SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

Agreements with Tehri, NTPC to supply power
New Delhi, April 19
Delhi Government today signed agreements to purchase 1,000 MW power from Tehri Hydro Development Corporation and National Thermal Power Corporation. As per the agreements, signed in the presence of Delhi chief minister Ms Sheila Dikshit and power minister Mr Haroon Yusuf, 1,031 MW additional power would be available to Delhi from five different power stations belonging to Tehri and NTPC by the year 2009.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Power Minister Haroon Yusuf look on during the signing of agreement between Delhi Transco Ltd, Tehri Hydro Power Corporation and NTPC, in the Capital Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Power Minister Haroon Yusuf look on during the signing of agreement between Delhi Transco Ltd, Tehri Hydro Power Corporation and NTPC, in the Capital on Wednesday.
— Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Visit mini secretariat at your own peril
Even deputy commissioner washes hands of cleanliness issue
Faridabad, April 19
The newly built mini secretariat building in sector 12 here, which houses the offices of nearly all district officials, including the deputy commissioner and the SSP, is one filthy and unkempt place, thanks to the absence of a proper and regular cleaning system.




EARLIER STORIES

 
Activists of Indian Federation of Trade Unions demonstrate against the hike in user charges imposed by AIIMS on patients, at Jantar Mantar in the Capital
Activists of Indian Federation of Trade Unions demonstrate against the hike in user charges imposed by AIIMS on patients, at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Proposal to post more police officers in Gurgaon
Gurgaon, April 19
The district police authorities have sent a proposal to the Haryana Government for increasing the manpower in the category of officers for the urban estate areas of the district on the lines of arrangements made in the bordering district of South Delhi in the national Capital.

Uphaar case: HC to hear victims’ petition today
New Delhi, April 19
The Delhi High Court today adjourned hearing on a plea asking for the cancellation of the bail applications of the Ansals, owners of the Uphaar cinema, till tomorrow after hearing their counsel.

New power grid inaugurated in Paschim Vihar
New Delhi, April 19
BSES has dedicated the state-of-the-art 33/11 KV-40 MVA Paschim Vihar Grid to more than 65,000 residents of the area. The grid was inaugurated by Mr Sajjan Kumar, Member of Parliament.

No end to prolonged power cuts in sight
Greater Noida, April 19
It appears that people in Noida and Greater Noida are destined to bear a daily power cut for at least eight hours in spite of Mr Amar Singh’s assurances the other day. The Samajwadi Party general secretary had promised that he would try to have the commissioning of the Dadri Reliance project preponed.

‘Negotiate to prevent strikes’
Gurgaon, April 19
Leading entrepreneurs and various industrial associations are appreciative about the role of the district administration in handling the five-day-long strike at Hero Honda Motors Ltd here.

Colleges violating norms for journalism degree
New Delhi, April 19
In a blatant violation of rules, three colleges of the University of Delhi, which offer an under graduate course in Hindi Journalism, have failed to adhere to the prescribed curriculum and are awarding degrees to students despite preconditions not being met.

Increased allocation of funds for UGC
New Delhi, April 19
With an increased allocation of funds for the year 2006-07, the University Grants Commission has got its budget passed in the first month of the new financial year. This, according to the Commission, will help in the timely allocation of funds to affiliated universities and colleges.

Panel to take up UP-Haryana border issue
Greater Noida, April 19
Senior officers of UP and Haryana have renewed efforts to resolve the boundary dispute between the two states which have often erupted into violence in which many lives have been lost.

Multi-level parking on MG Road planned
Gurgaon, April 19
Haryana Urban Development Authority proposes to build a multi-level parking facility on the congested Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. The administrator, HUDA, Gurgaon, Mr S P Gupta said that the government has a piece of land measuring around three acres on MG Road on which facility this may be built.

