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Science Express to reach city on March 18 Mar 16

“The Science Express”, mounted on a specially designed train will reach the city railway station on March 18.

The train will be at the station till March 20. The 16-coach train has been launched by the department of science and technology, the German Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and Max Planck Society.

The aim is to nurture curiosity among the youth and rekindle their waning interest in science.

The Science Express started on October 2 from Gandhinagar in Gujarat will travel over 56 locations, covering a distance of about 18,000 km in seven months.

The exhibition, with more than 300 large-format visual images, over 150 video clips and multi-media exhibits, deals with cutting-edge research and technology. In the first two phases of the project, the train successfully covered 108 stations.

According to a press release, in the 12 exhibition coaches, most of exhibits have been developed in Germany, while some are indigenous. Through these, the visitors explore wide areas in science in a fascinating manner, the release added.

There is a dedicated coach on “Climate Change - cause, effect and mitigation”, sponsored by HSBC as an initiative of the “Earth Sciences Forum”.

Exhibits on “Energy Conservation” and poster on “Nutrition” are the new attractions in the third phase.

Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has entrusted Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC), Ahmedabad, for co-ordinating the “Science Express” across India.

Though the exhibition is open to all, it primarily targets high school and college students. It attempts to develop scientific temper among them and encourage them to pursue careers in science.

Chandigarh City to be made slum-free Dec 29

If the dwelling plans for the poor by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) materialise, 2010 will witness real progress on the slum rehabilitation front.

“The task of providing quality living to the city’s poor is quite big but we are putting in a lot of effort in this direction. The most challenging task the CHB faces in 2010 is rehabilitation of slum dwellers in 18 colonies, and make Chandigarh a smoke-free and slum-free city in the country. The two-phased scheme has already been included in the City Development Plan,” said Sanjay Kumar, Housing-cum-Finance Secretary, UT Administration.

It was way back in 1979 that the CHB had been first assigned the work of rehabilitating the jhuggi dwellers. Under the scheme, 2,712 sites had been developed in Dadumajra and Karsan that won CHB its first National Award from HUDCO, recalled Mr Sanjay Kumar.

G J S Rosha, Chief Engineer, CHB, said:“In Phase I, the CHB plans to construct 6,368 units with an average gross density of 58 units per acre. In the second phase, 17,473 units will be constructed.

While 80 per cent of the project cost will be borne by the Centre, 12 per cent will be met by contributions from the beneficiaries, and eight per cent by the Chandigarh Administration.”

Against the target of 25,728 dwelling units for the slum dwellers, the construction work has already started on 12,864 units and the CHB hopes to hand over 600 units by March, 2010. The UT Administration has earmarked 356.38 acres of land for the rehabilitation project. Out of this, 216.31 acres located at four locations — Dhanas, Maloya-I, Sector 49 and Sector 38 (W) — have been made available to the CHB, which has paid Rs 198.28 crore on account of the cost of the land to the Chandigarh Administration.

Rosha said up to November 30, 2009, the CHB had spent Rs 143.81 crore on the construction of dwelling units.

It has received Rs 145.49 crore as central share of the scheme and Rs 30.99 crore as state share.

The CHB is expecting Rs 178 crore more from the Centre in the current financial year.

Solar Rickshaws Introduced in Chandigarh Dec 17

Kamlesh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, here, today formally delivered 5 solar battery operated rickshaws to the eligible rickshaw pullers, registered with the Municipal Corporation.

Revealing about this scheme, TPS Phoolka, Joint Commissioner, said 10 solar battery operated rickshaws were given to the corporation by the Science and Technology Department, Chandigarh administration, at zero cost for distribution to the eligible rickshaw pullers.

He said that training was given to all these rickshaw pullers for the operation of the solar rickshaw by the manufacturing company personnel in order to avoid any problem in operation. The balance five solar rickshaws pending with the MCC will be delivered in the next lot to the next five eligible rickshaw pullers.

BRRana, Project Officer, Swaran Jayanti Shastri Rozgar Yojna (SJSRY) said the feedback with regard to the operation of the solar battery operated rickshaws would supplied by the allottees. The allotment letters were handed over to Lallu prasar, Ram Sabat, Radhey Shyam shukla, Mangal Parsad, Guru Parsad.

