C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Long day, indeed!
Candidates calculate votes, seek blessings
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
It was a never-ending day for municipal corporation (MC) candidates, eagerly awaiting for poll results. While many nervous candidates spent the day calculating votes polled, some went to temples to seek blessings to ensure victory.

With the fate of candidates to be out tomorrow, there was curiosity and restlessness among the candidates, who were eagerly awaiting for sunrise tomorrow.

Satinder Dhawan, BJP candidate from ward 1, said although it was a day to relax after hectic election campaigning, she spent hours calculating votes polled in all booths to work out the probable result.

Chander Mukhi Sharma, Congress candidate from ward 15, said it was a day of discussion and analysis of votes polled in his ward.

“We sat in the office to calculate the percentage of votes expected to be polled by me out of the total votes polled in the ward,” he said.

To relieve himself from the anxiety, he spent a few hours with his children and later met his friends and well-wishers, before going for a family function.

For the Kang couple, who had contested from wards 5 and 9, it was a day to have lunch together and discuss polling in both wards.

JS Kang, who contested elections from ward 5, and his wife Inderjeet Kang, SAD candidate from ward 9, went for a morning walk and had lunch together, which they missed for past many days.

“My parents also went to a gurdwara to seek blessings and the entire family spent time together,” said their son Simran Kang.

BJP candidate Arun Sood, who contested from ward 8, said he woke up late after over a month. After attending a meeting at the party office, he went to the Mansa Devi temple with his family and later went out with friends for dinner. Meena Sharma, Chandigarh Jan Manch candidate from ward 4, said she spent the day with family and close friends, discussing city politics and analysing the position of candidates in her ward.



People have voted for change, feel observers
BJP agrees; Cong claims voters have faith in its working
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The record polling of 59.37 per cent in yesterday’s municipal corporation (MC) poll could turn out to be a major factor in deciding the fate of winning candidates.

Political observers believed that the trend indicated that people might have aggressively polled for change, especially where many new faces were in the fray.

Going by the pattern of polling, it appeared that the maximum polling of 75 per cent was registered in ward 6, where both the Congress and the BJP had fielded new faces.

In another example, a record 70 per cent voting was recorded in ward 23, where the Congress and the BSP had fielded new faces.

On the contrary, the lowest percentage of polling had been recorded in wards 2, 13 and 15, where sitting councillors were seeking re-election.

Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president BB Behl commented that the increase in polling is a signal from voters had faith in the present system and accepted the working of the ruling party.

In the words of BJP leader Satpal Jain, the increasing polling percentage indicated that the public was annoyed with the ruling party and looking for change.

The factor of new faces attracting voters apart, a mixed bag of other factors could have also resulted in highest polling in certain wards in the past three tenures of the MC.

Records of the MC poll showed that 45.77 per cent polling was recorded in

1996, dipped to 31.8 per cent in 2001 and rose to 45.12 per cent in 2006.

Political observers stated that the drastic increase of polling in urban areas showed that there was clear impact of the call of Anna Hazare to exercise the franchise.

A majority of urban wards, which used to record polling below 45 per cent till 2006, had touched a figure of more than 60 per cent this time.

While observers felt that the price rise was a cause for the increase in the polling percentage in colonies, villages and urban areas too showed their resentment towards the ruling party.

Another factor which was responsible for the increase in polling was a close contest between the candidates of different political parties.

Political observers believed that usually, elections revolves around prominent party candidates, but this time, the Third Front and rebel Independents had also mobilised the electorate for polling. In fact, there was close competition between candidates to reach the doorstep of voters and motivate them to vote for bringing transformation in the functioning of the MC and make it responsive.

The increase in electoral turnout also pointed to the fact that the election department had become successful in its campaign to motivate voters to exercise their franchise.



Urban wards record increase in turnout
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Urban voters have played a decisive role in deciding the fate of councillors, if the percentage of polling released by the Election Commission was any indication.

Though voter turnout in rural wards in the municipal corporation (MC) poll held yesterday was far ahead of the urban electorate, the percentage of votes in urban wards was better compared to MC elections in 2006.

Records showed that there had been an increase of 40 to 50 per cent in polling percentage in urban wards and the margin was between 40 and 45 per cent in rural wards.

Contrary to the past MC elections, there was an increase of about 48 per cent in voter turnout in ward 1, which in the past recorded polling of between 35 and 37 per cent. This time, polling was 52.08 per cent.

Similarly, there was an increase of about 36 per cent in polling in ward 2. This area recorded 58.85 per cent polling this time. In 2006, it was only 42.76 per cent.

Surprisingly, in ward 17, which had the lowest turnout in past MC elections with 34 per cent, recorded 54.66 per cent in these elections, going up by about 56 per cent.

There was a marginal increase of 6 per cent in polling in ward 24, which had the highest voter turnout in past elections with 64.45 per cent. It went up to 69.30 per cent.

In rural wards, there was an increase of 45 per cent in polling percentage. In ward 11, there was a 48 per cent turnout in past elections. It went up to 71 per cent this time.