GDA seals illegal flats in basements and parks
Ghaziabad, April 19
The Ghaziabad Development Authority has sealed flats constructed in the basements of buildings and a number of parks. GDA bulldozers had razed shops constructed in buildings and parks yesterday. The shutters of shops and some walls were brought down.

Man jailed for raping 13-year-old girl
New Delhi, April 19
A city court today sentenced a 30-year-old man to seven-year imprisonment for raping a 13-year-old girl in Sarita Vihar in South-West Delhi three years ago. After hearing the arguments of both the prosecution and the defence, an additional sessions judge held Mukut guilty of raping the girl and sentenced him to seven-year imprisonment.

Man commits suicide in Munirka
New Delhi, April 19
A man committed suicide today by hanging himself from the ceiling in his rented house in southwest district. The deceased has been identified as Manish Kumar (28), a native of Bihar.

Over 8,500 taxis, autorickshaws booked by traffic police
New Delhi, April 19
The Delhi Police have booked 8,573 taxi/TSR drivers in the city till April 15 this year in connection with various traffic violations like refusal to carry passengers, overcharging, misbehaviour and harassment of commuters.

One held for making hoax bomb call
New Delhi, April 19
The police today detained a person who made three calls to them claiming that bombs had been planted near Jama Masjid, in St Stephen’s Hospital and Barafkhana area this afternoon.

Hoteliers demand change in licence policies
New Delhi, April 19
The members of Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association submitted a seven-point memorandum to the Delhi tourism minister Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely today on the problems facing them while preparing for the Common Wealth Games 2010.

Delhi firm opens forest resort
New Delhi, April 19
A Delhi-based firm has opened a resort at Jim Corbett National Park called Solluna Sarovar Resort. Situated in the midst of the picturesque national park, which is the largest wild life sanctuary in India, having 550 types of animal species and specially known for its tigers and leopards, the resort lies 266 kms from Delhi and 85 kms from Nainital.
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Agreements with Tehri, NTPC to supply power
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
Delhi Government today signed agreements to purchase 1,000 MW power from Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

As per the agreements, signed in the presence of Delhi chief minister Ms Sheila Dikshit and power minister Mr Haroon Yusuf, 1,031 MW additional power would be available to Delhi from five different power stations belonging to Tehri and NTPC by the year 2009.

While 600 MW of power would come from Tehri, 431 MW would be sourced from the NTPC’s North Karanpura, Kahlgaon Stage II, Barh and Unchahar stage III power projects.

Out of the 1,031 MW power to be sourced from the THDC and NTPC, about 130 MW would be available within the next two to three months — 100 MW from Tehri and 24 MW from NTPC’s Unchahar power project, the chief minister told reporters here after the signing of the agreement.

“The rest of the power will be available to Delhi in phases over in the next three years,” she said.

In addition to the 1,031 MW from the THDC and NTPC, 490 MW will be available from the Dadri power plant by 2009, thus augmenting Delhi’s power supply by 1,500 MW in the next three years, Ms Dikshit said.

Transco officials said that with the signing of the power purchase agreements, Delhi’s future needs had been secured, particularly for meeting the needs of 2010 Commonwealth Games.

However, Ms Dikshit said, while the Commonwealth was certainly a benchmark for ensuring additional supply of power in Delhi, the augmentation of power was to meet the constantly increasing power needs of the city.

“New stadiums, malls and hotels are constantly being built in Delhi. And with their coming up, the power requirement is bound to increase,” she said.

Ms Dikshit said the power purchase agreements with the THDC and NTPC were made possible with the support of the Union Ministry of Power. The tariff for the power sourced from the THDC and NTPC would be decided by the DERC, power secretary Mr Rakesh Mehta added.

As part of efforts to augment the power supply in Delhi, the state government was also making efforts to make the 330 MW Pragati phase II gas power plant operational, Ms Dikshit said.

There were plans to convert the Indraprastha power plant into a gas based plant but availability of gas was a problem, she said.

