C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Administration, MC serve old wine in new bottle
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The Republic Day message of new UT Adviser KK Sharma for the city residents was nothing more than old wine in new bottle.

Flagged very strongly was the acceptance of preserving the heritage of the city, overlooking the reality of having failed to stop the sale of heritage items abroad. The UT has not even completed the heritage inventory and to top it all, the UT decided not to send the dossier in 2012 for the Unesco world heritage site status for Chandigarh.

A large number of projects mentioned in Sharma’s speech have been flagged in the speeches of earlier Advisers as well, including the construction of new courtrooms and more constructions in hospitals.

Repetition included minor projects, including road construction and upgradation of schools. The introduction of centrally sponsored schemes in the city took the lion’s share of the Adviser’s speech.

He also mentioned the much-talked-about approval of the construction of the railway under bridge (RUB) at the level crossing near Mauli Jagran and Modern Housing Complex. However, for the past many months, the engineering and railway departments have failed to start the work. The Global Positioning System (GPS) and Public Information System (PIS), mentioned yesterday, had in fact been installed way back in 2009.



Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Following her predecessors’ footsteps, Municipal Corporation Mayor Raj Bala Malik doled out “lollipops” of old projects to the city residents in her speech delivered on the occasion of the 63rd Republic Day function at Municipal Corporation yesterday.

Interestingly, the Mayor commenced her speech with the oldest project proposed by Le Corbusier about an overbridge’s construction from Anand Theater to KC theatre in Sector 17, which has yet to see the light of the day.

The Mayor proudly announced about the laying of new tertiary treated water pipeline in Sector 14 to 47 green belts and parks. The fact, however, is that this project was completed in 2009 by 
the public health wing of the MC.

Briefing about the future plans of the corporation, the Mayor did not miss to mention even a single project which was part of previous Mayors’ speeches during the past four years. These included the construction of multi-level parking in Sector 17, which was mooted in 2005 and approved by the House in 2007, but till date its work has not commenced.

Similarly, the Mayor talked about the completion of Mahilla Bhawan’s construction in Sector 38, which was started in 2009. Interestingly, for the past three years, all Mayors have been mentioning about it in their Republic Day speeches. Other projects are construction of marriage palace in Hallomajra and Manimajra. The projects were mooted long time ago, but due to delay in the finalisation of their sites these have been hanging fire for more than five years.

Like other Mayors in the past seven years, Raj Bala Malik also committed in her address that as soon as the approval for the construction of four new fire stations was be given by the UT Administration, their work would start.


Different texts

l The speech handed out to the media (in English) was different from the original draft read out at the function yesterday. The new draft added the installation of multi-media laser in Sector 17, channelisation of open nullah in Manimajra, replacement of sewerage, installation of automatic poultry processing plant at Industrial Area in Phase I, anti-rabies vaccination camps and transportation of meat in refrigerated meat vans. “The additions were of course for public information,” a senior official smiled



‘Spoilt’ brat at it again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The son of Punjab Police ADGP Mohammad Mustafa and sitting Congress MLA from Malerkotla Razia Sultan is in the news once again for wrong reasons.
This time he allegedly beat up a Punjab Police head constable and created ruckus at the main gate of the Circuit House in Sector 39 yesterday.

It is worth mentioning that Akeel Akhtar Mustafa had created a big ruckus in June 2008 when he was stopped by duty cops at a naka near Sector 25. On being asked about the documents of the vehicle he was driving, he had sat on the bonnet of his car for two hours and refused to show the papers.

A call was received at the Chandigarh Police control room last morning. A police party reached the scene and returned without report of any public nuisance. No case was registered. Reliable sources said Akeel objected to his being stopped at the entry gate, to which the head constable replied that he was doing his duty. The senior cop’s son is said to have resorted to physical reaction as well.

Talking to The Tribune correspondent, Additional SHO Nand Kishore said when the police party arrived at the scene, Akeel Akhtar Mustafa, was present at the scene along with his driver. Investigations revealed that Mustafa did have a round of heated arguments with head constable Kewal Krishan. Additional SHO said, “We did not get any complaint in writing, following which we did not register any case.” He, however, denied any information about Akeel having beaten the head constable.

