C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Aam aadmi set to suffer
Rajmeet Singh and Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 28
With the much-hyped Indo-Pak high-profile semifinal becoming VVIP-studded affair now, the common spectators may end up bearing the brunt. The visiting dignitaries and VIPs are all set to act spoilsport for thousands of cricket fans from across the globe converging at the stadium to watch the match at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium on March 30.

Pakistan Team members during a practice session at the PCA Stadium on Monday
Pakistan Team members during a practice session at the PCA Stadium on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

As the entire official machinery of the state engaged in close door meetings to discuss security arrangements for visiting dignitaries, no advisory on the mode of transport has been issued for general public. “It is going to be total chaos around the stadium as managing about 40,000 persons is nearly impossible at a time when the entire state machinery would be busy in guarding the VIPs,” observed a police official.

Ironically, the police has failed to make public any plan that would cause least inconvenience to the general public. The spectators, who have tickets of ordinary stands, will have to cover a distance of at least two kilometers on foot to reach the match’s venue. Because of the three-tier security, the visitors would have go through multi-level frisking at different levels, consuming a considerable time in checking the visitors. The PCA authorities have urged the general public to be seated two hours before the match, meaning that the visitors have to converge at the stadium several hours before the match.

The persons, who are in possession of sticker of the VVIP parking lot, located in front of the PCA’s main gate, would be able to take their vehicles near the venue.

Earlier, the PCA authorities have claimed that a free shuttle service from parking lots to the stadium and vice-versa, to facilitate the spectators. But the claim has fallen flat, as no such service would be there on the D-day. Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, a PCA official admitted that no such arrangement would be there this time. The Chandigarh Transports Undertaking (CTU) would run no special buses for the spectators this time. “We have not got any request in this connection from the PCA so far. If we receive the request, we would think over plying special buses on the match’s day,” said TPS Phoolka, director of the CTU.

Roads reserved for VVIPs, VIPs

For the entire day, the top brass was busy in chalking out dedicated routes for the VVIP’s who are expected to use the road diving Phases IX (Sector 63) and X (Sector 64). As a security measure, another undisclosed road has been reserved for the VVIP movement. “Half-an-hour before the movement of the VVIP, the earmarked routes would be sealed. For the VIPs the road diving Phases X (Sector 64) and XI (Sector 65) has been earmarked. The general visitors from Chandigarh side would have to take the road diving Phases VIII and IX to reach the stadium. For those coming from other parts of Mohali, the road from Phase VII and the NIPER road would be taken to reach the stadium.

Public convenience a casuality

If the past experience is any indication, the woes of the spectators would not let up even after getting inside the stadium. A senior police official said the entry gates would be shut immediately after the start of the match due to security reasons. This means the spectators will not be able to come out if they want so. Nobody would be allowed to carry anything like food packet or other articles inside the stadium. They (the spectators) have to buy the eatables from the stalls inside the stadium. During many previous international matches here, the spectators were seen being fleeced at the eatables stalls by the contractors. A PCA member confided that during the general matches, inadequate public conveniences always fall short of the requirement. The taps in public toilets go dry and are stinking, complained frequent visitors to the stadium. “I have seen almost every match here in the stadium. Taking advantage of the situation, the contractors usually sell the eatables and water bottles on much higher rates than the MRP,” said Amit Narang, a local resident. “Our committee members will make rounds to check the menace,” said a PCA official. 


FINAL DELIBERATIONS: Yuvraj Singh and Munaf Patel during a practice session at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
FINAL DELIBERATIONS: Yuvraj Singh and Munaf Patel during a practice session at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

Wake Up Call: ‘Doosra’ specialist Harbhajan Singh stretches during the practice session.

Brothers in Arms: Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni after the batting session. The duo tried their hands on different bats.

SPIN TO WIN: Ace spinner Ashwin while trying his hand on ‘carrom ball’. The spinner is expected to play against Pakistan. Tribune photographs



Police cane charge agitating pharmacists
Stadium security breached ahead of match
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 28
Barely 24 hours after sounding a red alert in the town following a hoax bomb call and with less than two days to go before the high octane India-Pakistan cricket match is to begin, the “fullproof” outer security cordon thrown around the Punjab Cricket Association stadium was breached by agitating members of the Rural Health Pharmacists Association who managed to sneak within 400 metres of the venue to stage a ‘dharna’ (protest sit-in).

Literally caught unaware as most top cops were away, either holding or attending meetings to discuss security arrangements for visiting dignitaries, police officials present at the scene first called for reinforcements. Later policemen, possibly under pressure, went on the offensive and resorted to a heavy cane charge, seriously injuring several protesters - both men and women. ‘Lathi’ (cane) wielding cops could be seen hitting women with female constables watching from a distance.