Efforts were also afoot by the Delhi Transco to meet the ever increasing demand of the city. Use of energy efficient devices would reduce the power requirement. Similarly, adopting of energy conservation measures like use of CFL lamps, LED lights for traffic signals and other areas, switching off lights in unoccupied areas etc would reduce the load on the system.

Presently, Delhi has four power plants — Indraprastha Power Plant, Rajghat Power Plant, Gas Turbine Power Plant and Pragati Power Plant — with installed capacities of more than 900 MW, but they produce a little over 750 MW. The city has an average peak demand of 2500 MW.

Meanwhile, Transco officials said the government has made adequate preparations for meeting the power requirements of Delhi during the summer.

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Visit mini secretariat at your own peril
Even deputy commissioner washes hands of cleanliness issue
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 19
The newly built mini secretariat building in sector 12 here, which houses the offices of nearly all district officials, including the deputy commissioner and the SSP, is one filthy and unkempt place, thanks to the absence of a proper and regular cleaning system.

The issue has been taken up by officials and employees of the various departments working here, but there seems to be no solution so far, despite the fact that a large number of people, including senior bureaucrats, visit the complex often.

“Hardly anyone expected that the place which ought to be known as the face of the district and town would be in such a deplorable condition less than two years of its construction,” said an employee working in the secretariat.

He said the toilets meant for the general staff and the visitors remained choked and blocked with no water and washing facilities more often than not. It was not possible for people to visit the place due to the unbearable stink emanating from the toilets. He added that several crores had been spent on the construction of this seven-storied building to house the offices of the district officials, but the authorities concerned had failed to hire full-time staff to keep the complex clean.

“I have never seen anyone sweeping or washing the corridor, as one can notice a lot of dust and waste paper scattered all around,” said a woman employee on condition of anonymity.

The building was inaugurated about two years ago by then chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, who had announced the setting up of a mini secretariat at every district and divisional headquarter in the state. The offices of the majority of district officials had been scattered at various spots in the city earlier, leading to inconvenience both to the functioning of the administration and the common man.

The deputy commissioner, when contacted, admitted that cleanliness of the building was a major problem, but claimed that the authorities who ought to take care of it were not taking interest, leading to filth all around.

She said some staff was engaged to maintain the cleanliness of certain offices and it was not possible for them to clean the whole building or the complex.

Offices of the senior officials were regularly cleaned by some of the staff, but there was no one who had the responsibility of cleaning public spots like the common washrooms, corridors, lifts, veranda and the parking area.

The plan of the authorities to put tiled photos of god and goddesses on the stairs to prevent people from spitting around seems to have failed as stains and spit remains can be seen everywhere.

While there has been no whitewashing of the building so far, the lifts often remain out of order due to technical fault or power failure with no generator facility for the complex so far.

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Proposal to post more police officers in Gurgaon
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 19
The district police authorities have sent a proposal to the Haryana Government for increasing the manpower in the category of officers for the urban estate areas of the district on the lines of arrangements made in the bordering district of South Delhi in the national Capital.

According to the district police chief Mr Hanif Qureshi, the government is likely to give a positive response to the proposal.

Interacting with mediapersons, he said the proposal consisted of providing two assistant superintendents of police. Also, a demand has been made for creating posts of two more deputy superintendents of police. Each of the two mooted DSPs would head Operations and Traffic. At present, there are three posts of DSPs, including DSP Headquarters and Industries. The third DSP is in-charge of Traffic. In effect, the authorities plan to have two DSPs for traffic management.

Mr Qureshi further said a case had been made out in the proposal for increasing the number of officers starting from inspectors rather than the constabulary.

The police chief said the proposal was prepared after a comparative study conducted in Gurgaon and South Delhi. While the urban estate of Gurgaon has 451 sq km, South Delhi is 415 sq km in area. The rate of crime is almost the same. But the South Delhi police have more manpower and officers are assigned specialised duties.

