C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The day of (W)reckoning

The Battleground

* Location: Sector 63 (Phase IX) of Mohali

* Stadium area: 13.5 acres

* Capacity: 27,500

* Chandigarh Airport to PCA: 12km

* Sector 17 bus stand to PCA: 10 km

* Sector 43 bus stand to PCA: 7 km

* Entry Gates: 10

* Each ticket will specify stand and route

Entry points

* Entry from Gate number 1: Parking reserved at Petrol Pump, located along the road leading from Phase VIII to Phase IX

* Entry from 1A IB, 14: LIC Complex

* Entry From Gate 4: Majestic Hotel Phase IX

* Entry from gate 6, 11: PUDA Bhawan

* Entry from 7, 9, 10: Net practice area

Parking Lots

* LIC parking Phase 10

* PUDA Bhawan

* Sports Complex

* Phase X market

* Majestic Hotel, Phase IX

* Gurdwara Amb Sahib

* Cricket Academy

* Housing Board Colony, Sector 63

PCA turns into a fortress

* 3,500 policemen on guard in and around the stadium

* NSG, Punjab Police Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Rapid Action Force (RAF) to keep guard


* 5,000 security personnel including 3,000 from Chandigarh Police and the rest from Haryana Police and other central forces deployed in the city

* Teams will take 5 km diversionary route to reach the venue so as to avoid traffic snarls

weather forecast

Despite sudden showers on Tuesday night, the Met Department predicts a partially cloudy sky but no rain. 

Major Route diversions

* Traffic will be diverted on the road leading from Chandigarh Airport to the intersection dividing Sector 31 and the Industrial Area; through the Air Force Base Repair Depot, along roads dividing Sectors 31/47, 32/46, Sectors 45/46, 49/50 all the way to the stadium.

* Public advised to avoid the route from airport light point to The Tribune roundabout

* Golf turn on the road dividing Sectors 7/26, 19/27, 20/30, 32/33, 45/46, 49/50 up to the PCA Stadium on Sukhna Path should also be avoided as these roads will be taken by VIPs in the city.

* The general public is also advised to use other alternative routes to reach key city places such as the PGI, the GMCH, Sector 32, General Hospital, Sector 16, and Railway Station between 8 am and 11 pm.

Match Advisory

* Reach stadium by 10. 30 am. Advised to be seated by 12.30 pm.

* Prefer public transport or park vehicle in specified parking

* General public asked to follow specific route maps for designated stands as shown on the tickets. Route map also shows the specific stands for parking on the tickets

* Enter stadium through the entry gate specified on the ticket.

Do Not

* Carry electronic items, cameras, water bottles, lighters, weapons, alcohol, narcotics, eatables, umbrellas, scissors, deodorants, vuvuzela, trumpets

* Carry large amount of cash or important documents (PAN card) etc

* Wear expensive jewellery or watches.

* Sell or buy tickets from any black marketeer.

* Carry obscene or abusive banners.

Medical Services

* Five ambulances will be deployed on the stadium premises: six in periphery and at least four on the VIP and VVIP routes.

* Eight private hospitals in Mohali to keep 10 beds vacant. Arrangements will be adequately stocked with blood and other emergency arrangements.

* educational institutions closed in Mohali tomorrow.

* additional flights: At least six by private airlines tomorrow from Delhi and Mumbai

* No airport parking for private planes

* Astrological predictions signal an Indian victory

* Inconvenience on the cards for residents and shopkeepers in the vicinity of the stadium

* arrived: 400 Pakistanis in city

VVIP list

* Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

* Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani

* Union Ministers Shard Pawar

* Union Minister Praful Patel

* Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahai

* Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik

* Prinicipal Secretary to Prime Minister TKA Nair

* Manipur Governor Nikhil Kumar

* Puducherry Governor Iqbal Singh

Business tycoons:

* Mukesh Ambani

* Anil Ambani

* Vijay Mallaya

* Bollywood actors:

* Preity Zinta

* Akshay Kumar.

