C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops strike big
Recover 42 stolen vehicles from gang
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The UT police today busted an inter-state gang comprising vehicle lifters, scrap dealers, insurance company surveyors and second-hand car dealers which adopted a peculiar modus operandi of selling off stolen vehicles with the original documents of vehicles damaged in accidents. The police recovered a total of 42 vehicles, including high-end cars and SUVs worth over Rs 2 crore, following the arrest of five of an unknown number of gang members.

The 42 vehicles included a Mitsubishi Pajero, two Toyota Innovas, five Mahindra Scorpios, four Tata Safaris, three Mahindra Baleros, three Hyundai Vernas, two Chevrolet Taveras, four Maruti Swifts, three Tata Indigos, two Maruti Wagon Rs, four Maruti Zens, two Hyundai Santros, three Maruti-800s, two Tata Indicas and one Hyundai i 20 and Maruti Alto each.

The arrested members of the gang were identified as Harinder Singh, alias Goldy, a second-hand car dealer, Vipin Kumar, a scrap dealer

and his accomplices Mohammed Nadeem, Mohammed Amir and Kasim. At least three accomplices of the arrested accused identified as Kala, a resident of Meerut, and Kamal and Iqbal, both belonging to Muradabad, are absconding.

The police said car dealer Harinder used to sell second-hand cars in the tricity at the second-hand car market in Sector 7 every Sunday. All 42 cars have been recovered from the purchasers who had bought the cars from the city’s second-hand car market who were ignorant of the fact that they had bought stolen vehicles with documents belonging to an altogether other vehicle.

The police has managed to trace only two vehicles out of the total 42, which were stolen from Chandigarh. In all, the police has managed to trace from where 11 of the 42 vehicles had originally been stolen from. Investigations are on to ascertain from where the rest of the cars had been stolen.

Terming it as a deep nexus among vehicle thieves, scrap dealers, insurance company agents and second-hand car dealers, UT SSP Naunihal Singh said the accused used to sell off the stolen vehicles in car bazaars of various states after pasting number plates, chassis and engine numbers of those vehicles, which had been completely damaged in accidents.

Modus operandi

  • Scrap dealer Vipin and his accomplices used to purchase vehicles damaged in accidents from either the owner of the vehicles with the help of a surveyor or in auctions/direct sale of accidental total loss vehicles from insurance companies
  • They would then either steal or get stolen vehicles from other accomplices
  • Would either punch the chassis number and engine number of the accident vehicle on the stolen vehicle or cut the plate bearing these numbers and fix the same on stolen vehicles in Meerut
  • Would sell these converted stolen vehicles to innocent people as genuine vehicles in the open market

Police yet to nab any thief

Even though the police has arrested five persons involved in the racket, it is yet to arrest any vehicle thief who stole the cars and then sold these off to car dealers with documents of accident vehicles. The police said the case was at an initial stage and there was still plenty to unfold in the coming days, as the gang was large and more arrests were likely in the coming days



0007, AK 47 shoot down 0001 at auction
AK (00) 47 bought by Baba Budha Dal sect head for scooter, likely to shift it to a Rolls-Royce
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Secret agent James Bond 007 outshined the local charm for AK 47 and AK 56, the lethal weapons that reverberated in the region during the dark days of militancy, at the auction of the new CH 04 AK series of vehicle registration numbers at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh. The secret agent’s number fetched the highest bid amount of Rs 4.21 lakh compared to Rs 3.20 lakh paid for AK 47 (CH 04 AK 0047) and a mere Rs 10,000 (reserve price) for AK 56 (CH 04 AK 0056).

What is interesting is that the numbers AK (00) 47 and AK (00) 56, both of which symbolised the world’s most widely used assault rifle by armies, policemen and terrorists alike the world over, has been bought by the head of the Baba Budha Dal sect. Equally interesting is the fact that the number will figure on a scooter, rather than a fancy car. But then, it is widely believed that the number will eventually be transferred to a Rolls Royce.

