N C R   S T O R I E S


EC clears Haroon Yusuf’s papers after hiccup
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
The Election Commission (EC) on Monday cleared the nomination papers of Development Minister Haroon Yusuf, who is the Indian National Congress (INC) candidate from Ballimaran. His party has retaliated by questioning the validity of the nomination papers filed by Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Madan Lal Khurana on account of his not having resigned from the post of chairman of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Yusuf’s nomination had been put on hold after the candidates fielded by the BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) complained to the EC that his nomination papers should be rejected as he was holding an office of profit as the chairman of Delhi Waqf Board.

The EC ruled that Delhi Waqf Board chairman’s post was not an office of profit and hence his nomination should be cleared. According to the EC guidelines, no candidate would be allowed to contest the polls if he or she holds an office of profit.

Yusuf said the Waqf Board was an autonomous body and its chairman neither enjoyed salary nor perks. “I was elected chairman by the elected members of the Board,” he said and added in a lighter vein that there was actually no office of the chairman of the Board.

The minister said the Delhi Waqf Act envisages election of its ten members, with one being a Member of Parliament and one from the Assembly. The Act, he said, clearly says the MP and MLA will not be disqualified to contest elections after joining the Waqf Board.

The INC retaliated by questioning the validity of Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana’s nomination on account of his holding the post of chairman of DMRC. The party said it would seek suitable advice before moving the EC.

Meanwhile, Romesh Sabharwal has resigned from the executive committee of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC). Sabharwal has filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s Gole Market constituency.

In his letter to DPCC President Prem Singh, the former chairman of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) said he was quitting because of recent events which had affected his credibility in the party and in the public.

Sabharwal’s nomination papers were challenged by two candidates contesting from Gole market on the grounds that they were incomplete. The returning officer, however, rejected the objections saying there was no substance in them. The son of the late minister Deep Chand Bandhu withdrew his candidature from the Wazirpur Assembly constituency. Anil Bandhu had filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate after he was not nominated by the INC.



Judeo issue comes to nag BJP in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana on Monday claimed the resignation of Union Minister of State for Environment Dilip Singh Judeo would not hurt the party’s fortunes in the NCT of Delhi, which goes to poll in a fortnight.

The Indian National Congress (INC), meanwhile, kept up the pressure on the BJP by holding a demonstration in the Capital. Several All India Congress Committee (AICC) office bearers were present to lend strength to the protest.

Mr Khurana told reporters that Mr Judeo had resigned in spite of knowing that he is innocent. “Look at Congress … Chattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi has been charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and he continues to be in his post,” he said.

Mr Khurana, who was flanked by the party’s other Members of Parliament (MPs) from NCT of Delhi and BJP President Venkaiah Naidu, was talking to reporters after a half-an-hour meeting with Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.

Mr Khurana said the alleged scandal had given his party another issue to expose the INC in the NCT of Delhi and the other states that go to polls on December 1. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Jagmohan, Anita Arya, Lal Bihari Tiwari and Vijay Goel were present with him.

Asked about the deliberations of the meeting with the deputy prime minister, Mr Khurana said the delegation had apprised the former of the campaigning in the NCT of Delhi and other party matters. Meanwhile, asserting that the Dilip Singh Judeo graft issue would figure prominently in its election campaign, the INC demanded the immediate arrest of the Union Minister of State.

“We demand that a case be registered immediately against the Union Minister of State under the Prevention of Corruption Act and he should be arrested like any other ordinary man,” AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni told reporters during the demonstration.



Despite better success rate of women, 
parties plump for men
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
If the report card of women contestants is anything to go by, their male counterparts not only need to work doubly hard, but may as well consider taking lessons for enhancing their performance.

Statistics revealed by the Centre for Social Research (CSE) indicate that women have fared well in the previous Assembly elections, not just in the National Capital, but also in what are considered “conservative” states, including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

In the Capital, during the 1998 elections, out of the 758 male contestants a mere 61 managed a seat, while of the 57 women candidates nine made it to the Assembly. The two figures, when compared in terms of average, reveal that as against close to eight per cent winning rate of men, the women had a far better success rate of 15.78 per cent.

Further, in the 1993 elections, if the men were racing ahead with a 5.3 per cent winning rate, women were racing ahead in the previous years. In 1983 the rate stood at 19.04 per cent, in 1977 it was 57.14 per cent and in 1972 it was 33.3 per cent as against 13.72 per cent, 21.4 per cent and 20.30 per cent of men in the corresponding years.