The cane charge began soon after members of the Pakistani squad left the stadium after a practice session and shortly before the Indian team was about to arrive.

Responding to the cane charge, the protesters resorted to hurling stones, injuring a number of policemen. In the stone pelting and counter stone pelting by cops, windowpanes of several vehicles were also damaged. The agitators who were demanding regularization of their jobs had come from various areas of Punjab.

After the association members started marching towards the stadium, the police initially resorted to a mild ‘lathi’ charge but to no avail. The protesters again assembled and managed to come close to the PCA stadium. Sensing trouble, the cops resorted to a ‘lathi’ charge. The agitators were chased for about one kilometer in different directions. To dissuade the protesters, the tent pitched by the association in front of the building housing the rural ‘panchayat’ & development director’s office in Sector 62 (phase 8) was uprooted. Policemen also removed the protesters’ belongings from the scene.

Superintendent of police (detective) Pritam Singh said the police had been requesting the association members not to create trouble for them. The local administration has been organising a meeting of the association’s leaders with the Punjab chief minister. The association said while the jobs of doctors on contract had been regularized, their services were being terminated.

Kharar MLA Balbir Sidhu criticized the police’s cane charge on the protesters. “Instead of initiating dialogue with the agitators once again the police acted in haste in hitting them”, he said. He demanded an inquiry into the incident.

Assn threatens to disrupt match

Rural Health Pharmacist Association president Sukhveer Singh threatened to disrupt the match India-Pakistan World Cup cricket semifinal on March 30 saying the group had managed to procure 30 tickets for the match. “Our members will highlight their plight of the employees in front of the prime minister and dignitaries coming from neighbouring countries to watch the match at the stadium”, he stated.



Over 50 planes vie for parking slot
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
More than 40 privately owned airplanes will be contending with at least 11 commercial aircraft for parking space at the already crowded city airport on Wednesday, when archrival Pakistan take on the home team for a berth in the World Cup cricket final.

Sources said airport officials will not be able to give the precise number of applications accepted for landing or parking space on the day of the match. However, there is no denying the fact that the airport has been asked to make arrangements for as many aircraft landings as possible.

The number of applications approved for flight landings here will be routed through the office of the Director General of Civil Aviation, New Delhi. “We’ll be able to comment on the precise number by Tuesday evening”, the sources added.

It was pointed out that the plane of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani, will be given a park in the airport’s technical area. Most of the remaining aircraft will have to fly onwards to nearby airports at Dehradun and Amritsar.

Vijay Mallya, owner of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines, and Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani are two of the important names among those cleared for landing at the airport in their private jets. The remaining names have not yet been disclosed “for security reasons”.

Airfares on all airlines have skyrocketed on the day of the high profile match. Fares for the Mumbai-Chandigarh and Chennai-Chandigarh flights have been quoted at between Rs 10,000 and Rs 36,000. One-way tickets on these otherwise low-key sectors normally cost Rs 4,000. As expected all incoming flights from Chennai, New Delhi, Srinagar and Mumbai on Wednesday are booked.

The major hitch private aircraft will run into is that since the local airport does not permit night operations for private and commercial aircraft, they will have to stay parked at the airport for the night. And, since the airport does not have adequate parking space, most of the planes will have to be flown to airports in the neighbourhood.

The city airport, originally a defence installation, has three parking bays for commercial flights. These include two for A320s and Boeing 737 planes and one for ATRs. Permission for parking private jets in the defence area is unlikely to be granted and, in case the nod is given it will come from the defence ministry, the sources added.



CBI arrests SI for taking bribe; SHO flees
Another SHO posted out after altercation with ASP; yet another transferred in ‘routine’
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
It was a day of dramatic occurrences in the UT police on the eve of the subcontinent’s most high-profile cricket match. A Station House Officer (SHO) of the Manimajra police station turned fugitive; the SHO of Sector 11 police station was posted out following an altercation with an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP); a third SHO, in charge of the Sector 17 police station, was transferred in ‘routine’; and a Sub-Inspector (SI), his wife and son were arrested by the CBI for accepting a bribe of Rs 15,000.

The CBI arrested Sub-Inspector Sakattar Singh, posted at the Manimajra police station, along with his wife Baljinder Kaur and son Baldeep Singh for accepting a bribe of Rs 15,000 from an Ranjeet Singh, an accused in a case of illegal confinement and rape registered against him three days ago. The bribe was for extending the accused favours including release of his car. Ranjeet complained to the CBI about the SI following which the case was registered.