Interestingly, the vanity number 0001, which has often witnessed the highest bidding in the past, fetched Rs 3.10 lakh, even lesser than 0005 that fetched Rs 3.25 lakh for the licensing authority.

The proud owner of the number 0007, Amrit Pal Singh, a Ludhiana-based proprietor of White Tiger Build Cons, said he was ready to pay any amount to clinch his favourite number. Amrit Pal owns a fleet of high-end swanky cars, including a Bentley, a Rolls-Royce and a Range Rover SUV, all bearing either 0007 or 0001 as registration numbers.

Until the moment when the vanity vehicle registration numbers were put under the hammer, AK 0047 was being considered as the most-sought-after number by the bidders. But the charm for the debonair James Bond number turned the tables on the Kalashnikovs. There were 10 bidders for 0007 and only five for AK 0047. Interestingly, the highest bidder for both numbers said they were ready to pay any cost to own the numbers.

While 0007 number would bedeck the Kyan model of a swanky Porsche, AK 0047 would reportedly enhance the beauty of first a scooter followed by a Rolls Royce. “The car is being readied as the work to make it ‘bulletproof’ is on in a foreign country,” said a close associate of ‘Baba Ji’, who presently was in Nanded Sahib to participate in a nagar kirtan. But when contacted by Chandigarh Tribune, Baba Balbir Singh categorically denied any such development, sayin he was not buying any swanky car. “The number (AK47) has been procured for a scooter. I am not buying any car,” said Baba Balbir Singh.

When asked why he chose AK 0047 and AK 0056, Baba Balbir Singh said laughingly, “Koi khaas vajah taan nahi hai. Eh dono number shaster naal sambandhit hain, te shaster Singhi di nishaani hai (There was no particular purpose. Both these numbers belong to arms and arms are symbols of Sikhs)”. He added that he already had another AK 0047 number from Patiala for his Hero Honda motorcycle.

0001: No more charmer this time

  • The sheen of 0001 was apparently diminished in today’s auction as it remained at the fourth spot as far as the maximum bidding amount on the vanity numbers was concerned.
  • The vanity number, which had brought in the highest Rs 10 lakh last year and Rs 7.5 lakh during last auction in July, fetched a ‘mere’ Rs 3.10 lakh today. The number was reportedly procured by Rajiv Goyal, chairman, Surya Pharmaceuticals, for his Rolls Royce Phantom car.
  • The CH04 AK 0005 brought in Rs 3.25, the second highest amount in bidding. The numbers 0002 and 0003 fetched Rs 2.32 lakh and 2.65 lakh, respectively.
  • The 0007 number was the most-sought number today as 10 bidders were present in the RLA office, whereas only five out of the eligible nine bidders turned up for AK 47 number. For number 0001, there were six bidders only. In CH04 AJ series, the 0007 number had gone for just Rs 2.9 lakh.
  • Rolls Royce Phantom price is Rs 3.5 crore, while Porche Kyan is nearly Rs 70 lakh 

Registration & Licencing Authority got Rs 48 lakh

The Registration and Licensing Authority, UT, Chandigarh, earned a total of Rs 48,02,100 from the auction at which 93 registration numbers for the ‘CH01-AK’ series were sold. This is around Rs 9 lakh more than the earnings from the last auction when a total of 91 numbers (just two numbers less) of the CH 04 AJ series were auctioned.



Corbusier was a perfectionist: Alumnus
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Dr Veena Garella, a first-batch student of the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) in 1961, still remembers her interaction with Le Corbusier, the creator of Chandigarh, who told her that to be an architect, one needed to wear a 16-pocket jacket. She remembers clearly that he himself was wearing one at that time.

Speaking on the sidelights of the golden jubilee celebrations of the CCA, Dr Varella said she had met Le Corbusier when he had come to inaugurate the college. Dr Garella knew a little French. This gave her some time with the legendary figure in the world of architecture. Her batch of 1961, naturally, is the toast of the entire gathering.

