C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


AAP sounds LS poll bugle in city
Tribune News Service

Yogendra Yadav and a supporter of the party.
Yogendra Yadav and a supporter of the party. Tribune photos: pradeep tewari

Chandigarh, January 12
Setting to rest speculation that leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were in the city to finalise the name of the candidate from the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, the national executive member of the party, Yogendra Yadav, today asked the city residents to mobilise public opinion for an honest democracy instead of making choices based on caste, creed and religion.

Pointing towards the enthusiastic supporters, who were handing him their bio data for candidature to the seat, Yadav, in a lighter vein, said those interested for ticket should go to the railway station. “The real workers are those who are silently working behind the scene and volunteers who are going from door-to-door without any motive and not those who want to be in front of cameras and on the dais,” said the 50-year-old leader, who is one of the key members of the Arvind Kejriwal team.

Amid the chant of patriotic slogans like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” by supporters, who were wearing the Gandhi cap and carrying the national flag, he reminded the gathering that it was a party without a face as it was the movement spearheaded by the “aam aadmi” and not by individuals. To listen to the AAP leader, people from all walks of life had come to the venue.

The leader advocated the supporters to be the harbinger of change by breaking away from the family-run politics being run by major political parties. “Bring the change in Chandigarh by doing a repeat of Delhi. Make the leaders sit on the floor like an “aam aadmi” and follow the masses,” he said. Interestingly, the AAP leader, while referring to the Delhi elections, lashed out at more on the BJP than the Congress. He said he was in the city as part of a two-week national campaign to enrol one crore AAP members till January 26. Striking a chord with the gathering, he said he had lived in the elite Sector 11 and the downtrodden area of Daddu Majra and knew about the problems of the city residents. As a student and teacher at Panjab University, he had lived here for 10 years. Comparing the Gandhi cap with a read beacon and the broom with a thing to sweep corruption, he said the “aam aadmi” had to realise his power in the coming elections. 

AAP an urban-centric party: Yogendra Yadav

Yogendra Yadav, while talking to media persons, said the party, through the social media, had been able to reach the urban voters but the rural voter was still to be targeted. He was replying to a query on the party base in the rural areas of Punjab and Haryana 

Rs 41,000 collected

Apart from former PPP leader Bir Devinder, a number of officials, serving Army officers, businessmen and workers of other political parties were there to listen to the AAP leader, Yogendra Yadav. Around ~41,000 was collected as donations and 1,000 persons filled the enrolment form on the spot. 



Banker, Army man quit job to join AAP
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

SP Singh who has quit a bank job to join AAP
SP Singh who has quit a bank job to join AAP.

Panchkula, January 12
Among the volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who were managing the sitting arrangements at the Sector 16 venue of the party’s first public gathering in the city, was a successful banker from Sector 11, SP Singh, who left his job to join the "broom brigade" and to bring a change in society.

Singh, who was drawing a salary of Rs 1 lak while working as a senior manager with a bank, has decided to take part in all the campaigns of the party.

Like SP Singh, there was another volunteer, who recently quit the Army to work for the party. “It is not a political party but a national movement to wipe out corruption. I want to give my fullest to this party,” he said. Originally from Jharkand and at present residing in Panchkula, this youth joined the party in Panchkula.

Other than those who quit their jobs to join the AAP were elderly and physically challenged persons who had bad experiences of corruption in their life.

Raju, a physically challenged person from Rajiv Colony, narrated how he was ill-treated by electricity officials. “I just asked them to speed up so that I may not wait in the queue for long. But I was thrashed by the officials who threw the money on my face, saying that I can get the work done from someone else if I am in such a hurry,” said Raju.

Govt officers send kin to join party

Many government officers and defence personnel sent their wives and children to join the party. Neeta, a resident of Sector 21, Panchkula, said: “As my husband is a high-ranking government officer and could not join the party, I am here to do it for him.”



Student held for abetting girl’s suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The UT police today arrested a 19-year-old BCom (second year) student for abetting suicide by a girl. The victim, 18-year-old Anju, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at her Sector 18 residence in the servant quarters of her employer where she worked as a maid.

Before taking the extreme step, the girl sent a text message to her lover, "Thanks for taking my life away from me", and then ended her life. Based on the message recovered from her mobile, the police arrested Naresh Kumar of Sector 12-A, Panchkula, for abetting her suicide today. Naresh and the girl both hailed from the same Hardoi village in UP, the police said.

The body was noticed this morning by her employer Prem Lal. He knocked at the door of her room repeatedly but she did not reply. Then Prem Lal peeped through the window and saw her hanging from the ceiling fan. Prem Lal, a private contractor, informed the police about the incident.

The police shifted her to the hospital where she was declared dead.

The police said the girl knew the boy and both had been into a relationship for more than two years. The girl stated in the message that he would be responsible for her death. Both had an argument on Saturday over marriage, following which the girl ended her life, the police said.