CBI said the SI handed over the bribe money to his son, who subsequently delivered the amount to his mother resulting in the arrest of all three. CBI officials said Sakattar Singh told them that he was demanding the bribe at the behest of Inspector Rajkesh Shukla, SHO of the Manimajra police station. However, no material evidence was found against Shukla and his name is not in the FIR. Meanwhile, SHO Rajesh Kumar Shukla turned fugitive and fled from the police station at the time of the CBI raid.

CBI said the bribe money was yet to be recovered and searches were being conducted at the SI’s house.

Inspector Anokh Singh, SHO of the Sector 11 police station, had an altercation with ASP (Central) Deshraj Singh yesterday after Anokh Singh failed to attend a meeting. Anokh, who was working on two consecutive night shifts, said he was unable to attend the meeting as he had other assignments. He was pulled up by the ASP and a heated altercation ensued following which his transfer orders were issued.

Anokh Singh claimed that the ASP used foul language with him. Inspector Gurmukh Sinngh has replaced Anokh Singh as the SHO.

Meanwhile, Inspector Jaswinder Singh, SHO of the Sector 17 police station, was also transferred by the ASP. He has been replaced by Inspector Hardit Singh. 


Booth scam likely to rock MC meeting
Cong councillors take preemptive step
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
To avoid ruckus in the General House meeting scheduled for tomorrow on recently exposed booth scam, the ruling Congress party of Municipal Corporation (MC) has decided not to allow opposition parties to take up the issue on the floor of the House, pleading that it was not in their jurisdiction.

This was decided in the pre-House meeting convened by Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh with the Congress councillors here today.

Councillors unanimously decided that if the opposition parties raised booth scam issue in the House, they would advise them that since the matter was under the preview of the UT Administration, they should approach them.

During the meeting, the councillors also resolved that the opposition councillors would not be permitted to raise the issue of tampering of minutes of the Mayoral elections held on January 1, as the House had already approved the minutes in the previous House meeting.

While sources in the opposition parties revealed that at the pre-House meeting, opposition councillors decided to rock the zero hour on the tampering of minutes issue, as the Mayor had backed out from his statement in the earlier House that all the editing demanded by the opposition will be incorporated in the minutes. But so far no action has been taken.

Opposition councillors are also planning to raise the issue of booth scam during the zero hour in the House.

Even independent candidate Jagit Singh Kang alleged that Mayor was having a biased attitude towards the approval of development works planned for his ward. Stating that majority of development works of his area was stalled by officials with unnecessary objections, so he will take up the matter in the House meeting.


Opposition councillors have also decided to raise the issue in the House tomorrow on why the UT Administration had not arranged one ticket each for the elected councillor of the MC for witnessing the semifinal cricket match between India and Pakistan on March 30 in Mohali.



Renting projectors also not easy
Charges triple, availability slim
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
If you thought getting a ticket for the semi-final match between archrivals India and Pakistan was the toughest job, soaring rents for projectors and their non-availability may surprise you.

While rents for projectors have shot up from Rs 1,500 a day to anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000, their availability itself is nearly impossible.

For cricket buffs, who were thinking of catching the match leisurely on a projector at home, booking these at the last moment will prove to be as tough as getting the tickets for the PCA Stadium.

While a few sound system owners have stopped making bookings for Wednesday, others continue to charge whopping rents, making a steep profit.

“I am getting several calls for projectors and people are ready to pay double the rent. I have now closed the bookings for March 30. Besides the World Cup, people had booked projectors well in advance for other occasions as well. So there is a real shortage,” said Paramjit Singh, a sound system owner.

“We are renting projectors at Rs 3,500 for high contrast screens. The charges for screens that have wooden frames is Rs 5,000, which is much in demand,” said Tony, an event manager.

Cashing in on the demand for projectors, certain other shopkeepers are charging Rs 7,000 to rent out the projectors only for the day of the match.

“We are giving projectors on rent from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 since the demand is very high. Normally, the rates are Rs 1,500-Rs 2,000,” said Gagreen Saini, a local sound system owner.

LCD, LED sales up

It is not just the soaring rents of projectors, even the sales of LCDs and LEDs have gone up. Electronics shop owners say there has been a dramatic increase in the sales, although it varies from brand to brand. “It was only when India beat Australia that the sales began to shoot up. The sales were average before that match and it suddenly tripled, more specifically for LCDs and LEDs,” said Satish Gupta, proprietor of an electronics showroom in Sector 22. 