She said Le Corbusier explained her about the utility of each pocket separately. He had assigned a distinct place to different tools used by a planner, including his pen, pencil, rulers, thread and even spectacles.

She remembered that he would say, “Always remember the number 16 to tally with the number of tools needed before commencing your job.” The master planner would explain the utility of each pocket. In fact, there was a detailed planning involved even in keeping the tools specifically in different pockets. There was a flow in the manner in which a workman could carry his job in case he had planned his pocket layout, she said.

She was just one among over 100 odd ex-students who managed to reach the college. For the gathering, it was largely a trip down the memory lane; about the times they shared; and how their alma mater had helped them reach places of eminence in different fields.

A professor at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, fondly recalled her first day at the college when she met the master architect. “He was very clear in his ideas. He explained the entire concept of the city point by point like a small stream getting together along the journey from the mountain of wisdom to take the form of a river of knowledge,” she recalled.



Heritage items
City to have first official inventory
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,October 7
Finally waking up to the spate of auctions of heritage items overseas, the UT Administration has finally prepared an official inventory of items of heritage value.This inventory comes almost a decade and a half after the UT Administration issued directions to various departments to compile a list of heritage items.

In fact, the inventory of the heritage items prepared by the UT Department of Urban Planning after a painstaking five-month-long exercise will have a list of over 10,000 items, including furniture, tapestries, models and sketches, designed by Team Le Corbusier.The inventory would now be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for framing rules and regulations for the preservation of heritage items, sources said.

The listing of the heritage items will pave the way for preparing an official catalogue, which is expected to go a long way in stopping the “disposal” of these

items at foreign auction houses. Recently, certain foreign auction houses had raked in moolah by putting under hammer items of heritage value, particularly wooden furniture items, originating from Chandigarh.

During the course of the preparation of the inventory, it was found that several institutions, including Panjab University, had disposed of several items of heritage value at their own level without informing the UT Administration. The name of a French auction house had cropped up during the preparation of the inventory.

It may be recalled that on May 5 this year, the UT Administration had directed the departments concerned to send the list of heritage items to the administration.

The directions to prepare a comprehensive list of sketches, furniture and models were first issued in 1996. The items were designed and used by French architect Le Corbusier, his associate Pierre Jeanneret and others. These architects and planners were associated with the founding and planning of Chandigarh in the 1950s and 1960s.

Auction of UT items fetches Rs 95.67 lakh

The auction of heritage items by a foreign auction house in Chicago has fetched Rs 95.67 lakh. While the highest amount of Rs 34 lakh was fetched by four lounge chairs belonging to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a pair of the arm chairs from the High Court sold for about Rs 18 lakh. Four wooden chairs reportedly belonging to the MLA Hostel were auctioned for Rs 8 lakh. Similarly, a dining table from Panjab University fetched Rs 7.4 lakh. Interestingly, a stool from the Chandigarh College of Architecture, which is currently celebrating its golden jubilee, was put under hammer for about Rs 2.86 lakh.

UT Admn and foreign auctions

The report will also catalogue heritage items recently auctioned by international auction houses and suggest action to be taken to preserve Chandigarh’s heritage in order to prevent further such auctions. The MHA will be expected to take action against those UT officials who were party to disposing of the heritage items at foreign auction houses. A detailed action-taken report on the sale of items in the international market and steps taken by the UT Administration will also form part of the report.


Councillors ignore real issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) councillors indulged in mudslinging in the General House today over the issue which had no concern with the MC or the development in the city.

During the Zero Hour, Congress Councillor Pardeep Chhabra pointed out that nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria, who believes in giving sermons to others against corruption, had himself been involved in a case of fraud by giving a wrong affidavit for house allotment.

Objecting to it, Sanwaria said: “Ask your high command to choose candidates who can act according to the MC Act.” Reacting to it, all Congress councillors unanimously protested and demanded that the words stated by the nominated councillor be withdrawn. After heated exchange among the nominated and the Congress councillors, Sanwaria withdrew his words.