Naresh is pursuing his BCom from the Government College in Panchkula. He has been booked for abetment to suicide under section 306 of the IPC. The police said the girl had studied till Class X. Naresh’s father is a labourer and he declined to marry the girl as she was not much educated.

There were also other messages and calls exchanged between Naresh and the victim on the youth’s phone. 



Jeweller’s PSO opens fire to scare boy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 12
In yet another incident of firing in a public place, a Delhi-based jeweller’s personal security officer (PSO), who was reportedly in an inebriated condition, fired towards the ground from his air gun when asked to move his car from a parking lot near the Pallavi restaurant here this morning. However, no one suffered injuries in the incident.

The PSO got infuriated on being asked by a 14-year-old boy to move his car as the vehicle was parked in the area where a group of children were playing cricket. The incident took place at a short distance from the Five Degrees eating joint where a Punjab Police gunman was critically injured in an accidental fire recently.

Soon after the boy asked Joginder (31), PSO, to move his car, he went to his room at the Pallavi hotel in Sector 5, where the jeweller, Aditya Sharma, was putting up with his acquaintances, got his air gun and threatened the child before firing towards the ground.

A licensed pistol was also found in the possession of Joginder. The police investigations revealed that the jeweller had come with his friends to attend a function in Mohali and as such was carrying cash and jewellery.

The child did not come forth to file a complaint after his father refused for the same. A case was registered following a complaint by a PCR official on the spot.

The police said a medical examination of Joginder was conducted, which confirmed the presence of liquor in his blood.

“As children play cricket here on Sundays, the boy had asked the accused to move his car to a safer zone,” said the SHO of the Sector 5 police station, Inspector Mukesh Kumar.

After firing towards the ground in order to scare the child, Joginder tried to flee but the bystanders informed the police and he was arrested. A case has been registered at the Sector 5 police station.



Fire safety not on GMSH’s list of priorities
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Risking lives of thousands of patients, the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has been running its OPDs in the New OPD block without obtaining fire safety clearance for over one and a half years.

In fact, over this period, not even a single violation, as pointed out by the UT Fire Department (after completion of the construction of the building), has been removed by the hospital.

As the New OPD building has blocked various sides of the old building that houses the Emergency, the lives of several indoor patients is equally at risk. The hydraulic ladder cannot reach many areas in an emergency as the new OPD building has blocked the way to these areas.

The violations included a corridor connecting the Emergency wing with the New OPD block. The corridor has blocked direct entry to the Central Sterile Supplies Department (CSSD) where the autoclave unit of the hospital is located.

The autoclave unit is an area where surgical devices and linens are sterilised at a very high temperature and hence, it remains prone to fire. “Easy movement of fire tenders around the entire building and especially such volatile units is crucial but the New OPD building has blocked entry for firemen, in case of an emergency,” said an official from the Fire Department.

Further, the nursery, where newborn babies are kept, is also located next to the CSSD on the upper floor. In case of an emergency, it will be impossible for fire brigade to reach it because of the disadvantage in the location of both the units.

While these violations were pointed out in September 2012, ahead of the New OPD building’s inauguration, nothing has been done in this direction so far.

There is only one entry and one exit point in the Emergency wing, making it difficult for fire tenders to evacuate patients and staff in an emergency.

The authorities are waiting for a tragedy to happen, it seems.

More than 3,000 patients visit the OPDs in the New OPD building. The building, however, continues to run departments of medicine, skin, orthopaedics and physiotherapy, paediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, ENT and eye since October, 2012.

Besides, the old building houses more than 500 indoor patients at a given time. 

No ramps in building

The contractor, who was hired by the hospital to put in place fire safety measures at the hospital, left many points without the “exit” signage and many rooms without smoke sensors. Now, the hospital is learnt to have hired another contractor. The new OPD building does not even have ramps for a quick exit in case of an emergency.


Director Health Services, Dr SK Bhalla, said he was not aware of the status of fire safety clearance procedure, thus shifting the responsibility on the Medical Superintendent of the hospital. Meanwhile, the Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajiv Vadehra, could not be contacted. 


Thousands throng AAP rally in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 12
From lecturers to students, Brigadiers to other defence personnel, bankers to hoteliers, waiters to painters and housewives to working women, people from all strata of life flocked to the venue of the first public gathering of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held here today.

Chief spokesperson of the party Yogender Yadav addressed the gathering and later, left for Chandigarh.

The meeting was attended by over 2,000 persons. All the three floors of the venue, Aggarwal Bhawan, Sector 16, were packed.

Among the attendees was Gurpratap Singh, a student of the Punjabi University who had come all the way from Patiala to apprise Yadav of certain issues related to Punjab.

"It is not that only a political leader can discuss the issues pertaining to the place where I live. I can do it too. Just for this purpose, I am here to meet Yadav and lend my support to the common man's party," said Singh, who is doing a course of religion. Yadav told Singh to be in touch with the party via internet.