Thrashes Punjab Police head constable

Punjab Police ADGP Mohammad Mustafa and sitting Congress MLA from Malerkotla Razia Sultana’s son allegedly beat up a Punjab Police head constable and created ruckus at the main gate of the Circuit House in Sector 39 on Thursday



Police inefficiency to the fore
Son of ex-Chandigarh Police SI easily breaks three nakas to reach close to R-Day function at Parade Ground
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Putting a question mark over the efficiency and security of the Chandigarh Police during the Republic Day function, Shamsher Singh Brar of Sector 70, Mohali, broke through three nakas and reached close to the entrance of the Parade Ground here during the function.

He was finally taken down by a team of the crime branch that was on duty near the main gate of the ground.

Son of a former Chandigarh Police sub-inspector (SI) Sukwinder Singh, Shamsher is an alleged drug addict. He was arrested and later bailed out. According to the police, Shamsher was riding a motorcycle without helmet and despite the road in Sector 17 opposite Hotel Shivalik being sealed due to the Republic Day function, he managed to jump three nakas guarded by the Chandigarh Police. 

A police official, who was present at the scene, said the accused easily took the road towards the main gate of the venue. “We were shocked to see how he managed to reach so close to the venue despite heavy police security.”

Inspector Amanjot Singh of the crime branch, who was among the ones who nabbed the accused, said on watching him come close to the venue, they jumped over him, following which Shamsher fell from the motorcycle and was nabbed just a few metres from the Green Gate of the Parade Ground. Police officials said the family of the accused revealed that Shamsher was a drug-addict and had also been treated at a de-addiction centre. “He is married and his wife is in Canada. His father has died. He was posted as a sub-inspector with the Chandigarh Police,” a police official said.

The accused suffered injuries after falling from the motorbike, after which he was taken to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 for treatment.



Biomedical waste lying in open at GMCH-32
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
In gross violation of rules, 900 kg of bio medical waste (BMW), including used syringes, blood-stained cotton gauzes and bandages, packed in plastic disposable bags, is lying in the open in the compound of the UT administration’s flagship hospital, GMCH-32.

The waste literally exposes the hospital staff, patients and visitors to risk of deadly infections.

The waste, which has accumulated due to the non-availability of an incinerator, has been dumped in a room behind Block B of the OPD building and the plastic bags are lying in the open. According to sources, since the GMCH-32 doesn’t have an incinerator of its own, the BMW is usually sent to the GMSH, Sector 16, and the PGI for destruction.

However, the GMSH-16 incinerator has been under performing due to tripping since Tuesday (January 24) and the authorities there have refused to accept the BMW from the GMCH-32. Sources revealed that the incinerator at the GMSH was being used only for the destruction of waste generated from the hospital.

The PGI has also refused to accept the waste from GMCH-32 as their incinerators are already “overloaded”. With no place for destruction, the BMW of the past four days has been lying in the hospital, exposing people to the risk of infections. Even rules say that the BMW should be destroyed within 24 hours.

When contacted, acting Medical Superintendent of the GMCH, Dr Ram Singh, said they were totally helpless. “We are entirely dependent on the GMSH-16 and the PGI and both have refused to accept our medical waste for destruction,” he admitted.

According to sources, each day, workers carry waste from the hospital and simply dump it on the rear side of Block B in an open area. As per hospital records, about 200 kg of waste is generated every day and it includes contaminated needles and cotton smeared with infected blood.


Election staff attacked
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 27
Tension gripped Amb Sahib Colony, near Jagatpura, when an unruly mob pelted a flying squad team of the election wing that had gone to raid a place with stones, resulting in minor injuries to officials. Soon after the team, led by Duty Magistrate Devinder Singh, seized a sack containing bottles of liquor, the unruly mob attacked them and broke window panes of their vehicle.

The SHO, Sohana, along with reinforcements, rushed to the spot to arrest the suspects. Searches was carried in some houses to nab the suspects even as politicians from different parties were pressuring the police officials and the election officials to go slow on the colony residents. The SHO Sohana also seemed reluctant to carry out a combing operation in the colony though the police has claimed to have carried out a combing operation in the entire area.

Liquor vends sealed

The Excise Department today sealed four liquor vends in Jagaptpura, Kambali, Nadiali and Manauli after around 300 bottles of IMFL were recovered from a country liquor vend at Jagatpura. The vends would remain closed till February 2. The officials said the vend had been challanned for illegally keeping IMFL bottles. 



Campaigning reaches feverish pitch
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 27
With just a day left for the canvassing to end for the polling, candidates of different parties have roped in personalities from different fields, ranging from politics to Bollywood, to consolidate their vote banks in the Mohali Assembly constituency.