The sad part is, despite a proven track record, women still find it hard to contest elections. “We find it hard to understand why all political parties are so adamant about fielding a male candidate. If we look at the previous years’ election figures, we see a phenomenal performance of the women candidates”, complained Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director CSE.

The discrimination against women is clearly exhibited in the numbers fielded by the political parties this year. Of the 70 candidates fielded by the Congress, a dozen are female and of the 66 BJP contestants there are just seven females.

As to whether this is reluctance on the part of the political parties to accept women into their fold, Dr. Kumari adds, “There is clearly no political will to share power with women. This is clearly reflected in the way seats have been distributed for the current elections and women have been pushed to the margin once again”.

Discrimination apart, experts points out that inclusion of women in the government can aid in decision making, which has relevance for women and society at large. “This (results) clearly goes out to show that the male bias is also not beneficial for different parties, even though they have a strong inclination to choose them. This phenomenon not only stops women from reaching the decision-making positions, but also marginalises important issues like rape, domestic violence and dowry at the very outset”.



Health Watch
HC seeks action taken report on dengue control
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
The Delhi High Court today pulled up the Centre, the Delhi Government and civic bodies in the Capital for their failure to take timely and adequate preventive steps to check the outbreak of dengue in the city.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice A K Sikri directed the authorities concerned to file an Action Taken Report (ATR) within two months on the steps taken in compliance with the court orders and recommendations of a committee, set up by the Union Government on the high court’s directive to suggest ways and measures to control mosquito-borne diseases.

The judges observed that lives would not have been lost had the authorities, especially the MCD, taken prompt action on controlling dengue. The directions came while disposing of a petition seeking urgent implementation of court orders that were given in 1996 when hundreds of lives were lost in the Capital following the outbreak of the epidemic.

The bench had also directed that before the next monsoons the MCD should procure adequate number of fogging machines, desilt drains to prevent water logging, ensure better garbage disposal and launch a public awareness programme.

The Municipal Commissioner was also told not to allow unauthorised constructions and consider covering all drains in the city. All agencies and ministries concerned were directed to extend cooperation in this regard. The Municipal Commissioner was also asked to fix the responsibility of field officers in each of the nine zones of the MCD.

On October 29, the high court had called for an Action Taken Report from the Central Government’s newly launched Integrated National Vector Diseases Control Programme about the ‘’positive and timely’’ steps it had taken to prevent the outbreak of dengue in the Capital.

The division bench sought an affidavit from the members of the committee set up by the Union Government on the High Court’s earlier orders.



SDM lifts samples, contractors stop work 

Sonepat: Following reports of use of substandard material in construction works being executed by contractors within the municipal limits of Ganaur town and lifting of samples of the material by the SDM, Ganaur, for lab testing, the former have reportedly stopped the construction activities.

Many a members of the municipality and contractors on condition of anonymity informed the NCR Tribune that the incident was an outcome of a cold war between the SDM and the municipal Authorities.

According to information, about five days back the SDM inspected the construction work on Railway Road of the town and found some substandard bricks on the site. He ordered the removal of the bricks from the site but when he again inspected the site after three days he found the bricks had not been removed and were being used in construction. Angry over the callous attitude of the contractor, the SDM reportedly ordered lifting of the construction material and sent it for testing in the laboratory. The SDM’s action has spread panic among the contractors and they have reportedly stopped their construction activity. OC



Two labourers die in freak accident
Our Correspondent

Noida, November 17
Two labourers were killed while another was seriously injured when glass sheets loaded on a Tata-407 truck in Sector 9 under the Sector 20 police station suddenly cracked and fell on some labourers in the truck.

The truck driver fled immediately after the accident but was nabbed by the police. Lakshmi Glass House at G-10 in Sector 9 has its godown in I-13. The mini-truck was deployed for ferrying the stock of glass sheets from the godown to the showroom.

Labourers of the showroom, Nasaruddin, alias Sunil, Magister Shah and Uday Pratap, had gone along with driver Attari.

As the truck negotiated a turn on way to the showroom some glass sheets cracked due to the sudden application of brakes and fell on the labourers.

The broken glass pieces pierced the bodies of the labourers.

Hearing the labourers’ shrieks, driver Attari stopped the truck and took to his heels. He was nabbed near Gole Chakkar by Sub-Inspector Vinode Kumar.

The police from Sector 20 reached the shop and extricated Sunil,18, Magister, 36, and Uday from the debris. Uday was declared brought dead at the hospital while Magister died a little later. Sunil is in a critical condition.