Meanwhile, a number of defence personnel joined the AAP today.

Brigadier HS Chahal (retd), a resident of Sector 6, Panchkula, said, "The thing that prompted me to join the party is that it speaks the language of a common man. One person cannot fight corruption on his own. It has been over 65 years since the country attained freedom. However, a common man still struggles for fulfillment of his basic needs."

Similar sentiments were echoed by Shalender Vikrant, a resident of MDC, Sector 5. "I needed to get an electricity meter installed at my residence and had been running from pillar to post for the last two months but to no avail. I got so fed up that I decided to lend my support to this party."

There were many employees of the state and Central government departments who could not lend support to the party but made their family members do it.

‘Caps are a red beacon, broom sword’

Yoginder Yadav today told the volunteers that the caps, which they were wearing were red beacons and broom a sword.

The sidelights

  • Not cops but students became part of the crowd management wing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Students in the age group of 18 to 25 years were seen managing parking of vehicles and sitting arrangements.
  • Showing allegiance to the party from their places of work, cobblers and cart pullers in the Sector 16 market were seen wearing AAP caps.
  • The party recorded cash collection of ~50,000.
  • A man in the gathering created ruckus and tried to play a spoilsport. He said he was a common man and wishes to share the stage with Yadav. AAP volunteers suspected that he was from a political party to spoil the gathering.
  • Anand Prakash, a volunteer from Panchkula, said former IPS officer Sudhir Mohan and former IG LD Narwal have lent their support to the party.

Support pours in

It is not that only a political leader can discuss the issues pertaining to the place where I live. I can do it too. Just for this purpose, I am here to meet Yadav and lend my support to the common man’s party.
—Gurpratap singh, Student of Punjabi University, Patiala

The thing that prompted me to join the party is that it speaks the language of a common man. One person cannot fight corruption on his own. It has been over 65 years since the country attained freedom. However, a common man still struggles for fulfillment of his basic needs.
—Brig HS Chahal, resident of Sector 6, Panchkula

I needed to get an electricity meter installed at my residence and had been running from pillar to post for the last two months but to no avail. I got so fed up that I decided to lend my support to this party.
Shalender Vikrant, resident of MDC, Sector 5, Panchkula



RLA rakes in Rs 16 lakh on Day 2 of auction

Chandigarh, January 12
On the final day of the two-day auction of vanity numbers under series CH 01 AW, the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) earned Rs 16.18 lakh taking the total revenue from the auction to Rs 70 lakh.

In today’s open auction, 163 numbers from 0101 to 9999 were sold. The number CH-01-AW-0786 fetched the highest amount of Rs 1, 10,000 and the second highest bid (Rs 56,000) was for CH-01-AW-9999.

In two days, a total of 263 numbers were auctioned.

Yesterday, a Bathinda-based agriculturist, Gursewak Singh, had bought the vanity number ‘0001’ in the CH 01 AW series for Rs 7 lakh. The bidder bought the VIP number for his SUV, Toyota Fortuner.

The vanity number to fetch the second highest bid was ‘0009’, which earned the RLA Rs 3,50,000. The vanity number ‘0007’ went for Rs 2.30 lakh while other numbers like ‘0002’ and ‘0003’ went for Rs 2 lakh each. — TNS



Fog delays six trains

Chandigarh, January 12
Dense fog in the wee hours of Sunday in states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi delayed the arrival of six trains at Chandigarh railway station.

Trains which arrived late included the Kalka Mail, which was delayed by four hours and 53 minutes, the Una-New Delhi Jan Shatabdi, which was late by 23 minutes, the Unchahar Express, late by seven hours and 58 minutes, the Amritsar-Chandigarh Super Fast Express, delayed by 21 minutes, the Sai Nagar Shirdi-Kalka Super Fast Express, late by 50 minutes and the Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express, which was delayed by six hours and 49 minutes. — TNS



Reporters Diary
Scribes relegated to back seat during press meet

During the final media interaction held by the outgoing Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal, the pressmen were made 'backbenchers' after the front seats were occupied by police functionaries. A lady DSP asked the mediapersons to occupy the seats behind as those in the front row were 'reserved' for the police functionaries. Wonder whether the conference was for members of the press or the police officials.

Shooting skills

UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil pocketed all credits by aiming three of the four targets right during the inauguration of 10-m airgun shooting range at the Lake Sports Complex. However, in archery, the man-in-power fell short of distance as his arrow fell in front of the bull's eye. Later, senior UT officials present on the occasion tried their hands on the aim game but it was only UT Adviser KK Sharma who matched the Administrator's skills. It is to be seen if the combination hits right on the target as far as development of the city is concerned.

Patil’s new look

It seems that the UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, is motivated by Bollywood flicks these days. Like a film hero, he was seen wearing a new look - ready-to-twirl long moustache, though not in public.

