Wednesday, March 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


L-G unfolds reform road map
Tribune News Service

On the anvil … 

* An engineering college in Geeta Colony.

* Campus of Guru Gobind Singh Indra Prastha University in Dwarka and Surajmal Vihar.

*  A biotechnology park in collaboration with the Delhi University.

* Low-cost housing.

New Delhi, March 26
The Government of NCT of Delhi will undertake institutional reform and restructuring of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). The privatisation of distribution of power will be completed in the next two months.

Outlining the government’s major policies and programmes, Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor, in his address to the Delhi Legislative Assembly on the first day of the Budget Session, said consultants were already in place for restructuring of DJB. “By the end of this year, the road map for reform will be drawn up, including identification of projects that can be posed for external funding.”

Yet another initiative, the Lieutenant Governor said, centred around the reform and restructuring of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC.) The finances and management of the corporation and the possibility to engineer public-private partnerships for efficient delivery of transport services will be explored. “Reforms,” he said, “are critical to improve governance and increase return on investment.”

On the urban development front, the government was planning a new scheme for low cost housing. Also the release of a larger proportion of funds to local bodies to improve services, particularly in slum and JJ clusters and resettlement colonies. To check encroachment on government land, district task forces had been constituted. Already, 119 hectares of 374 hectares of land that was encroached upon had been recovered.

Mooting a holistic model of development for National Capital Region (NCR), the Lieutenant Governor said the Capital could not afford to provide shelter and employment to a thousand new persons each day and 3.5 lakh persons each year. “There is a need to infuse the economic strength of the National Capital Region into adjoining areas by establishing a common economic and common opportunity zone.”

The House was adjourned till Thursday 2 pm after the House made obituary references. The House paid homage to Lok Sabha Speaker GMC Balayogi, former chairman of Delhi Metropolitan Council Jag Parvesh Chandra, former member of Delhi Metropolitan Council Vishambhar Dutt Sharma and freedom fighter TN Kundra. The House also condoled the loss of human life in the Gujarat riots.

The Finance Minister will seek a Vote on Account when the House convenes on Thursday.

The Lieutenant Governor in his address noted there was an urgent need to review the Constitutional powers of the elected government. Referring to the handicap of multiplicity of authority and anomalous distribution of powers to the government, Mr Vijai Kapoor said a review was “imperative” in order to effectively steer the matters impacting on the planning of the city and the provisions of civic services. He also said many of the laws that were enacted nearly five decades ago when there was no popularly elected government needed modification. 



Fracas in court over ‘difficult’ litigant 
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, March 26
The case of merciless beating of a young litigant by some advocates outside the courtroom during working hours here on Monday has taken an ugly turn with the rival parties making written complaints to the police. Giving details of the incident, Babu Lal, elder brother of the aggrieved litigant, Ashok Kumar, told newspersons that when they entered the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, the counsel of the rival party, Mr Naresh Kumar Yadav, asked them to reach a compromise with Mir Singh, his two younger brothers and their mother, so as to end the trial which is pending for over four years.

Babu Lal says that when they refused, Naresh Kumar Yadav allegedly tried to manhandle Ashok Kumar. Only the naib court came to his rescue. Ashok was soon dragged out of the courtroom into the outer verandah, where he was beaten up by the advocate and his colleagues. It is further alleged that from there Ashok was taken to the bar-room. He was again beaten up till his mouth began to bleed. Soon afterwards, Babu Lal took his brother, Ashok Kumar, to the courtroom where they reported the incident to the court officials. Later, Ashok Kumar was taken to the local civil hospital. He could not speak properly even today when some reporters asked him about the incident. In the meanwhile, Babu Lal has made a written complaint to the SHO of Model Town police station, Rewari, complaining that his brother had been beaten black and blue.

Copies of the complaint have also been sent to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Director General of Police Haryana, Deputy Commissioner and S.P. of Rewari. Interestingly, Mr Naresh Kumar Yadav, also made a written complaint to the police that he had been manhandled by Ashok Kumar and others on the court premises.

In a press conference here today, he and Mr Satish Kumar, an advocate, also refuted the allegations levelled against them. Besides, Mr Yadav also showed his necktie and coat which had been torn during the alleged manhandling by Ashok Kumar and others. The SHO, Mr Ishwar Singh Chauhan, is investigating the matter. It may be mentioned that Babu

Lal and Ashok Kumar had a fracas with Mir Singh, Inder Kumar and Ajit Singh over a rain water conduit about four years ago. The quarrel led to a court trial that had since been pending.