There was an increase of 30 per cent inn polling in ward 26 this time. There were a few urban wards where polling had still not picked up.

The lowest voter turnout of 46 per cent was registered in ward 9, which had only 37 per cent polling in past elections. Ward 21 registered 48.20 per cent polling this time. It had 45.41 per cent turnout in previous elections.



Admn’s lips sealed on nominated councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
While the city will have its elected councillors for the municipal corporation (MC) tomorrow afternoon, the UT Administration remains tight-lipped about its decision on nominated councillors.

“The process is on and there is nothing more to say at this stage,” said KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, when asked whether the decision on finalisation of the nominated councillors had taken place.

He added that the Administrator would take a final decision on it. Sources claimed that about 30 applicants of the around 100 aspirants were shortlisted by the Administration.

“The police verification of about 30 aspirants was done past week and the list was sent to the higher authorities immediately after that,” said an official with the Administration, adding that the list included names of educationists, hoteliers and journalists, besides some persons from the field of art and culture.

As many as nine applicants would be selected as nominated councillors by the Administration, whose role was to advise the elected

House on various issues. “It had been seen that during the previous term of the house that certain nominated councillors had started indulging in politics, which was not in good taste. The Administration was careful this time,” said a senior official. He added that many candidates were striving to be in the final list and had been approaching senior functionaries.



siblings’ murder
Needle of suspicion points to dispute within family
Children were to shift to Mewat in about 45 days
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
With questioning of friends and classmates of 17-year-old Kavita and 15-year-old Gaurang Sahu not providing enough clues into the double murder case, the police’s needle of suspicion is now revolving around some dispute within the family, leading to the gruesome murder of the two on December 16.

The two siblings, staying with their mother for the past many years in the city, were to shift to their father’s place in Mewat in around 45 days.

Strained relations of their parents, suspicious act of the father in leaving the city in haste without looking at the bodies of his children yesterday and contradictory statements given by family members raised certain questions, that could help the police in following the murder trail.

Even as robbery as a motive was ruled out, the police said the exact motive behind the murder was still unclear. The police was also trying hard to find whether the murder occurred out of sudden provocation or it was preplanned.

A kitchen knife was used in the crime. Meanwhile, both the bodies were cremated at their native village near Mewat around 8 am today.

Kids were to leave for father’s place

  • Kavita’s boyfriend Sidhartha, who was questioned by the police today, told the cops that Kavita and Gaurang were to shift to Mewat, where their father worked as teacher, in around 45 days.
  • Friends also hinted at strained relations between their parents, Malti and Umesh. “Both were very attached to their mother and spoke less of their father,” said one of the friends.
  • The police was also doubting the haste of the father of the victims in leaving the city without waiting for the postmortem examination to be over.
  • He was stopped at Kurukshetra and asked to return, after which the police recorded his statement. Investigations also pointed that their father was upset with his wife for spoiling the children.

All contact numbers scrolled

The police was contacting every contact stored in the phonebooks of the mobiles of Kavita, Gaurang and their mother. Cops dressed in civvies were also trying to gather information from the neighbours in Sector 41 as to how none of them got a clue when the two were being brutally stabbed at their residence in broad daylight in the congested locality.

Two similar knives recovered from kitchen

Pointing that the murder of the two could be a sudden act of provocation, the police recovered two knives, which were of the same set and similar to the the knife used in the murders, from the kitchen at the Sector-41 residence.

“Two similar knives of the same size and brand as the one used in the crime have been recovered from the kitchen of their house. It points that the killer picked the knife from the kitchen set. It hints that the murder was not preplanned. It is contradictory to the statement of their uncle, who said the knife was brought from outside by the killer,” said an investigating officer.



5,000 out-of-school children brave the chill
Chandigarh’s education department fails to provide winter uniforms to them
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
In sheer display of apathy, the UT education department has failed to provide winter uniforms, shoes and socks to over 5,000 out-of-school children. A majority of them are below 10 years and continue to brave chill to attend its special training centres barefooted and in tattered shorts.

It comes as a serious blow to the department’s self -proclaimed commitment to provide for students of economically weaker sections. It didn’t even care to provide summer uniforms though they are bound to provide two sets of uniforms along with shoes, socks and even worksheets.

“It is not a new thing for us.Earlier,we got last year’s summer uniform in December but this year nothing has come so far. These students are of special training centres and are being trained for admissions to private schools under the RTE. We were not given worksheets the entire year,” said a teacher at a local special training centre. While Sandeep Hans, DPI (S), was unavailable for comments a senior official put the blame on confusion pertaining to mode of purchase saying “We had decided to purchase it through a centralised system but got a letter from the MHRD saying the same could not be done. When we decentralised the process, we were told that the earlier order pertained to the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan only. Several months have passed in this confusion only,” he said.

Ironically, the UT education department which is busy lashing out at private schools for implementation of the RTE is yet to put its own house in order. While the act mandates conduct of bridge course at special training centres with provision of free uniforms, shoes books and stationery to its students, the department is yet to wake up to its responsibility and aid poor students.