RTI empowers journalists

In perhaps first of its kind, the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been used to enable scribes to travel for free in AC buses of the PRTC and the Punjab Roadways. Information received by a scribe under the RTI Act revealed that the July 2012 order of the Punjab Government allowing scribes to travel for free in AC buses of the PRTC and the PEPSU was not being implemented by the transport entities. However, the general managers of the public transport bodies have been asked to follow the guidelines. Now, scribes can enjoy free ride in AC buses owned by the Punjab Roadways.

Publicity stunt

While sitting at the 'pooja' organised during the foundation stone-laying function of a community centre in Sector 15, Chandigarh, the area Councillor Saurabh Joshi was busy obliging the photojournalists. He did not mind paying enough attention to the photojournalists, who were clicking the pictures of the bricks that had the name of BJP leader 'Modi' embossed on them.

Evading query on BJP candidate for LS seat

While addressing a press conference, the in-charge of the BJP's Chandigarh unit, Aarti Mehra, parried the queries pertaining to the possible candidate of the party for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. She only said the party's three senior leaders, namely Sanjay Tandon, Harmohan Dhawan and Satyapal Jain, were united. Notably, the three leaders are eyeing to contest the Chandigarh seat on the party ticket.

Ex-DGP mistakes scribe's bike as abductors'

While addressing mediapersons near his house in Sector 18, Chandigarh, Former Punjab Director General of Police (Prisons) Shashi Kant alleged that Punjab Police personnel were planning to abduct him from near his house. He pointed towards a motorbike nearby and claimed that it was left by the cops before fleeing. However, the bike belonged to a journalist. On finding cameramen shooting the video of the motorbike, he informed them that he owned the bike. The former cop apologised on realising that the bike left by the cops was parked next to the journo's.

Technical glitch

A technical fault in the national knowledge network during President Pranab Mukherjee's address via video-conferencing embarrassed the gathering at the computer centre of the Panjab University. The attendees got confused during the President's speech when the National Anthem started all of sudden. They were unable to decipher whether the address was over or would continue.

Minister miffed

Punjab Industries Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and the organisers of 'lohri' function found themselves in an awkward situation when the sound system failed all of sudden as soon as the minister begun his speech. It took almost 10 minutes to fix the glitch and the minister, who was the chief guest on the occasion, had to wait while standing on the dais. The function was organised by a body of local scribes. The minister was also visibly miffed as he was 'ignored' during lighting of the lamp and 'lohri'. Later, the chief guest expressed his resentment during his speech.

The high left dry

At the inauguration of the PGIMER's new academic session last week, the most sought-after doctors were seen in a different set of frame. Right from professors to the heads of different wings to the senior faculty from different departments of the PGIMER, all bowed to the chief guest, the Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, while 'bragging about' their departments. Interestingly, even the chief guest took note of it. As one of the faculty members went on elaborating about her research plan to him, the chief guest ended up clarifying that he did not have the authority to fund her research and she should approach the ICMR or other agencies.

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



First CO of 48 Squadron passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The first Commanding Officer (CO) of Chandigarh-based 48 Squadron, Group Capt SS Jaspal (retd) passed away here today. He was 93. His mortal remains were cremated at the electric crematorium here.

A resident of Sector 43, the Gp Capt (retd) was born at Kapurthala on December 3, 1920, and had graduated from the Government College, Lahore, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Panjab University. He was commissioned into the then Royal Indian Air Force in 1942 and raised the 48 Squadron, the Camels, at Barrackpore in 1960, which he commanded from February 1960 to June 1961.

Squadron officers and personnel as well as the IAF fraternity condoled his demise.

On behalf of the Chief of Air Staff, the Squadron's present Commanding Officer, Group Capt Amitabh Bhalla, laid a wreath on the soldier's body.



Open House response
Gunman culture should be abolished, say residents

The recent firing incident in which a gunman was critically injured has given rise to an array of questions like why was the gunman accompanying the IAS officer’s son along with two others and who authorised him to do so? It is unacceptable to display such a show of power that an IAS officer’s son can carry gunmen with him. To avoid any such incident in future, no such gunmen should be allowed inside party venues. Instead they should be made to wait outside as this poses a risk to everyone present there. A proper check must be conducted at all places and the ones found violating the norms must be suitably fined.

Dr Shruti K Chawla

Provide security to appointed VIPs only

A Cabinet committee on security in all state assemblies on the pattern of the parliament should be formed to regulate the activities of the use of gunman, periodically. Moreover, the security should be given only to appointed VIPs and not to their family or relatives.


Policy need to be framed

Taking a leaf from many European countries where people at the helm of administration use public transport without any security cover, gunman culture has to be stopped immediately. The Delhi Chief Minister and his team of ministers have foregone security and have discarded the gunmen culture. A clear-cut policy has to be framed at the Centre and the state levels defining the exact situations that demand the extending of the security cover. Stringent application of the policy with no excuses will stop the ‘gunman culture’.