While the SAD roped in Sunil Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Smriti Irani, Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, Shatrughan Sinha, MP from Bihar, to woo the migrant labourers, the Congress candidate is being helped by Chandigarh MP and Union Minister Pawan Bansal and Ambika Soni. The BSP candidate Manav Mehra has roped in Dolly Bindra and Rohit Roy to campaign for him.

To target the families related to NRIs, Balwant Sngh Ramoowalia had roped in his son-in-law Harbhajan Mann and former Canadian MP Ruby Dhalla to campaign for him. Both went door to door to woo voters. Harbhajan Mann urged the voters to study the profile of the candidates before casting their vote.

Canvassing for Balbir Singh Sidhu, Congress candidate from Mohali, Union Minister for Parliamentry Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal said it was certain that the Congress would form the next government in Punjab. He said that Sidhu’s 20 years of service was well known and he could be inducted as cabinet minister in the new Congress government. Coming down heavily on the Akali-BJP government, he said in five years they had done nothing but misused crores of Central Government’s funds.

Thanking Bansal for always taking up in Parliament issues relating to the region, Sidhu said the Congress believed in empowering the citizens and had brought about legislations like RTE, RTI, right to work and now right to housing. He said he would bring about a transparent and corruption-free government wherein all funds were used for development of the constituency. The president of the Resident Welfare Association Sector (regd), Sector 53, Jatinder Singh Mann, and general secretary JP Sethi said at a meeting of the association the members had decided to unanimously support Sidhu.

The BSP candidate, Manav Mehra, in his rallies said: “The condition of the rural areas of the constituency had exacerbated in the past years. Balbir Singh Sidhu and the Akali government are equally responsible for that”. He was addressing a gathering at Bhagomajra village. Bollywood celebrities Dolly Bindra and Rohit Roy were accompanying him at the rally.

Rohit Roy said: “I have known Manav for a long time. He is an honest person, people should give him a chance. You all have tried other parties earlier for decades. For Once, I will request you to vote my friend Manav.”

‘Whistle your opinion’

An independent candidate, Lt-Col Gurparkash Singh, distributed whistles (his election symbol) among voters in phase 3 B2 here. On the occasion of Republic Day, he urged the voters to whistle their opinion. Instead of giving speeches, he urged the voters to give their opinion regarding the poll.

Helicopter develops snag

Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi’s helicopter developed a technical snag while on its way to the city airport on Friday. According to the information, BJP leaders Modi and Smriti Irani were on their way to address a election rally at Balongi village, near Kharar, when the pilot detected a technical snag in its engine while hovering over the local airport. The chopper made an emergency landing at around 2 pm.



Badal chief ministerial candidate: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Zirakpur, January 27
The Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has claimed that surveys of various areas carried out in the past 10 days have indicated that voters were preferring development to other non-existing issues raised by the Congress. Allaying the apprehension of him taking over as Chief Minister, he said Parkash Singh Badal was the chief ministerial candidate.

On being asked about the debt on Punjab, he dismissed that the UPA government was biased against Punjab. “Nine states had more debt than Punjab. We are riding on development agenda. The Congress has no issue. Compare the development works undertaken by us and those undertaken by the Congress,” he said.

Promising that party candidate from the Mohali Assembly segment, Balwant Singh Ramoowlia, would be made a cabinet minister, he said the former was a veteran politician who had a wide experience in politics.

Ramoowalia said all the differences among the local leaders had been resolved and all were canvassing for him. All the prominent politicians were made to sit on the dais.

Earlier, Sukhbir, while addressing a rally at Dera Bassi, projected NK Sharma as a future minister in the Akali Government.

Addressing a rally at Baltana, he said the Punjab Congress chief, Amarinder Singh, and his party had miserably failed to list their achievements made during the tenure of the Congress government. There was no comparison between the development agenda of the SAD-BJP combine and the negative, baseless and vendetta-ridden agenda of the Congress, he alleged.
While trying to woo the supporters of the late, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, he said MLA from Banur Jasjit Singh Bunny would be fielded in the next Parliament elections.

Harpreet Kaur Gill, elder sister of late Capt Kanwaljit Singh said people of Dera Bassi had always elected her younger brother from the area and this time the party had given ticket to her son NK Sharma.Jasjit Singh Bunny too talked in support of NK Sharma.



Down the memory lane
Alumni meet organised at Panjab University
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Sharing their nostalgia, walking down memory lane and cracking jokes, old-timers of Panjab University marked their alumni meet on its campus.
The alumni included Bollywood lyricist Irshad Kamil, a Hindi department passout, who had given lyrics for various movies.