* Neha Dhupia

* Arbaaz Khan

* Suresh Oberoi

Pak Air Force flies in gilani’s merc

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will travel in his official black colour luxury Mercedes on the city roads on March 30. The black Mercedes Benz was flown in a Pakistan Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft to Chandigarh this afternoon. Sources said the arrival of the Mercedes came as a surprise to the UT police as they had no prior information of its arrival. The Mercedes was driven to the UT Guest House amidst tight police security.

Public Viewing

* Sector 16 stadium

* Sector 17 plaza

* Sector 22 Chawlas

* Sector 16 market Panchkula

* 3B2 market

* Restaurants in Sector 26 and Sector 35, Hops and Grain, Sector 9 Panchkula (advance booking)

cab service

* Radio Autos: 0172 4242424, 01724343434

* Radio cabs: 0172 4141414, 01724646464, 0172 4242424


Mayor chides councillors for indiscipline
Suspends 11 opposition members 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
All eleven opposition councillors of the municipal corporation were suspended from the house for a fortnight by Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh for unruly behaviour and misbehaving with the marshals.

Councillors, who were suspended, included eight from the BJP, one each from the BSP and Akali Dal and an independent.

When the proceedings of the house commenced in the morning, all opposition councillors protesting against the ‘booth scam’ entered the house wearing black gowns on which slogans like “Bansal should resign and fair investigation into booth scam should be conducted”.

Without waiting for any directions from the Mayor, who presided over the house, Congress councillor Manjit Singh blocked the way of the opposition councillors and tried to tear the gown worn by opposition councillor Raj Kumari Mishra in the well of the house. Following which all Congress councillors present in the house tore all posters and stated that the protest could not be staged in the house, as it was against the customs of the house.

Ultimately, the Mayor suspended three opposition councillors, including Anil Dubey, Surinder K Jagota and Jagit Singh Kang.

Terming this action unjustified, nominated councillors, including Dr AP Sanwaria, Pallav Mukherjee, MPS Chawla and Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, requested the Mayor that as both ruling and opposition party councillors had misbehaved the mayor should not adopt a pick-and-choose policy.

When marshals tried to take three of them out of the house, all opposition councillors gathered in the well of the house to block their way and staged a protest. Following which, the Mayor suspended all opposition councillors and declared a tea break.

After the break, the opposition councillors staged a protest at the entry point to the house. In protest, all opposition councillors entered the house from the media gallery and started protesting on the floor of the house.

History repeats

In 2009, Mayor Kamlesh suspended all opposition councillors for obstructing the proceedings of the House.It was later revoked.

Harjinder Kaur manhandled

Akali leader Harjinder Kaur objected to the move of one of the male marshals when she was pushed while clearing the well of the house.

War of words

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra submitted a written complaint against Bhatti to the MC Commissioner for misbehviour.

Heated arguments were exchanged between Chhabra from the floor of the house and by Bhatti from visitors’ gallery with latter dubbing Chhabra 
a ‘Chor’.

Threats received

An MC employee who checks passes for the visitors’ gallery complained to MC secretary Lalit Siwach about misbehaviour of a BJP party visitor

Who are you to suggest?

When on a number of instances the nominated councillors tried to pacify the stormy situation, elected councillors objected to it and insolently asked: ‘Who are you to suggest or ask us anything?’

Protest by opposition

Before the House meeting started, all opposition councillors staged a protest by wearing black gowns in the House and demanded resignation of Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and a CBI inquiry into the booth scam.

Complaints of marshals

On the complaint of five marshals, including three males and two females, about misbehaviour by the opposition councillors comprising Anil Dubey, Raj Kumari Mishra, Harjinder Kaur and Jagjit Singh Kang, MC Commissioner said he would be writing a letter to the UT IGP and SSP asking them to take action against these councillors.



Mayor recommends termination of two councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Municipal Corporation (MC) Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh (Pali) is going to recommend to the UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil to terminate two nominated councillors Dr A P Sanwaria and Pallav Mukherjee from the House for their involvement in the local politics. Pali stated this while interacting with mediapersons after the General House meeting today.

