C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Project awaits Centre’s nod
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

A view of the Khanpur T-point at Kharar.
A view of the Khanpur T-point at Kharar. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Kharar, April 21
The narrow bridge over Jayanti Ki Rao, a seasonal rivulet, and a 12-km stretch between Khanpur T-point and Morinda Chowk in Kurali would be four-laned at a cost of Rs 50 crore.

The central works division has already prepared an estimate of the project and forwarded it to the Centre for its final nod. Talking to The Tribune, chief engineer RP Singh said, “After completing the four laning of Kharar-Chandigarh road, the department is mulling over widening of the narrow bridge.”

RP Singh added that four laning would provide a great relief to commuters and would smoothen the vehicular movement from Chandigarh to parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir via Mohali and Kharar.

Over the years, narrow bridge has failed to support traffic in high volumes. Traffic jams are a common sight at this point. Stationing of the traffic police post at Khanpur T-point, too, has served a little purpose. Sources said the government had proposed the widening of the bridge last year also, but the proposal failed to attain a final shape, courtesy indifferent attitude of officers.

“The Punjab government had demanded that major roads be transferred from the National Highway Authority of India to the state and this was one such road,” sources pointed out. Once the project takes off, the department would proceed with the four-laning of the stretch between Khanpur T point and Morinda Chowk in Kurali. It would also include shifting of utilities such as electricity poles, sewerage lines and felling of trees. The road is bound to lose a green canopy. Those who have encroached upon the land would be asked to make way for the road.



Baboon gets his mate
Tribune News Service

Chhat (Banur), April 21
The male baboon at the Mahendra Choudhary Zoological Park here now has a mate. The female baboon arrived from the mini-zoo at Pipli in Haryana yesterday afternoon.

Efforts to get the female baboon were on for two years. Officials expected the baboons to mate in the next couple of months. The breeding time for baboons was two months.

Zoo director Tushar Kanti Bahera said six red jungle fowls were also expected to arrive from Pipli. They had given a hog deer and a barking deer in exchange.



Farmers up in arms to save their land
Parmod Mehta

Dera Bassi, April 21
Farmers of Bhankerpur village have decided to fight against the alleged land-grab efforts of the state government.

They have alleged that the Punjab government has been ignoring land and revenue records, depriving them of the land in their possession for the past five decades.

They have submitted a memorandum to the Dera Bassi SDM, requesting him to take up the matter with the state government.

Villagers led by Jai Singh and Satpal Singh have stated that the Chief Minister has agreed during a meeting that the agricultural land, after leaving 570 kanals of panchayat land, belongs to farmers.

Despite this assurance, the court of Assistant Deputy Commissioner (D), Mohali district, has taken a decision contrary to the assurance of the Chief Minister.

Proceedings have been initiated without giving farmers a hearing. Village nambardars say they will continue the struggle for their rights.

They say they have been cultivating 5,200 kanals for the past five decades, but have now turned into landless villagers.

Mohali DDPO Kulwant Singh has said the case is in his court and he will be able to give information only after seeing the records.



Residents protest acquisition at Panjokhra
Tribune News Service

Ambala, April 21
Residents and farmers of Panjokhra village staged protest against the alleged forcible acquisition of more than 1,700 acres on the Ambala-Naraingarh road by the Haryana government for the Modern Industrial Township (MIT) scheme.

A meeting in this connection was organised, which was attended by hundreds of farmers. Farmers decided to continue stir and warned the government not to give an inch of the land for the modern industrial township. They yesterday approached Ambala Cantt MLA Anil Vij for help.

Due to acquisition of land by the state government for the MIT, about hundreds of families faced threat to their houses and land as they did not know where to go in case the administration evicted them, Mohinder Singh, a resident of Panjokhra, said.



17-day-old tiger cub dead
Tribune News Service

Chhat (Banur), April 21
The tiger cub Chitra, born on April 3, died at the Mahendra Choudhary Zoological Park in the wee hours today.The zoo authorities claimed that the cub, born to Chorni and Lucky, was healthy and was being taken care of well by zoo keepers here.A senior zoo official said the cub was not feeling well and the possibility of negligence on the part of the zoo authorities could not be ruled out.Chief wildlife warden Jitendra Sharma claimed that there was no possibility of negligence, adding that the cub was found dead at 2:10 am.

The zoo authorities claimed that the cub had been rejected by its mother and zoo handlers took care of the cub, which was being fed goat’s milk.

The post-mortem examination was conducted by a panel of doctors. The likely cause of death was infection by Leptospira bacteria, transmitted to infants through mothers.

The zoo administration sent samples of different body organs to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute to ascertain further facts.



Post-challan, an ordeal for many
Surinder Bhardwaj

Bassi Pathana, April 21
Residents of the area have complained of inconvenience in settling traffic violation challans by the traffic police.

The registration certificate or driving licence of the violator is taken after a challan is issued and a date is fixed for appearing in court.

