C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Trains delayed, flights grounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Seven trains were delayed and three flights were cancelled due to inclement weather today. The trains were delayed due to fog that engulfed the region. Two trains - the Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express and the Unchahar Express - were late by over nine and seven hours, respectively.

The Kalka Mail, Sai Srinagar Shirdi-Kalka, Kalka-Ambala Passenger, Ambala-Nangal Dam Passenger and the Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadbhavna also arrived late at the city railway station putting passengers to inconvenience.

The Kalka Mail was late by 7 hours 48 minutes, Sai Nagar Shirdi-Kalka by an hour and 51 minutes, Kalka-Ambala Passenger by an hour and 20 minutes, Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadbhavna by an hour and the Ambala-Nangal Dam Passenger by 26 minutes.

Meanwhile, three evening flights of Jet Airways remained grounded due to poor visibility. Jet Airways' Chandigarh-Delhi Chandigarh-Delhi-Bangalore and Chandigarh-Jaipur-Ahmdabad flights could not take-off. There was some respite for air passengers on Sunday as 10 flights took-off from the Chandigarh airport between 11 am and 5 pm. On Saturday, only three out of 12 flights could take-off from the city due to poor visibility. Jet Airways' 6.10 pm Chandigarh-Jaipur-Ahmedabad flight has been cancelled till January 31. 

Trains Delayed 

Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express 9 hours 11 minutes

Unchahar Express 7 hours

Kalka Mail 7 hours 48 minutes

Sai Nagar Shirdi-Kalka 1 hour 51 minutes

Kalka-Ambala Passenger 1 hour 20 minutes

Ambala-Nangal Dam Passenger 26 minutes

Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadbhavna 1 hour

Rainfall: 9.9 mm
Forecast: The Met department has predicted thundershowers in the next 24 hours 



Political interference hinders investigations 
  Members of the special investigation team, CFSL not allowed to meet minor rape victim
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Political interference seems to have taken a toll on police investigations into the rape case of a minor girl by five police constables.

Members of the newly formed special investigation team (SIT) as well as the CFSL were unable to meet the victim today despite several visits to her residence. The police team was sent back and was told that the girl was with the councillor of the area, Saurabh Joshi, who is a BJP leader. The team was asked to take permission from the councillor to meet the girl.

Investigations into the rape case have hit a roadblock with the SIT failing to access the victim even 24 hours after the team was constituted. Members of the SIT went to the victim's residence in Khuda Lahora four times today to record her statement, but were sent back. The police tried to contact Saurabh Joshi, but in vain. Police sources said the members of the SIT met the girl's father, mother and cousin and urged them to meet the victim to collect DNA samples and also conduct the ultrasound of the victim. A doctor from the CFSL and a woman DSP had gone to the girl's residence. They waited there till 6.30 pm, but had to return empty-handed.

Members of the SIT said meeting the girl and recording her statement were vital for investigations as they had to gather as much evidences in the case to prove the case in the court.

Members of the SIT also sent an SMS to area councillor Saurabh Joshi, urging him to let them meet the girl, but there was no reply, said sources.

Later in the day, the victim's brother, Vinod, sent a fax message to the UT IGP that the girl was with her family friends and did not wanted to meet the police as she was scared. However, the girl's father gave in writing to the police that she was with the councillor of the area.

The minor's rape sparked public outrage as workers of the BJP and the Congress took to the road a day after the incident against police 'inaction'.

Five UT police constables - Sunil, Akshay, Jagtar, Himmat and Anil - have been arrested for raping the 16-year-old girl, who is a Class X student. The five, all of whom have been dismissed, raped the girl at gunpoint. 

Girl not with me: councillor 
"The girl is not with me but is with her family friends. She may be scared to meet the police, but I have nothing to do with it. It is ironical that the police were asking for her medical check-up now when her statements have been recorded before the magistrate," said councillor Saurabh Joshi. The victim's father, however, gave in writing to the police that his daughter was with the area councillor.

