Sunday, January 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Livid farmers ransack DM’s office
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 25
The restive farmer community in Western Uttar Pradesh has begun to vent its ire. Faced with non-payment of dues by sugar mill owners for the past several months, they, led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union, ransacked the District Magistrate’s office at Muzaffarnagar yesterday resulting in a lathi charge in which at least 24 policemen and scores of activists, including BKU president Mahendra Singh Tikait, were injured.

In Meerut too, hundreds of farmers confined top officials of several sugar mills in their offices for nine hours when they arrived here to attend a meeting with the DM yesterday. While, District Magistrate Rama Raman has clamped Section 144 of the CrPC in Meerut division, six companies of the PAC and three companies of RAF have been deployed in Muzaffarnagar.

In a series of protests yesterday, thousands of farmers came out on the roads and demonstrated against the `anti-farmer’ policies of the state government, They were demanding immediate payment of their dues worth crores of rupees by the government mills and private mills.

In Muzaffarnagar, they demonstrated before the District Magistrate’s office and sat on a dharna. Soon, violence broke out as some BKU activists entered the DM’s office and ransacked it. Frenzied farmers also tried to set ablaze the office. They also pelted stones at the PAC personnel and police. The police resorted to lathi charge to restore peace.

More than two dozen police personnel, including the Superintendent of Police (City), and dozens of BKU activists were injured in the incident. Some advocates and journalists also had a taste of the lathi charge. BKU president Mahendra Singh Tikait, who received injuries on his head, was admitted in a private nursing home.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Bhojni Ram Mina told the ‘NCR Tribune’ in a telephone conversation that six companies of the PAC and three companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) had been deployed in the city and at vital installations to maintain peace.

Six BKU activists were arrested on the charge of damaging government property. SSP Mina also revealed that Inspector General of Police, Meerut zone, P. C. Sabharwal had given him a go-ahead in this matter and anybody who damaged public or government property or worked against tranquillity and peace would be booked under the National Security Act (NSA).



3-tier security for R-Day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
A multi-tiered security blanket was thrown over the Capital tonight to ensure an incident-free Republic Day parade in view of the threat perception.
Thousands of personnel from the Delhi Police and other security forces took up predetermined positions all over the Capital and all along the route of the annual parade, with extra deployments at vital installations. Particular attention was also being paid to the security of the recently launched Metro rail following intelligence inputs that it might be a target of a terrorist attack.

Hundreds of suspects, some with criminal antecedents, have been rounded up as a preventive measure with teams of security and intelligence officials scouring the Capital’s hotels and guest houses to ferret out some half a dozen sympathisers of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Al Badr organisations, who are believed to have sneaked into the Capital.

While two Indian Air Force helicopters would keep vigil in the sky over the nine-km parade route from Vijay Chowk to Red Fort, almost 25,000 personnel of Delhi Police and paramilitary forces would maintain be alert on the ground.

At least 24 Air Defence Guns and the same number of Medium Machine Guns (MMGs) have been deployed to prevent any aerial attack and the entire parade route has been sanitised. Besides, 800 elite commandos of NSG, ITBP and Delhi Police, (300 more than those deployed last year), Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) of police, Hazmat vans (to tackle a nuclear, biological or chemical attack) would be positioned at strategic places.

High-rise buildings flanking the parade route have been already sanitised and taken over by the security forces and sharp-shooters stationed at vantage points. there.

Flight operations at Delhi airport would remain suspended between 1130 hours and 1215 hours and rail traffic would be stopped between 1030 hours and 1200 hours as an added precaution. Senior officers said that an elaborate plan had been put in place with police control room vans positioned near the venues of these celebrations. 



Clean air our gift: Sheila 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says clean air is her Cabinet’s gift to the people of NCT of Delhi. Generations to come, Mrs Dikshit told the city on the eve of Republic Day, will benefit from the considerable reduction in pollution. And that, she explains, owes in no small measure to the introduction of environment-friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel for buses, autorickshaws and taxis and electricity-propelled Delhi Metro.

