Saturday, May 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


HC judge declines to hear bail plea in DDA scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
In a twist to the DDA scam case, a Delhi High Court judge, who had granted interim bail to former judge Shamit Mukherjee, an accused in the case, today declined to hear the bail petitions filed by three others.

Without assigning any reason, Justice R C Chopra ordered the transfer of the bail petitions of the three accused, including suspended DDA vice-chairman Subhash Sharma, from his court to some other judge.

Two other accused — DDA Director (planning) Jagdishh Chandra and the authority’s Commissioner (Land Disposal) Anand Mohan — had also moved bail applications before thee court.

The matter was referred to Chief Justice B C Patel by Justice Chopra with the request that it be listed for hearing before some other judge on May 19.

Earlier, Justice Chopra had issued notices to the CBI on the bail petitions filed by the three accused, with the direction that the agency should bring the relevant records relating to the case.

All the three are presently lodged in Tihar jail in judicial custody.

Justice Chopra had granted one month’s interim bail to Shamit Mukherjee on May 5, which was challenged by the CBI in the Supreme Court.

The apex court, without disturbing the bail order had given liberty to the Special Court, seized of the case, to deal with the question of extending the remand of the former judge independently of the High Court order.

Consequently, the Special Judge had extended Mukherjee’s remand by five days on May seven and released him on 30 days’ interim bail as per the High Court directive on May 12 with the direction that he would surrender to the court on expiry of the same.



Doctor arrested for putting price on 
post-mortem report
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a doctor working with the DDU hospital in the Capital for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 10,000 to give a post-mortem examination report. The incident reportedly occurred last evening when Dr Manoj Nagpal, working in the Pathology Department of the hospital, was caught red-handed by the CBI officials for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 10,000 from a relative of a person, whose post-mortem report was to be given by Nagpal.

A CBI Spokesman said a person met with an accident on April 28 and succumbed to his injuries the next day. On May 6, the complainant came to know through police that the deceased had consumed alcohol. He contacted Dr Nagpal as he was sure that his cousin did not take liquor, the spokesman said. The doctor demanded a bribe of Rs. 10,000 from the complainant to show that the deceased did not consume alcohol. The matter was reported to the CBI, which verified the complaint and arrested the doctor while accepting the bribe in the presence of an independent witness.



Ex-GM gets 5-year RI for wringing Rs 2 lakh 
out of milk coops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
A special judge today sentenced former Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS) General Manager Ram Singh to five years’ rigorous imprisonment and asked him to pay a fine for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 2,00,000 from milk cooperatives more than ten years ago.

Special Judge P K Bhasin also imposed a fine of Rs 1,00,000 on the 1972-batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer. Refusing leniency on the ground that there was an urgent need to arrest corruption, Mr. Bhasin said that if corruption starts at the lower level it may take time to reach the higher level, but if it starts at the highest level it would reach the lower levels very fast.

According to prosecution, Singh had demanded Rs. 2,00,000 from the representatives of different Milk Cooperative Societies for withdrawing an order enhancing the security deposit taken to ensure supply of milk during lean seasons.

According to the agreement between the Milk Cooperatives and the DMS, the societies were to deposit as security an amount equivalent to six days of average supply of milk to ensure that there was no default in supply. Singh, as DMS General Manager in 1992, had passed an order enhancing the security deposit from six to ten days’ supply of milk.

When the Milk Cooperatives sent a representation against the hike, Singh asked them to pay Rs. 2,00,000 to have the order withdrawn. The Milk Cooperatives lodged a complaint with the CBI, which later arrested Singh while accepting the bribe. 



Clerk stashes Rs 4 lakh in cupboard, goes on leave 
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Mahendragarh, May 16
A clerk in the office of Sub Divisional Magistrate Sandeep Singh allegedly stacked Rs 4 lakh — received against receipts for registering vehicles and issuing licences — in the office cupboard and proceeded on leave with the keys. That, too, on the day the audit of the office records was to start.

The district police have now registered an embezzlement case against the clerk, Mr Suresh, under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant, or a banker/merchant), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).

According to the SDM, Suresh was given the charge of registration of vehicles and licence fees. However, he locked all files in the office cupboard and proceeded on medical leave from May 12 to May 17. Significantly, the annual auditing of the branch was fixed for May 12, the day from which he went on leave.

It is alleged that the clerk had merely sent an application to the SDM and proceeded on leave. He had reportedly gone to his native Badhwana village in Charkhi Dadri sub-division in Bhiwani district.