The police said these sheets of thick glass were not properly tied and the accident occurred due to a jerk. The truck diver is likely to be charged.



death trap
Two killed on the spot by speeding van
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 17
Two young men, crossing the national highway near Kajipura Mode under the Missouri police station area, were knocked down by a Maruti van being driven at a high speed.

The Maruti van was coming from Delhi. According to eyewitnesses, the two victims were hit with such force that they were hurled a couple of meters away and died on the spot. The victims have been identified as Sunder Pal, 25, and Lalit, 19.

They belonged to Mehrauli village. They had come to the bypass for some work when they were hit by the van, the police said.

The driver of the vehicle, however, fled from the scene after the accident. The police have registered a case against the unidentified vehicle. Someone informed the Delhi police control room about the accident, who in turn informed the local police. Despite this, the police arrived on the scene quite late.



Chautala raises minimum limit of coop loans 
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, November 17
The Haryana Government has decided to raise the minimum limit of cooperative loans from Rs 60,000 to Rs 85,000 of such loanees who are paying their loan on time. Besides, one per cent rebate would be given to them in the interest.

This was announced by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while addressing the state level Cooperative Day function in Circus Ground where he also presented mementos to the outstanding cooperative institutions including sugar mills.

Mr Chautala today claimed that rapid strides have been made for the social and economic uplift of the people of the state with the involvement of the cooperative institutions. He said that under the Kisan Credit Card Scheme, as many as 9,85,000 farmers had already been issued with credit cards and the Government had set the target to cover all the eligible farmers under the scheme by the end of this financial year.

The cooperative banks had also started an innovative scheme for providing house loan up to Rs 5 Lakh, he added.

While enlisting various schemes initiated by the state government through cooperative banks for the benefit of different sections of society, Mr Chautala stated that the government had reduced the rate of interest by four and a half per cent on the cooperative loans besides the farmers had also been exempted from the payment of stamp duties while buying tractors and agriculture implements through cooperative banks.

Mr Chautala emphasised the need for diversification of cropping pattern and advised the farmers to opt for vegetables, medicinal plants and flower so that maximum benefit could be earned.

He said that 650 lakh million tonnes foodgrain was stored in the godowns in the country and the Union Government was forced to start “Food for Work Scheme” so that developmental works in the villages could be executed.

Stating that the government was contemplating to implement the contract farming in the state, the Chief Minister said that the Hafed had prepared a proposal to hand over the fertiliser distribution to the societies of the educated unemployed youths.

The Chief Minister also visited the exhibition put up by various cooperative institutions and different government departments highlighting the achievements of the state government in various fields.

Earlier, the CM inaugurated as many as four development projects in the town which included Tau Devi Lal Town Park in Sector – 7, 33-K.V.

Power Sub-Station at village Sewah, dyeing units shifting project in Sector – 29 and a Gymkhana Club in Sector 11-12.



Power theft not only an offence, but a 
social evil: Chautala 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 17
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has said power theft is not only an offence under the law but a social evil also as it hits hard honest electricity consumers in the state.

Answering a series of questions put by several electricity consumers on this issue, Mr Chautala pointed out that on account of large-scale power theft the electricity boards in the entire country had been suffering huge financial losses. He, however, declared that his government was bent upon curbing the tendency of power theft by the consumers. He disclosed that a number of measures had been taken in this regard and during the past six months as many as 67,170 premises of the consumers had been checked and the officials had detected 6,261 cases of power theft.

He admitted that on account of cumbersome procedure for granting electricity connections the tendency of power theft had increased. He said that his government had already simplified the procedure and released 24,769 new power connections in the state. He called upon the people to help the government in rooting out the menace of power theft. He also said that he had already directed the authorities concerned to continue the campaign against power theft on a regular basis and imposed heavy penalty on the offenders as provided under the law.

Referring to the delay in the recruitment of teachers by the Haryana Staff Selection Board, the Chief Minister stated that following the direction of the courts the policy of regularisation of temporary teachers had been reviewed and the Staff Selection Board had withheld the results. He said the result of the written examination conducted by the board would be declared soon.

Mr Chautala justified the increase in the application fee by the staff selection board and said a lot of expenditure was incurred on advertisements and conducting of the examinations as well as interviews.

Mr Chautala, however, rejected the allegations that merit was being ignored and the political considerations had played a significant role in the recruitment of police constables and other jobs. He claimed the selections were made on merit as well as physical fitness and taking into consideration the academic qualification of the candidates.

The Chief Minister also rejected the demand of the unemployed youths for the exemption of the application fee as it would be the discrimination and this facility may be misused by them.