CFSL team collects samples
A team of the CFSL on Sunday collected samples from the rented accommodations of the accused constables in Khuda Lahora. 

Residents oppose SIT 
Led by president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chandigarh unit, Sanjay Tandon, councillors Saurabh Joshi, Rajinder Kaur Rattu and residents of Khuda Lohara blocked traffic for more than two hours demanding the scrapping of SIT formed by the Chandigarh Police. The protesters stated that the SIT formed by the police was not acceptable to them as it had some police officials who tried to hush up the matter at the initial stage.



Signature campaign in support of rape victim

Chandigarh, December 22
Representatives of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held a signature campaign at the Sukhna Lake here today seeking justice for the 16-year-old girl allegedly raped by the PCR staff.

They demanded that investigation in the case must be carried out by an SSP-rank officer and supervised by the IGP; every effort should be made to ensure that the challan in the case be filed in the court within 10 days; protection to the victim, her family members and all the witness must be provided with immediate effect; the case must be referred to a fast track court; the identity of the victim, her family members and witnesses should be kept confidential; and that the Chandigarh Police should adopt the victim and take care of her education, health and all future requirements.

ABVP's Punjab joint secretary Harmanjot Singh said, "We are fighting for justice and we will fight till our last breath." — TNS



Leaders try to take mileage 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Raj Kumar Verka, who was in the city today, said the rape incident at Khuda Lahora had turned into a political drama with parties trying to take political mileage out of it.

"Police are not being made to meet the victim. Politicians, it seems, have kidnapped the victim. The parties are not going to get more votes by indulging in such tactics. It is sad that some politicians are trying best to derive political mileage out of it," he said, adding that focus should be on providing justice to the victim.

Verka also met the victim and her family today and said he urged the administration to offer her a government job once she turns major.

Verka said financial aid would be provided to the victim's family and it would be ensured that the case was put on fast track.

Verka also came down heavily on Baba Ramdev and said he should not have met the girl at her residence. "With Baba Ramdev's visit to her house, the entire locality got to know about the girl. This should not have happened. The girl's identity should not have been revealed," he said.

Class IX student raped

A student of Class IX was allegedly raped by a 23-year-old youth on the pretext of marrying her. The accused, Shiv Kumar, has been arrested. Both the victim and the accused reside in Ashiana flats in the Chandimandir area. A case has been registered at the Chandimandir police station.


Fighting for justice for Ruchika, 150 join AAP

Panchkula, December 22
As many as 150 people from Panchkula today joined Anand Prakash, the father of Ruchika's friend Aradhna, to be part of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Prakash along with his daughter Aradhna has been fighting for justice for Ruchika Gilhotra and against a former Haryana Director General of police (DGP) SPS Rathore. Prakash had recently joined the AAP after finding corruption to be the root cause of injustice in various cases.

“Many prominent citizens from the city have joined us. There were engineers, doctors and other professionals,” said Prakash, adding that many other people from villages in Panchkula were also ready to be part of the party.

Recently, Prakash had challenged the closure reports filed by the CBI in two cases against Rathore - forgery of documents and harassment to Ashu (the victim’s brother).

Ruchika Girhotra (14), a budding tennis player, committed suicide three years after her molestation in 1990 by Rathore. — TNS



Kumaoni culture comes alive at Tagore Theatre

Chandigarh, December 22
The Kumaon Sabha, Chandigarh, organised a Kumaoni cultural programme "Kumaoni Kautik" at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, here today.

Members of the Kumaon Sabha present a traditional dance at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday
Members of the Kumaon Sabha present a traditional dance at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari was the chief guest on the occasion. The executive body of the Sabha also released a souvenir "Kumoan Darpan 2013". The minister lauded the efforts of the Sabha in preserving and promoting their culture in the City Beautiful. He assured every help for the construction of Kumaon Bhawan in the city.