The SDM, on finding something suspicious, sent the Assistant Superintendent to the village to fetch the keys of the cupboard, so that they could access the documents for audit work. However, Suresh refused to hand over the keys. Rather, he gave the keys to his son to be handed over to the authorities.

After procuring the keys, the SDM got the cupboard opened in the presence of his office staff and found Rs 4 lakh stacked inside. The clerk is charged with not depositing the amount against 349 receipts. The SDM had also constituted a three-member inquiry committee, including the district Tehsildar, to probe into the matter.

According to him, the clerk has pleaded guilty to the charge of embezzling the amount before the inquiry committee. A police case has now been registered. The police investigation is on and the arrest of the clerk is imminent.



Leaf through your favourite newspaper miles 
away from home
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
Foreign tourists sitting miles away from home can now leaf through the latest editions of their favourite newspaper by accessing it from a fully automated newspaper vending machine installed at Intercontinental Parkroyal hotel in Nehru Place. The technology friendly hotel has taken the lead in setting up the international newspaper kiosk.

Developed and manufactured by the Netherlands-based PEPC (Publishers Electronic Printing Concept)Worldwide, the kiosk offers an amazing choice of 119 newspapers from 48 countries, including The International Herald Tribune, USA Today (USA), The Guardian (UK), The Observer (UK), Die Welt (Germany), Le Monde (France), El Pais (Spain) and Komsomolskaya Pravda (Russia). Indian newspaper houses, which globally distribute their latest editions through PEPC, can also be accessed from the machine. These include The Times of India, the Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Economic Times besides vernacular papers as Malayala Manorama, Rajasthan Patrika, Tarun Bharat and Udayavani.

Responding to the command of the user, the machine prints within two minutes the latest edition of the newspaper. The international traveller only needs to follow four easy steps on the kiosk’s touch screen - select the continent, the country/State, the newspaper and insert the card (American Express or VISA Master card) in the card reader slot and pull it out.

Another option is to buy a `your newspaper on demand’ card for Rs 250 and pick up any newspaper fastened with three staples in A-3 size. The magic of technology fetches you the otherwise hard-to-get paper in no time with unchanged content and layout. A colour edition is also possible.

Most foreign tourists who scout around for newspapers in book shops and on pavements are generally disappointed. All they manage to get at the end of the day are stale copies of the paper. Too add to their exasperation, the vendors quote different rates for the same paper within a radius of two km. Thanks to the hotel, the tourists can get any newspaper for Rs 250.

Mr Pankaj Thakkar, CEO of Consilnet Inc, a US-based company specialising in providing value added internet-based services to the hospitality sector told mediapersons at the demonstration of the kiosk that “It can make available to you tomorrow’s newspaper today.’’

While complimenting the hotel for getting the first international newspaper kiosk in the country, Mr Thakkar said that international travellers can now download the newspaper even before it is delivered in their country. He expressed the confidence that at least 50 hotels in the country will have international kiosks by the end of the year.

“We are also starting a print and delivery system. If an expatriate wants a newspaper of his home country, it will also be delivered.’’

Consilnet Inc is also negotiating with the Airports Authority of India for installing the machine at international airports. Although the installation would cost about Rs 12 lakh, the business follows a revenue-sharing model.

Speaking on the occasion, the General Manager of InterContinental Parkroyal, Mr Scott Wilson, said, “We are very pleased with this initiative. we are very confident that it will be extremely successful.’’

Citing an example, Mr Wilson recounted how a guest staying in the hotel two weeks back wanted a copy of a French newspaper. The hotel staff went to the market and got a copy of the newspaper. By the time it was packed and delivered to his room, it was 1 pm.

“That level of service is now history. That guest will now be able to wake up at 6 am and get his newspaper real time.’’



Yet another summit for Sir Edmund Hillary
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to annex Mount Everest, will commemorate the 50th year of the scaling of the highest mountain by putting his signature on the world’s largest painting of Mount Everest next week. On that day, Sir Edmund will be in the Capital along with some other Everest heroes. The signing ceremony will take place at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC.)

The oil on canvas, a creation of Amarjeet, stems from the inspiration she got from Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman of ISIC and a member of the first successful Indian expedition to the 29,028 feet high Mt Everest in 1965. The painting is done on 12 x 9 ft canvas and adorns the wall of the lobby of the hospital.