Alleging that both the nominated councillors had been supporting the opposition councillors, for the past three months, which is against the MC Act. Referring to the mayoral election, Pali commented that both these councillors had proposed the name of the independent candidate Jagit Singh Kang and even in the last House meeting they had raised slogans, in the well of the House, supporting the opposition councillors.

Mayor said that as per the MC Act, nominated councillors were appointed to make suggestions on the development issues rather than playing politics in the corporation.

Pali said that a complaint would also be sent to the UT Administrator and Advisor to take action against BJP leader Ramveer Bhatti who had misbehaved with the sitting councillor Pardeep Chabbra in the House. He said that as per the Act it was an offence to make allegation while sitting in the visitor’s gallery.

Defending Congress councillors who had misbehaved and used un-parliamentary language on the floor of the House, he said that action was taken against those who had manhandled or misbehaved with the marshals or councillors. The Congress councillors only argued and used abusive language but did not manhandle anybody so there was no need to suspend or take action against them.

Objecting to the protest staged by the opposition councillors in the House in connection with the conduct of inquiry against the Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, the mayor said that if the opposition was so serious for conducting inquiry then why they had not submitted an affidavit in the House on this issue.

He stated that the mayoral election petition was futile, as the opposition had not followed the procedure to file the petition. As per the provision of the Act, the candidate who had any objection against the election had to file an application with the presiding officer on the day of election and only after that the petition could be filed to the appellant authority. 

Reaction of nominated councillors

He doesn’t know how to conduct proceedings

Ironically, Mayor Pali has failed to smoothly conduct the proceedings of the General House since day one and is now commenting on the non-performance of the nominated councillors. He remarked that whenever he supported any party on any issue it was for the betterment of the city and not for any other reason.

— Dr AP Sanwaria

He has cleansed the House of ‘dirty politicians’

I appreciate the gesture of Mayor Pali for cleansing the MC General House of dirty politicians who were trying to raise the issues of booth scam and public welfare in the House that was not to his liking. In this context, he first suspended all the opposition councillors and now he wants to terminate two of us from the House.

— Pallav Mukherjee



‘Mayor biased against opposition councillors’

Chandigarh, March 29
“Congress Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh is a dictator and has a biased attitude towards the opposition councillors during the general house meetings,” opposition councillors stated this while talking to mediapersons today.

Condemning the suspension of opposition councillors from the house, Akali councillor Harjinder Kaur said the Mayor was himself flouting the MC Act as there was no provision in the act which permitted suspension of the councillors. Kaur said he should resign from the post of Mayor. Opposition leader Gurcharan Das Kala said they were only holding a silent protest to know why Congress councillors Manjit Singh and Devinder Singh Babla were not punished for their misbehaviour in the house. — TNS



B-school to be named after Capt Kanwaljit Singh
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, March 29
Finally meeting the long-pending demand of Zirakpur residents to name an official building or institution after former Cabinet minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced that an upcoming business school in the area will be named after him.

This was stated by the Chief Minister on the second death anniversary function of late Capt Kanwaljit Singh at Gurdwara Nabha Sahib on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

While praising former Akali stalwart, Badal said Capt Kanwaljit was a great leader and he would always be remembered for his achievements.

In what is being construed as an indication that the former minister’s son and Banur MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny will be given the ticket from Dera Bassi subdivision for the next Assembly elections, Badal appreciated the work done by him. He also asked the people to support the family of Capt Kanwaljit Singh.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said it was difficult to get a leader like him. He was a main soldier of the party and always attended party conferences with high spirits, Sukhbir added.

Meanwhile, senior Akali and BJP leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Punjab) Raj Khurana, Jathedar Ujjagar Singh Wadali and NK Sharma of the district planning board, Mohali, also paid their tributes to Capt Kanwaljit Singh.



Ways to get leave today!

Chandigarh, March 29
If you fear your boss will not bait for usual aches or sudden viral attack, try these tips.

* This isn’t cricket, it’s war. Do you really expect me to venture out during war?

* My dog swallowed my mobile phone so I couldn’t call and inform in advance.