Recalling the allegations levelled in the past against Congress councillors, Sanwaria said how his case could be discussed on the floor of the House when during booth scam, Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh had stated that the issue could not be discussed as it was not in the preview of the MC.

BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey alleged that recently a case was registered against him on the directions of the Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal. Objecting to it, Congress councillors said until the person concerned, against whom the House is discussing, was not present in the House, no allegations should be levelled against him.


  • Two of the nominated councillors - Arshad Khan and Resham Chand Jakhu - openly supported the Congress when the opposition levelled allegations against the party high command.
  • From next year, all former councillors of the MC will get three paid parking strikers
  • The residential area in all fire stations of the city will be renovated this year
  • Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma raised objection on the incomplete information tabled by officials on augmentation of Phase V and VI of Kajauli waterworks
  • Reacting to the verbal comment of nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria, Congress Councillor Pardeep Chhabra said: “Hum bole to character dhila hai.”




uppal housing project
Action taken on incomplete report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The Municipal Corporation (MC) has woken from slumber after four months and realised that the action taken on the Uppal Housing Project located in Mani Majra on violation of terms of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) are on the basis of the incomplete inquiry report.

As per the inquiry report prepared by the former Joint Commissioner, the company had flouted the MoU by not constructing 25 EWS houses.

This fact came to light when MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach informed the General House today that the report, which was tabled in the House in May, was incomplete. He said the company had made a provision to construct EWS houses by 2015. Besides, there are many loopholes in the report which are under scrutiny. He said the demand of a CBI inquiry has not been approved by the House during confirmation of minutes.

Reacting to it, Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma said it was strange that officials were now challenging the veracity of the report prepared by them. He expressed surprise that on the basis of the incomplete report, action had been initiated against residents of Uppal society by not issuing them no objection certificates, but no action had been taken against the officials and the builder.

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla alleged that a conspiracy is being hatched by MC officials and the builder to settle the issue. Why all these facts have been brought out now when in last House meeting, councillors had demanded a CBI inquiry against officials for omitting clause of the construction of 25 houses for economically weaker section in the Uppal housing project.

Nominated councillors demanded withdrawal of a CBI inquiry against MC officials involved in the project on the basis that it was the matter of the estate office and the MC had nothing to do with it. They also asked the Mayor to withdraw the decision of not issuing NOCs to residents of the Uppal housing project.

However, Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said the matter would be resolved by MC Commissioner Prerna Puri.



City plays its part in Aakash launch
Two technical experts in the team from Chandigarh colleges
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Aakash, the world’s lowest priced (Rs 2,250 per unit) touch screen computing and internet access device has not only marked the onset of e-education renaissance in the country, but has established the city on the national education arena with two of the technical experts of the project hailing from city colleges.

Dalip Kumar, associate professor at the Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, and Pardeep Singh Walia, associate professor at the Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, have been an integral part of this ambitious project which is bound to change the fate of lakhs of students nationwide and over 3,000 in the UT. The duo, who have been an integral part of the project as technical experts ever since its inception in June, claim it to be dream come true.

“Aakash has made e-learning accessible and cheap. It is a milestone in Indian education and it feels great to be part of this history-making project. The very day we went to take up this project, we knew that it was a great opportunity to go out and make an impact on lives of hundreds of students outside the confines of our own colleges,” says Dr Walia.

The assignment, according to Dr Daliphas, has given city academicians the much required recognition at the national level.

“There is no dearth of expertise. Our community members get invited all over the world, but somehow we could never make any remarkable contributions in many national academic schemes. The revolutionary project has proved that we have finally arrived. We have pool of expertise to offer on different arenas and make our contribution at the national level,” said Dr Dalip.

The device unveiled two days ago was reviewed and finalised at a two-day workshop organised by the IIT, Rajasthan, held on June 28-29 to introduce and test the device. Representatives of state governments, union territories, IITs and NIITs were invited.