The premier event, planned by the Government of India in tandem with the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF), will witness a gathering at Vigyan Bhavan, which will be attended by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Sir Edmund, along with Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi Sheila Dikshit, will also unveil plaques naming the road outside the New Zealand High Commission after his own name and the adjoining road after Tenzing Norgay.

He will also inaugurate an exhibition at the IMF on Indian mountaineering teams’ successful assault on Everest. “Sir Edmund occupies a very important place in the New Zealand-India relationship. His association with India stretches back a long time both as a mountaineer and as his country’s High Commissioner from 1985 to 1989,” New Zealand High Commissioner to India Caroline McDonald said.

“Sir Edmund brings with him the best that New Zealand has to offer – a spirit of adventure, creativity, innovation and the will to give things a go,” she said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Major Ahluwalia said: “Sir Edmund’s visit will provide a great motivation to the youth to achieve high goals and will also strengthen the spirit with which the hospital has been designed and built to provide the best treatment to patients with spinal injuries.”

“Mount Everest, to me, showers the boundless benevolence on the humanity .… It is a happy augury that I climbed Everest the same day and at the same time on May 29, 1965, after a decade of the first conquest of the highest mountain summit by Sir Edmund and Tenzing Norgay in 1953,” he said.

Describing Sir Edmund as “a living monument in India,” he said his courage and conviction continued to provide inspirational force for others to create institutions in the service of mankind.

Between 1920 and 1952, seven major expeditions had failed to reach the summit. In 1924, famous mountaineer George Leigh-Mallory had perished in the attempt while in 1952 a team of Swiss climbers had been forced to retreat after reaching the South peak, only a thousand feet from the summit.



Illegal outfits: Residents to file affidavits
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
The Delhi High Court today directed 398 residents of South Delhi’s South Extension Part-1, who had allegedly undertaken illegal constructions or unlawfully put their residential property to commercial use, to file the current status of their properties on affidavit.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice A K Sikri ordered the residents to submit an affidavit within eight weeks declaring whether or not their properties were built in accordance with duly sanctioned building plans and whether the said property or any part thereof now violated the plan or the building by-laws.

The judges also stayed till July 18, the next date of hearing, any coercive action against the alleged residents who have unlawfully put residential property to commercial use, but said action for demolition could go on unhindered against people who had allegedly indulged in illegal constructions. The court was dealing with a petition against encroachments or misuse in the area.



Turning away patients is the norm in this hospital 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 16
The 100-bed Civil Hospital in this city has virtually turned into a referral hospital as it lacks the basic medical facilities which a hospital should normally have.
According to a report, the doctors on duty in the emergency ward have fallen in the habit of getting rid of serious medical cases as they refer the patients to either the PGI at Rohtak or to Delhi for further treatment. The patients are shown the way to trauma centres and advised to get themselves treated there or in the private nursing homes or clinics.

During the past six months as many as 300 patients suffering from various diseases were refused admission to the Civil Hospital as there was no adequate facility for their treatment. Many patients injured in road accidents or having burn or bullet injuries were given only first aid and referred to Delhi or the PGI, Rohtak. This practice is being followed by the doctors posted in the community health centres or the primary health centres of this district who also refer such patients to the Civil Hospital, Sonepat, for further treatment.

This has resulted in a thriving business for private nursing homes and clinics. The authorities of the Health Department complain about the shortage of funds and medical officers. On the other hand, people suspect a tacit understanding between government doctors and owners of private nursing homes.



Waterlogged, saline land to be reclaimed 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 16
The problem of waterlogging and salinity in the soil, which has rendered 836 hectare agriculture land in the district useless, will no longer haunt the farmers as their fields will be ready for cultivation again soon as the district administration is embarking on an ambitious plan for reclamation of such land.

The project, funded and guided by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, was launched for the reclamation of agricultural, waterlogged and saline soil land. According to the official concerned, the MRD has sanctioned Rs 458 lakh for project under which about 836 hectare affected land in three villages of the district.

Beri Gochhi and Dhandlan, falling along Jahawar Lal Nehru Canal, will be mended which can be used for agricultural purpose following the successful completion of this pilot project.

The officials said the affected land would be retrieved by applying surface drainage system and bio-drainage system. This MRD-sponsored project will be executed by the HOPP unit of the Agriculture Department with the active participation of the affected farmers. The sources said with the commissioning of the project a farmer drainage society (FDS) would be set up for conduct and maintenance of the project.