Delivering the customary address to the city at Chattarsal Stadium, Mrs Dikshit said the NCT of Delhi was the only metropolis in the world where 60,000 vehicles were running on CNG.

Dwelling on the accomplishments of her four years in office, Mrs Dikshit said the improvement in quality of life of the marginalised sections of society had become possible by involving people in managing the affairs of the administration.



Criminal shot dead, relatives scoot with body
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 25
A most wanted and dreaded criminal, Krishan Mehndipuria, was shot dead and his relative, Anand, sustained bullet injuries when three unidentified youths fired at them near Nahri village, about 25 km from here, last evening while they were going in a car.

According to preliminary reports, the assailants managed to escape in their car towards Halalpur village. The parents and relatives of the victim, however, managed to cart away Krishan’s body. The police have no clue as to where the body has been taken. They are combing the area to trace it.

It is stated that Krishan and Anand were going in a car from Halalpur village to Nahri. When they reached the bus stand of Nahri, three car-borne unidentified armed youths started firing indiscriminately at them, resulting in the death of Krishan. On hearing the shots, a large number of residents of the village arrived on the scene but the alleged assailants fled in their car. The village people informed the parents of the injured youth about the ambush and two youths arrived in a car and a scooter. One of them took the injured youth on a scooter and the second one took the body of Krishan in a car.

The police have registered a case and further investigations are on. According to another report, Mr Hari Ram, a mason, was reportedly knifed to death by some unidentified persons at Gohana town, 35 km from here, yesterday. The police recovered his body from a manhole of the sewer. The police have registered a murder case and sent the body for post-mortem examination. The victim belonged to Pandana village in Jind district and he had been missing for the last two days.



‘Demolition’ over, the land mafia is back for good
Parmindar Singh

Noida, January 25
The Noida Administration, which had claimed to have freed government land worth crores of rupees from encroachers in Daulat Ram Colony, Dadri, has not been able to remove even the ‘kharanja’ (parapet) from the premises. Not a single person has been arrested or any action taken against the land mafia in this connection. Moreover, construction has again started on the land.

People in the area allege that the mafia had occupied this land many months ago with the blessings of the administration. The mafia appears to be all set to construct a colony on three bighas of land here on the pretext of building a temple.

In the past many months, the land grabbers had constructed a kharanja and a room for pujari as a prelude to full-fledged construction work. Even an idol of Hanumanji was procured for installation, it is reported.

Many local residents say, on condition of anonymity, that the land grabbers had illegally usurped the land and made preparations for building activity in connivance with the administrative functionaries. Many officials of the city municipality visit the site regularly, it is reported.

ADM Shesh Mani Pandya said that as soon as he came to know of the encroachment, he had ordered the consolidation staff to take measurements of the land and remove the illegal encroachments and stop all construction activity. He had issued orders for filing of a report against the grabbers and their arrest.

Mr Pandya had even formed a police team under Nagar Palika officer Ram Niwas Garg and dispatched it for necessary action. Result: A room under construction was demolished and the idol of hanumanji was handed over to the mafia. But surprisingly no report has yet been filed.

A day after the anti-encroachment drive and demolition of half-constructed structures, full-fledged construction activity has resumed. Prayers and worship has commenced on the site.

The team sent by ADM Pandya had been given orders to arrest the land grabbers and those involved in construction activity. But apart from seizing some building material, no kharanja, put up by the mafia, was removed nor any person taken into custody.



Hawkers, jhuggi dwellers bear the brunt
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 25
Jhuggi-dwellers as well as hawkers and vendors are a worried lot here, following a drive launched by the district administration against encroachments in the town. Ever since Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala set a deadline (March 31) for removal of encroachments on government land, the local authorities have gone into a frenzy. While hundreds of jhuggis and makeshift shelters in various parts of the town have been razed in the past one week, the authorities have also started targeting kiosks (khokhas) and rehri owners selling household products or providing mundane services.

Yesterday, the officials of the HUDA and the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) removed several encroachments. Several `khokhas’ and temporary shops functioning in the green belt area in Sector 14, HUDA, were removed. Police personnel have been posted in trouble spots to ensure that the encroachers do not return. As a result, many of them have moved into the lanes and bylanes of residential areas.