Lessons not learnt

The department may blame it on confusion but the apathy has been a regular feature. The Tribune had in January this year highlighted as to how it had defied logic and provided shorts to children as winter uniforms. Though the authorities promised to pull up their socks yet they have apparently failed to learn lessons.



Man posing as CBI ACP arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The police today arrested a person who was posing as a Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with the CBI and duping over 8 persons to the tune of over Rs 20 lakh. The police arrested Aman Kumar, from a guest house in Sector 42. He is a resident of Kurukshetra and is a law graduate.

Aman also moved around with two gunmen and would travel in Innova to show that he was a CBI officer. He had imposed a fake stamp of government vehicle on his car.

While he cheated some on the pretext of providing them jobs in the CBI, others were duped for settling cases or property disputes.

One of the complainants, Parkash Puri, a resident of Mohali, said Aman had claimed that he would be the next SSP of Chandigarh after the repatriation of Naunihal Singh and would arrange a government job for his brother Mukesh Puri in the CBI or the Haryana Police.

Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Sector 34, said when she informed Aman about her joint property with a Delhi resident, who was not selling her the property, he promised her that being a CBI officer, he would settle the dispute and took Rs 2 lakh.

The police recovered a fake identity card of the CBI from his possession. The police also recovered a uniform and documents from the room where he was staying. The accused was produced in court and sent to police custody till December 22.



Triple-riding claims life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Triple-riding on a motorcycle claimed the life of a 22-year-old student of Government College in Sector 11 near Faidan barrier in Sector 47 late last night.

Charanjeet Singh, who was riding the motorcycle along with Pujan and Pradeep, collided with a Scorpio coming from Mohali side and sustained grievous injuries.

He was rushed to hospital, where he was declared brought dead. His friends Pujan and Pradeep sustained injuries. The mishap occured at 1 am.

Charanjeet was a resident of Burail and a Bcom student. The driver of the Scorpio car fled, leaving the car behind. The police registered a case of causing death due to negligence.


Stage set for counting
900 police personnel stationed at counting centres
Tribune News Service
Policemen gaurd the strong room where EVMs are placed at a counting centre in B.ed College, Sector 20, Chandigarh, on Sunday
Policemen gaurd the strong room where EVMs are placed at a counting centre in B.ed College, Sector 20, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 18
The UT police has made elaborate arrangements for free and fair counting of votes for the MC elections tomorrow.

The counting will be held at five centres, including Home Science College in Sector 10, Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 10, Post-graduate Government College for Girls in Sector 11 and Post -graduate Government College in Sector 11 as well as B.ed college in Sector 20.

A total of 900 policemen have been pressed in to service as elaborate security arrangements have been made at these centres to avoid any untoward incident. A Deputy Superintendent of Police along with two inspectors have been designated at each counting centre along with 40 policemen.

A team of 26 reserves comprising 15 policemen each has been formed to provide security to the winning candidates during their victory processions. Special arrangements to manage the traffic have also been made.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said adequate arrangements had been made to ensure fair counting.

Long day of wait

BJP candidate Arun Sood takes time out with his family on Sunday
BJP candidate Arun Sood takes time out with his family on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari
Congress candidate Pradeep Chhabra calculates the number of votes cast at his residence in Chandigarh on Sunday
Congress candidate Pradeep Chhabra calculates the number of votes cast at his residence in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari



Show of strength for senior leaders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The fate of many senior leaders is linked to the outcome of the municipal corporation (MC) poll.

The counting of votes is scheduled for tomorrow. Those emerging strong are likely to get the party ticket for Lok Sabha elections, to be held in 2014.

BJP sources revealed that there was a tough fight among senior party leaders to get the maximum seats in the poll to show their performance to the party high command.

The sources said the high command had directed Kirron Kher to strengthen her base in the city as there were chances of considering her as candidate for the parliamentary elections.

Local BJP president Sanjay Tandon was also in the fray, but the poll results would make it clear whether the party would consider him.

The sources said senior leader Harmohan Dhawan also had political aspirations to get the ticket.



International Migrants Day
It’s just another working day for Banarsi Dass
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Although December 18 is observed as International Migrants Day, however for 40-year-old Banarsi Dass it’s just another day in his life. Ignorant about the importance of the day, he cycled his way down to a construction site at Sector 25 which has been a routine for the last 23 years when he began to work. This is the case with scores of migrants working at construction sites who have no information that a day is observed to recognise their contributions.

The migrants believe that it’s the duty of the government to spread awareness about International Migrant Day and ensure that they get what they deserve.

Ram Asarey (52), hailing from Bihar, said that he had not been to school and did not know how to read so how he could he have the information on a day dedicated to migrants. “It should be the duty of the government to inform us about our rights and ensure that the rights are protected”, he said.

Sham Lal, another migrant hailing from Uttar Pradesh, said that they were not aware about their rights neither they got what they deserved. “I feel there is no use observing a migrant day when the migrants are usually ignored”, he said.