City residents set to play perfect hosts
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The forthcoming Indo-Pakistan semifinal may have triggered “anti-Pakistan” sentiments amongst many, who are venting them out through SMS, message T-shirt and even posters, there are others who have much more than cricket in their minds and are out to welcome Pakistanis with open hands and doors.

WARM hospitality: The Talwars (above) and the Setias of Chandigarh look forward to playing host to the visiting Pakistani fans.
WARM hospitality: The Talwars (above) and the Setias of Chandigarh look forward to playing host to the visiting Pakistani fans. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan and S Chandan 

Coming to the aid of over 20 Pakistanis, who failed to get an accommodation in the tricity, city residents are all set to play a perfect host to them.

For some it might be a repay but for many it’s an opportunity to do their bit for catalysing peace process between two nations.

The guests are going to arrive tomorrow. This traditional Punjabi family may not even be sure of their number, but has already made all preparations.

“We are going to lodge them in the bedroom right next to ours and even share our kitchen with them. We plan to dish out Punjabi cuisine but will also cater to any specific demands of theirs,” informs Harjinder Singh Talwar, a resident of Sector 15.

Quiz about the drive behind volunteering to host and he says, “We have been known for centuries for our hospitality. Unfortunately, a majority of us in both countries have been brought up hating each other. I feel that this gesture will help change their mindsets and even if one family goes back praising India, I will feel proud to have done my bit in ending enemity,” said SK Setia, a resident of Sector 7.

Having been the most talked about DPI (S), it’s a payback gesture for this Haryana cadre officer.

Out to host a Pakistani NGO owner, Setia has stayed with her family during a trip and feels it’s the time to repay, “Changes initiated by individuals. If we develop friendly relations with even one person in Pakistan we are bound to make a huge difference to mass mindsets. These people are not different from us and are equally warm and hospitable. I have been playing a host to many foreign youngsters so far and feel that this best way to improvise your country’s image,” he says.

On being questioned about his duty as the civil servant to inform the authorities concerned about his “foreign” guest, he says the visa was finalised today only, so he will be informing the department tomorrow.

“I don’t know the people who will be coming over, so I am too excited and curious,” says Reeta Kohli, a resident of Sector 39, who has decided to give a perfect homely stay to her guests.

“I have deliberately skipped all special preparations as I want to make them feel like part of my family. I think this would be the best exhibit of my hospitality. When our Prime Minister can invite their dignitaries for the match, can’t we do our bit and open our doors to them?” she adds.



Black marketeers shift base to P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
In view of the clampdown by the police in the neighbouring towns of Chandigarh and Mohali, black marketeers have found Panchkula a haven for selling tickets for the forthcoming semifinal match between India and Pakistan to be held in Mohali on March 30.

According to sources, the black marketeers are contacting cricket enthusiasts through cellphones and only selling the tickets if they personally know the buyer. They are not taking the risk of being caught by the police in case of a raid. Even though the police is keeping a close watch on the activities of black marketeers, it has failed to make any arrest.

Meanwhile, the rates of the tickets are increasing every day. A Rs 250 ticket, which was going for Rs 15,000, is now available for Rs 25,000-30,000. Similarly, the tickets of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 are being offered for Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh, respectively.

Sources said cricket fans were checking the tickets before purchasing them in the wake of scanned copies doing the rounds. Students who had purchased the tickets earlier on were now selling these to make some quick bucks.



Local hotels, guesthouses run out of rooms
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
The upcoming World Cup cricket semifinal clash between India and Pakistan has spelt booming business for local hoteliers with all hotels in the town, situated in the vicinity of the match venue, booked to capacity.

The town has about 15 hotels, five government-run guesthouses and a couple of ‘dharamshalas’ (resthouses) with a combined room capacity of 900. Fans have booked rooms well in advance leaving no space for the huge rush that has begun descending on the town to watch the high profile match.

The room tariffs range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 in hotels while rooms in guesthouses are available for much cheaper prices as compared to those in hotels. Till a few days ago even non-airconditioned and AC rooms in the ‘dharamshalas’ were available for Rs 300 and Rs 500, respectively. Government officials have booked most of the rooms in guesthouses.

Bella Vista, North Park Hotel, Western Court, Pallavi hotels and Shiraj Hotel I and II are some of the town’s hotels where cricket fans have already arrived. The owners of these hotels said they have been receiving enquiries about availability of rooms from people living in other states. “Our rooms were booked in advance after the Pakistan team won the match against West Indies in the quarterfinal to enter the semifinal to be held at the PCA stadium in Mohali”, they added.