A youth, running a grocery and dairy kiosk at a T-point in Sector 14, said that the authorities had forced about a dozen small-time shopkeepers to remove their stalls, thus jeopardising their livelihood. He said persons who could not afford to buy kiosks and shops, for which they have to pay through their nose, were the worst hit. Residents of several other jhuggi colonies fear that the bulldozers of the HUDA and the MCF may arrive anytime.



Gurgaon gets an interceptor for rash drivers
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 25
Motorists in Gurgaon or whosoever happens to enter the city, beware. For, the administration has girded up its loins to nab those who do not conform to traffic rules.

The administration has entered into a joint venture with the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), a non-government organisation having expertise in the subject, for increasing awareness about traffic rules among the motorists and also to bring them to heels if they do not mend their reckless ways. As part of the joint venture, an ‘interceptor’ — a traffic enforcement vehicle — was unveiled here today amidst fanfare.

The top brass of the district and police administration, including the Commissioner of Gurgaon Division, Mr L. M. Salins, the Inspector General of

Police, Gurgaon Range, Mr Swaranjit Singh, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Aurag Rastogi, and the district police Chief, Mr Kuldip Singh Sihag, were present at the inauguration.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Salins emphasised the need to adhere to traffic rules. He said that the ‘interceptor’ was launched not to intimidate the motorists but to enhance awareness about traffic rules. He, however, issued a caveat that those who continued to violate the rules would be subjected to the rule of law.

Mr Swaranjit Singh welcomed the introduction of the ‘interceptor’ and said any initiative to ensure road safety and streamline the flow of traffic was a boon to the state police. According to him, traffic management had become a substantive issue for the police and it was a great relief to have a mechanism, which would deter the violators of road rules and also help the police to successfully prosecute them.

Mr Singh’s lament is that the lack of database prevents the police from successfully piloting cases in the courts against the violators. Now, with the ‘interceptor’ at their disposal, which has a computerised camera and facility to record the points of violations, prosecution would be easier. Also, the violators would now be convinced after seeing the camera that they were in the wrong and would not harbour any doubts when they are challaned.

The president of the IRTE, Mr Rohit Baluja, said that the ‘interceptor’ had already been introduced by his organisation in five other states, including Delhi. He thanked the authorities in Gurgaon for accepting the proposal for a joint venture with his organisation to ensure better compliance of traffic rules and other road safety measures.

The ‘interceptor’, perched atop a Maruti King Gypsy, houses an in-built air-conditioned studio, equipped with a laser-based speed management device, video recording facility, multi-camera system with recording and playback, public address system and onboard supply system.

The ‘interceptor’ staff will include a Sub-Inspector/Inspector and two constables of the Gurgaon police and a camera warden and driver from the IRTE.



A 13-yr-old brave heart from Noida
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, January 25
She is among 21 brave children from all over the country and the only recipient from the NCR region of this year’s coveted Bravery Award. It was the usual evening on July 29, 2001, for Noidites, but for 13-year-old Shambavi Ray, Class 8 student of Apeejay School, Noida , it was a day to remember.

She, with her mother, Dr. Alka Ray, president of Noida Medical Association, was waiting outside the nursing home, when three motorcycle-borne suspects stopped and one of them tried to snatch her mother’s purse. Showing quick presence of mind, Shambavi stunned the rider with a big karate blow and tried to grab the helmet of the other miscreant. Shambavi’s unexpected blow threw him off guard, forcing them to flee. In the darkness, they made good their escape. However, they had left behind their bike, purse and other vital clues, enough for the Sector-24 police station to zero in on them. Later, the Noida Police arrested them.

Shambavi was national champion of karate in 1999 in her age group. Now, she has graduated from brown to black belt. Trained at Delhi-based Japan Karate Association, she has mastered this martial art. She is also eyeing the forthcoming Olympics games in 2004. For Shambavi, her mother has been a constant source of inspiration.