Dr Rajeev Kumar

Review of security needed

Security and gunmen were provided to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and she fell victim at their hands. A security review by politicians and bureaucrats would not only save them but also the public from the misuse of the same. Besides, these security personnel are more useful for policing duty.

Rita Raina

Take action against ‘guilty’ bureaucrat

The Punjab Government should immediately withdraw the police security provided to the bureaucrat in the recent firing case and take disciplinary action against him for allowing the latter’s son to take his official police gunman for a pleasure trip to Panchkula. It is time they emulate Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. If they need security, they should get it at their own cost and not at citizens’ cost.

Ajit Singh

Gunman culture must go

The growing cult of ‘gunman culture’ among the new crop of bureaucrats, politicians, that costs the public exchequer dearly, seems to have gone to their heads. The new-found fad has been fast catching up with, besides politicians and bureaucrats, the who’s who from all walks of life, with the gun-toting guards roaming about menacingly around them wherever they go. It goes without saying that where threat perception is high, the provision of gunmen to VVIPs cannot be compromised with. Not to speak of gunmen, even their (VVIPs) official vehicles are (mis) used to ferry their wards to schools/colleges and to take their families to shopping malls and elsewhere, with the gunmen escorting them?

Ramesh K Dhiman

Misuse of resources

If Arvind Kejriwal, as the CM of Delhi, can move around without a single gunman, where is the need of plethora of gunmen for ministers and their kith and kin. It is more a show-off as status symbol than personal security. It is an irony that there is only one policeman for over 400 citizens, whereas every VIP moves around with about a half a dozen, if not more, gun men, and fleet of vehicles, including a pilot vehicle. This is a clear-cut case of wastage and misuse of resources. Some VIPs even use these gunmen in their houses and for personal errands. The Aam Admi Party has set a good example in austerity and shedding of frills.

Col RD Singh (retd)

Decision-makers need security

Politicians forming the government are the policy and decision-makers. At times, they have to take certain decisions which are in the national interest but it faces opposition from certain quarters and regions. Every action taken by the government, even in the national interest, faces opposition and people adopt any method, including violence, to set it right to their satisfaction. Hence, the lives of the politicians, especially Cabinet ministers, are always in danger. Therefore, security for such politicians is necessary. Bureaucrats are the ones who are to execute the government decisions fairly and promptly. If they execute in a fair manner there should not be any issues for them. Problem arises when they act in a biased manner and invite the wrath of people.

Dr Gurdev Singh

No security needed for VIPs

In view of bold proclamations of the authorities on public security, where the need arise for gunmen for VIPs and their families? Provision of gunmen only pacifies the unqualified ego of VIPs at the cost and convenience of the sovereign public. We have observed well-managed public systems in nations where even prime ministers and presidents roam about freely at public places without gunmen and their security is far better than ours.

MPS Chadha

Security a status symbol!

It is irritating to see official gunmen accompanying families of the “so-called” VIPs to markets, schools and every private function. This has become a status symbol of politicians and bureaucrats. They think that they are a separate class of people who need to be respected, protected and given a special treatment by the “so called aam aadmi, who, they think, belong to a lower class.

RK Kapoor

Security is necessary

Security to important public servants holding key positions is of utmost importance in a country like India where threat to their lives is higher. It is, however, quite unfortunate that several legislators, MPs, ministers, bureaucrats and other officers take security as boastful display of their abilities/accomplishments and usually they prefer to be surrounded by a posse of sleuths with modern weapons to brandish them different from common men. The primary goal of providing security to VIPs is protecting their valuable lives and not making it an exhibition.

Ravinder Nath

Don’t misuse security personnel

The culture of gunmen accompanying politicians or bureaucrats should be discouraged. In fact, the government officials should not misuse this privilege. They should not allow their family members to take gunmen for private functions as a status symbol.

Priya Darsh Growar

A real public show-off

It has always been a fancy with VVIPs to carry their gunmen along wherever they go and venture, may it be parties or outings and functions. Security could be one reason but at times it means a public showoff which is a mandatory aspect of their public life and culture inculcated within them.

BM Dhawan
PGIMER, Chandigarh

Guilty be penalised

Gunmen are provided to VIPs for their own security at the cost of tax payers’ money. An assessment should be made if the given VIPs actually requires gunmen. There should be severe penalties against those who misuse these privileges.


Strict laws needed

While thinking of a solution to check the so-called ‘gunmen culture’, the government should make strict laws and guidelines. A live example is Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP, which says that there should be curtailment of luxurious benefits, especially in the form of security and posh residences that are being given to bureaucrats.

Shuchi Nanda

Open house question

Lack of playgrounds in residential areas is an issue of concern. Like green belts in every sector, should every sector need children's park also? Send your suggestions along with your passport size picture to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Nulife Clinic opened at Fortis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The Fortis Hospital, Mohali, today opened a ‘Nulife Clinic’ where women would get comprehensive care via consultations by gynaecologists, orthopaedicians, physicians and dieticians.