These sources told that the entire land would be divided into separate blocks with estimated 60-70 hectare area.

In each block, one collector pipe would be laid (1 200 mm PVC pipe with pores) about 6-7 ft beneath the surface by a trenching machine. This machine also connects lateral pipes with 80 to 100 mm radius on both sides of the collector pipe. The tail of the collector pipe is to connect in a sump.

Thus, saline water of the soil would be extracted with pumping and released in the sump. The sources told that this trenching machine had the capacity to lay bigger pipes in a 1-km area and small pipes in a 3-km area per day. The machine was brought from the Netherlands at a cost of Rs 1.50 crore and an official was specially trained to operate this machine.

With the rise in water table, this area became waterlogged. The salt of the underground water rises on the surface of the land through capillary rise process. And after the evaporation of water this salt, which forms clots on the surface of the soil, obstructs the growth of the plants.

Mr Mohinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said about 2,100 acres of waterlogged land along JLN Canal would be reclaimed in the initial phase. The land was divided into 17 separate blocks for convenience.

This land is owned by 790 farmers of three villages who will be benefited by this project as they will be able to cultivate this land after successful completion. He told that the trenching machine was parked in fields where the project was to be commissioned. The project was to be inaugurated on May 3 by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, but got delayed as the CM could not turn up on account of ill-health.



Vets engaged in survey while livestock 
cries for attention
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 16
Though there have been reports of the occurrence of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in a number of villages in the district there are hardly any staff members available in the veterinary hospitals and dispensaries to take care of infected livestock as they have reportedly been put on duty to survey the below poverty line families (BPL) in the district.

The livestock breeders are forced to seek private treatment from the same veterinary staff at their houses during off-duty hours and hence have to bear the cost of medicines and visitation fee.

It is also worth mentioning that earlier there used to be a vaccination campaign during winter and the rainy season every year by the Animal Husbandry Department. It used to be free of cost.

The department staff used to conduct door-to-door visits to vaccinate the animals as a precautionary measure against any outbreak of FMD, a contagious disease with higher rate of mortality of the infected animal.

According to sources in the Animal Husbandry Department, no vaccination drive has been carried out for the last one year as there was no supply of the vaccine from the department headquarters.

For want of this precautionary measure, cases of FMD have been reported from around two dozens villages of the district in the Yamuna belt and the villages around Ridhau and Gohana subdivision.

When inquiries were made from the department authorities at the district headquarters NCR Tribune was informed that earlier the FMD vaccine used to be supplied on time for carrying out mass vaccination of the livestock regularly twice a year. But this year the supplies of vaccine could not be made.

The authorities also informed that Sonepat was one of the eight districts in the state which had been identified and included in the special project of the central government. Under the project, the Animal Husbandry Department of the central government will provide the vaccines free of cost in the district and vaccination will be carried out by the veterinary staff of the district.

However, the ultimate sufferers because of the non-availability of the vaccine and survey duty of the staff are the livestock belonging to all sections of society. Animal husbandry was a subsidiary occupation after agriculture.

In survey duty, the veterinary surgeons have been assigned the duties of supervisors and the veterinary livestock development assistants have been put on duties as enumerators to visit door to door to survey the families.



Anti-dowry drive among Gujjar 
community gathers steam
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 16
Despite certain violations by vested interests the ambitious anti-dowry campaign launched by the Rawal gotra of the Gujjar community in the district with much fanfare early last year is going from strength to strength.

In fact, the community was planning a renewed campaign to rid society of the dowry menace later this year when the marriage season commenced.

The violations were too minor in nature and the campaign was on its way to spreading its wings in the whole state, claims an influential leader of the community on condition of anonymity. In fact, the violators had already been punished as their marriages had not been attended by the village elders, thus in a way socially boycotting them.

The fact that the ambitious campaign has got step-motherly treatment from the state and central governments and the NGOs pains the community leaders, who

started the trend-setting campaign for one of the most backward communities in Haryana. "We may be politically insignificant in Haryana as Jats call the shots in the state but the campaign should have got the whole-hearted support of the Chautala government, which claims to be the farmers' government", said another community leader. The leader conceded that only the media, predominantly The Tribune, had taken pains to promote the campaign.

A few violations should not be seen as curtains for the campaign, sources said, adding that the real test for the campaign would be later this year when the marriage season commenced.