This day is observed in many countries, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure protection to migrants.

The migrants said that if the authorities were so concerned about the migrants then they should keep a check on the contractors exploiting them. “There should be a system by which the workers should be saved from being exploited at the hands of contractors”, said another migrant labourer.



Kanwaljit Bakshi re-elected to New Zealand Parliament
Prabhjot Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, December 18
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, who created history by becoming the first turbaned Sikh to enter the New Zealand Parliament in 2008, has now won his second successive term as a Member of Parliament.

Though he was not a direct contestant in the elections that concluded with official declaration of results yesterday, he had been chosen for the second successive term in the Parliament by virtue of being on the Party List. He represents the National Party.

The New Zealand Parliament has two types of members, one, who are elected directly, while the second category is of members who are on the party list. Each voter has two votes.

Of 121 members elected to the New Zealand Parliament, 70 had been elected directly while the remaining 51 were the Party List MPs.

Bakshi, who represents the ruling National Party, has been successful from the Party List category this time, though in his first elections in 2008 he had defeated Ross Robertson of Labour Party in the immigrants dominated Manukau East constituency in a tough fight.

Belonging to a business family, Bakshi moved to New Zealand in 2001. His business interests are in property, transport and fashion industry. Youngest among three siblings, he went to Guru Harkrishan Public School and did his B Com from Delhi University.

In 1985, he married Irvinder Kaur and now the couple has two sons named Gawan and Rijak. "After moving to New Zealand, " he says, " I have been active both with the business as well as Indian community."

While talking about his switch over from business to politics, he says that his father was a politician. "By helping him in his poll campaigns, I developed a strong taste in politics."

He says he thoroughly enjoys his role as an MP and works tirelessly for the people of his local community. In the previous term, he was a member of the Government and Administration Committee as well as of the Justice and Electoral Committee.

"My role as a voice for the Indian community in New Zealand Parliament is also important for me," he added.



Dense fog brings down visibility

Chandigarh, December 18
Punjab and Haryana is likely to witness dense fog reducing visibility in the early morning and evening hours in the next few days.

The weatherman has predicted that days in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana would be partly cloudy with dense to very dense fog reducing visibility to about 200 meters or less. Such conditions will prevail in some parts of these states during the next two to three days. Frost is also likely to occur at one or two places in the two states.

In the tricity , the days will be more cooler as the maximum temperature is likely to go down further while the minimum temperature is likely to go up by about one degree. The Met department has predicted that the tricity region will have partly cloudy sky with fog or mist in the morning and evening hours. The maximum temperature on Monday will be around 18 ºC and minimum temperature on Tuesday will be around 6 ºC. — TNS



Car-pool system need of the hour in city beautiful

It is a well-known fact that India imports more than 75 per cent of its crude requirements thus entailing a heavy expenditure in foreign exchange. In view of the flooding of auto market since 1991, especially by MNCs, while global consumption increases annually by 2 per cent, the corresponding figure for India is 6 per cent. The International Energy Agency expects Indian demand to grow by 80,000 barrels a day in near future. Thus the situation warrants, the country urgently needs to plan and preserve for the emerging scenario. Some OPEC member countries have warned that the oil price will touch Rs 150 per litre shortly due to rapid depletion of domestic oil sources. Under such an alarming situation, while observing conservation of energy, the oil companies should involve government departments and educate them about saving this liquor gold. To tide over the crisis, the government should check malpractices where government officials and political bigwigs are misusing public vehicles for dropping and picking up children, bringing the officials and their family members to clubs/shopping centres and even attending marriages and other social functions to far away places with impunity.

In view of the seriousness of the problems like parking space, managing heavy traffic congestion, carpool system needs to be introduced. Firstly, big departments like the UT Secretariat and allied branches should have a pool system and every officer at the time of need should be made available with the vehicle readily.

Apart from above, this further needs to be introduced, where there is one office complex and one locality, where the officers live. The common man also needs to observe austerity by adopting seat sharing. To arrest further consumption, the government should provide public transport at affordable rates. Looking into the wastage of petroleum products, besides seat sharing, government vehicles should be given petrol/diesel through ration according to need. When there was a food shortage immediately after Independence; the then government had made arrangements to supply essential commodities through ration cards. About three years ago, the Himachal Pradesh government took a praiseworthy step and ordered that no government vehicle should ply on Mondays; thus saving the petrol to a considerable quantity. The major oil companies in the country used to observe “Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight” every year by undertaking various activities, including industrial seminars, clinics at transport undertakings, LPG and kerosene conservation clinics. But surprisingly, at government departments, where a major chunk of petrol and diesel is being used remained out of the domain of oil companies. It is the only one alternative now with the government to introduce pool system in every department and in offices there needs to be a seat sharing system which will go a long way in the conservation of petroleum products.

SK Khosla, Sector 40-C, Chandigarh.