Violators have to appear before the judge in person on the given date. If the judge is on leave that day, they are given another date.

Vehicle owners from other towns have to cover long distances many times to pay their fine, causing harassment to them.

Purshotam Singla, member of the district grievances committee, has urged the SSP to empower the traffic police in charge to collect fine on the spot, as in other districts.



Dept sans building at Kalka hospital
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, April 21
Resentment prevails among residents of Kalka and nearby areas over the attitude of the state health department towards the upgrading of the Civil Hospital here.

The hospital is yet to have a separate casualty building. The state government has upgraded all hospitals in the state except those at Kalka and Pinjore.

The hospital administration has sent proposals for the construction of a casualty building to the authorities in the last couple of years.

A hospital official says the health department has sanctioned a casualty department, but the construction of a building is still awaited.

According to him, four doctors, one nursing sister, four staff nurses, four Class IV employees and four sweepers have been deputed at the hospital.

The hospital still needs one additional emergency medical officer, one clerk, one stenographer and one accountant.

Some posts have been lying vacant for a long time. Specialists are deputed elsewhere in case of an emergency, which causes inconvenience to OPD patients.



Hoax caller arrested
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 21
The police today arrested a hoax caller who threatened to bomb the mini-secretariat. The call made the cops swing into action and conduct a thorough check using a dog squad.

The man called up at the SSP’s office, saying the building would go up in flames within the next few hours. The police traced the call to a public phone booth at the secretariat.

They arrested Rajinder Singh of Fatehgarh Viran village in Chamkaur Sahib. Inquiry officer Nilambari Jagdale said preliminary investigations pointed out that Rajinder was not in good mental health.



Punjab Commissioner gets notice of motion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to Punjab Commissioner, department of irrigation and drainage,and other officials on a petition filed by a Baltana resident.

He said due to excessive encroachment, the natural flow of choe passing through the area had been squeezed and it could cause water inundation in the houses of Baltana residents.

The petitioner, Jaswant Singh, prayed for directions to the authorities for steps to stop illegal and unauthorised construction in the area, narrowing the Sukhna choe.

The petitioner stated that rainwater from Air Force station and also overflow of Sukhna Lake was discharged in the Sukhna choe.

Last year, the water inundation at a house in Baltana had caused death of a bank employee when the current passed through the water.

The petitioner further said that due to the rise in land prices at Zirakpur, some land developers encroached upon the land and raised illegal constructions, without realising that it could cause flood in the entire area.



Man booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A Sector 8 resident has allegedly defrauded his cousin by forging documents to fraudulently transfer a Mitsubishi Lancer car, which was originally registered in the name of the company run by the joint family.

Rikash Kumar Jain, a resident of Sector 28-A, had lodged a complaint with the police against his cousin Anil Kumar Jain, a resident of Sector 8-C, in July 2009. The police had conducted a probe and after seeking legal opinion on it, registered a case of impersonation, forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy against Anil Kumar and others yesterday.

The in charge of the crime branch inspector Charanjit Singh said the Rikash claimed that he was a partner along with his other relatives in Jain Trading Company, Grain Market, Sector 26. They had purchased a Lancer car in 2003 in the name of the company. Later, his cousin Anil Kumar forged documents to show one Rahul Pandey of Rohtak the sole proprietor of the company and got the ownership of the car transferred in his name.

Rikash came to know about the fraud and reported the matter to the police. The police said the members of the joint family had got registered several cases against each other.

The police said efforts were on to trace Anil Kumar and Rahul Pandey, whose original identity is yet to be ascertained.


The police has arrested two persons, identified as Suraj and Balbir Singh, booth residents of Labour Colony in Kajheri village, from near New Lake in Sector 42 on Tuesday for allegedly begging at public place. A case has been under Section 3 of the Haryana Prevention of Beggary Act, 1971.

2 held for snatching

The police has arrested two residents of Burail on the charges of snatching a purse from a woman. The accused have been identified as Gurwinder Singh and Udhay Bhan. They were nabbed after they allegedly snatched a purse of Renuka Devi, a resident of Sector 35, on Tuesday near hotel Southend in Sector 35. — TNS



Two held for smuggling liquor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
The police has arrested two persons for smuggling 178 cases (2136 bottles) of liquor from Chandigarh to other states.

After receiving a tip-off, the CIA staff headed by ASI Rishipal laid a naka near Morni Road T-Point and nabbed the accused, who had hidden the liquor cases in a truck (HR 63 3039).

The accused, Surender Singh and Raj Kumar, both residents of Panipat, were produced before the District Excise and Taxation Commissioner today.

Women snatchers held

With the arrest of four women, the local police today claimed to have burst a gang of women snatchers.

The accused, identified as Sahiba, Priya, Reshma and Asha, all migrants from Maharashtra, were trying to snatch a purse of a local resident, Sanjay Kumar, while he was travelling in a bus.