Chad Mullens a tourist explores the best gardens in Chandigarh Oct 23

Chandigarh is India’s well constructed city. Its architecture is world class and unparalleled, and offers a good quality of living conditions. This place is a dream project of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and Le Corbusier. This is the very first planned city in India. It was rightfully named the “Beautiful City” because it is not just rich but also prosperous of spic and span and green nature. It definitely lives up to its branding. - Chad Mullens

The Chandigarh is also known as the Garden City of India. They have a wide collection of garden plants all well maintained. Cleanliness greatly adds beauty to the surroundings. The locals love to be in touch with nature and the cosmos and they manifest this by keeping their environment clean. The Chandigarh was even proclaimed the World’s Rock Garden and the Largest Rose Garden in Asia. Because of this, Chandigarh has always been in the list of favorite spots to visit around the world. - Chad Mullens

Rock Garden Chandigarh

This is the premier attraction in Chandigarh since 1958. It was created by Nek Chand Saini. This was formed out of the urban waste materials found in the city. These urban wastes include tin cans, bottles, plates, broken plugs and saucers. These materials were formed into beautiful textures and patterns. There were many materials were formed out of these wastes. The place has series of chamber but the first phase is a small canyon. The place has broken ceramics of human and animal form.

Chandigarh Botanical gardens

There were two botanical gardens in the place - Botanical Garden of Punjab University and another one between Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake. These botanical gardens are the main attractions of the place. The Punjab University Botanical garden is a place full of cacti and succulent plants. It has both evergreen and exotic plants. Lotus flowers are also abundant.

The Botanical garden between Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake has rare species of plants and pools of small lilies. This is a big garden with a total area of 88 acres. There is one botanical garden still to be developed up to now. It also grows trees that offer medicinal value and indigenous species of plants.

Chandigarh Bougainvillea Park

This is one garden where you can find all varieties of bougainvillea flowers. This was created in 1976. There are 65 varieties of bougainvillea in this place. This also has creepers that contain collection of arches, pavilions, bowers and arcades. This place has been famous because of the bougainvillea show held here annually.

Fitness Trail and Flower Garden

This is created mainly for physical fitness in 1965. Now it has been transformed to a very beautiful garden, with many gorgeous seasonal flowers to see. There are also wonderful sculptures adorned throughout the area that adds to the relaxing ambiance. This garden offers scenic beauty with the natural combination of physical exercise and beauty.

Garden of Fragrance

This is another garden that draws a big number of guests everyday. It offers plants with sweet fragrances and aroma. It houses varieties of jasmine, Haar Shingar, motia, Raat ki rani, demask roase, Champa and mehndi. This place has a nice picnic spot for you to enjoy. People can do work out in here because there are also tracks placed in the garden.

Chandigarh is definitely second home to nature lovers.

Sukhna Lake Goes Up in Flames Oct 08

Sukhna Lake on Fire

Sukhna Lake on Fire

It was virtually a “towering inferno” at Sukhna Lake late this evening. One of the city’s best-known “beauty” spots, the elegant glass-structured “watch tower”, on an island in the lake, went up in flames even as the city’s administration watched helplessly.

No one was injured in the mishap, but the structure reportedly suffered immense damage.

Situated in the middle of the lake, the burning watchtower was a literal reminder of the 1974 Hollywood flick, the Towering Inferno, starring Steve Mcqueen and Paul Newmen. Though the difference in the structures of the two fires, the multi-storeyed building in the movie and the watchtower at the Sukhna Lake, was obvious, the helplessness of the administration to deal with the situation was almost similar.

As the burning watchtower went up in smoke, fire officials, who were unable to reach the spot to quell the flames, saw the structure getting charred and damaged. Till the time of the filing of this report at 11 pm, the fire, though described as under control, was being stroked and fanned by the winds gushing in from the hills.

While MC officials were reluctant to say anything and maintained that the cause of the fire would be known only after “investigations”, sources in the department claimed that this could well be the result of short-circuit in wirings of the lighting decorations being done there.

For the late evening walkers at the lake, the fire initially went unnoticed. Suspecting the low flames emanating from the site as part of the “puja” ceremonies associated with ‘karva chauth’, many people who saw it chose to ignore it. However, it was former mayor, Pradeep Chhabra, who saw flames and smoke billowing out of the tower at about 7.15 p.m. and he immediately informed the fire department.