Car-pool will save money

With the growing air pollution level in our metro cities, manic traffic jams and increasing burden of fuel prices on commuters’ wallets, there are only two alternatives, public transport or carpools. Public transport infrastructure is not yet a comfortable and logical alternative to private transport, especially at the time of office for many urban commuters and that’s where carpools come in. Take the plunge and start carpooling. One will be glad to save wallet and the environment too. Carpools are a common phenomenon in the developed world and should be often supported by the Chandigarh administration and municipal corporation for its own employees. The State Transport Authority should take the initiative and change the routes of the CTU buses. Carpools make lot of sense because one saves money by sharing fuel costs, vehicle maintenance cost and parking fee, one saves the environment by saving fuel and reducing harmful exhaust gases while reducing traffic congestion. By carpooling one also expands the network of friends/contacts.

Er Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh (UT)

Measures needed to curb congestion

The idea of carpool system for travel on city roads is good and I agree with Chandigarh Tribune that the Chandigarh administration must ask the public through advertisements in newspapers and radio announcements to adopt the same as it would help reduce the traffic congestion on city roads. The reason for its failure can be attributed to the fact that the number of vehicles comprising cars, motorbikes and scooters in the city has gone up manifold. Thousands of vehicles are added to the city every month. As per a survey, the population of the city is approximately 11 lakh, but the number of vehicles plying on city roads is nearly 9 lakh! Apart from large traffic jams, more vehicles on the roads even raise the pollution level. Almost every household has more that two cars or two-wheelers. People have no parking spaces in front of their houses and these cars are parked on roadsides thereby reducing the width of the roads and making it more difficult for pedestrians to walk along the roads. What needs to be done by the administration is to see that the volume of vehicles does not rise further in the city.

This aspect needs to be given a serious thought and some suitable solution found. Otherwise, the traffic congestion on the roads of City Beautiful will not be solved but will pose more dangers for vehicle users to travel on city roads. Recently, there was suggestion from the UT administration to restrict the sale of vehicles, especially cars, to only those residents who can assure that they have adequate parking space in front of their houses. But even that idea has flopped. Some more concrete method should be evolved to reduce the traffic congestion and pollution level on city roads.

RK Kapoor, Sector 46-C, Chandigarh

Admn should sensitise people

With a situation of virtual chaos on roads, the idea of carpool deserves immediate attention. Car users, traffic managers, administration and environmentalists need to be actively involved in the exercise.With averagely 125 vehicles added on each working day and total vehicles touching nearly eight lakh, it is a situation of now or never for the administration and people to handle for an immediate solution. The place is no longer a drivers’ paradise. The administration needs to have a more proactive role in sensitising people.

Rakesh Chopra, Sector 50 D, Chandigarh.

Policy should be framed

Carpool will help solve the problem of traffic congestion on city roads. The Chandigarh administration should also chalk out a policy. The system will also help reduce pollution level.

One can pool a car on a rotational basis.

Satish Chandra Sharma

Officials should go in for car-pool

Traffic menace is growing at an alarming rate in our city. Our administration has been trying hard to improve the public transport system by taking up the metro issue with the authorities, but the D-Day is still awaited. As of now, we are left with the only option of effective carpool.

Our bureaucrats have always been considered as wisest persons in the country. They are role models for most of us. For them carpool is much easier as compared to other people. They have official accommodation available in clusters and also offices in the same building.

Vivek Kumar, Chandigarh



Mixed response to living-in at 60
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Just give it a thought: at 60 years of age, you are alone and prefer to sit in the cozy room of your house, but what if you get a chance to find your mate at that age?

A recently held ‘live-in mela’ at Ahmedabad, where people aged above 50 were seen finding their mates and partners, had given many elderly people here a reason to smile.

“We have hardly received such queries. People in the region have a different mentality than those big cities. Everyone believes in family, whether they are supportive or not,” said Bhavenshwar Sharma, regional head of HelpAge India. The mela elicited a mixed response from senior citizens of the city. A cross-sections of city residents were neither opposing, nor favouring the initiative.

“You should be good enough to deal with and you will find a partner at any age, without attending any special ‘swayamvar’ for the purpose,” said Col Dulla Singh Gill of Mohali. He added, “One should always remain happy as things are moving. My son is abroad and wife died way back.

When I was posted at Nagrota in Jammu, we spent a great time. Memories are the sweetest way to miss someone.”

Some people believed that these events might hurt the sanctity of relationships as these were refelctive of Western culture.

“There is no disadvantage in such steps, but you should keep the aspect of society in mind. You need people and their support. The partner you choose may have a good understanding with you. If she does not, you cannot go in for a second marriage at my age,” said Garhdi Khanna (64). On other hand, the young generation felt that these events might not help everyone, but one could never know if he or she would find the right partner to spend the last days of life with.

“It will not be that easy to wed after a certain age. Such things look good on screen, with Dharmendra and Nafisa meeting after a long time and falling for each other, but not in reality. Life becomes complicated, more so if you do not have any source of income,” said Jyoti Malhotra.

“About 350 persons may have attended the event and found mates, but the question is how many of them continue to be in a relationship.