According to him, the proposal for DSP, Operations, was felt in Gurgaon so that the officer could specialise and focus on various gangs and other activities relating to the occurrence of crime. Each of the proposed ASPs would look after rural and city areas of the district.

He conceded that the police manpower in Gurgaon district was far behind the required number considering the growth and continued expansion. The present set up was in line with the setup in any district of the state.

With regard to traffic management, he said a holistic plan was being worked out. Various agencies and departments, including HUDA, the municipal council and PWD, are involved for ensuring better traffic management.

Mr Qureshi, who has introduced several new methods in the functioning of the police here, stressed on specialisation on the part of the officers. He said that training of the personnel in the district was being provided to upgrade their skills.

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Uphaar case: HC to hear victims’ petition today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The Delhi High Court today adjourned hearing on a plea asking for the cancellation of the bail applications of the Ansals, owners of the Uphaar cinema, till tomorrow after hearing their counsel.

Contending that the allegation of tampering with the evidence produced before the trial court was “baseless and unfounded”, senior counsel Altaf Ahmad, appearing for Gopal Ansal and his family members, submitted before Justice R C Jain that the evidence might have been tampered with by the record-keeper (Ahmad) who had been dismissed after an inquiry. Saying that the nature of allegation against the Ansals, he said conjecture and suspicion, however strong, might not be construed as evidence.

Mr Ahmed cited a Supreme Court ruling to prove his point that Ansals’ bail could not be cancelled on mere assumption that he might have stood to benefit from tampering with the evidence.

The counsel appearing for Delhi Fire Service HS Panwar contended that the Uphaar cinema victims lacked a locus standi to file the appeal in the High Court for cancellation of bail of the accused.

“At best, the case ought to have been filed by the prosecution,” he argued, adding that “the victims have formed an association from among a crowd”.

Justice Jain adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.

The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) had yesterday appealed to the court to reject the bail of Uphaar Cinema owner Sushil Ansal and others for allegedly tampering of evidence produced before the trial court.

The trial court had framed charges against 16 accused, including proprietors of Ansals Properties Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, for their alleged involvement in the Uphaar fire tragedy on June 13, 1997 which left 59 dead and more than 100 injured.

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New power grid inaugurated in Paschim Vihar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
BSES has dedicated the state-of-the-art 33/11 KV-40 MVA Paschim Vihar Grid to more than 65,000 residents of the area.

The grid was inaugurated by Mr Sajjan Kumar, Member of Parliament. Those present on the occasion included MLA Mala Ram Gangwal, MCD councillors Suresh Yadav and Surjan Lal Panwar and senior government and BSES officials.

“It has been 16 years since an in-house grid of this size has come up in West Delhi. We are happy to announce that this grid, costing over Rs 12 crore, has been built in a record time of 10 months,” said Mr Vijay Khullar, Chief Operating Officer, BRPL.

“Over 16 kms of cable has been laid to commission this grid to meet the present and future requirements of this densely populated area,” he added.

Complimenting BSES on commissioning the Paschim Vihar Grid, Mr Sajjan Kumar said: “This grid has fulfilled the long-standing demand of the residents and commercial establishments of this densely populated area and we hope it will improve the power situation, especially in the difficult summer months.”

The commissioning of the grid eases the load on the Madipur and Paschim Puri grids, which have been operating at over 80 per cent capacity, and will ensure stable power supply to over 65,000 residents living in parts of Madipur, Paschim Vihar, Cottage Enclave (Avtar Enclave), Multan Nagar, Paschim Vihar Extn and Pragati Apartments (DDA flats).

According to a BSES spokesperson, “The high-tech Grid Station, spread over an area of 1.5 acres, incorporates some of the latest advancements in distribution technology.”

The equipment installed in the grid, including power transformers, 10 Siemens 33 KV transformer panels, 25 ABB 11 KV indoor panel boards are SCADA-compatible — the technology that will revolutionise power distribution in Delhi.