Mayawati govt not responsive, say BJP men
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 25
BJP general secretary and former UP Chief Minister Raj Nath Singh was at his evasive best while answering some uncomfortable questions during his visit to Noida in connection with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary programme.

At a meeting organised by the district BJP president, Mr Mahesh Chauhan, in Chhalera, BJP workers almost rained questions on the party general secretary.

The main grievances of the party workers were that whenever they tried taking up people’s problems with the administration officers they were seldom given a hearing. Rarely were they given time for such meetings and their problems were never addressed by the administration.

The officials and state functionaries were “all ears” whenever BSP workers went to them, they said.

Not only government officials but even BJP ministers, like Revenue Minister Ravi Gautam, had been creating unnecessary hurdles in the payment of land compensation to the farmers, the BJP workers told Mr Raj Nath Singh.

When Mr Raj Nath Singh asked them to substantiate their charges, the BJP workers cited the cases of Raja Ram and Lal Chand of Sultanpur. They alleged that in spite of the apex court order, Revenue Minister Gautam was delaying giving compensation by asking them to produce unnecessary documents and papers in the matter.

The party concerned, they said, was made to suffer a loss of Rs 15,000 per day in this case. They demanded the removal of Revenue Minister Ravi Gautam.



Tourist resort earns administration’s ire
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 25
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, is reported to have taken serious note of the misconduct and maltreatment charges against the in-charge and staff of Ethnic India, a tourist resort run by the Haryana Tourism Corporation, on the GT Road near Rai village, about 13 km from here, and ordered an inquiry on the issue.

According to a report, this step has been taken on complaints made by the driving staff of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police, Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.

The DC and the SP of Baghpat had visited this tourist complex for taking meals with their counterpart in Sonepat district. They had come here to deliberate on the activities of criminals and anti-social elements as well as other matters relating to both the districts.

It is stated that the driving staff of the DC and the SP of Baghpat entered the resort to take a cup of tea. They asked a waiter to serve tea to them. Thereupon, the in-charge and his subordinate staff directed the waiter not to give them tea till they gave money in advance. This led to an altercation between the in-charge and the driving staff and they came out from the tourist complex without taking tea.

When the DC and SP of Baghpat came out from the complex the driver of the DC apprised him of the maltreatment meted out by the staff of the tourist complex. Thereupon, the DC raised the matter with his counterpart immediately. The DC, Sonepat, immediately asked the SDM, Sonepat, to hold an inquiry into the whole episode and take stern action against the in-charge and his subordinate staff if they were found guilty of misconduct and maltreatment.

The SDM, Mr Sujan Singh, will now record the statement of the driving staff of the DC and SP of Baghpat and take appropriate action against the erring staff. The in-charge and his subordinate employees have rushed to Baghpat and contacted the driving staff for a settlement.



Haryana Governor petitioned on 
violence against Dalits
Our Correspondent

Rewari, January 25
Prominent Dalit leaders of Rewari region have voiced their concern over the increasing atrocities on Dalits and members of the other Backward Classes in south Haryana.
A delegation comprising Mr Mahesh Kumar Khinchhi, state president of Baba Saheb Ambedkar Mission of India, Master Kishori Lal, general secretary of the Rewari district unit of the Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Academy, Mr Ram Nath, Mr Bhagwan Das Ranga and several others met the Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand here yesterday.

They submitted a memorandum to him, copies of which were also given to the Haryana Health Minister, Dr M.L.Ranga and Dr Sudha Yadav, MP.

The memorandum stated concrete instances, such as the Duleena incident, in which five Dalits were massacred, the Mahendragarh incident, in which a Dalit girl was murdered after being raped, the Bhiwani incident, in which a Dalit bridegroom was prevented from riding a mare, to show the continuing violence against the Dalits.

The demolition of about 112 houses of Dalilts and members of Backward Classes at Chandanwas, Nandha Balwari and Nahar villages of Rewari district by the officials of the HUDA and PWD were also mentioned in the memorandum.

In a different memorandum, they sought a financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh for the construction of a Ambedkar Community Hall(Baratghar) on a land lying vacant in the old court premises in the vicinity of the Red Cross Bhawan.