At this age, you cannot change yourself for others and they cannot change you. There is no question in such a relationship, which can cause you a setback,” said Nimarata Rani.



Phase-3 sectors to get one college, 2 schools soon
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
To develop phase-3 sectors of the city, the UT Administration is all set to construct one college and two high schools in the area very soon.

UT Finance Secretary Vijoy Kumar Singh said that the construction work of the College of Commerce and Business Administration would begin in the first week of January at Sector 50. Presently, the college is being run in a very small building near the Hockey Stadium at Sector 42. “We have already sanctioned Rs 10 crores for the project work of first phase,” said Singh adding that all the work was approved about four months ago.

The work will be done in phases and the total estimated cost on the project will be around Rs 20 crores.

Apart from that, two high schools will also be constructed, one in Sector 48 and another in Sector 49 very soon. “Opening of education institutes in the area was a long -pending demand of the residents there. It will also help in the development of the area,” said Singh 



Tricity scan

New Year Extravaganza

A week-long “New Year Extravaganza 2011” from December 25 to 31 has been chalked out by the Chandigarh Administration to usher in the New Year 2012 with a series of high-end entertainment activities. The celebrations will have dances, live performances, musical nights, international cultural performances, fireworks and much more, awaiting for tourists and city residents of the tricity. A week-long extravaganza at the Sector 17 Plaza with the title “The New Year Extravaganza’ will have a breathtaking start with the rock band performance. Visitors and onlookers would witness live performance by a renowned band “Sounds of Heaven”, rolling out Christmas carols and rock numbers.

‘Sood mela’

The Sood Sabha organised ‘Sood mela’ at Sood Bhavan in Sector 44 here on Sunday. Krishan Kant Sood of Hoshiarpur, president of the sabha, was the chief guest. About 800 families participated in the event. Senior citizens were honoured by the sabha.

New outlet

Expanding its foothold in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, India’s leading affordable casual dining restaurant brand, Pizza Hut, opened a new outlet in Chandigarh to further strengthen its position and to effectively cater to the large number of consumers. The newly opened outlet in Sector 35, Chandigarh, has a casual décor with warm lighting, use of earthly tones, display destination seating for groups of different sizes and mood graphics on the walls making it an ideal destination for informal gatherings.

New PNB branch

Punjab National Bank, Chandigarh circle, opened its 29th branch in the city on Friday at Kishangarh village. This will be the 69th branch in the circle, said Kalpana Gupta, circle head, who presided over the ceremony.

CPL in December

A city-based event management company, Friends Event Management (P) Ltd, joined hands with Chandigarh Premier League (CPL) to organise the second season of the event in December. The first season of CPL was held in June at Barwala cricket stadium. CPL- II will become a leisure cricket where young and enthusiastic players will play together in full sportsman spirit.

Students given Braille slates
Students of The Millennium School perform during the school’s annual function at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday
Students of The Millennium School perform during the school’s annual function at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

In a unique act of compassion and respect for their fellow human beings, students of the Rotary Interact Club of Shemrock School, Mohali, contributed Rs 18,000 from their pocket money and other resources to buy and distribute special Braille slates for students of the School for the Blind, Sector 26. At a special function held yesterday at the School for the Blind, 83 Braille slates were distributed by the students under the leadership of the Interact Club president, 15-year-old Omkar Deshpande. The event was presided over by Manpreet Singh, Rotary District Governor, and Ashok Laroia, president, Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik.

Annual day

The annual day function of the pre-primary wing of ‘The Millennium School’ was held here today. Students gave an enthralling performance, leaving the audience spellbound. The function was held at Tagore Theatre. Tamana & Siya from UKG, dressed as Tom & Jerry, impressed the audience. Children came dressed in colourful attires, leaving their parents and grandparents awestruck. The show was managed by Nehal and Manit who hosted the show.

Prize distribution

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, organised its annual cultural and prize distribution function on Friday at the Tagore Theatre. Chief guest Major General CS Bewli (retd), former additional surveyor general, Survey of India, inaugurated the function. The cultural fiesta started with a welcome speech. This was followed by the annual school report, which was read out by principal Anjali Chaudhry. School chairman, Col CS Bawa (retd) also spoke on the occasion.

60-year-old becomes mom

A 60-year-old woman, who had lost her young son a few years ago, has been blessed with twins. A Chandigarh-based woman gave birth to twins, a baby boy and a baby girl. The woman conceived through IVF and both babies were fine, said Dr Lavleen Sodhi.

Vijay Diwas

The Vijay Diwas was observed by the Continental Group of Institutes (CGI), Jalvehra, on Friday. Speakers remembered the brave and daring soldiers, who laid down their lives for their mother country. Lt Col Sandhu (retd), president, CGI Group, remembered the days when he served the Indian Army. Chief guest, Gen BKN Chibber (retd) also addressed, while Brig JK Jha (retd), dean, academics, thanked audience. A display of Army equipment was also organised.