The programme depicted the culture of Uttarakhand’s Kumaon and Garhwal regions through songs, dances and skits and comedy items. The programme started on a spiritual note. Later, artistes from the Uttarakhand Sanskritik Kala Manch performed "Choliya", a popular dance form of the Kumaon region. Prominent singers of Uttarakhand, including Asha Negi, Shiv Dutt Pant and Anand Koranga, later regaled the audience by belting out their famous numbers.

Surender Singh Jeena, a legislator in the Uttarakhand Government, and MC Councillor Heera Negi also attended the event. — TNS



health notes
CME on pharmacovigilance

Chandigarh: The Pharmacovigilance Centre, Regional training and Resource Centre, PGIMER, organised a one-day training on pharmacovigilance on Saturday. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare started the Pharmacovigilance Program of India (PvPI) to monitor the adverse drug reactions. PGIMER director inaugurated the training and encouraged the clinicians to report adverse drug reactions. The programme began with a welcome address by organising secretary Dr Bikash Medhi, who also shared his experience on adverse drug reactions. Prof Dinesh Badyal from the CMC, Ludhiana, explained the scope of pharmacovigilance. Prof HS Rehan from LHMC, New Delhi, spoke about ho to make pharmacovigilance system effective.

Healthcare Excellence Award for Dr Bose

Dr SM Bose, former senior professor and the head of surgery department of the PGI, has been awarded the Healthcare Excellence Award for the year 2013, for his outstanding work in the sphere of general surgery and oncology surgery. The award, instituted by Worldwide Achievers, was presented by Dr CP Thakur, former Union Minister of Health & Family Wefare, and Dr MC Misra, director, AIIMS, New Delhi, during a function held last week. Dr Bose has earlier received a large number of awards for his outstanding work in the healthcare sector.

Workshop on epidemiology

The School of Public Health, PGIMER, is going to conduct a workshop on basic epidemiology and biostatistics from December 23 to January 1.

Docs win laurels abroad

Dr Sandhya Ghai, principal, National Institute of Nursing Education (NINE), chaired a scientific session during the International Conference on Nursing and Emergency Medicine held from December 2-4 at Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. She won the best poster award in recognition of the quality, novelty and significance of research for her poster titled "Attitude of family members towards psychoactive substance use and dependence", which was jointly conducted with Dr DA Basu and Dr Munish Aggarwal. Dr Sukhwinder Kaur, a lecturer at the NINE, was presented with the best poster for her poster titled "Study on application of heat therapy during first and second stages of labour among primagravida mothers, Chandigarh: A quasi experimental study." — TNS



GMCH-32 takes a leap forward
Sets CT scan centre, will start operations from January; limit on waiver to be uncapped
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Twenty years after its establishment, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has started its own CT scan centre. The centre is currently under trial (having performed tests on over 20 patients in the past couple of days). It will become operational in January (2014). The service until now was available via a centre running on a public private partnership mode where the costs were 40 per cent higher (Rs 500 for head) than government hospital rates and the condition of one poor-free test per 10 poor patients existed.

Now, the cost will be lesser and the waiver for poor patients will no longer be limited. "The rates will be on a par with the PGI," said Director-Principal of the GMCH Dr Atul Sachdev.

The hospital first floated the tenders for starting its own CT scan centre in 1999, but it failed to complete the process. Sources in the GMCH administration revealed that the case was never pursued.

In 2004, the hospital outsourced the service to a private company without charging any rent. The centre that was being run by private players courted several controversies ranging from fleecing patients to violating terms of the agreement pertaining to poor patient funds.

Last year, for instance, an inquiry conducted by a committee found that instead of providing free service to 10 per cent of the total number of poor patients, as mentioned in the agreement, the private centre had been waiving 10 per cent of the cost obtained from services availed of by the poor patients.

There was no check on whether the waived amount ever reached the poor patients. Set up in the department of radiology, the Rs 14-crore project has raised high hopes. 

Existing rates Rs 500
New rates Rs 300



women unsafe in panchkula
Dark days, even darker nights
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 22
Panchkula remains to be unsafe for women. Leave aside the presence of police personnel, not even a single PCR vehicle is seen in isolated areas.