He said that the ex-servicemen were being given the facility of reservation in the recruitment of police constables and if any candidate is not found the reservation facility is being provided to the next kith and kin of the ex-servicemen. Mr Chautala disclosed that when Devi Lal became the Chief Minister of the state for the second time in 1987 he had provided free travel facility in the Haryana Roadways buses from their residence to the offices.



JD(U) criticises mid-term transfers of govt staff
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 17
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has criticised the mid-term transfers of the government employees, particularly schoolteachers, and said it would adversely affect the working of the government offices as well as the teaching work in the schools and the students would suffer a lot.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said it was within the powers of the state government to order the transfers of the government employees but it should be done in public interest and not on the whims of bureaucrats and politicians.

He said that normally the transfers of schoolteachers would be made in the beginning of the academic session in July and no mid-term transfer should be made as it was neither in the interest of the teachers nor the students.

He suggested that the time of periods should be increased so that the teachers could properly teach the students in the classes.

He also criticised the undeclared policy of the government for abolishing the posts of teachers and rendering them surplus. He demanded reduction in the number of students from 60 to 40 per section so that the teachers could do justice to their jobs. He demanded the immediate imposition of a ban on the mid-term transfers of the teachers and other government employees in the state.

Mr Vidrohi criticised the central government for fixing Rs 630 per quintal as the minimum support price of wheat and said that it was totally inadequate as the farmers spent more money on purchasing fertilisers, pesticides and electricity. He demanded the fixing of Rs 700 per quintal as minimum support price of wheat crop.

He appealed to all political parties not to indulge in character assassination of the candidates seeking elections to the Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha. He said they should contest elections on the basis of their performance.



Special Focus on faridabad
Privatisation fails to end excess billing menace
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 17
The ordeal of the consumer has not ended despite the privatisation of meter reading and electricity bill distribution work. Complaints keep surfacing about faulty meter reading and excess billing. In fact, the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has refunded or adjusted inflated bills worth several lakhs in the past one month.

There is hardly any sub divisional office where such complaints have not been received. Billing has been computerised, but that has not helped matters.

Last fortnight the authorities reportedly detected excess billing of Rs two lakh in the industrial area sub division. Likewise, there has been excess billing of about Rs 1.5 lakh in Mathura Road sub-division, of about Rs two lakh in the NH-5 sub-division and over Rs two lakh in Sector-18 (west) sub-division. The authorities had to refund or adjust the bills of hundreds of consumers in these sub divisions.

Although the contract of meter reading and bill distribution in the district had been awarded to private contractors for the first time in April 2002, the number of complaints has been the maximum this year.

There are about two lakh power consumers in Faridabad town and the power department pays Rs. 1.20 per bill to the contractor. The rate of distribution is 75 paise per bill. But it has been noticed that despite computerisation, wrong billing is rampant.

It is reportedly quite easy to wrangle a contract and mostly the relatives of the staff or retired employees of the DHBVN had been bagging them. According to sources, the awardees have so far included a retired superintendent, sons of a retired linesman, a sub station attendant and a relative of a senior official of the nigam.

It is understood that the contractor normally does not give more than 40 to 45 paise per bill to the employee, while the former himself collects Rs. 1.20 per bill. The contractor is required to deposit a security of Rs. 50,000.

Though there is a provision for imposition of penalty at the rate of Rs. 12 per bill in case an irregularity is detected in billing, the authorities are yet to take any such action against the defaulters.

Rajender Kumar, a resident of Ajronda village near sector-15-A, pointed out that the department handed him a bill of Rs. 6000 recently, which was six or seven times higher than usual. He lodged a complaint and chased the office files for several days after which the department agreed to adjust the amount in the ensuing bills.

Residents of Sector-10 and nearby areas, led by a social activist, had staged a demonstration recently outside the office of the DHBVN to protest against excess billing. Incidentally, the department has to hire a good number of people to vet the excess billing complaints.

Despite incessant complaints in Faridabad, the meter reading contract was awarded to private parties in Palwal. In Panipat, too, the meter reading contract was cancelled, following reports of irregularities worth about Rs 25 lakh in the area. Despite this, no legal action was taken against the culprit.

The All Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union (AHPCWU) has demanded the scrapping of the contract system in meter reading and bill preparation. According to the union, the recent incidents of irregularities had proved that the contractual system was a failure.

NCB seminar in Capital from NOV 18: The National Council of Cement and Building Materials (NCB) is holding an international-level seminar at New Delhi from November 18 to 21.