Two cops held in custody death case 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 26
The Murthal Police have arrested Nawal Singh Tanwar, an inspector, and Raj Singh, an assistant sub-inspector, in connection with the alleged custody death of Mr Naresh Kumar, a dhaba owner.

According to a report, both the police officials were produced before a judicial magistrate who has placed them in judicial custody for 14 days.

Four other policemen, including constable Mahabir Singh, Rampal and Ramesh Kumar, are still at large and a hunt is on to nab them. Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, has suspended all the six police officials in view of the departmental inquiry.

Mr Naresh Kumar, the dhaba owner, was picked up by the police for interrogation in a case of theft. It is alleged that Mr Kumar was beaten up mercilessly as he refused to cough up Rs. 20,000 for his release. The beating led to the death of Mr Kumar and the police officials dumped the body in the premises of a private hospital, adjacent to the police station at Murthal.

According to another report, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, the BJP MP from Sonepat, rushed to Nahra yesterday and called on the members of the bereaved family. He even promised that he would raise the issue in the Lok Sabha.

The General Secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party, Mr Rajiv Jain, and leaders of other political parties, social and voluntary organisations as well as trade unions have also condemned the police excesses and demanded a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh for the kin of the victim. They also threatened to launch an agitation, if the government failed to order a judicial probe and pay compensation to the family of the victim.



Play Holi in the closet on DU campus this year
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
Roadside Romeos and eve-teasers, beware. You may end with a bruise or, worse still, a few broken bones on Holi. Alarmed over the growing incidence of eve-teasing and hooliganism on the campus, the Delhi University authorities have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure that the festival of colours is not marred by any unpleasant incident among the student community. ‘’Elaborate security arrangements have been made on the campus and in DU-affiliated colleges and any violation will invite strict disciplinary action,’’ a university release said. Playing Holi during working hours has been banned and outsiders barred from entering the premises.

The police is keeping a tab on the campus and DTC bus drivers have been instructed to drive to the nearest police station, if there is any untoward incident inside the bus. The university has also set up a control room (Telephone no-7667221) to deal with complaints. “The atmosphere on the campus is getting vitiated and, if the trend persists, girls will have to move around with escorts”, a DU insider said. Already, girls are victims of lewd comments and face unpleasant situations while commuting, he said, adding that the situation generally takes an ugly turn during festivals.

Last year, the Delhi University Students Union had organised special workshops to train female students in martial arts. “The move is essentially aimed at equipping girls with the skills to overcome physical disadvantages vis-à-vis men,’’ the DUSU President, Neetu Verma, had said. The police are also doing their bit to eliminate the menace. The Crime Against Women Cell had held similar workshops in schools and colleges. Private martial arts institutes were also being roped in for imparting training.

Skeptics, however, point out that such measures may not yield the desired results. “ A few years ago, a girl student was killed on the campus when a reckless driver knocked her over. Not much has happened since then, except that a road (Shriya Mishra Marg) has been dedicated to the victim and two speed breakers have been constructed in front of the University Hostel for Women on Chattra Marg”, a former student, who is now a teacher in the University, said. That, however, does not prevent snazzy cars from racing past with music blaring in this stretch.

“These cars are like mobile discos and can prove dangerous in the dark”, a student hosteller pointed out. Girl students generally shrug off the eve-teasers and prefer to keep a safe distance. “If anything is said, it only provokes the eve-teaser further. It is, therefore, better not to pay attention at all. And it is always safe to stay put in the room during Holi”, a student who stays in the university said.



NGO offers natural colours for Holi

New Delhi, March 26
A Delhi-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has come out with Holi colours made from natural ingredients. It has launched two types of colours – the chemical-free non-toxic Safe Colour and the Biodiversity Colour. And just in case you are wondering who’s going to take the trouble of driving down to the market to buy of all these colours, read on. The NGO promises to share with you the ‘recipe’ for preparing the colours sitting at home. You will have to make an effort to visit the NGO’s stall in Dilli Haat though! TNS



Children’s home downs shutters
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 26
It is official now. The District Administration has finally closed the street children’s home, which has about 45 inmates. The decade-old outfit of the Children Welfare Council could not get the requisite financial support, even though it was being funded under a Union Government scheme. It is reported that no grant had been forthcoming in the last two years and the department concerned somehow managed to keep the ‘home’ afloat.