At the behest of the Governor, the Dalit leaders later approached Dr Sudha Yadav, MP, and pleaded for the release of the above amount from her MP Area Development Fund (MPADF).

Mr Khinchhi, Mr Ranga and others also presented a portrait of Sant Durbal Nath, a great saint of the ‘Khatik Samaj’ to the Governor and made a plea that the saint’s birthday (which coincided with Guru Nanak’s birthday) be declared a public holiday in Haryana.



DC briefed on inadequate power supply
Our Correspondent

Rewari, January 25
Farmers of Khandora and other villages of the Bawal Tehsil of the district have been facing considerable hardship due to the reported inadequate power supply and low voltage. A deputation of the aggrieved farmers of Khandora village, led by the Haryana Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, here recently in this regard.

The deputation included former village Sarpanch Prabhati Lal, Nambardar Kanwar Singh and Daya Ram Krantikari. Giving a detailed description of the situation, they told the DC that they received an average power supply of two hours and were unable to operate their tubewells on a regular basis. On the one hand, the low voltage had been playing havoc with their electric motors. They also complained that employees of the DHBVN wanted ‘bribe’ to replace their damaged transformers. They said that their rabi crop would be destroyed by the erratic power supply and the extremely cold weather.



Now, submit power bills in post office
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 25
The Haryana Power Regulatory Corporation has decided to introduce a system for depositing electricity bills in the post office from February 1 next.
According to official sources, this system would be introduced in Ambala, Sonepat and Hisar districts at the initial stage. If this system proved a success, it would be introduced in other districts later on.

It is stated that the corporation had already introduced a similar system in 50 branches of various banks in the state in addition to the cash counter centres set up in each district of the state, where the power consumers have been depositing their electricity bills.

The Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam is also contemplating providing drop box service at each collection counter where the consumers will be able to drop their cheques in the boxes put up there. This is being done for those consumers who have no time to stand in the queues and cannot wait for their turn to deposit the amount of their electricity bills.

The nigam also proposes to introduce a token system at each collection counter so that the consumers can deposit the amount of electricity bills after showing the token to the staff there.

All these steps have been taken to provide more facilities to the power consumers in the state.

The nigam has already implemented a number of schemes introduced by the state government for the benefit of urban and rural consumers in the state. These schemes include the interest and penalty waiving schemes and a large number of consumers have taken advantages of these schemes.

Meanwhile, the nigam has started load-shedding in the wake of power shortage on account of faults in the thermal power stations at Panipat and Faridabad. Moreover, Haryana has been getting meagre power supply from Himachal Pradesh. This was the main cause of load-shedding in various parts of the state.



God doesn’t live in temples or edifices alone

The World Conference on Spiritual Regeneration and Human Values, organised by the Art of Living Foundation of Sri Ravi Shankar at Bangalore, recently was a big draw according to reports received here in New Delhi. The six-day spirituality meet was attended by half-a-dozen chief ministers, a few governors and scores of Central and state ministers besides the Vice-President of India and the Deputy Prime Minister.

“Spirituality is the common thread of all religions,” Sri Ravi Shankar is reported to have said addressing the distinguished audience. In fact, while religiosity is very much in evidence in the whole country in the form of rituals, ceremonies and institutionalised celebrations and observances, the essential oneness of man seeking the Truth is very often forgotten. Religions are, after all, man-made and they are intended to help man to reach his divine destiny.

The idea of the Creator of the universe, called by different names by people of different faiths, occupying a particular building in a particular part of this vast universe should be an anathema to a genuinely spiritual person. Yet, it is strange that most religious conflicts of the present day are confined to possessing a particular spot or building for a particular god or goddess. How absurd it would seem to the maker of the universe!

In an effort to please God, man seeks all possible means such as building great edifices, undertakes long fasts and even undergoes self-inflicted tortures hoping thereby to win divine favour. How does the Creator view such vain attempts to misguide him? “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him, though He is not far from each one of us.’’(Acts 17: 24)

That is to say a lot about the origin of men and nations. And the writer of the Book of Acts goes on to say that “in Him we live and move and have our being.’’ All scriptures, especially the Gita, the Koran and the Bible, keep on driving the theme that the Creator dwells with humble people — in their hearts. And whom does He esteem? The one who is humble and contrite in spirit and “trembles at my word.’’