“It is always good to be back,” the alumni repeated on being asked about their feelings after participating in the get-together.

An air of nostalgia filled the air as alumni from the 1975 batch and previous years were honoured with certificates and shawls.

Kamil, who was emotionally attached with the university, said despite his busy schedule, he decided to attend the alumni meet. He had composed the PU anthem, that was being played at all university functions.

Kamil said he would start an annual scholarship on his mother’s name for students of the Hindi department. “I will provide a scholarship of Rs 21,000 and Rs 11,000 for meritorious students,” he said.

Another alumnus, Col RD Singh, posted in Ambala, was a 1973-batch student of the law department.

He said he and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, who was also then a student of the department, used to participate in debate competitions. “We were together in the PU team and used to particpate in debate competitions held at university and college levels,” he said.

He added that she debated in Hindi and he in English.

“Now I am not in contact with many of my batchmates, but wish to meet them again and relive the moments,” he added.

A 1955-batch passout, Roshan Lal, said it was great to come back to the alma mater and get honoured.

Dharam Vir Garg said it was a great feeling to meet old friends after years.

“It is always good to be back. I cannot express it in words. I want more such events in the coming years,” he said.



Came to catch up, they went disappointed
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service
Dewan Singh Nagpal at PU on Friday.
Dewan Singh Nagpal at PU on Friday. Tribune Photo Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, January 27
Diwan Singh Nagpal (90), a 1937-batch matriculate from Panjab University (PU), was the star at PU’s second alumni meet on the campus today.
Born in 1921, Nagpal was among one of the oldest alumni who attended the meet. He did his graduation from PU in 1953, when the university was located at Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He then did his MA in economics from PU in 1956.

“After matriculation, I started business and then changed various jobs. When I was working as clerk at the Government College in Hoshiarpur, I decided to study further,” Nagpal said.

He was hoping to catch up with old friends and share memories with classmates, but could not find any at the event.

“I was searching for familiar faces which I remember, but nobody turned up. My motive of coming here was to trace old friends with whom I had lost contact,” he said.

A 1940-batch matriculate, Narinder Singh was also among the participants. Accompanied by his daughter, he came with the hope to meet his batchmates.

Born in 1925, he graduated from Khalsa College at Amritsar in 1944. He then pursued his law degree. “I was looking forward to meeting old friends, but not one turned up,” he said.



14 ITBP personnel get Police Medal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
As many as 14 personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force from the region were decorated for the gallantry and meritorious service on the occasion of 63rd Republic Day.

This includes Police Medal for gallantry to Constable Bhoop Singh, who was killed while fighting Naxals in Chhattisgarh last year.

An ITBP patrolling party was ambushed in Khunera jungle in the border area of Gadhchiroli in Maharashtra and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh. Bhoop Singh fought bravely and countered the ambush.

He not only held the ground, but also launched a counter attack. Some Naxals were killed while a few others were injured in the gunfight. He himself suffered bullet injuries and later succumbed to them. His actions also saved the lives of his fellow security personnel.

The President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service was awarded to Surat Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector.

The other recipients of the Police Medal for Meritorious Service include Rajesh Shankar Pathak, Commandant, (now Deputy Inspector General), Buta Ram Suman, Deputy Commandant, Sidheeque PP, Davinder Pal, Dinesh Chander Tiwari, all 
three Assistant Commandants, Lok Ram Negi, Govind Ram Thapliyal, Tilak Raj, Yog Raj Kaushal, all four Inspectors, Som Krishan Sharma, Govind Singh Negi and Desh Raj, all Assistant Sub-Inspectors.



Maintenance Command chief inspects 3 BRD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Air Marshal J Chandra, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, arrived at the 3 Base Repair Depot (3 BRD) on an inspection visit here today. Accompanied by Sharmila Chandra, president, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (regional), the Air Marshal was received by Air Cmde Suresh Singh, Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, and Kumud Singh, president, AFWWA (local).

Air Marshal Chandra reviewed the functioning of the Aircraft Group, Engine Group, General Engineering Squadron and other work sites of the Depot and assessed the progress of the production task. He urged the depot personnel to work hard to complete the allotted task in time.