When implemented, the grid can be remotely operated from the Central Control Room at Balaji Eastate, leading to faster resolution of breakdowns and complaints.

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No end to prolonged power cuts in sight
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, April 19
It appears that people in Noida and Greater Noida are destined to bear a daily power cut for at least eight hours in spite of Mr Amar Singh’s assurances the other day.

The Samajwadi Party general secretary had promised that he would try to have the commissioning of the Dadri Reliance project preponed.

The new target date for commissioning of Pali Power Project is stated to be May 30.

In rural areas, farmers continue to suffer power cuts from 16 to 20 hours a day, thanks to the antics of the NPCL, though chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had promised a 14-hour power supply to farmers.

Besides the industrialists having curtailed their production, power cuts have started adversely affecting commercial circles, traders and shopkeepers. While shopkeepers lose their customers, students’ studies also suffer.

Farmers say the NPCL is not able to supply power to villages and farmers even for four hours in a day. 

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‘Negotiate to prevent strikes’
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, April 19
Leading entrepreneurs and various industrial associations are appreciative about the role of the district administration in handling the five-day-long strike at Hero Honda Motors Ltd here.

They, however, suggest that the administration should be extra cautious in future so that the labourers do not resort to a strike and resolve all disputes by sitting across the table with the management.

Mr V. P. Bajaj, president of the Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), said the latest strike ended amicably due to team work by various departments, including labour, police and civil administration of the district.

All these departments were working jointly with an aim to end the strike on priority basis, added Mr Bajaj.

Citing an example of tactful handling of the sensitive issue, he revealed that the administration hired various teams for video recording of all movement of workers and the management during the strike so that it could act as a deterrence to check any untoward incident.

Mr P. K. Jain, former president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries and founder president of its Gurgaon chapter, added that in a democracy, it was okay if the political parties took up the cause of the labour community, but they must sit across the table with the management of the company concerned before resorting to a strike.

To a question whether such incidents had a negative impact on future investment in the state, Mr Jain opined that the masses had a very short memory. Such minor incidents did not have an everlasting effect, he said.

Mr Harish Kirpal of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the administration must aim to achieve zero per cent strike in Haryana.

The labour department must take strong steps and form the policies in such a way that the management does not exploit the labourers and in return the latter do not resort to strike.

There should be more improvement and initiative in the labour policy, implemented by the state government some time back, suggested Mr Kirpal.

Col Raj Singla, general secretary of the Chamber of Industries of Udyog Vihar, said Gurgaon had an edge over Noida as far as crime and labour unrest in industries was concerned. The city had comparatively less organised crime and minor labour issues, he said.

The administration must draw a short-term and long-term strategy to maintain its good image, he suggested.

The management of Hero Honda Motors Ltd also played a very positive role and extended full support to the contractors, contract workers and local administration to amicably resolve the issues raised by the 2,000-odd contract workers.

There was no formal workers union at its Gurgaon plant, added a senior official of the company.

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Colleges violating norms for journalism degree
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
In a blatant violation of rules, three colleges of the University of Delhi, which offer an under graduate course in Hindi Journalism, have failed to adhere to the prescribed curriculum and are awarding degrees to students despite preconditions not being met.

According to the syllabus drafted for the course that was implemented more than a decade ago, students of Hindi Journalism in the first, second and the third year of their course have to undergo a mandatory training programme and submit two projects in the third and the final year.

It is these pre-conditions that these colleges, Aditi Mahavidyalay, Bhim Rao Ambedkar College and Guru Nanak College, have dispensed with, and surprisingly, the university has failed to take note of.

The rules laid down make it explicitly clear that students who fail to get at least 60 per cent marks after three years of study in the training programme cannot be awarded degrees. Further, the two projects meant to be submitted in the final year are also mandatory, failing which the degree can be withheld.