Explaining the idea behind the clinic, Dr Ritambhra Bhalla, consultant - obstetrics and gynaecology, said, “Culturally, women in India ignore their health worries till the time they become painful and excruciating. Our clinic aims to make women fast-approaching menopause aware and ready about the changes they would experience.”



Ghazal singers mesmerise audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Multi Art Cultural Centre, Kurukshetra, organised the Sham-e-Ghazal programme at the Punjab Kala Bhawan Auditorium, Sector 16, here, today.

Ghazal singers, including RD Kailey, Komal Chugh, Rita Gangahar and SD Sharma, performed on the occasion.

Rita Gangahar took the centre stage to mesmerise the audience with a ghazal “tune jo mujhe zalim diwana” and Shiv Batalvi’s song “panchhi ban jawan”.

Then, the lead pair of ghazal singers RD Kaliey and Dr Komal Chugh presented Punjabi sufiana kalams. The notable items were Shah Hussain’s “mahi jinha de mahandare wal”, and Jhahid Shah’s ghazal “yaar vi raah ki diwar samjhate hai mujhe”.

They also presented Punjabi numbers and ghazals by Bashir Badar. Agra Gharan Guru Pandit Yashpal presided over the function, while Professor Nirmal Datt, secretary general, Punjab Arts Council, conducted the programme.

Punjab Arts Council’s chairperson Bibi Harjinder Kaur and Pandit Yashpal honoured the artistes.



Seminar stresses on protection of senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
"The western countries have strong social security systems, however, our country lacks such a system," said Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice SK Kaul while speaking during a seminar on 'Welfare and Protection of Senior Citizens', organised by the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC), at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Sector 43, here, today.

The Chief Justice said western countries not only provide monitory assistance but also support emotionally.

"If the government fails to provide social security, then a senior citizen will have to depend on what they have earned during their life," he said.

Speaking about the need for improvement in the social system, the Chief Justice said while society had witnessed medical advancement, medical expenses had also gone high.

"There is a need to make a system in which a person walks to a hospital, get treated and let the government and institutions to settle medical bill," he said.

He said the country and even elected representatives have a great challenge to make the life of a senior citizen more comfortable and better.

Justice Surya Kant, speaking on the occasion, said the social crisis in the country had reached a stage when the Parliament had to come-up with a law to deal with the issue.

"The senior citizens not only need financial help, which they are also getting from their children, but they also need emotional support," he said.

He further added that the country needs to have a social mechanism to develop values among children and to sensitise them to the fact that they would also be parents one day.

Justice Hemant Gupta, who was one of the speakers during the inauguration of the seminar, said there needs to be an introspection to see the duty of senior citizens towards society.

"Post retirement people want retirement benefits, however, they should devote themselves for the service of society to avoid loneliness and isolation," Justice Gupta said.

The working session of the seminar was chaired by Justice Mahesh Grover, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, and panelists Savita Saxena, advocate, Rajesh Jogpal, director social welfare, RS Ghuman, SSP, Dr Abha Chaudhary, chairperson, RRTC ANUGRAHA (under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment), Justice HS Bhalla, former judge of High Court of Punjab and Haryana, and member state human rights, Haryana.

The speakers stressed on the need of sensitisation of senior citizens about the provision of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, so that in case of need they could make claim for maintenance before a special Tribunal through inexpensive and expeditious process within a time-bound period of 90 days.



Cold weather claims beggar’s life
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 12
An unidentified beggar, around 60 years of age, died due to cold in Sector 10 here this evening.

The incident came to light when a fellow beggar went to see him as he was reportedly not keeping well for the past few days. He was found lying near the bus queue shelter.

The body was shifted to the General Hospital at Sector 6 where doctors said the preliminary reports indicated that he died of cold.



Lohri for girl child celebrated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 12
To raise awareness about importance of girls in a society, the Thekedar Union here celebrated 'lohri' for girl child today.

District president of the Youth Akali Dal (Mohali) advocate Harman Preet Singh Prince presided over the function and appreciated the efforts of the union. He said saving girls was the need of the hour. "Today, girls were ahead of boys in most fields. We are committed to empower the woman?," Prince added. 



Nine real estate firms in Zirakpur face criminal cases
Parmod Mehta

Zirakpur, January 12
Nine real estate firms of Zirakpur are facing criminal complaints in the civil court, Dera Bassi, for not obtaining environmental clearance before coming up with their housing projects.

According to Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials, criminal cases have been filed against the real estate firms that have not got environmental clearance to construct the buildings.These firms include Sushma Builders having housing project in the name of Sushma Crescent; BCL Homes, which constructed Chinar Homes; Aero Homes; Victoria Homes constructed by Fortune Multitech; Royal Mansions; Maya Garden 1, 2 and Maya Garden City constructed by Barnala Builders and Property Consultants; and two projects of Chief Parliamentary Secretary NK Sharma Group, namely Savitry Greens and Savitry Greens-2.