Expressway co. gets notice
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 27
The Town and Country Planning Department has served a notice on the Himalyan Express Way company for raising a structure for collecting toll at Chandimandir here today. The construction was in violation of The Punjab Capital Periphery Control Act, states the notice.
A toll plaza on National Highway 22.
A toll plaza on National Highway 22. A Tribune photograph

District Town and Country Planner Hitesh Sharma said the company did not apply for the permission to carry out any construction in the region.

In fact, the Himalyan Express Way company had been asked to construct a toll plaza on National Highway 22 at Chandimandir by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The plaza is likely to be functional next month after the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass opens to the public. The company, however, was supposed to get the permission for any construction on the site from the DTP office, said Sharma.



Admn ‘apathy’ forces doctor to quit job
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 27
Dejected over the apathetic attitude of the district administration, a doctor with the SDM office here has quit her job of issuing medical fitness certificates to applicants for driving licence. Dr Amita Madan, who had been deputed at the office by the Red Cross for the purpose, submitted her resignation to the authorities on January 25.

A doctor and her assistant work at a temporary place at the e-disha building in Panchkula.
A doctor and her assistant work at a temporary place at the e-disha building in Panchkula. A Tribune photograph

Though Dr Amita did not mention any of the grievance in her resignation letter, sources close to her confirmed that after the authorities did not heed to her requests for providing a suitable space to sit at the E Disha building, she had no option but to quit.

Ironically, two cabins in the E Disha building have been converted into stores for keeping files and almirahs.

The doctor and her assistant have been sitting almost in the open to issue medical fitness certificates to applicants for driving licence.

Though Dr Amita confirmed that she had been pleading to the authorities for long to provide a suitable place to them, Panchkula SDM Sharandeep Kaur said that the two had decided to sit in the open on their own.



Haryana police contingent declared best
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 27
The contingent of the Haryana police was adjudged the best while the woman wing bagged the second prize at the Republic Day parade here yesterday. The Haryana Education Minister, Geeta Bhukkal, was the chief guest. Similarly, the contingent of Bhavan Vidylyan and girl cadets of the NCC were adjudged first and second, respectively, in the junior wing.

For their performance in the cultural programmes presented on the occasion, Shishu Niketan School of Mansa Devi Complex and Saint Vivekanand Millennium School, Pinjore, got the first and second position, respectively. The third prize in the category was bagged by Hansraj Public School, Panchkua.

A total of 18 tableaux from different departments were displayed in the parade. The chief guest also honoured freedom fighter and their relatives, and widows of martyrs.



Poll shadow on function
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 27
The Assembly elections in Punjab caste their shadow on the Republic Day function as the tableaux, depicting development works by different departments, were not taken out during the function here. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, was the chief guest.

After the colourful cultural programme by different schools, the traditional ceremony of honouring employees of different departments was not carried out, as election observers were seen during the function. After the unfurling of the national flag, Sukhbir called upon the residents to protect the hard-won freedom of the country, which was attained by our freedom fighters after a long struggle. “It was fortunate that we are enjoying the fruits of independence. Independence could be attained after unparalleled sacrifices of our freedom fighters, including Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev”.

Giving a call to fight the menace of drug addiction in society, he said we should all collectively work out a strategy to fight this menace.

Earlier, Sukhbir, accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam and SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, unfurled the Tricolour and inspected the guard of honour from the contingents of Punjab Police and Punjab Armed Police. He also took the salute from the march past led by DSP Harbans Singh Riar in which various contingents participated.



Citation for 9 MC staffers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The municipal corporation honoured families of 18 freedom fighters during the Republic Day function at the MC building here yesterday. Mayor Raj Bala Malik honoured the families. Nine MC employees got commendation certificates.

The families of freedom fighters to be honoured were Sushil Gupta, K K Sharda, Balwinder Singh, Sukhchain singh, Darshan Singh, Sanjay Bharti, Paramjit Kaur, Baljinder Singh, Sharda Devi, R K Sharma, Ramesh Bal, Rakesh Arora, Pushpa Rajindra, Harbans Kaur, Ishwar Singh, Ranbir Kaur Talib, R K Vij and Inder Pal.

The employees awarded commendation certificates were Kuldeep Singh, superintendent; Gangai Yadav, senior assistant; Ram Pal Bains, SDE; RS Hooda, CSI; Amarjit Singh, fireman; Shashi, junior assistant; Rajiv Walia, junior assistant; Amrik Singh, work munshi; and Raghu.



GMADA to take cue from Bangalore, Hyderabad
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 27
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has decided to study the concepts and planning used in setting up IT cities in Bangalore and Hyderabad before developing a similar city in the town here.