The colleges till date have let students skip the training programme, which has been allocated 30 marks in the first two years and 40 in the final year, and have also allowed them to submit one project instead of two. The projects have been allocated 50 marks each.

The curriculum states that students have to undergo the practical training between May 15 and June 30 each year, a fact that has gone unnoticed by the entire university community.

“The total marks at the end of the all the years is 1100, but the colleges have been dishing out marksheets where the total marks are shown as 1000 only. The practice has been going on for more than 10 years, but no one has taken note of it,” said a source.

The issue, which hitherto remained a well-guarded secret, has come to the fore after two external examiners who were assigned to Aditi College allocated marks out of 50 for the final year project.

Having been apprised of the norms being flouted, the Hindi Department, under whose purview the course comes, has instructed all three colleges to ensure that students submit the second project as well.

With examinations, just round the corner, students now have barely a month left to complete and submit their project.

Interestingly, the practice of sending two external examiners is also against the rules, which specify that one internal examiner will assist one external examiner.

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Increased allocation of funds for UGC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
With an increased allocation of funds for the year 2006-07, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has got its budget passed in the first month of the new financial year. This, according to the Commission, will help in the timely allocation of funds to affiliated universities and colleges.

Another first this year is that central universities will receive a separate allotment of Rs 515 crore.

In a statement issued here, the Commission said that as against the plan estimate of Rs 785 crore for the previous year, the allocation this year has been increased to Rs 1,269.80 crore.

Aiming to encourage the education of girls, the Commission has earmarked Rs 50 crore for the construction of girls’ hostels. For strengthening and expanding of research and teaching in sciences and social sciences, new initiatives such as post doctoral fellowships and junior research fellowships are planned.

For the e-governance proposed by the Commission, an amount of Rs 10 crore has been allocated. Another Rs 7 crore has been allotted for the construction of a new UGC campus near JNU.

For central universities, deemed universities and Delhi colleges, non-plan requirements have been assessed and a budget of Rs 1,460.70 crore has been allocated as against Rs 1,389.61 crore allotted last year.

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Diploma in Genomics
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, April 19
Bioinformatics of Institute of India (BII) has introduced a highly specialised course— Industry Diploma in Proteomic and Genomics. According to director of the institute, Mr Vijay Shukla, the programme is aimed at preparing students for the existing and challenging world of genomics and proteomics by offering methodological course.

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Panel to take up UP-Haryana border issue
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, April 19
Senior officers of UP and Haryana have renewed efforts to resolve the boundary dispute between the two states which have often erupted into violence in which many lives have been lost.

A core committee comprising four members has been set up to resolve the differences between the two states. The committee will have two district magistrates from each side. The divisional commissioner, Rohtak, and his counterpart in Meerut also attended the meeting at the district collectorate here.

They said the dispute would be resolved in the light of the recommendations of the Dikshit Committee.

The deputy commissioner of Karnal, Sonepat, Saharanpur and Muzzafarnagar will be included in the committee.

In a fortnight’s time, the districts involved in the boundary dispute will place their recommendations before the core committee. After this, a meeting of revenue officers will be held to compare the revenue record on May 17.

Subsequently, the divisional commissioners will meet on July 18.

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Multi-level parking on MG Road planned
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, April 19
Haryana Urban Development Authority proposes to build a multi-level parking facility on the congested Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. The administrator, HUDA, Gurgaon, Mr S P Gupta said that the government has a piece of land measuring around three acres on MG Road on which facility this may be built.

On the direction of the chief minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the director, town and country planning has sanctioned a multi-level parking on MG Road, keeping in mind heavy traffic and parking problems.

It may be recalled that more than 15 leading malls and corporate buildings, including MGF Metropolitan Mall, DLF City Centre, Sahara Mall, JMD and First India Place are functional on the road. Equal numbers of malls and offices are in various stages of construction on the stretch from IFFCO Crossing (National Highway No. 8) to Delhi border. This five-km stretch remains choked with traffic throughout the day. It takes hours to cross the road on Saturday and Sunday due to heavy rush.