* I broke my spectacles.az I have a ticket for the match and it costs a lakh. Surely you don’t expect me to throw away a lakh?



Ban on use of flying objects
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 29
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner has invoked Section 144 of the CrPC to ban use of any flying object like paraglide, parasail, para-motor, remote-operated light aircraft, aero model, micro-light aircraft, hand glider, hot air balloon, etc, in and around the territory of the PCA Stadium and its corresponding airspace immediately for tomorrow.

The DC said there were reasons to believe that certain criminal and anti-social terrorist elements might pose a threat to the safety of cricketers, delegates, officials and others by the use of paraglider, parasail, para motor, remote-operated light aircraft, aero model, micro light aircraft, hand glider, hot air balloon, etc, in Mohali and it was necessary to take speedy measures to prevent any untoward incident. The orders will remain in force till tomorrow.



Policemen make own arrangement for food
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 29
Hundreds of policemen brought in from different districts of Punjab to provide full-proof security cover in and around the PCA Stadium have been left in the lurch.

Deputed at different strategic locations around the stadium, the policemen were forced to leave their duties while looking for eateries around the stadium to satisfy their hunger.

Around 3,500 policemen have been deputed within two-kilometer radius around the stadium. The police spoke contrary to the version of senior police officials, who claimed that proper arrangements for their stay and food had been made at different police stations and community centres.

Packed food would be provided to the policemen during the match, as PCA had given around Rs 3 lakh for the same.

The police from Sangrur stated that they were dependent on makeshift eateries but there was no availability of potable water. A plate of “kulche chole” was being sold for Rs 30 and a plate of rice and dal was being sold for Rs 40, complained the policemen. During previous matches, the packed food was delivered at the place of the duty. Punjab Police commandoes complained that they had to waste time in looking for food and water.

Kasturi Lal, who was selling “kulche chole”, said due to security reasons, no water tanker was being allowed in Phase X market, the cops were being forced to go without water. There was no arrangement for the policemen to ease themselves. The policemen deputed on the rooftops of houses complained that no one had bothered to ask them for food and they were at the mercy of the residents.



Special flights for cricket fans
56 aircraft to land in city today
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
With at least six special flights operated by commercial airlines and another about 50 private aircraft expected to arrive here tomorrow, the Chandigarh airport would be witnessing an unprecedented flight activity.

These aircraft would have spectators, including political leaders, government officials, corporate honchos, Bollywood stars and other personalities, on board for the World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan at Mohali.

The special flights would be in addition to regular fights operated by scheduled airlines from the city. There are 24 scheduled flights, including arrivals and departures, daily from Chandigarh. Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Go Air are operating two additional flights each to Chandigarh from Delhi and Mumbai. Airline officials claim that these flights are fully booked.

With the additional flights, the total number of arrivals and departures from Chandigarh will touch 136. Besides, there will be two special aircrafts that will have on board the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan.

Arrivals are expected to commence early Wednesday morning and the airspace is expected to be closed for brief durations when the aircraft ferrying in the Prime Ministers of both the countries touch down at different times.

Air Force sources said no private aircraft would be allowed to park at the Chandigarh airfield. These would be flown elsewhere once their passengers disembark and would return to pick them up the next day. Amritsar and Delhi are among the airports that would be used for overnight parking by private aircrafts.

Similarly, the special commercial flights would also return to their place of origin with fresh passengers. The average turnaround time for airliners operating from Chandigarh, like the Airbus A-320, Boeing 7373 and ATR-72 is 30 minutes. Night flying by commercial and private aircrafts is not permitted from Chandigarh.

The air traffic services in Chandigarh are controlled by the Air Force, as the airfield here is a defence installation with a civilian enclave attached to it. Air Force sources said there would be no disruption of scheduled commercial operations despite heavy traffic and certain restrictions on the use of airspace.

An Air Force helicopter was seen in the evening making low sweeps of the area around the venue of the match as part of the strict surveillance and security protocol put into place for the event, which assumes political hues. Though Air Force sources have discounted the possibility of combat air patrols over the Tricity, routine airspace monitoring and operational readiness platforms would be maintained at designated airfields.