The community had planned an elaborate programme to get rid of the violators and the vested interests. Since the campaign had assumed the role of a movement, little resistance would not have any effect on its success and the months to come would show that it was taken to its logical conclusion since it had the support of the majority of the community, Mr Ham Singh Bapoli, an influential leader of the community and the spirit behind the campaign, told NCR Tribune.

Earlier last year, the Rawal gotra villages had devised ways and means for conducting dowryless marriages with a view to nip the evil of dowry in the bud. At that time also, sporadic protests by the vested interests tried to derail the campaign but without any success. The apathetic attitude of the state government and the NGOs for not helping the campaign came in for severe criticism at various meetings.

It may be noted that the Rawal gotra had launched this ambitious project with a view to checking dowry and giving relief to the common man earlier last year. Under an ingenious system developed by the Gujjar community a marriage, which earlier cost a few lakhs of rupees, could be solemnised in a couple of hundred rupees. The same was true of the functions after the deaths of elders and other deaths in the family and the decision had been widely appreciated by different sections of society.

Under the system elaborate guidelines had been worked by the community for solemnising marriage and other functions. The violators face the punishment of social boycott.



Apropos the news item, ‘Poser to MDU


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Do army officers make better VCs’ (NCR Tribune, May 6), wherein it is stated that: “The tenure of three vice-chancellors in the state is scheduled to expire in the next few months. The All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO) has appealed to the Governor and the state government to appoint educationists as vice-chancellors.”

Every post, whether it is clerical, supervisory, executive or administrative, requires specific qualifications. Further, the persons are appointed through thorough selection by the establishment committees. In case of vice-chancellors, the search committee recommends to the chancellor to appoint the vice-chancellors.

The latest UGC (University Grants Commission) committee on appointment of vice-chancellors in Indian universities in its report (1991-93), categorically recommended the minimum qualifications required from a person to be appointed as the vice-chancellor as under:

“The vice-chancellor should be a distinguished educationist. He must have commitment to the values for which the universities stand. He should be appointed solely on academic considerations. He must have the ability to provide leadership to the university by his academic worth, administrative competence and more stature. We do not favour the appointment of government officials as vice-chancellors.”

So, it is crystal clear that vice-chancellors are educationists not government officials.

In the T. A. Chidambaram Vs University of Madras case, the Madras High Court has held that ordinance of the university be read, as it stands conveying a plain meaning that the PhD is required for the appointment of a full-time Reader as well as the other teachers in the university department is only a PhD in the subject in which he seeks employment and not PhD in any related or inter-disciplinary subject.”

This is a case where the selection committee selected and recommended for appointment a candidate in possession of MA (Criminology) and PhD in Geography for the post of Reader in Criminology and rejected the candidate who was in possession of MA and PhD in Criminology.

Without going into the details, my suggestion to the appointing authorities is that the vice-chancellors should be appointed solely on the basis of merit from the distinguished educationists only.

O. P. WADHWA, Lecturer, Govt College, Gohana

Hats off to Nisha Sharma

The bold steps taken by Nisha Sharma, are lessons for all those who consider woman as a commodity, which can be purchased and disposed off.

There is no doubt that woman of today is at par with man in every field but unfortunately she bows down when it becomes the case of saving the prestige of her family.

Thus, she becomes scapegoat at the altar of saving the family honour.

In the present circumstances, Nisha Sharma has indeed become a role model, which should be emulated by all those women, who under social pressure are not able to raise their voice against evils like dowry.

The need of the hour is that more and more women should come forward in eliminating this evil.

Moreover, she must receive the required support from all quarters, like family, society, government agencies and other concerned social and economic institution.


Should they be debarred?

A Parliamentary panel’s recommendation to the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) and the Centre to debar graduates of professional courses from appearing in the Civil Services Examination, on the ground that government expenditure on students of professional courses goes down the drain when they join the civil services, has been widely criticised.

In this connection, I wish to say that the results of Civil Services examinations for the last 10 years show that the candidates with professional background continue to hog the prime positions in the order of merit. Even in 2003, a Patiala boy, who is a graduate of IIT Delhi, topped the Civil Services examination. This is due to the fact that during the past 20 years, the IAS has entered all the arms of the government, including the public sector undertakings, which should have been better, left to the professionals.

Domination by the IAS prevents technocrats, specialists and professionals from making it to the top of the hierarchy, breeding frustration among the brightest and the best, and this has forced the professionals, like engineers, doctors etc., to compete for the IAS in large numbers.