It will be inaugurated by the Union Minister for state for Commerce and Industry Vidya Sagar Rao. At least 500 professionals from the cement and construction industry from 15 countries are likely to take part.

The national awards for energy performance, environment excellence and quality will be given in the concluding session.



Trade springboard

Senior Indian Administrative Service Officer (IAS) Mr Ashok Jha has only recently taken over as Chairman and Managing Director of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). Mr Jha succeeded Mr J. Vasudevan, who has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Prior to this assignment, Mr Jha was Additional Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry. He has held key positions in Government of Andhra Pradesh as Principal Secretary in the Department of Industry and Commerce, Managing Director of the Industrial Development Corporation, Finance Secretary and Secretary, Planning. In the Central Government, he served as Member Secretary, National Capital Region Planning Board, Ministry of Urban Development, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Counsellor, Commerce and Finance in the Embassy of India, Washington DC, as part of the five-year stint in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Jha was Advisor, International Affairs in the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and handled a number of bilateral and multi-lateral issues related to Commerce and Industry in this capacity. A postgraduate in Economics, Mr Jha holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from the Australian National University in Canberra, besides being a visiting Fellow to the Oxford University, UK.

These days, Mr Jha is at the helm of affairs because of the annual India International Trade Fair (IITF), which is going on right from Nov 14 to 27. ITPO has been organising this mega event since the last 22 years.


What new events you have tried to introduce in this year’s trade fair to attract more buyers and visitors?

There have been many changes. Easier access for visitors to Pragati Maidan and reduced traffic snarls on Mathura Road and its arterial feeder lanes is the outcome of a package of facilitation measures we have taken this year. We have constructed a pedestrian overbridge linking some of the main entry points of the exhibition complex to the bus stops and the parking lots across the road for the convenience of visitors. This obviates the need for fair visitors to wait patiently for a reduced traffic flow to dart across or seek the intervention of the men in uniform to cross over to the fair side of the road.

The emerging situation naturally proved a bonus for motorists as it eases the familiar traffic snarls that have been quite the bane of the previous trade fairs. The crowding phenomenon outside ticket sales booths has now become a thing of past with entry tickets being made available at a network of Mother Dairy outlets, DTC depots as well as select branches of State Bank of India, Canara Bank and Central Bank of India, as part of the facilitation measures.

As a special gesture, physically challenged persons are being given the privilege of free entry during public hours. Students accompanied by teachers are being given free entry during the general visiting hours on weekdays only.

Besides, with the accent increasingly on the ubiquitous park and ride facilities, the visitors can just about maintain a discreet distance from Pragati Maidan, park their vehicles in comfort far from the madding crowd and take the waiting coach to the fair. All in a matter of minutes, from India Gate or other points.

For the first time in the history, the ITPO is taking a third party liability insurance cover of Rs 10 crores. This scheme will cover all eventualities, including terrorist attack and fire during the 14-day long fair. The insurance cover is being provided by National Insurance. We have decided to introduce this scheme to safeguard all the visitors and exhibitors from any kind of eventuality except the act of God. The concept of taking third party liability insurance cover has become more widespread after the terrorist attack in the United States. Some international trade fairs do take such a cover but it is not known whether a third party liability insurance cover has been taken by any fair in India before. It is the biggest trade fair of its kind in India and over 13 lakh visitors are expected to come this time. More than seven thousands participants from 27 different countries like China, Pakistan, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, Thailand Sri Lanka and UAE are participating this time. This time rental for space has been increased by 10 per cent.

This year’s theme is Tourism and promoting exports of small and medium enterprises. What prompted you to take this decision?

The most striking characteristic of Indian tourism appears to be its very small market share in the overall global scenario. A market share of 0.38 per cent with total arrivals of 2.64 million, appears to be highly insignificant keeping in mind India’s unique positioning as a multi-dimensional country with many tourist destinations. This global share in spite of our steady growth has remained constant for more than two decades as other countries have made faster progress. Tourism is the fastest growing sector in the global economy contributing to over 10 per cent global products and employment.

Small and medium enterprises play a major role in India’s present export performance. Sixty per cent of the Indian export is contributed by this sector. This sector has performed exceedingly well and enabled our country to achieve a wide measure of industrial growth and diversification. By its less capital intensive and high labour absorption nature, this sector has made significant contributions to employment generation and also to rural industrialisation. This sector is ideally suited to build on the strengths of our traditional skills and knowledge, by infusion of technologies, capital and innovative marketing practices.