The idea behind the venture was to provide proper food, shelter and education to the children till they were mature and old enough to support themselves.

But the stark reality is that they did not even get a ‘good’ diet. While it is understood that the closure has been triggered by the ‘financial crunch’, departmental sources contend that most of the inmates were related to each other and the flow of funds had become erratic. Allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds had also surfaced. According to Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar, the venture was not getting any aid for the last few years. Since it was a Central government project, there was no option but to close it down owing to the paucity of funds.



Insurance co told to cough up Rs 24 lakh in relief
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 26
An insurance company has been ordered to pay a compensation of Rs 24 lakh to the kin of an Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) who was killed in a road accident in the district in 1999. The judgement has been given by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge R K Khanagwal.

Deceased excise official Babu Lal Sanwaria, resident of Sector-16 here, had been going in his car to Kokila Van along with his wife Tripta, son Anurag and a woman residing in their neighbourhood, when the car had an accident with a lorry. While Babu Lal and neighbour Savitri died, his wife and son survived the accident with serious injuries. Later, his wife and son filed a case against the insurance company seeking proper compensation. While they had sought Rs 30 lakh for the death of Mr Babu Ram, an amount of Rs 20 lakh was demanded as compensation for the injuries suffered by them. The court has asked the insurance company and the vehicle owner to pay a total compensation of Rs 24 lakh to the dependants of the deceased.



MCD results today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
Counting of votes for the 134-member Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would be held on Wednesday amidst tight security. The Delhi State Election Commission sources said counting would begin at 8 am at eight centres and the results would be in by evening.

Most of the results will be in by afternoon. 



Trader fired at in Azadpur Mandi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
Unidentified assailants in a car fired at a Haryana-based businessmen who deals in fruits and vegetables in Azadpur Mandi. Two of his associates were also seriously injured in the attack in Rohini area of North-district. The victims, Daleep, a resident of Kharkhoda, Om Prakash and Sanjay of Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, were admitted to a nearby hospital where doctors on duty stated that Om Prakash was in a critical condition. All the victims live in Kharkhoda. Daleep was hit in his buttock, Om Prakash in the neck and Sanjay in the leg. The victims visited Azadpur Sabzi Mandi daily for selling fruits and vegetables. The incident occurred at 9 P.M. when they were returning to Kharkhoda. They were in a TATA 407 truck. When they reached Sector 16 in Rohini, a Maruti car, which was reportedly following the victims, overtook their truck. Just as the truck stopped, the armed assailants jumped out of the car and fired several rounds before escaping in the darkness.

There was panic in the area after the residents heard the gun shots. They rushed into their houses, thinking that it was the handiwork of militants. The injured were rushed to the Jaipur Golden hospital. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West), Mr R.P. Upadhyay, said that the motive of the attack could not be established, but it appeared to be a case of enmity. Sanjay and Daleep, in their statement to the police, said that they did not have any enemies. 



DSGMC staff disband union, get sops in return
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
The DSGMC staff union was today disbanded in a deal, which entails higher salaries and several welfare sops for the employees. The staff union had been agitating against the high-handedness of the DSGMC officials and demanding parity with the SGPC employees. They had also protested against the arbitrary suspension of employees and the lack of welfare schemes.

The DSGMC has decided to provide additional dearness allowance of 10 per cent and an additional house rent allowance with effect from March 1.

The sewadars would be given new winter uniform after every four years, the suspended staff would be reinstated and a welfare fund would be started, the release said. The DSGMC said the employees have decided to disband the union and withdraw their agitation since the committee is a religious body. The employees, the release said, would henceforth forward their demands through the staff welfare association. The committee has also decided to provide a separate room for the association for its activities.



Single economic zone, private sector participation key to NCR’s success
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
The success of the National Capital Region depends on the creation of a single economic zone with an integrated development plan and the participation of private sector in the infrastructure sector, according to experts.

“The success hinges on the creation of barrier-free economic activity with similar facilities throughout the region. Development plans must view the NCR as a single economic entity with Delhi as the nodal point for de-congestion,” experts associated with the National Capital Region Planning Board and regional industrial chambers said. The experts included Mr Ashok Kapoor, Dr Som Datt and Mr L. N. Jhunjhunwala.

The two major objectives of NCR – dispersal of economic activity away from Delhi and balanced regional development of the region – have met with little success so far. Rather, the situation has further deteriorated, leading to increased congestion in Delhi. In these circumstances, there is a need to have a fresh approach while formulating the NCR regional plan 2021, the experts opined.