“Do you know my friends, that the Spirit within you is very God? Oh that our eyes were opened to see the greatness of God’s gift! Oh that we might realise the vastness of the resources secreted in our own hearts! I could shout with joy as I think, ‘the Spirit who dwells within me is no mere influence, but a living Person; He is very God. The infinite God is within my heart!’ I am at a loss to convey to you the blessedness of this discovery, that the Holy Spirit dwelling within my heart is a Person. I can only repeat: ‘He is a Person!’ and repeat again: ‘He is a Person!’ Oh! my friends, I would fain repeat it to you a hundred times—the Spirit of God within me is a Person! I am only an earthen vessel I carry a treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of glory.”

Those words have come from the pen of a scholarly Chinese Christian, Watchman Nee (1903—1972), who was imprisoned by the government for his faith in 1952. A prolific writer, he died in prison but his books continue to inspire believers all over the world.

He believes that all the worry and fret of God’s children would end if their eyes were opened to see the greatness of the treasure hid in their hearts. Do you know there are resources enough in your own heart to meet the demand of every circumstance in which you will ever find yourself? Do you know there is power enough there to move the city in which you live? Let me tell you once more – I say it with utmost reverence: you who have been born again of the Spirit of God – you carry God in your heart!’’

And such a God does not judge man by outward appearance or actions but looks to the motives that lie deep within man. Long fasts do not necessarily impress Him. He asks: “Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife, and striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heart on high?’’(Isaiah 58:4) Even as the Creator is holy, He expects holiness rather than blind devotion. He prefers simple obedience to great sacrifices.

For instance He declares in Isaiah 58:6: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Judged by such standards we all fall short and must confess before the Omniscient our many failures and seek strength from above to do His will.

When we become aware that the same Spirit is dwelling in every man — our rival and enemy included — we will be less inclined to hate and more inclined to love. Then we will accept every man, as a child of the same God. What is more we will not quarrel over building a shelter for Him.

M P K Kutty



Palaces, temples, power 
project & industries – Kota has it all 
Tribune News Service

How to get there

By air: Jaipur, 245 km, is the nearest large airport though a local airline has flights to Jaipur from Kota.

By rail: As it comes on the important Delhi-Mumbai route, a number of good train connections are available for Kota.

By road: Kota is located 504 km from Delhi and 270 km from Udaipur by road.

By bus: There are several express buses from Kota to Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Jodhpur and Bikaner.

In the 12th century AD along the banks of the Chambal came up the city of Kota, which, among other things, is now famous for its Kota-Doria sarees. The city came up when Rajput conquests began and Rao Deva founded Bundi as the capital of Kota.

It was, however, only in the 17th century that Kota became a separate state. The city today abounds not just in historical palaces and temples, but bears testimony to technological advancement as well. The setting up of industries in the state and the Chambal river valley project, an irrigation and power project, vouch for the same.

What to see:

Rao Madho Singh Museum: The museum, which was formerly a palace, is a must-visit. Named after the son of the ruler of Bundi, who was made the first ruler of Kota state by the Mughal emperor Jehangir, the museum is closed on Fridays and state holidays. On display are miniature paintings and ancient armoury. Apart from Rao Madho Singh Museum, visitors can also take a look at the archaeological findings of the region, which are housed in the Government Museum.

City Palace and Fort: The large complex of the city palace and fort overlooks the Kota barrage and the Chambal river.

Chambal Gardens: A popular picnic spot, Chambal Garden is home to crocodiles, which have been kept in a pond.

Jagmandir: The palace is located in the middle of the artificial lake, Kishore Sagar. The lake itself dates back to 1346 AD. The palace was built in 1740.

Haveli of Deaji: The haveli of Deyta Shridharji is famous for frescoes and paintings.