Sumit Sharma, general manager of the Red Bishop tourist resort, said the all the 18 rooms in this tourist resort as well as eight rooms at the historical Yadavindra Gardens in Pinjore, about 10 km from here, have booked by fans coming from far-off places to witness the high octane match.

Sources said cricket fans were now trying to use local “contacts” to arrange for rooms in small restaurants in Pinjore and Kalka as well as in Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh.



1,500 police personnel for VIP security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
As part of security measures ahead of the semifinal match between India and Pakistan, the UT police have made elaborate security arrangements.

Two vehicles with explosive jammer are part of two convoys each having eight vehicles, including ambulances, Quick Reaction Team (QRT) vans and PCR Gypsies carrying sharp shooters for the security of the two teams. The police has deployed more than 1,500 police personnel for VIP security and the staff has also been diverted from the traffic police.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil convened a high-level meeting today at Punjab Raj Bhavan and reviewed security and other arrangements regarding the visit of dignitaries from India and Pakistan, who are coming to watch the semifinal match to be held at the PCA Stadium in Mohali between India and Pakistan on March 30.

Patil gave instructions and guidelines to all the officers concerned to ensure that all arrangements should be made foolproof.

The meeting was attended by Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Pradip Mehra, Adviser to Administrator, SC Agrawal, chief secretary of Punjab, Urvashi Gulati, chief secretary of Haryana, MP Singh, principal secretary to Governor, Director General of Police, Punjab and Haryana, Vishvajeet Khanna, principal secretary to Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Inspector General of Police, UT, Chandigarh, AOC, Air Force Station, Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, and Mohali and SSP of Chandigarh and Mohali.



Luck by chance: Rs 250 ticket for Rs 500!
Jasmine Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
He was sipping cola seated on a motorcycle parked unmindfully outside a park in Mohali. Just another “mango man” (aam admi), I thought. “Hello madam ji. I haven’t seen you in this park before. Are you new to the place? Are you a student? Staying in a PG?” the man fires a volley of queries. “None of your business,” I was quick to add. He continued unperturbed despite my coldness.

“Apney India-Pakistan ka match dekhna hai. Mere paas do tickets hai. Aap mujhey trust kar saktey hai, main police main hun,” (Do you want to watch the India-Pakistan match. I have two tickets. You can trust me I am in the police). But I had to give it to him. The man came straight to the business. “Do you want a ticket?”

“How much?” I asked. “You can pay me Rs 1,000 for two student tickets,” said the man, who looked every bit a constable, desperate to hit the tavern before he called it a day! This was dirt-cheap. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was about to create history. When people are going bonkers over ‘Mohali match tickets’, when they are ready to shell a fortune, here I am making the best deal on the planet. I wanted to stretch my luck, let’s see! “This is too much. How about Rs 500?” I asked.

“Are you crazy. I could have sold them for Rs 10,000 or Rs 20,000. Because I am not greedy, I don’t want to waste my energy on useless tickets,” he pulled out the bike keys from his pocket, turned on the ignition, ready to drive away with my best deal safely tucked in his pocket. Bargaining could go to hell. I wanted those tickets at all cost.

“Alright, let me see the tickets,” I insisted. “You don’t trust me. ‘Newspaperwallahs’ carry stupid stories about fake tickets. I don’t know why they are doing it. I bought these tickets months back,” he said pulling out two glistening tickets. I felt them, turned them upside down, looked for all signs of authenticity (not that I knew any!), and paid the money. Before I could get my eyes off from the tickets and say thank you, the man, the constable, the supplier, had vanished in the darkness!

I am glad I remembered Audrey Hepburn’s advice, “Opportunities don’t often come along, so when they do, you have to grab them”. 



Planning to eat out? Be ready for a long wait
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
If eating out or getting a sumptuous meal delivered at your doorstep is your idea of cheering team India, the ongoing match frenzy may leave you hassled. Akin to accommodation scenario, eating out may not be that easy an affair with city restaurants and hotels left bewildered over number of clients speculated to get doubled.

Though a majority of joints are gearing up to deal with the unprecedented increase in foot fall by doubling the production and others by hiring cabs for speeding up home delivery, eating out, however, may not be a pleasant experience for many.

With more than 10, 000 spectators from across the country hitting the city tomorrow and day after, besides local fans, the average waiting time in the city restaurants at Sector 17 and 26 after 8 pm is expected to be a minimum of 45 minutes, while home delivery orders may end up taking a minimum of an hour to be delivered.

“Being an all night restaurant we will have huge rush even on normal festivals or matches. This being a mega event we expect double the number of clients. Frankly speaking, we didn’t get much time to innovate or diversify menu, but to deal with the rush, we will be preparing double the amount of food than we usually do. The waiting time may be much more than usual, but so is the rush,” said Manmohan Singh, owner of an eating joint at Aroma Hotel, Sector 22.