The correspondent visited several such areas and found that there was nothing in the name of security. This despite the fact that there are 18 PCR vehicles. At the Sector 6 roundabout, where a PCR vehicle was stationed, a policeman was seen lazying around. There were no PCR vehicles on the border of Panchkula-Chandigarh near the MDC T-Point, in front of girls' college at Sector 14, MDC T-Point, Sector 11 roundabout and Golf Club in Sector 3, Panchkula.

"The presence of police personnel in markets and the other sensitive areas can give women a sense of security," said Priya Chopra, a resident of Sector 12. Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal said the vehicles were deployed as per priority on Sundays. Tarsem Garg, chairman, Nagar Sudhar Sabha, Panchkula, said, "We were told that two PCR vehicles would be stationed in the market, but we have never seen policemen patrolling the area.

Anti-social elements keep frequenting the market." He stated: "There should be a check on PCR vehicles and officers.” Vishakha Dhiman, a resident of Sector 6, said, "Senior police officers should visit such areas every week.”



mayoral elections
Councillors divided over choice of candidate 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
A majority of nominated councillors are expected to support the Congress in the forthcoming Mayoral elections, but most of them are divided over the choice of candidate.

With two names doing the rounds, the party will have to face a tough time choosing the candidate.

As the Mayor's seat for the next term of one year is reserved for an SC candidate, Congress councillors HC Kalyan and Satish Kumar Kainth are the top contenders for the post.

One of the nominated councillors stated that they were ready to vote for the ruling party, but they wanted that the candidate should be of their choice. "I have decided to vote for the candidate of my choice but if the party fields some other candidate, I will have to rethink my decision," he stated.

Echoing similar views, another nominated councillor stated that he was waiting for the Congress to finalise the candidate. If the name of his choice was picked up, he would vote in the favour of the party, he said.

During the last Mayoral elections, all nine nominated councillors had told Pawan Kumar Bansal about their preferences. Sources said the Congress would be finalising the candidate keeping in view the Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2014. "A popular candidate will be considered for the elections," sources stated.

The nominated councillors are expected to meet in the coming days to chalk out their strategy.

There are 36 MC house members, 13 from the Congress, including the MP, 11 from the SAD-BJP alliance, two from the BSP, an Independent councillor and nine are nominated councillors.

The last date for filing the nominations is December 28 and the elections will be held on January 1. 



Man accuses daughters-in-law of grabbing his property 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 22
A police complaint was lodged by an elderly person of Bhoopnagar village against his two daughters-in-law, accusing them of grabbing his land and property fraudulently.

In his complaint to Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Inder Mohan Singh, the victim, Mehar Singh alleged that his daughters-in-law fraudulently got his property registered in their names when he took them along to prepare his will in the names of his sons, who have been living abroad.

“The matter came to light a few days ago when both the accused revealed the truth to him following a minor tiff with them,” alleged Mehar Singh.

Interestingly, the victim’s wife, Shanti Devi termed the allegations by her husband as false and baseless. She also alleged in her written complaint to police that her husband (Mehar Singh) had been kidnapped by her own daughter for property.

“We are investigating the matter,” said the police adding that both the parties have agreed to approach the local SDM to solve the matter. “Both the parties have agreed that the SDM’s decision would be abided by them,” the police said.



Demands will be fulfilled: Bansal to residents’ body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal today assured the residents of Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) houses that he would take up the issues raised by them with the UT Administration and the officials of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). This was stated while addressing a rally in Sector 45.

Members of the CHB Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 46, take out a rally in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Members of the CHB Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 46, take out a rally in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Residents are pressing for their demands for need-based changes in CHB flats under the banner of CHB Residents’ Federation, which is an apex body of 45 welfare associations across city.

Residents of CHB and Tenement Colonies assembled peacefully for one hour at 11 different venues in the city and held the protest rallies.

Nirmal Dutt, chairman of the federation, said the first allotment of the CHB houses was made in 1979. In the past 34 years, the number of the CHB allottees has grown to about 50,000 and 90 per cent of the residents have made changes in their houses which are ‘illegal constructions’ in view of the prevailing bylaws.