Taking a critical look at the development of the region over the years, the experts pointed out that the periphery areas in Gurgaon and Noida have availed of the proximity to the national Capital, but they have not contributed to the development of the NCR. Besides, the Master Plan for urban settlement in participating states of NCR is somewhat contradictory to the objectives of the NCR plan.

Suggesting a way out for the growth of the region in the coming years, the experts said the creation of a common market calls for a taxation policy for NCR that ensures removal of fiscal barriers and uniformity in tax structure to ensure free mobility. They said VAT should be introduced simultaneously across the region and internal barriers like octroi, entry tax and toll tax should be abolished within the region.

The experts pointed out that if improved facilities are available to trade and business in the region outside Delhi, there would be a natural shift to this region for a better quality of life. The transport linkages should focus on connectivity between the NCR towns rather than linking only with Delhi or through Delhi.

Stating that stakeholders like the industry and trade should play an important role in the development of the NCR, the experts said a definite role should be given to the private sector in the implementation process. Infrastructure facilities like power, transport and toll roads should be provided through private sector and they should play the role of a catalyst in the development of new townships and districts in the region.

The role of the private sector in the development of the various regions is extremely important in view of the fact that the Centre and state government face resource crunch for the implementation of projects in the region.

The experts said incentives like priority allotment of land at pre-determined concessional rates, provision of infrastructural facilities at new sites, loans to shifting units at concessional rates of interest should be provided to trade and industry to shift outside Delhi.

They said the strategy of development in the existing towns in NCR to absorb the migration to Delhi needs a re-look. The aggressive dispersal policy to be followed for NCR must look beyond the region itself and mere development of counter magnets is not enough.

Adjoining towns like Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Greater Noida, Meerut and Hapur have already expanded with land prices commanding a premium. Infrastructure cannot be further enhanced to match the increasing population pressure. New towns with multi-model transport system need to be identified which could be developed relatively faster with creation of urban facilities at the middle and rural level, the experts said.

Another factor inhibiting the development activities in the NCR towns is the lack of socio-economic activities and development opportunities. There is a need to shift the wholesale trade and large-scale government offices from Delhi and there is also a need to reduce the burden on civic amenities in Delhi being caused by the floating population commuting to Delhi to work but not contributing anything by way of taxes to the local body.

The state governments in the region should adopt a realistic approach towards a rationale tariff policy for public utility like imposing user charges to recover at least 15 per cent of the cost of public services, reducing substantially subsidy on education and public transport and encouraging public-private partnership for the creation of social infrastructure.



MC members lead traffic blockade
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 26
Four members of the local Municipal Committee (MC) along with their supporters staged a dharna and came out on the roads to register their protest against the inefficiency and dismal performance of the local civic body, here today. They held up traffic on the Rohtak-Rewari road for more than three hours demanding the supply of water by the Public Health Department to the residents of Sainik Colony.

According to information, members of wards 11, 12 and 13 had given a call for blocking the road a couple of days ago in protest against the inefficiency of the local MC and the district administration in providing basic facilities and for not taking up any development activity in the town.

However, four members – Mr Bharat Bhushan (ward 11), Mr Krishan Thekedar (ward 3), Mr Sohan Lal Gujjar (ward 12) and Mr Sant Ram (ward 8) — along with their supporters gathered outside the Municipal Committee office and staged a dharna. On getting a lukewarm response there, they moved on to Sainik Colony..

They allegedly mobilised people of the colony, where there is no facility for water supply, and blocked the Rohtak-Rewari Road for around three hours. No official of the police or the civic administration reached the spot to clear the jam and pacify the agitators who were around 60 in number initially. Later, an SDO of the Public Health Department reached there and assured the protesters that the department would start the process of providing water supply in the colony at the earliest.

However, chief of the Municipal Committee Usha Bansal, when contacted, said that today’s protest was only a political gimmick and the MC members involved in this had nothing to do with the development. She held that the opposition members failed to garner support from the people and the protest was a complete failure. Ms Bansal told that Sainik Colony was unauthorised and, thus, the civic amenities including water supply could not be provided to the residents there. However, she said that the people of the colony had never approached the Municipal Committee with their grievances.



Probe into Loharu violence demanded
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, March 26
The Rashtriya Ekta Abhiyan (National Solidarity Campaign) has demanded a judicial inquiry into the incidents at Loharu in Bhiwani district on March 17 in which shops and houses of the minority community members were damaged.