The fire tenders that reached the spot were of no help, as they could not reach the structure. The administration virtually had nothing in its “arsenal” to deal with the situation. “They should have a helicopter,” quipped one of the hundreds of bystanders there but, alas, that wasn’t to be.

“It just happened in seconds,” said Ajit Kumar, a regular walker on the lake. “I was at the 600 m mark, when I heard loud sound of shattering glass. I looked around and was aghast seeing the watch tower up in flames,” he said, adding that it took him time to realise what had happened.

Anita, another walker, said she saw the flames when she was at the regulator end. “It was scary,” she said, adding that by the time she reached the CITCO café, there was a huge chaos with policemen and firemen moving around aimlessly. Fire Officer JK Kang said the fire-fighting operation was still going on and nothing could be said on the extent of the damage or the cause.

World Tourism Day Celebrated with Fanfare Sep 29

The Chandigarh administration celebrated the World Tourism Day with fanfare here yesterday.

The day was marked by various activities, including ‘Surnandan’, live Indian classical and fusion music performance by Subhash Ghosh, at Sukhna Lake early in the morning, followed by “Run for Tourism”.

UT Home-cum-Tourism Secretary Ram Niwas flagged off the run which started off from the lake and after covering a distance of around 1 km culminated at the starting point.

Around 200 students of UT Government schools along with 200 ITFT students besides officials of the tourism and education department took part in the run.

In the evening, “Antakshri” competition was held at CITCO Chef Lakeview Cafeteria, which was followed by fun with DJ at Sukhna Lake.

The department of tourism in association with CITCO had organised these activities to mark the day from September 25 and 27.

The festivity began on September 25 with a flower arrangement competition organised by Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, followed by a musical evening, ‘Rock Fusion Music’, at Sector 17 plaza on September 26.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management commemorated the day by organising an inter-college poster making competition on “Incredible India” and “Tourism and Global Warming”.

A satirical play “Sadak hamare baap ki” directed by Rajeev Mehta was also staged, which depicted the predicament of those who do not care for traffic rules.

World Tourism Day to focus on Sukhna and Sec-17 plaza Sep 15

This year’s World Tourism Day celebrations will focus on two popular tourist landmarks of the city — Sukhna Lake and Sector-17 plaza. This was stated during a meeting held under the chairmanship of UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas here today.

The celebrations on September 27 will commence with “Sur-Nandan” (morning raga), an Indian classical and fusion music programme by renowned artist Subhash Ghosh,at the Sukhna Lake promenadeat 5.30 am.

A morning tourism walk from Open Hand Monument (Capitol Complex) to Rose Garden, Sector-16, through Bougainvillaea Garden, will be held at 7 am.

Also, tourists/visitors arriving by morning Shatabdi Express will be accorded a warm welcome by students of the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42.

At 10.30 am, a painting competition on tourism will be organised at Sukhna Lake. The competition will encompass the tourist spots of the city.

CITCO will extend 15 per cent discount on food at its two hotels — Mountview and Shivalikview.

Also, 10 per cent discount on food will be extended to tourists at Hotel Parkview and other food outlets and restaurants of CITCO in the city.

CITCO will provide complimentary ride on its popular “Hop-On, Hop-Off” tourist coach to children, including under-privileged kids, to make them part of mainstream activities on the World Tourism Day.

An “antakshari” programme with participation of people from all walks of life will be organised at CITCO Chef Lake Cafeteria from 5 pm to 6.30 pm.

An open programme for merriment and fun with DJ for tourists and public will be held at Sukhna Lake from 7 pm till 9.30 pm.

On the eve of World Tourism Day i.e September 26, a musical evening will be organised by the Tourism Department at the Sector-17 plaza from 6 pm onwards.

Punjabi play ‘Ram Mohammd Singh Azad’ being staged in Chandigarh Sep 11

“Dar-o-deevar pe hasrat ki nazar karte hain. Khush raho ahle-watan ham toh safar karte hein…” the essence of the couplet by Wazid Ali Shah, a salutation to the supreme sacrifices of freedom fighters and martyrs was revived at the Randhawa Auditorium all through the staging of a Punjabi play, “Ram Mohammd Singh Azad”, by artistes of Punjabi Natak Akademy, Mohali, here today.