Baroli (56 km): a temple complex, which dates back to the 9th century AD can be visited on the way to Pratap Sagar Dam. Many sculptures found in the temple complex are now housed in the Government Museum of Kota.

Rana Pratap Sagar Dam and Bhainsrodgarh (50 km): Bhainsrodgarh Fort is built alongside the Chambal river. One can stop by to visit the ancient temple of Gaipar Nath Mahadev on the way.

Jhalawar: At a distance of 87 km from Kota, it is famous for a palace and a small museum. An annual cattle fair is also held in the city. At a distance of 10 km from Jhalawar, nestling in splendid solitude, is the fortress of Gagron.

Sitabari (120 km): The ancient temple here is devoted to Sita and Laxman and a tribal fair is held in May-June.

Rock Paintings (25 km): These rock paintings can be seen alongside the Alaniya river.

Bundi (40 km): Bundi is home to the famous Taragarh Fort, which was built as far back as 1354.

Brijraj Bhawan Palace: Brijraj Bhawan, a colonial style palace, situated on the banks of the Chambal, was built in the early nineties. The palace has spacious rooms done up with antique furniture. An interesting feature of the palace is that almost all rooms overlook the Chambal river.

Umed Bhawan Palace: Built in 1009 by Maharao Umed Singh II of Kota, this palace was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob in European style. There is an Edwardian drawing room, a billiard room and a very well laid out garden surrounding the palace.



Irate residents block traffic 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 25
Irate resident of Sisana village held up traffic on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near their village, about 25 km from here, last evening in protest against the failure of the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) to replace the damaged electricity transformer for the past 26 days.

According to a report, a large number of vehicles, including trucks, buses and cars were lined up on both sides of the road for a few hours. This caused inconvenience to thousands of people, who remained stranded on account of traffic jams.

On getting information about the blockade, Mr Ram Kishan Rao, Station House Officer of Kharkhauda police station, arrived on the scene and pacified the angry crowd by giving an assurance that the officials of the UHBVN had gone to Sonepat to bring a new transformer. Thereupon, the irate residents lifted the blockade.

Many residents of the village alleged that their repeated complaints made to the officials of the UHBVN at Kharkhauda in this regard had fallen on deaf ears. They had no alternative but to block the traffic on the road.



Dr Mashelkar to deliver Zuckerman Lecture
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
Dr R. A. Mashelkar, Director-General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has been invited by the UK Government to deliver the prestigious 2003 Zuckerman Lecture in Royal Society, London, on June 11, 2003. This lecture is given by a figure of international standing to a specially invited audience of about 200 of UK’s top scientists, industrialists and government representatives. Dr Mashelkar is the first Indian scientist to have been invited to give this lecture.

The Indian Merchants’ Chamber has conferred on Dr Mashelkar the prestigious IMC Juran Quality Medal for the year 2002 for his leadership and continuous involvement as a role model for improvement of quality in CSIR. He is the first scientist to have received this award. The earlier awardees include industrialists like Suresh Krishna, F.C. Kohli, J.J. Irani, etc. BIS topper

Meena Kumari, a student of New Delhi Institute for Information Technology (NDIIT) affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, has secured 93.8 per cent marks in the seventh semester exams of Bachelor of Information System (BIS).

NDIIT is jointly managed by the Society for Computer Education for Management Studies and the Nehru Bal Samiti and was inaugurated in August 2001.

Five hurt in fire: Five persons sustained injuries in a fire that broke out in a cycle repair-cum-welding shop at Harijan Basti last night. The cycle shop was owned by Jyoti, who lives in Karol Bagh. When the incident occurred, the owner was not in the shop. A cylinder was kept inside the shop. When the fire broke out the neighbours tried to douse it but the fire engulfed the entire shop The cylinder exploded and the neighbours, Praveen, Shyam Lal, Basant Kumar, Manish and Shailender, were injured. They were admitted to DDU Hospital. The Delhi Fire Service rushed three fire engines to put out the fire. A case of negligence had been registered, the police said.