“Our restaurant is a huge hit on festivals and matches simply because of reasonable prices. We are obviously expecting an increased footfall on Wednesday and taken all measures to deal with it. The restaurant is usually shut for almost two hours in evening, but it will be open for the entire day on Wednesday. Service is going to be prompt, but waiting time can’t be predicted as it will entirely depend on the advance bookings and rush,” says Pramod Muktali, Barbeque Nation, Sector 26.

Similarly, Nik Bakers in Sector 35 and 22 is planning to increase its production for Tuesday and Wednesday to deal with customers.

According to their operations manager Rajinder Thakur, the service time or availability of seats will, however, depend on footfall.

Orders go up

"With this semifinal being such a big event, we expect our orders to go up. Though we have switched to care to deliver, average delivery time is bound to increase depending upon the number of orders.

— Baldev Thakur, manager, YO China, Sector 9."



Motor market to remain closed on last Sundays
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The motor market of Sector 48 will remain closed on the last Sunday of every month. A decision to this effect has been taken by the New Auto Motor Market Association, Sector 48, recently.

In a press note issued here, association president Kehar Singh and general secretary Prahlad Sharma said the Mayor recently visited the market and announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the construction of a boundary wall on the section of the market compound along the Chandigarh-Mohali border.

They claimed that MP Pawan Kumar Bansal had earlier during his visit to the market given his consent for the construction of the wall and offered a grant from his MPLAD fund.



Rajwinder gets Women Scientist Award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Rajwinder Kaur, a senior research scholar, CSIR, pursuing her PhD under the supervision of A Raghuram Rao, pharmaceutical chemistry division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Panjab University, bagged the “Women Scientist Award” by the department of science and technology, New Delhi.

She has been awarded with fellowship of Rs 9,40,000 to carry out her research work on the project entitled “Design and development of thiophene derivatives as possible adenosine receptor ligands”.

Astha Kuhad working for her PhD under the guidance of Renu Chadha in the area of polymorphs, crystals and co-crystals was awarded the same fellowship earlier.



Bank counter opens at PUDA Bhawan
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 28
A bank counter has been set up in the PUDA Bhawan for the convenience of residents so that they could deposit their dues related to Aerocity and other areas without facing any problems.

The counter has been set up by the State Bank of India and will function from 10 am to 2 pm. Estate Officer, GMADA, Balbir Singh said persons who were allotted plots in Aerocity and were issued letters of intent had now to deposit 15 per cent of the total amount within a specified period of time.

Earlier, residents used to come to GMADA office for collecting information regarding their outstanding dues and then used to go back to various banks to make the payments.

With the opening of the bank counter, they would now be able to make the payments at the GMADA office itself. He said transfer fee or any other kind of payment could also be made at the bank counter.



PU student leaders enter into brawl during fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Chaos reigned at the evening session of Jhankar, the annual cultural event of the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC), where chairs were hurled and posters were torn by rivals of the same student organisation, the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU).

A total of 20 PUSU members interrupted the cultural night on the second day of Jhankar, in which a popular Punjabi singer was scheduled to perform.

The event was being organised by other PUSU members, led by Simranjit Singh Dhillon and Udey Wirring.

The rift between the two PUSU lobbies today aggravated till the extent of disrupting peace on PU campus with students’ leaders today kicking off a brawl in the middle of the Student Council’s cultural event.

Within 15 minutes of commencement of the function, it was complete disorder and students, particularly girls, were forced to return to their hostels.

Later, the police arrested four students. According to the police, no case was registered and the university officials amicably resolved the matter.

“A group of students climbed the stage and entered into heated arguments with the organisers. These students also tore the flex of Jhankar in the backdrop. Chairs were hurled and students, who had come to attend the event, started returning to their hostels in panic. The programme was also discontinued,” said an eyewitness. Indifference between the two PUSU lobbies was made public a few days ago, when a member Simranjit Singh Dhillon was suspended by the founder members of the party at a press conference.

While the older members of this student organisation claimed to have brought about discipline by streamlining things, the other cadre of PUSU, headed by Dhillon and Udey Wiring, alleged that the former student leaders were no longer bonafide students of the university and hence could not take decisions of the party.

The brawl, eventually led to the selection of two presidents of PUSU, one of them was Sukhjit Brar, who went on a five-day hunger strike on the issue of Dr Krishan Gauba’s resignation.

Jujwinder Singh Judo was the other president nominated by the Dhillon faction of PUSU.