A five-member team of the National Solidarity Campaign, headed by Prof Suraj Bhan, visited Loharu to ascertain the reasons that led to the unfortunate situation in the town known for communal harmony and peace in the past. The team members visited the sites of communal frenzy and talked to a cross-section of people, local police, the SDM, Loharu and Deputy Commissioner, Bhiwani, before finalising their report.

Releasing the report here on Monday, Prof Suraj Bhan said that though tension had been building in the town in the aftermath of communal carnage in Gujarat, the administration failed to take appropriate measures to defuse the situation. The local police authorities told the team members that there were only a handful of policemen at Loharu on that day as some had been sent to Khanak while some others were either on leave or were attending courts.

Prof Suraj Bhan said that the team saw the outcome of communal frenzy in the most naked form. It was fully premeditated and pre-planned. The day of the Bharat bandh called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, nearly 60 persons had indulged in stone pelting at Jama Masjid at Loharu. The situation was defused at the intervention of the local administration, the report noted.

The SHO, Loharu, got a telephone call on March 16 telling him that a cow was tied near Jama Masjid for being killed. This information was found to be untrue. Next day, a mob started gathering near the railway station. In the face of mounting tension, the Muslim residents of the town, numbering between 150 to 200, fled to the nearby Rajasthan leaving behind everything.

Since the Muslims fled in time, there was no causality but their totally burnt houses and shops presented a shocking sight, the report said. The mob that indulged in vandalism comprised of some local political leaders and the land mafia in the town which has an eye on the land of the Wakf Board. They first damaged a mosque and forced the Imam, Azim Alam, to flee.

After this, the mob attacked the shops and houses of the minority community situated on the land of the Wakf Board. From 10 am, these people targeted the shops and houses of the minority community till 4 pm, when the police reinforcement came from Bhiwani. The police fired in the air but failed to deter the mob. The administration, however, had managed to save the kothi of the local nawab.

Loharu has between 25 and 30 Muslim households. Members of these families do odd jobs like selling bangles and clothes by making rounds of nearby villages. Some families have regular establishments also.

The National Solidarity Campaign said some communal forces were the incidents at Loharu, Besides the local elements, the communal network around Loharu was also active. Prof Suraj Bhan said that as per their information, people were brought from Tosham, Digwa and Charkhi Dadri in vehicles. It regretted that the administration was not aware of the communal network and its designs.

The National Solidarity Campaign has demanded exemplary punishment to the guilty and full compensation for the loss suffered by the minority community. It stressed for making elaborate security arrangements for the minority community. The government, it said, must take stern measures to curb the communal forces in the state which were keen to disturb the communal harmony. 



Schemes for BPL girls
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 26
The Haryana Government has launched a series of welfare schemes for the girls belonging to the families living below the poverty line (BPL) in the state.

Giving this information, Mr S. N. Roy, Deputy Commissioner, told mediapersons here today that the schemes included financial assistance to the BPL parents soon after the birth of the child. Under the Balika Samridhi Yojana, a financial aid of Rs 500 was being given to a woman giving birth to a female child. This facility, he said, would be provided to such women up to two female children and the amount was being deposited in the banks or post offices in their names.

When these girls started going to schools, they were given Rs 300 each a year for Class I to Class III, Rs 500 for Class IV, Rs 600 for Class V, Rs 700 for Class VI and Class VII, Rs 800 for Class VIII and Rs 1,000 for Class IX and Class X as scholarship.

The original amount was released to them when they attained the age of 18 years, he said. He claimed that at least 304 beneficiaries were provided financial assistance during the year 2001-2002 under the scheme. The number of such beneficiaries had gone up to 679 since it was launched in 1997.

The Deputy Commissioner further disclosed that the state government had launched several schemes for boosting the farm output in the state.

The farmers, he said, were being provided know-how about the latest technology and using the improved quality of seeds and pesticides.

He said that the area under cultivation of wheat crop had gone up to 169.5 lakh hectares against the target of 159 lakh hectares fixed by the government this year. It registered an increase of 11 per cent. Similarly, the area under gram had also increased considerably.

The DC said that instead of the cultivation of cash crops, efforts were being made to encourage other crops and the state government was giving incentives for this purpose to the farmers.



‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ to seek a fair deal for Kiloi 
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, March 26
A former minister, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, will launch a ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ from Sanghi, native village of HPCC chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda, to highlight the problems being faced by the people in Kiloi assembly segment on March 31.