In fact, a day will come when the government may not find professionals and specialists to man the posts created for them. This trend can be checked by the upgradation of professional and specialised posts and confining IAS to general administration. We should encourage professionals and technocrats in specialised departments by promoting them to the rank of secretaries or special secretaries in the states and the Centre.

Debarring professional graduates from appearing in Civil Services examination is no solution.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Menace of female foeticide

Nowadays female foeticide is a big problem in India. Many infants are being killed before they open their eyes. Demographers are also worried over the waning ratio of the females in comparison to males. It is estimated that one in every six girls conceived is aborted. And the bitter fact is that the discrimination against women starts at birth and sometimes before birth.

Today the survival of girls is in question. There is a sharp imbalance among children, especially under the age of seven, i.e. from 945 girls per 1,000 boys in 1991 to 927 in 2001.

In South India, especially in Kerala, the ratio of the girls is satisfactory because of the highest percentage of educated people. But in other states, like Haryana and Punjab, the situation is very worst. In Rohtak, there are 847 females for every 1,000 males and the results in Punjab are very scaring since there are only 796 males for every 1,000 boys.

One of the main reasons for female foeticide in agricultural societies is that boys inherit the family name and land and provide them an old-age insurance policy, wherein girls need dowries. A girl in a family is considered a liability and investments on her health and education are thought to be of no use. In rural Haryana, in the late 1980s, the advertisement for ultrasound units was appalling, “Pay 500 rupees now and save 50,000 later.

The female shortage has increased violence against women. In some of the places in Haryana, brides are being bought for between 10,000 and 20,000 rupees from other parts of India. They are being brought from Bangladesh. And such women are treated as slaves. After slavery, the future of their children is hidden in dark clouds. Despite the shortage of brides, the cases of dowry have risen.

Number of workshops, meeting and media campaigns are organised to address the most critical issues, which influence the girl child’s secondary status within and outside the family. The status of a girl child is deplorable and lack of access to opportunities and little choice or control over her own life makes it difficult to pass smoothly. Many NGOs have come up with positive results but still the percentage of female foeticide is rising day by day. Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment of women. An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence, which help her in making her future bright.

Because of the various social and economic constraints, formal schooling is inaccessible to many girls. In such case, they can be provided with non-formal education. Some parents are also worried for their daughters to travel long distance and the location of schools near community will be useful. The age of marriage of girls is also an important determinant both for their health and the size and quality of population. Women education is vital for social progress so they should not be neglected.

SHWETA KOHLI, Shahdara, Delhi

We too got ISO

This is with reference to the report (NCR Tribune, May 8) that BHEL School, Bhopal, being the first and only school to have attained ISO9001 and ISO 14001 simultaneously.

In this connection, I wish to say that our institution, Mira Model School, Janakpuri, New Delhi, attained both the certifications on May 19, 2002, after having implemented the provisions for nearly two years.

Leaders should adopt family planning measures

I fully agree with the demand of the activities of Surbhi Parivar that the candidates with more than two children should be banned from contesting any election. Because the population has been increasing at an alarming rate.

Since our leaders have large families, how they can ask the general public to use family planning measure. Unless strict measures are not imposed to our leaders this explosive problem cannot be solved. It is the high time that they should adhere the small family posture.


Thank you!

Thanks a lot for publishing my grouse on Electroline washing machine in the ‘NCR Tribune’ (April 19). After reading the paper, the executive of the company visited me and he satisfied me by trying his bit in correcting the machine.

S. B. KALRA, Noida



B. K. Panigrahi dies
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 16
Mr B. K. Panigrahi, an IAS officer of Haryana cadre and at present posted as Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Power on deputation, died at the local Escorts Hospital last night. He was suffering from cancer.

Fortyone-year-old Mr Panigrahi was an officer of the 1988 batch and had served as Deputy Commissioner here from April 1997 to October 11, 1999. He had also been the Deputy Commissioner of Ambala district prior to it. Later, Mr Panigrahi was sent on deputation to the Union Ministry of Power where he had been serving as Joint Secretary. He had been getting treatment for the disease for the past one year and had been admitted to Escorts Hospital about a week ago. He breathed his last at about 10 pm last night.

District officials and family members had reached the hospital last night. The cremation is likely to take place in his home district in Orissa.



One killed, five hurt as truck rams tree
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 16
One person was killed and five others were injured when a mini-truck collided against a tree near Mewla Maharajpur crossing here this morning.
According to the police, one person, identified as Ram Krishan of Alapur, died on the spot while five others travelling in a Tata 407 carrying wheat hit a tree after its driver lost control over the vehicle.