Placement drive

GJIMT is conducting a week-long placement drive beginning from December 15 at GJ-IMT , Phase 2, Mohali. In first two days of the drive, 28 students were selected. The drive commenced with the company’s presentation followed by a written test. The company HR also gave a PowerPoint presentation and introduced their company profile and future objectives. Chairman of GJIMT JS Bedi congratulated the selected students and motivated them to do their best in their respective jobs.

Role of banks discussed

IIPM, Chandigarh, organised a seminar titled “ Role of banks in promoting inclusive growth in India ” at the IIPM Tower. The speakers were PK Jain from Punjab National Bank (PNB), Sajal Seth from Kotak Mahindra Bank, Amarjot from IDBI Bank, Vinod Mahajan from Union Bank of India (UBI) and Dr Monica Agarwal, an eminent educationist and a member of the IIPM think-tank research team.

Medical camp

A free health check-up medical camp was organised at Pathfinder High School, Sector 69 , Mohali, on Sunday. Free sample medicines were distributed.

Mock test

A mock AIEEE-2011 test organised by Rayat-Bahra group on the Mohali campus here today received an overwhelming response with over 2000 students taking the test. Aimed at testing skills ahead of AIEEE '11, the mock test was organised free of cost with a bounty of prizes aimed at encouraging students.


Amitabh Chandel, owner of Fort Ramgarh, was awarded Haryana Ratan by All India Conference of Intellectuals (AICOI), 2011, for his contribution towards preservation of heritage. AICOI is a non-political, non-governmental organisation. Seminar

Over 150 parents and teachers from the tricity attended a seminar on ‘Phonics and the Joy of Reading’ at The British School. The 42 main sounds were discussed and the workshop gave parents and teachers the confidence to perform actions to the 42 sounds with their children to help them read and spell.

Founder’s week

Holy Child School observed its founder’s week. A fancy-dress competition was also held. Ten schools from the city participated in the competition. The winners in various categories were Geeta Kanwar, Kinjal Gangahar, Sahil, Maansi Arora, Varnika Malik from Holy Child School, Khushi, Nupur ,Tawandeep Singh, Kashin Sood, Tanmaya, Ojas and Ritwik from The Gurukul, Bhavya and Akarshita, Sanskriti, Ujjwal, Chahat and Sukhman from St Xavier’s, Shreya, Deepak, Shivam and Shubham from DPS,Pinjore. In the fancy-dress contest, Gauri, Pehu, Lovenika, Ritiwik, Aadvica, Kashvi Dalal and Dhavani Verma emerged winners. — TNS



Road connecting Surajpur with Pinjore-Baddi road
Project yet to take off
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 18
With the opening of the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass, those residing in Kalka and Parwanoo can heave a sigh of relief.

But as far as the construction of a 7-km peripheral road connecting Surajpur and Baddi is concerned, the residents will have to wait as the project is yet to take off.

Over 25,000 vehicles bound for Baddi and Nalagarh, a large number of which comprise big trucks, pass through the narrow market of historic town of Pinjore every day resulting in traffic chaos. While the state government has already acquired 250 acres disbursing nearly Rs 70 crore to farmers last year, the work could not be started as the modalities of sharing the cost between NHAI and state government could not be finalised.

In fact, the Haryana government had proposed the 7-km bypass in March last year and it was even approved by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The road will cover areas such as Manakpur Thakurdass, Manakpur Nanakchand, Lohgarh, Dhamala, Sukhomajri and Khera-Basol villages near the Pinjore Aviation Club.

However, NHAI had asked the state government to transfer the land to it which had not been done. The officials said NHAI was going to charge toll from vehicles using the road, hence the central agency should bear half the cost of the land.

HUDA executive engineer Preet Mohan, however, said NHAI, now, had agreed in principal to bear 50 per cent of the cost of land and the file had been sent to the Union Ministry of Roads and Highways for an approval. “This, however, will take at least one year to complete the construction work after its commencement,” he said.



Immigration firm told to compensate complainant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The desire to visit Canada on a tourist visa turned out be a distant dream for Prabhdeep Singh, a resident of Badla village in Fatehgarh Sahib district even after paying Rs 1.15 lakh.

Prabhdeep Singh after going through the advertisement in a newspaper had approached Icome Solutions Pvt Ltd. And after the opposite party assured him that they would arrange the visa within a month, he paid about Rs 1,45,000 besides depositing two original passports.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I comprising president PD Goel and member Madanjit Kaur Sahota also directed the opposite party to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation for mental agony and harassment besides Rs10,000 as costs of litigation to the complainant.

The complainant submitted that he had paid a sum of Rs 5,000 on April 4, 2010, Rs 10,000 on May 6, and Rs 30,000 May, (total amounting to Rs 45,000) as registration charges to the opposite party. It was stated that the opposite party demanded Rs 1 lakh and the remaining amount of Rs 3,55,000 was to be paid at the time of delivering the tourist visa. As such, he paid an amount of Rs 1 lakh to the opposite party on August 14, 2010, along with his original passports. The opposite party assured him of arranging the tourist visa for Canada within one month, but it had failed to do so. Thereafter, he approached the opposite party and requested the opposite party to return the passport and the amount of Rs 1,45,000, but it refused to return the same. The legal notice sent to the opposite party returned undelivered.