In a statement here today the former minister said he would visit various villages in Kiloi so as to bring the people under a banner to fight against the discrimination in the matters of employment, development works and irrigation and potable water.

He said he would also seek the cooperation from the HPCC president, who is also the MLA from Kiloi, a former minister, Mr Sri Krishan Hooda and chairman , Zila Parishad, Mr Dharampal Makrauli for this cause.

Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, who is also a former Employment Minister, alleged that the Chautala Government played a cruel joke on unemployed youth by abolishing 20,000 government posts in the state. Besides, he alleged that the police administration was harassing the maxi cab owners by challaning their vehicles on flimsy grounds. Moreover, he charged the state government with ignoring the unemployed youths of Kiloi area in the matter of employment.

He announced that public meetings would be held at different villages in the Kiloi area to apprise the government of the problems of the masses.

Student body: Ashok Arya was unanimously elected as state president of a Dalit student organisation, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Chhatra Kalyan Sangh, which emerged recently by the merger of Dr Ambedkar Students’ Front of Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak and Dr B. R. Ambedkar Chhatra Kalyan Sangh, Kurukshetra. Ajmer Poonia, a research student of Kurukshetra University was elected as convener of the sangh. Surinder Sabharwal and Shamsher Singh Taigore were elected as presidents of the Kurukshetra University and M. D. University units respectively.



Women protest against poor water supply
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 26
A large number of women carrying pitchers on their heads took out a procession here today in protest against the erratic supply of drinking water in Dhanakan Basti near the bus stand in the city.

According to a report, they passed through the main bazaars of the city and reached the office of the SDO and the executive engineer of the Public Health Department where they raised slogans against them.

Thereafter, they proceeded towards the office of the Deputy Commissioner where they submitted a memorandum to him alleging the non-supply of drinking water for days together. The memorandum alleged that the officials of the department have discontinued the water supply from the main line and they are being supplied with water from the other line from which the pressure is always low. The DC assured them that he would look into the matter and take necessary action. Meanwhile, the residents of Mohalla Kalan and Ram Bazar areas have been facing an acute shortage of drinking water following its non-supply in the evening. The residents are planning to approach the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, who is visiting the city on March 31.



Paint the town red, but do follow certain dos
Smriti Kak

Holi is no longer just plain old gulal and buckets of water. It is the time of the year when colours are more than just colours. For they can be effectively turned into highly sophisticated means of warfare and also a means to win hearts. And with a little ingenuity you could also woo and win hearts.

A bucketful of coloured water is all it takes to tell your nasty neighbour who is the cock of the walk.

Alternately, you could practise your aim by throwing those balloons and the best of all, you can walk up to that special someone without fearing the Dad and the Big Bros. and play colour, after all it’s a holy Holi.

On the downside, there are many amongst us who are more inspired by heathen than holy, like the ghastly paints, rotten eggs, and chemicals that are sure to leave a mark. Allergy, rash, and scars are everyone’s nightmare and more so during Holi.

To make your Holi truly colourful, just follow it: Try using natural colours or the ones made by the reputed companies using natural products. They are safe and promise colour not scars.

For making your own colours, all you need is this. Take henna. Mix it with suitable flour to make green colour. Alternately, you could use paste of green leafy veggies to colour yourself green.

Turmeric mixed with gram flour is a beauty potion, use it to colour your sweetheart’s face, she will thank you for it. To help her glow further, go for Multani Mitti and sandalwood powder if you are feeling rich.

Marigold made popular, thanks to Monsoon Wedding can also be dried and the paste can be used instead of artificial colour.

The red sandalwood powder can be used to colour the cheeks crimson. Rose petals or gulal is also a good option and so is vermilion.

Red hibiscus flowers soaked in water overnight also gives a red colour.

The Jacaranda flowers and blue Hibiscus can be dried and powdered to obtain blue colour. Or, you could use indigo to turn blue.

For those who still miss the black colour, here is a tip. Boil dried fruits of Indian gooseberry in an iron vessel and leave overnight. Mix with water and use.

For those who are more concerned about their integument, here is what skin care specialist Dr Poonam Bali has to say.

Before you jump down to play, wear clothes that can cover the body as much as possible.

Apply cold cream on all exposed parts and follow it up with sunscreen preferably waterproof. For the hair, use oils or gel to counter the harmful effects of the colours.

And once you have played to your heart’s content, it is time for a wash. Use warm water and moisturising soap to scrub off the colours.