LIC told to pay Rs 1.65 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has slapped a fine of Rs 30,000 on Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for causing mental agony and harassment to a Sector 52 resident.

In his complaint, Amit Kumar, a resident of Kajehri village in Sector 52, had averred that his wife took a policy for a sum of Rs 1.25 lakh on October 19, 2009, valid for one year from November 3, 2009, and was required to pay Rs 510 per month as premium.

He said on the same evening, his wife fell ill and got treated at the PGI where it came to light that she was four-month pregnancy. On December 21, 2009, the Amit got her wife admitted to the PGI with the complaint of shortness of breath and irregular respiration. It was diagnosed that she was a case of swine flu which ultimately led to her death after three days along with the foetus in the womb. Thereafter, he submitted the claim form along with requisite documents, but the opposite party rejected the claim on the ground of suppression of material facts regarding her health at the time of proposing for the insurance policy.

The counsel for the LIC pleaded that the claim of the complainant had been repudiated as the insured did not act in good faith and suppressed the true and correct facts from the opposite party at the time of taking the policy. The opposite party further pleaded that the life insured became aware about her pregnancy on December 19, 2009, but she deliberately did not disclose it to the opposite party while filling up the proposal form.



liver transplant
Docs keep their fingers crossed
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Doctors at the liver transplant unit of the PGI are keeping their fingers crossed for the success of the second transplant that was conducted on a 30-year-old woman, Upasna, from Karnal, late last night.

With the first liver transplant conducted on April 15 this year being unsuccessful as the patient died after battling for life for 30 days, doctors are literally praying for the success of the surgery. The liver transplant on Upasana was completed late last night following which she was shifted to the ICU in the Advanced Cardiac Centre.

Doctors said the family of a brain dead patient admitted to the hospital agreed to donate the liver after the blood samples matched with that of Upasna. The formalities for the transplant, which included obtaining an NOC from the local police, were completed and the operation commenced early yesterday morning.

The donor, who subsequently died, was cremated late this evening by her family members. Doctors admitted that family members of donors were initially reluctant to donate the liver, but they agreed when they were briefed how this noble act could save another life.

Upasna was suffering from liver cirrhosis. She was lucky to get the liver as her blood group matched with that of the donor.



Porsche found abandoned in UP
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, October 7
In a major breakthrough in the 15-day-old sensational high-end car theft from Sector 7 in Panchkula, a joint team of the Chandigarh and Panchkula police has recovered the Porsche car from Faizabad district in Uttar Pradesh.

Sources in the investigation team revealed that residents in Faizabad had informed the Faizabad police that a Porsche car was lying abandoned there for the past two-three days. The Faizabad police then checked the documents and found that the car was the same, which was stolen from Panchkula. The team immediately informed the Panchkula and Chandigarh police.

Sources added that after receiving the information, a team of the Panchkula police left for Faizabad to bring back the car to Panchkula. Sources further added that the GPS installed in the car was non functional.

It was on the night of September 21 that the thieves had struck at the house of a Panchkula businessman Chander Verma in sector 7 and made off with the Porsche worth around Rs 80 lakh. The same gang had struck early that morning when it snatched the chain of an elderly woman in Sector 11, Chandigarh, and stole her Toyota Corolla. Hours later during the night, the gang came in the stolen Toyota Corolla to Sector 7, Panchkula, and took away a Mercedes and the Porsche. However, the thieves abandoned the Mercedes and the Toyota Corolla and took away the Porsche car.



printing paper
Another scam rocks education board
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 7
Close on the heels of a scam involving the release of expensive printing papers to publishers for printing of textbooks by officials of the publication branch of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) without taking adequate paper security amount, another scam involving the purchase of the printing paper has rocked the board.

A publisher, Anubhav Chaturvedi, on the basis of information sought under the Right to Information Act (RTI), has claimed that the PSEB authorities were purchasing the paper at a rate of Rs 44,000 per tonne from a private firm whereas the same firm was supplying the paper for Rs 38,000 per tonne to other boards, including NCERT, Gujarat board and Indira Gandhi Open University.

