will drastically affect the stress level among the students, since they would need to take only AIEEE and IIT-JEE,” said owner of a training institute.

Meanwhile, for the prepration of the entrance exam, students shell out anywhere between 1.5- 2 lakh over a span of two years for the preparation. While some coaching centres in the city offer a two-year integrated course, others who offer coaching on individual basis, charge Rs 2500- Rs 3000 per month for each subject.



From Schools & Colleges
‘Pratibha’ — Panorama of cultural, mgmt events
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 7
Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali, organised ‘Pratibha - incredible youth fest’, a management-cum-youth festival here today. It was a panorama of cultural and management events ranging from corporate waves to rhymes and rhythm to world of colours covering over 18 activities.

Rakesh K Sharma, CEO of Aaj Smaaj, inaugurated the festival. JS Bedi, chairman of GJ-IMT, welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction to the philosophy and mission of the institute.

A full-day programme covering various events like giddha, bhangra, rangoli, face painting, debate, quiz, sell it, world of spectrum and skits were organised and more than 400 students participated with enthusiasm.

HS Mattewal, advocate general of Punjab, presided over the prize giving ceremony and encouraged the students to be a part of such rich cultural heritage.

Annual function

Students of kindergarten section of Ashmah walked down the ramp confidently during the annual day celebrations of Ashmah International School today. Scintillating performances and foot-tapping music marked the annual and prize distribution function. School director Jagbir Singh Kesar welcomed the guests, parents, staff members and students.

He stressed upon need of frequent interaction between teachers and parents to sort out any problem that some children face initially. He explained about steps being taken by the management to update technology, teaching methodology and curriculum keeping in view needs of fast changing time.

Chief guest Anjali Bhawra, secretary health education and research, distributed medals and mementoes to students who excelled in academics, sports and curricular activities.

Farewell party

PG department of Commerce of Government College, Sector 46, organised a farewell party here yesterday to bid farewell to the outgoing students of BCom and MCom final year.

Sumit was crowned Mr Farewell and Deepika was Ms Farewell. Gurbani and Hitansh of BCom III were adjudged Ms Charming and Mr Personality, respectively.


The National Small Industries Corporation has selected the students of Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) for engineering education, for free training in entrepreneurship building and advance skill development under corporate social responsibility.

Dr Paramjit Singh, director-principal of the group, signed the agreement.

More than hundred students from BE and BTech, MCA and BCA have been enrolled for the programme, which will generate employment opportunities.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |