C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


I’m done playing for city, says Rajpal
Hockey skipper ‘fed up’ with admn’s attitude
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 17
“I’ll not play for Chandigarh again. Why should I? No one from the UT administration bothered to call me up after winning the first-ever hockey medal in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi,” said Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh, evidently upset, while talking to TNS at his Sector 69 house here.

Rajpal, who returned home last night from New Delhi, said it had “become a habit” for the administration to ignore its players and their achievements every time.

“I knew it very well no administration official would turn up to receive me and Dharamvir, the other member of the Indian squad from the city. But at least they should have called us up to congratulate us on the team’s achievement. I’m now fed up with this attitude,” said the ace forward.

Rajpal also criticised the administration for “not having any sports policy”. “They gave only Rs 2 lakh to the country’s first Olympic gold medallist. Just compare this with neighbouring states where the award amount has begun touching a crore of rupees. Why would any player want to play for Chandigarh?” he asked.

When contacted yesterday night, UT sports department director ML Sharma said he was “busy” with his daughter’s wedding. “I’ve no idea about the schedule of Rajpal’s arrival in the city, but we’ll surely honour both our players for their achievement very soon,” he added.



City to be part of RBI’s housing index project
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
In a significant development the city has been selected to be a part of the national database for computation of the housing start-up index (HSUI) being worked out for the first time in the country. The municipal corporation is expected to compile the entire data and prepare quarterly reports.

Chandigarh happens to be one among the 50 cities in the country for calculation of HSUI announced last July. “More cities will be included in due course of time”, the housing & urban poverty alleviation ministry has said in an official communication. Prominent cities in the neighbourhood for supplying the data include Delhi, Faridabad and Ambala (both in Haryana), Jammu, Amritsar (Punjab) and Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur in Rajashan.

HSUI is an internationally accepted economic indicator of any country capturing movement of the economy and monetary and fiscal policies and interventions. The project has been pioneered by the Reserve Bank of India in association with the National Buildings Organization (NBO), which is a part of the housing & urban poverty alleviation ministry.

The data gives a picture of construction activity in a region in a given period. The index is expected to provide the base for formulation of the country’s monetary policies. An increase in the number of houses is a clear reflection on the increase in investments, business and consumer optimism, and vice-versa.

At the moment, the available indicators on housing construction activity provide very sketchy details. On ground very few cities and towns have actually any reliable data on the overall construction scenario.

Housing construction has a direct impact on the steel and cement industry and an indirect bearing on increased purchases of other consumer goods such as furniture, furnishings and home appliances.

In a communication to UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, the housing ministry secretary said “NBO has released funds for housing start-up index cells for enabling municipal corporations to focus on work relating to HSUI”.

The communication has sought information from municipal corporations pertaining to house building permits, information on house building specifications, floor area of all buildings including basements and data on quarterly basis.

National datebase

Selected to be part of the national database for computation of the housing start-up index (HSUI) being worked out for the first time in the country. HSUI is an internationally accepted economic indicator of any country capturing movement of the economy and monetary and fiscal policies and interventions. 



Commercial rent bubble bursts
Market in correctional mode; flight of major brands from Sector 17 continues
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The commercial rent bubble has burst. After hitting the roof, commercial rents are passing through a “correctional phase” in the backdrop of the bigger and cheaper new showroom facilities, particularly in upcoming malls and outer sections of the city.

In fact, the recent flight of at least half a dozen mega brands from the main commercial centre Sector 17 explains the phenomenon that the stronghold of the traditional commercial markets -Sectors 17, 22 and 35 - is on the decline.

”There has been a decline of 20-30 per cent in the commercial rents compared to 2008 due to a variety of reasons, including more commercial space available in new emerging markets and upcoming shopping malls,” informed BK Sanghi, a real estate expert.

In 2008, the rate per square feet of commercial space in the prime Plaza area in the sector was reported to be in the range of Rs 700-900 while non-plaza areas fetched the rent at the rate of Rs 300-400 per square feet. However, that now stands at Rs 500-700 per square feet in the plaza area and Rs 200-300 in the other areas of Sector 17 even though recession is the thing of the past.

Sector 17 had entered the metro league in 2008 in the backdrop of a showroom being rented for over Rs 20 lakh per month by a readymade garment manufacturing company. However, the rent had subsequently come down drastically.

The spurt in rentals was on account of the craze of MNCs to have a brand presence in Sector 17, said Anup Madaan, a real estate expert, agreeing that the commercial property market, particularly the franchisee market, was passing through a correctional phase. The oldest market in Chandigarh, Sector 22, which reported a rent of Rs Rs 200-300 per square feet was now down to Rs 150-200. The same rates were reported from Sector 35. However, there was variation in the rent rates, depending upon the location and bargaining power of the tenants.

Mani Majra, situated on the Chandigarh-Kalka highway, is another emerging area besides sectors markets. In Mani Majra, big showrooms, with ample parking space, are available at much cheaper rates than Sectors 17,22 and 35. In fact, trader-friendly bylaws, which resulted in more covered area on the premises in the emerging markets made them favourite of the major companies than the traditional markets, said Sandeep Singh, a senior executive, with a footwear company.

Similarly, Industrial Area, where a couple of shopping malls and scores of commercial buildings are coming up, affords another viable option for major brands and other commercial establishments. The retail revolution and the coming up of the international airport will make the Industrial Area the next destination for MNCs and other big brands, claimed industrialist MPS Chawla.

Emerging destination

With connectivity faster in Chandigarh, new commercial areas are emerging in the city. Sector 26 on the Madhya Marg has virtually turned into a food and entertainment hub, with major restaurants chains and night clubs and discos situated here. The rent, ranging from Rs 300-400 per square feet, is naturally on the higher side, feel observers.

Rental Accommodation
Common man feels the pinch
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,October 17
Affordable rental accommodation is getting out of the reach of the common man in Chandigarh, the city with the highest per capita income in the country. A hike of around 10 per cent has been reported in the city rentals over the past year.

“With Chandigarh remaining tenants’ first choice in the wake of the emerging retail, employment and education destinations, rents have skyrocketed in the city, virtually toppling the budgets of the salaried class,” says MK Sharma, a real estate expert.

However, location, floors and the quality of construction of the residential accommodation determines the rentals, with northern sectors (up to Sector 30) still commanding higher rents compared to southern sectors.

Rents of the houses below 7 marlas, which were quoted at up to Rs 12,000 last year, are now available at about Rs 13,000 per month. Similarly, the houses between 7 and 10 marlas are available between Rs 13,000 to Rs 22,000 per month per floor.

A random survey revealed that the rentals for houses, measuring between 10 marlas to 14 marlas, was quoted between Rs 22,000 to Rs 28,000 per month. And for a kanal house, the rent varied between Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 per month.

Observers felt that the failure of Chandigarh’s peripheral towns to provide amenities on a par with the city was one of the major reasons for high rentals in the city.”High standards of living, particularly good educational facilities and health facilities and power and water supply, were major reasons for high rents in the city,” SK Verma, a senior executive with a Baddi-based firm, who recently shifted from Kalka to Chandigarh, says.

With traditional sectors, having marla houses and Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB) flats, facing parking woes, cooperative group housing flats from Sectors 48 to 51 were the new choice for the middle class. Better architectural designs, assured parking and strategic location between Chandigarh and Mohali made society flats the first choice of tenants.

In the backdrop of these features, the rentals of the society flats had seen an upward trend in the past one year.Till a couple of years ago, there were virtually no takers of society flats on account of isolated location and lesser number of people residing in them.

However, that is a thing of the past now, with tenants making a beeline for society flats. For instance, a rent of Rs 15,000 to 22,000 was quoted for Category A flat (four bedrooms), Rs 12,000 to 17,000 for Category B (three bedrooms) and up to Rs 12,000 for Category C (two bedrooms) flats.



Greedy land speculators swoop in on IT City project
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 17
Even before IT City, a 1,500-acre industrial-cum-housing project in the town’s periphery, has been officially launched, speculation on getting high land compensation prices has begun in full earnest thanks to “insiders” in the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Much ahead of the schedule when the scheme is to be offered to the public, revenue maps marked with the proposed area to be included in IT City have been “supplied” by the insiders to real estate agents and investors, who are picking up chunks of land with the hope to rake in the moolah by getting high land compensation rates.

“Any person who buys land before acquisition of land is entitled to the compensation”, said a revenue official who has been active in striking deals on land situated in Manauli, Chau Majra and Saini Majra villages. The land in these villages falls in Sectors 82, 83 and 101.

Presently the revenue maps with sector markings are with the office of the land acquisition collector and the case for notifying the area under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act has already been sent to the Punjab government for approval.

“The farmers should know their land will be acquired and they shouldn’t sell it at lower prices so that they can benefit from the high land compensation prices. The revenue map can be obtained from anywhere”, said a senior GMADA official.

During the past few months land deals in the area are being registered at the office of the Mohali subregistrar. It has also been pointed out that the land transactions are part of a larger exercise to launder “black” money into white. “It would interesting to study the prices at which the land deals have been registered”, officials pointed out.

GMADA estate officer and land acquisition collector Balbir Singh said he would look into the matter.

Since the IT City project is proposed to come up adjacent to the Aerocity housing scheme, the land compensation prices would be at least Rs 1.5 crore or more by the time section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act was notified.

It will be a prestigious project, as a 200-foot wide road along Mohali would ultimately link the proposed international airport with the Kharar-Banur highway while crisscrossing Aerocity.

“It would more be like an IT park that has residential and commercial components. The concept of IT parks in Singapore were being studied for the purpose”, sources close to GMADA said. The area has been specifically chosen as expansion of the future city has been envisaged toward the southeastern edge of the existing Mohali town.

The profit game

Investors buying the land at certain prices show the amount only as the one shown in the registry. Now when the government buys the same land back, it pays the market price, usually higher than the registry price. By doing so the government turns facilitator in laundering “black” money into white.

Suppose a man buys an acre in Manuli village for Rs 1 crore but gets the transaction registered at the official price of Rs 40 lakh an acre. After a few months the government acquires the land at a price of Rs 1.5 crore. 


Open House Response

We do not agree with harsh treatment for juvenile fallacies, as has been carried out by Vivek High School in suspending 16 students. The children had allegedly carried out a slander campaign against a teacher. The concept of exemplary punishment is not an appropriate solution.

Social networking and its misuse against teachers has become universal. Vivek High School is no exception to the unending list of erring groups of antagonistic students. Ignorant parents feel exhilarated on finding wards fiddling with computers and facilitating them occasionally. Diminishing moral values are responsible for such immoral augmentations. Tuition culture and exploitation by teachers are retaliated by unkind words on interactive fronts. At least 40 per cent of Internet talks among children move around their teachers. Somewhere they lack counselling and go lopsided. Parents and teachers are equally responsible for this type of attitudinal disorders. There is a need of 4-H philosophy (Happy, healthy, helping and honesty).

CHETNA- Vision of an informed future Sector 24 D, Chandigarh

Suspending students undesirable

Some students having opened Facebook accounts, besides being below age and having posted some undeserving remarks are sure despicable, but suspending them from classes for three months and making monkey out of them is more undesirable on part of the school.

If schools consider themselves as repository of education, discipline and enhancing worldly qualities, then why the school has made a great hype of the issue and made mockery of the female teacher, against whom some indecent comments are claimed to be shared by the students on Facebook?

Allow the students to grow freely and share any counselling or sermons as sharing talks. Mobiles, Wi- Fi and Internet are need based. Allow them access and as good parents, be watchful to sermon right action, if required.

Wg Cdr TL Bhardwaj (retd)

Participate in child’s Net education

Several incidents of indiscipline, recently in local schools, have made parents to ponder on the reality of growing indiscipline in the schools. Sixteen students of Class XII of Vivek High School were suspended for three months for posting obscene and abusive comments about a female teacher on the social networking site, Facebook, is shocking.

Keeping in view the syllabi of teaching, it has become necessary for the students to access to Internet. At the same time, the teachers are also helpless. They cannot give corporal punishment for any indiscipline. In olden times, there used to be corporal punishment in the schools. The corporal punishment by definition means inflicting harm to a child’s body with intent to hurt for the sake of “discipline”.

To check this menace of indiscipline, there is a greater need to educate the children about the pros and cons of using websites. Equally is important to educate parents on healthy Internet access and how to keep a check on their child.

SK Khosla Sector 40 C

Students lack values

One of the students of Vivek High School has expressed his views that they have their life outside the school equipped with freedom of expression. But the students must know how to respect their teachers and elders. They must remember that we belong to the civilization where Eklavya gave his thumb to his guru without any question.

This shows fall of our values, lack of discipline and respect among the new generation. So strict action should be taken against these students who make mockery of their teachers. It is important that we should respect our teachers and elders.

Harmanjit Singh Jugait Sector 39 B, Chandigarh

Wake-up call for parents

The recent incident is yet another wake-up call for the parents, who are gradually losing control over their tech-savvy kids. The lack of parents-kids interaction, growing trend of nuclear families and 24X7 working parents further aggravates the problem and would finally result in kids digging their own graves.

On one hand, such social networking sites serve as a useful platform to generate awareness about the evils gripping society. On the other hand, it has a devastating effect on the growing kids, who take undue advantage of their not-so-technical parents. It is high time for the parents to keep a strict vigil on their kids and nurture their wards’ mind.

Arpan, UIET, PU Chandigarh

Support freedom of expression

The school has manipulated the information on its own terms. Neither photograph of the teacher was posted nor was the name of the teacher mentioned. It was just the photograph of the marksheet that was uploaded to express a certain view, which is the right of every individual. No direct comment was passed at the teacher. I think you should support the idea of freedom of expression.

Himmat Kang

Unanswered question

I would like to raise a question: The students were suspended because they thought the teacher gave them less marks. Why was there no committee set up to look into the issue by the school?

Gurpreet Singh

Strict action needed

Since corporal punishment is banned, some students take full advantage of the situation. They are abusing their teachers, calling them by their names and we cannot do anything about it.

The need of the hour is to inculcate values in our children at home as well. Harsh steps and strict action need to be taken if a student crosses the line drawn at home as well as in the school.

Meenakshi Mujnal

Protect dignity of mentors

At the present times if a teacher is strict, hard taskmaster and tries to maintain discipline in the classroom, then the teacher is inviting trouble for himself. If the trend continues then a handful of teachers, who are sincere towards their profession would drag their bold feet in reverse direction.

It’s high time to think seriously over the issue. First of all parents should never defend their wards if they are on the wrong side. Secondly, teachers, principals and governing bodies of the educational institutions should have a free hand to tackle the lawlessness in the campus and to take strict action against the guilty students. Strict rules should be framed to protect the dignity and self respect of the mentors of the nation.

Dr Sukhdev Singh Minhas Government College, Sector 46

Right age is 13

I do not agree with what the children under question have done. I just wanted to inform you that the age allowed for using the Facebook is 13 years and not 18 years, as pointed out in the report of your newspaper. Check out at <http://www.facebook. com/terms.php?ref=pf>

Jaskirat Khillan

Educate, not punish

I wish to point out that a majority of the students of Class XII of the school when sharing the social networking site, Facebook, though negatively against one female teacher, it shows the mandate of the entire class against the said teacher.

The CBSE has recently asked the students to write assessment report of their teachers. Well, the assessment report of the said teacher is now written on the Facebook and can be seen by all, internationally.

The school management cannot escape the responsibility by shedding crocodile tears. In my view, the attitude of the school is apathetic and wreckless towards the students, teachers and parents. Well, coming to the problems of the students, it is the time to understand them and sensitise them with the legal, social and humane aspects of social networking.

Kashyap Rajender Mohan

‘Leave us kids alone’

Teachers cannot interfere with our personal lives. Facebook is a personal domain.

Abhi Verma

‘Respect our freedom’

Schools have no business to peep into our personal lives because outside the school, we have our own personal lives and they do not have any right to mess with that. India is a democratic country and teachers do not have any right to interfere with things that we share with our friends.

Amit Verma

Admn intervention needed

I think social networking is not letting us grow naturally and in a mature manner. High school students are so much indulged into all this that even a relation like that of a teacher and student is being affected by this, as we have seen in this incident. So there should be some intervention by the administrative authorities to deal with this problem.

Dr Sumeet Juneja 



A real Sahayata for cancer victims
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
“Live everyday to the full with the aim - How can I help someone today?” was the mantra with which Daman, a cancer survivor, joined the Sahayata Cancer Sahyog and devote her life for the cause of those suffering from the disease.

The Sahayata Charitable Welfare Society was established by Neelu Tuli along with nine other enthusiasts, including Swantantar Kapoor, Dr Varinder Kappal and Arvind Tuli, in 1997 when her sister Renu was diagnosed with the disease.

With her involvement and support to her sister, she realised the lack of awareness about cancer and the significance of support groups.

That was the beginning of Sahayata. And the saviors of cancer kept joining the society, which is a big motivation for others suffering from the diseases.

“It was tough for me but I had one persistent thought in mind that it was not impossible. Rest I left in hands of God. You need to have inherent confidence to defeat cancer,” says Daman.

In fact, there was a great need of creating awareness regarding the diseases - that it can be cured in most cases and one need not lose hope, she adds.

“And the presence of people like us who survived cancer for decades lifts the morale of those who suffer from the disease,” says Neena, another survivor who had undergone the trauma in 1990.

“My awareness regarding breast cancer is the reason why I am alive today,” says Neena.

“Finding a lump in one of my breasts, I consulted two physicians who ruled out any possibility of cancer. However, I did not sit idle and decided to visit the Delhi Cancer Detection Centre in New Delhi where it was diagnosed as cancer and a surgery was enough to save my life,” she adds.

Post-surgery, a lot of guidance is needed for patients to live a normal life. Society members visit hospitals to interact with such patients and provide them the support. For the purpose a counter has been opened at the PGI by the society.

Pink October

October is a significant month for women living with breast cancer. Described as “Pink October”, the month is celebrated all over the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink looped ribbon is an internationally recognised symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. People buy ribbons to honour women survivors, remember those who lost their battle to the disease and also support research for cure. Historic landmarks and monuments all over the world are illuminated in pink in October to focus worldwide attention on breast cancer awareness



103-yr-old legend to perform in city tomorrow
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 17
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, which veritably applies to the living legend, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan Saheb, who at the ripe age of 103 is all set to perform in the city on October 19.

The rare classical music soiree being organised by the SPIC-Macay at the English auditorium of Panjab University at 5 pm will be a memorable listening experience for the city music lovers, claims Dr S Lavasa, chapter chairperson.

Kolkata-based Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, born in November 1908 and representing the Mian Tansen tradition and Gwalior gharana, holds specialisation in the rendition of khyal, dharupad, dhamar and thumri genres with equal expertise.

While Khan Saheb’s traditional recordings of traditional compositions have been recorded by the BBC and Iraq Radio, the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, has recorded and preserved more than 1,500 compositions.

Decorated with prestigious awards like the Sangeet Natak Akademy, ITC award and more, the Ustad is not complacent rather committed to propagate the rich musical heritage through teaching and concerts, especially by SPIC-Macay.

All are invited to welcome the blessed legend and relish his divine music on October 19. 



City bids farewell to Goddess Durga
Tribune News Service

; and (right) devotees immerse an idol of Goddess Durga in Ghaggar river,
Devotees immerse an idol of Goddess Durga in Ghaggar river, on Sunday.

Chandigarh, October 17
After Durga Puja was over on Dasehra, idols of Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, along with those of Ganesh and Kartikeya were taken by members of the Bengali community in a procession and immersed in Ghaggar river here today.

A large number of devotees, including women and children, took part in the festivities, which mark the end of Durga Puja.

Every year, the function culminates by immersing idols of gods and goddesses in a river. After performing the puja, each idol was immersed with the crowds dancing to the ‘thap’, the traditional Bengali drums.

The procession started from Kalibari in Sector 47 in trucks and tempos carrying bedecked idols, painstakingly made by artists who had come all the way from Kolkata.

Amid dancing and cheering, the idols were immersed in Ghaggar and people greeted each other, promising to meet again next year. 



Missing Shera
Police still clueless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The police is still groping in dark to trace the replica of the Commonwealth Games Mascot 'Shera', which was stolen from Sukhna Lake on Saturday.

Sources said the investigators were struggling to find clues to trace the culprits, who had stolen the replica of the mascot and had questioned several rag pickers in this connection, but to no avail.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh, officiating sub-divisional police officer, said he had told investigators to conduct a search into the nearby forest area near the lake as it appeared to be a handiwork of some mischievous elements.

In a similar incident, a replica of the mascot was stolen from Mohali, but a team of the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police had recovered it from Togan village a day after it was stolen.



Business council executive formed

Chandigarh, October 17
President of the newly-constituted Chandigarh Business Council Jagdish Arora has constituted the executive committee naming a Sector 17 trader, Neeraj Bajaj, as the chairman and Kamaljit Panchhi as the senior vice-president. 

While Subhash Sethi, Sat Paul Bansal, BM Kohli and Harbinder Singh Gujral will be the advisers, Sat Paul Garg, Arwinder Paul Singh, Sanjay Dahuja, Arun Talwar and Baldev Baldev Aggarwal will be the vice-presidents. LC Arora, Baldev Goyal and JPS Kalra will hold the posts of general secretaries. Sunil Bansal and PN Khanna will be treasurer and joint treasurer, respectively, while Kamal Gupta, Ajay Gupta, Ashwani Sondhi and Yadwinder Salwan will be new secretaries. Gulshan Bhatia, RP Gupta, Satbir Garg and Mahi Pal Sharma have been named as the joint secretaries. — TNS



Day-old infant found abandoned

Chandigarh, October 17
A day-old male child was found lying abandoned in the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital here early this morning.The police said one Ram Nath spotted the infant wrapped in a blanket in the hospital. He picked up the infant and informed the police at around 6.30 am.

The police said that during inquires, it was found that the infant was delivered by Mamta, a resident of Dhanas, who was admitted to the hospital on Saturday evening. She was not found on her bed when the police inquired the matter. A police official said a team was sent to the given address but it was found to be a fake. — TNS 



Evil goes up in flames as gaiety marks Dasehra festivities
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Ram and Laxman all set to kill demon king Ravana at Sector 19, Panchkula, on Sunday.
Ram and Laxman all set to kill demon king Ravana at Sector 19, Panchkula, on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, October 17
At the dusk, towering effigies of demon King Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhakarana blazed and crackled in fiery splendour as Dasehra, symbolising the triumph of good over evil, was celebrated in the city with fanfare and traditional fervour.

The festivities of Durga Puja also came to an end today as idols of the Goddess were immersed in Ghaggar river and other ponds by devotees.

At the Sector 17 Parade Ground, where the main Dasehra mela of the city was organised, people from the entire city and periphery today visited the ground to witness the crumbling of Ravana in the evening.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas was the chief guest on the occasion and MC councillor Devinder Singh Babla joined thousands of residents to celebrate the festival at the Sector 27 Ramlila ground. Ram Niwas applied 'tilak' on the forehead of artistes who played the role of Lord Ram, Lakshman and Hanuman. The last episode of Ramlila was held minutes before the burning effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarana. The artistes enacted the scene in which Lord Rama kills Ravana. After the scene, the bursting of firecrackers lit the sky. Later, the Home Secretary torched the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnatha at the Ramlila ground.

“Dasehra is the festival I wait for. Apart from seeing the burning of effigies, the other thing I love about this festival are the sweet dishes that we have in the evening,” said Tanisha, a 10-year-old girl.

The Sector 17 Circus Ground and the venues in Sectors 32 and 46 were the most crowded. Effigies were also set ablaze in Sectors 40, 23-D, 26, 37-C, 37-D, 43, 45, 47 and 29 (Ordnance Cable Factory ground), Dhanas, Maloya, Mani Majra and Panjab University.

In the evening, all roads leading to these venues were lined with vendors selling bows and arrows and other items. Kids in several sectors also made effigies of Ravana and company and set them afire in the evening.

2,500 cops deployed

To avoid any untoward incident during Dasehra celebrations, around 2,500 police personnel were deployed in the city. Sources said cops were deployed at Dasehra venues across the city under the supervision of eight Deputy Superintendents of Police and 26 inspectors. The police also pressed the dog squad and bomb squad into service. Despite all arrangements, traffic jams were witnessed at various Dasehra venue after the effigies were burnt. The police had a tough time regulating the traffic, with motorists jostling to find their way. 

Little Angels

At Little Angels School, Zirakpur, students were apprised of the values and significance of the festival. An effigy of Ravana was burnt. Students wrote one bad habit on a paper and burnt it.

Smart Wonders

Students and teachers of Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, Mohali, celebrated Dasehra today on the school campus. Events organised on the occasion included narration of mythological tales, enactment and depiction of Ramayana by students. Students were dressed as Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. A poster-making competition was also organised on the occasion.