It has been pointed out that certain officials in the board were pocketing the excess Rs 6,000 per tonne, thus causing a loss of Rs 6 crore annually to the exchequer.

While raising a question mark over the role of the agency from which the paper was being tested, he said the paper was not being checked by a national-level certified agency.

Refuting the publisher’s claim, Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon, chairman of the PSEB, said an empowered committee was involved in the purchase of the printing paper and the rates were approved by the government.

On the other hand, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu demanded a probe into the issue.



Tricity scan

Rajbhasha awards

The circle office of the Punjab National Bank organised the Rajbhasha award distribution function on Friday. It was presided over by field general manager AK Roychaudhary. Circle Rajbhasha shields were awarded to the branches at Mani Majra, Sector 5 in Panchkula and Naneola in Ambala district. Individual prize winners included Ramesh Kumar Arora, Krishan Kumar Monga, Indu Anand, Ramesh Kumar Jain, Kamlesh Manchanda, Ajmer Singh Rana, Vinod Kamra, Pradip Pushkarna, Kusumlata Gupta, Sudhir Midda, Sudhkar Bhartiya, Surender Keshav, Vandana Bhatia, Manju Bagai and Poonam Arora.

New greenbelts

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh inaugurated two greenbelts, one in Sector 51 and the other in Sector 56, on Friday. A municipal corporation official said the civic body had developed the former on 5.5 acres at a cost of approximately 65 lakh and the latter on 6 acres at a cost of approximately Rs 50 lakh.

Sanitation drive

The sanitation wing of the municipal corporation launched a sanitation campaign in Sectors 21 and 22 on Friday. An additional 23 ‘safai karamcharis’ were deployed in Sector 21 and 60 in Sector 22 to sweep public places and open spaces.

Body donation

The department of anatomy at the PGI has received the body of 55-year-old Ruldu Ram of Guru Harkishan Nagar at Khanna. The department feels pride, gratitude and admiration for his family for this noble gesture.

Houses for poor

GMADA has framed a policy to provide affordable housing for economically weaker sections, particularly those living in slums. According to the newly formulated policy, 40 per cent of land is reserved for them in mega-projects and licensed colonies.

Work reviewed

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal directed Larsen and Tubro officials on Friday to complete the construction of Baba Banda Singh memorial at Chappar Chidi by November 15. He later visited Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy and interacted with students there.

— Tribune Reporters



Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj is Mahila Cong vice-president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Mahila Congress local unit president and former Mayor Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj will be vice-president of the All-India Mahila Congress. According to sources, an official announcement was made in this regard by Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi in New Delhi today. Bhardwaj was also a member of the AICC. Asha Sharma of Haryana and Parminder Kaur of Punjab would be general secretaries.

The appointments were made on the recommendations of newly appointed All-India Mahila Congress chief Anita Verma, with the concurrence of AICC president Sonia Gandhi.



Fly to Srinagar on Volvo fare!
Air India’s special offer for Oct 10
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who wish to travel from the city to Srinagar on October 10 as the fare to be charged by Air India that day is equal to the fare of Volvo buses for the 650-km journey. According to sources, this Rs-1,584 fare will be a one-time offer.

Air India also operates as a second line of transport between the city and the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir for the men in olive green.

Between 50 and 60 seats are vacant in the Air India flight, which will take off at 12:30 pm. These are now being offered to civilians planning to visit Srinagar.

Confirming this, Air India station manager MR Jindal has said this will be a temporary exercise as a few seats are available.

The aeroplane has a capacity of 172 seats, of which 152 are in the economy class and 20 in the executive class. Air India will charge only for a one-way journey.

According to sources, there is no proposal to start a new flight from Chandigarh to Srinagar in view of the financial crunch being faced by Air India.

A survey is being conducted to know its feasibility, but there the possibility of starting it is remote as the company is not able to pay salaries to its employees for months together.