75 selected in job fest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
About 75 students have been offered jobs on the first day of the 10-day job fest organised by the Emax Group of Institutions located on the Saha-Naraingarh road. Private sector banks, including HDFC and ICICI Banks and Secureline Insurance Services Limited offered job letters to 33 and 46 candidates, respectively.

About 425 students of various streams from across four colleges participated in the fair. The selected students have been offered a pay package of Rs 6,500 to Rs 8,500 per month.



Spellbound performance by Vani Ganpathy
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 28
The serenity, dynamism and splendour of Bharatnatyam classical dance was brought alive by the Bangalore-based acclaimed danseuse Vani Ganpathy in an animated performance on the fourth day of the ongoing Chandigarh Arts and Heritage festival at the Tagore Theatre here today.

Accompanied by an array of accomplished musicians, she opened up the recital with a serene invocation of lord Ganesha in style to the chants of “Vakar tund mahakya.”

Vani, attired in dazzling costumes, enacted the childhood episodes of Lord Krishna delineating mother Yashoda’s unbound affection, “leelas” of prankster Krishna and his omnipotent persona. Shiv “tandov” was the other forceful and melodious presentation, as she reflected the wonder and amazement of divine consort Parvati on multiple manifestation of Lord Shiva.

An inventive and captivating thrill came alive through a creative confrontation of her nimble footwork and the percussion effects in a “jugalbandi.”

She concluded the otherwise entrancing recital with a Meera bhajan “Tum bin mori.” Floating across the stage with measured movements, Vani provided an aesthetic delight and swayed the audience.

Vani explained her performance which augmented the receptivity and involvement of the audience.



Tickets their only worry
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, March 28
Do you have a ticket? This is the most asked question among cricket fans, many of who gather everyday in great numbers outside the PCA Stadium.

Things have come to a deplorable state with people literally exchanging blows for tickets while standing in long queues to get the ever-elusive tickets for the semifinal match between India and Pakistan.

People residing in the vicinity say they have never seen such a “crazy rush” at the PCA Stadium, which has begun to resemble a “fortress” and a “cantonment”.

“Even if authorities allow cricket fans to sit outside the stadium gates, the space would be less,” said a resident.

Two teenaged girls, both students of Class X, who had come to the stadium for the tickets, stated, “We have tried every possible mean to get the ticket i.e. from trying an online booking to standing endlessly in long queues. But we have failed to get a ticket,” said Ridham and Rhea. “My father owns a discotheque in Sector 26 and now I will request him to install a big screen there,” said Ridham.

A resident of Yamunanagar, who claims to have never missed a single match held in both Mohali and Delhi, was left disappointed, as he failed to get a ticket even after an effort of four days.

“I took leave from my office to buy the tickets. But after reaching here, I lost all hopes of getting it. Even the tickets in black are so costly that none from middle-class families can purchase them easily,” said Deepak Sharma, while holding the Tricolour.

On the other hand, people standing in queues to collect the online tickets were seen getting them easily. The situation left many in confusion with the question whether the tickets are available with the authorities or not.

“I am here to collect my tickets, which I booked through an official website,” said Dr Prem Kaushal, a resident of Delhi, blaming further that there was no proper functioning for the process by the authorities.

“The authorities have not installed separate counter for distributing online tickets, which left us to stand outside the stadium. Whenever any team or high official comes, police personnel drag us to the corner,” said Kaushal.

Prized possession

Mohameed Bashir Udeinn Khan, a fan of the Pakistan team from Chicago, who came to Mohali in search of a ticket, finally got one today. However, other people present were seen disappointed. “We have been coming here for the last three days. We never got a chance to buy it. He is just self-publicising for getting a ticket. If we start doing it then the police will drub us,” said Kamal, a resident of Sector 21.

‘We want more tickets’

Even black marketeers were seen looking out for tickets outside the PCA Stadium, as for them the “profit-making piece of paper” has a lot more to give on Wednesday. “People are giving whatever we demand. So, to make more profit, I am looking for more tickets,” said a black marketeer, while showing a hefty wad of notes in his pocket.

‘It’s their turn now’

After lathicharge on protestors of the pharmacy association of Punjab, one of the constables was heard saying, “Now after them, it’s their turn.” The Punjab Police constable said this while pointing out to the people standing in queues for tickets.

Juice vendors, too, make profit

After black marketeers, sugarcane juice vendors were seen making a quick buck outside the stadium following brisk sale of the juice in warm weather. “I will never forget this match, as it has increased my juice sales,” said Ramesh, a vendor.