As the chief of ITPO, what are your future plans?

ITPO is the nodal agency of the Government of India for promoting external trade. Keeping this thing in mind, we are trying to revamp almost all existing facilities in Pragati Maidan.

We are toying with the idea of constructing a huge conventional centre, permanent market on the lines of Dilli Haat and cultural centre besides creating huge parking lots inside and outside the Pragati Maidan. However, this exercise will take at least two years. We are thinking of creating layered parking lots, which would accommodate almost 10,000 vehicles, up by five times from the current two thousand. For the convenience of visitors, starting a ‘Mono rail’ service is also on the agenda, which would ferry the visitors from the parking areas to the mela ground.

In the coming times, the exhibition areas of Pragati maidan will be fully centrally air-conditioned. The permanent market would showcase products like that of engineering and textiles, etc through out the year. We are also going to set up a huge convention centre with a massive capacity of 6,000 seating at one go. It will be the biggest in Delhi, leaving far behind the 1800 capacity Vigyan Bhavan. We are also planning to set up a cultural hub at Pragati Maidan.

This would mean conducting regular plays and screening of cinemas. We are also planning to connect all the exhibition halls through automatic ladders on the lines of fair ground of Frankfurt.

What is the vision of ITPO?

ITPO’s vision is to project India in its totality with Indian brand consciousness by focusing on innovations in projections, meticulous planning and the continuous pursuit of excellence. It was formed subsequently on January 1, 1992, with the merger of the former Trade Development Authority (TDA) with the TFAI. TDA was set up in 1970, as a registered society under Ministry of Commerce. Significantly, with the setting up of the National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI), jointly by ITPO and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) at Pragati Maidan in October 1994, ITPO, apart from maintaining its own database with regard to products and markets, is also regularly interacting with NCTI for supplementing its information base. One of the important milestones achieved by the ITPO was the setting up of the state-of-the-art Chennai Trade Centre (CTC) in January 2001, jointly with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) in Chennai. A similar exhibition centre is in the offing at Bangalore, as a joint venture with the Karnataka State Industrial Development Board. The starting of the Business Information Center (BIC) with a trade portal (portal india.com) to address the information needs of actual or potential exporters as well as importers with electronic accessibility as per models in advance nations, at Pragati Maidan in December 2001, has been another important step taken by ITPO.



No service big or small, says Nirankari Baba
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
On the second day of Nirankari Samagam here today, the head of the mission, Baba Hardev Singh, said no service was big or small. What mattered was the spirit and faith.

Addressing a Sewa Dal rally, he said, “Love, compassion, tolerance, discipline and faith are the main prerequisites for doing service to others. Besides, one should also be sensitive to other people’s sufferings. This can be done only by those who truly understand what a devotee stands for”.

Atop a flower-bedecked open carriage, Baba Hardev Singh, his mother Nirankari Rajmata Kulwant Kaur and his spouse Mata Sawinder Kaur went around the venue and blessed the volunteers. A white flag, a symbol of love, peace and service was also hoisted on his carriage.

Baba Hardev Singh lauded the efforts of Sewa Dal volunteers and said they performed their duties not only during samagams (congregations) in Delhi and elsewhere, but also helped people during natural calamities like earthquakes, floods and drought.

Earlier, during his address at the end of the first days open session late last evening, Baba said the walls of hatred and jealousy existed only so long as the mind was not linked with God, the ultimate Truth and the source of all noble virtues and divine qualities.

He said vested interests tended to keep man divided from man in the name of religion, language and region, while spiritual masters always endeavoured to remove such delusions and preached the Truth. All religious scriptures contained the same Truth.

It was unfortunate that Man today was generally encouraged to read them only. Love, which is the basic theme, was simply ignored.



Rich tributes paid to freedom hero Rao Gopal Dev
Our Correspondent

Rewari, November 17
Glowing tributes were paid to Rao Gopal Dev, a hero of the First War of Independence of 1857, at a Martyrs’ Memorial Conference organised under the auspices of “Ahirwal Shauriya Samiti” at Gopal Dev Chowk here yesterday. Simultaneously homage was paid to all other martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country.

Highlighting the patriotic deeds of Rao Gopal Dev, who was commandant of the Indian forces in the heroic battle which was fought against the British at Nasibpur near Narnaul on November 16, 1857; deputy leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP) Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav exhorted one and all to take a cue from the lives of Rao Gopal Dev and other war heroes and work with determination for the unity of the country.