In separate road accidents yesterday, one youth who could not be identified was killed and two others were injured.

Students get scholarship

As many as 79 students of DAV School in Sector 14 here have received scholarship and prestigious scholar badge for this year. At a function held at the school yesterday, the students were presented with the awards.

Dr M. R. Mehta, a senior consultant at Escorts Hospital here, was the chief guest. According to the principal of the school, these students had achieved meritorious results in internal board and the CBSE exams by scoring 75 to 80 per cent or above in aggregate.

Twenty-three students were given scholarship ranging from Rs 4,200 to Rs 8,000 each. Three students got prize for collecting funds for the Cancer Society of India.

Bail in dowry harassment case

Sonepat: The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr R. K. Mehta, has granted bail to three accused persons in a dowry harassment case registered by the Mahila police station, Sonepat, on the complaint of a young housewife Haniman Nagar, Mrs Poonam.

According to a report, the accused were identified as Roopesh, husband of the woman, Dinesh and Mrs Sona Devi, brother and mother respectively of Roopesh. The case has been registered under Section 498-A against all the accused, alleging that they had demanded more dowry from the complainant.

PWD staff killed

A beldar of the PWD (B and R) was killed on the spot after a truck knocked him down near the railway flyover here last evening. According to a report, the police have arrested the truck driver and sent the body for post-mortem examination. It is stated that the beldar was engaged in repairing the road when the accident occurred.

New civil surgeon

The Haryana Government has appointed Mr R. A. Gupta as the new Civil Surgeon of Sonepat in place of Dr Rukmani Garg who retired from service on April 30. Dr Gupta was working as the Civil Surgeon of Jhajjar till now.

Roadways conducts driving test

A five-member team of the Haryana Roadways officials conducted test for drivers at a Driver’s Training Centre at Murthal, 8 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, as many as 670 candidates submitted their applications and the officials rejected 196 applications following the detection of some irregularities.

Bid to self-immolate

A youth, Ved Parkash, made an unsuccessful attempt to burn himself at his house in Lehrara village, 3 km from here, last evening. According to a report, the injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was sent to a Delhi hospital for further treatment. The cause of his extreme step is yet to be known. OC



Fire in IA office on Parliament Street 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
A few computers and important files were gutted in a fire that broke out in the Indian Airlines office located behind Akashvani Bhawan on Parliament Street early this morning. No casualty was reported in the incident, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service said.

The spokesman said that 12 fire fighters were rushed to the spot and brought it under control within one hour.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. However, preliminary inquiries revealed that it could be a short circuit, which caused the fire. When the incident occurred, the office was closed and the files, which caught fire, were kept near a circuit, he said.

DSGMC honours two: The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today honoured two persons, Dr S. P. Singh and Dr Balbir Singh, at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.

Sardar Paramjit Singh Sarna, president of the DSGMC said that Dr S. P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar has rendered invaluable services to the Sikh community and the university under his guidance has been doing extremely well.

About Dr Balbir Singh, Mr Sarna said in foreign countries he led a life of a devoted Khalsa and preached the gospel of Guru Nanak, other Guru Sahibs and Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

The DSGMC honoured them with a siropa, a shawl and kirpan. During the function, some prominent members of the committee were present.



Mining near Delhi border still on
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 16
Despite a ban on mining in the five-km area along the Delhi border, illegal mining has not come to an end totally. The authorities yesterday conducted a raid near Gurukul in Aravalli Hills and arrested some persons in this connection. A case has been booked against one contractor for illegal mining.

It is reported that the accused had put several labourers to mine stones from a spot coming under the banned area.

The officials had also seized a truckload of building materials reportedly mined from the region on May 12. The owner of the truck was arrested. The district authorities have claimed that checking on illegal mining had been going on regularly and many tracks used by the truck operators had been closed down. But it is learnt that illegal mining by influential political persons had been going on.



Gang of Bangladeshi robbers busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
The East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of Bangladeshi robbers who were involved in a number of burglaries and robberies in North-West district and the trans-Yamuna area. Jewellery worth lakhs of rupees, television sets, VCDs, VCRs, wristwatches and household items have been seized.

Three members of the gang were arrested during a drive launched by the local police for physical verification of known criminals who had been recently released from jails. During verification, the police came to know that Bangladeshi criminals are active in the district and they have their hideout in North-East district.