Extensive medical arrangements

Fortis Hospital announced that extensive and round-the-clock medical and physiotherapy arrangements were made for both teams had been made right from their arrival till the time of departure of the team. Fortis Hospital has set up a medical room and is providing services of a physiotherapist during the practice session of both teams, inclusive of the match day.

Night practice session

It seems that the Pakistan team is leaving no stone unturned for their forthcoming clash against India as Pakistan team opted to go through a night practice session at the PCA Stadiumtoday. Sources said the team players opted to go through a night practice session to get familiar with the type of weather and conditions on ground during night. The semifinal match is schedule to be a day and
night affair.

Cricket menu

Opener, Stump of Chicken, Wicket Bails, Team on Fire, Catch of the Day, Team of Bowlers, Team India, LBW, Leg Breaker, All-Rounder, these are not positions of players on the field, but figures as the of a bar-cum-restaurant in Sector 35. While, PCB (Platter of Chicken Bemissal), Hot Shot BCCI (Bhuna Chilli Chicken Indian Style) are some of the special dishes for people visiting a restaurant in Sector 35 on March 30.



Admn may declare second half as holiday

Chandigarh: The Chandigarh Administration is likely to declare second half as a holiday on March 30 in view of the semifinal clash between India and Pakistan at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. 

A proposal to this effect was debated at a meeting of senior officials here today. A large number of employees have already applied for holiday on March 30 apparently to watch the match. The final decision in this regard will be taken tomorrow, sources added. — TNS



Pre-planning for the D-Day

Deepankar Sharda speaks to some ticket holders in the city, who are coming up with their own plans for reaching the PCA Stadium for the forthcoming ‘D-Day’ when India will face Pakistan in the semifinal match, as no one wants to miss the live action direct from the field on Wednesday.

Our group has decided to take an auto-rickshaw as it will be difficult to park cars or bikes there. We will gather at a common place and leave for the PCA Stadium in the morning, so that we can easily reach the venue even if we were made to walk by the police.

— Neha Ralli, a student of School of Communication Studies at PU


I will go to my friend’s place who resides near the PCA Stadium so that I will reach the match venue on time as I do not want to miss any moment of the match.

— Prabhat Bansal, a city-based businessman, who runs a bakery shop

We all family members will go to watch the match. Although we live near to the stadium, we will either walk or will prefer to take a public transport so that we can make it to the stadium easily.

— Kanika Bansal, a student of the Law Department, PU, who resides in Sector 49

We all friends are planning to leave our respective places early morning as later it would be difficult to enter Mohali. The police will halt us at various security checks, so it will be better to leave our places early.

— Munish, a student of GGDSD College, Sector 32

Sunidhi My father has gone through the map of the PCA Stadium so that we should not face any trouble while searching for the allotted parking gate. We are planning to leave for the stadium before 8 am to make sure we reach the destination on time.

— Sunidhi, a resident of Sector 15



India-Pak Encounter
Let the game begin

Cricket fans are all set for one of the biggest cricketing events on March 30 when India plays Pakistan. Tribune lensmen Manoj Mahajan, Pradeep Tewari, S Chandan and Vicky Gharu capture various moods in the city.

FACE OF INDIA: A young fan getting her face painted with patriotic colours and slogans ahead of the match. (Right) SHOW OFF: Sandeep Bansal, chef at Hotel Mountview, shows a specially baked cake in the shape of a bat and ball.
FACE OF INDIA: A young fan getting her face painted with patriotic colours and slogans ahead of the match. (Right) SHOW OFF: Sandeep Bansal, chef at Hotel Mountview, shows a specially baked cake in the shape of a bat and ball.
SECURED STROLL: Wife of the Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam being escorted by Chandigarh Police women at Sukhna Lake
SECURED STROLL: Wife of the Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam being escorted by Chandigarh Police women at Sukhna Lake
DREAMS SHATTERED: A group of disappointed cricket fans from Pakistan. The picture was sent on email to The Tribune.
DREAMS SHATTERED: A group of disappointed cricket fans from Pakistan. The picture was sent on email to The Tribune.
CRICKET STALKER: Popular Pakistani cricket fan popularly called “Chacha” known for travelling across the globe to watch every cricket match played by the Pakistani team.
CRICKET STALKER: Popular Pakistani cricket fan popularly called “Chacha” known for travelling across the globe to watch every cricket match played by the Pakistani team.
AT Last: Mohammad Bashir Uddin Khan from Pakistan in a happy mood after he got a ticket for the match on Monday
AT Last: Mohammad Bashir Uddin Khan from Pakistan in a happy mood after he got a ticket for the match on Monday



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