Conceived by Bhag Singh decades ago, the play, scripted and directed by the veteran thespian scholar Charan Singh Sindra, exhaled an aura of patriotism as it brought alive the saga of sacrifice and martyrdom by legendry Shaheed Udham Singh.

Sindra illustrated his own perspective that how the freedom fighters and martyrs feel concerned for the spirit of Independence being diluted and corrupted by Indian masses which they secured making supreme sacrifices.

He relied mainly on historical facts, but at times borrowed mythological concept to show the statue of Udham Singh coming to life. The play eloquently depicted the freedom struggle and resolute resolve of martyr Udham Singh to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Sindra has created symbolic characters and sequences to bring into focus the unscrupulous elements engaged in fanning terrorism, corruption and unethical activities which must be dealt with sternly. The crisp dialogue delivery by actors and soothing music augmented the production level captivated the audience who braved the rains to relish the play.

Sindra won applause for his pulsating portrayal of central character Gurdev as also Vicky Baba as the protagonist, Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, Anil Masih (Laatibhan), besides Sandip Nahar, Mohit Sharma, Harsimranjit, Gurinder , Surinder and Goldy Lamba. Other credits were shared by Gaurav Sharma, TP Singh, Dr Gurpreet Sindra and Prabhdev Singh.

Chandigarh is the most greenest city in the whole Asia Aug 29

With 35.7 per cent forest cover, the UT tops the list of the greenest cities in Asia followed by Delhi which has 20 per cent forest cover.

The increased density is born out by the fact that yellow pockets of the forest cover (with 40 per cent density) have since turned green (60 per cent density) and green pockets have turned black (with 80 per cent density).

According to the State Forest Report, 2007, the forest cover in Chandigarh has increased to 35.7 per cent of its total geographical area as compared to 29.3 per cent in 2003 and only 21 per cent in 1991. The cover has exceeded the 33 per cent target set by the National Forest Policy.

The report puts the total green cover area in the country at 23.5 per cent. The UT Forest Department has set a target of planting 69,581 trees and 48,406 shrubs on both government and private land in 2009-10.

“Out of its 114-square-km area, the UT has about 41 sq km under the forest cover and an additional nine sq km under tree cover. The country has 20.3 per cent area under forest cover and 3 per cent under tree cover. There is incremental growth not only in the area under forests but also in their quality which is measured by density”, said Ishwar Singh, conservator of forests, Chandigarh.

In 2008-09, against the target of 2,64,130 saplings, 1.5 lakh stem

cuttings of arundo-donex and ipomea plants and 6 lakh of patch-sowing, the department planted 2,44,216 saplings, 1.5 lakh stem cuttings and 6 lakh patch-sowing.

The department has formed 117 eco-clubs in government and private schools and 29 environmental societies in higher institutions of Chandigarh to spread awareness about the importance of environment and eco-friendly activities.

Chandigarh Sparkles with Bollywood Stars Aug 29

The cast and crew of the upcoming Bollywood movie, “Kisaan”, today landed in Big Cinemas, Zirakpur, for a special premiere organised for farmers. Many of these farmers have worked in the movie with the Khan brothers.

“Kisaan”, which is a joint effort by UTV Spotboy and Sohail Khan, hits cinema halls all over the county today.

Khan brothers Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan along with Jackie Shroff, actress Diya Mirza and film’s music director Dabbu Malik reached the city to commence the special premiere. As many as 150 to 200 kisans from Ropar and Mullapur region were invited at the premiere.

In the movie, Sohail and Arbaaz Khan play the role of hardcore farmers; so much so, they can even be seen in dhotis in the film. Jackie Shroff plays the role of Sohail’s and Arbaaz’s father.

“Kisaan”, which deals with successive generations of the farmers and their conflicts, has been shot in Chandigarh for more than 40 days. Interestingly, Sohail Khan has contributed to the film’s screenplay as well.

The movie promises absolute treat for music lovers as well, as one would get to hear the all time patriotic song from Manoj Kumar’s Upkaar, “Mere desh ki dharti”, with new mixed beats and different packaging in the movie.

Even though the actors were in the Mall for a few minutes, hundreds of fans flocked the Mall to catch a glimpse of the actors.