The police were also told that the suspects would assemble near the Mother Dairy last evening. A trap was laid and they were arrested. They have been identified as Khoken Kana, Gayasudin and Shahalam, the police said.

Aides of gangster held: The Special Cell today claimed to have arrested two associates of gangster Anil Bhagte who operated in Delhi and Haryana.

They were identified as Suresh Tonk and Jagbir alias Kala. Anil Bhagte was arrested by the Haryana Police a few years back. He was brought to Tis Hazari Courts in June 2000 by the Haryana Police in connection with a case. Suresh, Jagbir and a few others helped Bhagte in escaping from the custody of the Haryana Police.

During interrogation, they disclosed that when the police were taking Bhagte back to Haryana, they went to the ISBT in a stolen Maruti car and they started selling soft drinks laced with sedative in the bus in which Bhagte and the policemen were sitting. When the policemen did not purchase the drinks at the ISBT, the suspects chased the bus in the Maruti car and entered the bus again with cold drinks near Jahangirpuri bye-pass where the policemen purchased the cold drinks and became unconscious after drinking it. Taking advantage, Bhagte ran away, the police said.

Hunt for truck driver: The South district police have launched a hunt for the truck driver whose vehicle hit three police personnel near Badarpur Border last evening. One of them, Lekh Raj, died on the spot while two others are still under treatment. The injured are identified as constables Devi Sahayai and Rajbir. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered, the police said.



Commotion after thug shoots at lottery seller
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 16
Quite a stir was caused when a notorious criminal fired shots at a lottery seller on the premises of the Sarang cinema house here last evening. However, no one was injured in this shoot-out.

Though the alleged assailant managed to escape from the scene he was later arrested. The police also seized the country-made pistol from him. The police have registered a case against him.

It is stated that the alleged assailant, Radhey, had gone to the lottery bazaar to take commission from lottery sellers. When Mr Mauji Ram, a lottery seller, declined to give the amount of commission, he was shot at by the culprit who disappeared after the incident. This caused panic and the police were informed immediately.

Duo fire at driver, snatch car: In another case, two unidentified armed youths reportedly fired at taxi driver Anil Kumar, a resident of Najafgarh (Delhi), and drove away with his car from the Sonepat-Gohana road near Rattangarh village, about 10 km from here, late last evening.

According to a report, Mr Anil Kumar sustained bullet injuries and was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was sent to a trauma centre in Delhi. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to apprehend the culprits.



NHPC to avoid high-cost foreign currency loans, to tap only local sources
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 16
The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC), which has posted an increase of 8.6 per cent in its net profit in the year 2002-03, has decided to depend mainly on Indian sources for raising funds for its projects rather than going for high cost foreign currency loans.

According to a spokesperson of the NHPC, which has its headquarters here, the corporation has signed a line of credit of Rs 2,500 crore with the Life Insurance Corporation Of India (LIC) for a tenure of 19 years with a moratorium of seven years. According to officials, high cost foreign currency loans and the Government of India loans worth Rs 135 crore have been replaced by the low cost rupee loans. In all, term loans amounting to Rs 450 crore and bonds to the tune of Rs 640 crore have been raised during the past one year. The corporation also received the highest budgetary support of Rs 875 crore from the Government of India during the period under review to meet the capital expenditure in NHPC projects. The corporation has paid an interim dividend of Rs 50 crore for the year 2002-03.

The NHPC spokesperson said the authorised share capital of the NHPC had been increased to Rs 10,000 crore, while the paid up capital had been Rs 6,815 crore.

The allocation to the NHPC by the Planning Commission in the 10th Five Year Plan had been 57 per cent of the total, which is the highest ever allocation so far.

The corporation has claimed the seven operating power stations of the NHPC had generated 9,862.71 million units of energy against a target of 9,000 million units in the last year. While the beneficiary states owe about 1881.46 crore, including the surcharge for delay and development, it was able to realise Rs 1381.58 crore during the period and signed tripartite agreements with 24 states for settlement of dues in one go.

According to corporation authorities, the sales turnover achieved in the past year had been 1327.45 crore and its power station achieved a capacity index of 96.62 per cent.

It is claimed that work on the 300 MW Chamera stage-II project in Himachal Pradesh had been ahead of schedule and it was likely to be commissioned by June this year. Work on the 510 MW Teesta stage-V project in Sikkim had also been ahead of schedule. The total installed capacity of the projects in operation had been about 2175 MW at present.


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