Dutt said the board authorities must realise that the lower middle-class, who constitute an overwhelming majority of the CHB residents, have used the hard-earned money to accommodate their growing children by making need-based changes in their houses. “When every other day, the slum-dwellers are being rehabilitated with public money, is it right to raze to ground the structures made by the self-helping honest people,” he added.



Year 2013 ender
Tourism booms despite slump
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
With frequent surge in fuel and vegetable prices, the monthly budgets of households were severely affected this year, burning a hole in the pocket of the average residents.

The prices of onion and tomato touched Rs 100 per kg during the monsoons and continued to scale high for the next few months making it difficult to run the household.

The cost of meals in restaurants and dhabas also went up due to this. Subsequently, the cost of tomato also touched Rs 100 per kg in retail markets of the city in November this year.

The prices, however, came down to Rs 30 and Rs 40 per kg, respectively, by the end of the year, bringing some relief to the residents.

Hike in milk prices

The price of packaged Verka milk increased three times during the year in all categories. The latest hike was reported in December amounting to Rs 2 per litre in all categories. The prices per packet (0.5 litre) of double-tones, toned, standard and full-cream milk categories went up by Re 1 each. Milkfed Punjab officials said the prices were increased because the procurement cost went up. They informed that no further hike in milk prices was likely to take place in the near future.

Inflating petrol prices

The prices of petrol as well as diesel were revised several times during the year. There were numerous ups and downs in the fuel prices.

The price of petrol increased from Rs 68.23 to Rs 72.53 over the year. The diesel prices, which were Rs 49.42 in beginning of the year, too soared to Rs 53. Some petroleum dealers said the UT Administration could reduce the tax on petroleum to bring down the prices. Residents said the annual increase in their income was proportionate to the increase in the cost of these commodities.

Elante Mall, ten new hotels launched

With the introduction of around 200 new brands, including major international brands, coming under one roof at the Elante mall launched in March, business opportunities in city scaled to new heights.

The mall witnessed an average footfall of 50,000 visitors per day, that is, pulling 80 per cent of the shoppers’ crowd from Sector 17 plaza, giving traders a tough time. The high footfall also lead to huge traffic snarls around the mall resulting into the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing the UT SP traffic to regulate the movement of vehicles, especially on weekends. The route around the mall has now been turned into a one-way. As many as 10 new hotels were launched in the industrial area this year.

First ever tourism fest organised

The city hosted its first tourism festival witnessing a number of international and Indian chefs participating in the fest along with tourism minister’s visit. The concept of happening weekends of Chandigarh was also launched for promoting tourism in the city.



When official slept whilst MC discussed property tax

Deshraj Chaudhary, Chief Accounts Officer (CAO) of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, and the man who handles the civic body’s annual budget of Rs 637 crore, preferred to sleep in the recent meeting of the MC House when the important agenda item of property tax was being discussed. When some of photojournalists caught him on camera, his colleagues woke him up. Interestingly, Chaudhary asked his colleagues ‘Kya Hua Property Tax Ka’. Now, one can gauge the seriousness of MC officials over the important issue of property tax, which affects almost every family of the city beautiful.

Wake-up call

A recent incident of an inebriated girl, who was made to sit at a police station during the night, saw excise officials raiding eating joints that were serving liquor till late in the night. Late-night parties often witnesses ruckus by inebriated youths outside the party venue, confided an excise official.

PGI officials’ short cut

The short cut adopted by PGIMER officials in handling a power cable joint, which was reportedly repaired by a private contractor, cost the institute dear. The callous attitude of the private contractor in handling the 120-mm thick cable, which was supposed to be installed at least 2-3 feet underground, resulted in a blast in the parking lot as the cable was left almost on the surface. A major tragedy was averted as the fire was brought under control soon, but kept all the officials, including the PGIMER Director, on their toes not only to get the cable that ensures power supply to the Kairon Block fixed but also to cover up the short cut.