Using a cream cleanser or baby oil gently massage off the leftover colour. Apply a pack of curd or mashed papaya for 20 minutes. Liberal use of cold cream or a moisturiser is good for the skin. Apply a hair-pack of olive oil and honey after shampooing.

Now that you have finished reading, take out your natural colours and pichkaris and its time to go on a control cruise. Throw balloons with much care. Play this very festival with your family and friend, which will be remembered for years to come. Happy Holi!

Holi Shopping

You don’t necessarily have to play Holi in your tatters. What with the bright and colourful stuff being offered in the show windows, you can make your fashion statement even when one can’t make out much.

Take a dekko at the ‘Holi Collection’ at Central Cottage Emporium. Ensembles of men’s kurtas and a whole lot of colourful duppatas for women are a steal.

The Cottage Emporium has set a host of things to make your Holi special. Right from the natural colours to decorative thalis, from pichkaris to metal boxes to serve sweets, there is a lot to take your pick from.



Phone services disrupted 
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 26
Telephone services in several parts of the city were disrupted following cutting of the optical fibre cable allegedly by the Public Health Department (PHD) near the Bawail chowk on Monday night.

According to sources, the optical fibre cable was cut on account of careless digging allegedly carried out by the PHD while laying a sewage line in the area. Over 2,000 telephone connections remained out of order since Monday night putting the subscribers to a lot of inconvenience. The telephone subscribers served through the Bapoli and the Sanoli telephone exchanges were the worst sufferers.

A team of experts was called from Karnal, which set the technical snag right, and regular telecom services resumed today evening.



Farmer killed by ‘friends’ in field
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 26
A farmer was allegedly murdered by four persons in Luksar village of the district on Monday night. According to police sources, the deceased, Balwan Singh, had gone to the fields with Anil, Naresh, Ramraj and Pappu, who were known to him, on Monday night. They reportedly consumed liquor at a cell in the fields. After that one of them went to the village and asked the family members of Balwan Singh to bring him home. When his son, Sanjeev, went to the fields to take him back, he refused to accompany his son. However, in the morning today, his son again went to the same place where he was found dead. The cause of death has not been ascertained yet. The body was sent for a post-mortem examination. However, on the complaint lodged by the son of the deceased, the district police have registered a case of murder against the four persons who were along with the deceased at the night.

Knocked down

A scooterist was crushed to death by an unknown vehicle near Kasar village on the National Highway No 8 here today. According to information, the deceased, Naresh Kumar, a resident of Nilothi village, here was going to Bahadurgarh when a vehicle hit his scooter. He reportedly died on the spot. A case has been registered against the unknown vehicle in this connection.

Chain snatched 

Two unidentified motorcyclists reportedly snatched the gold chain from the neck of Mrs Kaushalya Devi who was standing outside her house No 883 in Sector 14, a residential colony of HUDA here, on Monday. According to a report, the police were immediately informed by the woman but the culprits could not be traced.

Youth murdered

A youth, Parkash (24), was allegedly attacked with lathis, gandasas and other weapons and murdered by some persons at Kanwali village, 16 km from here, on Monday night. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to apprehend the alleged assailants.



Army recruitment camp for Faridabad residents from April 3 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 26
A recruitment drive for the Army will be held at Delhi Cantonment for the residents of Faridabad district from April 3. According to Maj V. K. Purohit of the Independent Recruiting Centre, Delhi, screening test will be held from April 3 to 7 at Army Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment, for the recruitment of general duty and technical service soldiers. He said a written test for the same will be held between April 10 to 14 at Parade Ground and Harbaksh Stadium.

Old age pension

As many as 55,201 persons in the district are drawing old age pension. According to the officials concerned, a total amount of Rs 12.40 crore has been allocated for paying such pension in the district during the current financial year so far. The authorities disbursed Rs 1.09 crore as pension during the last month alone.

As many as 174 new beneficiaries were identified under the scheme in February. The authorities claimed to have provided another Rs 46 lakh as pension to beneficiaries under other categories, including widows and destitute. About Rs 4.13 crore has been spent in the present financial year on the pension scheme for such people. As many as 272 persons were added to the list in February. Similarly, physically challenged and handicapped persons are getting financial aid every month and there is a special scheme for people living below the poverty line.