Among others who paid homage to the martyrs were Mr Ashok Rao, convenor of the organising samiti; Mr Jawahar Lal Sachdeva, advocate, secretary of the HPCC; Mr Harish Saini, Rewari DCC president; Mr Kotu Ram Dhamija, Rewari city Congress chief; Mr Rajender Singh Yadav, vice-president of the Panchayati Raj Cell of the HPCC; commandant R.K.Yadav and several others. Earlier, a havan was organised at the chowk.

Later, the participants paid floral tributes at the statue of Rao Tula Ram, (another great hero of 1857) at the Naiwali Chowk here.

National Press Day: A simple function was held to mark the National Press Day here yesterday under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Neerja Shekher.

Journalists of Rewari district as well as the district police chief, Mr Hanif Qureshi, Mr Jai Dev Naharwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner and INLD legislator Ram Bir Singh participated in it.

Emphasising the urgency of maintaining undiluted credibility of news and stoutly defending journalism against the onslaught of the increasing commercialisation, journalists reiterated their pledge to put in dedicated efforts to keep the flag of the fourth estate aloft. They reaffirmed their resolve to work for the welfare of society.



In-laws in the dock
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 17
A resident of Sector-3 here has got a case booked under the Dowry Act against the in-laws of his daughter at Raj Nagar in Delhi.
The complainant has alleged that his daughter, married to Arun on February 22 last year, was being harassed for dowry and she was forced to leave the in-laws’ house.

The Sector-7 police here have registered a case under Section 498-A and 406 against five persons, including three women.

Cash, valuables stolen from house

Cash and valuables worth Rs 50,000 were stolen from a house in Charmswood village near Surajkund. A domestic help is suspected to be involved.

It is reported that Shyam and Virender working in the house of one Vikas have been missing. A case has been booked.

Meanwhile, two cars were stolen in Sector-31 police station area.

BPL families to receive aid

Jhajjar: The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, would provide aid worth Rs 45 lakh to the below the poverty line (BPL) families on December 4 in a function to be organised by the district administration.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Mohinder Kumar, Deputy commissioner, said that sewing machines and bicycles would be given to the BPL families. Besides, cheques of Rs 20,000 would be distributed to the homeless people for building houses.

The DC said that Rs 5 crore sanitation project sent to the Central government has been sanctioned and the work would start as soon as the funds arrive.

Mr Kumar said that the Chief Minister would also lay the foundation stone of a Rs 22-lakh interpretation centre at Bhinda bird sanctuary here on his visit on December 4.

District Police Chief H S Doot, ADC; Ms Suprabha Dahiya, SDM; Mr Pankaj Agrawal, Special Collector; Mr Rajpal Singh and other district officials were present on the occasion. OC

‘Village Transition in North-west India’

Rohtak: The two-day North-West India Sociological Association Conference on ‘Village Transition in North-West India’ concluded with eminent sociologist professor K Gopal Tyer urging the social scientists to participate in the process of social change.

Speaking about the impact of globalisation on villages, Prof Iyer of Punjab University, Chandigarh, pointed out its disruptive impact on the village economy.

Earlier, Dr Jitender Prasad of the host Maharshi Dayanand University presented a report about the deliberations of the conference.

He informed that 18 papers were presented on the first day and nine on the concluding day on the topics like village as community and social tensions, changing status of rural women and on various aspects of village transition processes. OC



crime spiral
Wazirpur robberies worked out; three held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
With the arrest of three persons, the North-West district police today claimed to have solved two sensational robberies that took place in the Wazirpur Industrial Area. The police also claimed to have recovered a country-made pistol from their possession.

The accused Suresh (23), resident of Moradabad, Satpal (22), resident of Gorakhpur and Sarwan (22), resident of Wazirpur Industrial Area, were arrested.

On October 21, the accused had entered a steel manufacturing unit owned by Ishwar Jain (35) and ran away with two demand drafts worth Rs 4.2 lakh and Rs 50,000. The accused also took away some documents at gun-point.

Cash, documents snatched: Two persons entered the office of one Parmod Jain (48) and took away Rs 35,000 and some documents at gun-point. The accused confessed to their crimes during interrogation.

One held for kidnapping: The South district police have claimed to have arrested one Vijay alias Punjabi (29), resident of Hoshiarpur, Punjab, who is a member of the Sandeep Bhuri gang. The accused was involved in at least seven cases of dacoity, robbery, attempt to murder, kidnapping and Arms Act. The police also claimed to have recovered a country-made pistol along with a live cartridge from his possession.