Ill-informed PU leaders

Students associations of the Panjab University (PU) are seemingly ill-informed as the decisions, which the PU authorities had already executed for the welfare of students, are demanded by them by submitting memorandums just to impress their cadre. A recent example is of the demand made for restarting the shuttle bus service, which already started a week before their submitting a memorandum.

Credit game

On receiving criticism from the Opposition over the issue of permitting residents of Southern sectors to install hand pumps, the Congress Councillor and also Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth stated in the Municipal Corporation (MC) House meeting that the Opposition was worried as Congress Councillors, who have mooted the proposal don’t get the credit for the decision. The Deputy Mayor had proposed the agenda of installation of hand pumps and he is also one of the contenders for the next year Mayor’s post.

Police helping media for year-enders

With the year 2013 coming to an end and well aware of the annual ritual of newspapers (of preparing an year ender in December), several departments in Panchkula are sending their achievements of the year to various sections of the media. The police department too has jumped on to the bandwagon and has sent a year-ender.

Contributed by Rajinder Nagarkoti, Rajmeet Singh, Ritika Jha Palial, Aarti Kapur, Amit Sharma and Hina Rohtaki



Open House response
Poor planning is directly proportional to commotion

Instead of setting up 300 examination centres in the tricity, the authorities concerned could have set up centres at the district headquarters. Furthermore, they should have consulted the Chandigarh police to make arrangements for the smooth conduct of the examinations. Special trains as well as more buses are required to be introduced in the tricity.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Collective efforts from authorities a must

Last Sunday, thousands of students descended on the city to appear for the examination of Food Inspector. Due to less number of buses in the city, a chaos was witnessed. To prevent such chaotic situations from arising, the administration should deploy additional buses on various routes to cater to such rush. Special routes must be added, specifically to peripheral towns. Buses ,exclusively for students, should also be started on such routes to avoid any inconvenience. The traffic near examination centres should be restricted. The administrative authorities of the neighbouring states should also be consulted and a joint effort from different authorities is a must to prevent such untoward situation arise in future.

Dr Ranju Gulati, Chandigarh

New policies should be implemented

The authorities should look into the matter and come up with new initiatives and policies to prevent such traffic snarls in future. Public transport should be made available to the commuters so that the entire situation does not take an ugly turn. The examinations should be conducted in a well organised manner.

Arshdeep Singh, SAS NAGAR

Admn offered more than it could manage

The administration must consider the stay and transportation services at their disposal before allowing candidates to take examinations in the city. The borders of the city must be sealed and private vehicles should not be allowed inside the city. Special buses from borders of the city to various exam centres must be started. The exams should be conducted in shifts.

Vivek Gulati, Chandigarh

Authorities bit more than they could chew

In the context of the chaos in city due to huge rush at examination centres last week, the Chandigarh Administration attempted to do something which was beyond its limits. Metaphorically, it bit more than what it could chew. The Administration must remember the old phrases such as ‘Cut your coat according to your pocket/cloth’ and ‘Big mouthfuls often choke’. The decisions of Administration should be in public interest and not against public interest. The administration must keep in mind the public interests.

Ajay Jagga, Chandigarh

Routine traffic should be channelised

The examinations should be planned in rotation. The traffic enforcement authorities/staff should be taken in confidence and routine traffic should be channelised so as to adjust with the visiting traffic. Appropriate planning and strict enforcement is the only solution to curb this manageable irregularity and chaotic situation that was witnessed recently.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Major exams should be held digitally

The major examinations should be held in digital mode using internet to facilitate the examinees to undertake their exams in the vicinity of their homes. This will also relieve the candidates travelling from distant places and Chandigarh will be spared the huge turnout of examinees. If the Administration cannot consider the suggestion, then the centres for examinations should be set up at district-level.

Dr Rajeev Kumar, Chandigarh

Mismanagement on part of the authorities

If more than 1.86 lakh aspirants had applied for the post of Punjab Food Inspector, the authorities concerned should have made arrangements for conducting the examination at different cities there and then, rather than inviting all the applicants to Chandigarh.