Mr Gupta said the new car park would accommodate thousands of cars. A hydraulic lift would be installed to lift the cars to various levels.

The site is adjacent to Sahara Mall, added the officer.

The cost of the project and the floor of the multi-level parking are yet to be finalised, the officer said. In another development, the district town planner today demolished three temporary liquor vends on the road. These vends were constructed on the 30-metre green belt on the stretch and were causing traffic problems.

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GDA seals illegal flats in basements and parks
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, April 19
The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has sealed flats constructed in the basements of buildings and a number of parks.

GDA bulldozers had razed shops constructed in buildings and parks yesterday. The shutters of shops and some walls were brought down.

The GDA action was opposed by the residents who demanded action against officials responsible for these illegal constructions in the first place. Many residents termed the GDA action as eyewash.

The GDA was perhaps afraid of some court action and strictures and that was why it had acted now, residents said. But GDA secretary Devi Shankar Sharma said this campaign would continue.

The police also booked certain persons who had allegedly tampered with the seals put by the GDA.

The GDA had used its bulldozers in plot no D-31 in Chander Nagar Colony where an office was functioning in a park.

The GDA secretary said that in the basement of plots no B-5 and B-6 a builder was carrying on illegal activities. Certain persons had made flats on the fourth floor against rules, because only up to three floors were permitted. These were all sealed by the GDA.

Mr N. K. Mukherjee, secretary, Delta Welfare Association, accused the GDA of having merely completed a formality through this action.

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Man jailed for raping 13-year-old girl
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
A city court today sentenced a 30-year-old man to seven-year imprisonment for raping a 13-year-old girl in Sarita Vihar in South-West Delhi three years ago.

After hearing the arguments of both the prosecution and the defence, an additional sessions judge held Mukut guilty of raping the girl and sentenced him to seven-year imprisonment.

The court further slapped a fine of Rs 500 on Mukut.

The victim deposed in the court that she had come to Delhi along with a friend in search of a job. When she failed to get it, she decided to return home.

On the night of July 20, 2003, the victim met the convict Mukut along with his friend Sanjay who offered to take her to her village. On the way, Mukut took her to a nearby jungle, gagged her and raped her. He also threatened to kill her if she raised an alarm, according to the prosecution.

“The victim had to suffer humiliation in society for no fault of hers. The convict deserves no leniency,” the order said.

Mukut was convicted under section 376 (Rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In another case, a city court sentenced a domestic servant and his three accomplices to ten years in jail for looting his employer in Greater Kailash Enclave in south Delhi more than four years ago.

An additional sessions judge also fined Prakash Chand and Natraj Rs 6,000 each and Mohd Ishtiyaq and Prabhat Kumar Nayak Rs 5,000 each after finding them guilty under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act.

According to the prosecution, on December 8, 2001, in the early afternoon, Chand, Natraj, Ishtiyaq, and one Pappu reached the GK Enclave residence of Prem Sagar Jain, the complainant in the case.

Nayak, who was Jain’s domestic servant, helped the four enter the living room of the house, where the complainant was watching television.

Jain was caught unawares, with the accused threatening him at gunpoint. They snatched all the cash he had on his person, besides his gold ring and mobile phone.

Meanwhile, one R C Puri dropped by to meet Jain, only to be dragged into the house by the accused, and similarly divested of his valuables. However, by that time, realising there was something amiss, a crowd had gathered on the street outside the house. The police were informed, who reached the location.

All the accused, except Pappu, were arrested on the spot.

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Man commits suicide in Munirka
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
A man committed suicide today by hanging himself from the ceiling in his rented house in southwest district. The deceased has been identified as Manish Kumar (28), a native of Bihar.