The private airliner Kingfisher, which has been running into huge losses, has already decided to discontinue its economy class Kingfisher Red flights.



cca golden jubilee
A walk down the memory lane
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
It was a walk down the memory lane for the alumni on the golden jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, as the event brought old friends together and gave them a perfect setting to get nostalgic.

The corridors of the college echoed with laughter and chatter of the alumni, who met their batchmates after so many decades.

Sharing his memories, MR Tayal, a 1961-batch student who retired as Haryana’s Chief Town Planner, said the college just had one classroom, a staff room and three teachers back then.

“We just had a single classroom on the Punjab Engineering College campus and a class of a handful of students. It symbolised a small step taken before a great journey,” recollected Tayal.

Col BK Sodhi, from the same batch, also had many “pleasant” memories to share. For him, it was a great experience reliving old memories. “I feel young again. This is the best thing that can happen to us - to share our old memories with our classmates,” said Sodhi. He had joined the defence services soon after passing out of the college.

PR Luthra, a former Chief Architect of Punjab and a 1961-batch student, who also taught in the college till 1974, said meeting his friends from the college after so many years was a great feeling. “I cannot put it in words,” Luthra said while hugging his old friends.

The alumni were seen gazing at their pictures culled from college forms and put on display at the venue. An exhibition of the pictures collected from the alumni and the college album was organised by the college.



A class apart
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Walking in the rush of the Chandigarh College of Architecture alumni, one could not miss noticing a tall gentleman sharing light moments with different groups on the campus.

On enquiries, it was discovered that the stranger, who commanded love and respect among his alumni friends, was Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, a four-time Member of the Legislative Assembly, Uttar Pradesh.

He is currently the chairman of the UP State Tourism Development Corporation. He also served as the minister for minority welfare and Haj.

His demeanour, in rugged jeans and designer shoes, did not conform to the image of a politician.

This 1987-batch student had always been among the class toppers at the college. “I always had a fancy for designing my living environs. I stood third in my graduation and then went to New York to pursue double master’s at Columbia University. As fate would have it, my family background in politics pulled me back into the fold and I had no other option but to work for the man on the street,” Khan said.

Khan used to frequent Chandigarh, as his grandfather, Aminuddin Ahmed Khan, served as a Governor of Punjab.

“I stayed at Raj Bhavan, later shifted to the Commissioner’s residence and finally to a house in Sector 8. I have very fond association with each place I stayed here. I was a science student in Delhi University. However, I came here to pursue my degree in architecture.”

In 1988, Khan assisted a renowned Chinese architect, IM Pei, in one of his projects in New York.

Apart from having college buddies, Khan made several friends in DAV College and Government College for Men.

“I had a big friend circle and we used to enjoy the life of Chandigarh, which was ahead of the time then also,” he recalled. On the changes in the college, Khan said the college had added new structures and studios with modern facilities.

Although Khan is no more an architect, he certainly dreams of designing his home in UP.



Corbusier’s concept still intact, says ace architect
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
“Chandigarh has been able to retain the Le Corbusier’s original concept in spite of an increase in its population with time,” said renowned Portuguese architect and Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate, Eduardo Souto de Moura, who was in the city for a presentation during the golden jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

He said there was a need to work on the concept of extension of the city to cope with the burgeoning population.

“Arrangements must be made fast to align the settlement of the regional population in the envious urban settlement.”

Eduardo, who has visited the city earlier also, said he liked the concept of natural green houses in some parts of the city. “The concept of Chandigarh, which was planned by Corbusier, is still intact”, Eduardo said while talking to The Tribune.

“The perception of people that Le Corbusier was against high-rise buildings is not true. Chandigarh was planned for a limited number of people. That’s why he didn’t want to have high-rise buildings. However, later on he designed cities in various parts of world that had high-rise buildings,” he said.

Eduardo added that not just Chandigarh but cities around the world were finding it hard to cater to the needs of burgeoning populations and their needs in the 21st century. Eduardo gave a presentation of his creations to the students of the CCA and its alumni.



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