Lajpat Rai Garg, Panchkula

Central open air exam centre is the solution

The answer lies in shifting the examination centres out of the city. The way we have a large election rally, we can have a central open air examination centre outside the city in an open area. The venue of the examination can be covered, and necessary arrangements can be made, as per the requirement of the particular examination being conducted. The authorities should pool in all the resources, which otherwise are divided into various centers.

Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt


The incident of gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl by five constables of Chandigarh Police has shaken the confidence of city residents, especially women, who looked up to the police to ensure their safety. What should be done to ensure there are no rapists, at least in uniform? Write to us at [email protected] Send us your suggestions to: [email protected] or Open House, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh.



Shubhreet’s feat leaves audience clapping

Shubhreet Kaur, who lost her leg in an accident, performs at Vivek High School, Sector 38, Chandigarh.
Disabling disability: Shubhreet Kaur, who lost her leg in an accident, performs at Vivek High School, Sector 38, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan Report P2

Chandigarh, December 22
A sterling dance performance by Shubhreet Kaur, a single-legged girl, stole the show at a cultural programme, “Yes I am a Rockstar”, held at Vivek High School, Sector 38, here today. The event was a mélange of dance, music and a fancy dress events.

Shubhreet has also reached the top 20 of the India’s Got Talent, a TV reality show. Losing a leg in an accident did not deter her from following her dream to become a dancer.

Her performance along with her partner received a thunderous applause from the audience. Besides her, over 200 students from the Rockstar Academy participated in dances in the genres of solo, couple and group.

Scintillating musical performances too captivated the audience. The children in the age group 3-15 years participated in the competitions. The event aimed at promoting and recognising young talent. Winners of various competitions were awarded with certificates and trophies.

Mansa Ram Ahuja, founder of Jeevan Mukt Nishulak Vidyalaya, an NGO, was the chief guest. — TNS



Beauty & the Beast staged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 22
Young actors of the Wings Theatre Academy, St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, staged their annual play, “Beauty and the Beast”, in a packed auditorium of the school.

The Beauty and the Beast is a popular fairytale, which has had several adaptations in the past. The version enacted today was a combination of children's ideas as well as the ideas drawn from existing adaptations.

The play had actors as young as five years of age getting into the skin of the characters. It was different from typical fairy tales, as it had no prince charming coming and saving the girl. In fact, the protagonist ‘Belle’ takes a stand for her father, braving a hideous beast. The background music, beautiful light effects and a subtle set added to the flow of the narrative.

Jayati Sahay’s soulful voice left the audience spell-bound. Seher Malik as Belle, Akshat Sharma as the beast and other actors did justice to their characters. Zubin Mehta in association with Preeti Malik and Gunit Cour directed the play.



Special kids celebrate X’mas

Chandigarh, December 22
Sadhna Institute for Children with Intellectual Disabilities, Sector 36, held a cultural event to celebrate Christmas and the new year. Students performed a skit depicting the ‘birth of Jesus Christ’ and victory of good over evil spreading the message of brotherhood and love. 

Children also performed group and solo dances. Director and principal of the institute Bhavna Tayal said, "Such occasions not only bring joy to students but also provide them a platform to display their potential and hidden talent." — TNS



from schools

Chandigarh: The Saupin's-32 organised its 7th annual fete "Razzmatazz" on Saturday. School principal ABS Sidhu inaugurated the event. As many as 50 stalls were put up at the venue. Students Class VII set up a stall and generated funds for the special children of SOREM School, Sector 36. Amusement games added to the fun and gaiety.

Christmas carnival

Mohali: Gurukul Junior's, Zirakpur, celebrated the Christmas carnival "Winterlude" on the school premises on Sunday. The school was abuzz with activity. Stalls of games, books, handicrafts, homemade chocolates, nail art and tattoo were put up at the venue. On the occasion, funds were generated for the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh. — TNS



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