The PPCB officials said as per the Environment Protection Act-1986, prior environmental clearance was mandatory for a housing project that covers an area of over 20,000 sq m.

Notably, the Punjab Pollution Control Board had recently filed a criminal complaint against the real estate firm owned by CPS NK Sharma.



Home Guards jawan dies in road accident

Mohali, January 12
A Home Guards jawan with the Chandigarh police was killed after being hit by a car near Rurki village, here, last night. The deceased, identified as Kulwinder Singh (30) of Barsalpur village in Chamkaur Sahib, died on the spot.

Kulwinder Singh’s cousin Jaspal Singh, an eyewitness of the incident, said he, along with Kulwinder, was going to their Barsalpur village on their respective motorcycles at 11 pm last night when a speedy car, bearing registration number PB08A 8181, hit the motorbike of the deceased from the rear side.

“The driver of the car first stopped, but seeing the serious condition of Kulwinder, he sped away,” said Jaspal.

He said as no vehicle could be arranged to take him to a hospital, Kulwinder died on the spot. — TNS



Business News
World Thank You Day observed

On the occasion of World Thank You Day, Framefreez Media Private Limited, along with Gusto Café and Restaurant, organised a visit for the children of Theatre Age to police stations, traffic park, fire station and health department to thank the “real life heroes” by recognising and honouring their efforts and their selfless services all around the year.

This programme was supported by the NGO, Theatre Age, an initiative by Zulfiqar Khan to educate the underprivileged children and help them make a better life for themselves and fund the whole project by selling scrap material after collecting it from the residents of the city. — TNS



North Zone Cultural Centre gets new director
On joining, Dr RS Gill said he would revive the entire working and approach of the centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Dr Rajinder Singh Gill joined as the new director of the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) here today.

While taking over the charge here at the NZCC’s sub-office at Kalagram, Mani Majra, Dr Gill, a known musicologist and academician, said he would revive the entire working and approach of the NZCC. Zonal cultural centres were not only the funding agencies, but also their major job was to revive the old art forms and most importantly preserve and document them for the future generation.

“My first priority, being a head of the NZCC, is to start the process of documentation of all major folk and dying art forms of the region and then preserve them in the shape of a digital library here at the Kalagram,” said 49-year-old Dr Gill, who has also served as the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Culture at Punjabi University, Patiala. Before joining as the director, NZCC, he was heading five departments - Music, Theatre and Television, dance, Fine Arts and Gurmat Sangeet - at Patiala University.

Dr Gill said he would soon chalk out the plan to make a digital and modern library here at the Kalagram for the preservation as well as research work. But before taking any step forward, he would soon constitute a new advisory board and further sub-committees under this board to chalk out a concentrate planning towards the revival of art and cultural scene in this region.

Dr Gill said the NZCC comprised states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and UT Chandigarh. Two members from each state and the UT would be included in the advisory board that would help in making concrete policies about the revival plan.

“Every art form - be it theatre, music, folk art, visual art - will get the equal space. Lesser know artists will get the priority over the famous artists,” he said, adding several schemes like Guru Sishya Parampara, pension scheme for eminent arts, national cultural exchange programme were being funded under the Union Ministry of Culture.

The North Zone Cultural Centre would find deserving artists for all the funding so that the art can be promoted in real sense. There will also be a full-year calendar for cultural activities for all states and the UT under the NZCC.

“The revival plan is not possible without a committed team for the field work as well as the planning work. My first job is to focus on the administrative reforms and build a team of committed workers who can scientifically re-look at all important issues,” said Dr Gill, who will head the NZCC for the next three years with further extension of two more years.

“We have ample time and appropriate funding, but we will fix deadlines for all revival plans,” Dr Gill said.

“Being an artist, I am more burdened with promoting cultural activities but I am fully confident of my new role,” he said.

Pension for Sharif Idu soon

Dr Rajinder Singh Gill said he would soon help the Mani Majra-based accomplished sarangi player and maestro of folk music, Sharif Idu, to get his pension under the scheme of the Union Ministry of Culture. 

Patiala Gharana to be revived

Patiala Gharana would be revived in a big way, said Dr Gill. He said the entire Pakistan was singing Patiala Gharana tradition of music but it was sad that the tradition had lost its existence in Patiala itself. This tradition would again be revived by organising a training session at the NZCC’s head office in Patiala.



Mohali to have school for special children soon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 12
Mohali would have a school for special children very soon, said Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, newly appointed chairperson of the Mohali District Planning Commission, here today.

Talking about her plans for the town, Ramoowalia said she always wished to construct a state-of-the-art school for special children in Mohali.

“Now as a chairperson of the planning commission, the project is on the top of my priority list. I will start working on the project very soon,” said Ramoowalia.