The Army would be providing air defence cover against possible threats from low flying platforms to the venue of the match for which anti-aircraft guns and mobile air defence missile units have been deployed. An Army bomb disposal unit has also been activated.

Holiday in schools

In wake of the semifinal match at the PCA Stadium, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar has declared a holiday in all schools and educational institutions in Mohali. The educational institutions conducting exams would function as normal. The government and semi-government offices will open as usual.



5,000 cops to maintain vigil
Teams will travel 5 km extra to avoid traffic snarls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Heavily burdened with VVIPs descending in droves on the city to watch the semifinal match between India and Pakistan, the Chandigarh Police has, besides exhausting its own limit of deploying 75 per cent of the force for security cover, requsitioned the service of over 2,000 commandos of the paramilitary forces for security cover tomorrow. With prime ministers, high-profile politicians and corporate honchos arriving for the Wednesday's match, the police is not taking any chances on the security front.

The police has roped in services of six different forces - four companies of the Haryana police; Special Action Group (SAG) commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG); the Railway Protection Force (RPF); the Rapid Action Force (RAF), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and even elements of the Army. In addition, the Special Protection Group (SPG) will exclusively protect the Prime Minister and any member of Sonia Gandhi’s family if they visit.

The total number of police personnel present in Chandigarh for security of the VIPs tomorrow will be close to 5,000 - 3,000 from the Chandigarh Police and the rest drawn from the above listed security forces.

UT Senior Superintendent of Police Naunihal Singh said it was for the first time in the history of Chandigarh that such a large number of police force was being deployed for security cover. “Multifarious forces have been pressed into service and 75 per cent of the UT police force has been deployed for the VIP security. “The Chandigarh police will remain on its toes and stringent arrangements have been made,” he added.

Armed security personnel will be lined up on both sides of the 15-km road, between Hotel Taj and the stadium, along which the teams' convoys will pass. The team buses will take a 5-km longer route to avoid the busy city roads. The force will maintain vigil at Hotel Mountview in Sector 10, the Punjab Raj Bhawan, the UT Guest House and Hotels Taj GVK and Shivalik View. The police will guard all the roads leading from the Chandigarh Airport to these destinations. Security forces will also remain present on the roads leading to Mohali cricket stadium from these hotels where the VIPs are staying.



Heavy presence of cops affects business 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 29
Heavy presence of policemen around the stadium is not only affecting residents living around the PCA stadium, a number of business establishments are losing on business for the past two days.

Hundreds of policemen have taken over the parking lots and verandas in front of shops in Phases IX and X, adjoining the stadium.

Baljeet Singh Walia, who runs a fast food joint in Phase X, said his routine customers have stopped calling, as he was unable to book home delivery orders due to security restrictions. “My delivery boys are not being allowed to move in and out of the Phase X market. The water tanker was also not allowed in the market,” he said.

The presence of policemen is only proving to be a blessing in disguise for the small-time shopkeepers who were busy selling “kulche chole” to the policemen.

Another shopkeeper selling hardware items said he was sitting idle for the past two days. I am planning to close my shop tomorrow. Dr Mukesh Gaba, a doctor in Phase IX market, said policemen have taken over the corridor in front of his shop. “I have been left with no option but to close my shop tomorrow,” he said.

Though the local administration has not passed any orders for the closure of shops, shopkeepers apprehend that due to the heavy police presence, there would be no business. 

Residents at receiving end

Residents living in the vicinity of the PCA stadium complained that despite being issued passes, they were not allowed free access to their houses. The main access to the houses from the road separating Phases IX and X has been sealed for VVIP movement. Surinder Kaur, who lives near the stadium, complained that she had not been issued a pass. Another resident, Rajpreet Kaur, said despite being issued the pass, she was forced to take a longer route. Residents complained that policemen had already started taking control of the road in front of their houses. 



Security beefed up in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
The Haryana police has finally woken up to security in the town in view of the high profile semifinal cricket match between India and Pakistan to be played in Mohali tomorrow.

Two companies of police personnel from the commando training institutes have been brought to the city.

Besides, mobile commando force (quick response team) with latest weapons and bullet-proof jackets have also been positioned in major intersections in the city.

The police has also been positioned near hotels and other commercial establishments. Four policemen have also been positioned outside every hotel in the city and its periphery besides strengthening the intelligence network to keep a tab on the anti-socials elements.

Notably, the city has about 15 hotels, five government guesthouses and a couple of dharmashalas in the town with a combined room capacity of 900.

Fans have booked the rooms well in advance leaving no space for the huge rush that has begun descending on the town to witness the high profile cricket match.

The police team headed by DSP Ram Chander Rathi also searched the local hotels, guesthouses and dharamshalas and sought the details of the persons who had booked the rooms there. The police directed the hotel owners to keep a complete record with identity proof of the hotel guests.

The police has instructed cyber café owners in the city to keep the address and identity proof of visitors.

Ambala Superintendent of Police Shashank Anand, who is holding the additional charge of Panchkula, said all the entry points to the city have been sealed by setting up 26 nakas besides deploying to check the entry of anti-social elements from the neighbouring states of Ambala, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh 
and Union Territory of Chandigarh.



Bigwigs in city just for a day!Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The VVIPs movement in the run-up for tomorrow’s high-voltage Cricket World Cup semifinal clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan has left the UT Administration officials at their wits’ end.

With National Security Guards (NSG) and Special Protection Group (SPG) keeping the VVIP movement and their itinerary a “top secret”, confusion prevails among the bureaucracy and police establishment about the likely schedules of the political bigwigs, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

While boarding and lodging arrangements have been made for Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Gilani at the Punjab Raj Bhavan and Hotel Taj, respectively, both of them are likely to fly back to New Delhi and Islamabad after the match, respectively, a senior functionary of the UT Administration informed.

The dinner arrangement at the PCA Stadium gives credence to speculation that the two prime ministers may not stay in Chandigarh. There is also speculation that the Prime Minister might host a dinner for visiting Pakistani delegation at the Raj Bhavan in case they stay overnight in Chandigarh.

Since no official stay arrangements have been made for Sonia Gandhi and his MP son Rahul Gandhi, it is likely that the Prime Minister, along with Sonia Gandhi and her son may fly back to New Delhi.

Meanwhile, several dignitaries checked into the city today. These included Principal Secretary to the Indian Prime Minister TKA Nair, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, Puducherry Governor Iqbal Singh and Pakistani High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik.

A total of 30 members of the Pakistani delegation, mostly security and intelligence officers, checked into the UT Guest House ahead of Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit. 

Who is staying where

* Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Punjab Raj Bhavan

* Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raja Gilani Hotel Taj

* Union Minister Sharad Pawar Hotel Mountview

* Union Minister Praful Patel Hotel Mountview

* Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahai Hotel Mountview

* Manipur Governor Nikhil Kumar UT Guest House

* Puducherry Governor UT Guest House

* Deputy Chairman Planning Commission UT Guest House

Montek Singh Ahluwalia

* Actress Preity Zinta Hotel Mountview



Stars in favour of Team India: Astrologers
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Good wishes of a billion people, a cheering crowd of about 30,000 people at the PCA Stadium, led by the Prime Minister and who’s who of the country, and a confident team India. So what can possibly prevent MS Dhoni and his men from crushing Shahid Afridi’s eleven?

Nothing perhaps, as even the stars, the numbers and plants are in favour of Team India and soothsayers assert that Dhoni’s victory is “inevitable”.

For those who don’t believe in astrology, numerology and tarot cards, the forecast for tomorrow’s match is a pure music for the ears as it unanimously predicts a victory for India. But leaving all the predictions aside, team India should not let this hype and frenzy affect their performance.

And for young fans of Yuvi, who have been praying for his success in Mohali, the stars are poised favourably for him and he may well script yet another victory for the country.

Tarot card reader Renu Mathur, says patriotic fervour apart, the tarot card chariot shows a position of command and control for the Indian cricket team.

“Yuvraj is once again destined to play a great innings with at least a half century and two wickets,” she says while cautioning “Mahi” to play his style.

Though Renu doesn’t say with conviction that whether Sachin will be able to score a century in Mohali, she maintains that Sachin will make a major contribution to the team.

Similarly, both Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir will also make their presence felt. She advises India to bat in case they win the toss and warns them to be wary of the Rawalpindi’s express ball and Younis Khan’s bat.

If they win the toss, the Indian team is advised to bat first. And for skipper Shahid Afridi, she says despite a good game plan he may not be able to bring his team up to the mark of winning this match.

Astrologer, Madan Gupta Spatu, says the numeric value of tomorrow’s date (30-3-2011) is 1, which represents the Sun and being Wednesday (Budh) both the planets are friendly and very near to each other. He says: “The Sun becomes the main planet of the day which coincides with the planetary position of the captain and the place where the historic event will take place. The alphabet M (the first letter of Dhoni’s name) astrologically represents Leo, which in turn represents the Sun. The name and place both start with M,” he says while predicting India’s victory.

Spatu says: “The time of the commencement of the match, the ascendant will be Cancer, the sign (rashi) will be Capricorn under Dhanishtha nakshatra (constellation). The Lagna lord Moon will be in the Kendra (centre), which makes the event stronger. Secondly, in the horoscope cast for 30.3.2011 at 14.30 pm in Mohali, the fifth house which represents games and entertainment makes a direct link with ninth house which is the house of destiny. In the destiny house, three friendly planets Mars, Sun and Jupiter will rule. This combination brings India in a winning position on Wednesday and this is inevitable,” he adds.

For Pakistan he says: “Their horoscope is governed by Virgo (Kanya rashi). Retrograde position of Saturn in the Virgo sign does not show any indication for Pakistan to win.” This prediction will surely disappoint people across the border.



Last-minute rush for tickets
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, March 29
The flourishing black-marketing business in the city has caught the fancy of migrant labourers. A majority of daily wagers hailing from UP and Bihar have shifted to last minute “managing” tickets.

Hundreds of these daily wagers, rickshaw-pullers have taken a break from their usual course and are running from pillar to post to arrange tickets for the semifinal match at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

The migrant labourers in large number were seen standing in long queues outside the stadium to buy tickets.

“I got Rs 20,000 from someone to buy a ticket, but unfortunately no ticket is available here,” said Ram Khilawan, a rickshaw-puller.

“My boss in Bihar wants four tickets for his children and he is ready to pay any amount. I am coming here from March 25, but I failed to get any ticket,” said Gulab, a resident of Bihar.

VIP treatment

Police personnel always uphold that due to security reasons “No one can come near the players” but when it comes to VIPs, they always maintain that “Only VIPs can come and meet the players.”

If you want to meet your favourite player, all you have to do is carry a VIP tag with you.

A family, including a father, mother and two children were allowed inside the stadium to meet their favourite cricket stars. The family was given entry from the gate adjoining the VIP gate number 1 of the PCA Stadium.

Interestingly, the family was given an entry without going through the security check. The family was seen with a Punjab Police gunman. Both children were carrying notebooks for taking autographs of their favourite cricketers. When asked why the family was being allowed into the stadium, a policeman said: “Our deputy knows about it. However, the assistant sub inspector expressed ignorance about the “deputy”.



Brisk business for traders
Akash Ghai/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The high-octane Indo-Pak semifinal match is turning out to be a big boon for the city’s economy. With the city expected to host about 15,000 visitors, the city’s business community is expecting to register a 40 per cent increase in sales.

Businessmen, mainly comprising restaurant owners, hoteliers, electronic goods owners and transport service providers are together expecting sales worth about Rs 15 crore over and above normal.

With hotels and guesthouses located in the city and all cities and towns located in a 60-km radius fully occupied for the coming three days, the total income expected to be earned by the hotel industry alone is estimated to cross Rs 10 crore.

Similarly, the food and beverages industry is expected to witness a three-fold rise in turnover during this period.