Gian Jyoti

Mohali: Gian Jyoti Public School celebrated Dasehra with zeal. Students were dressed as Ram, Sita and Hanuman. They delivered speeches. Later, an effigy of Ravana was burnt.


Dasehra was celebrated by the pre-primary wing of AKSIPS-41. The programme started with Gauri Vandana which was followed by a song praising Lord Rama. Tiny tots were dressed as Ram, Sita. They staged Ramlila.

Shishu Niketan

Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22-D, Chandigarh, celebrated its annual function. Folk dances, salsa dance, a play on the role of media, musical drama portraying unity in diversity of the nation marked the day. Break dancers from the school paid homage to the Michael Jackson. The highlight of the evening was the performance by students from classes I to II.

St Joan's Public

Zirakpur: Dasehra was celebrated at St Joan’s Public School, Zirakpur.Students performed colourful scenes from Ram's life. To mark the day, children brought alive the good and evil characters from the epic ‘Ramayana’. A fancy-dress competition was organised. An effigy of Ravana was burnt.

Chandigarh: The department of social welfare, Chandigarh administration, today celebrated Dasehra at Snehalaya, a vocational training centre for street children, Maloya. Adviser to UT Administrator Pradip Mehra was the chief guest on the occasion. Vandana Disodia, director, Social Welfare, Sebastian Jose, director, Snehalaya, were prominent among those present.

DERA BASSI: Dasehra was celebrated at Dera Bassi. The Poorvanchal Vikas Maha Sangh held a Durga pooja at Mubarkpur. Local MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny, Congress leaders Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Rakesh Sharma and Harbhajan Singh were present on the occasion. MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh. Chairman of the Industry Association Kewal Garg and president Vijay Singla gave an ambulance to the sangh. Youth Akali leader Jaspreet Singh Lucky and Harjinder Singh Rungy announced a grant of 51,000 to help the sangh. An effigy of Ravana was burnt.

Bassi Pathana: Dasehra was celebrated at Shri Ram Park. A shobha yatra was taken out by the Ram Lila Committee. The yatra was welcomed by people at various places. It culminated at Dasehra ground. In the evening, an effigy of Ravana was consigned to flames.

Kalka: Bharat Natak Club organised a function to celebrate Dasehra. Effigies of Ravana and Kumbhkarna were burnt. Railway employees also celebrated the day at Railway Sports Ground, Kalka. — TNS



Rly gears up to tackle festival rush
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
To deal with the rush of passengers during the festival season, the railway authorities have started monitoring the waiting list of commuters on a daily basis so that they can add extra coaches to trains according to need.

The authorities have also written to the headquarters to start special trains to deal with the rush due to Diwali and Chhath Puja.

“Sadbhavna Express that runs between Chandigarh and Lucknow, Unchahaar Express that covers Chandigarh-Unchahaar via Allahabad and Kalka-Howrah are expected to witness maximum rush during the coming festival season,” railway officials said.

Besides, the authorities will add extra coaches for military personnel depending on their strength so that they do not create problems for other commuters.

It is generally seen at the Ambala railway station that Army men lock coaches from the inside, creating problems for other commuters who have to miss their train despite having reservation. Even the GRP faces difficulty getting Army men to open the doors locked from inside.

Additional coaches are always kept ready with the railway authorities at Ambala and Kalka from where these are released by them during the period of rush.

The authorities monitor the waiting list of commuters at Kalka, Chandigarh and Ambala - the major railway stations in the Ambala division and the starting point of most trains.

Sources reveal that the authorities are extra careful this time to provide some relief to commuters travelling in general coaches, as they are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the menace created by Army or railway police personnel, who lock the doors from inside and do not allow entry to other commuters.

This time, the authorities mull dealing strictly with such elements. And, if any railway employee is found guilty in the act, he too will be punished.

Ambala division senior divisional commercial manager GM Singh says it will be their endeavour to provide a comfortable journey to commuters this festive season.

They will monitor every train on a daily basis and whenever they feel the need for extra coaches will connect these to the train, he adds.

“We will also ensure that commuters do not face any problem due to unwarranted behaviour by Army men. For this, we will add special coaches for the Army to the trains,” he says.