A high-level team, headed by the Chief Administrator of GMADA, Saravjit Singh, will be visiting Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mysore next week to study the required details. Three or four senior officials will be accompanying the chief of the development authority.

Parveen Kumar Thind, Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, said a cyber city was set up in Hyderabad, and IT cities based in Bangalore and Mysore were also successfully functioning. In order to properly plan the Mohali IT City, it was decided to visit these places and study the concepts and various international norms. The IT sector located in Chandigarh was also visited.

He said GMADA had planned to develop an IT City in Mohali in about 1800 acres of land. Some part of the commercial area of Aerocity would also be developed as an IT component. In-house planning in this regard was already in progress.

Thind further said big IT players were interested in purchasing large chunks of land here but GMADA authorities were apprehensive whether these players would really develop the area as an IT sector or keep the land for selling it off at a later stage with an eye on the premiums offered in this regard. The development authority was working out various clauses so that the land was developed as an institutional area. Moreover, Mohali at present lacked international connectivity which was very important for the development of the IT sector, he added.

The IT City project for Mohali was approved by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a meeting of GMADA held in September, 2010.

Unlike Phases 1 and 2 of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) of the Chandigarh Administration that offered around 350 acres, the integrated IT park in Mohali would offer plots of varying sizes on 1,800 acres.

The project will come up perpendicular to the Aerocity. Anticipating a good response from entrepreneurs due to the coming up of the international airport, the state government has decided to allow commercial activity on both sides of a 200-ft road that would link the international airport with the Kharar-Banur highway, crisscrossing Aerocity.



Zenith of freedom struggle recreated
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 27
Students of the Lawrence School at Sanawar brought alive the pre-Independence period, when the freedom struggle was at its zenith, in the play “Remember the Legends”, which was staged at the Tagore Theatre here yesterday on the occasion of Republic Day.

The audience was submerged in patriotic fervour as songs like “Sarfroshi ki tamanna” and “Mera rang de basanti chola” and dialogues wafted across the hall. The play depicted the chronology of events, including difference of opinion and approach among top leaders.

Directed by Sidharth Shasta, the play had over 150 artistes on stage. He used audio-visual screen effects and clippings to recreate the era. Elaborate sets and instantaneous shifts facilitated the acting.

Festive folk dances and songs built a contrast to heighten the impact of tragic scenes. Dances were choreographed by Satbir Singh and dialogues penned by Piyush Mitra and Deendyal.



Mudgal movements, Parsanna tunes wow audience
SD Sharma

Arushi Mudgal performs at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh.
Arushi Mudgal performs at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh. tribune photo: Nitin mittal

Chandigarh, January 27
An Odissi dance performance by Arushi Mudgal and a sarod recital by Rakesh Parsanna augmented the festive mood at the Tagore Theatre during the sixth annual “Aai Basant Bahaar” bonanza, designed by akademi chairperson Kamal Tewari.

Arushi gave a majestic start to her recital, which melted into her self-choreographed item “Bageshwari”. She was at her best in the “abhinaya” as she displayed her nimble footwork and body gestures in all “mudras” to bring alive the “baal leelas” of Krishna.

After delineating many technical aspects, she concluded the recital with another self-composed item “aahlad”. She floated across the stage, bringing alive the intrinsic emotions in the composition.

Earlier, Parsanna, a disciple of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, delineated the melodic character of “raaga Rageshwari”. Accompanied by Pardeep Kumar Sarkar on the tabla, he presented a brief “alaap”, “jod jhalla and four “gaths” before a short recital of “raaga Saraswati”. He concluded the recital with “raaga Basant”.



‘At Home’ a drab affair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
A sizeable majority of invitees to the ‘At Home’ function hosted by the UT Adviser at the of Punjab Raj Bhavan guesthouse here did not turn up, rendering it a lacklustre affair.

Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil was not present in the city, taking the sheen away from the invitation. Owing to elections in Punjab, ministers and MLAs did not turn up as they were busy campaigning.

Only senior officials with the Chandigarh Administration and the police, retired defence personnel, freedom fighters and local politicians attended the programme.

The Adviser interacted with the freedom fighters and serving and retired Army officers. In the end, he posed for photographs with awardees and other officers.



CTET put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has postponed the central teacher eligibility test (CTET) from January 29 to May 5.

The test has been postponed only in Chandigarh and Panchkula on a directive of the Election Commission. The examination will be held as per schedule elsewhere.



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