Despite due service, the opposite party failed to appear and were proceeded against ex-parte. Allegations made in the complaint have gone un-rebutted and un-controverted as nobody appeared on behalf of the opposite party to contest the case. Non-refund of the deposited amount along with two original passports of the complainant, despite repeated requests amounts to deficiency in service.



Senior citizens leave for Sri Lanka
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 18
Twelve members of the Mohali Citizens’ Association today left for Sri Lanka for a senior citizen exchange programme.

Former principal S Chaudhary while briefing about the programme, said, “The members have devised a unique method of establishing a rapport with the senior citizen associations of the neighbouring countries with a view to spread a word of peace and brotherhood. Keeping the spirit alive, we have decided to visit Sri Lanka this year. We have visited countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Nepal.” He also added that it was purely a good will tour and the purpose was to study the plight of the older people and the facilities which they received from their governments. They would be visiting Colombo, Bentota, Kandy and would also meet the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. “Under the same scheme, we also invite the senior citizens of other countries and make them live with our families to share our cultures. When old meets old, it is pure gold,” he said.



Pensioners’ meet today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 18
A meeting of the Punjab Government Pensioners Association will be held at the Rose Garden in Phase 3B-1 here at 11 am tomorrow.

The general secretary of the association, Mohan Singh, said the meeting had been called to discuss the future strategy to take up demands of the pensioners which had not been met.

He said the government had finally accepted their demands of a 10 per cent increase in old-age pension on attaining the age of 70 years and a 15 per cent hike on attaining the age of 75 years. He added that many other demands, like increase in medical allowance from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000, were still being ignored by the government. The chairman of the association, Ragbhir Singh Sandhu, urged all pensioners to attend the meeting.



Members of zila parishad meet DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 18
Seven members of the zila parishad today demanded immediate termination of chairman of the parishad Rajesh Kona and deputy chairman Champa.

The members handed over affidavits to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner here today.

Rajesh Kona and Champa assumed the charge on August 16, last year.

Today, the members reached the Mini Secretariat and submitted the affidavits to Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar seeking no confidence motion against Kona.



‘Rotary committed to promoting peace’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 18
The third Indian world president of Rotary Internationa, Kalyan Banerjee, addressed a large gathering of Rotarians at Shivalik School in Mohali here today.

Banerjee, a businessman from Gujarat, took up the reins of Rotary International as a president in July this year.

“Rotary’s strengths include its ability to attract leaders from different vocations around the world, as well as its role in promoting peace,” he said.

As president, Banerjee oversees projects of eradicating polio. Since 1985, Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more the 1 Billion US dollars and countless volunteer hours to the effort. The current Rotary District governor of 3080, Manpreet Singh Gandhoke, spoke about various humanitarian service projects being led by Rotarians in his area that comprises Chandigarh and parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pardesh, UP and Uttarakhand having 76 clubs.

Banerjee will be visiting various Rotary projects in the city tomorrow, including Rotary Vocational Training Centre in Mohali and Aasra-shelter for the attendants of the patients at GMCH-32.



CBSE to introduce legal literacy in classes XI, XII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
In a bid to educate students about the basic laws and their rights, the CBSE is planning to introduce legal literacy as a subject in classes XI and XII from the coming academic session. The board has come up with a proposal to apprise students of various laws. CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said during an interaction with students, the board came across a fact that legal literacy was a must for students in this era.

“Students during various interactions came-up with their experiences about the cops howling at them on streets. The discussion with students and their willingness to have legal knowledge gave us an idea to introduce a subject,” said the CBSE chairman.

Officials said a recent survey by NCERT and CBSE in this regard showed that around 65 per cent of students had poor legal knowledge that further encouraged the board to have a subject on legal education.

CBSE chairman added that once introduced it would be compulsory for students to study the subject. “The modalities are being worked out,” he said.

Officials said the board was working out the modalities and planning that the legal experts hired by the school should teach the subject to students.

Welcoming the board’s proposal Vikram Gupta, a Class XI student in one of the private schools, said every student must know about his or her rights. “Legal education is the need of the hour, that will provide assistance to an individual and make him more confident,” Gupta said.

Website launched

Sahodaya Schools Tricity Complex launched its website in the presence of distinguished and venerated gathering of educationists of the tricity, leading professionals and dynamic principals of over 80 schools.

A one-day conference on “ Preparing 21st Century Educators ” held on December 16, 2011, was presided over by Vineet Joshi, chairman, CBSE, and Ashok Ganguly, former chairman, CBSE, and other prominent educationists.

The conference reflected the commitment of school leaders, academic decision makers and principals to the continued growth and development of education.

Ashok Ganguly and Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra urged principals to become the ‘Change Agents’ and focus on three pillars of learning. “The 21st Century skills need to be embedded in the core skill areas. The formative years of the learner are most crucial,” he added.



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