Two Bangladeshis held: With the arrest of two Bangladeshis, the East district police have claimed to have busted a gang of burglars operating in the district. While the police managed to arrest two of them, others in the gang had fled to Bangladesh after committing a spate of burglaries in the district.

The police also claimed to have seized gold and silver jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh from their possession.

The accused Sagir and Manik Mota alias Imran, both residents of New Seema Puri had committed at least 10 burglaries within one month.

Based on a secret information, the police laid a trap in the Mayur Vihar –II and apprehended the two accused.

They told the police that their other gang members Inda, Shamim, Sagir, Islam, Iman, Miraj and Iliyas had fled to Bangladesh after committing the burglary.



Uniformgate: Five more arrested 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
The MCD school uniform scam is becoming murkier as the Economic Offences Wing has today claimed to have caught five more persons in this connection. Three corporation employees were earlier arrested for siphoning off several lakhs of rupees by selling the uniforms in open markets.

The sleuths have also claimed to have seized a huge quantity of goods worth Rs 10 lakh from different godowns.

They have arrested Ram Kishore Aggarwal (41), Rohit Mahajan (28), Love Kishore (42), Gian Deep Kalra (35) and Har Mohand Bawa (46) for buying the MCD uniforms and other articles at throwaway prices.

During interrogation, the three accused told the sleuths that they had sold the uniforms to Ram Kishore Aggarwal, a Teliwada-based wholesaler and articles to Rohit Mahajan at very lower price. The sleuths also seized 5,500 pairs of shoes and 2,600 pieces of woollen jerseys from the godown in Mundka village. Later, Love Kishore, a tailor and Harmohan Bawa, a shoe-maker—both having shops in Lodhi Colony were arrested.. Another accused Deep Kalra was also arrested for purchasing the goods.

From another godown in Sangam Vihar owned by Harmohan Singh, the sleuths have seized 900 pairs of sandals. Besides these seizures, the sleuths recovered a large number of articles purchased from the MCD employees at throwaway prices. The sleuths said that further investigation into the MCD uniform scam is in progress and some more arrests were likely.



Four-year-old girl knocked down by tractor
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 17
A four-year-old girl Monika was knocked down and killed by a tractor at Bakhtawarpur village about 10 km from here last night.
According to a report, the police have registered the case against the tractor driver on the charge of rash and negligent driving and causing the death of the girl. A hunt is on to catch him.

Housewife attempts  suicide: A young housewife Mrs Usha was reported to have attempted suicide by sprinkling kerosene and setting the clothes on fire in her house at Bandepur village about 3 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, her husband came to her rescue, but he too sustained burn injuries. Both of them were rushed to the local civil hospital wherefrom the woman was referred to the PGIMS Rohtak for treatment. A family quarrel is stated to be the cause of the extreme step. The police are still investigating the case.

Kidnap case against brother: The Mahila police have registered a case against a youth Sanjay and his three associates in connection with the alleged kidnapping and raping of a 14-year-old girl Saroj of New Braham Colony in the city.

According to a report, this followed the lodging of an FIR with the Mahila police by Mr Rameshwar, father of the girl, alleging that she had been kidnapped by his own son Naresh and his wife’s brother Sanjay as well as others, on November 14.

But she managed to escape and reached home in the evening of November 15. The girl told the police that she was taken to an unknown place by Sanjay and others where she was raped.

The girl was medically examined by a two-member team of the doctors in the civil hospital and the medical process continued till midnight.

Chit fund company  directors booked: The Roop Nagar (Delhi) Police have registered a case against the directors of a chit fund company (Madadgaar) under Sections 420, 406 and 34 IPC for allegedly duping a large number of people in Delhi and Sonepat by luring them into giving higher rate of interest on their deposits.

According to a report, the suspects included Devinder Sharma, son of Mr Jassa Ram Sharma; Mrs Shashi Sharma, wife of Mr Jawahar Sharma; and Mrs Neelam Sharma, wife of Devinder Sharma. The police have launched a hunt to apprehend the persons named in the FIR. It is alleged that the directors had issued cheques to a number of persons but the cheques had been bounced by the banks. The persons named in the FIR are still absconding after selling their property.

SDM cheats death: Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, SDM, Ganaur had a miraculous escape when his vehicle was hit by a truck on G T Road near Baye village about 20 km from here last evening.

According to a report, Mr Mehra was returning to Ganaur after attending a wedding party at Samalkha. When his vehicle reached near Baye village, it was hit by a truck. The vehicle was badly damaged. Mr Mehra suffered just minor injuries. The police have registered the case against the truck driver and further investigations were in progress.


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