Ramoowalia has been appointed as the chairperson of the commission on Friday after her close relative Harbhajan Mann, noted Punjabi actor and singer, had resigned from the post.

On being asked about her other plans for the district, Ramoowalia said she would work to develop basic infrastructure in the rural belt of the district.

“Earlier, I used to visit the rural areas quite often in connection with my political engagements. There people used to apprise me of their problems. Providing basic infrastructure like good roads, sewerage and drinking water to the rural areas will also be high on my agenda,” said Ramoowalia.

Ramoowalia said she had called a meeting of the senior district functionaries next week.

“During the meeting I will also check the status of funds for the development of the district and the pending projects, if any started by my predecessor,” said Ramoowalia.



A journey down memory lane for PGGC-46 alumni

Chandigarh, January 12
Nostalgia prevailed at the Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 46, when its alumni working on prominent positions in the industry gathered today to relive a day at the college.

Rachit Malhotra, creative director and owner of Femina Plus, Beauty Salon and Spa (nominated best hair stylist in India), who is also the Creative Ambassador of International Hair Care brand, shared his experience at the college with the existing students and also gave some tips to them.

He had sponsored the current alumni meet and also promised to provide sponsorship to the college in other future events.

The other alumni who attended the function included Saurabh Mehan, director of Event Management Company X factor, Anup Mohanty, assistant professor, Lovely Professional University, Nitika Sharma, manager HRD and event manager, Punjab Government, CA Mastan, executive member of Chandigarh branch of the NRIC of ICAI, and Promila Sharma, section officer in the electricity board.

This was the first alumni meet of commerce pass-out students at the college. The alumni meet titled “Milap-A Doorway of nostalgia” was attended by more than 200 former students.

Vice-principal professor JK Sehgal, faculty of the college, including Dr Surinder Kaur, Dr Tanuja Talwar, Dr Mukesh Chauhan and Pooja Sareen, were also present.

The alumni came with the purpose of offering voluntary support and utilise their vast industry knowledge and resource to support the college in carrying out various student-centric initiatives such as offering guest lectures, financial support for deserving students, educational course material support, mentoring support for current students in pursuing their interested career path and creating job opportunities.

The students recollected their experiences of stay on the campus and the memorable moments they shared with the faculty. — TNS



Sacred Heart student gets Singapore scholarship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Hargun Kaur, a student of Class IX of Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, here, bagged the scholarship for four years from the Ministry of Education (MoE), Singapore Government.

She was among the three students who have been selected for this scholarship for pursuing studies from Class IX to Class XII in Singapore’s Xinmin Secondary School. All the expenses of schooling, boarding, food, etc., will be to be borne by the MoE, Singapore.

Hargun’s father, Sandeep Singh Sawhney, said she had already joined the school in Singapore. She appeared for a written examination, followed by an interview of the selected candidates for this scholarship.

He said Hargun had remained good in studies, co-curricular activities and got third prize in the recently concluded state science exhibition. 



Education briefs
Multiple intelligence workshop

A multiple intelligence workshop for parents was conducted at JLPL School in Sector 91, Mohali, on Sunday. Various activities based on multiple intelligences were organised according to age groups to identify the strengths of the children. Poonamjit Kaur, principal of the school, said: “The purpose of schooling should be to develop intelligences and to help children become who they are meant to be, not necessarily who we want them to be”.

Dance workshop

Eight students from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali campus, volunteered and conducted a dance workshop for the underprivileged children of Kaimbwala village at the CII Yi Vividha Centre, a learning-cum-resource centre for the underprivileged children of Kaimbwala village. Young Indians (Yi) Tricity Chandigarh chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised this workshop as part of the National Volunteering Week and National Youth Day celebrations. The workshop brought in a lot of enthusiasm and passion for dance among children. The workshop was followed by a bonfire for Lohri celebrations.

Seminar on IAS exams

Considering the advent of change in IAS exams, a seminar was conducted at the Tagore Theater on Sunday. The purpose of the event was to motivate the students while keeping them aware of the changes, and further helping them by removing their dilemmas that might hinder their path to success. AK Mishra, director of Chanakya IAS Academy, gave success tips to numerous students and said for students to achieve the success, the essence should be hard work, self-confidence, goal setting, time management and energy management among many other things.

'Dhiyan Di Lohri' celebrated

The Aryans Group of Colleges, Chandigarh, celebrated “Dhiyan Di Lohri” (Lohri of daughters) in the honour of the girl child. On the occasion, a function was held at Elante mall, Chandigarh, on Sunday wherein girls participated with their mothers. The cake-cutting ceremony was also held for those girl children whose birthdays fall in January. Dance performances presented by the children were the main attraction of the function. Dr Parveen Kataria, director general, Aryans Group of Colleges, said the Aryans Group marked the festival to spread a social message to save the girl child. — TNS



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