“Apart from adding coaches to trains, we have already sent a proposal to the headquarters to run special trains from Ambala to other destinations to tackle the rush this festival season,” he adds.

Other long-haul trains will have three extra coaches each, he says. 

Dept cautious 

The authorities are extra careful to provide some relief to commuters travelling in general coaches, as they are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the menace created by Army or railway police personnel, who lock the doors of coaches from inside and do not allow entry to other commuters.




May the Lord save us all

The venue of Dashera celebrations in Sector 27 on the occasion of the burning of the effigies of the demon king and his clan looked impregnable for the huge crowd that had landed at the venue on Sunday evening. The passage through the metal detector looked too narrow to allow the heavy crowd as the final moment drew near.

The crowd became uncontrollable at the time of burning the effigies. One big push and the metal detector structure collapsed. The rush walked over it and the structure was badly damaged.

A cop on duty was asking visitors to slow down and use the detector service set up for public safety. “On a day when Lord Rama is going to end Ravana, an epitome of evil, I am sure he will also take care of common people,” said Sanjay Raghav, an ardent follower.

Impact of a comment

A ridiculing comment by a former DPI (colleges) on her visit to a local government college prompted college officials to create a wonderful wall-sized portrait inside the institution. The former DPI once said that the college “looked dull” and something must be done to upgrade its appearance.

Such was the impact of the comment and such was the intensity of commitment among college officials that the appearance of this institution has now transformed completely and a new feature is added to it every few months.

Good Samaritan

Acting as a Good Samaritan, Jatinder Kumar, a traffic cop deployed at Zirakpur, risked his life to save a pedestrian on Saturday. An unidentified person was walking near Paras Down Town Square on Saturday night when a speeding car, coming from wrong side, nearly hit him.

However, before the car could hit the pedestrian, Jatinder Kumar grabbed his arm and pulled him away from the car in a filmy style and saved his life. In the process Jatinder Kumar sustained injuries and was admitted to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, for treatment. The car driver managed to flee from the spot.

Catching small fish

Feeling hounded by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which set up a trap to catch the policemen accepting bribes quite frequently, the personnel of the Chandigarh police were seen praising the apex investigation agency for busting admission and recruitment scams.

The other day policemen were seen discussing the cases registered by the CBI for admission scams in the PEC University of Engineering, PGI, recruitment examination of the CTU and Chandigarh fire and emergency department.

One of the policemen said, “This is what the CBI should do rather than setting traps for small fishes like us and those in the enforcement wing taking small favours. Going by the stature of the CBI, it should catch big fishes and unearth the organised corruption on large scale.”

The other policemen involved in the discussion nodded their heads in unison.

Avoiding media

Chandigarh health officials in Government Multi Specialty Hospital have apparently failed to digest their criticism in media after the Bulbul case. Avoiding phone calls made by mediapersons indicates that health officials have perhaps boycotted with the media.

Director, health services, Dr MS Bains hardly answers his phone or gives time to the reporters to meet him. Deputing Dr MP Singh, deputy medical superintendent, as spokesman proved a consolation. However, this arrangement was being used to avoid queries.

While medical superintendent Rajiv Vadhera directs the reporters to talk to his deputy for any queries, Dr MP Singh has stopped answering the calls altogether.

We can hope that someone tells them that burying head in the sand is not the solution to the problems.

Bengali flavour in city

Durga Puja is a season to eat. When one is tired of eating spicy food, a search is made for sweets and once the mouth is sweetened, hunt for something “chatpata” begins. Priya Ghosh says, “No matter how much and what we eat, our treat is not complete without roshugulla. Bengali roshugullas, which are specially brought from Kolkata, are made of cow’s milk and has very less calories.”

Keeping Bengali taste buds in mind, pooja pandals usually have arrangements for heavy snacks and eatables. However, some pandals avoid chaat stalls to minimise chances of littering. Therefore, bhel puri, chowmein, burgers and soft drinks are commonly available.

“Thumb rule during the pooja is to relax and enjoy togetherness. To free women from cooking during pooja, people survive on bhog and eatable stalls in the pandals,”' said office-bearer of a pooja committee AK Bose at Kalibari Temple.

Contributed by Sanjeev Bariana, Neha Miglani, Rajiv Bhatia, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu, Arun Sharma and Anil Jerath



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