Thirteen from Delhi awarded Police Medals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
Thirteen officers of the Delhi Police have been awarded the Police Medal for distinguished and meritorious services on the eve of the Republic Day.
Joint Commissioner (Vigilance), Mrs Kanwaljit Deol and Joint Commissioner (Crime Against Women Cell), Mrs Vimla Mehra have been awarded the President’s Police Medal for distinguished services. Eleven officers, Additional Commissioner (Anti-Corruption), Rajesh Malik, Inspectors Shiv Prasad, Bhim Sain, Harpal Singh and Kanwaljit Kaur, Sub-Inspectors Jai Naraian Dixit, Hukam Chand, Besar Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector Sarabjeet Singh, Head Constable Sasi Thampi Ayyappan and Constable Ranjit Kumar have been awarded the Police Medal for meritorious services.



Four NTPC employees get Shram awards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
Four employees of the National Thermal Power Corporation have bagged Prime Minister’s Shram awards, announced on the eve of the Republic Day.
Two employees from Dadri power station of NTPC have been selected for this year’s highest award, ‘Shram Bhushan.’ Two employees from NTPC’s Singrauli power station have been chosen for ‘Sharam Vir’ award, a release said here today. No workman has, however, been selected for the ‘Shram Ratna’ award. The winners of the ‘Shram Bhushan’ award were Mr Vishnu Kant Singh Kushwah and Mr Manjeet Singh of Dadri power station. They will receive a cash award of Rs one lakh to be shared and a sanad each.

The winners of the Shram Vir award were Mr Sarbada Mishra and Mr Pancham Prasad. They will receive Rs 60,000 to be shared along with a sanad each. This year the government has announced a total of 17 awards in different categories, to be received by 35 workmen of PSU of the Centre and state. 



MC gets relief

Bhiwani: The Bhiwani Municipal Council got relief when the court of the Additional District Judge dismissed a public interest litigation filed in connection with the new house tax recovery drive and admitted the council’s appeal after vacating the stay orders. The PIL was filed around seven months back by Keshav Ram and others. Keshav Ram and others had requested the court that the new house tax policy would prove a constraint to the residents. OC



Two girls get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, January 25
A local court sentenced two girls to life imprisonment and fined them Rs 2,000 each on the charge of murdering a youth of Dadhi Bana village two years back.
According to the prosecution, Neelam and Shakuntala had brutally murdered Sunil (24) of the same village on the night of December 14, 2000. The police had recovered his body from his backyard. The girls had hit him on the neck with a sharp-edged weapon. A report was lodged with the Adampur police post.

Body found: The police found the body of an unidentified youth from a bench at the local railway station late on Thursday night. The police said the body of the youth was swollen. A case has been registered.

In another incident, Sanjeev, son of Ghanshyam, sustained injuries following a feud after an altercation took place between two parties. He has been admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Youth murdered:
A 26-year-old youth of a village in Palwal subdivision of the district, who had been missing for the past several days, has been found murdered. His body had been dumped in a well in Dudhola village.

According to information, the deceased, identified as Aman, son of Chandan Singh, had disappeared on January 13. The police recovered the body of the youth from a well yesterday. The body was headless and it had injury marks. It is suspected that some persons known to the victim abducted him and killed him later. A case has been registered.



NHPC gives Rs 50 crore dividend to govt

Faridabad, January 25
The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC), a schedule ‘A’ enterprise of the Union Government, has paid a dividend of Rs 50 crore to the government for the financial year of 2001-2002.

According to a company spokesperson, this has been the highest ever dividend paid by the company in the past several years. He said the NHPC had made a net profit of Rs 470.90 crore during the period, while the sales turnover of the corporation had risen to Rs 1349.6 crore and the company generated 8912.29 million units of power during the period.

He said the authorised share capital of the NHPC had increased from Rs 7000 to Rs 10,000 crore and the corporation had successfully commissioned the 60 MW Kurichu project in Bhutan ahead of schedule. The Union Government has also given its approval for construction of the 800 mw Parbati Stage-II project in Himachal Pradesh and the construction activity at the Chamera Stage-II project had been ahead of schedule. The NHPC plans to add 4357 MW of new capacity during the Tenth Plan period. TNS


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