The police said that the neighbours saw him last night. When he did not open the door of his room in Munirka village this morning, the neighbours informed the police who broke into the house and found him hanging.

The police claimed to have recovered a note in which Manish stated that no one was responsible for his death.

He was working as a laboratory technician at Centre for Plant Research at Aruna Asaf Ali Road.

He had been depressed for some days but did not disclose the reason to anyone, said the police.

The body has been sent for postmortem and a case of suicide registered.

In another incident, a person today tried to commit suicide on the Supreme Court premises by consuming Phenyl kept in a bottle in a toilet. The person has been identified as Rajbir Gupta, a resident of Ghaziabad.

He was taken to RML Hospital where his condition is said to be stable.

The police said that he was depressed as his case had been pending in the Supreme Court.

“He has not given any statement regarding his suicide attempt. We are waiting for his recovery, only after that we can take his statement. As of now, no case has been registered in the police station as the statement of the victim is necessary for investigations,” said a police official.

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Over 8,500 taxis, autorickshaws booked by traffic police
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The Delhi Police have booked 8,573 taxi/TSR drivers in the city till April 15 this year in connection with various traffic violations like refusal to carry passengers, overcharging, misbehaviour and harassment of commuters.

While 3812 taxi/TSR drivers have been prosecuted for overcharging or indulging in misbehaviour with a passenger, 4,748 have been booked for refusal to carry passengers and 13 for plying without fare charts or with tampered meters.

To encourage commuters to lodge complaints against taxi or autorickshaw drivers, the traffic police have set up a round the clock helpline with the phone number of 23378888.

Complaints can also be lodged through free complaint cards distributed by the traffic police.

For this purpose, the police have also set up an SMS based complaint system. All complaints received through SMS are downloaded through the internet and legal action is taken against such defaulting taxi/auto drivers.

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One held for making hoax bomb call

New Delhi, April 19
The police today detained a person who made three calls to them claiming that bombs had been planted near Jama Masjid, in St Stephen’s Hospital and Barafkhana area this afternoon.

The caller, who rang up around 3.00 pm, said a bomb has been planted at Chitli Kabar near Jama Masjid, St Stephen’s Hospital and Sabzi Mandi Barafkhana, according to a senior police official.

The call was traced to a PCO in North Delhi and the man, said to be mentally disturbed, detained.

“He is being questioned,” the official added. — TNS

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Hoteliers demand change in licence policies

New Delhi, April 19
The members of Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association (DHROA) submitted a seven-point memorandum to the Delhi tourism minister Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely today on the problems facing them while preparing for the Common Wealth Games 2010.

According to the president of the association, Mr Sandeep Kandelwal, the government should change its tourism and licence policies in view of the grand event.

“The government has been showing partiality between the so-called five-star hotels and budget hotels owned by us despite knowing the fact that we are the backbone of the hotel industry. Our representation must be assured in any policy-making meetings regarding the Games. We are capable of fulfilling 30 to 40 per cent demands for hotels rooms at the time of the mega sports event,” he said.

He said that on the lines of the five-star hotels, licence fees should not be charged from the budget hotels. “Our licence should be renewed after every five year. Like in other states, the right to give licence should be in the jurisdiction of tourism department,” he added. — OC

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Delhi firm opens forest resort
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
A Delhi-based firm has opened a resort at Jim Corbett National Park called Solluna Sarovar Resort.

Situated in the midst of the picturesque national park, which is the largest wild life sanctuary in India, having 550 types of animal species and specially known for its tigers and leopards, the resort lies 266 kms from Delhi and 85 kms from Nainital. It is situated on the bank of river Merchula.

Accommodating 18 cottages and a huge conference hall amid picture-perfect, zero pollution surroundings, the resort also boasts of open-top jeep and elephant safaris, trekking, horse riding, live regional folk dances, a natural water fall, skating ring, a swimming pool, a mini-theatre, rafting, mountaineering and rock climbing. 

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