A case has been registered against the accused at the Sector 7 police station. The accused were produced before a court.



Double delight for St Stephen’s
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, had a double delight as its boys and girls clinched top honours in their respective sections in the 4th Clive Shear Carrom Tournament organised by St Xavier’s High School, Sector 21, here today.

The winning team (boys), comprising Arish, Talib and Hassan thrashed the host team of Aditya, Abhishek and Shivam by 3-0 in the final tie.

Similar was the case with girls’ team that drubbed St Xavier’s, Panchkula, by 3-0 in the title clash.

In the opening match, Farheen outplayed Damanpreet by 23-8, while Tuba beat Rebecca by 23-6.

Ashima wrapped up the title-clash by beating Vaudha by 23-4 to lift the trophy.


Boys (final): St Stephen’s, Chandigarh, bt St Xavier’s, Panchkula, 3-0 (Arish bt Aditya 15-8, Talib bt Abhishek 22-10, Hassan bt Shivam 23-12).

Semifinal: St Xaviers’, Panchkula, bt St Xavier’s, Mohali, 2-1 (Shivam bt Devinder 15-2, Rishab bt Abhishek 12-1, Aditya bt Aakash 9-4. St Stephen’s, Chandigarh bt Saupins, Panchkula, 2-1 (Hassan bt Ritesh 20-0, Talib lost to Sahib 4-6, Arish bt Shanu 16-0).

Girls (final): St Stephen’s, Chandigarh, bt St Xavier’s, Panchkula, 3-0 (Farheen bt Damanpreet 23-8, Tuba bt Rebecca 23-6, Ashima bt Vaudha 23-4).

Semifinal: St Stephen’s, Chandigarh, w/o St Xavier’s, Mohali, St Xavier’s, Panchkula bt St Xavier’s, Chandigarh by 2-1 (Rebecca bt Pamel 12-3, Nasudha lost to Alisha 0-23, Damanpreet bt Swagnika 10-5).



City’s oldest ‘akhara’ keeps tradition alive
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Tucked amidst several trees between the Sukhna lake and the Chandigarh Golf course, a group of 35 young wrestlers grapple in a mud pit every evening.

Not many, perhaps not even officials of the UT Sports department, are aware of this “akhara” (wrestling arena), which has gone on to produce both state-level and even some national-level champions.

No one remembers when this wrestling arena came into being. But all agree that it has been in existence even before Chandigarh became a city. It continues to be a virtual second home to budding wrestlers who, by and large, are from both rural and economically weaker sections of society.

While the training part is free for all, the wrestlers here are expected to contribute to maintaining the wrestling arena. Besides, four budding wrestlers belonging to poor families - Kuldeep Singh, Sandeep, Harnek and Johny - are also being provided with the necessary diet from the meagre funds of the “akhara”.

For Kuldeep Singh, a class X student whose father is a munshi with a local advocate, the “akhara” is just like his second home. “At home, we get shelter, love, support and meals. All these things are provided to us here too.

The inmates of the akhara hail from nearby villages like Kishangarh, Nada and Mani Majra as well as slums located in the city and its periphery.

Managing its affairs without financial aid from any quarters, the akhara struggles to provide for its inmates. “Diet is our primary concern. With the daily diet of each wrestler costing around Rs 250, this is not a sport for poor,” said Raja Pehalwan, who had represented the country in the Takhti Cup held in Iran in the year 2000. He is now in charge of the akhara. Ironically, it is people from poor families who are into wrestling. But a wrestler’s diet requires items like milk, ghee, dry fruits, eggs and meat.

“The sport demands nourishment and healthy diet, but our families cannot spend so much. Getting a wrestler’s diet is a big help for us to pursue with our passion,” said Johny, a class VIII student in Nada whose father is a class IV employee in the water supply department. He daily commutes from Nada, located over 20 km away.

“For us, the ‘akhara’ is the most sacred place in this world, as it not only teaches us the utmost values of life but also provides us everything to make our future and life bright,” said Harnek Singh of Kishengarh. His father is also an employee in the water supply department and he had got admission in school on the basis of his performance in wrestling.

The “akhara” has groomed several internationally acclaimed wrestlers like Raja Pehalwan, a national level medalist, Vajender, a bronze medallist at the 44th national-level championship held at Amravati, Amit Kumar, a silver medallist from Punjab, and Ashok Kumar, another national-level wrestler.

“We want to provide many facilities to our wrestlers but scarcity of funds is a major constraint,” said Raja. Wrestlers rue that they get no help from the government and no one from the sports department has ever visited their site. “Ours is one of the oldest akharas of the city but we find ourselves completely ignored. Sometimes some philanthropists help us by giving donations in kind. We do our best to promote this sport from within our limited resources,” he added.

The only source of inspiration for the grappling school has been visits in the distant past by wrestling legends like Rustam-e-Hind Chandgi Ram, Olympian Rajinder Singh and Sarwar Pehalwan and Omveer Pal.




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