Gurwinder Singh, treasurer of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India, maintained that the industry (food and beverages) witness a business of around Rs 50 lakh per day. “But tomorrow, the figure will be three-times more. In fact, we have been witnessing a boom in the business for the past one week due to cricket frenzy. If India wins tomorrow, the business is expected to touch a new high till the World Cup final,” said Juneja.

Tomorrow’s match will also give fillip to the transport business that is hopeful of earning five times more income than any other normal day. “The fares of rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and private taxis will touch the roof tomorrow as we will also cash in on the opportunity,” admitted a group of auto rickshaw drivers in Sector 22.

Notably, a spurt in the sale of television, LCDs and LEDs is also being noted this week. “On any normal day we would sell two or three sets but yesterday the sale was good. In just one day, we sold as many as 17 sets”, said Arwinder Singh, owner of a noted electronics goods shop.

He was hopeful that the sale was likely to be up in the coming days provided India won tomorrow’s match.



PU Senate okays 2 seats under single girl child quota 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Panjab University (PU) Senate today passed a resolution to reserve two seats for a single girl child in every course.

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti clarified that cases in which a family had more than one girl child would not be considered.

The number of freeships for students belonging to economically weaker sections has also been increased from 10 to 20 per cent from the forthcoming academic session.

Such students are required to have a yellow card, indicating the below poverty line status and will be given admission free of cost.

Students will be given ` 25 lakh for the innovative works on new projects.

The university Senate also approved the inception of ` 1-lakh Prof Satinder Singh Noor award which will be given to the best writer across the country to boost Punjabi language.

Highlights of student-related issues

* 20 per cent freeships for poor students

* Two seats for single gild child in all courses

* Every hostel will have an individual library

* Annual tech-fest will be held in PU

* Rs 25 lakh for innovative projects of students

* Prof Satinder Singh Noor award incepted

PU now says ‘no tuition fee hike’

Having evoked criticism by student leaders in the past for repeatedly claiming “no fee hike” on the campus, yet increasing fee for re-evaluation, Panjab University today stuck to its claim of “no tuition fee hike” in the Senate meeting. PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said there had been no hike in the tuition fee. It maybe remembered that fee hike from ` 300 to ` 500 for undergraduate re-evaluation examination and ` 500 to ` 750 for postgraduate re-evaluation examination had earlier sparked off a protest by certain student organisations. On February 24, a circular was issued by the PU examination branch to all affiliated colleges, chairpersons of all teaching departments and directors of university regional centres to “advice students to apply for fee refund” of the excess amount.

Minutes of meeting not recorded, say members

Panjab University Senate members today objected to the discrepancies in recording the proceedings of the meetings. Members alleged that the recorded proceedings were not in sync with what was witnessed in the meetings in reality. Certain members said their recommendations were also altered on certain occasions, which ignited heated arguments during meetings.

Syndicate meeting

The Syndicate today passed a proposal to seek an undertaking from parents of students seeking admission to the PU that their wards would not indulge in any criminal activity. The proposal was later passed by the Senate members with certain modifications. The Syndicate made the above recommendations following a discussion on a report by Justice KC Gupta on the poll violence in 2010. The university withdrew another report by Justice KC Gupta in the case of change in examination centre and involvement of examination branch employees in corruption. Another Syndicate meeting will be held to discuss the issue on Thursday. 

Dr Gauba joins dental college

The Senate was informed by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti that Dr Krishan Gauba, former director-principal of the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences, joined the dental college on Tuesday. Senate members said his request for repatriation to his parent institute, the PGI, had been accepted.

Ex-fellow observes fast

A former Senate member, RD Anand, today observed a fast from 10 am till the end of the Senate meeting. After the Senate meeting, the members met Anand and assured him that they would solve his problems.

Issues raised

* Dignity of teachers trampled. He raised PU Dental College and UBS issues

* Re-employment of teachers randomly done without proper criteria

* Introduction of new courses without proper infrastructure

* Dire shortage of teachers in major departments

* Non-implementation of certain decisions of the Senate

* Promotion of non-teachers delayed

* Top administrative posts not filled regularly 



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