Petrol pumps booked

The Central district police here have booked two petrol stations and a transport company for violating the norms of the Highway Road and Safety Rules. In a complaint, the highway police alleged that the accused located on National Highway No 2 had illegally created passage from their establishment to the National Highway thus increasing the risk of accidents and violating the safety norms. They have been booked under Section 3 and 4 of PPPP Act.

Ban on construction

The district administration has notified that no construction will be allowed within the periphery of 900 metres of the outer boundary of Indian Air Force establishment here. In a press note here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, said that action would be taken against the encroachments if any in the notified area here. The order has been issued in the wake of complaints of illegal constructions in the area in the recent past.



Rs 85 lakh released for three Delhi projects 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
The Union Rural Development Ministry has released a sum of Rs 85.13 lakh to Delhi for three projects relating to technology development, extension and training scheme of the Department of Land Resources during the current financial year. While Rs 35.51 lakh has been sanctioned for the National Informatics Centre, the State Farms Corporation of India has got Rs 27.62 lakh besides another grant of Rs 22 lakh for development of wastelands. 



Four killed in tempo-truck collision
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 26
Four persons were killed and eight others injured when a tempo carrying them collided head-on with a truck at Sampla bypass, 22 km from here, on Monday night. The deceased have been identified as Niranjan, a contractor, Rishi, a labourer, and the driver and the cleaner of the tempo. According to information, a contractor was taking some labourers from Delhi to Rohtak in a tempo when it met with the accident. It is learnt that the accident occurred at nearly 1 am.



Man found murdered in house
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
Gyan Ram Gupta (70) was reportedly murdered in his house in Dilshad Garden in North-East district this afternoon. He used to live alone in the house.

The incident came to light when somebody went to meet him in the afternoon. He knocked at the gate of the victim repeatedly. When the visitor did not get any response, he informed the neighbours of Gyan Ram. The neighbours broke open the door and found him dead.

His hands were tied with the cloth and ligature marks were visible on his neck.

A case of murder has been registered by the Dilshad Garden police.



Man stabbed to death
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
Two unidentified youths stabbed to death Ghanshyam (30) in his house in Mauric Nagar area of North Delhi on Monday evening. The youths barged into the house of Ghanshyam and stabbed him reportedly. The victim was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He had a petty business in the area, the police said. 



History-sheeter shot dead

Ghaziabad, March 26
To avenge the murder of a person, his brother shot dead Sikander, a history-sheeter. The person who had been killed earlier was also a history-sheeter. The police have arrested the alleged murderer.

Pushpinder alias Sikander of Bamhota village under Kavi Nagar police station originally hailed from Ada village under Sikandarabad police station in Bulandshahar district. Sikander was coming to Bamhota village from Biharipur on a scooter (UP-14-C-3159) along with his brother-in-law Naresh when Budhpal allegedly shot him dead on the way. Sikander is also a history-sheeter of Sikandarabad police station. OC



Noida telecom raking in profits
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 26
Noida telecom exchange which inaugurated the wireless local loop last week, is the highest revenue earner among the telecom districts of the country.

The wireless in local loop has a radial distance of 5 km. The other advantage of this is that the work of the lineman is obviated and there is no disturbance either.

It is a fault-free mobile instrument which is a boon for small distance. This system is beneficial to those who use a lot of phone – like factory owners, businessmen, and marketing men.

It has a 24-hour availability within 5 km and a set costs Rs 10,000 only. The Noida telecom district had earned over Rs 136 crore by February 28, 2002 with an average of Rs 1,306 per line (phone) which according to the General Manager, Mr A.K. Garg, is the highest in India.

The Noida telephone exchange will have an increased strength of 11,720 lines by April 1, 2002. The exchange will increase the total lines to 124,328 and working lines to 97,657 lines in Gautam Budh Nagar district.

The telecom department also introduced SDN technology which would give the consumers the benefit of two lines in one phone. Practically it will work for two phones on different frequencies and on two telephone numbers. It will cost Rs 5,000 with a registered rent of Rs 1,000 for every two months.

A Hindi directory was also released by the exchange for entire Gautam Budh Nagar District. The department has also developed a CD which is being distributed to all consumers including those in Ghaziabad and Bulandshahar districts. According to Mr R.S. Rathore, AGM, a new technology exchange has been opened in Greater Noida based on the Lucent technology of the USA. It is a compact technology which will enable the area to grow independently for at least 10 years.

It will become the hub centre of the Dadri, Kasna and Udhyog Kendra next. This is the main exchange which can further have a number of sub exchanges under it, Mr Rathore added.


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